Do marketing calendars make for more productive blogging?

After getting properly schooled by Kitty Lusby on how a pro-blogger works, I began to read a few more articles on the topic. I’ve never professionally blogged, but I’ve definitely been blogging since the early days of WordPress (I think I started around 2004). And I firmly realize that an old dog can always learn new tricks; I’ve also gotten the sense that my current method of randomly sharing to the Internet has no logic or reason. And that’s not how the Internet pros do their work these days. So I’ve been inspired by the concept of an “editorial calendar” /  “marketing calendar” / “content calendar” and realizing that I could grow up a bit if I gave it all a go.

I’m currently trying out CoSchedule — which I wanted to compare with HootSuite and Buffer because I always love an alternative to what’s mainstream for tools out there. And given all the Google ads out there that advertise marketing calendar solutions, I accidentally signed up for a few wrong ones to get started. So my commitment to CoSchedule’s honest marketing made me into a believer without even going deep into it.

What I want is something that uses the metaphor of a calendar, and CoSchedule seemed to give me just that and nothing else. So I set myself up on it to see how it all works. It was a bit confusing — like anything new — but I got the gist of it. I liked how it kept assuring me that it wasn’t going to auto-spam onto all my various channels as I gave away all my credentials to it.

I dunno if this is all going to work starting tomorrow, or even through the week. I can’t wait to see what happens!

What’s working well with CoSchedule? As a system it sort of makes sense to me, and it has a high affinity with WordPress — which is a plus. There are clearly all kinds of complexities inherent to 3rd party social media systems that make it hard for CoSchedule’s to integrate them all natively. That’s extremely hard to design around I know, but they’re clearly doing what they can.

What isn’t working well? I wanted it to work well with YouTube — unfortunately it uses a Zapier integration instead of a built-in one. So it’s not perfect. But it seems fine for my own uses right now. And their integration method with Instagram didn’t make 100% sense to me because it asked me to download their mobile app, but I need another mobile app like I need a _____ <insert dark metaphor>.

Why don’t I just use HootSuite or Buffer? I dunno. I tend to like the dark horse, and CoSchedule feels v dark horse-y to me. And Percolate is too expensive and powerful for my needs — although I know it’s super amazing.

What are my hopes for this service? Well, I’d like to have a purpose-built tool to ensure that I keep up a regular pace of shares on my various channels because I tend to forget about them all the time. I’ve used MailChimp on and off for the past five years and it hasn’t been top of mind for me — so I’m hoping that I can connect the dots between all my multimedia efforts in a way I haven’t yet tried to do so before.

I guess the alternative would have been to hire a social media person to help me, but I believe in the power of design and good computational systems — and I’m crossing my fingers that this is the service that can help me. Otherwise I guess I’ll go back to my patent “randomized manual mode” like I’ve done in the past. Let’s see what happens!

—JM

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