App show­down

POST YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE FLY WITH THE BEST BLOG­GING APPS.

TechLife Australia - - WELCOME - [ JOEL BURGESS ]

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.

MON­ETI­SA­TION

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.

IN­SPI­RA­TION

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.

STATS

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.

PAGE PRE­VIEW

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.

SCHED­ULED PUB­LISH­ING

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

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