Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Blake Sanders. If you would like to contribute too, please contact me.
Competition online is fierce. To flourish, a blog must distinguish itself, and it does that by being mobile and engaging.
Today, smartphones account for about 40% of the cell phones in use. With mobility, the blog delivers content and insight as it occurs. By staying engaged with readers, a blog seizes attention, maintains it, and promotes participation. This type of approach earns the type of reader that keeps coming back for more.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when trying to stay mobile and engaged with your blog.
Engage Full Speed Ahead!
In order to engage effectively, we must ourselves engage. That means truly plugging in and being prepared to pounce on whichever story rises to the top. The great difficulty here is that we’re an aspect of the very network that we’re trying to serve, and that network is pure chaos. We need broad exposure while staying in touch with the blogosphere, and by doing so, we can deliver the type of content that readers will invest in and may go viral.
Tools of the Trade
Mastering the chaos may seem impossible, but appearances can be deceiving. Modern bloggers have tools at their disposal: smartphones, tablets, laptops, wireless dongles and, most importantly, applications.
Today, information is king. There is more to process and more to disseminate, and apps are key to getting it done. Here are some examples:
Dropbox – This app is a powerful cloud-based service that provides 2 GB of free storage for users. With apps for Android and iOS and software for PC and Mac, you can upload, download and share your files no matter where you’re blogging.
Evernote – For Androids and iPhones, Evernote helps us make sense of the chaos. In one sense, it is a note manager, but it is also a lot more than that. It works the way you do, and it handles ideas, snapshots and voice recordings.
NetNewsWire – This is one of many excellent apps that keep a handle on your RSS feeds. Well-chosen, well-organized RSS subscriptions are the most important tool you have to stay on top of everything going on around you, and NetNewsWire delivers this capability.
WordPress and the WordPress App
For those who blog using the WordPress platform — and if you don’t, you really should start — the WordPress mobile app is an indispensable FREE tool. Currently available for iOS, Android and BlackBerry, WordPress Mobile has a wide array of features that make many of the tasks we do from our smartphones simpler: check statistics, moderate comments, compose brief posts, location mapping, manipulating images and much more.
Many bloggers prefer their laptop or netbook to their smartphone or tablet for the heavy lifting. To be mobile, the trick is getting that laptop a consistent internet connection.
The two most popular methods are the wireless dongle or tethering through a smartphone data plan. While purchasing wireless dongles can be an extremely convenient way of keeping your laptop connected, tethering often has numerous advantages including both flexibility and cost.
Tethering is simply the process of using your smartphone as an internet connection for another device, and we often refer to it as creating a Wi-Fi hotspot when it can support multiple devices.
Today, most devices connect through Bluetooth, but you can also tether using a data cable, such as USB. The easiest way to tether is to have the capability as part of your data plan, and then connect your laptop via a Bluetooth connection.
Tech-savvy users can also circumvent provider fees by “jailbreaking” their phone and using tethering apps, such as MyWi or PdaNet.
Guest post: This article is written is by Blake Sanders, who is a tech writer at broadband comparison site Broadband Expert where he specializes in mobile broadband and wireless dongle information, as well as the latest industry news.
Image credit: Nathan Siemers – Flickr.com