After about 6 years of blogging, it wasn’t until last month when I decided to get serious about my editorial calendar. Throughout the years, I’ve blogged in between school, part-time jobs, full-time corporate jobs, and now blogging and designing full-time from home. There were times when I would create a rough calendar for blog posts but in between trying to manage spreadsheets, Google calendars, and physical calendars nothing quite stuck.
When I went back to full-time freelance, I knew I had to get serious about my blogging schedule. I was tired of rushing to get blog posts done the night before and scrambling to come up with ideas on a whim. I knew that if I didn’t have it scheduled, weeks (or months) would go by and my blog would take the back burner in the midst of all the other priorities. That’s when I decided to test out a few different methods and finally decided to try CoSchedule – an editorial calendar portal designed with Wordpress users in mind.
What originally drew me to CoSchedule was that it is an all-in-one marketing toolkit. Instead of having to keep to-do lists on various different apps (or in my notebook!), CoSchedule allows me to create separate to-do lists for each blog post. Not only that, it allows me to connect each of those blog posts to WordPress so that I can quickly jump back and forth between projects and track their progress. There are so many great features with CoSchedule, so let’s break them down into my favorite parts!
The Traditional Calendar View
I am 100% a calendar focused person. No matter what I’m doing, I have to have things on a gridded calendar so I can envision the weeks and months ahead of me. What I love about CoSchedule’s calendar feature is that it allows me to easily add and rearrange blog posts in the monthly view. And not only that, I can schedule multiple blog posts and social media posts on each day and be able to quickly see what will be going out. Each post you schedule through CoSchedule updates automatically in WordPress so if you decide to shift things around, you don’t have to go back into WordPress to make sure the dates align. One click and everything is synced.
The other nice thing about calendar view is that it shows the progress percentage of each post. So if I see that one post is 90% done and another is 10% done, I can decided whether I want to push the more completed one up a bit. None of the other programs I’ve tried out track progress in this way and it’s something I really find beneficial, even if just for the mental satisfaction.
The Individual To-Do List Templates
In other programs that I’ve tried, I’ve had to manually replicate to-do lists for similar type of posts. With CoSchedule, I can create a blog post “template” that I can easily select any time I create a new posts. Each task is broken down and the progress is tracked, making it easy for me to see where the project is at.
Breaking down blog posts like this has helped me get over the mental block of the work involved and has allowed me to focus on one task at a time. It also helps me when I batch blog posts in seeing the amount of photos I need to edit in any given time. I currently have To-Do Templates for Recipe Posts, DIY Posts, and Partnered Posts so that I can customize the different tasks based on the work needed. Above is a glimpse of the different types of posts I have.
Like I mentioned, CoSchedule works hand-in-hand with WordPress making drafting and scheduling blog posts a breeze. Once you connect your account, you can simply click on the post you want to work on from the calendar view, click edit, and it will automatically open the post in WordPress. As someone who jumps back and forth between posts, this feature has been so helpful in streamlining my process. Now I can schedule everything in CoSchedule and know that my drafts have a date connected to them. No more Draft folder in WordPress with 20 posts and no idea when the heck they are supposed to get posted!
Once the “Edit in WordPress” button is clicked, it takes you right to that blog post in your browser.
Integrated Social Media
As if the features above weren’t enough, the team at CoSchedule went one step further and truly gave us bloggers what we needed = Social Media Integration! All the different social media tools out there can be overwhelming (and require a bunch of different logins!) but with CoSchedule, I can quickly schedule the social media posts at the same time I schedule blog posts. Social media amplification is probably my most dreaded task in blogging and this system has really helped me break down that mental hurdle.
The other great thing about this feature is that it allows you to look back and old posts and re-share them. So often, I find myself totally ignoring old content but by seeing how it has performed, I can easily re-publish it to various social platforms to get it circulating again (as well as see what platforms to invest my time into).
The Bottom Line?
I’m 100% sold on CoSchedule and feel like it’s taken a huge amount of stress of my editorial planning. For me and my business, the investment is worth every penny. I’m excited to see how it continues working for me and would love to hear if you use it (and HOW you use it!).
Wondering if it would be a good fit for you? CoSchedule has a 14-day trial period (no credit card required) to help you decide if it’s a good fit for you. Like any program, it takes a few hours to get used to and requires you to actually sit down and outline your upcoming posts but once I got it set up and customized to my needs, I wondered why I wasn’t using it sooner. So give it a try and get that editorial calendar of yours locked down!
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