If you’re a content creator, website owner, or business owner, you’ve likely created blog posts without any planning.
And while that may work for some people, it’s not ideal — success often requires preparation.
If you want to scale your content production, planning and executing the right strategy is crucial. The best way to do so is with a content calendar.
Content calendars allow you to plan out your blog posts from start to finish — we’ll discuss how to use content calendars and the best five free templates you can start using today!
What Is a Content Calendar, And Why Should You Use One?
A content calendar is similar to a time management system that you can use to organize your blogging workflow on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. They can help you stay organized and create higher-quality content.
Whether you’re a blogger, freelancer, website owner, social media influencer, or content creator, content calendars are an extremely useful tool.
Or don’t worry about it — partner with a content agency that handles it all for you!
How Content Calendars Can Keep You Organized and Productive
Content calendars can help you organize your campaigns, no matter if you’re the only content strategist in your organization, an agency manager, or a start-up entrepreneur.
They are also invaluable for collaborating with others, so everyone knows what is needed and when it’s needed.
You also get a better view of the big picture — you can look ahead, map out themes, create daily social media posts, plan out things like podcasts, infographics, and videos, and track how your past posts are ranking easily.
You need some kind of content calendar to craft your message toward your target audience successfully and hit on their wants and needs as trends come and go.
Not to mention that planning ahead with a content calendar ensures that all of your content gets brainstormed, briefed, and approved before publishing it once the deadline hits — it’s as much a protective measure as it is an organizational tool.
And while you can create simple content calendars using Excel sheets, you can also use one of these five free content calendar templates to make it even easier.
Our Top Five Favorite Free Content Calendar Templates
Airtable is an excellent content calendar if you have existing files, like Excel, CSV, Google Sheets, etc., you need to move to a new app.
One fantastic feature of Arable is its automation, allowing you to send reminders to any member of your team through email or Slack automatically. Airtable can also handle multiple data fields without the need for formulas like with Excel.
Plus, if you need to assign blog posts to others in your organization, you can create customized fields or use the existing ones, including Title, Due Date, Status, Image, and Assignee.
Airtable also allows you to view your content calendar in other forms, including a grid and kanban. It’s one of the best content calendars for larger organizations and marketing departments.
Trello is an extremely popular project management tool that works great as a content calendar for teams already using an agile framework and software like Confluence, Jira, etc.
We especially like Trello’s drag-and-drop features, making it easy to use — a single glance can show you all of the information you need about a certain task.
In addition, assigning subtasks to other team members, setting due dates, attaching revisions, and offering feedback is simple.
However, Trello is mostly suited for busy publication teams and large enterprises looking to get a better handle on their content production.
If you work with a small marketing team or alone, one of the other content calendar templates on this list is likely a better option.
Hubspot has the perfect content calendar template for those who love working with Excel and Google Sheets. The company’s Social Media Content Calendar is free and extremely flexible — insert the month and year, adjust the template for your brand, and you’re ready to go.
There are multiple tabs, including one for scheduling, uploading your content, and updates from popular social media sites, like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.
And Hubspot gives you some examples, making this content calendar template extremely easy to use. You can also download a PDF to help you map out and monitor your current and future posts.
Hubspot’s content calendar template is more suited for social media posts and blogs, making it perfect for social media managers working with start-ups or in-house social media strategists for e-commerce brands.
Hootsuite is another content calendar template you can use — it’s similar to Hubspot’s template, containing a Google Sheet document with five different tabs: Instructions, Weekly View, Monthly View, Strategy, and Evergreen Content Library for Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and any other platform.
We like that it offers a weekly view — most other content calendar templates focus more on a monthly view. It also easily allows you to make key dates throughout the year, depending on how they affect your business — Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, etc.
If you’re familiar with Excel, this content calendar template should be easy to set up and get going — and there are no fees to use all of its extra features.
If you run a WordPress blog like many other people and businesses, CoSchedule might be the best content calendar template for you — it’s exceptional for content marketing. CoSchedule is ideal for influencers, freelancers, individual bloggers, and small start-ups.
The content calendar is easy and intuitive to use with integrations for various apps, including WordPress, MailChimp, and social media platforms.
If you manage your own blog, you can’t go wrong with CoSchedule.
Can’t be bothered to keep up with content production at scale? See how we can help.
Help Your Blogs Rank Higher With a Content Calendar Template
Leveling up your blog posts, social media, and marketing campaigns takes a lot of thought and planning. Along with some hard work and creativity, these content calendar templates can help take your brand to a whole other level.
So try out these content calendar templates and find the one that fits your brand best — one of these five is sure to do it for you!
Related: 10 Blogging Mistakes to Avoid