If you have read my post on content strategies, you know how important it is to have a content planner. Everybody has their way of planning content, but my question to you is, ‘Is your method working?’
Is your current editorial calendar working for you?Click To Tweet
You can record your content plan in several different ways, some including a paper planner, Excel (which I use as a backup plan) or a free/paid software. As much as I love all these methods, for productivity and efficiency, I recommend finding an application that allows you to save time and produce significant results. If you have not already heard of it, I would like to introduce you to CoSchedule.
When you blog, especially when you are new to blogging, all these programs can be very overwhelming. You are told to use 100’s of different applications to be successful, but not every recommendation is ideal for your needs. What would be ideal is one program that takes away the overwhelm and lets you do most (if not all) of your marketing in one place. CoSchedule allows you to do that.
WHAT IS COSCHEDULE?
In a nutshell, Coschedule is an editorial calendar. It’s an application that allows you to plan, schedule and post your content and social media promotions across several platforms, without losing countless hours of your week. It has all the editorial content planning tools that you need to create and execute a robust and efficient digital marketing strategy.
The best part of it is that it allows you to track your post performance with analytics AND Google Analytics integration. I always talk about how important it is to track how well your content is doing. You want to know which content to spend more time creating and which content to spend less time on. This app has made the process of selection and elimination easy.
I used it once before in the past and thought I didn’t need it and canceled it. I figured it was overpriced and did not offer me any form of solution to my marketing needs. During the time I canceled it, I realized how much it was necessary and when I saw the constant improvements they were making, I knew I had to sign back up. I’m so glad I did, and I appreciate it more now than I did before.
Check out this video to find out more;
CoSchedule itself is an excellent company, and they care about the marketing within your business. The have a blog full of valuable free content and tools and strategies to help you develop a stronger marketing plan.
When creating new content, you know how important it is to create an appealing headline that will get someone to click on your link. CoSchedule has created a helpful headline analyser that will help you assess the likelihood of someone clicking through to your post. I always use this to see if I could add any other words into my title that is more likely convert a viewer into a reader.
If you don’t use CoSchedule, I still recommend using the tool as it can help save so much time stressing about whether or not your title is compelling enough.
HOW DOES COSCHEDULE WORK?
As mentioned before, CoSchedule allows you to plan, schedule and post your content and social media posts. It does this with the help of some powerful integrations.
Many people wrongly assume that you can only use CoSchedule with their WordPress Plugin, BUT you do not need WordPress to use it. It is a standalone application and can be use used no matter what Content Management System you use for your website. They have written a brilliant about using CoSchedule without WordPress, you’ll still be able to integrate all the other applications into the calendar and get the most use out of it.
The advantage of having WordPress with CoSchedule is the integration and the ability to edit your calendar from within the platform. You can start writing your blog post in the calendar and set a publish date for now or in the future. You can start writing a draft of a blog post and then click a button ‘edit in WordPress’ when finished. CoSchedule will automatically add the post into you blog post drafts. It can convert your Google Docs and Evernote notes into WordPress Blog Posts too.
Social Media Integration
Social Media Scheduling has just been made easier. You no longer need a separate social media content calendar. You can do it all through CoSchedule. If you are using WordPress, you can schedule your social media content from within WordPress. No more sifting through different tabs to schedule posts on another website. You have the ability to connect with 5-25 social media profiles depending on the price plan that you choose.
The calendar connects with the following Social Media Platforms;
- Facebook (Pages, Groups, Profiles)
- LinkedIn (Profile, Pages, Groups)
CoSchedule makes my life a lot easier. I have paid for so many different social media calendars. By having CoSchedule, I saved myself some money and was able to cut down some apps I was using.
Find out why @CoSchedule is both cost effective and time savingClick To Tweet
I have saved about $49 monthly automatically by using CoSchedule. Do you want to know how? The Buffer integration! If you know about Buffer, you know that they allow you to find the best time to post your updates based on when your followers are online. By connecting my CoSchedule to Buffer, I no longer guess the best time to post. I do not have to leave CoSchedule to post in Buffer. All I have to do is set the number of times I want to post on each platform through Buffer and then CoSchedule will add the post to Buffer. Buffer will add the post to the queue.
I saved the $49 by cancelling my subscription to MeetEdgar. I used MeetEdgar for a long time because they have an incredible loop feature. MeetEdgar loops all your posts so you have a constant stream of content without having to top up your queue frequently. As much as I LOVE MeetEdgar, with the CoSchedule Automation tool, I no longer need it. CoSchedule will repurpose my most popular posts using their automation tool (if you are on the higher package). I can add posts from other blogs to Buffer and once the queue is complete and I can repurpose the posts with one click.
CoSchedule also allows you to schedule old content to help attract new readers to your most successful blog posts. If you have evergreen content, it helps take the stress out of scheduling it several times. CoSchedule will look for gaps in your current schedule and add the posts for you.
As you can already see, not only is it an editorial calendar or social media calendar, it’s also a marketing powerhouse which saves you money.
I love analytics. Everyone that knows me knows that I am an analytics geek. I am geeky about many things. Bit.ly is a URL shortener that gets rid of really long URLS and presents them as a nice shorter branded link. It’s helpful when you are posting on places like Twitter that only allows you a certain amount of characters. Every character counts, and this is where bit.ly comes in. You can track how well each post is doing via your bit.ly dashboard, as well as via your CoSchedule dashboard.
If you are not using Google Analytics, you need to learn how to use it now. Bit.ly is great for seeing how many people click on your link, but we want to go deeper than that. By connecting to Google Analytics coupled with CoSchedule’s custom dashboard, you can see how well your posts are doing. You can see which platform is bringing in the most leads, which browsers they are using. You can track how many unique people have clicked on the links, the average amount of time they are on your website and so much more.
It’s the creme de la creme of Integrations. If you want to know why I am getting so excited about analytics and writing blog posts, you may want to check out the blog post on ‘Why Analytics are Crucial to your Business’.
I used to use Evernote for just about everything. I DO use Evernote for nearly everything. It’s so convenient and syncs everywhere. I can start writing in bed on my iPad and get up to my iMac and continue writing as the content syncs between every device I have Evernote installed on. It’s simply genius!
When I create content in CoSchedule, I can connect to my Evernote account. I then select a note from my account and convert it into a post! Cool, right? I bet some of you are wondering why I would write my blog post outside of WordPress in the first place. It’s the backup to my backup. I do daily backups of my website in case anything was to happen to it. On top of that, I write my blog posts on Evernote or Google Apps in case anything happens to my backup. It’s called smart planning if you ask me.
Google Apps (Calendar & Docs)
As CoSchedule is web based, and they do not currently have an app, it may frustrate some of you. It does frustrate me. I prefer to use an app if I am on the go rather than use the browser on my iPad. You can sync your tasks in CoSchedule to your Google Calendar so that you can stay on top of deadlines and tasks no matter where you are. Everyone you want has access to your Google Calendar so you are never out of the loop. It will not add everything to the calendar unless you ask it to. You choose what content you want to be included in the calendar so it’s not full on irrelevant information. For instance, you may want to know when your blog posts are being published, but you may not want to know when each social media post is being published. It’s smart! Google Docs essential works the same way the Evernote Integration works.
Blog Post Title Analyzer
I mentioned the blog post title Analyser previously. If you are not a subscriber to the platform, you can still use the website I mentioned earlier to analyse your post title. The analyser is integrated within the calendar itself so you do everything in one place.
What Type of Content Can you Schedule?
The calendar is not only great for scheduling content that needs to be published or posted on social media, but it’s brilliant for team workflows. You can add videos, images, and files to the content calendar to remind people what needs to be worked on and when.
They also have a chrome extension! If you’ve read an interesting article or see a share-worthy picture, you can add it directly to your calendar from your browser. Content scheduling made easy, right?
HOW I USE COSCHEDULE
I should have titled this how I am meant to use CoSchedule because sometimes I procrastinate and I don’t insert what I am supposed to be doing in the calendar.
When I start writing a blog post, the first thing I do is think about my content and do my keyword research. Once I have my topic and keywords, I start brainstorming post titles using the ‘headline analyser'. I then create content in my calendar and add the blog post title in the title section. CoSchedule will analyse my title there and then and will give me feedback on my chosen title. I try and achieve the highest score which indicates that I have a post title that is likely to attract the attention of a reader. Anything above 70 is considered ok.
Once I have my blog post title, I make sure that my content is set to ‘Draft’ so that it doesn’t post before I am ready. If I am confident that the post will be ready by a certain date, I will schedule the post.
I then begin drafting my blog post from either Google Docs or Evernote. I can also start writing my blog post there and then within the calendar.
Even though I can write my draft on the calendar, I prefer not to. I prefer to write in Evernote or Google Docs and do all my spelling and grammar checks first. Once I am done with my post, I then go back to the draft/scheduled content I created and add my blog post. Once done, I can then convert the attached written post to a WordPress blog post. You will see a screen like this when you have uploaded your document and small arrow in the right-hand side. If you click this arrow, you will find the option to ‘Convert to WordPress'
Once clicked, you will see the following screen whilst the data is being optimised for WordPress.
This will then add the post to my drafts for me to go ahead and format and add my pictures.
I then plan all my social media posts to go with the text on the same day of publishing as well as the days and weeks following up. I simply select the first messages to go out as soon as I have written the post. I create my unique captions afterwards, and then I go ahead and submit it.
Once the blog post and social media posts have all been published, I like to go back in and see how well they have done. Is there any post that has done significantly better compared to the rest? I use this information to help me determine which posts should go out more often and which topics I should write more posts on. One thing I must note, Twitter does not allow CoSchedule to report the number of times your post has been shared. I do not worry about this though because I can see this information in Buffer.
I recently integrated my Google Analytics with CoSchedule, so I do not have much data here. With their custom Google Analytics dashboard, I can see which of my posts have brought in the most traffic to my site. Although I do have my own dashboard setup for Google Analytics, the Coschedule Dashboard gives me specific data based on my personal efforts of sharing my content online. I love this feature.
I hope me sharing how I use CoSchedule helps you appreciate the beauty of it.
For the time you are saving and the amount of work you are achieving due to smart planning and automation, CoSchedule is worth the price tag. I have saved money, and I have saved time switching between browser tabs to complete my marketing strategies. I have also reduced the amount of time I use scheduling and posting so I can get on with other things. For that convenience, I am willing to invest.
Their pricing is based on a ‘per calendar’ basis. If you need two calendars for two different businesses, you would need to buy two subscriptions. The subscriptions are billed separately. You can do it with the same username so there is no need to have many accounts for different calendars.
CoSchedule has two sets of pricing. They have pricing for Solo Businesses or Businesses with a Team.
I currently use the Solo Marketer which is the midrange plan for individuals. I plan on moving up to the Solo Automation Tool option. Prices start at $15 a month and go up to $60 a month if you pay annually. If you pay monthly, the price goes up to $19 a month to $79 a month. The prices quoted are for one calendar and one user.
If you are part of a team, the price does go up and starts from $60 a month if paid annually.
If you are questioning whether it’s worth it, ask yourself the following questions;
- How much time are you currently spending to achieve all these tasks
- How many tools are you using to complete all these tasks
- How much are you currently spending on tools to achieve all these tasks
- How much time would you save by using CoSchedule
- How much money would you save by using CoSchedule
- If you will be spending more money investing in CoSchedule, how much time would you gain? Does it allow you to focus your efforts on other things that help increase revenue?
If you are undecided, I would recommend signing up for their free trial; no credit card is required and see how it works for you. You have nothing to lose but all to gain.
If you are looking for an editorial calendar that can help you plan and schedule your content and social media posts, then I recommend CoSchedule. It combines all the tools you need to manage all your content.
Tell me how you get on with it, I would love to know how you are using it. If you are currently using it now, how has it changed your marketing process? Share with me in the comments below.