In this CoSchedule review, you’ll discover how CoSchedule can help you create better content – faster. It’s a complete content calendar, with tasks and projects, a powerful social scheduling tool a la Buffer, Hootsuite, and Meet Edgar. And perhaps best of all: it’s 100% integrated with WordPress, so everything’s always right there, where you need it.
Ahhh… Content marketing and social media marketing: either you love it – or you hate it. Or somewhere in between. Me? Honestly, I can sometimes feel overwhelmed by it. Hence I always strive to simplify it as much as possible. I even made it a challenge and shared the journey.
Truth is, I’m not a social media marketing genius. I need some hand-holding and structure. And I need to systematize and automate my social media marketing as much as possible.
Take for example promotion of my own content. I have the best intentions to share it relentlessly – but rarely remember to do so. Once a post’s been published, I’m onto new stuff – and forget promoting my existing content.
CoSchedule helps with that in two ways:
Before publishing your post, you can create and schedule all social shares for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, directly inside your WordPress content editor. It becomes a natural part of your content creation workflow.
It’s also a better solution than Buffer and Hootsuite. They aren’t integrated with WordPress like CoSchedule is. Hence enabling you to automatically share your post the moment it’s published. Buffer and Hootsuite would have to do it via your RSS feed.
After your post has been published, CoSchedule’s smart ReQueue feature, intelligently fills gaps in your social sharing calendar, with previous shares you’ve marked as ReQueue-able (so time-specific posts aren’t reshared). Very useful! For me, it means my social profiles don’t die whenever I’m in content creation mode for several days, which often makes me forget social media altogether.
How CoSchedule works its magic
In CoSchedule, everything revolves around your content. Social shares are connected to the content you’re working on. Likewise, tasks are connected to the content you’re working on. Consider each content piece a little mini-project, holding its tasks and social shares.
Attach notes & tasks to posts & pages
Adding tasks to content you’ve already published is wonderful too when updating old posts. Simply add the tasks and schedule them for whenever you have time to do the updates.
A focused workflow for content creators
Content creation often follows a specific workflow. In simple terms, when creating a video, you first plan its content, then you shoot the footage, then edit it, then add effects, grading, titles, etc. Then you upload the video.
To simplify your life as a content creator, CoSchedule has a feature called Task Templates.
Task templates in CoSchedule are a huge time-saver.
As an example, you can have one named “Review blog post” and add all the needed tasks to it. When you’re about to start writing your next review, simply apply your “Review blog post” task template, and bam: all the tasks are added to your post/project.
This is great – not just for the sake of speed, but for consistency and making sure everything that needs to be done gets done. A checklist, so to speak.
Task templates also help you refine your content creation workflow, as you improve it from post to post, ending up with a task template that fits your workflow perfectly.
CoSchedule helps you plan realistically
Having all your tasks visible in the calendar helps you plan realistically. You’ll be keenly aware of everything you have on your plate.
Still, that’ll result in quite a few tasks on your content calendar, right? Just 1 weekly post with 10 corresponding tasks = 40 tasks in the Month view.
Have no fear! CoSchedule’s calendar has powerful filtering options.
And best of all: CoSchedule lets you SAVE your filters. Trello, one of the world’s most popular task/project management apps doesn’t let you save filters/searches – something I’ve missed a lot when using Trello.
Relative due dates = easy rescheduling
In most task management apps (like f.e. Todoist or Asana) rescheduling a post (parent task) would mean manually rescheduling all 10 tasks.
Fortunately, that’s not the scenario with CoSchedule!
In CoSchedule, task due dates are relative to their parent project – i.e. the content piece. That’s truly AMAZING – and something SO frickin’ many task/project management apps get totally wrong.
In CoSchedule, instead of “hard” due dates like Wednesday 25th, you specify X number of days the task needs to be done before the content piece is planned published.
This means that tasks move along as you move the main content piece in the calendar. That’s smart – and the way it should be.
Why? Because you can easily move the main project/post to another day further out into the future – or even off the calendar (to the Drafts folder/sidebar) for future rescheduling.
Another thing I like about CoSchedule’s tasks is that they’re visible in WordPress’ post editor. They’re right there where you need them. And when you get an idea for a post for a rough draft you’re working on, you can add a task to it, and be 100% sure you see it, next time you’re ready to work on that task. Brilliant!
Integrations – more than WordPress
In addition to its 100% integration with WordPress, CoSchedule also integrates neatly with:
- Google Docs
- Google Analytics
- Email Marketing (Mailchimp, Campaign Monitor, Constant Contact)
- Google Calendar
- + all your favorite social platforms: Twitter, Facebook (Profiles, Pages & Groups), Linkedin (Profile & Pages), Pinterest, Instagram, Google+
There’s also a Chrome Extension for easy sharing of sites you come across while surfing the web. I hope they’ll do similar extensions for Safari and Firefox too.
The CoSchedule Headline Analyzer
To help you write catchy, click-worthy headlines, CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer is built right into CoSchedule’s WordPress plugin, so it’s always there, right where you need it: in your WordPress post editor.
While I was a bit lukewarm/skeptical about it in my CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer review, I do find it convenient to have at my fingertips, inside WordPress. Used as a rough guide, it’s a helpful tool.
CoSchedule vs… Who?
To my mind, there aren’t any direct CoSchedule competitors. There are some, like AgoraPulse, and there are a few content calendars out there, but none are as complete – yet simple – and tightly integrated with WordPress.
In spite of that, there are a few competitors we have to consider:
Social-sharing-wise, CoSchedule, Hootsuite, and Buffer are all quite equal. All three have apps for your smartphone and extensions for your desktop browser.
CoSchedule vs Hootsuite
Hootsuite does have the added benefit of being useful for keeping track of your mentions across social channels, particularly Twitter. Hootsuite’s busy UI has always made it impossible for me to love, though. And then there’s their everything-costs-extra billing scheme. Want a full analytics report? Pay up some more!
CoSchedule vs Buffer
What Hootsuite lacks in looks, Buffer has aplenty. It looks amazing. Even better than CoSchedule. If Buffer was a horse though, it would be a special kind of pony. A one-trick kind of pony.
I’m all for simplicity, and CoSchedule lets me accomplish more, by being featureful – without excessive bloat.
Personally, I use Buffer in combination with CoSchedule, as CoSchedule f.e. relies on Buffer for its Instagram-scheduling. At times I’ve considered using just Buffer – but with CoSchedule’s stronger feature set, CoSchedule makes more sense than Buffer (also when factoring in the cost).
Meet Edgar vs CoSchedule
Another of CoSchedule’s competitors is Meet Edgar.
Don’t know Edgar? He’s a SaaSsy dude who’ll help you schedule social shares – and automatically reshare it on autopilot.
Edgar is a fine chap, but CoSchedule’s smart ReQueue feature does what Meet Edgar does. On top of that, CoSchedule does a lot more, making it the more complete package.
CoSchedule is a more feature-rich tool than Meet Edgar – without doing too much.
Anything I’m not pleased with?
Yes. There are some aspects of CoSchedule that keeps me from digging it 100%. The UI suffers from what I’ve coined The Curse of Low Contrast. It’s SO full of light gray text on white background. And legibility isn’t helped by the relatively small, light type used.
The popup in which you create a social share is also frustratingly a tad too tall for it to fit on a 15″ monitor. Hence you need to scroll a couple of hundred pixels or so, to get to the “publish” button. When that box could easily be twice as wide, and neatly fit all content within view – it’s simply poor UI/UX design!
Another nuisance is that CoSchedule’s Chrome extension refuses to work in Chromium-based browsers such as Vivaldi (which I am using). There’s no reason for that browser to be blacklisted – CoSchedule should just drop that needless browser-sniffing, and let me use CoSchedule in Vivaldi (it is Chrome, guys!)
Besides that, there are not many issues I can think of when it comes to CoSchedule. It’s become a part of my website and blogging workflow. If anything, I’d like the tasks to be viewable and editable in the iOS app. But that would require CoSchedule to create what’s essentially a task management iOS app, which isn’t something I’d expect them to take on. It would be a major undertaking, and most of us content creators are working on our laptops anyway.
Verdict on CoSchedule
CoSchedule’s strongest feature vs its competitors, is its deep integration with WordPress. You can attach tasks to WordPress posts, which in and of itself is very handy. But what’s even more cool is that if you reschedule the post’s publication date, the tasks with due dates will also be rescheduled in the calendar. Because you can see the tasks in the calendar, you can much easier discover – and resolve – production bottlenecks, in case you’ve put too much on your plate:)
If CoSchedule was a publically traded company, I’d seriously consider investing! I believe they’re on the right track and truly get how content creators like you and me work – and more importantly: thrive, while we work.
Since they’re not on listed on NASDAQ – the best way to invest is by putting it to work for you and your business. CoSchedule’s a tool that can potentially boost your content creation productivity quite a lot. Give it a try! There’s a 14-day free trial.
Finally, I’d like to know: which content calendars YOU have tried? Which one are you using now? And if none: how do you plan your content calendar?