Full disclosure: I have and use CoSchedule. By writing this post reviewing it, I receive a discount on my subscription. If you sign up using my CoSchedule referral link, I get an additional discount. All opinions shared are my own.
So here’s the thing. I’m busy. You’re busy. We’re all busy. Right? That is not in dispute. We’re all trying to do more with less, and oftn we have to choose something to let slip through the cracks.
For a long time for me, that was promoting my blog content once it had been posted. Sure, sometimes I’d notice that a post was getting traction at a given time and promote it again, but it was a one off process. I have tasks where I spend ten minutes a day to build my blog, but going through my old (good) posts to syndicate them again? That wasn’t happening.
Now, it is. And it’s fast and simple. If you haven’t heard of CoSchedule before, listen up. This is a huge help, and I can see the difference it’s making to my blog stats – including over the last month where I have been swamped with both work work and volunteer work and not posting as regularly as I’d like. I’ve still found the time to schedule out social media shares of relevant posts that have helped drive traffic to my site.
Yes, there is a subscription cost, but to me, it’s so worth it. And there’s a FREE two week trial you can get to see how it works for your individual site, too. Yes, a free two week CoSchedule trial so you don’t just have to take my word for it but can check it out for yourself. Because… free trial? And no credit card required to sign up? Why wouldn’t your try it out?
So what is Coschedule? CoSchedule is a great tool for blogger to build and maintain their following by making syndicating content on your choice of platforms a simple and easy process. How simple and easy? I’m talking drag and drop. While you can certainly get more complex with it, there are so many simple things you can do with minimal time to promote your content.
The first step once you’ve signed up for CoSchedule is to connect your blog and your social media channels. It is an incredibly easy process, and CoSchedule walks you through it. You have your choice of social media networks ranging from Tumblr to Google+ to Facebook and more. Once connected, you always share only on the channels you want to share for that particular promotion, and it’s easy to select which you want to use and which you don’t each and every time.
How easy is it to choose? Oh… way easier than you though. Remember that click and drop I promised? Scheduling your social shares for your posts is all about it. Using CoSchedule is so simple. Once you’ve chosen the post you want to share, you roll over the social channels you have connected and click on as many or as few as you want to use. Edit your message in the box – including adding any tags or hashtags you want to use – and select what kind of share you want to do, whether an image, a link, or a text post. I love that there is a character count, too, so I never go over on Twitter shares. And if I do? There’s handy reminder that there is a problem with the share that was created so I can edit it to ensure it goes out. See? Busy blogger solutions at their best!
Do you see that orange band where you can select the image you want to share? While CoSchedule makes it easy by choosing the “best” image for you, you are able to select your own favorite image that you want to share. This is a great way to test out the efficacy of different image sizes and types to see what works best for your individual readers. Or you can stick with the focus on busy blogger solutions and let CoSchedule use the image it selected.
So great, you can schedule social shares. How easily can you really schedule them? Easy peasy. There are options to share immediately, tomorrow, next week, next month, and a custom date. Simply click the plus sign for when you want to promote, and fill in the boxes. Granted, I wish there were the option to choose more than one timing at once or to copy a social share to another timeframe, but it’s still easy to choose a second – or third or fourth – timing when you want to share. And not only do you choose the date, but you choose the time window, too. If you know your audience wants to read about a breakfast recipe in the morning, choose 8-11am. If they want to hear about your craft tutorial from 3-10pm, choose that option.
Once you have your timing set up, you can see your shares. And even if you choose to share across multiple platforms within the same window, they don’t all go out at the same time. Nope, it may go out at 8:32am on Twitter and 9:50am on Facebook and 11:12am on LinkedIn, and so forth. Someone was thinking when they coded that, as your followers don’t get overwhelmed by a plethora of communication about the same post.
Once you have a bunch of posts scheduled, you can go into your calendar view on the CoSchedule website and drag and drop your shares to different days. You can spend ten minutes – remember, busy blogger solutions is the focus here – scheduling posts for “today” and “tomorrow” and “next week” and “next month” that all fall on the same day, then go into your calendar view and drag and drop them to spread out the timing of your shares in seconds. It couldn’t be simpler.
So how do you figure out what posts you want to promote anyway? Well… it’s easy, and you have a variety of options. My favorite to start with it the CoSchedule plugin. Yep, there’s a simple WordPress plugin for CoSchedule that you can install. Any post you know you want to promote, go into the post editor and scroll down to the plugin where you can schedule as shared above. I really appreciate that the look and feel is identical when scheduling posts whether you’re on the CoSchedule website or using the plugin on your own site. (This feature is available with the marketing and automation plans, but not standard.)
Beyond that, on the CoSchedule website, there are three (yes, three) great ways to decide what to post and to schedule shares. Which of these busy blogger solutions will you use? I’m guessing all of them!
In the calendar view above, the purple lines show posts that went live on a given day rather than the social shares. Simply click into a post you want to share – and CoSchedule doesn’t just start adding your posts from the day you sign up; my post history from May 2013 and on is visible – and create your shares.
If you know the back to school season is coming up – or Halloween or Christmas or Valentine’s Day or any other National X Day or season – you can easily search for a keyword or phrase to identify those posts that you want to promote. No more searching and trying to remember what you may have posted. It’s a great way to give new life to your evergreen content.
And the third great way to decide what to promote? On the left tab of options within the CoSchedule website, you can see your top posts. If you have posts that are already getting organic traction, you know there is interest in them. Those are ones to promote again and gain even more views on them. Find your most popular posts from the last week, month, etc., and you can once again schedule social shares for them just as you do the rest.
There are so many other features within CoSchedule, and there are different levels of subscriptions that offer access to even more. Fortunately, CoSchedule has a great video that shares even more of how its functionality works.
The solo standard plan is just $15 per month (billed annually – or $19/month if you do month to month) which gets you the drag and drop marketing calendar, social media publishing, and it works with WordPress for a max of 5 social profiles linked to your blog. The most popular plan is solo marketing for $30/month ($39 month to month) which adds in Google Analytics, Google Docs, and Evernote integration into your CoSchedule. This also allows you to convert to the WordPress Plugin upgrade and gives you up to 10 social profile connections. Solo automation adds social media templates and social media automation for up to 25 social profiles for a single user at $60 month billed annually ($79 month to month). There are also plans for teams for blogs with multiple users from three to ten users, depending on the plan, as well as “guest” users for temporary access.
Is it worth $15 per month to help get your content in front of viewers? $30 to really have some stronger analytics and systems behind what you’re doing to grow your blog? For me, it’s a no brainer, and a two week trial of CoSchedule really drove that point home.