Content is king and your community definitely needs a steady flow of it. After establishing your community layout, your next step is to create a content calendar. A content calendar will help you keep your thoughts and materials organized. But more importantly, it’ll keep your community members engaged and interested.
Having a content calendar will help you identify any content gaps — meaning it’ll allow you to see clearly if your content focuses too much on one subtopic and too little on another. You’ll also be able to identify content milestones and plan announcements around key events or important dates.
So without further ado, here are some tips on how you can build an effective content calendar for your online community.
Choosing the Right Layout
While some people prefer a long list, I recommend using a calendar layout just like any planner or agenda. This layout will allow you to get an overall sense of what’s coming up for at least a month. You’ll also be able to mark down important dates in order to build content leading up to the event.
I suggest taking the last week of each month to plan ahead for the following month. However, do not be afraid to change and make edits as you see fit. For instance, if your community is asking for a specific piece of content (maybe an answer to a question), feel free to swap one of the content pieces you had planned to address the requested subject.
When it comes to creating content, it’s about working smarter, not harder. A lot of people focus on creating fresh, new content. Instead, you should be focusing on the content you already have and how you can repurpose or build on it. Some of these pieces of content include:
- Slide decks
- Old blog posts
- Old videos on the topic
- Any Podcast or press appearance
- First-hand research
- Email newsletters
Identify Your Main Content Pillars
Every piece of content you share within your community has to educate, entertain, or inspire them. Your content pillars will help you stay on track and on course. Establishing and identifying your main content pillars is also a great way to ensure that you’re addressing each pillar equally in your community. For example, if your community is about traveling, your content pillars might include destination guides, travel tips, and restaurants. Once you have that established, you can appropriately plan your community’s content rotating between each pillar. You could share a destination guide on Monday, a travel tip on Wednesday, and a list of best restaurants on Friday.
Consistency is Key
We’ve heard it all before – consistency is key if you want to succeed. Your content is no different. Your amazing ideas are great, but if you aren’t sharing them consistently, only a few will see them. When it comes to establishing an active and engaged community, everyone needs to be on the same page. That means your members need to know when to expect a piece of content from you.
Your content calendar will help you keep on track, but it’ll also ensure you’re giving your community members the highest possible value. And the further ahead you plan, the better chances you’ll have at keeping your members happy and wanting more.