I have used both a BlackBerry and an Android for blogging on the go especially during my Post-A-Day Challenge. I found it especially useful to do when I was pressed for time. However, there a couple of limitations I have noticed with the apps which should be noted before you go to try and do it for yourself – assuming you want to make your blog post looks as awesome as it can.
Before I go on, I have to mention that although I have not used the WordPress for iPhone app I have heard that many of the same issues exist and so I assume these tips are just as relevant for you iOS users but can’t confidently tell you one way or the other.
The key thing I have found was to do some planning before you try to blog from your phone. Why? Because it will make your life way easier if you set up certain aspects of the post on a computer beforehand.
There are a couple of reasons for this which will be laid out below.
- Pictures (Inserting): It is way, way easier to insert an image on your computer. Mainly because the WordPress app only likes to put images on the top or on the bottom of your post then you have to move them around manually. As well, you can make sure the picture resizes correctly, and it will, of course, upload quicker. Pop the pictures in your blog, name them, and put fragments of thoughts…or even “blah blah blah” between them to show yourself where to stick your content.
- Pictures Resizing: Chances are the pictures you take on your phone are going to be too big for your blog’s theme. Because of this it will end up looking horrible til you get to a computer and fix it OR feel like figuring out the math and manually resizing it by constraining it with HTML code. The image settings within the WordPress app don’t necessarily reflect your theme’s so your best off taking one of your phone’s camera pictures already on your computer and seeing what the length of it gets resized to when you resize it to the width of your blog’s theme. Now go into your phone’s WordPress app’s settings and set the “custom” image length and width to reflect your findings.
- Links: They’re a pain to add in correctly on your phone I’ve found relative to doing it on your computer. Best thing is to, again, plan it beforehand. As well, the WordPress system on the full web gives you a helpful pop-up box which lets you easily reference previous blog posts by just clicking.
- Tags: While links are a pain to add in, technically, tags aren’t. However, if you want your posts to be able to link back to each other and you plan on using tags you’ve already used for a topic make sure you add them in beforehand. Again, the full WordPress gives you a drop down of all the tags you’ve previously used so everything stays nice and neat whereas the mobile app doesn’t do this. It sounds like nothing but wait til you’ve been blogging for a while and have hundreds of posts and have to remember what the exact tags you previously used were: not fun.
- URL: The URL of your post is an important part of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). WordPress online allows you to edit the last bit of your post’s URL whereas the mobile app just takes the title of your post.
- Bullet & Numbered Points (aka ordered and unordered lists): These are just annoying to set up and so I again, recommend setting it up beforehand and then loading the very fragmented, nonsensical (to everyone but you) post on your phone and edit from there filling in all the gaps.
In case you are wondering, yes, I used my own tips to write this post. The words “blah blah” were actually used quite frequently in this post before it was fleshed out on the subway and streetcar where I am now. I guess you can sort of accuse me of breaking one main tip (plan ahead) into a bunch of little ones but from all the bloggers I’ve spoken to, not many have considered this method for blogging on the go and ask me how I’ve managed to do it on numerous occasions and still make the post look as good as if I’d blogged from a computer. Now my secret is out.
Anyone else out there try any similar methods? Anyone know any better methods? Let us all know in the comment section below!
So Post-A-Day 2011 is over as I have already mentioned and I successfully completed it. While that’s all fine and good and I am very proud of myself and extremely happy with all I have accomplished on this blog in the past year the end of the Challenge begs an important question:
Should I continue to post every day?
It isn’t like I don’t enjoy posting to this blog. I absolutely love getting my thoughts out into the ether but the fact of the matter is that there are a few reasons which immediately spring to mind as to why I shouldn’t continue posting on a daily basis. These include:
- Let’s be perfectly honest here, there were days when I wrote completely garbage posts. There were days when I straight up said I have nothing to write but posted anyway because I was doing a challenge which required posting daily. Shouldn’t I be trying to separate the wheat from the chaff now that I am not doing a regimented post per day kind of thing?
- It is one heck of a lot of work and sometimes I found it got in the way of other things because I ‘had to post’ each day.
Now on the other side of the coin why I think I should continue posting every day:
- I’ve gotten into a good habit of posting every day and why should I stop now? Look it’s 11:46pm and I am still typing away right now doing my post for today.
- Often topics and posts that I thought were incredibly inane and which I just wrote because it was 11:30pm and I needed something to write about really struck a chord with people. Case in point, my signature scent vs scent switching cologne/perfume post, I truly did not think that that post would resonate with anyone and it was just something to write about with time a-wasting before the midnight deadline. If I wasn’t tryign to write a post every day would I have written about the cologne? I’d love to say I would have eventually gotten around to it but I can’t say that and be perfectly honest.
What’s funny about the second thing is that I have heard it time and time again (or read about it) from people in creative fields that are markedly different from each other. Cracked.com put it best when describing the origins of the Guns N’ Roses Song “Sweet Child O’ Mine” in their 6 Classic Songs That Were Supposed to Be Jokes article. They write under the entry for the famous G N’ R song (which topped the list):
“What you like, and what your audience likes, are probably going to be very different. It’s probably best to just go with it.”
Basically, what I think to be throwaway writing isn’t necessarily that.
So here’s what I’m thinking, I will continue to write a post a day so long as it isn’t a post about how I can’t think of anything to write that day. What do you folks, my readers, the most important people in this relationship think? Good decision? I am open to suggestions and really would like to hear your thoughts, pop em down below in the comments.
I can’t believe I am almost at a full year of posting daily! There were days when I was too drunk to right anything coherent, there were days when I had nothing to say and days when I was so busy I didn’t really have time to post but still I soldiered on. Including this post, I have 18 posts left to make it to the full year of the Post A Day Challenge 2011. I know there are less than 18 days left in 2011 but you have to remember my first post which I count as part of the Challenge was on January 4, 2011 therefore I have to go until January 4, 2012 to make it complete…don’t I?
I have learned a lot during this experience of the Post A Day Challenge. I reflected on it throughout the challenge as well in different blog posts. I grew my readership massively and that felt – and still feels – amazing as it continues to grow. I have had so many experiences via writing this blog and have done things I never believed I would do all and am the better person and man for it. All in all, this has been a great year and I am going to be continuing the post a day challenge with myself for as long as I can into 2012 and beyond.
You have probably all noticed the badge below on the right hand side of my blog this whole year I think I am going to leave it there because I don’t see a reason to take it down. Sort of a badge of honor. Maybe they will make a 2012 Challenge and that will keep me on my toes to stay with it and keep posting.
Maybe next year I will try to up the ante and make it two posts a day for 2012 but believe you me one a day is hard enough! One thing is for certain, after this year I definitely earned the title of a blogger!
Is there anything I haven’t talked about which you think I should? Any place in Toronto or the GTA I should explore?
Scotty, I need warp speed in 3 minutes or we’re all dead!, a photo by Craigyc on Flickr.
Saw this picture in a Mashable article just now talking about “6 Tech Trends That Won’t Happen in 2012” and it was used to ‘illustrate’ connected cars. This picture was too cool to not share.
The full Mashable article is here: http://mashable.com/2011/12/14/tech-trends-wont-happen-in-2012/
This is a question of blogger etiquette which I put to you, my readers. I have mentioned before that as a blogger one of the most rewarding things about blogging is the comments I get as a result of my blog posts. But recently, with life that needs living I don’t always get to answer comments on the blog as quickly as I would like to and I was wondering if this is affecting your opinions of me and my blog and my attitude towards my blog. So, I have decided to ask all y’all what you think is an acceptable amount of time that I should strive to reply to comments left on my blog.
As of now the poll has no time limit. I might change that in the future and will change these words accordingly but right I feel I’m not one to judge anyone on timing.
Have at it! I look forward to the responses on this poll!