It’s finally warmed up in Montreal which means that all the accumulated dirt and garbage that’s been buried under the snow all winter is slowly being released in a filthy, melted sheet of black grimey horror covering absolutely everything. It’s also been unbearably overcast so the four (count em four!) finished projects I want to share on the blog will have to wait. I will not subject you to photography in this post-apocalyptic landscape; poor Harry needs to be fully hosed down after every walk.
In the meantime, if you listened to the While She Naps podcast this week, you heard my interview with Abby, and may remember me mentioning the CoSchedule app. This is one of my favourite blogging tools, and I’ve been meaning to tell you about it for a while. This week they made a big and important change that’s encouraging me to spread the word.
Essentially, CoSchedule is a social media and blogging scheduling tool. Whether you blog professionally or just for fun, one of the biggest challenges is having an organized schedule and an easy method for sharing the content that you’re making. While there are tools for doing both of these things individually (using something like Google calendars to organize editorial content, along with using any number of social media scheduling tools), CoSchedule does both of these things at the same time, in the easiest, most intuitive way possible. While its possible to use it with any blogging platform, it really shines through its WordPress integration. You can schedule and create posts from within the CoSchedule app itself, and the WordPress plugin makes it easy to share your posts to social media while you’re in the WP post editor. Up until this week, those platforms only included Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Linked In and Tumblr; as of now, you can schedule content using Pinterest as well. I actually yelled YES! and fist bumped when I read this in their newsletter; using CoSchedule means I can now visually see all of my planned content across every social media platform I use.
SCHEDULING SOCIAL MEDIA
Social media is a fact of life these days, and whether you want to build your audience or promote your business, you need to regularly be posting, interesting, engaging content. Doing it manually and logging into each account to share individual tweets or Facebook posts takes forever and feels too much like a chore. Scheduling your social media content means you can sit down once or twice a week and organize and disseminate your content in a logical, time-saving way. Since each platform also has a prime times to post, you can also schedule things to reach people at the best time.
While CoSchedule works amazingly well to helps share content from your own blog, you can also use it write individual tweets and Facebook posts, along with scheduling pins you encounter around the web using their Chrome extension. Up until recently I was paying for an app called ViralTag to schedule pins; it’s a lifesaver to now be able to do everything in one place. I like scheduling Pins so I don’t overwhelm people with a million things all at once; if you’re browsing around the web and stumble on something you’d like to share, you just click on the bookmark link in your browser and schedule it to post at any time you want.
USING THE COSCHEDULE CALENDAR
Below is a snapshot of my blogging and social media calendar for March. As you can see, it’s showing scheduled Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook posts, along with planned WordPress posts. The amazing thing about CoSchedule is that you can create draft posts from within the calendar itself, and then easily move them around to any day you like. I’ve found this drag and drop functionality to be really helpful when I’m trying to get my blog schedule organized. It makes everything feel really flexible and fun, rather than an ironclad schedule I’m locking myself into.
Posts you create in CoSchedule won’t publish until you actually give the go ahead, and you can categorize them, add authors, and plan your social media shares in the draft. You can’t write the actual post content in CoSchedule, but there is a simple “Edit in WordPress” link that will take you to your post within the WordPress dashboard so you can add photos and text.
If you’re not a Wordpress user, you can use the Create Content button to write blog posts (including photos!) you can then export to your blog editor of choice. Freaking. Awesome. More on using it with different blog platforms here.
If you’re writing a post in WordPress, you can scroll down to the CoSchedule module and quickly and easily schedule the post to be shared on the social media channels of your choice, as often as you would like. This is a godsend to me; rather than logging into all my accounts and sharing each new post, I can do it all in one place in under a minute. I can also schedule posts to be shared on Twitter or Pinterest a few weeks or months down the road (in theory as many times as I want, so great older content doesn’t get lost in the shuffle).
In addition to all this, the app gives you great metrics on how you’re content is being shared; this kind of visual data is almost worth the monthly subscription alone.
Finally, CoSchedule can be integrated with Bitly, Google Docs, Google Calendar and Evernote. This means you can easily share your content across platforms. I find the Evernote integration super helpful; since I keep a lot of ideas, links and “brain dumps” there, it’s easy to brainstorm new blog posts within CoSchedule, and then generate draft posts to work on later.
Basically, this app is the best thing to happen to my workflow in a long time. I no longer feel stressed about keeping up with my social media accounts, or struggle as much with scheduling blog content. Everything is right there in front of me and as a result, blogging and participating in social media feels much more fun and manageable. I cannot recommend CoSchedule enough and highly suggest you give it a try if you’d like to streamline or improve your own workflow. Solo blogger plans start at $19 a month and they offer a free trial.
Are you using CoSchedule? Any features I missed? If not, how do you stay on top of social media scheduling?
ps. this is not a sponsored post – I simply love this app and think other folks will love it too. However, if you sign up through the referral link I’ve used in this post they’ll knock 10% off my monthly fee.