To say that blogging has been a challenge lately since adjusting to my new job and just being rather busy would an understatement. I never realized how quickly blogging would be pushed to the back-burner when life got so busy. Before my job, I’d always had time to whip up a post “real quick.” (Note: real quick is a highly disputed frame of time that doesn’t really exist – but still).
Now, the thought of taking photos, editing them, writing something worthwhile, and sharing it on social media just sounds like way too many things to add to my already-full to-do list some days.
I just recently got a newer smartphone, and I have to say, it’s really saved my butt in the blogging department. No, I still do not believe you can do everything you need to do on your phone. Nothing really beats a computer with a keyboard to me any day. But my phone sure has helped for those late nights when I realize I’ve got notta planned for the blog and about zero time to do anything about it.
I thought I’d share how blogging from my smartphone has really helped me the past few weeks.
Firstly, you need a smart phone, duh. I personally have a Samsung Galaxy S3. I know nothing about iPhones, so if you ask, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Then you need some nifty apps. If you’re blogging on WordPress, get the WordPress app. Even if you never intend to blog from your phone, it’s really handy to have to check your comments or make sure a post has been published while you’re out and about or on vacation.
Other handy apps I use:
- Photo Grid
- Color Note
- Hootsuite App
- Facebook Pages Manager App
- Blog Lovin App
These apps will help you get a good foundation of tools to help making blogging from your smartphone easier.
The Process of Blogging on Your Smartphone
1. Take Lots of Pictures
If you’re not in the habit of this already, I recommend this as number one. Too often, lately I think to myself that I can bang out a post from my phone while I’ve got a second here or there only to realize I would have no pictures for that post. Lame. When in doubt, take pictures 🙂
Pictures are not the basis of most posts, but without pictures, I feel like I can’t even post anything because it’s just lacking. At least for me.
2. Edit Photos Accordingly
Whether you just need to touch up some images because your smartphone camera is not the best or you need to create a graphic for a post, photo editing apps on your phone are a must.
I find it easier to make collages for most of my smartphone-written posts, such as yesterday’s post.
I also use PicsArt to create other images, such as this workout graphic.
One caveat to adding photos to your posts from your smartphone in WordPress is that the photos automatically appear as linked images (meaning, if you click them, the image will open in a new window). I don’t set up my photos like that when I write posts on my computer, so that kind of drives me crazy and I have to go back and edit the photos.
I also have no idea how to change the alternate text for photos through the WordPress app. Photos are always set to be left justified too, instead of centered. Kind of lame, but they can always be edited later.
3. Write the Post
This is the easy part to me. If I’m going to write an entire post from my smartphone, I usually keep it pretty short. I do find that using a stylus helps me type it out faster if I have a lot to say, though.
I find that my smartphone-written posts usually contain spelling errors, so be careful not to write too quickly. I think this is because the spell check option doesn’t pop up when using the WordPress app.
4. Publish & Share the Post
This is easy, but can get tricky in the WordPress app. If you’re writing a post to schedule later, make sure you change the post “status” from publish to draft.
Maybe I just go through the motions too quickly when I’m on my phone, but too many times I’ve meant to create a draft but accidentally published it or I’ve tried to publish it and it’s stayed as a draft. Just make sure you double check it.
Sharing is also a cinch on smartphones these days, as most phones are created to share social media with ease. After the post is live, I usually go to the post on my blog through the internet (not the app) and click my shortcuts button, where a “share” option comes up right away. This will look different on every phone, but the feature should be easy to access. After that, click share and share on whatever platforms you want. This is actually much easier to me on my phone than my computer because the phone does all the work of copying & pasting.
5. Not a Perfect System
I already mentioned some of the issues with uploading photos above, but there are a few other issues with this system. It’s definitely not flawless. All the issues I find tend to be with formatting.
The full editing toolbar is not available on the app. The only options are to bold, italicize, and underline words. I use different size headings a lot, and there is no option to change the headings.
You also can’t create bulleted lists from the app, which literally drives me crazy since I typically end my posts with a list of questions in bullet format.
While it’s not great, these features are missing because the apps are only meant to do the bare minimum. Most people wouldn’t use all the features in full WordPress in the app, and there’s probably just not the capabilities to make it mobile friendly anyway.
Overall, the system is good enough that if I am behind on blogging and have some photos ready, I can put something together which is better than having no content at all!
How Smartphones Can Make Blogging Easier
Besides actually blogging from your smartphone, utilizing your smartphone for blogging can make your blog/life balance a little better. I’ve found that if I use little bits of time here and there to check up on “blog stuff,” I have less blog related work to do when I get home.
Some things I use my smartphone for for blogging are…
- checking my blog email about once a day
- checking & replying to blog comments on my lunch break
- reading blogs through Blog Lovin on my lunch break
- Making sure my posts have published if they were scheduled in advance
- Maintaining an active presence on social media even while I’m away
- Keeping lists of blog topics in my notes
- Making blog to do lists if I have a lot going on that week
The advantage of having a smartphone for blogging is not so you can be on your blog in bloggy land all day. I find that using it when needed, in a time crunch, or when you have some extra time away from home is really handy, though.
Questions for You:
- Do you blog from your smartphone?
- If so, what do you wish was easier about it?