Bloggers know that in order to blog you need access to technology. But what if things go awry and the technology that we so depend on goes haywire?
I had to experience this myself over the last few months. I had a netbook with Windows 8. It seemed great. It was tiny and portable. Slick. Touchscreen. After a few months it go slower and slower… and slower. To the point where I couldn’t even type. Each word I typed would just lag. Making it impossible to blog.
I had to come up with a way to blog without a computer.
It was frustrating. It was tedious. It wasn’t ideal. But I couldn’t afford a new computer at the time. And every method I tried to speed up my existing laptop, just didn’t work.
With some tweaks and a heck of a lot of trial and error, I figured out how to make it work and blog without a computer.
How did I do it?
My blog is self hosted with WordPress. So there was no way getting around updates. I had to log in at work or at the library to update my plugins about once a week. But the rest of my blogging was all done between my iPhone and iPad. But it worked!
Would I blog without a computer on purpose? Probably not. This was out of necessity really. You gotta do what you gotta do. In order to keep up with my blog, this is what I had to do.
First off, I used the WordPress app to type up my blog posts. Thankfully they’ve been updating the app with new features to make it better. You won’t be able to use all the wonderful back end plug ins, but you can use HTML to at least do it old school. I would save each post as a draft first, just to make sure it “stuck.” I had a bit of an issue with the app occasionally, where it would lose my posts. Days where it was particularly bad I would use EverNote to type up the blog post, then paste it into WordPress and format it.
For my photos I stuck with my iPhone. Which is no different from what I did before or even now. I use an iPhone 6 plus. It’s great for reducing shake. Which I struggle with. I also used apps to edit my photos right on the phone. Aviary was great for cropping and enhancing. Over was great for adding text and typography. I still use both of these apps!
After editing my photos, I’d go back to my WordPress draft to insert each photo. Sometimes I’d do it the other way around. Uploading my photos to a draft and then adding text in later. Either way works!
I use the DisQus plug in for my commenting system and sadly that means I couldn’t respond to comments via the app, which became cumbersome. But you can work around it by opening in Safari.
To engage and promote my content, I downloaded HootSuite and scheduled tweets to promote each post. I also participated in Facebook promotion groups, just copy and pasting my link into the proper places. The downside to promoting on my phone was that it was difficult to keep track of what I’d already done.
There was no installing themes or checking out new plugins without a computer. Which for me was a real loss. It’s important for me to figure out ways to have my blog functioning quickly and at it’s best. I just wasn’t able to do that using only an iPad or iPhone.
It’s not impossible to blog without a computer. Especially if you have access to a computer to occasionally update your site. But I recommend against it. Especially if personalization and general maintenance is important to you. But it is a good experience in creativity. When required and determined, you can come with some ingenious hacks to blog without a computer. It’s not impossible!
I’m actually thankful I went through this growth process. It was a bit of a sink or swim season that really stretched me and forced me to make a decision. To continue, or to just give up.
I’m thankful I figured out how to blog without a computer and didn’t give up!
Have you ever been forced to just “make things work” when it seemed impossible?