In “Blogging From Your Phone: A New Year’s Resolution,” Sarah Blackstock challenges herself to blog from the WordPress mobile app in 2018. Some of you may have similar goals to connect with others and write more, and one way to achieve both is by using WordPress on the device that’s always in your pocket. Not sure how to begin? Here are five suggestions.
Check your notifications
The first place I look when I open my WordPress app is the Notifications tab — the bell-shaped icon on the bottom right. I get excited when I see that orange dot, which means that a reader has liked or commented on one of my posts. The Notifications tab is the quickest way to see who has interacted with your site(s): you can approve, trash, or edit comments, and respond to readers right on your phone to keep the discussion going.
Read new posts on your favorite sites
Tap on the Reader icon at the bottom of the screen to access the Reader on your device. Here, you can see what we’ve recommended on Discover and catch up on the latest posts from your Followed Sites (shown below). In Search, you can hunt for topics, hashtags, and communities that interest you. And if you want to revisit a post you’ve recently read and liked on WordPress.com, tap on My Likes to see these posts all in one place.
Start publishing with short posts
If you’re posting from your phone for the first time, start slow — save the 1,000-word essay or new year’s manifesto for another time! Free-write for five or ten minutes. Or, write a brief poem or haiku, like Ben Dwyer’s daily installments on his minimal site, haiku.blog. If you typically publish posts with different word counts, tackle your shorter posts on the app.
To draft a post, tap the pencil icon (the center icon at the bottom of the screen), select the site you’d like to post to (if you have multiple sites), give your post a title, and then tap on the main area of the screen to draft your post. When you’re ready to publish, click on the three dots at the top right of your screen and choose Options. Add relevant categories and tags if you’d like, and set a featured image. You can also tap Preview (under the three dots icon) to see a preview of how the post will appear once it’s live. When you’re ready, tap Publish.
Above all, keep it succinct — get comfortable using the app’s post editor and drafting on a smaller screen.
Post a single photograph
Another way to test the waters is to submit an image for the Weekly Photo Challenge, which runs every Wednesday at The Daily Post. As recommended above, keep it brief: type a sentence or two at the top of the post to introduce your photo. Then, add a link to the challenge post so your submission will appear in the image grid of responses. (This process creates a pingback.)
To create a pingback on the iPhone, for example, double-tap on a word to highlight it — you can highlight multiple words by dragging the cursor — then tap on the chain-link icon in your toolbar. Make sure the photo challenge link is in your clipboard — the link will be pasted automatically in the Insert Link form that pops up.
When you’re ready to add an image, click on the + icon in your toolbar, which will launch your phone’s Media Library. (You may be asked to adjust the settings on your phone to allow the WordPress app to access your images.) Select your image from your library, then click Insert 1. Once again, tap on the three dots to access more options or to preview the post. When you’re happy, tap Publish.
Create text shortcuts
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Finally, here’s a timesaver for more advanced users: use a tool that lets you create shortcuts for boilerplate copy that you always use, like messaging that asks for donations or directs readers to your tip jar or Patreon page, or a disclaimer that you display at the bottom of your posts. Instead of typing this text out for every post, use a Text Replacement on your iOS device (General → Keyboard → Text Replacement) or create shortcuts with apps like Shortcut (for iOS) or Texpand (for Android).