Do you need to blog while on the go?
Would you like to have the ability to blog from your mobile device?
In this article, I'll show you what you need to run your blog from your mobile device.
Why Blog From a Mobile Device?
OK, so you're not going to build a robust blog entirely on mobile.
But once you've launched your blog using a platform like WordPress, a computer is no longer required to continue posting, engaging and building your brand online.
In today's mobile, 140-character world, more readers prefer their content in bite-sized chunks—which makes quick-hit and multimedia posts from a mobile device ideal in some cases.
“Every day you have to be communicating; that's the important thing,” said rock star video blogger Gary Vaynerchuk, when asked what today's businesses are lacking online. “Long-form blogging was the big thing in years back. Microblogging is now the big thing. It's changed the dynamics a bit.”
And microblogging doesn't have to be just a Twitter thing. Many new WordPress themes have custom content types baked into the editor and design for short blurbs, photos and even asides.
In fact, a standardized list of these “short-form” post formats has been recognized since WordPress 3.1, and bloggers can now customize their themes around these specific, shorter-than-normal posts. That standard list of post formats includes Aside, Audio, Chat, Gallery, Link, Quote, Status and Video.
You'd be hard-pressed nowadays to find any official Google documentation that suggests minimum word counts for blog posts. As long as you do your best to create unique, resourceful content that provides value to search results, you're going to rank well in search.
That, combined with the unprecedented adoption of mobile, makes posting to a blog from a mobile device easier and more valuable than ever. This means bloggers no longer have to remain chained to a desktop to stand out online.
#1: Mobile Blogging Apps
In the mobile world, “note”-worthy apps such as Evernote get a lot of the attention. And while cloud-based note-taking apps are a huge leap forward in terms of mobile content development, I prefer to cut out the middleware and publish straight from the app I'm writing in.
With that approach in mind, my top three mobile blogging apps right now are:
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- WordPress for iOS: (WordPress also has apps for five additional mobile platforms): The WordPress app is amazing because it streamlines the bloated desktop-publishing process and lets you simply publish text, photos and video straight from your device. The only drawback is formatting text and HTML can be a pain, so save yourself the headache and keep your copy simple when blogging from a mobile device.
- CoveritLive: I'll focus on event marketing in a bit, but whenever I'm blogging an event and want to collaborate with others, there's no better app than CoveritLive, which essentially embeds a live chat into your blog.
- Quicklytics: In terms of blog stats, I rely on Quicklytics to track Google Analytics on all of the blogs in my portfolio. So if a topic on a blog starts going gangbusters, I know about it at the swipe of a thumb and can complement that topic with a related post or make any necessary tweaks from my handy-dandy WordPress app.
But you don't even need an app to push quality mobile content to your blog. Read more below.
#2: Mobile Blogging by Email
One of my favorite mobile blogging approaches is to send posts to my site via email.
With some tweaks to your admin settings, you can publish via email to your WordPress blog. WordPress gives you a unique address to email posts to, so be sure to keep that email address secret to avoid spam hitting your site. In terms of posting, the title of the post goes in your email subject line; the body text goes in the body of the email.
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Hit Send, and your post will get published as soon as the email hits your web server.
#3: Photo Blogging With Flickr
While emailing posts can be convenient, attaching and getting multimedia to display properly on your blog can be challenging.
That's where a photo portfolio site like Flickr can come in handy, allowing you to kill two birds with one email send: double-publishing mobile photos to a photo-sharing service like Flickr, as well as to your own blog.
The Flickr publish-by-email feature is great for review posts, where photos often carry the post.
And if you use an automated feed service such as Feedburner to syndicate your blog to your social networks, those six keystrokes can also generate a tweet and Facebook post that spread the word and kick off the link-building process for you automagically. All in 30 seconds or less!
#4: Video Blogging via Mobile
Video blogging isn't quite as quick as photo blogging via mobile, because it takes more time to process videos, but it's become a lot easier thanks to the evolution of WordPress and YouTube.
As we know, the WordPress app allows video uploads straight from your phone, but did you know WordPress allows you to embed a YouTube video by simply pasting the YouTube URL into your blog editor? That means a video blog can be published via mobile in these easy steps:
- Upload your mobile video from your gallery to YouTube, using default sharing functionality from your iPhone gallery.
- Copy the YouTube URL once it's published.
- Paste the URL in the body of your next blog post.
A local surf shop recently followed this model, and was able to shoot and publish a viral Surfing Sasquatch video and photo gallery all in the same day using nothing more than iPhones and an iPad. They also edited the video on their iPad equipped with iMovie, which is another great, easy-to-use video editing app worth picking up.
#5: Event Blogging
CoveritLive allows multiple bloggers to collaborate on a live blog from anywhere in the world. You can even post to the live blog via Twitter; again, killing two birds with one iPhone.
Using my iPhone, I was even able to live blog while kayaking San Francisco's McCovey Cove during the 2012 World Series. That's right, blogging while kayaking—at night—at the World Series; something that would have been unfathomable prior to the advent of the smartphone.
And because I was one of the only sportswriters who paddled out into the cove for Game 2, my live blog was picked up by everyone from Deadspin to the Detroit Free Press and was one of my most popular posts ever.
As you can see, today you can build a blog via your mobile device.
Use these tips to build a blog where you only share short-form content, or to add short-form content to keep your business blog active while you are away from your desk.
Keep in mind that these mobile blogging options may help you publish content faster than your competition or larger mainstream sites. For example, this can help you be the first to cover breaking news at events and increase your visibility within your industry.
What do you think? Have you used your mobile device to blog? What have been your challenges and successes? Please share your comments below.
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