2.18.16 6

The Calendar I Can’t Live Without

Back in December when I was jotting down notes about the kind of content I want to share on C&L in 2016, a couple things I decided on were a) more personal posts and b) going more behind the scenes with blogging and the tools/resources I use to produce content. The blogosphere certainly has no shortage of how-tos/advice/strategic tips, but I’ll try and make what I share as different and anecdotal as possible. Apologies in advance if any of this is similar (or contradictory!) to something else you’ve read. It’s me speaking from my experience, and hopefully introducing you to some new tools + tricks :)

Today’s post is about CoSchedule*, the incredible tool I use as my editorial calendar, post creator, and social media scheduler. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg…there are several more features I have yet to explore. A couple things to note upfront: there is a monthly charge for the service, but I think it’s worth every penny. The app also only works for WordPress.org sites. Sucks, I know. But if you’re a fellow .org user (or plan to be eventually/need another reason to switch), listen up!

Below is a screenshot what my CoSchedule calendar looks like when I log into WordPress. It’s fully integrated so you don’t log in through their website, but rather your own WP dashboard. There’s a tab on the left navigation bar (under “Comments” and “Contact”) that says “Calendar.”

coschedule

As you can see above, it’s set up just like a normal calendar would be. You can see the title of each day’s post and below that is a snippet of all the social media posts scheduled for that day. The icons show whether the social post is on Twitter or Facebook. To edit any of those properties, you just click on the box (circled above). In order to create a new post (be it a blog post or social post), you hover over the day you’re planning to post and a little pen pops up. Just click on that, select the type of post you want to draft, and go from there. It’s super easy.

I also like how simple it is to go back and find old posts. Just click on the little magnifying glass to search and it’ll take you back to the post on the calendar. This is huge because you can schedule social content (more on that below) associated with that blog post without manually having to go back and pull the link from your site. I’m trying to do this more, and this feature makes that possible.

Below is what it looks like when you create a new blog post. You can edit the title, date, and time directly on this screen, as well as change the status of the post. To actually edit the content, hit “Edit in WordPress” to open a tab with the traditional web page editor.

How to Use Coschedule

Scheduling social posts is pretty simple. When you click on each post title from the calendar, you’ll get the screen below. You click on the “+” for the day you want to schedule content (if the day you want isn’t one of the main options, you can manually select it–along with the time– where it says “same day as post”/”same time a post”) and select one or more of the social profiles you have linked.

How to Use CoSchedule

For example, this is what today’s Facebook post looked like. The “{permalink}” is the actual link to your post, so be sure not to delete that as you type in copy. If you’re scheduling a tweet and want an image to show up along with the link to your site (like this), make sure and copy over “{permalink}” from the “Link Post” tab, or else your image will appear without a link. I’ve forgotten to do this before (example here) and it sucks. Not sure why it won’t default to holding your permalink between “Text Post,” “Image Post,” and “Link Post,” but my guess is because the latter tab is designed for exactly what you’re trying to do: link to your post. To double check you’re linking to the post, just make sure “{permalink}” appears alongside your text in the box (like the image below).

How to Use CoSchedule

In my mind, the coolest part of CoSchedule is how easy it is to move content around. Like I said, it not only serves as my scheduler (in place of Hootsuite, Buffer, etc.), but is also my editorial calendar. To move a post to a different day, you literally drag them it to the desired day on the calendar. If you’ve already scheduled social content associated that post (like you would in the photo directly above this paragraph), it will move along with your post. I love that it’s tied like that, and you can freely schedule social content in advance without worrying about manually rescheduling if you change the date a blog post will go live. I utilize this feature every weekend as I’m planning content for the coming weeks.

My biggest complaint is that unlike Hootsuite (and maybe Buffer?), CoSchedule won’t auto-generate Twitter handles or Facebook page names when you’re scheduling social posts. You have to type in the Twitter handle yourself (even if you’ve used it before), and you can’t tag Facebook pages when you schedule posts through the platform. I contacted them about this a few months ago and they said they’re working on it…not a deal breaker by any means, but just something to be aware of! I usually go back to my FB posts and edit them directly on Facebook when I want to tag a page.

Like I said, these are just the features I use daily, but the platform offers tons more (and has great tutorials once you sign up). Be sure to check out the pricing optionsCoSchedule is becoming increasingly popular for businesses, as it’s easy to have multiple users. I got grandfathered into a lower rate since I’ve had an account for so long (October 2014, I think), but if you prepay for the year, you’ll pay $15/month which, if you blog regularly, is completely worth it.

Do you use CoSchedule? Or are you loyal to another editorial calendar/scheduling platform? I’d love to know! And feel free to reach out if you have any more questions about this and how I use it!

*This post includes my CoSchedule referral link…I get a small discount on my monthly payment if you sign up through it! Also, this isn’t a sponsored post–just the calendar that makes my blogging life a little easier.

Top photo via Death to Stock with text added by me

Leave a Comment

6 Comments

  1. OMG this is so helpful. I had no idea how great this app was for blog scheduling!! I’m the worst at pre-scheduling social media, but this would make it 100x easier. Thank you!!

    Published 2.18.16
    Reply
    • Monica wrote:

      It’s a lifesaver!!! Let me know if you get it/how you like it!

      Published 2.20.16
      Reply