Have you ever heard of a blogger who doesn’t own a smartphone? Surely there are some, but for the most part bloggers are ahead of the technology curve. While some people view smartphones as luxury tools — toys that they can use to stream video and play games — they are actually quite useful tools. Bloggers in particular can use them to their advantages.
If you’re a blogger who isn’t incorporation smartphone usage into your blogging habits, there’s still time. Here are five ways bloggers can use their smartphones to make their blogs even better.
Don’t have a smartphone? Don’t fret. While the newest and most powerful smartphones cost hundreds of dollars, most bloggers don’t need those. There are plenty of phones, such as T-mobile Android phones, that are inexpensive. They’ll work just as well, in practical terms, as those big, fancy, new devices.
1. Ensure a quality mobile experience
How many of your readers come from mobile devices? Chances are more than you think. If you haven’t checked your stats in a while, take a moment to do so now. Many blogs are seeing a third or more of their overall traffic coming from mobile devices. Yet so many of them design as though all visitors are coming from standard browsers.
It is imperative for bloggers to understand how their readers experience their blogs. If a third of readers come from smartphones, and the site looks horrible on a standard smartphone screen, you have to take action to remedy that. Whether it’s a mobile plugin, an app, or a complete redesign — all three are recommended — bloggers need to make the mobile experience more engaging for readers who are increasingly reading on their smartphones.
2. Engage in comments
Blog comments are great. They’re an indication that not only people read your post, but found something that compelled them to comment. Bloggers can encourage further engagement by responding to comments. Not all comments are worth a response — there are too many “great post” comments — but bloggers do well to engage those who leave engaging comments.
The problem is that responding to comments can be a time-consuming chore. We have things to do, just like everyone else. But everyone has a little down time, right? Think of all the instances where you’re just standing around waiting for something. It’s a perfect opportunity to pull out your smartphone and respond to comments. That way you’re not bored, and you’re being productive.
3. Create lists
Have you ever sat down at your computer, ready to compose a blog post, but found that you had no ideas? That happens to so many bloggers. The reason: lack of preparation. Ideas don’t just come to us when we need them. They’re developed over time. Bloggers can get proactive about this by using their smartphones to create lists. That way, no matter where you are, you have a list of ideas in front of you.
There are plenty of other kinds of lists bloggers can make on their smartphones, too. Take, for instance, the popular to do list app Toodledo. It not only has an easy web interface, but also a smartphone app that syncs to the desktop. Bloggers can make lists of tasks and check them off no matter where they’re located. Projects are easier to accomplish when using lists, and smartphones were made to create lists.
Social media has become an essential tool for bloggers. In fact, as SEO has lost some of its value due to Google’s increasingly personalized search results, social media has become an invaluable promotional tool. If bloggers aren’t engaging in social media, they are falling far, far behind the pack. It’s conceivable that in the near future, blogs without big social media presences will simply cease to exist.
Even if you are promoting your blog through social media and are engaging with your readers, you might not be doing everything you can. There are optimal times to send tweets, when bloggers will receive more click-throughs and RTs. What if you’re not at your computer during those times? That’s when the smartphone comes in handiest. You can tweet whatever you need to, whenever works best for your readers. You’ll benefit in engagement and audience.
If you’re writing a blog, but aren’t reading dozens of other blogs, you’re losing out. That’s like a fiction writer who doesn’t read novels. It just doesn’t work. The best bloggers read as much as they can, and figure out what works and what doesn’t. That’s how they make their blogs high quality, by observing and digesting the work of others.
Smartphones provide a wonderful reading experience. It’s easy to read through a blog post on a smartphone. That can give you not only ideas for your own blog posts, but also for your mobile design. Better yet, you can check out various blogs’ smartphone apps, so you can see what will work for your own blog. Bloggers should not only be reading, but reading on their smartphones.