As I continue to work on consistent blogging, I realized that I needed something to keep me on track in terms of a) scheduling blog posts and b) sharing those blog posts on social media.
Awhile back I added the Editorial Calendar plugin to my site, thinking that would be the best way to keep track of what posts I had completed, and when I had them scheduled. And it was great for that. But then it came time to set up posts on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. The Editorial Calendar, unfortunately, could not help me in that department.
Then two weeks ago, I remembered that Leah Kalamakis had mentioned something called CoSchedule for Click to Tweets in her blog posts. I started researching it, and realized that CoSchedule also has its own editorial calendar. Did I just find a solution to my problem?
Yes, yes I did. CoSchedule lets users do a two week trial, so I hopped on that coattail and dove right into things. First, I signed up for the trial, and then connected it to my WordPress site. This integration is magical, because from there, I could see a calendar of when I have scheduled my blog posts, and a nifty little sidebar that shows all of my unfinished drafts when I hover over it.
Let’s get into how I use CoSchedule.
Editing blog posts
Say I’m in CoSchedule checking out my calendar, and want to double-check that next Monday’s blog post is all set to go. All I have to do is click on that post in the calendar, and a nifty box pops up. From here, I can assign the date/time the blog post will go live, assign categories, update the post title, change the Author, and also choose to edit the blog post in WordPress.
Assigning social media posts
This is my favorite part of CS. In the same pop-up that I can use to edit blog details, I can assign social media messages, and CS does some of the heavy lifting for me, by pulling the post title and featured image in to the message. All I need to do is assign which social media account the message is going to, and add any additional content if I feel like it. I can choose to do the same message for multiple social media accounts, or create a new message for each one.
I have to admit, that’s the gist of what I use CS for so far. But I got so into using it that I upgraded to the monthly cost of $10/month before my trial ended, because I knew this was going to be a lifesaver for me.
Other cool features
- Drag and drop – Without having to open up a scheduled blog post, I can change the publish date by simply dragging and dropping it to the date I want it live on. When I do that, any assigned social media messages follow it. Cool beans.
- In the upper right hand corner of the screen, there’s a pencil icon. Clicking on that brings up a pop-up box, where I have a couple options. Each item is pretty self-explanatory. But it should be noted that everything can be color-coded when you’re editing them, so if you want to look at your calendar and know that anything in green means it’s super important, that feature will work well for you!
- My main complaint would be that I can’t post to my Instagram account from CS. I assume it’s because IG is a bit more complex than other accounts, with all of the various filters. But it’d be really cool if I could choose a default filter setting for IG, and schedule posts that way.
- It’s cool that you can schedule Events in the calendar, but there isn’t a lot of room to go into detail about the event (description, location, etc). I’m not sure what I would use Events for, but I think when/if I do use them, I’d want to be able to go into detail so that it’s all right there.
- Also, the Drafts bar on the right and the Settings bar on the left are great, but if I accidentally roll over them, they expand hella fast and it kind of drives me crazy. But now I’m just being a Nit-picky Nancy.
Overall though, I’m pretty excited about using CS, and can only imagine the headaches and confusion it will save me with social media organization.
* This is a referral link. I only use this referral link because I really believe this product is a game-changer for busy bloggers. And such a steal at $10/month. Time is money, right?
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