Getting my (blog) life together with CoSchedule

coschedule logo

(FTC Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links – I may receive compensation. All opinions are my own, never bought or sold.)

I’m not perfect… but I know it.

I’m well aware that sometimes my life is a mess. There’s nothing wrong with admitting that. What’s wrong is pretending you’re awesome when you’re not. Ignoring a problem does not make it go away… it makes it worse. If you need help… seek it out. THAT is exactly what I did with my blogging life. Organization, timeliness, and promotion are not always my strongest suits… and then I found CoSchedule. 

Organization is the key to the universe

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – the first step in ANY successful venture… and reaching ANY goal… is a solid plan. A plan is gonna be pretty flimsy without good organizational systems and structure. Now, I don’t talk much about the behind-the-scenes stuff that goes on with blogging, podcasting, and social media promotion… but the fact that I’m a world-class procrastinator doesn’t help me in the slightest. I’m also… thrifty… to a fault… so historically when I try to implement organizational tools to help myself… I try every free route I can go. While they’re great in theory… well… to put it lightly… those have been less than successful for me. So, finally, I caved – I looked into paid options… and came across CoSchedule.

So far, it has totally changed the game for me. I’m still in the process of getting things situated and set up… but it’s already made life so much easier. They’ve got a nice little overview video that explains what they’re about:

CoSchedule from Garrett Moon on Vimeo.

 

Managing Drafts Made Easy

CoSchedule Drafts

I read something very smart… and I think it came from the blog of a friend of mine… “you don’t have to publish everything you write.”. That’s some of the best advice for a blogger/writer… for a number of reasons (that I won’t get into right now). Now… just because I’m not publishing everything I write… doesn’t necessarily mean it should get lost into the void once I’m done writing it. Looking through my “all posts” section on WordPress… I have 32 post drafts. THIRTY TWO! Some of them are farther along than others, some are just titles… but thirty two! With CoSchedule… I can finally organize them. Tagging, color coding, and some visual organization… I can actually keep it straight! And, oh, there’s another useful bit here to help organize things and keep it all moving forward…

Speed things up with pre-set “profiles”

Those of you who don’t do this kind of thing might not realize… there’s an awfully long, time-consuming road between thinking up an idea and having John Q. Public read a blog post or listen to a podcast. For each and every post, article, or episode there’s a lengthy brainstorming, creation, post-production and promotion process, and honestly, it can be easy to forget something or miss a step. In the normal course of things there’s only so much you can do to REALLY automate/fast-track that process and all those steps without everything feeling… automated and robotic.

Enter “profiles” and “social helpers”

I LOVE the “profiles” and “social helpers” features CoSchedule provides. “Profiles” allow me to set up custom task-lists I can apply to different types of posts. Got a recipe to post? A race recap? Product review? Each different type of post has a different list of things that need to be accomplished – “profile” act as a template, with all the tasks I need to accomplish for each different type of post right there. Profiles allows me to specify what needs to happen, and at what point in the production process, ensuring I don’t move on to the next step without accomplishing everything that needs doing. “Social helpers” come into play when the production work is done, the piece is published, and it’s time to promote.

CoSchedule Social CampaignSocial campaigns all in one place

One of the most challenging, scattered, and disorganized parts of blogging and podcasting (for me at least) is the social media side of things. Each different platform (Facebook, IG, Pinterest, etc) all exist in their own little world. You’ve got to individually visit each one, create your posts, ensure image size is correct, format them correctly, remember your hashtags or @ tags or links or what have you. If you want to schedule out posts, well, most platforms you need 3rd party help to do it, and not every 3rd party scheduling tool works for every social platform (especially not the free 3rd party tools.

And then there’s CoSchedule.

CoSchedule WordPress Edit PostEverything is right there. Nice and easy, readily accessible, and easy to manage. CoSchedule is so well-connected and integrated with each social platform, particularly Facebook and Instagram, that I can tag people, pages, and profiles right from within the social campaign editor – YES, no doubling back into the Facebook or Instagram apps to tag people or delete hashtags that carried over and I didn’t need. There’s also a handy “preview” function, where you can actually see what the final post will look like on each social network before you finish and schedule it to post!

CoSchedule even has a WordPress plugin!

It’s literally built right into my blog/website – beneath each blog post is the social campaign function. I get to see a nice pretty timeline of the social posts for every blog post I create. I can even template out how, where, and when those posts will go with the “profiles” feature. Oh – and those “social helpers”? You can basically create shortcuts for things you typically include in a social post, like a set of hashtags, a sponsor credit, an FTC disclosure, or anything else you can think of. Instead of having to type the whole thing out each time, you simply pre-program it – when it’s time to post, you simply type something like {FTCDisclosure}, {healthyeating}, or {thanksponsors}. You can even include those as a part of the “profile” so based on your blog post type… it’s already there. They’ve just… made it so… easy!

coschedule email screenshotWeekly recaps right in your email

After all that work on blog posts, podcast episodes, social campaigns and more… it’d be nice to have an easy way to keep track of everything you’ve done… right? Well, it would appear CoSchedule gives you exactly that – and in a nice, neat little package too. I’ll admit, when I looked through the available features on CoSchedule’s website… I more or less “read the headlines” – I didn’t notice they provided weekly e-mail recaps of your activity.

It’s more than just a recap.

Not only do I get a recap of the blog posts and social “campaigns” I’ve published throughout the week… I get updated engagement numbers as well! It’s pretty handy for an at-a-glance look at how my posts are doing. This insight gives me an idea of where to take a closer look… to really figure out what people are responding to. It’s crucial to know where to look so I can create more of what people want to see, hear, and read… and less of what they don’t. This is, after all, both an outlet for me and a resource for others… so it’s gotta be useful for BOTH of us, right?

This is a game-changer.

As cheesy as it sounds, CoSchedule has totally turned my blogging & podcasting game on its head – for the better. I’m so happy I took the leap and gave it a shot. This stuff is hard enough… every tool we can get our hands on to make it a little easier… well, it makes a difference! If you’re a blogger (or podcaster) and you feel like you could use a hand… Give CoSchedule a shot! Follow this link and start your free trial now 🙂