Heads up: In the words of the Mega-Reverend John Oliver, I’m not getting paid to say this. I’m just a fan.
Many of my readers and Instagram followers have been asking me about how to do things like set up successful blogs and accounts lately.
As you may or may not know, blogs and social media are things that I do both on my own time and at my full-time job. Which means that I usually spend a lot of time coming up with systems that can make my life as easy as possible.
In one of my recent posts about it, actually, I talked about having a half-hearted content calendar in a spreadsheet that I ignore a lot, until I go on massive sprees of updating it. It wasn’t an overly efficient strategy, but it worked.
At least, until I met CoSchedule.
About a month ago, my boss sent me a huge list of content ideas for us to start incorporating into our 2019 plan.
After my third pass through the list, I was intrigued by all the strategically-placed CoSchedule ads, so I went to check it out—and immediately fell in love.
From the slider that basically just illustrates what my desk looks like on a daily basis, to the features section that explains that CoSchedule is a comprehensive online content calendar that can easily manage social media, blog posts, larger campaigns, and even email campaigns, I was sold.
I signed up for the free trial (there isn’t a free version, but you do get to try the paid version for 30 days before you commit), and immediately set it up with my blog and social media accounts.
Within a week, I knew I wouldn’t care if I had to pay for it, I wanted to keep using CoSchedule.
Let me illustrate why I love it (and why I think it’s great for my fellow bloggers) with a few of my favourite features.
It integrates directly with WordPress.
Usually, if I can find a good social media manager, it doesn’t incorporate a blog. Well, this one does. It integrates directly with WordPress (like has a plugin and everything), which is super convenient because that’s what my site is built on.
I can just create a new WordPress post, input a headline, and bam, there’s a draft on my site waiting for me.
You’ll notice that it says “social messages” in that description; once you’re in the card for the WordPress post you just made, you can associate a social media campaign with it.
Which means that you can write it all in the same place, at the same time. Once your blog goes live, CoSchedule will automatically pull in the permalink, populate it with your featured image, and send your messages out to the world.
It has a really cool task management system.
As someone who blogs both at work and in her spare time, I generally get confused if I try to keep all my tasks in my brain.
I quite like the task management system in CoSchedule because it lets you assign due dates to checklists, and you can specify how many days ahead of time a task has to be done. This is super useful when you’re setting it up as a template.
Now, all I have to do to build a comprehensive calendar with all of my mini due dates is apply my Blog template to one of those WordPress cards I created earlier, and it backdates everything.
It has a great calendar.
The calendar, which is the default view, populates with everything; blog posts, tasks for blog posts, social posts, everything.
Plus, tasks in the calendar have their own checkboxes, so you don’t have to open the cards to mark the tasks as complete. That may seem like a minor detail, but trust me, that time adds up.
It also keeps track of how many tasks you’ve completed, and puts a little percentage-complete marker on that card.
It lets me add notes.
One of the biggest issues I run into is that in most social planning programs, there’s no real way to just mark things on a calendar that I might want to do something for. Special holidays, fandom-specific days, etc.
That’s why I got so excited when I discovered CoSchedule actually does that. That, along with planning blog content, was the entire purpose of having a spreadsheet calendar for me; so now I just don’t need it.
It lets me colour-code things.
I just like to colour-code things. It’s easier for me to spot content (and how well I’ve spaced it out). For example, I’m using three colour tags on my calendar; pink for standard blog posts, blue for videos, and green for those special days I mentioned.
What I still need to try
One of the other big hallmarks of CoSchedule is that it integrates with MailChimp for email campaigns.
I haven’t been able to do that yet, unfortunately—I need to get a PO box, because it’s actually a consumer protection law in Canada that marketing emails need to have a physical mailing address. But once I do that, I’ll be able to schedule my newsletter and post notification emails in the same platform as everything else!
I’m also intrigued by the ReQueue feature, which is supposed to identify your best-performing content, and let you set it to re-queue for publishing when you need a little extra content. I can see it being especially useful for Twitter, since republishing is the norm there.
So there are my two cents on CoSchedule and why I love it so much. It’s been really helpful in organizing my life, because I’m a mess, and I’m excited to see what more I can get done using it!
Want to learn more? Check it out here!