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How to create an Instagram content calendar + Free Template

We all have, at least for once, decided to run and manage an Instagram business account. But after creating the account, we found ourselves surrounded by complicated questions

You probably have asked yourself, ‘What should I even post?’ or ‘When is the best time to post on Instagram?’. Among many different factors contributing to an account’s success on Instagram is having a well-developed content calendar.

To put it simply, what you’ll do is get a clear idea of what and when you will post your content on Instagram. Planning is key to the success of everything in our lives, not just on social media platforms.

The importance is very well stressed out in the words of the great Chinese philosopher and sage, Confucius:

“A man who does not plan long ahead will find trouble at his door.”

So we can all agree that having a planner’s mindset is, without doubt, beneficial for us. The same mindset is also helpful for developing a plan for your Instagram account’s content. To achieve the best possible results on Instagram, outlining a content calendar is of paramount importance.

The good news is that creating it doesn’t require any background knowledge. Anyone can easily prepare in a short amount of time.

In the following lines, you’ll learn how to create an Instagram content calendar correctly in three easy steps.

Why is a content calendar important?



First, let’s discuss the importance of creating such a calendar. If you’re looking for a way to organize your Instagram account, having a content calendar is definitely the thing you need to take into consideration. By having it, you are forced to think and plan strategically ahead. It helps you avoid posting random stuff without prior planning. It’s also great in cases where you are required to share your plans with a team. There are few other benefits of creating an Instagram content calendar:

  • It gives you a clear image of the direction you’re going with the content you create.
  • Just at a glance, you’ll have access to all the tasks you have to complete throughout the month.
  • Since you’re planning far ahead, you’ll always have some kind of content to post on your account.

What should a content calendar include?

What should a content calendar include?

An Instagram content calendar can include:

  • Content categories
  • Specific sharing dates
  • At least a month of planning
  • Your industry’s major events
  • Famous holidays
  • Content from other creators

The first three, content categories, specific sharing dates, and a month of planning are mandatory to include in your calendar. But the rest may be added according to your personal preference.

How do I create a content calendar for Instagram?

There are a few simple steps you need to take to create your Instagram content calendar.

Step one: Find the right categories

The first step is to find the right categories that perfectly match your account’s identity and the type of content you wish to create. It would be best if you try to pick between four to six categories. Note that these numbers are only suggestions and can vary depending on your niche. For the sake of a better explanation, let’s imagine you are a perfume expert. For example, your categories might look like this:

  • Perfume analysis
  • Brand-new perfumes
  • Perfume of the month
  • Breakdown of various notes
  • Famous perfumers’ biography
  • Tips for buying perfume for someone

In other words, each of these categories serves as a general label for the content you are going to create for your account.

Finding the right categories is unarguably the critical step in creating an Instagram content calendar. Once you get it done, you probably don’t have to think about it for at least a month.

Now that you’re familiar with this step go ahead and brainstorm the categories you find appropriate for your Instagram account.

Step Two: Create the calendar framework

The next thing you should do is to create the calendar framework. The easiest way to do this is by using either Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets. Let’s walk you through on how to create this framework in Google Sheets. Once you’ve opened up Google Sheets, you need to create a blank spreadsheet for each month. Then on the top row, type each day of the week. And on the column to the left, add the number of weeks each month has – for example, Feb 1, 2021 – Feb 7, 2021.

By creating this simple sheet, you’ve created an easy-to-use template that you can later edit and use for each month’s content planning. If you don’t wish to make the calendar’s framework yourself, you can simply search online and look for ready-to-use templates.

You can also download a free template from our website. You can either print it out or write on it by using an image editing app.

Step Three: Start filling in the blank spaces based on your goals

The final step is, by far, the simplest. After preparing the spreadsheet, you just have to start filling in the blank spaces. According to the brainstormed categories and the dates you have in mind for each of them, you begin filling in the boxes under each column. Note that you may have some empty spaces in your calendar depending on how often you plan to post your content. Also, keep in mind that you can search through the calendar more easily by assigning a separate color to each category. The final result should look something like this:

As shown in the screenshot, you can see that each category has been assigned to a specific day of the week. And as a whole, it can give you a clear snapshot of the various contents you’re supposed to post.

This was the general idea behind an Instagram content calendar. You may take a step forward and include your own preferences to it. For example, you can customize it by adding a set of hashtags for each category included in the calendar. This isn’t really necessary, but by doing so, you’ve both personalized your calendar and taken a step further in being organized.

Recap + Free template

Creating an Instagram content calendar is crucial to having a well-organized account. It primarily helps you stay organized and establish a clear image of your account’s activity. In this article, you learned how to create it in three easy-to-take steps:

  1. Choose the appropriate content categories
  2. Make a spreadsheet in Excel or Google Sheets
  3. Fill in each blank space of the calendar

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