Content creation overload
We knew when we started planning our RV journey that we wanted write about it. We had already started Getaway Couple to encourage others to use their vacation days to travel while working their 9-5 like we did. However, it was a hobby at the time so we didn't put too much time into it. When we started researching the RV lifestyle, we noticed there wasn’t a lot of helpful content out there for newbies. That's when we decided Getaway Couple would be a resource for other RV newbies behind us on this journey.
I am one of those people that always has a million ideas going through my head, so we are never in the position of not having content ideas. Literally, anything we do generates a couple of ideas that are added to a never-ending list of content to create. The problem I have is choosing which to focus on. Which content is going to generate the most views, likes, pins and be beneficial for our audience? Being a millennial, like many in my generation, I also lack patience. I constantly overload my schedule with grand goals of creating 5 blogs posts a week and they turn out to be rushed and mediocre (not this article, of course). I also struggle with “shiny toy” syndrome and catch myself looking to the next article before I finish the one I’m working on. This has left me with 12 drafts in WordPress and 0 completed articles in a given week.
Social media overload
I suck at social media. My job in cybersecurity has made me a little paranoid about posting personal things on the internet. One of my first cybersecurity classes showed us how to guess people’s passwords based on something as simple as a dog name and a child's birthday, both readily available on social media. I am also a shy introvert which doesn’t help the cause of putting your life on display. If it wasn't for Rae we wouldn't have a social media following at all. Since it has been something that I have avoided over the years it’s incredibly difficult for me to remember to post on all the different social media platforms when we publish content. After we upload a video to YouTube or publish a blog post we need to post on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram Stories, Google+, and Pinterest. Since we post 3 videos a week and 2 blogs a week that turns into a lot of social media posts. We would also like to repost evergreen content every few months after it goes live and we were trying to track those dates in a spreadsheet (unsuccessfully). The more content we created, the more work we were creating for ourselves which means NOT creating new content.
CoSchedule to the rescue
CoSchedule solved both of these problems. We first heard of CoSchedule on the Podcast called Smart Passive Income (it's great if you don't listen to it). My first thoughts when checking out the tool was “damn, too expensive” with an entry-level price of $50/month. It had a free trial though and I liked the way it looked so I talked Rae into testing it out for a week. That is all it took to convince me that it is worth the steep (for a new blogger) price. It now saves both Rae and I countless hours of work each week.. I wouldn’t be able to pay someone less than $50/month to have them do it all manually. So, what exactly can it do that makes it so valuable to us?
The content calendar is the core focus of CoSchedule. On the face of it, it looks no different than a free Google calendar. That works for me since it's familiar and easy to navigate. Its true power lies in its integrations though. I am able to quickly move scheduled blog posts around the calendar and with its WordPress integration, it changes the scheduled dates on my posts. Nice! It also lets me see the current drafts we have on our WordPress site so we can fit those into the calendar without switching back and forth. I can start a blog post in Evernote then convert it to WordPress all in the CoSchedule app.
The blogger level has three “types” of content that you can add to the calendar; blog post, social campaign, and e-mail marketing. We use the e-mail marketing type to schedule our weekly newsletter on the calendar. It integrates with MailChimp, our current mail provider, and allows us to make modifications to our campaign dates. Sweet! We use the social campaign option to schedule our YouTube video content. It is not integrated so we need to actually schedule the publish date of the videos on YouTube but it works for now. It still allows us to schedule social media posts for the video too!
Social media templates and auto posting
Social Media Templates are the biggest time saver! The templates you can create make up for hours and hours spent on creating social media posts across all of your platforms. After you spend the time setting up a template with the dates, times, images, and text placeholders you're good to go for any future social campaigns. You simply apply the applicable text and pictures to your template and it schedules multiple posts for all your social media platforms. Here is an example with our blog post template: I create 3 images in 1200×628 pixels, 3 images in 600×900 pixels, and 3 headlines and apply them to the placeholders setup in my blog template. The template already has 3 Facebook posts, 3 Google+ posts, 9 Twitter posts, and 9 Pinterest Posts set-up on different days after the post goes live.
These posts will “auto-fill” when I upload my pictures and add my text to the placeholders. The posts will then automatically publish to my social media feeds on the pre-scheduled dates. THIS SAVES SO MUCH TIME EVERY SINGLE DAY! I am able to set-up and schedule 24 posts in the time and effort it would take to do 6 posts. There is another feature of this tool that I think is one of the main reasons CoSchedule beats every other content calendar/social media manager out there.
If it wasn't for the ReQueue feature, I don't think I would have even tested out the trial. ReQueue is the ability to have CoSchedule automatically fill-in gaps in your social media calendar with old content. This works especially well if you create a lot of evergreen content like we do. Why shouldn't you remind your following about your article you wrote last year if it is still relevant today? We have not fully implemented our ReQueue yet but that is a fault of our own rather than CoSchedule. The make it really easy to add content. You can even look at their analytics page and add your best performing posts to your ReQueue. This will save you so much time down the road and continuously point your audience to your best articles no matter when you wrote them.
Organize All Your Blog + Social + Email Promotion in ONE Place
Eliminate the endless email threads, piles of sticky notes, and the dozen moving pieces when it comes to social media. Focus on the real work of writing top-notch content AND growing your audience.