Whether you’re a full-time blogger or you maintain a blog for your business website (a great way to grow your audience & SEO!), a content calendar is a helpful way to strategically plan and organize your blog content.
Managing your blog via a content calendar also helps to keep track of topic ideas, ensure regular and timely posting, coordinate authors and guest posts, and ensure your blog is built to promote your business and brand.
What to include in your content calendar
Though your specific needs may vary by your industry, niche, or business model, there are a few general content calendar elements that are helpful to include for most blogs:
Related offers or promotions
Why we use Airtable for our content calendar
We personally use Airtable to build and manage our content calendars (for multiple blogs!) because it’s both a simple and robust tool to organize content and view it in multiple layouts.
Here are some of the features we use and love:
Sort & organize tables by content
Pull and reference content across tables
List, calendar & kanban views
Color coding for organization and “at-a-glance” snapshots
Below we’ll walk through exactly how we set up our Airtable content calendar, and you can even copy this exact template and use it for your own blog!
If you don’t have an Airtable account yet, here’s how to get one to use the template (it’s free—woohoo!):
Though Airtable does offer a free plan, we enjoy the additional formatting options of the Pro plan for our business needs.
That’s an affiliate link! Which means if you do purchase an upgraded plan, Five Design Co. may earn a small commission on your purchase, at no additional cost to you. We only share products or services we personally use and love.
Setting up your content calendar
This is exactly how we set up our blog content calendar and marketing plan in Airtable.
Feel free to copy the template below, which we’ve already set up for you to build your own blog calendar within. (Click the “Copy base” link on the bottom right.)
The template is highly editable, so you can adjust labels and content to work for your specific business needs.
Here are the steps you’ll follow to either create your own Airtable content calendar, or work within our template:
1. Create your Blog list fields
First, we work in “grid view” to set up the fields we’d like the table to include.
Here’s what you’ll see included (the field type for each item is noted in italics):
TITLE: This could be either the title of your post, or a general topic area. It could also be separated into two different fields, like Headline & Sub-Head. Single line text
CATEGORY: Denote the blog category for each post. Single select
DATE: This is where you’ll assign the date that’s used on the calendar view. Records without dates will show up in a list of “available post ideas” later. Date
STATUS: Allows you to track and sort by projects based on their workflow status—for example, “concept,” “in queue,” “scheduled,” “published,” etc. Single select
AUTHOR: If you publish blog posts by multiple authors, you can also create a field for author names. Single select (or Collaborator if they have access to the Airtable)
PROMOTIONS: It’s a great idea to include some type of additional offer or promotion in each blog post, letting readers know how they can get more of what they like. This field allows you outline the specific offers you’d like to include in each post. Multiple select
NOTES: Compile any notes to yourself regarding the post. Long text
UPDATES: If your blog posts are intended to be evergreen content, you may need to make occasional updates to keep the content up-to-date and accurate. This field serves as an easy place for you to keep track of any updates needed. Long text
(You can ignore the “Newsletter” and “Social Media” fields for now, which are added in a later step.)
2. Organize your calendar view
Next, we set up the calendar view and how we’d like our content to be displayed here.
Switch over to the calendar view via the arrow on the upper left of your screen, which is where you’ll toggle between layout views.
Once in the calendar view, we sort by the Date field we added in Step 1.
We color code our records for easy “at-a-glance” viewing—here they’re specifying workflow status, to let us know which posts are in progress, completed, etc. You can also color code records by blog category to get a visual glimpse of how well represented the different categories are in a given month, by author, or by any other field in your table.
In the right-hand search bar, we set our list to “records without dates,” which allows us to see a running list of unscheduled posts. (This is where we store blog post ideas and review them as we’re building our specific content calendar for each month.) Drag items around the calendar, or between the calendar and record list on the right.
Clicking on a record and “expand record” provides access to all of the fields that were added in the grid view. This is where we keep notes on blog post ideas as we’re working with them—details to be included in the post, resources to share, etc.
You can also view your content in a kanban (card-based) view. This is typically most useful for sorting by workflow status to monitor which posts are in progress, ready for review, published, etc.
3. Set up your content marketing plan
Within our Airtable base, we also connect our blog content calendar to another calendar for content marketing.
Typically our content marketing includes email marketing via newsletters and other email promotions, but you could also use a similar strategy to connect your blog content to other forms of marketing (social media, paid advertising, etc.)—just simply copy this template and adapt for those marketing types.
To set up our content marketing calendar, we add a new tab (“Newsletter”) with the following fields (the field type for each item is noted in italics):
DATE: The date the newsletter will send. Date
INTRO THEME: Our newsletters include introductory remarks, so this field is a brief note about what we’ll write in the intro section for a given newsletter. Long text
BLOG POSTS: Here we’ll reference specific blog posts (from our “Blog” tab) that we’ll be highlighting in the newsletter. Link to another record
PROMOTIONS: Similar to how we outlined promotions in our blog posts, we’ll outline the offers or promotions we’d like to share in each newsletter. Multiple select
STATUS: Track the status of the newsletter (for example: concept, in progress, sent). Single select
SENT TO: This is useful for getting a quick glimpse of who you’ve sent each campaign to (if you manage multiple lists or segment your list). Multiple select
NOTES: Any notes to yourself in planning for the newsletter. Long text
Once your newsletter tab is set up, you’ll see the “Newsletter” field appear in your Blog tab (which we passed over in Step 1).
A note on social media calendars: Though Airtable is our favorite tool for managing blog and newsletter content calendars, we actually don’t use it to manage social media content—there are plenty of other more specialized (and equally robust!) tools for each social media platform. However, we’ve included a “Social Media” tab in the content calendar template if you’d like to use Airtable to track which platforms your blog content has been scheduled to.
4. Use your content calendar to grow your blog
Alright, now that we have the structure all set up, this is how we use our content calendar in practice:
We work off of the Airtable desktop app.
We keep our base open to the Blog tab, in calendar view.
As needed, we add content ideas or make notes on existing content.
Monthly, we plan our upcoming blog content by adding and dragging content around the calendar. We aim to have a set calendar one-month out and a loose calendar two-months out—but these timelines can vary depending on the size of your business, how many writers you’re coordinating, etc.
As needed, we open records to add notes or edit record information (for example, moving workflow status to “published”).
Ready to create your own content calendar with Airtable?
Sign up for your free Airtable account and click “copy base” on any of the images above!