So, I met this guy online named Nathan . . .
Joey V. here. I’m just gonna say it. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from starting my own company, it’s this: marketing can suck.
Trying to do the marketing all on your own can be draining. It can be a time-sucker. It can be a fun-sucker.
Fun fact: I’m good friends with Jamie Lee Curtis’s dopplegänger.
A month ago, I decided to put 100% of my energy into making my law firm the best it can possibly be. According to the internet, that meant I’d need a great marketing strategy.
I did some research. Which turned into a lot of research. I learned that a “marketing calendar” (or “editorial calendar”) is a great way to plan and organize things like blog posts and seasonal social media campaigns.
Sounded easy enough. But then I tried putting one together. And failed. Miserably.
Spreadsheets and my Google calendar didn’t really allow for the flexibility I wanted. What if I had to delay a post or wanted to change some things? How complex did this setup have to be? When is the best time to post things on social media? How often should I be publishing things? What should my captions say?
So, I read some more blog posts. And even some books. But they just complicated everything even more.
I needed some direction on this marketing monster. Something simple enough that one person could manage and oversee it. Something that I could change easily as I experimented with things. Something like an instruction manual that was to the point and actionable.
Then I found this.
Um, yes please.
I leaned in a bit closer to my computer screen and scrolled down to see what this Nathan guy had to say.
Yes! You’re preaching to the choir, Nathan!
I know, Nathan! That’s why I just want one great source to tell me what to do.
And so I read through Nathan’s blog post.
It didn’t disappoint. You can—and should—read the full post here. Here’s a summary of Nathan’s main points, but keep in mind it’s the actionable advice within each point that makes this post so darn helpful.
- Turn Your Marketing Strategy Into Real Content You’ll Create
- Understand Who’ll Do What (even if you’re flying solo)
- Define Your Topic Themes
- Prioritize Your Marketing Projects
- Plan Your Content on Your Marketing Calendar
I said to myself: “This post is great because it’s streamlined. It has built-in to-do lists. It breaks things down into parts. It’s actionable.” I’m not kidding, that was the word I said in my head.
So, I looked through the CoSchedule website that Nathan’s blog post was on. And I saw this recent blog post:
This is exactly what I was looking for!
Ever since, I’ve been a regular listener to their “Actionable Content Marketing” podcast.
And I’ve fallen in love with their product, CoSchedule.
What is CoSchedule?
CoSchedule is an all-in-one marketing calendar for your blogging and social media needs. It’s a drag and drop calendar, which makes it insanely easy to adjust things when you need to push back deadlines or change your strategy. It allows you to automate when and how your blog and social media posts will be published, which saves a bunch of time. CoSchedule even has helpful analytics built in. And the best part—it’s all in one web app.
Here. Just watch this video.
How does CoSchedule work?
I won’t get into the weeds, but here are my three favorite features.
Feature #1: The calendar
This calendar view is where I spend most of my time. It allows you to map out when you’ll publish posts on your blog and social media platforms.
Feature #2: The social queue
The social queue is where the real magic happens.
Let me ask you a question. After you’ve put the finishing touches on a blog post that you’re super proud of, how often do you share that post on social media?
Once? For most people and small businesses, it’s just once. But it shouldn’t be just once.
If you’ve created a blog post that is truly valuable and interesting, then you owe it to your audience to make sure they see it. If you only share it once on each platform, there’s a strong likelihood that someone missed it. And, as your audience grows, new readers will be missing out on that great content.
And here comes CoSchedule to the rescue with it’s social queue. It’s so simple. Just add the link to your blog post, and the CoSchedule page will create a campaign for you that you can customize. This way, you can re-share your post days, weeks, months, etc., after you first published it. If you want, CoSchedule will even pick the best time of the day to share your post to optimize your chances of engagement.
Feature #3: The headline analyzer
This free tool from CoSchedule is fantastic. Use their Headline Analyzer to make sure your blog post title is engaging. As you can see, I had some trouble trying to get a higher rating for this blog post. (If you have any ideas on improving it, I’m all ears!)
How do I use CoSchedule?
I probably use CoSchedule in a different way than their typical user does. A big difference is that I am doing all of the marketing on my own . . . for now. There are a bunch of team-based features that I haven’t taken advantage of yet. For example, you can create task lists on CoSchedule, assign those tasks to various team members, and monitor team’s progress. I experimented with the task lists. They work great, but I’ve stopped using them since I already have another productivity tool that tracks my marketing tasks.
CoSchedule is built to integrate seamlessly with WordPress, but I use Squarespace. So, I haven’t been able to test that integration out.
In fact, I don’t use most of the integrations that CoSchedule has available. For instance, CoSchedule allows you to draft and edit blog posts through CoSchedule itself or integrate with Google Docs or Evernote. I’ve found it’s just easier for me to draft my blog posts on Squarespace directly.
Here’s a tip about the social queue and setting up social campaigns. If you plan on sharing the same post less than a week later, add more images to your blog post. That way, your timelines and feeds won’t look as repetitive if you use that channel mostly for promoting your blog posts.
Try it out yourself!
When it comes to the marketing side of your business, CoSchedule has become my #1 tool. It’s an insanely helpful product. It’s easy to use. And the CoSchedule team is serious about serving their users as best as they possibly can. (Looking at you, Brandon!).
Full disclosure: This blog post includes referral links to CoSchedule. But I wouldn’t write this if I didn’t recommend it.
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