Promoting Blog Posts Made Easy: Why We Love CoSchedule

If you understand the importance of promoting blog posts, consider transitioning to CoSchedule.

If you’re reading our blog, I’m going to assume you either work with content regularly or you’re trying to learn everything you can about writing and promoting blog posts. I’ll be completely honest with you: Before I started working in the world of content marketing, I actually thought that working social media would be an easy job. I’d been using Twitter, Facebook, and other social media applications for years. Scheduling posts, communicating with followers, and sharing quality content simply couldn’t be difficult. Oh, how naive I once was.

If you think being a social media manager is easy, you’re not considering all the work that goes into promoting blog posts and sharing quality content with your followers. Do you remember the social media formulas we use for each and every article we write? I’ll give you a quick update (though, be sure to head over there and read the entire post if you haven’t yet). Each time we write a post, we also create dozens of carefully crafted Tweets and Facebook posts to optimize our content. Not only do we need to choose the right words to share, we also then need to schedule the content to post days, weeks, months, even a year into the future.

Let me explain my previous process:

  1. Write a post in WordPress
  2. After the post is scheduled, write the Tweets and Facebook posts in a separate Google document.
  3. Copy and paste the Tweets and posts from the document into Hootsuite, and then schedule the date and time for each social share into the future.

This process meant I always had three open tabs to keep clicking back and forth between when writing and promoting blog content. This is by no means a life-ending problem, but it did mean I was spending a significant amount of my work time completing what should be a relatively simple process.

And then CoSchedule came into my life, and everything changed.

When we decided to test drive the CoSchedule plugin for WordPress, we started by just using it on BuzzFarmers and Napa’s Daily Growl. It was immediately evident how the CoSchedule plugin was streamlining our processes, making our job easier, and we quickly began to recommend it to our clients, as well. It saves me hours of time a week completing tasks associated with promoting the blog posts I’ve spent so long writing.

How CoSchedule Helps with Promoting Blog Posts

1. In-line scheduling, so you don’ t have to keep switching tabs.

Remember how I originally had three pages I needed to toggle between? That need has completely disappeared. Not only does CoSchedule work as an editorial calendar where you can view scheduled posts, it also works as your stand alone social media scheduler. This all happens all in one place, folks. I don’t need to open multiple tabs or log in to three different accounts.

This is my biggest selling point. I can now schedule Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. posts while I’m still writing. If I happen to write a witty sentence that would fit in with our social media formulas, I just have to copy it and schedule it below the post in the CoSchedule plugin. It’s then ready to share on whatever day I scheduled it. Voila!

2. Smart scheduling in one click so you can save SO MUCH time.

I also love that you can schedule posts by time and date via CoSchedule. Since this is something I relied heavily on in Hootsuite, it’s so nice to have the same options in CoSchedule. Even more, CoSchedule offers easy scheduling. You can say you want the social post to go out between 8am-12pm, 12pm-3pm or 3pm-10pm. This way you can schedule a Tweet to go out from four accounts, and they’ll all go out at different times; CoSchedule determines when the best time will be for each account. Awesome.

There’s something you should know, though – you can do this even if the post has yet to be published. And if the publish date changes, the scheduled Tweets change with them.

We have a process at BuzzFarmers where we write, and then another managing editor will edit our posts (and social media content) before we schedule or send the content to a client. By being able to schedule the social media posts before sending them to our editor, there’s no more follow up on our part. The social media posts and the blog is ready, and nothing else needs to be completed.

3. Easy linking, so you don’t need to use any other service (although hooks up to it!)

CoSchedule builds in a shortened permalink for each social media share. Now, the process of getting a shortened link isn’t difficult, but in my old way of working, I’d need to go to a separate website to get a shortlink and then copy and paste it dozens of times into my Google doc before even scheduling the posts in Hootsuite.

I no longer have to worry about the getting and copying shortlinks. Each time you schedule any social media posts, the permalink is already built in to each Tweet. CoSchedule is built to make the life of a managing editor who worries about promoting blog posts much easier.

4. Always current and up to date so you never send out a broken link!

CoSchedule is completely sync’d with the blog. If we change the title or URL on a post, as long as we’ve used their shortcodes that automatically pull in the {title} or the {permalink}, CoSchedule will pull in the correct information. Even if we’ve scheduled Tweets for a year from now, it will pull in the correct title and URL because it’s pulling that data directly from the blow.

5. Analytics, so you can see how your posts are performing.

It’s no secret that BuzzFarmers loves analytics. CoSchedule does, too. Once a post goes live, you’re able to view how many social shares, favorites, likes, and retweets each post has garnered. The analytics go even deeper. Based on social media shares, tops posts are identified. They’ve also mentioned that they’re considering adding single Tweet analytics, which we’re very on the edge of our seats waiting for because it will make testing our Tweets even easier. Maybe A/B testing will be next, who knows!

And it isn’t just the CoSchedule product that we want to shout about on rooftops – we also really dig their blog. They even made the BuzzFarmers 10 Best Company Blogs of 2014 list. Oh, and we gave them a shout-out during our first #FollowFridayVideo that we posted two weeks ago. Check it out! See – I wasn’t joking when I told you how much we love this company.

We’re dedicated CoSchedule users, and now, so are our clients. If you’re considering making the switch, don’t hesitate. The transition was seamless and smooth, and we couldn’t be happier with their product.

Do you use CoSchedule? What feature makes your life easier? Let us know in the comments!

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Should Your Blog Reading Level Be About 8th Grade?

Do you know your blog reading level?

Your blog reading level is the metric that tells you how easy or difficult your blog is to read. It can be increased or decreased by punctuation, wordiness, character count, and choice of words.

Writing at a simple blog reading level isn’t to insult anyone’s intelligence, it simply helps make your point quickly, efficiently, and effectively. In fact, an eighth grade reading level is recommended for most blogs. There’s room for style in writing, but substance is far more important.

Even the great Harvard Business Review finds itself in the junior high and high school zone for stretches of its website. Like you, the magazine is conveying big industry ideas and trends to the biggest possible audience. Meanwhile, genius-level blogs, according to Mental Floss, include Ars Technica and Damn Interesting!, but their audiences are far different than yours – they’re more for entertainment purposes.

Are you writing for CEOs? Engineers? Niche retail consumers who just can’t get enough of your kitchen gadgets? Your customer personas do matter tremendously, for many reasons. One of which is determining how complicated or uncomplicated your blog writing style will be.

A related reason, is attracting the right readers – and retaining them. If you lose visitors to your business blog before you can convert them into customers, your content marketing efforts have failed. You may end up doing just that if you write content at a reading level that doesn’t resonate with your ideal readers.

Again I ask, do you know at which reading level you should blog for?

For an executive, we recommend you write at or below high school level. Engineers, maybe closer to college. Most others? Well, believe it or not, about eighth grade!

Place your posts somewhere between an elevator pitch and an essay assignment in crisp language with minimal adverbs and passive voice. Write how you speak. Be concise. Don’t assume your reader knows everything you do. Your role is to inform.

Let’s look at some ways to measure your blog reading level – the tests and the principles behind them – and to improve the quality of your posts.

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Why Blogging Matters to Any Business (Especially if You Think It Doesn’t)

Do you have a tough time understanding why blogging matters? 

One thing we hear often from prospective clients or even family and friends who may not understand blogging, is that they simply don’t get it. They can’t understand why blogging matters, how blogging could ever result in a sale, and they want to know why we think it will benefit their business.

The bottom line is that businesses with blogs can outperform competitors without blogs. We’re the secret sauce for the clients we work with, which is why we also don’t work with competitor. Customers, or even prospective clients, feel more of a connection with businesses who share personal stories, pictures, videos, and testimonials online than they feel for a company they find in the Yellow Pages.

Long gone are the days of one pharmacy, one bank, and one insurance company in each town. Competition is fierce. Companies must take positive steps to ensure they stand out from the crowd. 

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Blog Plagiarism; or, the Ballad of Jerry the Jerk

Blog plagiarism is a problem you don’t want to deal with it – either as perpetrator or victim.

Want to hear about my worst three moments as a fifth-grader at Our Lady of Sorrows parish school? Thought so! All three involve the same classmate. We’ll call him Jerry for the purposes of this post. Man, was he a jerk. OK, check that, we’ll call him Jerry the Jerk.

Turd’s Eye View

The first is just vintage Jerry the Jerk, a classic – albeit creepy – kid prank, but I’ll never use a public toilet stall without thinking of it. Permanently scarred. I was going numero dos in the gym’s restroom during a basketball tournament. The Black & Gold: the event of the year for O.L.S., sort of like a March Madness in January, without the “One Shining Moment” or much in the way of actual athletic skill.

Jerry somehow clambered the side of the stall I was in. He was stealthy, but at one point I heard a rustling and looked up, only to see this little weirdo staring down at me while I did my business.

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How to Write White Papers in a Pinch Using Recycled Content

White papers serve as amazing promotional materials for businesses. Have you ever wondered how to write white papers of your own?

White papers allow companies to share their knowledge and expertise with their target audiences. Often, these white papers are offered in exchange for a valid email address. The audience gets to learn about the company through the white paper, and the company that offers the white paper is able to build a database of email subscribers for future communication.

White papers are a perfect example of content marketing, because the audience is able to familiarize themselves with the company before deciding whether or not they want to spend their money.

We write papers for our clients all the time, so let’s run through the two most effective strategies.

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How to Sell Any Product With One Blog Post

Do you know how to sell any product, just through good content and a call to action?

Folks don’t take blogs seriously – they think blogs are for stay-at-home-moms and amateur cooks with good cameras. And those are certainly the folks winning at Pinterest. Heck, my amateur cooking blog gets 50K unique visitors per month … and most of that traffic comes from Pinterest.

But if you’re a business, and you still think your blog is for fun – just a place for your employees to write a few silly posts or to get something off your chest about your industry – then you’re doing it wrong.

Think of every blog post as a landing page.

You can only have so many sales pages on your site, but you can have thousands of blog posts.

And every blog post can be optimized individually for search.

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What You Can Learn From The Best Corporate Blogs

If you want to add your company to the best corporate blogs list, we can teach you how.

At the end of 2014, we created a best-of list highlighting 10 company blogs we thought were doing really great things. As you can imagine, these blogs are killing SEO, writing the best content, and amassing a bunch of comments on each post from loyal readers. They’re also speaking to niche personas, showing up in search engines, and pulling in some great company revenue.

When we wrote the post, we wanted to highlight some companies that we really admired. As you know from our Marketing Genius series, we like to showcase companies we think are doing great things, and explain why we think their approach is working for them. Now that we’ve highlighted these 10 companies, let’s talk about what they’re doing that makes them the best corporate blogs.

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10 Business Blogging Best Practices: A BuzzFarmers Special Edition Bonanza

First off, don’t freak out. You might see this impressive roundup of our favorite recent business blogging best practices posts below and say something along the lines of …

“As much as I’d benefit, there’s no way I can read all of that right now … I’m just one person … but it’s probably a list that they’re going to pull down soon, anyway, because it would be too good to be true that they’d just give their awesome content away in one convenient place like this … I mean, they’re cool and nice and everything, but come on … am I dreaming, or what?”

No, you’re not dreaming and, yes, as a CEO or marketing executive looking to launch an original content campaign, you can benefit from our most-read posts, listed below.

Bonus: We’re leaving them up for as long as the Internet exists, so take your time – each of ‘em free to a good home!

And thank you for calling us cool and nice … that’s all the payment we need. Unless you hire us to handle your blog, search, and social, of course, which we are totally happy to do.

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Successful Businesses Define Content Marketing by Trust & Quality

To define content marketing, one must start with the fact that it has changed the business world forever.

Why? Because content marketing isn’t about the trickery, lies, and overinflation so often used in traditional marketing.

We define content marketing as a process of thoroughly informing your audience who you are and what you do by providing them with great articles, stories, and ideas This is often done through a collection of posts. More in-depth products, like white papers, podcasts, or video content, are also given away by savvy content marketers. Most do so by offering the information product in exchange for an email address.

If this isn’t how the marketers you know define content marketing, well, they probably aren’t real content marketers. They’re marketers in content marketers’ clothing. Content marketing is about the content and the audience before it’s about selling products.

You give away content for free to prove you’re worth buying from.

Customers and clients want a sense of a person or organization before investing their money. Content marketing is about creating these relationships, and offering paid products afterward. Any company seeking to define content marketing in any other way is heading in the wrong direction.

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