How to create a free Content Calendar with Google Sheets

marketing tips Sep 19, 2022

Content marketing on social media is a great way to connect with your target audience. The concept is really simple - you share content that builds awareness about your brand, interest in your expertise, and a desire to work with you. 

You can build a content marketing strategy that moves your audience through your sales funnel and generates qualified leads - all you need is a few organization tools, a solid marketing strategy, and time on your calendar for creating content.

The amount of time you put into your content marketing strategy is totally up to you. Every business is different and every business owner has different goals, so do what works for you. Once you determine how much time you want to allocate, you can start organizing your ideas and building a content calendar. Here are the two marketing tools you need to get started:

Content buckets (aka content pillars) keep your content ideas organized. They’re also a great tool to help you create consistent content for your audience. You just need to come up with 3-5 topics you can talk about on social media. The topics should be related to your offer - and your content should always be valuable

Once you’ve got your topics nailed down, you can start organizing your buckets. Just add a new tab to your content calendar where you can keep all your thoughts. Whenever you’re ready to create new content, you can go pull ideas out of your buckets. And you can also continuously add ideas to the buckets.

Content calendars are perfect for storing the content you create - copywriting, hashtags, graphics, and more. You can store content for all the social media platforms you use and never worry about missing a post. A well designed content calendar will make social media marketing easier for you.

You can use our free content calendar template to help you get started! Keep reading to get step-by-step instructions on how to download your free content calendar and customize your template. But first, let’s go over why it's important to take the time to organize your content in a calendar…

What is the purpose of a content calendar?

To help you stay organized. Marketing on social media can be a full-time job and you need all the tools you can get. A content calendar organizes the content you create so you can see a snapshot of your scheduled social media posts - which helps you create and share content consistently.

What should a content calendar include?

Your content calendar should be customized for the platforms you use - and it should have space to organize all of your content (copy, hashtags, photos, call to action, link, purpose, time, notes…). The best way to determine what to include in your content calendar is to go through the manual steps of posting new content on each social media platform. You can take note of the steps, required content, and extras so that you’ll know exactly what’s needed for each platform. Then, you can customize your content calendar to include exactly what you need.

Free Content Calendar template!

We’ve designed a free content calendar template just for you. The template is built with a dynamic calendar - which means it’s the only content calendar template you’ll ever need. You can simply change the calendar year to create a new content calendar every year. No need to buy a new calendar every year or start from scratch! Keep reading to learn how to use the free template. 

How to create a free content calendar!

Follow these step-by-step instructions to customize your content calendar with our free content calendar template for Google Sheets.

Step 1: Download the free content calendar template

To download the free Google Sheets template: Click the link below and then click ‘Make a copy’. If you’re not signed into your Google account, it will prompt you to do that first. 

Free Content Calendar Template for Google Sheets

Step 2: Update cell A1 to the current year

This template is built for customization. The template design is simple so that you can add as many details as you need - and design a custom calendar for your business goals. What makes it special is the built-in dynamic calendar that makes it possible to continuously update year after year.

The very first cell in the template (cell A1) is where you can update the year. Once you change the year, the entire calendar will update to reflect the correct date on a 7 day week (Sunday - Saturday). 

Step 3: Create individual platform tabs

Every social media platform is different. They all require different bits of information (copywriting, CTA, hashtags, tags, alt text…) and that’s why it’s important to create a tab for each platform you use. 

You can create a copy of the tab labeled ‘Platform 1’ as many times as you need - and label each of those tabs for the appropriate platform (Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, LinkedIn, TikTok…). 

Step 4: Customize your platform tabs

Now, you can customize each platform tab to add the sections needed. Make sure you’ve gone through the process of posting on each platform manually - and write down what kind of information is required. 

Once you have a list of requirements for each platform, you can customize the platform tabs on your content calendar. Just add as many rows as you need.

As you scroll through the calendar, you’ll notice there are two rows already included for each calendar day: one is labeled ‘Content’ and the other ‘CTA’. Both of these are standard for most social media platforms and give you a good starting point. You can insert rows above or below the ‘Content’ and ‘CTA’ rows.

Tips for using the free content calendar template!

  1. Don’t change anything on the first row EXCEPT the calendar year in cell A1. The dynamic calendar formula will break if the days (Sunday - Saturday) are changed.
  2. Copy and save the ‘Platform 1’ tab as a ‘Template’ tab. That way you always have the original template to go back to and make copies.
  3. The Content Buckets tab is a freebie just for you! You can use it to store all your ideas so you’ll always have inspiration for your content.
  4. Have fun with the color palette! The template is designed with a neutral color scheme that can easily be changed to your brand colors. 
  5. Repurpose your content! When you’re ready to build a calendar for the next year, don’t just toss all that content - repurpose it to save time and create consistency! It will take time to update or move the content to the days you want, but it’s way faster than starting from scratch. (Pro tip! Look at your data to see what content converted for you and focus on repurposing that!)

What about a completely done-for-you content calendar?

If you need a content calendar for organization but just don’t have the time to go through these steps, then a done-for-you content calendar is the best option. 

Visit our shop to check out the content calendar we built for our own business. It functions similarly to the free content calendar template but it also includes an overview tab. 

The overview tab gives you a birds eye view of your entire content calendar and it’s really easy to use. Just go into the platform tabs, add your content, and check the done box - then, the overview tab will show what you have planned for every day. 

This calendar helps us stay on top of all the social media platforms we use (which can be overwhelming without the right tools). AND it saves us so much time! Visit the shop to learn more!

You might also be interested in the following!

Canva tips to help you design faster! - Get tips on how you can use Canva Pro to streamline your graphic designs. 

Does your business need a website? - Is social media marketing enough? Or does your coaching business need a professional website? Read to learn more.


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