So seventeen months ago I launched www.larp.guide. Shortly after we launched I got Leah on board as a contributor and ever since I feel like we’ve been going from strength to strength as a blogging partnership.
But there’s one problem with LARP Guide – it’s that I never get enough time to post. You see, Leah posts every Monday. And I have a scheduled YouTube post from Vicki every Thursday. And we try and put some photos up on a Wednesday from an event that recently happened. And this month I’ve started running interview pieces on a Saturday to feature the work of some amazing LARP costumers out there. And then we have occasional guest posts from people like Callum.
I do all the administration on my own at the moment. So that’s four posts a week that I lay out in WordPress, find images for in my archive, keyword, link out to social media… quite frankly it’s a time sink. And it’s one that I find laborious sometimes (I dedicate a couple of days a month to this crappy admin). Quite frankly what bothers me most is that I don’t get any time to sit and come up with tutorials and things. I’ve made garments up about six months ago that I’ve *still* not written up a tutorial for and drafted out patterns in illustrator so that more people have access to simple kit tutorials. And I have dozens and dozens of inspiration posts that I want to write featuring beautiful kit from artworks. But it’s not going to happen while I am wrestling with the administration of the blog on my own.
But Leah went full time at Mandala Studios at the end of March (hurrah for freelance employment!) and she’s offered to help me with some of the administration. I had to find a collaborative solution.
Enter CoSchedule! I feel like I want to just show you their overview video first so that you can see how things work.
How am I using it at the moment? Mostly for the calendar. It’s so useful to be able to see everything laid out easily, I can see what posts I’ve completed and what posts still need work.
Do you want to see what my old system looked like?
I mean, it worked ok and I kept up with things. But I would miss an awful lot of posts I’d had ideas for because I didn’t get them ready, and I had no way of easily seeing which I’d missed and shuffling them up later. With CoSchedule I just plonk an idea down in the week I want to write it for, and if I don’t get round to writing it then I just drag and drop it to a later date – simple!
Plus the other major benefit is, you know, being paperless. I used to quite often take the massive lever arch file full of LARP Guide paperwork down to my local cafe and work there on scheduling upcoming posts. But being able to just take my laptop is so much easier, plus it means I only have to take up a little table rather than a big table, which I’m sure makes them happy when I’m busy.
CoSchedule also allows me to see what social media I’ve scheduled. It’s good to get social media out every day, it keeps your content in your audiences mind. You can just click options on and off with the calendar until you see exact the info that you want.
And the best bit about the social media scheduling is the great tools that they give you within each post to do it. If you upgrade your subscription plan you can even write templates to automatically schedule social media updates to go out after 7 days, 30 days, however many days you want! All you have to do is work out what you want to say, and then CoSchedule will do the rest.
Another handy feature for LARP Guide is the ability to make notes of events in the calendar. This is what my calendar for June looks like for example, reminding me that I not only have to go and play some events, but I need to schedule in the photos afterwards too. I also have draft posts scheduled for most of the rest of the year for photos… lets see if I can keep up with the plan!
I’ve not yet invited Leah to collaborate with me in CoSchedule. To be honest, it’s a chunk of money and we need to do a bit of fundraising first. But I think when we get Leah involved we’ll really be able to work more effectively as a team – and perhaps we’ll take a third editor on as well!