It’s the number one reason/excuse we all have for not doing what we want to do with our blogs. That and money. So there may actually be a tie for #1 but you get the idea.
The funny thing about time is that some bloggers break through that barrier and manage to produce amazing content, update their social media accounts with relative ease, get 8 hours of beauty sleep and have a balanced check book too. I don’t know about you, but I’m not that blogger.
Productivity and efficiently are actually hard fought battles around these parts. On the endless quest to support my full time business, blog, attend my daughter’s hockey games, update Twitter and make dinner there is a lot of trial and error.
When it comes to tools to help make this whole blogging/social media stuff easier, I don’t spend a lot of time hunting down the next big thing. Whatever new shiny object is on the horizon is often just a distraction from what I actually need to be doing – so when I work, it’s head down, focus and get finished. That’s actually been the biggest productivity boost I’ve seen in years, just good old fashioned focus.
A few weeks ago, I was doing some research for a client who has a multiple author blog and they’ve been having collaboration and post scheduling hiccups for months .
In redesigning the site, I was also working through some new workflow options for them to better help manage all the posts, categories and communication needs they had. That’s when I found CoSchedule.
Can light appear from the heavens and angels sing when you find a really good plugin?
Apparently it can, because it kinda did.
The funny thing was that I was looking for something to address a clients’ need, which is did, but I ended up finding something to help my own blogging efforts too.
I’ve used an editorial calendar plugin for years (this one in particular). It’s super basic but it lets me see my content on a monthly calendar which is how I prefer and keeping an editorial calendar is the only way I can stay consistent with my blogging. Up until I discovered CoSchedule, I hadn’t even considered an alternative because as far as I knew, there wasn’t a better one.
What Can CoSchedule Do?
The name kind of threw me at first, and maybe that’s why I ended up finding CoSchedule for a multi-author blog but it’s so much more than the name implies.
Essentially, CoSchedule is a content marketing juggernaut (oh ya, not even exaggerating) of a plugin. Not only does it let you plan your posts in a (very nicely designed) calendar, but it actually lets you create and schedule social media messages from right inside your post editor. I shall pause and let that sink in a bit. You can write, edit and plan your Tweets, Status Updates and whatever, right from inside WordPress.
And then when you’re done being amazing and productive, you can admire your handy work and look at all the posts and scheduled social media on your editorial calendar, right from within WordPress.
I know, you heard angels too, didn’t you?
For my post on January 6, I did my usual writing, scheduling, selecting categories, etc. Then, I simply scrolled down to below my post, right in the editing screen and scheduled my social media inside the post.
CoSchedule supports Twitter, Facebook (both Pages & Profiles), LinkedIn, Tumblr and Google+ (Pages only) plus you can integrate it all with your Bitly account so you can track clicks across all your social media efforts and see what’s working and what’s not. It also integrates with Buffer, Google Analytics and will export all your posts and social media updates to your Google Calendar too!
Switching over to the editorial calendar view in WordPress, I’ll see all my scheduled posts plus the social media messages all laid out beautifully in this 6 week view:
CoSchedule also let’s you integrate multiple blogs, not just multiple authors, so if you’re one of those bloggers that has to worry about posts going live in different places (plus all the accompanying social media updates) this just might save your sanity, not to mention help you be a lot more consistent.
Need to reorder your posts (and social media messages)? That’s no problem either. The whole interface is drag and drop so you can pull posts to new dates and then grab those Twitter updates and move them too. It’s pretty crazy how easy everything was to use!
Set Up and Pricing
CoSchedule was a really easy set up, so if you’re a low tech blogger, no fear.
You simply sign up for an account at CoSchedule’s website, download the plugin from WordPress and authorize all your social media accounts from within your blog. The whole set up process took about 10 minutes.
After a free 14 day trial, CoSchedule has a $10 per month fee with no tiered accounts or restrictions. One fee, total use. That’s a nice breath of fresh air. You don’t have to worry about maxing out on social media messages or limiting the amount of posts you write in the calendar.
For most single author bloggers, like myself, the social media scheduling tools and the ease of the editorial calendar are the real standouts. Is that ease and convenience worth $10 a month? Only you can decide how that fits into your blogging life (and budget) but if you’re struggling at all with consistency in these areas, I urge you to give it a try!
Do you run an editorial calendar for your blog? What do you use to make it easier for you?
No affiliate links were harmed (or used) in the making of this post.