Hi. I’m Nate Smith, author of the wildly celebrated parenting blog improvisingfatherhood.com (“wildly celebrated” = my mother-in-law really likes it). Today I’m going to show you how I have managed to completely abandon my Macbook Pro and have successfully shifted my entire blogging work flow over to my shiny new iPad. Before you begin blogging on the iPad you will need two things. A Tumblr account and a Flickr account. If you have any accounts that end in “er” just get rid of them. Of course there are other ways to successfully blog on the iPad, but this is how I do it.
Step 1. Content All good blogging starts with the content. I like to type out my content in Apple’s iPad app, Pages. I’ve toyed around with other options, such as using the Mail App and saving my work in the drafts folder, to using Evernote, and simply using the notes app provided by Apple. Each of these had their own special quirks that ultimately drove me back to Pages. Pages sells for $9.99 in the App store, and if that is too steep a price then I’m sure there are some other good note/documentation apps that are cheaper or even free. The reasons I have settled on Pages are simple. Formatting and Filing. When using the Mail App or Evernote, I found that when I copy/pasted the content to Tumblr (step 2) the formatting got all wacky. So then I would have to spend a decent chunk of time adding paragraphs and generally making sure everything was ready to be published. With Pages, all of the basic formatting is maintained when you copy it into Tumblr.
Be warned though, formatting such as bold and italic text won’t copy over. The second reason I like Pages is for it’s filing system. It’s pretty simple and meets my needs. I keep all of my drafts right in Pages basic filing system and if I need to access the documents from another device I can share them to myself easily via email or iWork.com. I like iWork.com because then the files are available as Pages, Word, or PDF format without any extra work on my part. But the main thing I like about filing my documents in the Pages system is the stability. With both the Mail app and Evernote, if I wasn’t connected to wifi when I was ready to save a draft, it seemed questionable as to whether or not my work was really saved. With Pages, all I have to do is exit the app and it’s saved. For extra measure I upload my files to iWork.com so I have a second copy.
Step 2. Copy/Paste Once you have your content ready to go, it’s time to post it. So the next step is to simply copy/paste your text into your Tumblr post. Before the iPad came out I had visions of what it would be like to use the iPad to do all of my blogging. The reason I decided to go with Tumblr originally was because of their amazing iPhone app. I assumed they would either have an iPad app ready to go on launch day, or that they would find a way to make their web interface iPad friendly. For the first few weeks neither of these things were true and editing Tumblr posts on the iPad was not easy. I was sad. But just a week ago the Tumblr staff announced that they had made a tweak to their rich text editing system. They didn’t mention the iPad, but I had a hunch. Lo and behold, now when you try to edit a post from the iPad the rich text editor is gone and you can edit in HTML. Now you can add your text, make certain text bold or italic, and add links. Everything you need for a good old fashioned bare bones text post.
But what if you want to add pictures to your post? Then what do you do?
Step 3. Add pictures This is where Flickr comes into the picture (pun not intended but I feel like I should take credit for it anyway!). Flickr doesn’t yet have an iPad app, but its free iPhone app works just fine on the iPad. From the iPad I take the pictures I want to use (either sent to me via email from my iPhone, or snagged off the interwebs via a Google search) and upload them to my Flickr account using the Flickr app. Once I have uploaded all the pictures I need for my post I open Flickr.com in Safari and navigate to the first picture I want to add to my post. I copy/paste the HTML embed code for that picture and place it in the body of my Tumblr post right where I want it. Repeat this process for each picture. The one downside to this method is that the HTML embed code includes a link back to your Flickr account, which is not really the intended result. But you can just change that link to whatever you want.
So there you have it. A complete blogging experience all from the comfort of your iPad. Don’t believe me? How do you think I created this post? For more information about Nate Smith go to www.natesmithcomedy.com.