An editorial calendar is essential for managing a blog, especially when there are multiple team members collaborating on it.
As a long-time blogger, I've tried just about every option for organizing my editorial calendar. Paper calendars, notebooks full of sticky notes, Google spreadsheets… you name it, I've tried it. As much as I love pen and paper, it just isn't practical with a distributed team.
We recently traded in our spreadsheets, paper calendars, and back-and-forth emails for CoSchedule – an editorial calendar plugin for WordPress.
After a few weeks using CoSchedule I don't think I can ever go back to any other way. I'm a CoSchedule convert!
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On To The CoSchedule Review!
What do you like about CoSchedule?
CoSchedule functions seamlessly within WordPress to manage our editorial calendar. There is no need to switch tabs from WordPress to a Google spreadsheet to double check publish dates and titles. No need to update things in multiple calendars. No need to email the editorial team every time a blog post gets rescheduled.
Everything is in one place.
A few of our favorite features of CoSchedule:
The Calendar View
I mentioned that I used to prefer a paper calendar for my editorial calendars. The reason is the layout. I find a traditional calendar view the easiest way to see my content plans laid out for me.
CoSchedule makes it easy to see what you've got coming out in the next few weeks, and where you need to add content. For us, we have been publishing once a week on Tuesdays so when I look at the calendar I can immediately see if we've got something ready for the upcoming Tuesday.
When we recently decided to start publishing a few more articles every month, the calendar view allowed me to easily visualize how much content we had ready and how soon we could ramp things up with the blog.
The calendar also lets you drag and drop, so if you ever need to move a blog post to another day you can do so easily with a click and drag. It will change the publish date not only in the calendar but in the WordPress post as well, so there are no mistakes and no need to update in multiple places.
Everyone on our editorial team has a CoSchedule account, so we can all check the calendar to see what's coming out or see if any posts have been rescheduled.
Tasks & Comments
CoSchedule is really great for teamwork. Not only do we all see the same calendar, but we can communicate within the calendar as well.
Tasks and comments on posts allow you to create workflows for your team without emails. No need to send an email saying “hey can you create a graphic for this post?” Just create a task on the post itself to be sent to the appropriate team member.
Even if you're a solo blogger, the tasks and comments can come in handy for organizing yourself for blog posts. Leave yourself a reminder note about a specific promotion you want to do for the blog or create tasks to do one last once over before the post goes live.
One of the best features of CoSchedule is that it's not just a blog calendar. It also incorporates social media!
You can add social media posts to your calendar to share your blog posts automatically when they publish. It is such a time-saver to write and schedule all the tweets for a post while you are putting the finishing touches on the blog post.
One feature I really like about the social shares is that you can select to share a plain link post or an image post. CoSchedule automatically pulls the images from your blog post to make it really simple to create tweets and Facebook posts with a header image from your blog. Tweets with images get up to 313% more engagement than plain text posts, so this feature is amazingly valuable!
Another great way to use CoSchedule is to go back into your blog archives and share some of your old posts on social media. We use Meet Edgar for this task, but the idea is the same: share old posts and generate more blog traffic.
Easy To Read Stats
CoSchedule basically nails it with their entire user interface design, and the stats is no exception. The simple bar charts make it easy to see how many shares each of our posts have gotten on each social platform.
The Top Posts section comes in handy for determining what pieces of content are performing best. Once we see what our audience is sharing most, we can create more content on similar subjects that might resonate just as well.
Taking a look at our stats can also tell us if we should try sharing some of the underperforming content a few more times, or take that topic off our list for good.
The CoSchedule Team
Now, I don't know these folks personally but I can tell that they are great.
The CoSchedule team sends out surveys to their users on a fairly regular basis to ask them what they like best about the product and what they'd like to see improved. They put a lot of emphasis on learning how their customers are using the tool and how they can make the experience even better.
CoSchedule is introducing product updates frequently. And don't worry – these aren't the kind of updates that break everything or move things around so you don't know where anything is anymore. It's simply updates that make your marketing easier and easier.
CoSchedule also has a great blog with tons of information about content marketing, social media, writing better and being more productive. Content marketers helping content marketers. It's a beautiful thing.
Is CoSchedule Right For You?
Now that you've read this CoSchedule review you might be wondering if CoSchedule is the right editorial calendar management tool for you.
I have mentioned a few times how great CoSchedule is for our editorial team to stay in the loop with one another, but even as a one-person team these features are very valuable for keeping your blog content organized.
If you struggle with putting out content on a consistent basis, CoSchedule might be able to help you get organized and keep a regular blogging schedule. However, if you're a highly organized person with a great system in place for managing your blog content, then CoSchedule may not be a necessary addition to your tool set.
If you are spending a lot of time scheduling social media posts to share your old blog content every week, that is another thing CoSchedule can save you some time with. While it's not fully automated, it's definitely an improvement on the copy-paste method for each old post.
Still on the fence? Good news! You can do a 14-day free trial and see for yourself if it's a fit for your business.
Over To You…
What editorial calendar method works best for your team? Leave a comment below!