I have a secret weapon, and I’m not afraid to use it.
It’s name: CoSchedule. It’s purpose? To make blogging a little easier. How I use CoSchedule to do so?
Cue dramatic music.
What is it?
If you’re a blogger yourself, you might have heard or read other bloggers singing the praises of CoSchedule before and wondered “Yeah, great but… what is it?” On their website it’s described as a “drag and drop content marketing tool” but I’ll be honest: I don’t do much dragging.. or dropping, and it as what I call in my head, a blog planner.
CoSchedule is an easy drag-and-drop content marketing calendar that allows you to plan, create, and promote your content all in one place. It saves you time and helps you grow your audience through smart marketing plans and efficient team collaboration.
How I use it
How do I use CoSchedule? I use it to plan out all my blog posts and social media blog-related from the calendar page of the WordPress plugin.
As an content planner
From a content perspective, how I use CoSchedule is simple. Whenever I have an idea for a post, I’ll nip on to WordPress and save a quick draft from the dashboard. I’ll pop the title of the idea and any notes that I already have (or disasters to avoid next time!). Then, about once a month I go to the calendar page (above) and drag in posts to my current schedule. Currently, that’s every Monday and Wednesday, with occasional ‘Thursday Thoughts” and perhaps the odd Friday or Saturday posting for new areas like beauty. Any drafts that aren’t planned in already are available in the WordPress tab on the righthand side of the page. That’s where the “drag and drop” feature comes in again. You can simply drag the draft to the relevant day and schedule it in! Boom.
To schedule posts
So: scheduling. The nitty gritty of my life, since I have a full time day job that keeps me pretty occupied! I like to have the upcoming weeks worth of content ready to go on the Sunday night. However, being honest? What usually happens is I’ve put off finishing all the posts and I end up sat at my laptop on a Sunday night. I’ll be making graphics and putting finishing touches to each and every post. Oops! Or, like this Sunday… and realising that I’d completely forgotten about wanting to write this post altogether! All had were a few hastily compiled notes to refer tol
But – when I’m not putting off writing by watching Netflix – I schedule about a week ahead. That means two, occasionally three, completely finished blog posts. Completely finished to me, by the by, means:
- the post
- the photography
- the post images
- the social media
So for example: this post will go live at 7.45am on a Wednesday. I haven’t pressed the Publish button for that. In reality at 7.45am I am (hopefully) nearly at work for an 8am start and mindlessly listening to Radio 1. Likewise on Friday, there should be a review of July’s posts going live. The post is scheduled in my Calendar and will go up at 8am whether I have an internet connection or not. It doesn’t matter where I am in the country, I don’t need to do anything else. Now, granted this is a feature of WordPress, rather than CoSchedule. However, it’s the interaction with the calendar as a content planner that I find so cool and how I use CoSchedule to the best of my abilities.
As a social media manager
I think this is probably what converted me to using CoSchedule. Well, actually, that’s a lie…. I know it is! I use CoSchedule to save time. My Pinterest, Facebook Page, Twitter, LinkedIn and Tumblr accounts are all linked up to the calendar so that once I’ve added all images and written all there is to write, I schedule out posts to each channel in turn. CoSchedule puts a metabox at the bottom of each actual post page, and has several spots set up as default, which are:
- Same day as publish
- Day after publish
- Week after publish
- Month after publish
- Custom date
As standard, I release an update to at least Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn for every post on the day of publish. Every recipe post will go up to at least on board on the first day too. Twitter tends to get two updates on the day of publish, at about 12 hour intervals (generally speaking).
The day after
The day after publish, I post to Twitter and another Pinterest board, if relevant. I post to a different Pinterest board once a day until there are no more relevant boards (so sometimes I will have 6 Pinterest posts lined up over 6 days).
And further down the line
The week and the month after, I post to Twitter again. Because these posts don’t have a very long “life” I feel quite comfortable tweeting posts relatively often – especially as I use Twitter day-to-day anyway.
I also schedule in a post to Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn for about 90 days after publish as a sort of “hey remember this one?”. With CoSchedule, this can take as little as 10 minutes if I don’t get distracted, which is a real time saver.
To help with headlines
The headline feature is one I’m trying to use more, if only to find out what it takes to get above a B-! That’s the best score I’ve ever got – usually I get a C-! How I use coschedule generally is just to check that it’s not an F when planning out my content, and then moving on, but recently the nerdy side of me wants to see if I can work in titles that are a) useful b) not too long and c) an A! The jury is still out on whether it’s possible for a vegan food blog to do so but… bear with me!
You can try the headline analyser out for yourself too – it’s available as a free tool on their website right here.
And that’s all that I use it for really. How I use coschedule in summary? As a time saver and a content planner. I tried the free trial first, before signing for the Solo Standard plan to make sure it was really going to work and help me out. There are some tempting features to the more Solo Marketing expensive plan, but I couldn’t justify the extra cost right now.
Is CoSchedule for you?
If it’s something you’re interested in, here’s their overview video (below)! You can get CoSchedule for your own blog here: http://coschedule.com/r/50145 (<- affiliate link).