CoSchedule literally changed my life.
It saved me COUNTLESS hours of managing my blog in just two days.
Yup. I used it for just two days and I can safely say I will not be blogging without it after my trial. I’m sold.
I cannot believe I didn’t try it sooner.
Well, I kinda can — I signed up for a free trial with my old blog email, back when I was not self-hosted and was using WordPress.com, but I was so caught up in writing that I didn’t make the five seconds of time to actually try it.
But this is me telling you to not do that.
(I should mention, CoSchedule is technically sponsoring this post, since I’ll now receive 50% off my first year’s subscription due to this review. And if you sign up through my links, I will receive 10% more off my monthly rate. So thank you if you do! BUT I promise everything I’m telling you here is my own opinion. I wouldn’t recommend you something that is useless!)
Okay, but wait… what is CoSchedule?!
Glad ya asked.
If you start a blog, one of the first things you learn, like I learned in Elite Blog Academy, is that you need an editorial calendar so that you can plan your posts and ideas ahead of time.
CoSchedule is an editorial calendar that allows you to plan pretty much ANYTHING blog-related, all in one place. Here’s a quick overview:
I used to have a hard copy of my editorial calendar where I stuck sticky-notes so that I could move my post ideas around to different days as I needed to. Then I got a free plugin for my WordPress that let me visualize my scheduled posts in calendar format instead, but I didn’t really use it for planning. So I created an Excel spreadsheet, which I found it kind of annoying because I’d have to keep scrolling everywhere to make to changes, and copying/pasting to do it too.
Finally on a whim, after not bothering with it for a year, I just decided to sign up for the trial and took the (little) time to set it up.
And I was delighted to discover it not only lets me plan my blog posts in a really easy-to-use drag and drop way that integrates with my WordPress, it lets me schedule EVERYTHING: social media, newsletters, tasks, and events.
In one dang calendar. One.
And the cherry on top?
(I’m a teacher, my friend. Colour coding is my life.)
CoSchedule is just perfect for any blogger, and it’s also extremely affordable.
Sold? Sign up here!
Need more info? Read on.
How I Use It
I use CoSchedule to organize my post schedule, my social media campaigns for each post (which you can actually track by post, it’s amazing), my newsletters, and my post ideas.
Organizing Blog Posts
You can add blog posts right from CoSchedule, and if you link it to your WordPress account, it will actually create a draft for you right in WordPress. In fact, if you prefer, you can do everything with CoSchedule from WordPress, instead of going to the web app! But I prefer using the web app.
Here’s what my blog post schedule looks like in the web app right now:
I’ve colour-coded my posts by category, and you can see I also have a task in there, where the check mark is. The posts that are faded have already been published, and the ones that are brighter are drafts. I don’t worry too much about what they’re called, because when I write them I change the titles.
The great thing about CoSchedule is I can move things around really easily by dragging and dropping. Obviously, the schedule above isn’t what I stuck with: I switched the dates for my CoSchedule review and my book review, just by dragging them around.
And since I’ve colour-coded by category I can tell really easily if I’ve written too much in one category and need to do something else. (Yep, looks like that’s the case right now!)
When you create a new blog post in CoSchedule, this is what comes up:
Here you can choose to change the date and time to schedule your post, as well as the label if you colour code, in the top right corner.
You can also choose to edit your blog post however you want. You can choose to go into WordPress to complete your post, or you can use Google Drive, Evernote or CoSchedule‘s own text editor. You can even upload files!
I use Evernote because I like that it syncs as I write and I don’t have to worry about saving drafts. CoSchedule can pull whatever I have already written there and I can easily convert an Evernote post to WordPress, download it, or change my editor type. I love that CoSchedule actually integrates with Evernote! Even though I like to use a different app to write (which you totally don’t have to!) I still can see and do everything in one place. Plus, I can even open Evernote from there if I want to.
Here’s what it looks like if you edit with WordPress:
If you use WordPress, you can also change the author and the categories in the main area, and finally the status using the yellow bar in the bottom right to “Pending Review” or “Scheduled.” I don’t tend to change the status because I do all my scheduling in WordPress — which is easy to do from CoSchedule by just hitting the “Edit in WordPress” button! It opens in a new tab too. (It’s like they know how I work!)
Organizing Social Media
CoSchedule is incredible on its own as just an editorial calendar, but the thing that sold me was definitely social media scheduling. This is my FAVOURITE feature!
You can schedule your social media shares for your own blog posts right from your blog post. You just scroll down in your editor! Here’s an example of what it looks like.
But if you want, you can also do this right from the WordPress editor instead, without opening the CoSchedule web app at all.
Seriously. I don’t think I can stress enough how happy I am with this feature!
You can schedule to any social media account you have linked, which for me is literally everything I’m on. It’s so nice to be able to manage everything from one place! Plus, these social media posts are linked to your blog post within CoSchedule so that you can look at analytics based on which social media update did best for each of your blog posts. It’s a fantastic way to make sure you are consistently promoting your new posts, while giving your readers the updates they like best.
And if you colour-code, you can see all your social media updates colour-coded to match your post! Here’s what my schedule looks like right now:
See all those pink posts on the 20th? Those are ALL related to the blog post on that day. Instead of having to schedule through Buffer and Facebook, I can do it all in one place.
You can also share others’ posts easily. You click the pencil in the upper right corner of the date you want to publish it (you can see it on the 19th in the picture above) and then hit “Social Message,” on the bottom left of the lower bar. You enter the link, type your message to personalize it, and you’re done!
The “Best Time” Feature
CoSchedule‘s “Best Time” feature is the BEST. (Pun intended, but I’m serious.) It finds the best time to schedule your posts, and takes into account how many posts you’re scheduling on a given day. This is one HUGE way I’m saving time — I don’t have to analyze my peak times anymore! And it’s a really easy way for me to see what is scheduled for which account on any given day.
Worried about losing engagement? Well, my engagement on Twitter is still good, and I haven’t noticed a change on Instagram yet. Pinterest is great as well, though I still need to go into Pinterest to pin to my secret boards for BoardBooster because they don’t show up in CoSchedule: only your public boards do. And as of yet, almost at the end of my 14-day trial, I have not seen much of a change on Facebook but I’ll keep an eye on it and let ya know! (In case you’re wondering what I’m talking about: it’s a rumour that Facebook penalizes scheduled posts that aren’t done through its own scheduler.)
ReQueue is something you need to pay extra for, but I thought I’d explain it in case you’re interested. ReQueue basically allows you to add your best social media posts (which you’d find using CoSchedule’s analytics) to various lists called “groups,” and then ReQueue will use them to fill gaps in your social media sharing schedule. For example, you could make a list of your top blog posts, and then it will automatically share those out!
Talk about saving time, right?
The best thing is you can set rules for each group, as well as just in general. Right now I have it set to only share a given post 2 times a week and 3 times a month, maximum. You can also set the times that ReQueue is allowed to send posts out in general.
If you’re not sure about paying for this feature, it does come with your free trial!
I also use CoSchedule to organize my newsletters, so that I stay on top of it and remember to write them! I just add it as a task, and I love having a checkmark to hit when I complete it. (Teacher nerd, remember?)
It’s super easy to do. You go to the date you want, hit the little pencil in the top right corner, and then click “Task,” which is in the same area as “Social Message” — lower right corner of the bar at the bottom.
There are lots of different things you can create, and the picture above shows only a few. You can choose which ones to display on this menu in your settings. So far, I’ve only used Blog Post, Newsletter, Social Message, Event, and Task.
I use events to mark holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas so that I know I can write something seasonal. You could also use it to mark any big events in your life, so that you know not to schedule too many blog posts or tasks that week and plan around it.
CoSchedule doesn’t link with MailChimp (or any email client as far as I know) so you do have to schedule one thing separately. But I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s something they’re working on, considering how many other things are integrated!
#1 Reason You Should Try CoSchedule: It will save you SO MUCH time!
I know, reading through all that feels a little overwhelming.
But what if I told you I learned all that in about an hour?
Yup. Seriously. And I’m one of those nerds that takes a whole day to set up a new phone exactly how I like it.
The “Best Time” feature saves you so much time by doing the analysis for you, plus you’re not having to bounce between apps and websites to schedule in the first place. The fact that Instagram and Pinterest are integrated really tops it off for me — most scheduling apps will be kind of a hassle with these social media platforms, either messing up the image or cutting off text. But not CoSchedule!
So. Are you ready?
I swear, it will change your life. You will suddenly have more time than you thought possible and you won’t suffer for it at all!
(And don’t forget… COLOUR CODING!)
Not feeling it?
I know what you mean. I felt the same. But just sign up for the free trial and see how you like it. You don’t need to enter a credit card number, and it is seriously SO EASY to set up. You think it will be a hassle because you already have an organizational system in place, but just trust me. Don’t do what I did, which was scramble between different apps and websites for a year, sucking hours of my time throughout.
Try it. Once! And then I’ll leave you alone.
Click here, and hit “Sign Up Free Now” in the upper right corner. And let me know what you think!
Do you use CoSchedule? What’s your favourite thing about it? Share in the comments below!
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