Running a website means you’re in the publishing business.
And if you’re in publishing, you should have an Editorial Calendar. As Copyblogger says, “An editorial calendar is just a fancy name for a pubishing schedule.”
The editorial calendar is where you plan your WordPress content in the upcoming days, weeks or even months. If you have a team, you assign tasks to individuals based on your editorial calendar.
Want to learn more about editorial calendars? Here are a few good overviews of what an editorial calendar is (and isn’t).
I started blogging in 2009. I’ve experimented with several different editorial calendars — I created spreadsheets, I used online calendars, I tried to adapt editorial calendars created by others. I tried a couple different WordPress editorial calendar plugins
None of them worked well for me.
The reason? I didn’t find a single place where I could plan and track what I published on my website and what I published on social media.
I wanted a single tool that would help me track and plan both my editorial and my social media content. Apparently, that was too much to ask. . .
Until CoSchedule came along.
Warning: If I sound like a raving fan, it’s because I am. But in the interests of full disclosure, I also need to tell you that they offer a 50% discount to any user who writes a review. I would have written it anyway, because I believe CoSchedule can help you — whether you’re a solopreneur like me, or a company with a team — to greater success when you use their tool.
What is CoSchedule?
CoSchedule is a:
- WordPress Editorial Calendar plugin
- Social Media calendar
- Social Media post scheduler
- Time saver
CoSchedule is not free, although you can start with a two-week free trial (and ask for an extension if you need it). When you see all it can do, you’ll agree that it’s well worth the small monthly charge.
How to Install and Set Up CoSchedule
#1. Install the CoSchedule Plugin
You don’t need to provide a credit card during the trial period.
#2. Set up CoSchedule
You have three choices:
- Set up a new account
- Sign in with an existing account
- Read a help article on how to use CoSchedule with more than one site
Click the button to choose #1. Fill in your information, then click “Start your 14 day free trial.”
After a few moments of processing time, you’ll see the Welcome screen.
#3. Walk Through the tutorial
Click the big blue button to start learning about CoSchedule.
The tutorial walks you through the process of
- Adding a post directly from the calendar
- Setting up links to social media accounts, includingTwitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumblr and Google Plus
- Creating your first social media message from the Calendar
- Using the Calendar’s drag-and-drop to reschedule a Post
#4. Double check your WordPress Time Zone
When you first go to the Calendar, you’ll see a message at the top of your screen asking you to verify the time zone. If it’s incorrect, click the “No, Help me change it” button to have CoSchedule walk you through the process. If it’s right, just click “Yes, it’s correct.”
Congratulations, you’re all set up and ready to go!
Parts of the CoSchedule Calendar
#1. Dashboard Menu
Look on the left-hand side of your screen. You’ll notice a new menu item on your Dashboard, called Calendar.
Click to expand. Choices include:
- My Activity
- My Team
- Need Help?
- Open in Web App
At first, your calendar will look bare.
After you’ve been using CoSchedule for a while, though, it fills right up.
Look across the top of the Calendar. You’ll see:
- The name of your WordPress site
- The date range currently displayed
- A gold star
- A search icon
- An edit icon
Change the Date Range
Use the arrow keys next to the date to roll the calendar view forward (right) or back (left). To pick an entirely different month, use the down arrow next to the date to select from a popup menu.
Get Credit for Sharing
Click the star for information about how to reduce your cost by sharing.
Clicking the magnifying glass on the right brings up a search bar.
Click the pencil icon on the far right to pop up a box where you can create a new blog post or a new social media post.
Change your Calendar View
You can change your calendar view by using the filters available.
Click on the grid in the upper left corner, just below your site name. A flyout opens up.
Next to Status, you can select All, to see published and draft posts, pubished, scheduled, draft, and pending review.
You can choose to see posts by All Authors or by Categories
If you want to see only social media posts, choose which social profiles you want to view.
See a List of Unpublished Posts
Hover your mouse anywhere near the right side of the screen. A flyout opens up, showing a list of your draft posts. Click on any one to begin editing.
#3. My Activity
Click this link on the dashboard, and a new view opens. It shows you:
- Upcoming Posts
- Top Posts
I particularly like the Top Posts area. It shows your most-shared posts, in descending order. Click on one, and it shows details of the post and where it was shared. Want to share it again? Click the New Message button to open the new post menu.
#4. My Teams
If you’re not part of a team, this page will show information about you, a form where you can invite a new user to the team, and a chart showing team members’ roles.
#5. My Settings
Go here to change your time zone, change your email address or password, and choose colors and calendar preferences.
#6. Need Help?
Obviously, this links you to a help page. One of the neat things about CoSchedule is, if you ask a help question, you do it from within the plugin.
That’s where you get your answer, too — inside the plugin. You can also receive it via email.
#7. Open in Web App
When you click this link on the Dashboard menu, a new browser tab or window opens, with all your CoSchedule information available to you, just like inside the plugin. One addition here — on the left-hand side, you have an option to Connect a Blog.
Once you know where everything’s located, learning to use CoSchedule is pretty intuitive. If you need help, though, it’s readily available through the support documents and help messaging system.
Have you tried CoSchedule? What do you think?
Update! Since this review was originally published, CoSchedule has added more functionality, more integrations, more tools, more everything. They’ve also increased the base price to $15/month for a single license.
If you want to take advantage of some of the more advanced features, like the Marketing Calendar, you’ll need to upgrade to a more robust plan.
CoSchedule is constantly updating, iterating, and adding new stuff. Their latest announcement is that you can use it now without a WordPress site! Use it online with any site on any platform.