How to use CoSchedule to Easily Plan a Years Worth of Content
If I told you it was time to plan your content for the next 12 months, what would your reaction be - crying or running? Planning your content doesn't have to be hard. It can actually be incredibly quick if you set up your plans the right way.
Today I'm going to take you through the process we used to set up our content plans in CoSchedule, but don't worry, you can use a regular calendar instead if you're not ready to invest.
01. Pick a Schedule
The first step in building your content calendar is to figure out what you need! My team and I make a list of the content we post regularly so that we could start mapping out our schedule:
- Blog posts (weekly)
- Youtube videos (weekly)
- Podcasts (weekly)
- Newsletter (weekly)
- Conrad Hub ProBlog Posts (monthly)
- Conrad Hub Workshops (monthly)
Once we had a list we started to plot out where we wanted our content to land. We used a free tool called RealTimeBoard to start brainstorming and mapping our plans. Below you can see an example of how we started out planning the days.
02. Brainstorm Content
Once you have a list of what you need, you can fill in the blanks. This is the hard part for most people. There are days when thinking up one blog post is tough, now I'm asking you to think up 52. Most of the time, thinking up content ideas is easier in batches.
So, look at your current blog posts. Type in a title to pinterest, what else comes up? If your most popular post is about why you switched to Squarespace, you can make 10 new posts from that same idea. 10 questions to ask yourself before picking a squarespace theme, 5 tricks to make your squarespace site stand out, 12 things I love about squarespace, 9 things I hate about Squarespace - you get the idea.
Look through your emails, social media comments, messages. What kind of questions are people asking you? I created a canned email about how to get started with Bible Studies because I got asked about it so often - take a wild guess on what video is on my top 10 most popular youtube videos - how to get started studying your bible. Many times, our audience tells us exactly what they need - so listen to them!
Start with a braindump if you need to, just start writing ideas. Dump everything on one page and cut out the bad ideas later.
Once you've sorted through your ideas, start placing them in order. I used Asana for this since everything is drag and drop. Order your posts into series or similar topics (a month all about website design or a full series on your favorite recipes).
Be flexible with your new plans. That great post idea about how to use xyz might need to be changed after you ditch xyz and switch to a better tool. Plans can change, let them.
03. Set Up Templates
Once you have your ideas down, it's time to set up some templates. These will make your life easier as you begin to add the content to your calendar.
Social Queues are a helpful little tool that let you save some time making social media message. If you're using one of the CoSchedule Marketing plans, you'll gain access to templates as well, which can speed the process up even more. I love CoSchedule for this exact reason. We created task templates, social media templates and graphic templates (in Canva) so that all my VA had to do was plug in the title of the post.
Here's a quick video about templates in CoSchedule:
04. Add Content to Your Calendar
Once you have set up your templates, you have your content ready and your calendar is clear, it's time to add all your plans.