Blogging on the go has become quite easy
This is a follow up to my post on how to create a website in 5 minutes using just a phone. But there’s not much point in creating a website if you can’t put up blogs just as easily. After spending a few hours exploring WordPress, I realized the platform has immense possibilities, even on the free version. But the problem is there’s a learning curve, which will take a bit of time.
This is an issue because I’m writing this post on Medium, an alternate to WordPress. The thing is it’s much easier to blog on Medium. You just type in your story, add images, links, a few tags, and simply hit ‘publish.’ Writers on Medium are used to this simplicity and ease of use. They are unlikely to have the patience and time it will take to go through tutorials to learn how to create a full website on WordPress.
The question is can we simplify publishing articles on WordPress so a writer on Medium would consider it? The answer is yes. Read on to learn how.
Blogging in WordPress
The first stage is creating your website on WordPress. That takes five minutes and is a one-time thing.
Posting blogs on your newly created website seems more complicated, simply because WordPress is infinitely more versatile than Medium. But if you follow my steps below, you can post your blog in a few minutes. I will be using the WordPress app on iPad OS (same as I did while creating the website) but this process should be similar and work as easily on any platform or browser.
If you have created your website previously, open your website’s dashboard in the WordPress app by clicking the website name/icon on the top left. Alternatively, in the last step, while creating your website, you will be prompted to take a little help in getting started. If you agree, WordPress will take you through a step-by-step process to set up your website completely.
If you have time, I recommend you do this. WordPress says it takes 20 minutes. However, I was still struggling after more than an hour, probably because I don’t settle for compromises.
So if you want to publish your posts quickly, then follow these steps.
Checking out my website’s contents
Tap ‘Not this time’ at the prompt, after creating your website. This will land you on the dashboard of your website in the WordPress app. (If you are lost somewhere in the WordPress app, tap on ‘blog posts’ in the menu). In the right panel under the ‘published’ tab, you will now see an article called ‘The Journey begins,’ or something similar. This is a sample post put on your site by Medium. Tap on the ‘view site’ button at the bottom left.
A window will open up displaying your site’s home page, and what’s currently on the page, which is a sample blog post. The home page is set to show your blogs in sequence (blog feed) with the latest one on top. The only other page on your site is the ‘contact’ page. You can check out this page by clicking the ‘contact’ button. You can change or correct some of the details on these pages via the ‘settings’ menu on the bottom left of the dashboard.
Six minutes to publish a blog
Now let’s say I want my Medium article on ‘creating a website in five minutes’ replicated on this site. All I need to do is copy that article from my Medium blog and paste it here.
Let’s time this. It’s 4.07 pm
If you are on an iPad, you need to open the Medium article in your browser (the Medium app only allows you to copy one para at a time). Once the Medium post is open, tap ‘select all’ and then ‘copy.’ Next, go back to the WordPress app, tap on the ‘write’ button at the bottom. A new window will open. Paste the text you copied in the ‘start writing’ box. (If you paste into the ‘Add title’ box, your entire story will be pasted in large title size font.)
After that, ‘cut the title of your story from the body text and paste it in ‘Add title’ box. Then hit ‘publish ‘on the top right, and your first blog is done.
It’s 4.13 pm. So it took me just 6 minutes to publish a blog. You can check the system clock on the top left of the screen captures. (A couple of the screenshots shown above were taken later because I missed taking those snapshots during the actual timed process).
Checking out my first blog
Let’s see what the site now looks like. As soon as I hit publish, the writing window closes and I’m back on the dashboard page. I tap the view button (or the ‘blog posts’ menu), and the site opens up in a new window in the app. But I want to see what it looks like in a browser, so I tap the globe icon on the bottom right. The page opens up in my browser and looks quite similar to my original Medium post. Not bad for five minutes of work!
Tidying up my website
My blog posts appear on my WordPress site’s homepage, with the latest post appearing on top. However, when I scroll down, I notice the sample post at the bottom of my latest post. That post needs to be removed.
I go to the app dashboard, tap on the ‘blog posts’ menu, go to the published tab, tap the 3-dots beside the sample blog, and choose ‘Move to Bin.’
Sharing my post
All that’s left is to now is to share this blog. For instance, let’s assume I want to share this link with my readers on Medium who can’t read my original blog as it’s behind the Medium paywall. To solve this issue, I just put a link to the free version of the same post on the top of my original Medium post.
To do this, I open my WordPress blog on my browser. I then tap the little floating menu at the bottom right, and select copy shortlink (I had to actually copy it from the pop-up as tapping ‘ok’ didn’t do it). Alternatively, you can copy the URL from the address bar. I then go to my Medium post, type in a sentence that says something like ‘Link to this same post on WordPress,’ and link the ‘link’ word using the ‘link’ function in Medium. See the screenshot on the right. That’s it.
WordPress is capable of being a whole lot more than just a free version of your paywalled Medium blogs. You can really bling up your site using the many features that are available even in the free version, and also start generating income from ads in paid versions. I have just begun exploring these myself, so that’s another story.