Why Content Calendars are Gold for Illustrators
I want to take a moment to talk about content calendars, and specifically how they relate to our practice as illustrators. A content calendar is basically a schedule that is used to plan and time out content across different mediums. Whether you only ever post your illustrations to instagram, or you have multiple mediums you post on, I promise that creating and sticking to a content calendar in your illustration practice will be a game changer for you.
The Benefits of Creating and Maintaining a Content Calendar
- You’ll post more consistently
As Illustrators and artists, we may not be able to churn out content as fast as other creators, who tell us that we should be posting at least once a day for best engagement. For most illustrators this is just not possible, and we shouldn’t feel bad! It is more important to post consistently than it is to post frequently, and a content calendar can help you stay on track. Ensuring that you show up for your audience at a regular cadence, whether that’s twice a week, once a week, or once a month. A content calendar can either help push and challenge you to meet those posting dates, or slow you down, when you have more content to share than usual.
- You’ll save time
Having a content calendar will save you so much time in the long run, have you ever sat down to illustrate, only to have to go search for inspiration first? Having a strategic list of ideas on hand, means that you won’t have to deal with coming up with content on the spot anymore.
- You won’t miss opportunities
Taking a strategic approach to planning out your content means that you can think forward to potential opportunities that you can prepare for in advance. Keeping a track of major holidays, national days, or any other calendar events means that you can be prepared and ready when these dates roll around. These kinds of seasonal/ timely posts also do really well when it comes to engagement, I have personally found that this kind of content gets shared at a much higher rate, as users are looking to repost relevant and timely content to share to their own followers.
How to set one up and what it should include
Getting up and running with a content calendar is quick, easy, and best of all free. Firstly you need to decide the cadence at which you feel you can realistically post. I myself create one illustration per week, that I post across Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, my website, as well as my Society 6 page, this may look completely different for you.
Next, open up a Google Doc, or any document that you can easily and constantly keep track of and refer back to. I want you to take note of all the dates, or weeks that you will post spanning the next 3-6 months.
After you’ve done this go through a regular calendar and take note of any holidays, public, or personal events that you would like to create illustrations around, make note of this in your document. Additionally, take some time to get creative and brainstorm other calendar/ time sensitive content. Here are some suggestions and prompts that may help you fill out more of your post slots.
- National Days: Go to NationalDayCalendar.com and see what National Days are coming up (These can be super fun and silly, but almost everyday is a National Day of something, so you can get a lot of content out of these!)
- Zodiac Signs (There are 12 signs, so that’s 12 opportunities for content!)
- Birthdays of prominent people/ figures (Google frequently does this with their Google that apear on thier homepage)
After you have these big basic seasonal pieces populated in your calendar, consider if there are any illustration challenges, competitions, or events you would like to participate in. Some of these may be time sensitive, such as the “36 Days of Type Challenge” which might require some planning and scheduling up front, while others you can do in your own time, for example a “#DrawThisInYourStyle” challenge.
By now you should have quite a few slots filled in your calendar. Fill the rest of the slots with project ideas you have sitting in the back of your brain. If you don’t have any just yet, don’t worry! now that you have a content calendar, any time you have an idea, or inspiration strikes add it in there!
So there you have it, if you don’t have one already, I hope that you take a little bit of time out to put together a content calendar for your illustration practice today, you’ll thank yourself later!