When someone says a content calendar what goes through your mind? For many folks it’s one more thing to do in an already busy day. It sounds time consuming and we don’t have enough time. An hour spent with a content calendar plan can not only save you time, but make the time you have more effective. Isn’t that worth consideration? Three quick reasons: time management, effective communication and idea creation.
Time management is a big deal. For large farms and small, there’s often not enough time or too long days to squeeze one more thing in. With effective use of a content calendar, you can spread your time out and be more effective in the time you do have. Some might use a word program to easily cut and paste, or a calendar program with ideas instead of appointments. Find your normal busy and light days, and work around it. I know that for some reason Thursday for me gets rushed – so Thursday I schedule posts and give myself a stress break! This can be ‘evergreen’ content – how you do a task or sharing information that doesn’t go “out of date.”
Effective communication is the whole point of using social media! With the use of a content calendar, you can spend time on slow days adding content, then schedule it to post automatically. This can bring a consistency that can otherwise be sporadic as time doing more important farm tasks takes priority. A few hours per week of focused time can help you better say what you want to say.
With your content calendar corralling and organizing the topics, no more do you get some time to sit down and blog and can’t think of *anything* to say! Look at special highlighted days such as in June dairy month for content ideas you can weave into your blog. Take time to explore popular culture – perhaps recipes with your products at SuperBowl time or other special times and features. Is there a headline about a talk show or other show discussing a topic that might tie in to agriculture? You might consider a Monday, Wednesday and Friday schedule, and find recurring things to share on these days. One might be a photo day, one a day of sharing on the farm and one a building bridge day looking at other interests and people to draw to your blog. Keep a running list of ideas – if you see someone ask a question that warrants more than a passing comment, that’s a blog post. Imagine having a 5 year old shadow. What are you doing, why are you doing it, how do you know…the questions (and blog ideas) are endless!
Don’t overlook basics. Often we take for granted what we know, and what we don’t. I’ve heard several questions from folks feeding hay about what is grass hay, how it differs from Bermuda or brome, what’s the difference between horse hay and cow hay…this is the tip of the very large iceberg and comes from folks with a closer link to agriculture than the average city dweller! Perhaps one or two days per week can focus on these things, one day on pictures and one on current events, or your perspective of such. We’re up to four blog posts per week!
Remember that not all blogs need to be written. A couple minutes with a video can be enough to upload for a blog post! Think visual, pull out that camera, take photos and explain what the photo is showing.
A content calendar pulls it all together and helps you organize your writing time. Try it and see how much more you can do in an hour.
written by Jan Hoadley