Lee Odden

6 Tools For Better Blogging With An iPad

iPad blogging Like many others, I recently purchased an iPad out of curiosity. While my intentions were of discovery, I quickly found some productivity gains with blogging.

The upside to blogging with an iPad is that it’s portable and you can easily log your thoughts on a screen that is a lot more convenient than typing into an iPhone or other smartphone. Also, there are a number of apps to make it fairly easy.

The downside is that even though typing is easier on a much larger screen, typing on a screen vs. a tactile keyboard still takes some getting used to, even if you’re an iPhone owner. I also found some issues with copy/paste and for web based tools, anything that uses Flash is a no-go.

Here are several tips and tools that you can use to become productive more quickly when blogging using an iPad. Each icon links to the app store and this post was written entirely on an iPad.

WordPress App – The free app for WordPress is handy and is of course a very limited version of the web based version. The advantage of using the app is a simplified view and larger editing area. Basic functions like create, edit and delete of pages, comments and posts is available. If the limited nature of the app doesn’t work for you, the web based version works well too, albeit with smaller text and work area.

Bonus tip: Another handy blogging tool for iPad is BlogPress, which now supports updating Twitter & Facebook as well as upload & embedding of YouTube videos.

Dragon Dictation – One very handy workaround awkward typing on the iPad is to use speech to text. I had pretty low expectations of Dragon speech to text software but it’s pretty easy to use. You just speak into the microphone on the iPad and then copy the text from Dragon software over into WordPress or wherever it is that you’re blogging with. There might be a few small edits to make, but I found it to be pretty efficient and pretty accurate. Speech to text saves a lot of time and it’s something you can do when typing isn’t convenient. In fact, most of this post was done with Dragon.

PhotoPad & Built-In Screen Capture – With many blog posts, I capture images as screen grabs and then do some editing to customize for a particular blog post. iPhones and iPads can easily take a picture of whatever is displayed on your screen by holding down the top and bottom buttons at the same time. The image is automatically stored to your images folder.

Then I use the free PhotoPad app to open the image and do basic editing. Upload the image using WordPress and you’re all set. Editing options are very limited and I would love to get other recommendations.

Disqus Pro App – We use Disqus to manage comments on Online Marketing Blog, so moderation duties can be handled in part with this app that is made for iPhone, but usable on the iPad.

Echofon Pro – What good is writing a great blog post (or dictating one as in our case here) if no one knows you’ve published it? That’s where tools for Twitter and/or Facebook come in. I use Echofon for my Tweeting activities on my iPhone 4 and the iPad. In regards to blog promotion, it’s a quick way to share links to your best posts. There is a Tweetdeck app for iPad too, but I’ve had little luck getting it to work.

analytics app
Analytics App – If you need a quick fix for top level web stats for your blog and you use Google Analytics, then this app comes in handy. Like the other apps on this list, it’s limited, but can offer you info on the go.

Will the iPad server as a replacement device for blogging over the laptop?  For now I would say no. The limited features of the iPad apps over their web counterparts means too much switching back and forth between app and browser. However, I do see the iPad providing more convenient access to blogging than a cell phone. If you’re like me and manage a large number of draft posts at any given time, being able to finish off a post in between watching streaming movies on Netflix or HuluPro can add a slice of productivity to an otherwise all-entertainment device.

There are many other apps for iPad and if you have found some that are particularly useful for blogging, please share in the comments.

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on integrated content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely on a beach somewhere doing absolutely nothing.


  1. In the past I always thought a laptop was the answer to easy, convenient, portable computing around the house. However, I rarely move my laptop from my desk as it is attached to a large monitor, plugged into the AC outlet, etc, and is still a big awkward to carry around the house. I think the ipad, or similar device must be the answer, but then it comes down to the input device, an external keyboard that works better than the onscreen keyboard may be as good as it can get unless voice to text does what’s needed for you.

  2. Curt Prins says:

    Lee, I had a wicked amount of trouble with TweetDeck as well…until I ran across this tip. You have to have the “All Friends” column always present.

    With only three columns viewable at a time, it’s tempting to ditch it. When we you do everything goes haywire.

  3. BryanPerson says:

    Another great post, Lee and full of apps I haven't yet tried out! Twittelator is my favorite Twitter app for the iPad–*much* better than Tweetdeck. Others have liked Twitterific.

    Also, when I tried writing/editing a WP blog post in iPad using Safari, I was only able to use HTML mode; the WSYSIG editor didn't work (must be Flash based). Does the WordPress app overcome this?

  4. For Analytics you might also want to consider http://percentmobile.com

  5. I've written my blog, Selfishgiving.com, from an iPad with mixed results. The WordPress app is very limited and since I carry a keyboard with me to use the iPad it's kind of crazy not to just switch to the laptop. I also find it difficult to shift between windows on the iPad. Close one, open another up…no minimizing on the iPad. Of course, this is more of a reflection of how I write. If you are more of the the type of person who just writes without consulting other sources, like the web, the iPad will probably work fine for you.

    I like other apps for the iPad and the iPhone. You can read about them here.


    I have tried Dragon! But it has a little trouble with my Boston accent!


    • Joe, We'll have to wait until Fall before the iOS 4 comes to the iPad like it has for the iPhone, but as it is, I don't find it any more difficult to switch between apps on an iPad than I do on a laptop. It's pretty easy to copy a URL from Safari and then create a link within the post.

      I agree with your comments on the WordPress app. It's not that useful for doing anything but writing. Adding links, formatting, etc isn't easy at all and must be done in HTML.

      • I'm hopeful Lee! Although I must admit I have another reason I've been using my laptop more at my coffee shop: I get some many darn questions on the iPad I feel like I should be getting a commission from Apple! People are fascinated by it. Fortunately, none of them have wanted to use it for blogging like I do!

  6. Great article, thanks. I've switched over to bartering recently for most of anything I can get without having to shell out cash. There are a couple sites out thereto use, to connect with people who are looking to barter trade/swap items or even services (carpentry work for auto work, etc). One of the sites I use is Baarter – http://baarter.com

    They also have a ' Free Stuff ' section.

  7. Twitbird Pro has already been offering a similar feature for months now & it's totally underrated. I think it's the best Twitter app for iPhone & its cheaper than Echofon.

  8. Hi Lee,
    I had the chance to have a play on a friends ipad the other day, i spent about 2 hours with it, i enjoyed it and can see it has great potential. I am still trying to find a place for it though, i have an iphone, laptop and pc, still can't justify the expense to my self.

    • I was in the same position for a long time Pete. I looked at the iPad on 4 or 5 occasions at different Best Buy stores and just didn't feel it. Now that I have one, I'd say it's overall usefulness is as an entertainment device that's larger than a phone. Streaming video, checking email and Twitter are incredibly easy and enjoyable.

      • Hi Lee,
        That was my way of thinking, more entertainment than anything. Having said that, i think as the ipad progresses it will become more and more useful.The one thing that sways me at the moment would be being able to update my blog on the fly.

  9. giannii says:

    Disqus Pro is not an official app from Disqus. We are working on one that should be our shortly =] more detail on blog.disqus.com

  10. I'm amaze about your post. I-pad is really useful for blogging.
    Keep up the good work.


  11. Drd1201 says:

    Lee one of the nicest reports on this – with such accurate info- curious as to how DD is working? Easy to use, does it catch the word and translate easily- it's such a cool product and many folks don't take advantage of it.

    • Dragon Dictation works “OK”. It's by no means a replacement to typing. But it can offer some respite for a non-tactile keyboard.

  12. Thanks for sharing. But i'm not really sure that ipad's sale will increase by this feature. thanks anyway!

  13. LEADSExplorer says:

    @Lee Odden: you are rich if you can spend so many $$$ just out of curiosity.
    Or are you part of the “selfish elite” as defined in this study from My Type ? http://mytype.com/blog/?p=109

  14. iPad Accessories says:

    I am not sure about the other tools of blogging but WordPress works. Thanks for suggesting all other tools.

  15. Tanah Abang says:

    blogging with ipad definitely needs sometime to get used to. Typing on keyboard has been so natural to me that I don’t want to type on ipad screen.

    • Tanah, it’s true that a regular keyboard is more efficient, but it’s possible to get used to typing on an iPad. I liveblogged a few sessions at OpenCamp with an iPad recently and it worked pretty well.

  16. parça kontör, parçatl kontör.

    thanks for the post, i like it and i add my bookmark, thank you very much

  17. thanks for the post, I’ve found typing on the ipad to be a strange experience but Im getting used to it now and it’s certainly had an effect on my productivity which I was expecting but thought it would be in the wrong direction lol

  18. nice post really love it! I wonder if it would also be a key factor to track your time while blogging, tracking the number of hours or minutes to finish a blog, if it is then maybe the time tracking app from http://www.tsheets.com could help out, it has helped us a lot and we hope it could also help others, thanks again for the great post!

  19. Very nice and helpful topic..

  20. Thank you for this! Have you tried FX Photo Studio instead of Photo Pad ?

  21. ceorey deoryu says:

    These methods are useful, happened to be used …

  22. Lots of good  information in the article. Most of the tools I haven’t heard of. I personally don’t like to type using my iPad.

  23. Lots of good  information in the article. Most of the tools I haven’t heard of. I personally don’t like to type using my iPad.

  24. Thank you for the suggestion Gooseone. I have not had the alignment issue you mention. I have a MacBook Air now, so I don’t use iPad for blogging any more. 🙂

  25. I didn’t find the wordpress iPad app to be much good – but I think it’s been updated recently… so maybe should try it again!

  26. Shelly1980 says:

    Good article.  I will try one of these apps and report back.  I never blog from my smartphone but almost always on my laptop.  (I take it with me a lot.)  I find that my  laptop battery has a much longer life than my iPad.  Would you agree?  I probably use the iPad for too much “fun” (games, videos, etc.).  I don’t like typing on the iPad for blogging so that’s why I continue to lug around my laptop.

  27. Prince Sahu says:

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  28.  I think the WordPress APp is good after the latest update. I will try the Dragon App ASAP. Thanks for the good article.

  29. Md Uzzal Hossain says:

    wow your post is so useful for me.i like your post,keep it.thanks


  30. I already have the WordPress App, but haven’t tried the Dragon app. Is it put out by the same people that do Dragon Speaking for the PC?

  31. I would suggest using a time clock, as it helps you track your own performance with time.

  32. gaz płynny says:

    Thanks for giving a such a nice post , i feel very happy to visit this type of post, i would like to share about this to my friends ,

  33. I have tried and tried uploading images with the WordPress app on iPad and just can’t do it. Is my iPad (1) too old?

  34. I can’t even get my images to upload!

  35. Great tips! Great organization and ideas. Thanks!