Blogo, a blogging app designed for the Mac, has the potential to streamline your blogging workflow in WordPress.
So just what is a workflow?
Simply put it's nothing more than the series of steps necessary to complete a task.
Efficient workflows are the life's blood of a writer. They can be the difference between success and failure.
For example, to produce a blog post a workflow might look something like this:
- Establish the subject and objective of your article.
- Create a general outline for the article.
- Identify sub-headings.
- Gather and study the research material you need.
- Gather any images you to use.
- Craft the article.
- Proofread for grammar and spelling.
- Analyze it for readability.
- Develop a headline.
- Do your SEO.
A Smooth Workflow Experience
Blogo, combined with a couple additional WordPress plugins, creates a near seamless writing workflow. It minimizes the number tools needed to create a blog post building efficiency in your workflow. It gives you the power to create and manage content for multiple blogs from a single dashboard. It has a clean interface for distraction-free writing. And, since it syncs directly with your WordPress sites, it provides real-time content previews using your active WordPress theme.
The app puts a long list of features at your fingertips making content management a breeze. They include:
- Create posts and pages — assign / edit slugs and include a featured image.
- Insert images, video, and quotes directly from the web into your article using their free browser plugins (available for Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Opera).
- Edit images — crop, resize, add filters, adjust brightness and contrast, and add alt text. Images are added as placeholders to preserve distraction-free writing (though clicking on the placeholder will reveal image preview).
- Add and assign sub-headings.
- Add categories and tags to posts.
- Schedule posts.
- Moderate and reply to reader comments.
- Save drafts to your WordPress site or Evernote.
- Publish directly to your site from the app.
- Manage/access existing content on your site.
As good as Blogo is, it does have its shortcomings.
- There is no option to sync with Dropbox. The Evernote sync worked flawlessly during my evaluation. If you use Evernote to create lists of future posts or use a note as a placeholder for a future post, then you’ll appreciate app's interface.
- Drafts can be saved to your WordPress site or Evernote. If you want to save to both you must first save to Evernote, then disconnect it from the app and save to WordPress. The live preview with your WordPress theme works flawlessly with either configuration.
- While you can add categories and tags, it isn’t capable of showing existing categories or tags.
- There is currently no mobile version of Blogo.
- Blogo doesn't currently support Markdown though it is planned for the future.
- No statistics available, i.e number of character, works, sentences, etc.
For my purposes the features and benefits of Blogo far outweigh its shortcomings. I don’t like writing with the WordPress editor. It’s just too cumbersome. The clean, distraction-free writing mode of Blogo, plus the real-time preview capability is great. While you can publish directly from Blogo, I prefer to move into WordPress to complete my workflow.
Since my draft is ready and waiting I can immediately move into WordPress to check the article for grammar, spelling, readability, and stats.
Blogo has very basic grammar and spelling check functions so I prefer to use Grammarly, a web-based grammar and spelling checker. Grammarly’s Chrome extension delivers its powerful grammar and spelling checker into WordPress. I'm able to make any corrections on-the-fly without leaving WordPress. Grammarly has extensions for Safari and Firefox and their free version is more than adequate for the typical blogger. For long-form articles and books, I would recommend moving up to one of their premium plans.
I use 2 plugins for readability and stats. The first is Better Writing. It displays a widget on the post-page with basic stats including, number words and sentences; average sentence length, average syllables per word and; the reading level of the article.
The second plugin is Word Stats. It displays additional stats on the post-page just below the post. Unlike Better Writing, it includes the number of characters and, most importantly provides a list of keywords and their frequency. Word Stats also provides an overall analysis of your site through the WordPress Dashboard.
While there is some redundancy between the two plugins, between them you get a complete analysis of every post and page on your site.
Finally, I wrap up my workflow with WordPress SEO by Yoast and hit “Publish”.