The Ultimate Guide To Using CoSchedule
CoSchedule has no hidden secrets, no Easter eggs. But it’s a powerful tool.
This guide will help you understand how to use CoSchedule the best way possible. You’ll be an expert in no time. You’ll discover practical ways to use CoSchedule with your team and with your blogging schedule.
Getting Started With CoSchedule
- What Is CoSchedule? What Does It Do?
- Connect Your WordPress Blog To CoSchedule
- Making The Most Of “My Activity”
- Connecting Your Social Media Accounts
- Working With Your Team
- Add Your Team To CoSchedule
- Managing More Than One Blog
- Yikes! When Things Go Wrong
4 Ways CoSchedule Will Save You Time
- Teams And Tasks Made Simple
- Social Publishing Where It Should Be
- A Change In Plans Is Easy
- Flexible For Your Ideal Workflow
How CoSchedule Makes Social Media Easy
- Social Media Content That Works With Your Post
- See How Your Social Media Fits The Big Picture
- Create An Active Sharing Schedule
The CoSchedule Help section is a great place to dig into the nitty gritty of what CoSchedule can do, too.
What Is CoSchedule? What Does It Do?
CoSchedule is all about publishing your content. It works like this:
1. WordPress Plugin + Paid Service.
CoSchedule is a service that you pay for each month. It has a free plugin that connects to your WordPress.org blog. With that plugin, you connect to the paid service. Without the paid service, the plugin serves no benefit.
2. Social Media Connections
CoSchedule connects to the major social networks. You choose the networks you want to connect (as many as you want!), and add them. Once they are added, you can publish to those networks.
3. Your Blog + Social Publishing
With your blog connected, and your social accounts connected, great news: you can easily publish to both, and at the same time!
You write a blog post. You create all of the social messages you want to share that blog post to your networks. You can set them to publish immediately and in the future as much as you want.
4. Just Social Publishing
You can also create social messages without having to attach them to blog posts. You can create text, link, or image posts, depending on which network you choose.
5. On A Good-Looking Calendar
You can do all of that on a calendar so you can see what your plan is. You can easily move it all around with drag-and-drop. If you move a blog post, all of the social messages automatically move with it.
6. Great Extras!
We also provide you with social sharing stats, and let you integrate with Google Calendar (read only), Bit.ly, and Google Analytics. There are team features, permissions, and helpful task and to-do tools to make sure your content publishing happens when it is supposed to.
Ready to get started?
An Overview Of CoSchedule
Connect Your WordPress Blog To CoSchedule
CoSchedule works with self-hosted WordPress.org blogs. (If your blog URL is http://yourblog.wordpress.com, CoSchedule will not work with your blog.)
You will need to have the CoSchedule plugin installed in WordPress. The plugin is what allows CoSchedule and your WordPress blog to communicate back and forth.
CoSchedule can auto-install the plugin for you, or you can install the plugin yourself.
Once the plugin is installed, you will see the Calendar in your WordPress dashboard and in the standalone app at app.coschedule.com. You can login and use the calendar from either place. It works the same!
Making The Most Of “My Activity”
Think of it as the crow’s nest on the ship. My Activity is the CoSchedule dashboard where you can get a bird’s-eye-view of what is happening on all of your blogs.
You can see, at a glance:
- Conversations on posts you are following.
- Tasks you have to complete on posts.
- Upcoming posts that you need to be working on.
- Top posts based on social shares.
This is your one-stop place to see what you need to be doing. And, of course, you can manage your account from there, too.
Using My Activity In CoSchedule
Connecting Your Social Media Accounts
Social media is your vehicle for letting the world know about your content. Sometimes you create social messages on their own. And sometimes, you share your blog content on social media. Blog and social media content should be created and managed together.
- Start by connecting any of your social media accounts to CoSchedule. Add groups, profiles, and business pages as necessary.
- Connect your Buffer account, too. This gives you access to Google+ profiles, as well as the fantastic Buffer queue.
You’ve just put all of the places you publish content under one management roof! You can delete a social account at any time, and remove any messages that might get sent to it. It’s super-simple to manage.
To make social publishing even better, you should:
- Turn UTM tracking tags on. This will let you see how CoSchedule helps your traffic in Google Analytics.
- Connect your Bit.ly account. This will shorten links, especially the long links that UTM tags create.
Use both Bit.ly and UTM tags together. When you do, it will keep the links you share on social media short, pretty, and very trackable.
Once you have your social accounts, tracking tags, and Bit.ly connected, it looks something like this:
Working With Your Team
It’s great to have a team helping you blog. CoSchedule helps you accomplish the three most common management issues found with teams.
1. Assigning and monitoring tasks.
You can create custom tasks with due dates alongside each blog post. Then, assign them to team members and they will be included in the loop of communication. This task-based workflow is very flexible.
2. Talking to each other.
It’s time to kill the confusing email chains. If you are following a post, you can have a simple conversation with everyone who is involved right where the content is being created.
Talk about the post, about changes, about graphics you need. Anything.
3. Sharing files related to the content.
In the same place you are leaving comments, you can upload files to share.
Photos, Word docs, graphics, PDFs — any of the files that you used to forward in email you can now attach directly to the conversation where the content is being planned and created. You can keep them with the blog post they belong to.
Add Your Team To CoSchedule
When you include a team in CoSchedule, you make it easy to talk about what needs to be done to get your blog posts and social messages published.
Let’s build your team. Anyone who has anything to do with creating a blog post should be added. Writers, designers, photographers, editors–the whole bunch.
- Add your team members to CoSchedule.
- Assign them a role in CoSchedule.
- Connect WordPress team members to their proper WordPress account. If they aren’t in WordPress, it’s no problem. They can still be on your CoSchedule team.
Now your team is in place!
Whoever is connected into your CoSchedule account can be assigned a task, add and respond to comments, and have access to the calendar to see what is planned.
CoSchedule allows you to set permissions so that you can control who can see and do certain things. The control is yours.
Managing More Than One Blog
“Fewer logins, please!”
Have you ever said that?
You might have many blogs and social accounts to manage. Your personal blog, the blogs you manage for clients, a team blog for work–you can do all of it from one CoSchedule account. No crossover, no “oops!”. One account, one login, all of your blogs.
1. No crossover.
The team members, the social accounts, and the activity that happens on one blog is never seen or accessed by a different blog. You won’t accidentally post on the wrong social account.
Your blogs are like projects, and each project is kept separate from the others. Set up the integrations you want each blog to have, and end your accidental-posting worries.
2. Get a better picture.
From your “My Activity” page, you can see what work you have ahead of you on every connected blog. It’s the ultimate content management control center.
Yikes! When Things Go Wrong
A few of the most common issues users have with CoSchedule are:
- Plugin conflicts.
- Incorrect timezone setting in WordPress.
- Creating multiple accounts with different emails and login credentials.
- Outdated CoSchedule plugin.
- Social messages not publishing.
- Blog owner not the one who signs up.
A few best practices that will head off the most common issues:
- The true blog owner should sign up. The person who signs up a blog on CoSchedule first becomes the owner. They get the bill each month. You shouldn’t have your IT department or virtual assistant do this for you unless they use your login credentials. You can change your password later.
- Sign up only once. Be sure to sign up for CoSchedule only once, with one email, and use that to login in the future, even when you add new blogs.
- Your timezone must be correct. Make certain your timezone settings are correct. If it isn’t, things won’t publish correctly.
- Have the latest CoSchedule plugin. The latest plugin has the best new features and bug fixes.
- Don’t spam your social media followers. Many social networks will not publish the same message repeatedly sent. You’ll get error messages saying your social media messages didn’t send because networks rejected them as spam.
4 Ways CoSchedule Will Save You Time
If there is anything we are all looking for, it’s how to save time.
CoSchedule helps you do that. By simplifying tasks that used to take many apps and more management, your time can be better spent writing and working with your team instead of managing.
Teams And Tasks Made Simple
Let’s put an end to confusing email chains.
CoSchedule uses a system where comments, conversations, file uploads, and task management happen right with the post they are associated with.
Makes sense, doesn’t it?
Team blogging usually devolves into huge email chains, scattered chat interfaces, file versions and various to-do apps. CoSchedule brings that to an end.
Summary: No more wasting time sifting and sorting through email chains to understand conversations or find the right file version.
Social Publishing Where It Should Be
Let’s think about this.
Even messages that are stand-alone are as important as your blog content. Why in the world, then, would you to create and manage social messages on a system that isn’t even connected to your blog?
CoSchedule puts them together, blog and social media publishing, under one roof. You do them at the same time and same place.
Summary: You should be creating and planning your blog and social content in the same place. They are often related, and are both as important.
A Change In Plans Is Easy
When it comes to planning your content with an editorial calendar, you usually faced one of two scenarios:
- Paper calendar. Every change means an eraser or a new sticky note.
- An app for blogging, an app for social media. Make a change in one, and you have to manually make a change in the others.
CoSchedule is going to change this for you. What do you do when you need to move a blog post to a different date?
You drag it to the new date.
What do you do about all the social messages that you had scheduled along with it?
Nothing. They moved when you moved the post.
Summary: Content marketing shifts and changes quickly. The tools you use to manage and create it need to be able to do the same.
Flexible For Your Ideal Workflow
Sometimes the tools you use tell you how to use them. Wouldn’t it be better if you told them how you needed them used?
With CoSchedule, we provide the basic features to let you and your team design the best workflow for your situation. How?
It has to do with tasks vs. statuses.
A status-based workflow means a team changes the status of a piece of content to indicate it is ready for the next team member to do their job. These might be draft, idea, in-progress, proof, etc.
A status-based workflow requires a team to:
- Know what each status means for them and in the system.
- Remember to change the status of a post when they finish their job.
- Have an overseer who makes sure the statuses are updated.
CoSchedule uses a task-based workflow, a much more flexible method.
- Easy, obvious language lets the team know what to do each time.
- Bird’s-eye-view of what people have done and what is left to do.
- Team members informed specifically of what they need to do and when they need to do it by.
Tasks are flexible. Your team can create tasks specific to what you need to do for posts. You can set up your own timeline. It’s simple!
Summary: No more wasting time sifting and sorting through email chains to understand conversations of find the right file version.
Our Best CoSchedule Workflow Secrets
3 Content Marketing Workflow Hacks Editors Must Understand
How CoSchedule Makes Social Media Easy
Social media is easy if you have only one account. Social media is not easy if you have many accounts, different networks, different blogs…oh my.
CoSchedule brings them under one roof. One calendar, one login, one click. You can publish to all of them here.
Social Media Content That Works With Your Post
When you create social content alongside the blog post, they tend to be more related in context. This is not the time to spew out headlines-only on your social networks.
1. Posts that fit the network.
Your messages must be custom, relevant, and unique. You need to create messages that look good on each social network. CoSchedule lets you easily choose which type of message (text, image, link) to send to individual networks.
2. Posts that fit your blog posts.
It’s easy enough to spam. Anyone can automatically churn out messages that share the headline of your post repeatedly to a social account. But that gets ignored.
When you create your messages in the same place you have written your blog posts, it’s easier to make social messages that have actual content. You can copy text easily from your blog post and add to your social messages.
Summary: CoSchedule makes it easy to choose a message type perfect for the network, and to create a message perfect for the blog post it is promoting.
See How Your Social Media Fits The Big Picture
Not everything you do on social media is associated with your blog posts, but it still needs to fit in your plan. Events, campaigns, conversations, promotions–these are all important to your social media content marketing.
CoSchedule puts all of your content–blog and social–on one calendar so you can see the larger picture. You can see if your social media publishing is lopsided or properly targeted to your audience.
Summary: You can’t plan your content unless all of it is on the same calendar. This means social content and blog content need to be together, like on CoSchedule.
Create An Active Sharing Schedule
Sharing your content more than once on social media is a must. News feeds move quickly, and most of your audience doesn’t see what you’ve shared the first time.
Constantly sharing the same content, same words, same everything, however, is spam. Networks like Twitter won’t publish those kinds of messages. And readers don’t like it.
Best plan of action?
A social sharing schedule that shares the same content multiple times in different ways.
CoSchedule makes it pretty easy to schedule share your social content across all of your networks with a system that encourages custom and unique messages each time.
Summary: Spamming is easy. Spamming is ineffective. Apps with a lot of hassle drive us to choose to spam. CoSchedule makes it simple to create unique social message instead.