One of the greatest struggles for bloggers is time! CoSchedule is an amazing tool which can help you organise and automate many aspects of your blog: allowing you to get more done in less time!
But what exactly is CoSchedule? What can you use it for and how can you ensure CoSchedule saves you time? (Because let’s face it so many so called ‘time savers’ actually take up more time than they save – promise you that’s not the case here!)
Whenever I ask my fellow bloggers what their greatest blogging struggle is, the most common answer I get back is ‘time’. There’s just so much to do – so much we want to do, but never enough time to do it all in.
I’ve written a few posts on Productive Blogging about how to get more done in less time and a whole ebook on how to blog smarter not harder, in which I share my top tips for blogging productivity – including how to automate as many blogging related activities as possible!
One of the tools I mention (and if I am honest one of the biggest ways I have managed to go from managing one blog to managing two blogs, not to mention a lively Productive Blogging Community Facebook Group, without losing my mind) is CoSchedule*.
CoSchedule saves me some serious time every week and makes me heaps more organised. Not to mention allowing me to do way more than I could before I started using CoSchedule. It’s pretty much like having a full time VA, only without the VA prices!
Because I am definitely a girl who likes to share great tips and help other bloggers (hey, that’s what this whole website is about!), I just HAD to write a post about CoSchedule’s awesomeness. But full disclosure here guys. By writing this CoSchedule review, I do get a whopping 50% off my fees – and if any of you lovely people sign up for CoSchedule using my CoSchedule Affiliate Link* – I get even more off my fees, and then if I get enough signups they start paying me. But if you ask me, that’s all just part of CoSchedule’s awesomeness!!
OK so let’s start right at the beginning…
What does Coschedule do?
CoSchedule is essentially a Marketing Calendar. But calling it a Marketing Calendar doesn’t really do it justice, because it does so, so much!
In CoSchedule you can…
See your entire marketing calendar all at once
That’s everything! You can see all your posts, all your social media, all your newsletters, and anything else you choose to put into your calendar. Most of this happens automatically so there’s no long laborious process of inputting things – it’s already there!
If you choose to use the task template function (see below), you can also see your daily to do list on your calendar too.
One of the truly great things about the marketing calendar is you can filter it in so many different ways. So you CAN see everything. But you can also see just your to do list, or just your blog posts, or just your Instagram posts, or just 1 particular project… And you can set up lots of default views so you can quickly and easily toggle between them.
Use drag and drop to move things around super quickly
If you change your mind when you are going to publish a blog post, you can drag and drop that blog post to a different day/time – it takes literally 1 second! And the really beautiful thing is all the associated social media moves with it.
So, if you’ve set a tweet to go out an hour after the original publish time, and you change the publish time of the blog post, the tweet posting time will automatically change to be 1 hour after the new publish time, without you having to do a thing!
Schedule all of your social media quickly and easily
Not only can you schedule your social media using CoSchedule, but it has numerous features that will make it much quicker and easier than other scheduling tools too. For example, you can schedule the same message to go out on multiple channels, you can use templates and social helpers to auto populate your social media to save massive amounts of time, or you can use the bulk upload function to upload social media from a spreadsheet, if that’s the way you prefer to work.
Use ReQueue to keep resharing evergreen social media content
ReQueue is the most amazing tool EVER. Every time you create a new social media message, you can choose if you want to add it to your ReQueue. You can then set the ReQueue function to reshare your old social media messages as if they were new. This feature alone saves me hours each week and means I can share to social media much more often than if I was trying to do this manually.
It also keeps driving traffic to my older posts and so generates much more growth on my blog (which means more ad revenue!). It also means that, apart from when I want to add new content, I can basically set it and forget it with social media, and yet my profiles always look new and fresh – brilliant for when I go on holiday or when I am having a busy time.
Set your social media to go out at the best possible time
CoSchedule uses data to intelligently share social media posts at the highest traffic times for each of your social profiles. If you set your social message for ‘best time’, CoSchedule will automatically share your post at the best possible time. However, if you want to share your post at a specific time (e.g. to coincide with when a blog post goes live, or so your social posts go out in a particular order) you can do that too.
Use the task template function to manage projects and create workflows
I love this feature for blog posts! It allows me to create a separate task template for each kind of blog post. This ensures I don’t forget anything and I always know what I need to do next. I don’t just include the actual post, but also all the extras, such as scheduling social media and my newsletter. This allows me to keep track of every part of each blog in one place, and so means I work more efficiently and will be reminded if anything becomes overdue.
This is exactly how I write my process checklists, which help me keep on track with regular repetitive activities, such as writing blog posts, scheduling social media and creating my weekly newsletter, and it saves me heaps of time each week!
Write amazing blog post titles and email subject lines
CoSchedule’s Headline Analyser and Email Subject Line Tester help you craft the most effective and attractive blog post titles and email subject lines. They will give you a score out of 100 for each one and give you tips and tricks for how to improve them too.
Evaluate the success of your social campaigns in one place
Instead of having to go into each social platform and message manually, you can go into CoSchedule’s awesome analytics and see it all together in one place. Great if you need to give feedback to a client or just want to see what’s working, to help you refine your social media strategy.
Integrate with many different platforms
CoSchedule not only allows you to integrate with all the major social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google +, Pinterest etc.), but also with WordPress, Google Analytics, Office 365, Google Drive, YouTube, email marketing platforms such as MailChimp and much more! This creates a seamless workflow and greatly reduces the amount of jumping between different screens that we bloggers so often find ourselves doing!
Manage your marketing calendar and social media right in your WordPress dashboard
If you have Self-Hosted WordPress, then CoSchedule gets even more awesome – because CoSchedule have a plugin that puts all of this awesomeness right in your WordPress dashboard – in fact right on the post you are editing.
This means creating and scheduling your social media posts becomes a seamless part of creating your blog posts.
Share other websites’ content quickly and easily using the Chrome extension
Another fab feature of CoSchedule is the ability to share content from other websites using the Chrome extension.
Simply install the extension and then when you discover a great piece of content, hit the CoSchedule icon and a box will appear. Select which social channels you want to share it on, edit the text if you need to, ensure you are happy with the photo (it will auto populate with the featured image) and schedule for whatever time you want to share that content. Or choose ‘best time’ and allow CoSchedule to choose the best time for you.
Find tutorials, videos and more
CoSchedule has masses of resources to help you get the most out of all the features. They have a really extensive help section which has help documents on a whole range of subjects from Getting Started to Customising Your Workflow and Monitoring Your Performance. If you get stuck there is a live chat feature too.
Scheduled also has the most amazing Video Resource Library. Here you can get help for any part of CoSchedule you are unsure about and find out about other cool features of CoSchedule you have not started using yet. Here is an example of one of their videos…
Get a 14 day free trial
Not sure if CoSchedule is for you? You can get a free 14 day trial* to test all the amazing features out and see if it’s worth signing up (spoiler alert – it is!!)
How do I use CoSchedule?
So I use CoSchedule to streamline my blog writing process, schedule my social media, requeue my evergreen social posts and keep track of every part of the blogging process.
Whenever I start a new blog post I start by creating it as a project in CoSchedule. I use CoSchedule to create a new WordPress post, I input the title, give it a colour coded label: for example purple for a recipe on Easy Peasy Foodie, orange for #CookBlogShare, blue for a post on Productive Blogging… and set the time and date I want the blog post to go live and then I select the task template for the kind of blog post I’m writing.
This task template lists out all the activities that I need to do to get from ‘zero’ to ‘complete’ for that post. I include every activity from writing the text and editing the photos to scheduling the social media and the related newsletter.
I then flip into WordPress (straight from CoSchedule – they are completely interlinked) and create my post as normal, but use the task list in CoSchedule to keep me on track and stop me losing focus!
Once my post is written and scheduled, I use CoSchedule to schedule all the social media. I have a template, so all I need to do is select the template and add a couple of specific details (for example the hashtags and specific photos I want to use) and then hit a button and all my social media auto populates. It’s like magic! Honestly – that feature alone probably saves me about 3 hours a week!!
Finally, I schedule my newsletter and my whole post and everything related to it from start to finish is done. No loose ends – no having all those activities dragging out over days. DONE.
AND even more exciting, I add anything evergreen to my ReQueue to be reshared once a month on all my channels. Over time I have built up a massive bank of content, so everyday CoSchedule will share multiple tweets, Facebook posts, Instagram posts etc. without me having to lift a finger! Not only does this save me oodles of time, but also means I can share way more content on my social channels, than when I had to do this all manually AND if I go on holiday or have a particularly busy time. I can just ignore social media altogether, safe in the knowledge that my feeds will stay fresh without my involvement. (Though obviously you do have to be careful what you put in your queues or you will end up sharing Christmas posts in August and BBQ posts in the depths of winter!!)
How much time does CoSchedule save me?
I find this a difficult question to answer, because not only does CoSchedule save me heaps of time, but I also get way more done with CoSchedule than I ever could have scheduling everything manually.
I also save time not getting distracted. For example, before I started using CoSchedule, I would go onto Facebook just to do one Facebook post to share my latest blog post, but end up spending 20 minutes on there because I started scrolling!! (Sound familiar??) If I do it on CoSchedule, there’s nothing to distract me!
I would estimate, when you add up everything CoSchedule does, it saves me about 10 hours a week. But when you consider I get probably about 4 x as much done as I would have under my old system, that’s 40 hours a week – that’s basically a full-time person. Seriously CoSchedule is like having a full-time VA, but for a fraction of the cost! Better still you have total control and don’t lose time liaising with him/her!
Any downsides to CoSchedule?
As with ANYTHING CoSchedule is not perfect. It doesn’t do everything. It won’t get you your morning cup of coffee, nor will it take your kids to school in the morning! (I know – rubbish, huh?)
Seriously, 98% of CoSchedule is amazing and brilliant and it has totally transformed my life. But this wouldn’t be an honest review if I didn’t mention the cons of CoSchedule as well as the pros!
I don’t know about you, but I never trust a review that doesn’t also cover the negatives too. So what are the downsides to CoSchedule?
It doesn’t post automatically to Instagram
Slightly frustratingly you still can’t post automatically to Instagram with CoSchedule. But I gather they are working on this and it should be available soon.
Limits on the flexibility of ReQueue
The only choices in ReQueue are to reshare old evergreen posts once or twice a month and all my ReQueue groups have to be the same. I currently have it set up so all my ReQueue post get shared once a month, but I would love the flexibility to say reshare my Easy Peasy Foodie social media once every 3 weeks and my Productive Blogging social media once every 6 weeks. Or any frequency I so choose.
You CAN however set individual limits on each social profile – so for example I might have ReQueue sending 20 posts to Twitter every day but only 2 posts to Instagram.
No easy way to share other blogger’s content
I know I am nit picking here and probably asking too much. But I do wish there was the option to see my social media feeds and reshare other people’s content with the ease with which I can share my own content on CoSchedule.
I hesitate to put this here, because I genuinely think CoSchedule is WORTH the price. MORE than worth the price. But it’s not cheap and I know it will be a stumbling block for some. For me CoSchedule very much fits the mantra of ‘you get what you pay for’ buuuut… you get an awful lot with CoSchedule and the price does reflect that.
Current pricing is $40 (roughly £30) a month for everything I have mentioned in this review – 1 user, 1 calendar, as many WordPress sites as you want, 8 social profiles, blog and social scheduling, email marketing and analytics.
You can add more users or more social profiles as an add on, rather than go up to the next tier – so, for example when I started Productive Blogging, I paid an extra $10 to be able to add 5 extra Social Profiles (but I didn’t have to pay anything for the extra WordPress Site).
And of course, remember that you get CoSchedule half price for a year just for writing a review – that’s pretty incredible in itself. So, so long as you write a review, you get CoSchedule for $20/£15 a month and if you refer customers to CoSchedule using your special affiliate link, you get 10% off for each sign up. Once you get to 100% off, CoSchedule start paying you!
Which reminds me – did I mention my CoSchedule Affiliate Link* already? 😉 Seriously If you do fancy getting CoSchedule I would be super grateful if you would use my link – it won’t cost you a penny more, but it will help fund all the hard work that goes into bringing you Productive Blogging. And remember you get a 14 day free trial of CoSchedule* to try it out first before you buy!
So that concludes my CoSchedule review. I hope I have managed to thoroughly convince you that getting CoSchedule will save you time and give you back your sanity – it’s certainly done that for me!
Next week I’ll be sharing a more in-depth CoSchedule post – a tutorial about how to use CoSchedule to schedule and automate your social media.
What do you want to know?
I would love to know what else you would like to know about CoSchedule. I will very happily write more tutorials and share more about how to actually use CoSchedule to save you heaps of time and make you way more productive on your blog! Just let me know in the comments below…
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