POST YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE FLY WITH THE BEST BLOGGING APPS.
BUILDING AN AUDIENCE for your blogging takes time and dedication, so any platform that can minimise the difficulty of getting your words out there means you’ll have more time to perfect the things you actually want to say. While it’s still preferable to type on a keyboard, the modern world waits for no one and more often than not the inspiration for a blog post will come when you have nothing but your phone on you. This roundup of apps feature the best for bloggers who are out and about and want to write or edit their words on the fly using a smartphone. In addition to being one of the better resources for discovering interesting long-form articles, Medium is also an excellent platform for budding (and seasoned) bloggers. Medium is kind of like a hybrid between a blog hosting site and a social media platform, allowing you to link your Facebook and Twitter followers to reach any of your existing readers on the new platform. If enough of these people like it it’ll start to rank better in Medium’s organisation algorithm and many more will be exposed to the story. Sophisticated engagement metrics allow you to understand the types of articles that are being clicked on, the proportion of the story that is read and the number of recommendations or shares for any particular story — which is an invaluable tool for anyone looking to modify their writing to engage more users. While the platform isn’t going to replace your day job (there is minimal advertising and what’s there goes directly to the company) it will help you grow your audience and then, hopefully, get more people to a site that you (or your company) can monetise.
Whether you want to syndicate your work from other publications or you’re keen to pump out some original content, the Medium app manages to squeeze everything you could want from a blogging app into a simple to use interface. A pop-up menu on the left of the interface offers New Story, Stats and Drafts options, in addition to a number of content discovery tools (you’re both a creator and consumer in Medium’s eyes). The New Story section is for creating new content and is perfectly suited to your phone. A close button, publish tab, your phone’s keyboard, and a compact grammatical toolbar are the only other things that accompany the blank page. The cancel option automatically saves anything you’ve been working on as a draft and the publish option allows you to add tags to the article to allow readers to find it through categories — which means you aren’t losing functionality through simplicity. The formatting bar also contains two heading options, quoting tools, bullet and numbered point formatting, hyperlinks, chapter breaks and a social media tool, which is just enough to make your blog look great without the app feeling cluttered or difficult to use.
The one thing missing from the smartphone version of the app is the import feature that lets you pull content that you own from another web page and quickly upload and publish it on Medium.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR THESE POWER USER FEATURES TO MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR MOBILE BLOGGING APPS.
WORDS OR PICTURES
Some of the blogging apps here are far better at handling a diverse range of media formats, while others don’t really accommodate anything but words. If you’re looking to include whatever media the day brings, you’re probably better off with a more versatile Tumblr or Wordpress account.
If you’re considering turning pro then it’s worth firing up a Wordpress account as it’ll give you the most versatility when it comes to online revenue. Not only is it the easiest to transform from a free site to a self managed one, it’s also got a range of advertising and affiliate plugins that can be easily configured, for a price.
While bloggers will be looking to these apps as, primarily, tools for producing things, some of the available offerings are actually great as blog discovery sites. While it’s nice to be able to check in on your competition, you might even find some inspiration from your fellow bloggers.
Not all of the offerings here will give you in depth statistics about your audience. If you want detailed feedback about your readers and what they’re looking at, Medium and Wordpress are your best bet.
If you like to look at your work as you post it, it might be worth making sure the platform you choose has a built in page viewer. Wordpress will even let you preview a page before you publish it.
While all of the offerings here will allow you to save drafts, the Wordpress app is the only one that’ll actually allow you to write a piece and set it to automatically publish at a specific time. Once you know when the most readers are online it’s handy to be able to push new content out at particular times.
TAGS AND SEO
While Blogger, Tumblr and Medium will only allow you to add tags and labels to your articles so that they can be placed in appropriate categories Wordpress actually lets you customise the post’s slug and excerpt to help you rank better on Google’s search engine.
Medium IT’S LIKE TWITTER FOR THOSE WHO BELIEVE IN NUANCE. Free | medium.com