Yes, blogging is much better done on a laptop or computer where you have breathing space and you can properly map out your ideas before starting, as is writing; of course, a traditional pen and paper may be used for the latter. And yes, I have a thick A4 notebook containing all my blogging notes; mindmaps of post ideas, spider diagrams, page view charts, posting schedules and everything from hashtags to themes for social media. However, there are many tasks you can get done on your phone that will make your life so much easier (and quicker).
These apps are all (well, most of) used by me and you can find them in the very discreet Blog folder on my iPhone, where countless checklists for new posts, Instagram hashtags and captions and average like counts, Pinterest photos, new bloggers to follow and almost anything can be found. I wrote this as a useful guide to anyone in need of some quick and simple ways to grow their blog on the go or simply when they don’t have the time to whip out your laptop; enjoy! I’d really appreciate any comments or feedback below, or any more apps you think should be added to this collection.
Snapseed is the one app I use for every single photo I take. For Instagram, where my feed is (slightly) organised, I use the Pop effect to make sure all my pictures look bright and colourful. I also fiddle around with the light settings, shadows and highlights, and adjust contrast and brightness to get the desired effect for each shot. I LOVE Snapseed and would 100% recommend it as one of the best free photo editing apps you can use. Another feature on this app that I think is so much better than any other photo app I’ve tried is the blur feature, that allows you to play around with the blurriness and the centre of focus.
This is another huge editing app that almost every blogger has installed on their phone, and another I use frequently. I feel that VSCO is better suited for actual blog graphics rather than Instagram or Pinterest images as the editing tools look more professional but I find it difficult to develop a theme that looks good and also naturally edited using the app.
This is the best app possible for creating gorgeous graphics for almost anything; Instagram story pictures, blog graphics, Pinterest images and adding text to any photo. Canva allows you to select a theme after you choose which size of image you like and then edit this in any way you like, with details, pictures, font sizes and colour. It’s best for smartphones than your desktop as the features work faster, but the app is available on both and also free, thus making it an essential app for creatives.
Again, another ideal photo editing app that can be used for several social media platforms and for graphics for your blog. Most bloggers have this on their screen, but personally, I prefer Snapseed as the filters look individual and can be changed to suit different themes within each filter, which makes the app more favourable.
Instagram can be difficult, right? Ever thought your theme fitted well and realised it actually didn’t and had to delete and restart? Preview allows you to let go of these issues and sort out your feed before posting by dragging and dropping images into a grid and then moving them around.
Many bloggers swear by Pinterest as their number one source for traffic, which I haven’t been able to get the same effects from; although Pinterest has a lot of interesting features that you can use to your advantage, it hasn’t been the easiest app to harness and use consistently. The one feature I use every day on Pinterest is group boards, and joining 5-10 boards for updates when you publish a new post is very beneficial as it widens your audience and means more and more people are seeing your pins. Another important thing you should do on Pinterest is to create a board with the name of your blog as the title and then pin all the images that are linked to your posts onto there, as a database.
I mean, duh. But if you’re a WordPress blogger, the app is an essential for your smartphone as it allows you to edit, draft and publish blog posts on the go (using minimal data) as well as comment, like, follow and engage with other bloggers using the Reader feature. I definitely make use of this app on the bus journey, whilst I’m out and about, or if I have an extra five minutes in the day to refresh.
In my opinion, Tumblr is overlooked and should be given more recognition than it is due to its attractive layout, easy-to-use app and good algorithm. I have read countless reports stating Tumblr brings thousands of views per month, and although I am not there yet I have been able to use my (very small) account to generate some new visitors, which was a step in the right direction. However, my favourite thing about Tumblr is that it allows you to get inspiration and motivation for you and your blog very quickly and easily, and the visual layout is not only aesthetically pleasing but perfect for those who may specialise in photography or visual arts.
Instagram is the one social media that has resulted in most traffic for me, it still requires a lot of attention and time to get high engagement rates. My own Instagram reached 1k Followers In A Month after I put a lot of work and research into Hashtags To Explode Your Following, the best time to post, engagement rates and bloggers to start following! However, it does need time and attention to grow easily so don’t be fooled into thinking an app for a feed of photos is super easy to manage. Instagram is my favourite social media platform in blogging terms because it converts the most traffic and is often very rewarding, as well as being visual and pretty personal – I like that you can convert a business or brand into a unique set of squares.
I’ve only just started using Facebook – literally this week and yes it is confusing – but the traffic is already showing up and I’m glad I’ve joined the platform, even just for the groups. Blogger groups allow you to gain a lot of exposure and followers and they were the main reason I joined Facebook as its been a daunting prospect in the past. However, it will definitely suit you if you’re into photography!
The only big platform I’ve been too scared to use. Another platform that bloggers say converts thousands of users, but I tried it previously and it took a lot of time to gain a few views and I wrote it off. However, so many people sing Twitter’s praises due to little hard work and lots of visitors, so maybe it is worth trying. If you do use Twitter, remember to update regularly and not bore your followers with low activity. You can also link to older posts on Twitter as the platform is better for sharing older content.
#12: Followers Analyzer
If you use Instagram, this is great as it can unfollow those who unfollowed you and also notify you on topics such as users who block you, average number of likes and comments (useful if you’re looking to create a media kit) and who started following you. It also tracks how many follows you get daily and creates a nice progress graph for info on how you’re doing.
Yes, any generic notepad app will allow you to store notes and write down quick information, short blog post drafts or hashtags for your next post on the gram. I use the Apple Notes as it has a huge amount of storage, is easily accessible and has all the features of most notepad apps as well as the useful checklist feature, ideal for making lists.
Although writing longer emails isn’t ideal on a phone screen, the mail app will allow you to read and check incoming emails and filter out any you don’t need. This is definitely beneficial because it means you’re always alerted of any contact even if you’re on the go or without your laptop, and you can reply to shorter emails and get smaller time-consuming tasks out of the way.
The camera function is already installed in most phones, but it is completely essential for bloggers in particular as it allows you to document and store photos for your blog when you’re without a camera and without any difficulty. The iPhone camera is admittedly amazing (it’s only a bit behind the Nikon camera I use) and by taking your phone around with you, you’re able to snap any shots for social media, headshots or just some pictures of those cute wall murals you saw last week.
Perfect for scheduling posts and content for your socials, this app is known to be perfect for saving time and that last minute panic when you realised how long you’ve been neglecting your Instagram for. You can arrange posts on several different platforms and save hours of your time by scheduling posts in advance if you have a busy week ahead. Many bloggers swear by this but I’ve decided to hold off on the scheduling and stick with Tailwind for the moment as Pinterest is something I tend to abandon.
Like a developed version of the generic Notes feature in your phone, Evernote will allow you to create organised notes, access notes across several devices and use features such as bullet point lists, etc. I love Evernote and find it really useful for taking notes on topics such as hashtags, bloggers to follow or blog post ideas. Yes, Notes is useful, but Evernote will probably leave you shocked by its range of features, all individually useful and beneficial for your Instagram captions, current pageview count and more.