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Running a blog, whether it be your full time job or something you do on the side is a tremendous amount of work. The ability to work on your blog from anywhere at anytime is huge – and I want to show you how to do it all from your iPad. Personally, I use a 10.5″ iPad Pro, but the truth is any iPad with a keyboard will do. A keyboard is a must for writing! I do not use the Apple Pencil for blogging, so if you have a regular iPad do not worry about it.
Here is everything you ever wanted to know about how to run a blog from your iPad, including the six tools you need.
Why Use an iPad to Run Your Blog?
For me, the main reason I am using an iPad is because I have one! While I do have a 15″ MacBook Pro, everything we are going to talk about is geared towards and optimized for the iPad. I often use the iPad over the MacBook Pro because it is much smaller, lighter, and honestly more durable. My iPad Pro is over two years old, and has the Pro external keyboard case which is great, because I have everything in one place. It fits in my purse, and is easy to carry around the house, and just about anywhere else I want to take it.
Now, we are going to take a look at some of the essential functions of running a blog, and how to accomplish them on an iPad:
- Blog Writing and Content Creation
- Creating Images for Blog Posts and Social Media
- Social Media Management
- Google Analytics and Google Search Console
Blog Writing and Content Creation
An iPad with a keyboard makes it extremely easy to write just about anywhere anytime. Whether it be a blog post, an e-book, or any other type of content, the iPad is the tool for the job. There are a number of tools you can use to write on the iPad, so here are a few of my favorites.
Write a Blog Post Right in WordPress
I do not usually write a blog post in WordPress, but it can easily be done right on the iPad using the Safari browser with no issue. I tend to write my blog posts in Evernote, then just copy and paste them into WordPress accordingly. While this may seem like a bit of extra work, it makes it easy to collaborate and share content. Whether you are writing or putting an article in WordPress, all of the buttons are easy to use with the iPad and your fingertip – no pencil required.
When it comes to writing your blogs in WordPress, the only issue is if you do not have Internet access. Never fear, there are plenty of more tools to write with on your iPad.
Here are my two favorites:
Writing in Evernote
I absolutely love Evernote since it makes it so easy to share and collaborate. I use it for just about everything, including writing blog posts and creating content, to tracking to do lists and general notes for myself. I can also access Evernote from any device, be it iPad, iPhone, MacBook Pro, or even a Windows computer, you name it, you can access your files.
I use the premium version of Evernote, which costs 7.99 a month. If that is a little too much for your budget there is also a free version of Evernote that will get the job done. You can find out more about the editions of Evernote here.
Did you know that there is an edition of Microsoft Word for the iPad? If you are an existing Office 365 user, you already own it! The great part about Microsoft Word for iPad is its compatibility between devices. I can edit a Word document on my iPad, MacBook, or Windows laptop and it is compatible between all devices. There are not any scary formatting issues or changes across PC and Mac platforms anymore either, so this is a great option if you are a fan of Microsoft Word.
Remember, if you are already using Office 365, you already have the ability to use Word on your iPad. There are many flavors of Office 365 available, and you can often find discount codes. To find out more about Office 365 versions, check out this page. Different versions have different features, so make sure the version you select has the features you want, such as OneDrive.
When it comes down to it, Office 365 Home Edition should get you everything you need. It comes with the ability for six people to use Office 365, and each person gets a whopping 1TB of OneDrive storage. That should be plenty for almost everyone to get started blogging from their iPad!
Which brings me to my next point…
More on Collaboration and Sharing, Cloud File Storage
If you plan on collaborating with others and sharing files, you can do these with Microsoft Word and Evernote, however sometimes it is much easier just to share a single file, or even a directory to put files in. This is especially handy when sharing PDF files and images. For this I recommend one of the following:
- iCloud Drive
- Google Drive
The great news is all of these platforms come with a free version, and honestly I use all three depending on who I am collaborating with. iCloud Drive is a huge plus if you are an all in Mac users, since you can back up your iPhones and iPads right to the cloud. OneDrive comes with many Office 365 versions, so you you may already have it, and DropBox is another cross platform option. Even OneDrive works seamlessly between iPad/Mac/PC, as does Google Drive.
The trick is to find which one works for your budget, and what the people you wish to collaborate with are already using. There really is no wrong option here, but one of these would be very handy to have.
That about covers everything you need to do when it comes to writing a blog post or creating content on your iPad. Content can be written in a number of places, and the WordPress web interface works great in Safari.
Creating Images for Blog Posts and Social Media with Canva
Remember the cloud file storage options we just talked about? Your favorite will come in handy when it comes to creating images for blog posts and social media. I save all my images in directories that correspond to my blog posts on my cloud storage so they are easily accessible from any device.
My go to tool for this is Canva. Canva has two versions, the desktop app you access via a web browser from a laptop or desktop, and the iOS App. The only bummer here is that you cannot access the desktop app from your iPad, it just brings you to a screen to download the iOS App. While the iOS App is super easy to use, it is very different from the desktop version, so if you are already used to Canva desktop, there is a tiny bit of a learning curve.
Something to note is when Canva saves an image to your iPad, it saves it to your photo stream. If you want to share the image with others, you then need to go to your photo stream and move it to the cloud storage of your choice.
Canva for Work, which is the paid version of Canva costs $9.95 a month USD if you pay for a year up front. The fact of the matter is chances are good you can get away with the free version of Canva. The one feature that sold me on an upgrade is the ability to re size designs for different social media formats with the click of a button, and I am all about saving time. Canva for Work also comes with an expanded library of images and pre-made templates.
In addition to Canva for designing images, sometimes you may find yourself in need of FREE stock photos. My two go to sites for royalty free stock photos are:
Sometimes I like to incorporate these into my images for my blog.
Here is what I create with Canva for most blog posts:
- Featured Image for Blog
- Twitter Image (re-sized blog image)
- Pinerest Pins
- Illustrative Images (to prove a point or for easy to access images)
All of these I do in Canva! This is for sure one of my go to tools.
There is one other thing I do for my blog on a regular basis, and I can do it all from my iPad
Social Media Management
Managing social media accounts is a huge part of running a blog. The two social media platforms TechStarZone is active on are Twitter and Pinterest. Why did I pick these platforms? Honestly it was not scientific, but came down to my personal presence. Now, let’s take a look at the tools I use to manage each platform.
Does it seem like managing Twitter can be a full time job in itself? I thought so too, before I found a combination of tools that helped me. Here they are.
The Twitter iOS App and Tweetdeck
Twitter is a two part endeavor. For daily use, such as following others, re-tweeting, and generally engaging I simply use the iOS Twitter app. While this is a great way to manage a single Twitter account, the fact is many of us (including myself) end up managing multiple accounts. If I want to keep an eye on multiple Twitter accounts I use Tweetdeck, right from Safari.
Tweetdeck allows you to set up custom searches and results for hashtags and key words, mentions, DMs, and more all in a multi column format. This is helpful when you are managing multiple accounts and need a quick overview of what’s what.
I have all my accounts set up in both the Twitter iOS App and Tweetdeck. If I want to see everything, I head to Tweetdeck, if I want to focus on one account, I just head to the Twitter app. It is that simple.
CoSchedule for Tweet Scheduling
CoSchedule is my absolutely favorite hands down tool for managing social media and more! All of us bloggers know writing and publishing our blogs are only have the battle, and promoting them on social media is key! CoSchedule also ties into WordPress to help you write the best headlines, and then you can see your WordPress posts right in CoSchedule and add a Twitter campaign easily.
I have a whole post dedicated to how much I love CoSchedule here, but one thing I do not love about CoSchedule is the iOS App. The good news is you can simply head on over to CoSchedule.com in either Safari or Chrome and use the full web app there, just as easily as you would on a laptop or desktop.
Tailwind for Pinterest Scheduling
While CoSchedule does let you schedule Pinterest pins, I prefer to use Tailwind, since Tailwind also allows you to schedule repins. Pinterest is a new foray for me, but since I have seen a great deal of awesome content there, I figured it was worth a try. Kate at Babaganosh was nice enough to help me get started in the world of Pinterest, and you can find a great post of hers here which covers Tailwind and other tools she has used to double her food blog traffic.
Tailwind also has a great tool called Tailwind Tribes which allows you to share your pins with groups of like minded bloggers, and have yours shared in return. Similar to CoSchedule, I am not a huge fan of the Tailwind iOS App and prefer the web app. I have noticed that it works slightly better and faster in Google Chrome than Safari, but that could also be because my iPad is not the latest and greatest.
My tip in general is to try something in Chrome if you find it is not working well for you in Safari.
Google Analytics and Google Search Console
Great news! These both work fine on iPad, whether you are using Safari or Chrome! These are a vital tool for each and every blogger, so it is a huge relief they can be used on almost any platform anywhere. If you have not been using them, be sure to check out this blog launch checklist for help getting started with these two essential and completely free tools!
There is really no difference from using them on a laptop or desktop, simply touch what you wish to filter your view by, and you are good to go. A note is that as of November 2018, the default on Safari seems to be the old Google Search Console view, so if you wish to use the new interface it will be a simple single button click.
Other Productivity Tools for Your iPad
Did you know your iPad comes with some built in productivity tools? It does! Here are a couple of native iPad apps I find myself using over and over:
- Mail. I really like the iPad Mail app and use it for my e-mail. Alternatively, if you are a gmail user, there is a gmail app if you prefer.
- FaceTime/FaceTime Audio. You can use FaceTime or FaceTime Audio to communicate with others using the Apple ecosystem. Think of FaceTime Audio as free voice calls!
How to Run a Blog From Your iPad, The Tools You Need
To successfully run a blog from your iPad you will need the following tools:
- iPad and compatible keyboard
- Amazon has some great deals on refurbished iPads Pros too!
- Program to write in (WordPress, Evernote, Microsoft Word with Office 365)
- Cloud File Storage (iCloud Drive, OneDrive With Office 365, DropBox, Google Drive)
- App for image editing (Canva)
- Tools to manage social media (Twitter App, Tweet Deck from Browser, CoSchedule from Browser, Tailwind from Browser)
- Additional Web browser to compliment Safari (Google Chrome)
That is it! Everything you need to successfully run your blog from your iPad, anytime, anywhere!
Do you run your blog from your iPad? What tools are indispensable to you? Let us know on Twitter!