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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 May 14, 2019

            8 Replacements for Google Notebook

            8 Replacements for Google Notebook

            Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

            1. Zoho Notebook
              If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
            2. Evernote
              The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
            3. Net Notes
              If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
            4. i-Lighter
              You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
            5. Clipmarks
              For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
            6. UberNote
              If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
            7. iLeonardo
              iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
            8. Zotero
              Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

            I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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            In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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