This post explains why I use CoSchedule's amazing marketing and blogging calendar and how this platform helps me manage and run my blogging/freelance business.
If you're a long-time reader of my blog, you may know that I never actually started as a freelance web designer and front-end developer.
I started my journey as a blogger and this blog, Magnet4Blogging, was nothing more than an information hub.
Over the years, my goals and visions changed. Whilst having a blog with lots of useful information, I also wanted to provide website design and development services.
Anyhow, getting back to blogging, these days, because blogging and providing services take up a lot of my time, I'm left with almost no time to focus on social media, marketing, and promotion, etc.
As a family man, I have to balance my work with my life as well. And that can definitely be challenging.
Working from home as a blogger, freelancer, and content creator is great and has its perks, but it comes with plenty of hurdles.
I've lost count of the number of times my kids have come barging into my office shouting and screaming while "Daddy, can we watch a Disney film" whilst I'm halfway through writing a post or recording a podcast.
And I can't begin to tell you about the sinking guilt that I feel when I have to tell them that Daddy is too busy, but definitely later.
I'm sure you can relate to this if you're a work from home parent too, right?
Not quite, but almost. Let me begin.
A good few years back, I came to terms with the fact that I needed some kind of help organizing my blogging schedule and business. So I came up with a few options for myself.
Now, I've not had the best experiences with VA's in the past, so I didn't really want to venture down this road again. Plus, hiring a VA is very expensive.
Many moons ago, I tried a VA from overseas who almost ruined my business by faking screenshots to send to prospective clients. The experience was a very sour and bitter one that almost damaged my blog and brand's credibility.
Besides, as selfish as this might sound, I see myself as a one-man show for my blog and online businesses. I guess they call that a solopreneur these days.
After a short time researching and trialing various apps and services, I ended up signing up for a 14-day trial using CoSchedule.
It was during those 14-days that everything changed, for the better, I should say.
What is this CoSchedule I speak of?
CoSchedule is the only marketing calendar web app that you can honestly call 'All-in-one'.
With CoSchedule, you can organize and manage your blog posts, social media posts, email marketing, tasks and to-do-lists, and analytics from a single platform.
CoSchedule is used by over 30K bloggers, marketers, and businesses around the globe! Some of these include big named brands like UNICEF, Forbes, and Yamaha.
At the time of updating this post in October 2020, I've been using CoSchedule now for over two years! CoSchedule's marketing calendar is helping me in two ways -
Honestly, I could write an entire post about how my productivity and time-management has completely transformed in the last couple of years.
I don't like to exaggerate, really I don't. But, I have to say that I've gotten more things done and have become more organized using CoSchedule in the last few years than I have been able to in the previous eight years of doing business online.
That's the problem with juggling and using multiple marketing platforms. In the end, you forget where it all starts and where it all ends.
Before CoSchedule, I was using HootSuite for Twitter. And for Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn, I was scheduling content using their own platforms.
I was also using Evernote to kick-start blog posts, and all my email marketing scheduling stayed within MailChimp.
So, essentially I was spending probably a third of my time navigating and bouncing around from one platform to the next and from one tab to the next, just to get things done.
With CoSchedule, I've been able to do all of those things, and more, all from one place.
I can't begin to tell you the effect that has had on my productivity levels and motivation.
Gaining back my time has been great because I've had more time to focus on my online business areas that needed my attention.
The great thing about using CoSchedule is that I can plan content for days, weeks, months in advance.
I'm now completely hooked on using the platform. And after two years, I don't think I'll ever look at another platform or even stop using it.
OK, so I've spent half of this post glorifying how great CoSchedule has been working for me, but the real question is, how well will it work for you?
I realize that just because I love using CoSchedule and it works for my business, it doesn't mean that I think it's the ideal solution for you or anyone else reading this.
Far from it, in fact. Let me explain:
I love many things about CoSchedule, and before recently, I disliked a few things about it.
Let's start with what I love most, even though I've already praised the cr*p out of it.
I love the features, user-interface, clean layout, easy integration with my social media accounts, and my email marketing platform. Getting set up takes no time at all.
I absolutely love using the headline optimizer tool to kick start blog post ideas. And I love the awesome feature that's currently called ReQueue. This feature allows you to create and schedule your best social media messages to go out on autopilot at the best possible times.
I value the time that I've been able to get back with CoSchedule, so that's one thing I love about using the platform the most.
Another feature of CoSchedule that I have access to is the Social Analytics. This is a treasure trove as it gives you detailed insights into each of your social channel's content and engagement.
As you may know, I'm really focused on increasing engagement on my Instagram profile and growing my followers. The insights that I can pull about the types of content that work best for my audience from CoSchedule are priceless.
Disliked??? Let me explain.
When I originally wrote this post back in 2017, I disliked a few things about CoSchedule. These were -
After a year of using CoSchedule, I decided to cancel my monthly subscription because it was just far too expensive. I was paying $49 per month, which was pretty steep for bloggers and solopreneurs.
Below: Old pricing structure.
Below: New pricing structure!
That was, of course, before the company decided to completely restructure its pricing plan, thankfully.
CoSchedule (Affiliate link) actually listened to their customer's feedback about the extortionate pricing structure from what I can see. This was good news, of course, and prompted my decision to reactivate my monthly subscription.
The new prices - CoSchedule now starts from just $19.00 per month for the blog calendar (paid monthly) ($14 per month if you decide to pay annually, saving $60 per year).
The blog and marketing calendar plan will set you back $39 per month (paid monthly) ($29 per month if you decide to pay).
These new price plans are a huge improvement. They are more affordable for bloggers and marketers on a budget.
Now you've put me on the spot, and I have to be honest with you.
If you'd asked me that question before the new pricing structure came in, I would have said no. Sure, it was worth it for me, and I did try it out for a good year before deciding otherwise.
But the price it was at before almost rendered all of the valuable tools and features of CoSchedule useless, at least in my opinion.
Today I would not hesitate to say that CoSchedule is one of the best investments you can make in your online business. As far as time-management, scheduling, and remote working go, at least.
If you still think paying $30 or so per month for a blog calendar is pretty steep, you have to ask yourself a couple of questions -
Let's break down each of the questions -
Are you looking for a full suite of marketing tools or just a blog calendar without any bells and whistles? If you're just looking for a calendar and don't want to spend money using one, then scroll down to the part of this post titled; What is the alternative to using CoSchedule?
Most of the tools, features, options, etc. are fantastic like I said, I can't fault CoSchedule in that respect.
Plus, the time that I've been able to save by being in one place with my blog planning and scheduling has been amazing.
I like the new price too, but if it's still expensive for you to consider, then the least you could do before you decide is to try CoSchedule for 14-days for free. Or read a few other reviews from genuine users of the platform.
Some of the reviews talk about CoSchedule being too expensive, and some talk about the customer service or lack of it.
In this review on Suburbia Press, William Beem explains how he found the service/tool fantastic in every sense, however, he makes a point to address that the company lacked in motivation to look after their most loyal customers.
I read that review and became a little concerned, understandably. I value customer service and loyalty more than anything in a business to consumer company.
That being said, I'm happy to report that I've experienced zero customer service issues whilst using CoSchedule over the last two years. Mainly because I've never had to get in touch with them. Moreover, I would say they've listened to their loyal customers and have a new pricing structure.
Personally, I'm going to continue using CoSchedule for as long as I can. However, I know that for you or anyone else reading this post, CoSchedule might not be an affordable or effective solution, so here is one alternative option for you to consider:
First, let's take a look at the Editorial Calendar plugin.
The Editorial Calendar plugin is a simple tool that lets users create, organize, and see their scheduled blog posts.
You can do things like drag and drop posts to change scheduled dates, make quick edits to posts, manage drafts, and much more.
Sure, it's no CoSchedule calendar; however, it does pretty much the same job, minus the ability to schedule social media content, email newsletters, create marketing campaigns or track social analytics.
As for the online service MissingLettr, I began trialing this service simultaneously as I started trialing CoSchedule.
It's not a complete solution for managing your blog content and marketing, but it deals with all your social media engagement nicely. It is also a lot more cost-effective than CoSchedule.
When you sign up for MissingLettr (Affiliate link), you can add your blog feed and let the app begin calibrating your blog automatically to create pre-made marketing campaigns for each of your blog posts.
You can then review and fine-tune these campaigns in your MissingLettr dashboard before launching them.
The best thing about MissingLettr is that it does most of the work for you, not just over a few weeks, but you can create campaigns that will drip out over an entire year!
You can learn more about MissingLettr here.
Also, do check out this complete tutorial on how to use MissingLettre my good friend David Hartshorne has written over on his site BloggingWizard.
Right then, I hope you found this review post somewhat useful.
I didn't want to write yet another regular review of CoSchedule because I know it isn't for everyone, and there are enough reviews out there of the service for you to check out.
I simply wanted to write a post to tell you why I've started using CoSchedule, how it's helping me in my business and the best and cheapest alternative.
Again, if you'd like to take CoSchedule for a test-drive yourself, then feel free to use this link to signup for a 14-day free trial.
I'm enjoying using the CoSchedule marketing platform, and it perfectly fits my environment as a busy blogger, entrepreneur, and freelancer.
Whatever you decide to do, I wish you the best of luck.