CoSchedule a necessity for new bloggers to “do it right”

My 10-step CoSchedule Workflow tutorial

Although I’m fairly new to seriously blogging, I did a lot of research when I
made the commitment to put myself out there and share my life & teach Coschedule my workflowpeople what I’ve learned. And its taken a bit of courage to do it!

But I wanted to do it right and I’ve allowed myself to spend not just time but some money on learning to do it right and making the process as quality as possible. I took classes through an online video course (Linda) and have listened to hundreds of podcasts on blogging, as well as of course reading other blogs. By doing this I’ve picked up on some trends and advice from other bloggers. I’ve explored their suggestions (thank goodness for free trials!) and accepted a few and discarded a bunch!

One piece of advice I consistently heard from bloggers who had been doing this for years… they wish they had started with CoSchedule earlier.

And once I started the free trial of CoSchedule I understood what they meant. CoSchedule is top-notch in all they do – from customer service to training to get started.  And I’m consistently impressed with how their editorial calender does so many things well.  As a new blogger I acknowledge I was open to ideas in the creation of my blogging workflow.  And when I seriously began with CoSchedule I admit I made some changes I didn’t think I would like at first just to “see” how it might be useful in my workflow.

For example, CoSchedule is integrated with Evernote and I was frankly an advocate of Microsoft’s note program.  I did have an Evernote account but only used to use it mainly as a dumping ground for interesting articles I seldom looked at again. But during the trial of CoSchedule I allowed myself to add Evernote to my workflow and now its become my starting place for not just blogging but for my brainstorming ideas sessions.



CoSchedule: The Editorial Calendar For WordPress



So lets look at my workflow – which has 10

general steps

1.  Ideas for content

I tried all sorts of ways to keep track of my ideas. I kinda laugh when I see articles from “seasoned” bloggers on how hard it is to come up with new content… I don’t have that problem at all! I have so many ideas and stuff I want to talk about I clearly needed a way to get the ideas recorded for the future. At this rate it will take years for me to start complaining about not having content!  But I now keep my ideas in Evernote and transfer them to CoSchedule (see step 4).

2.  Write draft in Evernote

I have a notebook in Evernote for my blog, but also a notebook just for blog ideas. When I begin my workflow I take the idea I’ve chosen from the ideas notebook and move it to the Blog notebook into the PIP (posts in Process). That’s where I write the basics of my blog post and nay research I’m doing for those posts.  This way I can have 3-5 posts going at any one time in various stages of the process.

3.  Integration to add pictures, links etc…

The great thing about the “CoSchedule – Evernote integration” is that you can add hyperlinks or pictures in the Evernote post exactly where you want them and when you do the transfers through CoSchedule it shows up in WordPress correctly. You can also markup text if you like, although I tend to just do that in WordPress.

4.  CoSchedule editorial Calendar  

The next thing I do is go to CoSchedule to the editorial calendar. This is where everything becomes visually organized. You can see all your past and future posts, as well as all your social media activities past and future. On the right side there is an Evernote tab and if you click it you will open up your Evernote notebooks that you have connected. I have two notebook connected, my PIP (posts in Process) and my blog ideas. I can the drag and drop my competed post and place it into the calendar day I think I want it published (don’t worry it wont publish it on accident for you). I can also take an idea from my ideas notebook and put it into the calendar to schedule my future posts.

CoSchedule editorial calendar evernote

5.  Organize and plan

Now remember… organizing and planning is of the main reasons you are using an editorial calendar.  Most of you who know me, know I’m a lawyer in my day job and I have to be uber organized as I’m a solo practitioner and nobody is telling me what to do (except for the Judges, and the clients… ok, maybe I do get told what to do a lot!). I can tell you from experience that what differentiates the very successful from those that just get by is organization and planning. By using the editorial calendar and sticking to it, you are building up habits that will turn into a patterns that will show people you are consistent and someone to follow in your blog. From the editorial calendar you can create a new blog post, send a social media message, add content ideas for future posts, and schedule things like events and tasks for yourself or others in a team…. as well as a lot of other things.

New edit CoSchedule

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6.  Edit post details.

Next you click on the post you just added to your calendar and you will get the “edit post” details. Here you will be able to tag that post and organize it by color (I use colors for my various categories on my blog). You can schedule or reschedule your post.

Coschedule edit post

 

There is a headline analyzer that is SO worth the cost of the program… it gives you a score to tell you how good your headline it and if you click on full analyze it will go another page where you can explore ways to improve that unique headline.If you use the teams system you can assign things to various team members, schedule and assign tasks, create task templates etc… I found this great even as a solo blogger to create a template of the typical tasks I want to do to a post before and after its published. Things like create graphics, tasks for SEO optimization, see if there are internal links I can use to guide people deeper into my blog, and after publishing make sure I’ve followed through with social media publishing.

7.  Set up and schedule social media cue.

This is also where CoSchedule shines… and frankly its made getting plugged into social media a breeze for me. That was not something I was really in touch with prior to blogging. Yes, I used Facebook and had a personal Pinterest page but I had to up my game when I started blogging seriously. CoSchedule allows you to set up a number of different social media sites and through Buffer also lets you schedule Pinterest. I do hope that someday CoSchedule includes Pinterest themselves – I guess they used to but Pinterest had some glitches that made posting inconsistent.

Social cue CoScheduleI use Facebook, Google Plus and Twitter through CoSchedule. When you are setting up your social media posting cue schedule you can do all your accounts at the same time for a given time. So I typically plan for posts on all my social media when I publish, a month later, and then sometimes I will schedule a month or two later. If its a post I think will do well at a future certain time I will plan for that… a post on gardens to visit is good the few days before Mothers Day, or Pumpkin Spice latte when its fall of next year. Then I set up my twitter feed to post much more often… often multiple times a day over the next month.

8.  Connect with WordPress

You can apparently work on your drafts within CoSchedule. I don’t do that… I go ahead and transfer my post to WordPress after I’ve added the post details. I then do my editing and final drafts in WordPress and use the CoSchedule plugin for WordPress.  Some day I will experiment more with using the CoSchedule interface to work on drafts.

9.  Schedule final publishing.

After I’m done editing I go back to my editorial calendar and check off my tasks and make sure I am all ready to publish. I then look at my schedule again to make sure the time and date is where I want it.

10.  Review things a few days later.

That’s about it for my workflow other than that I do go back after a few days or a week and review the social media results. I check to see how posts are doing and whether or not I should add more social media  posts.

CoSchedule connects with Google analytics so you can see how your posts are doing. I would recommend to anyone, but especially a new blogger, to start right off with CoSchedule. It will make you a more organized blogger and it will show you how to do things easier than if you tried to figure it all out by yourself. Yes, I suppose you could manually do a lot this stuff yourself if you have no day job or lots of time… but even then – don’t you have better things (writing more content?) you could be doing to make your blog great than manually spending time scheduling social media or organizing your posts?

And CoSchedule helps you remember not to miss things and recommends things you may not have thought of. Which brings me to customer support.

Great customer service and tutorials

CoSchedule starts out with multiple video tutorials on how to do things on CoSchedule. There is a “just right” in length video (about 12 min) that shows you how to do things. Multiple pop-up that show you what all the tabs do and they have a blog that surpasses all other… and its not just a sales tool for their business as it has many resources beyond the technical aspects of using their program. And lastly, I did contact customer support on a Saturday evening and had a response back by Sunday morning. And the email I sent allowed me to tell them if it was an emergency and I had clicked no, it was just a normal issue… and I still got such a speedy response.

Customer support

 

If you are thinking about trying CoSchedule out they have a free trial period. And its a real trial… it doesn’t get you in there and then tell you there’s more you can’t try out without paying. It does however take stuff away if you end up buying one of the basic packages… which of course tempts you to buy the higher end packages. But that’s good business on their part!

Sign up for CoSchedule through me… please 🙂

If you decide to try CoSchedule out it would be really great if you would sign up through this link… as it will give me a credit for referring someone.

Also check out this overview video from CoSchedule.

But like I said at the beginning, I tried many different alternatives to come up with a workflow. It really is true that once you start using CoSchedule you will wonder why you wasted time with the other alternatives and understand what you’re missing.


I would be really interested in knowing how others are using CoSchedule or if you have suggestions for improvement on my workflow above… or if you disagree with me! Leave a comment below and I will get back to you!

 

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