The easiest way to make a blog schedule | Abask MarketingLast week I had to set up a social media calendar for a client that has not updated their Facebook profile for a year. I was working with their designer who has the approval (and wherewithal) to sign off on everything except budget. The first thing I did, which is the first thing I always recommend, was to set up the strategy. Without going into too much detail, I laid out the goals, the audience, the rules of posting, the frequency, etc. And then we started in on the calendar. I spent an hour going through prime times for posting, and we decided what should be posted for the next week. But after one hour we only had ideas for one week. And even then, we hadn’t assigned who would be responsible for each of that week’s post. If scheduling were to take this long every week, I wouldn’t make any money on content marketing. Why did it take so long? The issue was not the designer and it wasn’t me (how dare you!) The issue was that we couldn’t get immediate budget approval for

I spent an hour going through prime times for posting, and we decided what should be posted for the next week. But after one hour we only had ideas for one week. And even then, we hadn’t assigned who would be responsible for each of that week’s post. If scheduling were to take this long every week, I wouldn’t make any money on content marketing. Why did it take so long? The issue was not the designer and it wasn’t me (how dare you!) The issue was that we couldn’t get immediate budget approval for CoSchedule.

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CoSchedule: The Best Scheduling Tool for B2Bs.

CoSchedule is my goto social media and blogging tool for my B2B clients. I know you’ve heard me go through tools a lot before, here, here, and here. I would admit to being a complete tool junkie if that didn’t sound somewhat racy. But the truth is that there are tools that are really good for one type of business, that just don’t cut it for a slightly different business. Viraltag is really good for a small business that depends on sharing visuals, like an Etsy business, but it doesn’t cut it for bigger businesses that require the input of more than one person, like a marketing team. CoSchedule covers this.

Getting back to my client.

Eventually, we did get the approval and transferred our overly-complicated printed schedule into the CoSchedule calendar, starting assigning responsibility to individuals and got posts scheduled for the entire quarter in about the same time it took us to work on the first week without CoSchedule.

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What is CoSchedule?

CoSchedule is a scheduling tool for blogs and social media. It lives directly on your blog page (it’s a plugin) and the interface is a calendar with tasks listed next to it. You can use it to schedule blog posts or social media posts and you can create both right within the calendar. Basically, there is never a need to leave the comfort of your blog site!

If you choose to create a blog post and schedule it through CoSchedule, it’s just one more click to schedule that same post to go to one or all of your social media pages today, tomorrow or at any time in the future. And, unlike Hootsuite, it lets you post the same content as often as you’d like. So, you can repurpose ALL of your content in a few minutes.

Let’s figure out if CoSchedule would be a good fit for you. And then we can talk about how it works.

CoSchedule Calendar

1. Do you have to work on blog posts or social media at the same time as other people?

A lot of the time I am writing for bigger clients. Either we are working with my designer, or we’re working with their designer, reporting to the business owner, or the CMO. Even if they are not actually touching the posts, I like to be able to show them the calendar, so I make sure they have a login on WordPress and that’s all they need.

 

Every now and then, I will be writing a blog and somebody else will be responsible for posting it to social media. CoSchedule makes that a breeze. Once I’ve written the blog post, they will see it scheduled in the calendar and can set up the social media sharing directly from their computer.

Honestly, you would think it couldn’t be easier, but guess what? It is! I can actually assign a task to anyone on the blog so that they know what they need to do. This is a lifesaver when there are a few people on the team as it makes sure that we all know what’s on our plates and no one is stepping on toes, scheduling things when they shouldn’t (yikes!), or not scheduling at all (swoon!)

 

2. Have you ever failed at consistent posting?

 

Heehee, this is my way of pulling the guilt out of you. Everyone has failed at this at some point (or at several “some points”!) It’s so hard to keep up. The reason my designer friend and I set up an entire quarter in about an hour was by having a strategy. We had a calendar of events ready to import, a media calendar for news pieces about the company and then a bunch of topic ideas. You plonk each one into the calendar keeping consistent about days (2 blog posts weekly for this particular client and a LinkedIn post every day), and then comes the real genius of CoSchedule: you repost old blog posts on social media so that you can fill up more space without having to churn out content. Time is money, people!

Think about it: how many people saw your original post on social media?

Unless they were on the page at the exact time it published, probably not (and even if they were, still quite unlikely, but that’s another topic.) So, give it to them again.

Do I go through and delete old topics from social media?… we’ll come to that next.*

[Tweet “Think about it: how many people saw your original post on social media?”]

 

3. Have you ever spent more than 15 minutes trying to figure out what to write about?

This has never happened to me. No joke! Because when you’re writing consistently, there’s always something else you want to write. Finding the words is another story. But, I digress.

CoSchedule lets you set up tasks in the calendar. *So you can set a reminder to go through and delete previously posted topics if you want to (I only do this on Pinterest – I don’t think anyone is scrolling back through Facebook, LI or Twitter). You can also place topic ideas as a task so that you don’t have to wonder what to write about. And remember, it’s a calendar so your first step should always be to figure out upcoming events in the company, in the media, in the local community or just national holidays. That’ll give you more ideas.

And then there’s how we do it for Abask, which is laid out in the next point:

 

4. Do you love Evernote but hate copying and pasting to the blog and then coding all the oddities?

 

What an epic waste of time! Evernote is the best tool for writing blog posts, and I should know because I’ve tried a thousand (tool junkie, remember?), but coding sucks. In my humble opinion, it’s about as fun as sticking my foot in a meat grinder.

But you know who else love Evernote? CoSchedule that’s who!

They’re like little software lovers, always playing kissyface.

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Once you have your Evernote template for blogging, you can outline your blog post, write your heart out and then ask CoSchedule to import it. That’s it! Seriously, like nothing more needs to be done! It’s unbelievable.

 

Now we all know I love Evernote and anyone who feels otherwise is about as dumb as a bag of rocks, but just in case you happen to be intellectually-challenged, you can write blog posts directly on CoSchedule too. I happen to know some writers that prefer to work like this. I am not saying they’re good writers, just writers.

[Tweet “Evernote & CoSchedule are like software lovers, always playing kissyface.”]

OK, what’s the bottom line?

Obviously, CoSchedule is da bomb, but it’s not free. So, it’s not da free bomb. But it’s not exactly killing my purse either.

I pay $15 for the month (paid annually) and they have lots of options to lower the price too (like writing a blog post like this one). I paid quite a lot less for HootSuite as a single user, but I also had a lot of headaches, including not being able to post content more than once, the bulk upload feature never worked for me and showed up in a couple of my nightmares, and it didn’t handle blog posts. Edgar was a good tool, but pricey and while Viraltag is the best social media scheduler of the lot, it doesn’t work with blog posts.

In short, I think CoSchedule is worth the money for these reasons:

  1. It keeps me and my teams/ clients super organized
  2. It is super basic and easy to use
  3. It loves Evernote like I do
  4. It makes my blog page the hub, so that all social networks lead back to it.
  5. It helps me with writing headlines
  6. It helps me with scheduling times
  7. It keeps my posting consistent
  8. It saves me several hours each quarter
  9. It allows me to repost easily
  10. It doesn’t negatively affect my reach on social media.

[Tweet “CoSchedule is da bomb, but it’s not free. So, it’s not da free bomb. But it’s not exactly killing my purse either.”]

If you are still not perfectly convinced, the folks at CoSchedule give 14-day trials, and were kind enough to give me one more week when I requested it. Give it a try today and let me know your thoughts: http://coschedule.com/r/49773

 

 

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