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5 Apps To Start And Run A Blog Entirely From Your Phone

5 Apps To Start And Run A Blog Entirely From Your Phone

Blogging is a great way to share your experiences, adventures, wisdom and musings with the rest of the world. With most of us leading busy lives, constantly on the run from one place to another, it can be difficult to set aside time when we get home to update our blogs regularly, which is why many have turned to writing and managing their personal archives from their mobile phones. Here are 5 apps to make the process of running a blog from your phone not just painless, but fun.

1. Blogging Platform: WordPress or Blogger

Blogger-VS-WordPress

    Before you can begin blogging, you will need to select a platform on which to publish your site. Several free, hosted options exist, such as the very popular WordPress and Blogger. Both of these platforms have apps that will allow users to compose, edit and publish their posts on the go.

    The key difference between Blogger and WordPress is that while Blogger is a little more simple to configure and use, WordPress is easier to customize and to eventually transition over to a self-hosted site when you exceed the bounds of their free offerings. Whichever you choose, there are official apps available for the major mobile platforms.

    Blogger (Android and iOS) – FREE

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    WordPress (Android and iOS) – FREE

    Tip: After you post to your blog from either of the above apps, be sure to view the post in your phone’s browser with full site or desktop view enabled so that you can see what the post will look like to your non-mobile readers.

    2. Text Editor: Google Docs

    While you can definitely compose your text posts within your blogging app, overall, this is a bad idea as it is way too easy to lose your work. Instead, write all your posts in Google Docs so that your content will always be backed up and easily available on all your other platforms.

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      Google Docs (Android and iOS) – FREE

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      Tip: Add a trusted friend with solid grammar skills to your documents, through Google Docs collaboration features, so you can get a second set of eyes on any copy that you are unsure of.

      3. Photo Editor: Pixlr Express

      Beautiful and engaging imagery is absolutely necessary for a successful blog. A few years ago, it would have been nearly impossible to properly edit images from your phone, but with the somewhat recent advent of photo editing apps from known developers like Autodesk, this is now becoming a real possibility.

      screen568x568 (2)

        While there are several photo editing apps that we could recommend, my personal favorite is Pixlr Express. This app allows you to easily and quickly adjust, correct, crop, apply filters and more. Pixlr can also create collages, fix red eye, whiten teeth and apply artistic looking focal blurs.

        Pixlr Express (Android and iOS) – FREE

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        Tip: Find a filter that you like (nothing too extreme) and use it on all the photos that you post, giving your blog a visual consistency throughout.

        4. Social Networking: Buffer

        Engaging with your readers on the various relevant social networks is an essential way to maintain and further build your readership. That said, between Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Polyvore, LinkedIn and more, it can be difficult to stay active and post regularly. Buffer is an extremely useful webapp that allows you to queue up social network posts for a variety of sites and automatically post them at specific intervals, essentially automating the process for you.

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          Buffer (Android and iOS) – FREE

          Tip: Set aside some time every week to fill up your queue with social media postings that will be made throughout the week. Do some experimenting to determine how frequently and exactly when you should post for maximum effectiveness.

          5. Traffic Analysis: Google Analytics

          Google Analytics is an essential tool that allows you to glean insights into your reader’s habits and activity while on your site. There is some backend configuration that must be done on your blog before Analytics will function, however, both WordPress and Blogger make it very easy to set up.

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            Google Analytics (Android and iOS) – FREE

            Tip: For Google Analytics to be most effective, try not to make changes at random. Plan major changes to your blog to take place on a set schedule, with enough time between changes to measure their impact on your traffic.

            With the above tools and some creativity, anyone can start and manage a successful blog on the run. Tell us about your blog in the comments.

            Featured photo credit: Blog / Thomas Hawk via flic.kr

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            Last Updated on August 29, 2018

            5 Killer Online Journal Tools That Make Journaling Easier and More Fun

            5 Killer Online Journal Tools That Make Journaling Easier and More Fun

            Journaling is one of the most useful personal development tools around. Not only does it help us process emotions and experiences, work through internal conflicts and improve our self-awareness, it also provides us with a way to keep a day-to-day record of our lives. Traditionally an activity limited to pen and paper, the expansion of consumer technology has enabled journaling to go digital.

            Saving your journaling entries online enables you to access them from anywhere, without having to carry a notebook and pen around, and provides you with digital features, like tagging and search functions.

            Here are a list of five online journaling tools you can use to bring your practice into the modern age:

            1. 750words

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            750 words

              750words is a free online journaling tool created by Buster Benson. The site is based on the idea of “Morning Pages”; a journaling tool Julia Cameron suggests in her creativity course The Artist’s Way. Cameron advises aspiring creatives to start each morning with three pages of stream-of-consciousness writing to clear away the mental clutter, leaving you with a clearer mind to face the day.

              750 words is the three-page digital equivalent (assuming the average person writes 250 words per page) and lets you store all your journaling online. Each morning, you’ll receive a prompt asking you to write your 750 words, and the site keeps track of various statistics associated with your entries. The site uses a Regressive Imagery Dictionary to calculate the emotional content from your posts and provides feedback on features like your mood, and most commonly used words.

              750 words is simple to set up and is ideal for anyone who finds it challenging to maintain a consistent journaling practice. The site uses a number of incentives to motivate users, including animal badges awarded to journalers who complete a certain number of days in a row, leader boards, and opt-in monthly challenges.

              2. Ohlife

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              ohlife

                Ohlife is designed to make online journaling as easy as possible. Once you’ve signed up for your free account, the website will send you an email each day asking “How did your day go?” Simply reply to the email with as much or as little detail as you like, and your response will be stored on your account, ready to view next time you log in.

                Ohlife’s appeal lies in its simplicity: no stats, no social sharing, no complicated organisational systems—the site is designed to provide you with a private, online space. Simply respond to the email each day (or skip the days you’re busy) and Ohlife will do the rest.

                3. Oneword

                oneword

                  OneWord is a fun online tool that provides you with a single word as a prompt and gives you sixty seconds to write about it. The concept’s aim is to help writers learn how to flow, and the prompts range from the everyday mundane to the profound.

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                  Oneword is not a private journaling tool: if you sign up, your answers will be published on the site’s daily blog, which contains a stream of users’ answers, and might be used by Oneword in the future. If you’d rather keep your answers to yourself, you can still use the tool for fun without giving out any personal details.

                  4. Penzu

                    Penzu is a journaling tool that allows you to store your journaling notes online. The service also offers mobile apps for iOS, Android and Blackberry, so you can journal on the go and save your notes to your account. The basic service is free, however you can upgrade to Penzu Pro and get access to additional features, including military-grade encryption and the ability to save and sync data through your mobile, for $19 per year.

                    With either version of Penzu, you can insert pictures, and add tags and comments to entries, as well as search for older entries. You can set your posts to be private and viewable by you only, or share them with others.

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                    5. Evernote

                    Evernote isn’t a purpose-built journaling tool, however its features make it perfect for keeping your journaling notes in one safe place. With the ability to keep separate “notebooks”, tag your entries, include pictures, audio and web clipping, Evernote will appeal to journalers who want to include more formats than just text in their entries.

                    Available online within a web browser, and as a stand-alone desktop app, the service also comes with a series of mobile apps covering almost every device available. These allow you to make notes on the go and sync between the mobile and browser versions of the app.

                    For additional features, including text recognition and the ability to collaborate on Notebooks, you can upgrade to Evernote’s premium service, which costs $5 per month.

                    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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