Blogging with an iPad?
The iPad has a reputation, notably among non-iPad owners, of being a device that is only good for content consumption and not content creation. This comes as news to doctors, lawyers, executives, and other professionals who use their iPads daily for productive work. Anyone who would claim that it's impractical to use the iPad for something as complex as blogging simply hasn't met me.
Writing is my bread and butter; it's what I do for a living. As I continue to grow my freelance business, I have found five apps that I use more than any others to create content both for my own blog, and for my clients' websites. I use these several times a week, some daily (or near enough!), and I highly recommend them for anyone with an iPad and a keyboard who's interested in writing online.
1.) WordPress – This app is great for managing multiple WordPress sites and basic posting. It can handle wordpress.com blogs, as well as self-hosted domains. Any client who uses wordpress gets included in this app for me. I used to use the WordPress app for posts to this blog, but it does require some extra time and html know-how if you want to post in anything besides plain text. This isn't a huge issue for me, but if you're planning on media-intensive posts and don't know the difference between ol and ul tags, you're probably better off with a “what-you-see-is-what-you-get” type of editor. Like . . .
2.) Blogsy – Blogsy is far and away the best blogging App I've found for the iPad. It is more than worth the $5 price tag. It includes a load of formatting options, including blockquote, alignment, basic font and size settings, and of course, differentiated headlines. It has a simple drag-and-drop interface capable of adding photos to your post from your local photos, picasa and facebook. It also includes a simple web browser for simplified in-app linking or research, and YouTube and Vimeo widgets for easily adding videos. Its code can get a little clunky, but it is easy to edit the code directly to fix. I really can't recommend it enough for anyone who is serious about blogging on their iPad.
3.) MagicalPad – I've sung MagicalPad's praises before, and for good reason – it's a fantastic app that can help you come up with great ideas. While its core function is “Idea Mapping,” it also plays nice with other apps, and enables cross-platform work with a touch of the “export” button. Any time I'm tapped out of writing ideas, I turn to MagicalPad to help me clear away the mental cobwebs. Like Blogsy, it is also a paid app, though its price is $7. Well worth it, in my opinion. I recommend it for blogging, planning, project building, and even story mapping.
4.) Feedly – Feedly is an incredible RSS reader that can keep you informed and organized. Its interface is perfect for tapping and swiping, and I often use the “Save for Later” function when I come across articles I find useful or intereting. You might think, “I want to be blogging, not reading other peoples' blogs!” To put it simply, if you want to improve in your writing, you should be reading. I have found other peoples' blogs to be a fountain of inspiration, both in the basics of writing and the more complex questions of SEO and content creation. If you're looking for a good, simple, organizable RSS reader, Feedly is the App for you.
5.) Buffer – This is not an iPad-specific App, but is an iPhone App that also works on the iPad. Despite its clear preference for a small screen, the App looks great, even blown-up to double-size. Buffer is a service that enables users to pre-load posts to social networking platforms like Facebook and Twitter. It has a subscription service that allows you unlimited pre-buffered posts, but the basic free service allows you to buffer as many as 10 posts at a time, sufficient for my needs (for now). Buffer is a time-saving service that can help give your social media presence more interactivity, better content, and give you greater participation.
Using these Apps has helped me to create better content in a shorter period of time than before. They also help me to stay up on the latest happenings both in my field of writing and in hobbies. Download them today and put them to work for you.
Do you have some great Apps for blogging that I didn't list here? Send your suggestions to: editor[at]iPad4Life[dot]net.