Explained: How to Easily Create a Content Calendar (for beginner's)

By: Gina Oliver III

Wave Enterprise Co Content Creation Services
Photo by Unsplash

Back in the day, we'd snap a chic pic. of our expensive cocktail overlooking a beach sunset, throw a filter on that bad boy and click the blue "publish" button.


Minutes later...a bazillion notifications emerge on our feed and we'd feel quite satisfied with ourselves.


Today, with 1.074 billion active users on Instagram, posting isn't a walk in the park and sometimes, for business owners, it could even be overwhelming.


But, I want to help you find the joy in using social media again, instead of seeing it as a chore to post for your business... I want you to see it as a global playground to learn, be inspired, and find opportunities for growth.


And, all it takes is a sprinkle of intention and a dash of planning to be well on your way.


So, in this quick guide, I'll let you in on the secrets of easily creating a content calendar for your social media.


Buckle up, here we go!


What are the benefits of having a content calendar?

Let's get back to the basics.


Why should you use a content calendar instead of posting on the fly?


I'm not going to lie to you...


I occasionally post on the fly. And, by posting on the fly I mean following a basic calendar structure but sometimes getting a surge of inspiration and therefore creating and posting that same day.


There's nothing wrong with that way of content flow, and if that's how you roll, lean into it.


You need to find a content planning structure that works for you, but I am going to show you why your life would be easier if you had a plan and then left some days up to serendipitous posting.


Having at least a skeleton of your content provides you with:

  • a greater sense of direction

  • more probability that you'll hit your business goals

  • frees up brain space that could be used trying out new ideas

  • sets you up to show up more consistently online


What tools should I use to create a content calendar?

To be honest, I use my handy dandy Google Docs.


It's easy to use and to collaborate with, whether you have a team or you're a one-woman show.


However, there are plenty of other options you might try out depending on your style like:

Whatever you decide, make sure you're not just using a template for the sake of using it but to make your life easier.


The 5-step guide to create a content calendar

Okay, now we're at the juicy part.


Let's first dig into your insights and set some goals!


Step 1: Look at your insights and set a goal

You need to know where you've been to plan for a successful future. Take a hard look at the metrics that matter so that you can set an appropriate goal.


And, when I say 'metrics that matter' that means an insight that aligns with the goals you're looking to achieve instead of getting caught up by how many followers you have or engagement rates.


Let me give you an example. One of my social media clients' goals was to get more email subscribers, which correlates to the "website tap" metric on Instagram. So, we focused hard on all the ways we can get more people to click the link in her bio.

Wave Enterprise Co Social Media Management Services

From May to June there was a slow increase, but eventually we saw over a 400% increase in July.


By focusing on one metric that truly mattered to her business goals, we skyrocketed her results.


With that said here are steps to follow so that you can create a purposeful goal:

  1. Clearly define your goals- example: I will obtain 5 new email subscribers in 30 days from Instagram by doing ____ and _____.

  2. Make sure your goals are realistic based on past analytics

  3. As per my email above, create specific actions that'll get you to your goal. For instance, I will obtain 5 new email subscribers in 30 days from Instagram by always including a CTA (call-to-action) and implementing an optimized Instagram bio

Next step, research and pillars!


Step 2: Research and set your pillars

Allow yourself time to explore while in your research phase. I'd recommend a couple of days to scour for new ideas.


I like to set an intention when I go on Instagram, so I don't lose large chunks of time scrolling through cat videos.

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Here's an example→ "I'm going on Instagram for 20 minutes to look for content ideas"


So, I'll go to a relevant hashtag like #consciousbusiness or #holisticcoach and see what sticks out to me. I often look at the comments to see what others are asking so that I can create content around that. When I feel inspired I'll save it under my "content ideas" tab in my saved posts.


For design and aesthetic purposes, I spend some time on Pinterest too. I save designs that stand out so that I can use them as inspiration later.


Oftentimes an idea can spark from a song, so get loose with it, jam out to some Afrobeats, or check out what sounds are trending on Tik-Tok to get video ideas.


One last part of my research phase is looking at monthly holidays. Planning around monthly holidays is a way to bring some pizazz to your feed, stay relevant, and increase your brand awareness. Here are some for September:



Now, the next step is creating your pillars. Content pillars, or overarching topics will help you to focus your planning. I recommend using anywhere from 3-5 pillars.


You might be wondering, "ok Gina... I have no clue how to come up with that many pillars"


So here's my advice→ Think about what makes your business unique. Maybe you're a life coach but have a background in Psychology and you're also a huge advocate for minority healthcare.


Your 3 pillars might be:

  • Self-coaching tips to create more positive thinking

  • Healthcare resources for minorities

  • Topics you're currently talking to your clients about

By creating different pillars, you're showcasing the aspects of you and your business that stand out.


Alright, onto content repurposing.


Step 3: Repurpose old content

I am a HUGE advocate for content repurposing. Just like we recycle coke bottles and turn them into a brilliant works of art, so too can we repurpose blogs, podcasts, and old social media videos to make them fresh. Doing this can also save you a lot of time.


Peek back into your insights section to find what pieces of content were saved, interacted with, and shared amongst your audience. This will provide you will some guidance.


For instance, our audience really enjoyed this video we put out in 2020:


So we changed up the intention and wrote a fresh caption while keeping the same thumbnail:



The first round got 268 views, but the second round got 439.


People forget very quickly, so repeating yourself and showcasing similar content in fresh ways is the key to working smarter, not harder.


Now for the fun part, batching new content!


Step 4: Batch your new content

You may have heard the term, batching before. But, if not, batching refers to creating a lot of something in one sitting.


Let me tell you a quick story...


Back when I was teaching 3rd grade, my students would continuously come up to me,


"Mrs. Oliver, I need this"


"Mrs. Oliver, how do I do this?"


"Mrs. Oliver, what are we suppose to be doing?"


And it would disrupt my focus on the task I was attempting to work on and therefore my brain felt like this:


It wasn't until I started working remotely, with no student interruptions, that I trained my brain to work in more focused and intensive work sessions... what some people refer to as, 'flow state'. This drastically improved my productivity.


So, with that said... I urge you to block out a chunk of time to sit in a calm setting, with a full stomach, a fresh cup of joe, and focus music to nail out creating all your content.


For me, I like to batch captions one day and create content on Thursdays. Whatever flow works for you, do it!


Step 5: Finalize and schedule

Alright, friend, you've made it to the final stage → finalizing your posts and scheduling.


This is where you plug in those hashtags, dot your i's, and cross those t's. Anything that needs to be finished allow yourself time to make that happen and then schedule it out.


Scheduling content is a game-changer because it frees up your headspace to focus on other parts of your business. I've tried plenty of scheduling platforms (paid and free), but I really love Facebook's free creator studio.


To get there navigate to your business Facebook page, and on the left side click publishing tools.
























Then on the left side under tools click on "creator studio".









From there you can publish directly to your Instagram and Facebook, convenient right?


The Recap: and, what's next?

Not only will creating a content calendar carve out free time in your schedule, it'll help you to stay more organized, and ultimately strengthen your business. Remember these 5-steps to create your calendar:


Step 1: Look at your insights and set a goal

Step 2: Research and set your pillars

Step 3: Repurpose old content

Step 4: Batch your new content

Step 5: Finalize and schedule


Now, I know what you're thinking... "great I'm done, I can just post and ghost"


Well... not exactly.


Creating your content calendar is only a piece, a BIG piece, but still just a piece of the puzzle. You need to consistently nurture your content just like you would a newborn baby.


So, if any of this still seems like a giant headache, we'd love to give your business that "new-hair-cut" freshness. Let's create a content calendar that shines with your brand personality, attracts your ideal tribe, and continuously grows your audience.


Schedule a 20-minute free chat!