Now that there are many established ways to make money with WordPress, and even more options for monetising your blog, it's understandable that those with the right skills or a popular website might want to hit the road from time to time and work in new surroundings.
Also, with the proliferation of smartphones and tablets, getting some work done on your WordPress website while commuting or even queuing up for a coffee is now a realistic option for many bloggers and site owners.
So with that in mind, this post will give you some advice and tips on how to run your WordPress blog on the road without sacrificing any of the features and promotional tools you are used to using in order to publish your content and promote it online.
The Official WordPress Mobile App
A great place to start for those who want to blog on the road is to install the official WordPress mobile app from Automattic.
As well as giving you the ability to publish new posts while away from your desk, with the WordPress mobile app you can check your site stats via Jetpack from within the app, allowing you to see how many visitors and views your site is receiving in your absence, not to mention checking it’s still online.
Other features of the WordPress mobile app include:
- Take a photo and insert it straight into a post
- Moderate comments
- Add post ideas as drafts while on the road
- Auto insert a custom signature into posts published via the app
- Manage multiple WordPress websites
As this app works on tablets as well as smartphones, hooking up a foldable Bluetooth keyboard gives you the ability to turn the smallest of devices into a mobile blogging machine.
Whether you are commuting, queuing for a coffee, or travelling the globe, the WordPress mobile app makes it easy to keep tabs on your site and even post content on the small screen.
This free blogging app is available for Android, iOS, and BlackBerry, although there is no sign of a version of Windows Mobile users.
Schedule Social Sharing with Buffer
Once you’ve published your post with the mobile app, the next step is to share it with your followers on your social media networks of choice.
Obviously accessing all those accounts on different networks, especially if you have multiple accounts on the same platform for your personal profile and that of your blog, is going to be too time consuming to carry out on the road, and frustrating to complete on a small screen device, not to mention a drain on your precious battery life and network connection.
So with that in mind its essential to find a good scheduling tool that will allow you to not only share your post on multiple networks, but also schedule social sharing in advance, to take place when your readers are online but you are not.
One service that can really help you out in this area is Buffer. With a Buffer account and the free WP to Buffer plugin installed on your site, you can ensure your content is auto-shared as soon as you hit publish.
Alternatively you can use the sharing scheduling feature to setup a posting schedule and define the days and times you want your tweets and shares to be broadcast to your followers.
CoSchedule is another tool which is also worth checking out if you want to automate and schedule social sharing each time you publish a new piece of content
By setting up these accounts you can still maintain an effective social media campaign to get your content out there while on the road and even when you are offline.
Email Your Subscribers with the MailChimp App
As well as sending out your social media messages, emailing your newsletter and mailing list subscribers when a post goes live is a great way to promote your content and bring previous visitors back to your website.
Again, like promoting your content on the many social networks, sending out an email campaign to your list via an email marketing service on your mobile device can be a chore.
One solution which can really simplify the process for those on the road is to choose an email marketing service that has a mobile app. A popular choice is MailChimp, as not only does the service include all the features you need to send out an attractively formatted email to all your subscribers, but there is also an official mobile app which makes it a breeze to use on the small screen when you have to. MailChimp is also free for your first 2,000 subscribers making it a great value option.
While MailChimp does include the ability to auto-send out the blog posts you’ve published in the last week or month to your subscribers, with its hands off newsletter tool, the mobile app gives you the option of sending out a one off campaign, checking your stats, and much more while away from your computer.
If you want to know how easy this service is to use, check out our guide to integrating MailChimp with your WordPress site.
Other Useful Tools for Working and Blogging on the Road
While the above tips should help you publish your content online, share it on the social networks, and keep in touch with your mailing list, there are some more travel-related tips and tools you can take advantage of to ensure working on the road is a stress free as possible experience.
If you are connecting to shared Wi-Fi networks when travelling then you will be increasing the risk of your data being compromised. Everything you send over a shared network has the potential to be intercepted by anyone else on that network. This includes passwords and the files on your computer.
So to combat this it’s essential to sign up to a VPN service. This will encrypt your data as it’s sent over the network and can also have the added advantage of allowing you to access websites and content that is not available to you based on your current location, such as Netflix or iPlayer.
Private Internet Access is a low cost and well regarded VPN that allows you to connect up to five devices simultaneously, covering your laptop, smartphone, and tablets using the Android app, while also allowing you to choose from a range of countries from around the world to connect from.
Backup Your Data
Moving from place to place and visiting unfamiliar destinations can increase the risk of leaving something behind, your gear getting damaged in transit, or having it pinched by thieving locals.
Thanks to the wide array of cloud storage services that are now available, most of them offering free starter packages, there is now no excuse for not backing up the files and photos stored on your laptop, tablet, and smartphone.
While backing up your WordPress site is a given, with services like Dropbox capable backing up all your data in the background, include photos taken on your camera, if your device is unavailable, you can easily logon to another computer and get access to all those files in an instant.
Recover or Retire Your Lost or Stolen Devices
If your laptop, phone, or tablet does go missing then you can still gain control of it to either track it down or erase the data before it falls into the wrong hands.
There are a number of services out there which you can pre-install on your devices which will lock it down, erase the data, and even take photos of the new user and screenshots of what they are doing and email them to you in the background without them being aware of this taking place.
Prey is one popular service and the recovery stories are well worth reading for a bit of light entertainment and to get a better idea of how it could help you after the fact. There is a free starter plan so there is no excuse not to install this service on all your devices now.
Cerberus for Android is another option to those who prefer their apps with an extra layer of functionality that the general population will never use.
Conclusion: How do you Work on the Road?
While there are countless pieces of tech hardware and gadgets that are designed for making life easier when working on the road, the above should give you some good software options for getting work done when you are away from home.
If you have any essential apps or tips for working from a mobile device then please share them in the comments below.