Newbie Bloggers: There’s An App For That

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So it’s Newbie Blogger Initiative Month. I myself started this blog as a part of the last NBI back in October, so I don’t really feel qualified to give a lot of advice to newbie bloggers since I really am still one myself, but here it is anyway. You should use technology to help you blog. I know, you’re all in awe of my wisdom. Let me be more specific. While I absolutely hate typing on a touchscreen, about half of my blogging is done on my smartphone. WordPress has a nifty app for Android and iOS that works with both wordpress.com sites and self-hosted sites to help you blog on the go. Almost all of my posts start on my phone as a few sentences and bullet points as soon as inspiration hits me–while I’m gaming, while I’m at work, while I’m in the bathroom (if you ever think my writing stinks… never mind)–then later, when I have time, they’re already in my drafts folder and I can pull them up on the computer and flesh them out until I have something printworthy. If you don’t use WordPress and your blogging tool doesn’t have an app, I recommend checking out Evernote. It lets you sync text, pictures, audio recordings, pretty much anything, in the cloud and between devices. If you don’t feel like creating yet another new account, Google Drive (formerly Docs) can be used similarly, though it’s more designed to be a competitor to Microsoft Office. From either of these you can easily copy and paste your notes into a blog post when you get back to your keyboard. If you don’t have a smartphone, most dumbphones have a notepad feature. Or in a pinch I guess you could go old school and write stuff on paper if that’s what you’re in to. In any case, make sure you record your inspirations as they happen. I can’t tell you how often I’ve been in the mood to write but can’t think of anything to say, and know I had an idea once but can’t remember what it was about.

The WordPress App is also a great way to read WordPress blogs when you have a little downtime. Of course it doesn’t work with other brands, but I find that enough blogs are hosted on WordPress that it keeps me busy until I get to my computer to read those that aren’t. You may also want to try out a few RSS feed readers. Personally, I’ve always just used the basic ones built into Firefox and Microsoft Outlook, but there are a lot out there with a lot more features if you want to explore, both for smartphones and for PC (or both). Also, most bloggers these days tweet on the Twitters, so often you don’t even need an RSS feed these days.

Other than that, my only advice is what you’ve probably heard many times before: write about what interests you, someone else out there will find it interesting too. Don’t get too caught up in hits and likes and comments and other peoples’ opinions. Blog because you think it’s fun, or don’t bother blogging at all.

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