Managing your content on WordPress is an important part of your website’s success. Whether you publish posts three times in a week or three times in a month, planning ahead is always good practice so you can set goals for yourself and your blog.
A great way to schedule your posts ahead of time within WordPress is a plug-in called CoSchedule. This plug-in allows you to view your blog post schedule in a month-view calendar, making it visually compelling and easy to use.
The appeal of CoSchedule, in addition to scheduling blog posts, is its ability to link these posts with your social media updates.
Upon installing the plugin, you’re going to see a Calendar section on the left pane. Click on this to go to the CoSchedule calendar.
If you haven’t set up a CoSchedule account yet, a welcome page would prompt you do that first before you can proceed. CoSchedule is free to try for 14 days, after which you can avail of the service for $10/month.
When you get to the Calendar, you can click on a date you wish to schedule a post. A new option box should let you choose whether to create new post (blog post) or a new message (social media post). Ideally, the first option should be your choice, since you do need to create a blog post first before you can schedule a social media post.
On the next window, you’ll be asked to type a headline for the post, a schedule date, a category and an author. On the very bottom, there’s a drop-down list of whether to set the post status to Draft, Pending Review or Scheduled. Click on “Add Post” when you’re done.
The post will then appear on your Posts page, with the post status you have set earlier.
There are two ways to link posts to a social media profile: from the CoSchedule calendar, or by editing the post itself.
Before you can add social media posts to a scheduled blog post, you need to set up your social media accounts first. You do this by going to Settings>Social Profiles and choosing which profiles you want to add.
If you want to schedule social media posts within the CoSchedule calendar, click on a scheduled blog post again and you should get the Edit Blog Post window. The original settings you made would be found here, and down the bottom is a place where you can “Create Your First Message”, which refers to creating a social media post that is linked to the scheduled blog post.
Here you can click on one or more social profiles, and add what you want to post including the blog post link. A preview of the message will appear below.
Two standout features would be the scheduling options available for social media posts. You can schedule the posts to be shared on social media the same day and time that the blog post is published, or set a future date.
If you want to add a social media post during or after writing a blog post, you can find this function below your post, under the CoSchedule section.
CoSchedule allows integrations with Bit.ly, Google Analytics and Google Calendar. To access this feature, go to the Coschedule Settings, and click on Integration.
Additionally, social profiles can also connect with a Buffer account, provided that both accounts match. Go to Settings>Social Profiles and, under Connected Profiles, click on the “Connect to Buffer” button beside a profile.
There is also a My Team feature that you can use if you manage your blog with an editorial team. Go to Calendar>My Team to add team members using their email address. A new team member would need to confirm his email before he can use the service.
You would also need to assign specific roles to new members. Roles can be Admin, Editor, Author and Contributor. A list of restrictions for each role is specified on this same page.
Once team members are added, you can then assign scheduled blog posts to them or use the Add Tasks feature along with scheduling blog posts. Tasks can be assigned to anyone on the team, and it can be added work related to a post, such as proofreading or editing.
What drew me in to CoSchedule, in addition to its lovely UI and awesome functionality, is how easy it was to figure out how it works. For a mundane task like scheduling blog posts, this plug-in makes it interesting and fun.
Most of all, the value of this service is the amount of time you save in promoting new blog posts on social media. This plug-in takes care of that for you right from the start, so you can sit back and relax long after you hit the “Publish” button.
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