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As bloggers, we are busy, crazy busy sometimes. We have so many needs to juggle. One way to keep your blog running smoothly and keep your sanity is to use an editorial calendar.
Planning your blog post ideas ahead of time makes things so much easier when you have time to sit and write. Then there is social media sharing, keeping up with that can be a real beast in itself! This is where I had been struggling for some time.
You know what I mean, don’t you? Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest are so important when it comes to growing a successful blog, but they can also suck so much of your time.
You need to plan your posts, write your posts and then share that post on all of your social media platforms.
But do you know what the best time of day to share your posts is? Do you know that if you share your post only once you are missing a huge amount of traffic potential?
In the past, I’ve used Google Calendar as a blogging and social media calendar. It can work, but to tell you the truth I struggled with it.
Planning out my blog posts and social media posts in Google Calendar and then entering the social media posts by hand to schedule into Facebook, Buffer, TweetDeck etc. was taking so much of my time and not getting the job done well.
All of this has changed for me, are you wondering why?
I’ve started using CoSchedule to help me plan out my blog posts and social media posts. The difference has been amazing!
Using CoSchedule For Your Editorial Calendar
Now CoSchedule isn’t new, it’s been around for some time and considered an awesome resource in the blogging world. I’ll be honest here and say I looked at CoSchedule so many times over the years, it looked amazing. Still, for some reason I didn’t try it out, that is until a friend started using it and told me just how much time it saved her.
I decided to try CoSchedule and I’m so glad that I did!
CoSchedule has many features that I love but one of my favourites is their social campaigns. Social campaigns are groups of social media messages that will be sent out over a set period of time.
You can start a new social campaign right from your CoSchedule calendar or if you’re using WordPress to run your blog you can install their plugin and build your social campaign from your blog post editor.
When you have finished writing your blog post just scroll down to the bottom of your window and you’ll find the extra fields added by the CoSchedule plugin.
Here you can click on the day button and select what social media you want your new post to go to and then type in your message. If that was it, it would be a huge time saver but there is an easier way.
With CoSchedule you can create social templates. With these, you create a template of how often you want your messages to go out and what social media platform they are to go to. You can select a fixed time or let CoSchedule decide the best time on that day to send it.
CoSchedule takes this idea one step further with their helper’s feature. You can create social helpers, these are like tags that are placeholders for information.
By default, there are helper fields for the post title and permalink but you can create social helpers for headers, social titles, questions, quotes, tags and the options are endless.
One of my social templates I’ve have added 4 tweet helpers., 3 Facebook helpers, a Pinterest helper, quotes, questions and also a few for Google+.
Once you have created these helpers you start to plan out what days you want your new social media posts to go out on.
To do this you click on the grey button for the day you want to add a post, select what social media platform you want to send it to and then use the drop menu to select what social helper tags you want to include.
There are even social helpers for images. This is a great option so that when you share your post multiple times it doesn’t look like the image your followers have already seen. They can be infographics, quote images, etc.
You can build you social media campaign out as far as you would like. You could plan for a week, 2 weeks, a month or an entire year if you like.
Once you have created your first social media template and helpers it’s very easy to use. Under your post, you click on the social templates and select the one you want to use.
Then you fill in the fields for your social helpers. After you apply it all of your social media posts are pre-populated and ready to go when your post is published.
Isn’t that cool? It takes me about 10 to 15 minutes to fill in the helper information and make sure everything is the way I want it and then I have months worth of social shares for that post all ready to go.
I can’t begin to tell you how many hours of work CoSchedule has already saved me! My only regret is that I waited so long to try it out.
The calendar above is a peek at the social media posts I have prescheduled for November. The fun thing is that’s just the beginning. The posts I’ve added social templates too so far are all scheduled out for sharing through January and it has saved me so much time already.
Would you like to try CoSchedule and see if it’s the right fit for your blogging calendar? Click here to try CoSchedule for free!
Kim Mills is a homeschooling mom of 6 and lives on an urban homestead in Ontario, Canada. Blogging at Homestead Acres she enjoys sharing tips to help you save money, grow and preserve your own food.