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).
- The Easy-to-Use Tool that Helps You Build a Breakthrough Blog
- How to Build a Successful Editorial Calendar for your Blog
- Blogging for Web Designers: Editorial Calendars and Style Guides
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.
What is CoSchedule?
CoSchedule is an editorial calendar on steroids. The company fills it as a marketing calendar, and if you’re working with a team that’s exactly what it is. For a solo blogger or business owner, though, it’s hugely useful as a:
- WordPress Editorial Calendar plugin
- Social Media calendar
- Social Media post scheduler
- Time saver
- Team collaboration tool
CoSchedule offers a free plan which gives you a helpful marketing calendar with lots of features, but I advise upgrading. (Keep reading to see why.) When you see all it can do, you’ll agree that it’s well worth the small monthly $19 charge.
How to Install and Set Up CoSchedule
#1. Install the CoSchedule Plugin
As a WordPress plugin, you download and install it like any other plugin. Start by downloading the plugin directly from the CoSchedule website.
Then log into your WordPress dashboard, click Plugins / Add New, and then upload the zipped file you got from the CoSchedule website.
#2. Set up CoSchedule
You have two choices:
- Set up a new account
- Sign in with an existing account
Click the button to choose #1. Fill in your information, then click the “Get Started Now” button.
After a few moments of processing time, you’ll see the Welcome screen.
#3. Walk Through the tutorial
Click the big blue “Next” button to start learning about CoSchedule.
The tutorial walks you through the basics you need to be able to:
- Add a post directly from the calendar
- Set up links to social media accounts and other integrations, including Twitter, Facebook, Mailchimp, and more.
- Create your first social media message from the Calendar
- Use the Calendar’s drag-and-drop to reschedule a Post and accompanying tasks
#4. View the Calendar
When you first go to the Calendar, you’ll see an overlay message at the top right corner of your screen. It shows you the most important getting started tasks, and lets you select them now.
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 CoSchedule. You can view the calendar in WordPress, or open it on the web.
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 date range currently displayed
- A create button
- An ideas button
Change the Date Range
Use the arrow keys next to the date to roll the calendar view to a specific month, or click Today to show the current date in the first column. To change the date range, select the icon as shown in the image below, and click the dropdown menu. You can choose to show from one to six weeks.
You can also apply filters to show different calendar views. Show or hide weekends, social posts, sync events, and more.
Clicking the magnifying glass on the right brings up a search bar.
Click the Create button to pop up a box where you can create a new blog post, social media post, or WordPress article.
Or select More Options to choose a task, calendar event, note, and more.
Click the Ideas button, and you’ll see a list of drafts. Click one to begin editing.
You’ll be able to see social media analytics by clicking the hamburger menu on the left, then selecting Analytics.
This is a feature only available with a paid subscription, but very well worth it in my opinion.
With ReQueue, you can select social media posts and automatically repost them on a schedule you determine. It saves you a ton of time, and automatically keeps your social media feeds fed.
#5. Need Help?
Obviously, the question mark icon 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.
Click the hamburger menu on the left, then the dropdown next to your name for a menu that includes your profile, notification preferences, billing, integrations, and more.
#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.
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?
CoSchedule is constantly updating, iterating, and adding new stuff. For example, you can use it now without a WordPress site! Use it online with any site on any platform.