Blogging is usually a keyboard-intensive pursuit, and on the whole not advised for mobile devices — certainly not smartphones, at least. But that doesn’t mean that you cannot manage your WordPress blog and ensure that everything is running smoothly from your Android device.
I’ve been running a successful WordPress-based blog for almost ten years, and in that time have taken advantage of more and more tools to streamline my blogging workflow. With the help of a team of passionate contributors I’ve been able to build the blog into a trusted news and information resource within its niche, and around 70% of my blog management (that’s time administering but not writing) I perform using my Android phone and these apps and services.
Here’s how you can do the same.
The Obvious Bit: Use WordPress
You’re running a WordPress blog, so of course you’ll need the official WordPress app installed (one of several ways of blogging on Android, and arguably the best). Setting up your account will require you to input your blog URL and your account username and password. A few moments later you’ll be able to create new posts, check stats and moderate comments. That last bit can be a time saver, too — if anything needs moderating while you’re out and about, it takes no more than 30 seconds to read and approve or reject it.
With WordPress setup, you’re ready to start blogging and responding to any notifications that pop-up. If you’re an off-the-cuff kind of a blogger, that might be enough for you.
But if you’re running a busy blog with multiple daily updates, you’ll need a workflow that is a little more robust. Along with WordPress, I use Facebook and Twitter, along with Feedly for news collection, and a Google News alert relevant to my blog’s topic.
News Gathering With Twitter
The secret to using Twitter with your blog isn’t all about social networking, although that is important. Along with finding new followers and building relationships with them, you should also be using the search function as well as following accounts that are relevant to your blog’s topic.
Once you’re following enough accounts that you find useful, you can then use Twitter as a news source. Whether you’re using the official app or one of the many alternatives, tweets can be shared directly into the WordPress app using the share button, while any links that are included in a tweet can be opened in your preferred Android browser and shared into WordPress.
When sharing a link to WordPress, unless you’re intending to write it up immediately, save the link as a draft, along with a few notes. It’s useful to give the draft a meaningful name, to help you later on.
Using Feedly To Find Interesting Material
Similarly, you can use Feedly (or any other newsreader, but Feedly is the most popular Google Reader replacement) to find news sources that might be sharing information that you can share with your readers — with appropriate attribution, of course. It doesn’t matter where the news originates, your readers will be more interested in how you present it, not who released it.
The secret here is not to go over the top. It’s possible to become bogged down by the various items that pop up in a newsreader app, and once you’ve subscribed to ten or more feeds you’re pretty much locking yourself into some quite heavy research. Keep it light and relevant, focused on the feeds that matter.
Once you’ve found material you want to share with your readers, use the share function to save a draft in WordPress to revisit it later.
Setup Google Alerts
Want automated news collection sent direct to your inbox? Of course you do, and Google can provide this with Google Alerts.
You should already know how to use the service, but if not, it’s straightforward: head to www.google.com/alerts, create an alert using a relevant phrase, add your email address, and the alert is created.
Once these alerts land in your inbox, you can review them, open the interesting links, and anything you think you can use can be saved as a WordPress draft.
Don’t Forget Google Now!
If you have set Google Now up on your Android device, you can use this to alert you when interesting information that might be of interest is published.
Searches you perform on your phone or tablet or on your desktop computer using the same Google account will be remembered, and pertinent new articles found and displayed in the Google Now screen.
As with the other methods of research for your blog’s content featured here, you can view these links and save them as a draft in WordPress for your attention later (or get blogging right there and then).
What About All Of Those Drafts?
You might well have a few drafts in your WordPress Dashboard by this point. What on earth are you going to do with them all?
Well, it really depends on how you run your blog. The best option is to address them one at a time, based on their importance to your blog as you see them.
For instance, I will mostly view the list of draft posts in the desktop browser and on a daily basis assign them each to a member of my blog’s team of contributors, who will then produce content based on the link and their interpretation of it. On some occasions it might give the news a different spin or focus; on others, the link might be inspiration for a completely different type of post.
Blogging With Android: More Powerful Than You Think!
These five methods can help you find material that you can use on your blog or inspire yourself to produce new articles. Any time you’ve spent researching content for your blog is effectively now automated and handled by your Android device and Google.
This is a pretty big deal for anyone managing a relatively busy blog. If you’re not using these automation tips and the WordPress app already, then now is the time to start!
Do you use your Android smartphone or tablet for blogging? Are there any tips you would like to share? Use the comments form below to tell us.