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By the end of this section, you’ll know how to:

Inspiration doesn’t wait to strike until you’re settled in at your desk with a computer; you never know where you’ll be when you have The Next Big Idea or see the perfect vignette, demanding to be captured in a photo. WordPress mobile apps make it easy to post on the go. Heck, you can even create a whole new blog on the go. The whims of the blogging muse are no match for you and your phone.

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Download and set up a mobile WordPress app

Choose a flavor

Whichever type of mobile phone you use, there’s a WordPress app to match. In these screenshots and examples we’ll be looking at iPhones using WordPress for iOS, but the key ideas transfer easily to whichever smartphone you’re working with.

Already have an app up and running? We don’t want to slow you down — skip right to Posting from your phone or tablet and collect $200. If not, read on.

Right now you can choose from:

If you can’t find an app that meets your needs, remember that you can always post by email from any email-enabled device.

Action Time! Choose the phone you use and install the appropriate WordPress app. It’ll take you less than a minute, and you’ll then be able to play along with the rest of us rather than thinking about doing so at some indeterminate time in the future. No time like the present!

Set up your app

Now you have an app installed on your device, you’ll want to set it up to work with your blog (or blogs). The process is similar across all the apps. On the iOS platform (iPhone/iPad/iPod touch) the first thing you’ll see is a welcome screen inviting you to add a WordPress.com blog you’ve already got set up, a WordPress.org blog (one you’re hosting yourself outside of WordPress.com), or a new WordPress.com blog that you can create right from within the app:

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We’re going to assume that you already have a blog. However, if you want to make a new blog — maybe you want something just for posting your mobile content, like your street photography — tap Create New WordPress.com blog and you’ll have one up in running in a minute or two.

When you tap Add a WordPress.com blog, the next thing you’ll see is this:

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Enter your creds, and the app will sync with your blog (or if you have a bunch of them, your blogs, which you’ll be able to choose between). You’ll be able to see the posts you’ve already written and any drafts you have hanging around, and you’ll have the option to write a new post. We’ll look at how to do that in the next section.

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If you have more than one blog, click the icon with the three little lines in the upper left corner to get to a list of all your blogs, and then pick the one you want to work on.

Go ahead, put in your username and password. We’ll wait for you.

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Post from your phone or tablet

Now you’ve set your blog up to sync with your phone you’re ready to post. To edit an existing post, just tap on the post title to go to the editor, make your changes, and update. To create a new post, tap the plus symbol on the top right of the screen:

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Now you’re in the post editor, where you can write, add a title, give your post some tags (remember those?), and assign the post existing or new categories:

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To assign a category, tap on Categories (you probably guessed that). You can select an existing category from the list that appears. If you’d like to add a new category, tap the plus symbol at the top-right of the screen and add the new one; you can even give it a parent category:

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When you’re done, hit Save. Your new category will now also be accessible when you post to your blog from a computer.

Hit Save again to return to the post editor, and start writing. Tap on the main post editing section, which helpfully says Tap here to start writing, and you’ll be taken to a keyboard/full-screen post editing page:

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Along with the keyboard, there are buttons for formatting text (making it bold or italic), inserting links, and formatting quotes. It’s just like posting from your computer, except it’s a little squished and it doesn’t have that sticky “p” key that’s really hard to press. When you’re done writing, press Done.

You’ll now be back on the new post screen. Along the bottom, you’ll notice three icons on the left: a pencil, a cog, and an eye, which are ancient WordPress hieroglyphs meaning, “Don’t try to fix heavy machinery with a pencil, or you’ll put your eye out.” No, really.

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Okay, we see that we can’t put one over on you — these are additional editing options:

  • The pencil is for editing the text or content of your post, and takes you back to full-screen writing mode.
  • The cog goes to your post settings, where you can set whether the post will be public or private, published or draft, and can even schedule a post to be published later on if you don’t want it to go out to your readers immediately. This is also the place you’ll head if you’re using a theme that has certain post formats, to select between those available from this screen. Finally, you can choose a featured image to appear with your post.
  • The eye lets you see a preview of your post. This is especially useful if you’re working with HTML in the post editor and want to check that everything’s displaying as it should be, but also gives you a nice bird’s eye view of your work in progress:

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Head back to the main post editor by tapping the pencil icon at the bottom-right of the screen, and when you’re happy with your post, hit Publish at the top left of the screen to send it whizzing off into the blogosphere (if you’ve opted to schedule rather than post immediately, hitting Publish will activate the schedule).

You’ll now see the status of your post, which should change from “uploading” to being added to your list of existing posts once it’s been published:

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Rinse and repeat, and you’ll soon be mobile blogging up a storm.

Action Time! Where are you right now? Look around, and write a post based on what you see. It could be a description of where you are, the tale of how you got there, or a story about how the man in the three-piece suit walking past is really a double-agent.

If you’d prefer not to post that to your existing blog, why not quickly create a new blog just for mobile posting? You could keep it private and use it to capture ideas when you’re out and about, to post photos from your sojourns (we’ll be looking at that next), or as a complement to your existing blog. Whatever you decide, post and publish something from your phone so you can bask in the delights at having done so.

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Upload photos & video from your phone to your blog

Now that you’ve managed to crank out a simple text-based post, how about giving posting photos and videos a shot?

Posting photos

Remember the post editor? You were just there. (Helpful reminder: you got there by tapping the plus symbol at the top right of your list of posts). To add a photo or photos to your post, you’ll want to tap the picture icon at the bottom right of the screen:

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That pulls up the option to either add a photo from your phone’s photo library or take a new photo to drop into your post. Let’s take a look at adding an existing image first:

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You might see a warning at this point that WordPress wants to access your images. If you’d like to use images you’ve saved to your phone, tap “OK” to give the WordPress app access to your photo library. Don’t worry; the WordPress app is a very responsible guest:

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Choose a photo from your photo library, and decide what size you’d like the image to be. What you choose depends on a few things: the width of your theme, the type of photo you’re uploading, and whether you have a good connection at the time. Based on those, you can decide if you’d to use like a sharper-but-bulkier high-resolution or a speedier-but-fuzzier lower-res image:

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You’ll now see that image being uploaded to your blog, which typically only takes a second or two with a good connection. Once it’s uploaded, you’re done — the app will add it to your post. Tapping on the image if you’d like to preview:

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Now add any text you’d like to, and tap Publish. That’s it, you’ve published a photo! You’re growing up so fast.

If you’d rather take a new photo and post straight from the camera, the process is pretty similar. Tap the image icon bottom-right and choose Take Photo:

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Once you take your snap, the process will be exactly the same as with the image from your library. It’s a great way to capture the moment and then share it in seconds.

Note that if you use an app like Camera Plus or Snapseed to edit photos on your phone, you’ll want to do all that first, and then upload the photo to your blog — if you take a photo and plop it right onto your site, you’ve missed your chance to crop it or fix the red-eye.

Action Time! Show off your ‘hood. Hit the streets with your phone and capture a scene of everyday life that represents your neighborhood. Once you’ve snapped a moment from the world around you, post and publish it to your blog with a little post telling readers more about it. Boom. See how easy that was?

Posting video

Posting video follows an almost identical process to the photo you just posted. However, if you’d like the capability to add videos to your blog from your phone, you’ll need to be packing a VideoPress upgrade — otherwise, you’ll need to upload your videos to a service like YouTube or Vimeo, and then embed them into your blog. If posting video on the fly sounds like it suits you, grab the upgrade for your blog.

To blog a video, tap the icon to the left of the one you used to insert a photo — it looks like a strip of film:

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As with a photo, you’ll now have the option to record a video or use one you’ve already saved to your phone’s photo/media library:

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If you’re selecting a video from your library, you’ll be able to preview the video before you select it. If it’s the one you’re looking for, tap Choose, otherwise; cancel out and pick something else:

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Again, as with photos, you’ll now see a progress update of the video uploading, can preview it once it has uploaded, or can hit Publish to send it out the world:

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If you’d rather shoot video and upload it directly, you’ll want to choose “Record Video”:

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Shoot your video as you would usually from your mobile. We recommend a close friend doing the robot dance as a good starting place:

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And when you’re done, you can watch it through to decide if you’d like to post the video, or try again for a different one. That’s it. Upload and publish as you have in the posts above. Boom: you’re a digital filmmaker and distributor in one. Look out, Coppola.

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Action Time! If you have the VideoPress upgrade, your mission is to get out of the house, record an under-sixty-second video, and post it to your blog right from your app. It could be a monologue in the park, a scene from everyday life or anything else you can think up. Go, shoot, post!

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By now you’re up and running, have a blog you’re proud of, and can add media and posts from wherever you are. If you’re looking for more inspiration now that you have the basics down, be sure to check out The Daily Post for tips, tricks, and writing and photo challenges, or keep up with the latest and greatest posts, features and ideas on the WordPress.com blog. And if you get stuck or need a helping hand, our support docs, forums and Happiness Engineers are waiting to give you a boost.

Now get out there and blog. Don’t worry about us; we’ll be fine. I mean, we’d love it if you came back to visit, but we understand that you’re very busy . . .

<sniff>

Now, go be awesome!

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Header image based on “Red Wheels” by Anne-Lise Heinrichs, CC-BY-2.0

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