Smartphone-Only Blogging {it CAN be done!}

Smartphone-Only Blogging {it CAN be done!}

No, this is not a joke. Am I crazy? Maybe just a little.

First of all, I don’t have the latest iPhone or a Samsung Galaxy anything. And there’s no computer hiding anywhere in our desert cabin.

Last year, I was blessed with an Asus Padfone X mini where my 4″ phone sits inside a 7″ tablet, making everything I see larger (yea, no squinting!) and everything I do on-screen more maneuverable.

That being said, smartphone blogging has been both pull-my-hair-out frustrating, and joyfully fulfilling.

Things I use for smartphone blogging: my blogging binder, my Bible, my glasses, and a keyboard. And, of course, my phone (inside the tablet). https://vineblossom.wordpress.com
My blogging binder, favorite teacup, phone inside tablet perpetually plugged in to solar-powered charger, my Bible, reading glasses I need all the time, and keyboard I use now and then.

Living in the middle of nowhere, my cell-phone data is subject to hiccups, lags, and cyber silence.

Each month, I have a limited supply of high-speed data (high-speed out here is only relative anyway), so when that runs out I suffer sloth-speed until next month.

I could take a nap while waiting for websites to load, apps to update, or images to upload to my blog.

Picture me groaning, head in hands, or talking to my phone “hurry up, hurry up” as I watch that blasted circle go round and round and round.

 

This is my everyday blogging adventure.

 

Other than keeping my phone active each month, I haven’t spent any money on blogging.

My point here is not to brag, but to let you know it’s possible to start a blog without a domain name, a self-hosted site, or even a computer.

To be clear, I would love to invest in this new-found calling.

But sometimes we are placed in a financial position that prevents us from doing what we want. (Understatement of your life, maybe?)

At this stage of my journey, I CAN’T spend money on blogging.

Which leads me to my next point. Not having the funds to invest in your newfound joy can cause considerable disappointment and regret.

You’ll want the latest e-book and e-course everybody is touting, or the book bundle to end all book bundles, that will make you a better blogger.

You’ll want a better camera for clear, dazzling pictures, and the latest themes and fonts to make your blog pretty. (Free blogging platforms can only do so much. There aren’t many bells and whistles.)

But you must guard yourself against the inevitable bloggers envy that will creep up because you can’t have these things now.

Remember: all good gifts come from God. (James 1:17)

If it is meant to be (whatever it is you desire), it will happen in God’s good time.

 

What I’ve learned from my first year of blogging by phone.

  1. Most of the common apps and services that writers/bloggers use are meant for desktop computers, NOT for mobile devices.
  2. Everything takes longer using a phone, so time management is VERY important. Otherwise nothing else will ever get done. Or you will burn dinner. Or both.
  3. Blogging by phone is limiting; you can’t compete with other bloggers. Their graphics will look more stylish, their websites will function better. Accept it! Don’t compare.
  4. Even with all the difficulties smartphone blogging brings, it’s worth it. This is a wonderful creative outlet for sharing your heart with others.

Do you want to blog, but think you need a computer? I'm blogging on my phone. Let me show you what I do. https://vineblossom.wordpress.com

 

What has worked for me:

  • WordPress app. I just downloaded the app and followed the steps provided, and-voila-I was blogging! The support staff (AKA: The Happiness Engineers) are there to help should you need it. I bugged them a lot the first six months.
  • Pixlr. A great photo editing app. Most bloggers love Canva, which unfortunately doesn’t work on mobile devices. And although PicMonkey recently added a mobile version to their app, the gap between the desktop version and mobile version is too wide. The reviews have been poor.
  • Evernote app (free version). This is where I store all my blogging-related information.
  • A Micro SD card. Blogging is going to fill up your phone’s memory capacity fast. A Micro SD card is one way you can fix this. Transfer all your photos, videos, and .pdf documents and other downloads you’ll need for your personal use and your blog.
  • IFTTT (stands for: If This, Then That). A terrific help for making apps talk to each other, and take care of things for you behind the scenes.

What I recommend for a better blogging experience:

  1. Join a Facebook blogging group! This has helped me so much. You can ask stupid questions and get advice from other bloggers brainstorming with you when you are stumped about the numerous technical issues you will encounter. My favorite bloggers hangout is BIG Idea Bloggers. Debi Stangeland of http://www.debistangeland.com has a vibrant, growing community of newbies (like me) and more seasoned bloggers who are ready and willing to share their know-how.
  2. Find and join Blog Hop/Link Up parties! These are the best way, in my experience, to gain exposure and make new friends in your blogging journey. You can check out my favorites here.
  3. Take advantage of the many services that store your files in the cyber-cloud. This will relieve your phone from being overloaded.
  4. Speaking of overloaded, you’re going to need to clear all your app’s cache and data from your phone periodically. (Since I push my phone to the max, I have to do this at least once a month.) It’s a pain to have to login to each of your apps (and remember your passwords) and reset all your notification settings, but it will be necessary. Don’t worry, though, you won’t lose your stuff. It’s in the Cloud. My finger trembled over the ‘clear all data’  button many times before.
  5. Purchase a Bluetooth-compatable keyboard. This is especially helpful for drafting long post entries. I’ve been pretty good at thumb typing, but eventually you get cramps in your hands. I also recommend a phone/tablet stand for angling your phone in whatever position you need.
  6. Download all Social Media apps. You’ll need these.

In conclusion:

If you only have a smartphone and really want to blog, it CAN be done.

Take it slow.

Stockpile patience. You’re gonna need it.

With blogging, and everything that goes with it: writing, editing, commenting, promotion, photography or image selection, social media, etc., there will always be something more to learn.

And you’ll make a ton of mistakes.

You’ll be praying that when the screen goes blank, due to weak signal or unexplained glitches, you haven’t lost everything you’ve spent an hour doing.  (I know–this has happened to me multiple times!)

But even though I’m a hobbled horse compared to other bloggers, I’m so thankful to God for all the sweet friends I’ve made along the way, for the privilege of sharing His truth through my stories, and for the encouragement I can impart to anyone who lands on my page.

Smartphone blogging is, indeed, worth it.

 

(Since you’re here, I would be honored if you would read the very first post I wrote on this date one year ago. Don’t worry. It’s a lot shorter.)

 

 

Abiding in the Vine,

~ Gleniece

 

Please consider leaving me a comment. I would love to get to know you.

 

Would you also consider signing up for my posts? That would be such an encouragement to me. Thanks!

 

 

I have linked this post to one of these fine Blog Hops.

 

The post “Smartphone-Only Blogging {it CAN be done!}” was first published on Desert Rain.

 

 

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