One of the greatest advantages to professional blogging and living the dot com lifestyle is the location freedom. You can practically work from anywhere as long as you have a reliable Internet connection and the right equipment on hand, even when you’re not really working. Whether you’re chilling at the coffee shop, waiting to get your car detailed, or on a family vacation halfway around the world, you can still blog and you can still run your business.
But what is the “right equipment” for the job? It depends on your budget, your preferences, and your individual circumstances.
The most convenient mobile blogging solution is to use the device you already have: your smartphone. If you’re anything like me, you never leave the house without your phone, so this means you always have the opportunity to work on your blog. This includes taking pictures, writing posts, moderating comments and more.
There are official WordPress apps for both iOS and Android, or you can simply log into your blog using the mobile browser on your device. This is convenient, to be sure, but it can also be quite limiting.
Typing up a few short comments and tweets on your phone is one thing. Typing up entire blog posts on your phone is another matter altogether. You may or may not be quite as adept at doing that, not to mention the added complications of formatting and the like. I’d say that the phone is a good option in a pinch, but it should not be your primary mobile blogging solution.
iPad or Android Tablet
For something a little bigger, you might stick to the Google Android and Apple iOS ecosystems, but opt for a tablet instead. The iPad family ranges considerably in price. If you want to get the best mobile blogging experience, though, you’ll want to get an iPad Pro with a Smart Keyboard.
This best approximates the “laptop” experience by offering you a proper keyboard for typing. The package is arguably more convenient, and depending on who you are, you might carry around your iPad with you anyway. However, you’ll run into the same limitations by running iOS instead of a “full” desktop OS.
Not only that, but when you combine something like the iPad Pro with a Smart Keyboard, you’re running well into the territory of a decently-equipped laptop. It’s not quite at the same tier as a $7,000 Macbook Pro, of course, but you’re right in the same range as many mainstream laptops.
A simple and affordable alternative you might consider is to get a Google Chromebook. In many ways, this could grant you the best of both worlds by giving you a “true” laptop experience in a package that doesn’t cost as much as a regular laptop.
Pricing can vary considerably here, of course, but entry-level Chromebooks can be had for as little as $200 or $300, though it specs all the way up to $1,299 and more for the Google Pixelbook. With a Chromebook, you have access to the suite of Chrome OS apps, as well as the ability to run Google Android apps.
Blogging on the go is quick and efficient, since you can work within the same “full” web experience as you would get on a “full” computer, though you likely can’t expect to get the same level of performance if you need advanced photo and video editing as part of your blogging workflow.
While you can certainly step up to more expensive options like the Surface Pro, Surface Laptop, and Surface Book series, the Surface Go could be the ultimate in portable power for mobile bloggers.
The base model starts at $399, but that leaves you with eMMC storage and less RAM. In addition to the higher end model, you might also consider the exclusive Costco bundle. That’s important, because the Surface Go doesn’t come with the keyboard and Surface Pen by default.
What you end up getting is a device that’s not any bigger than a tablet but with the full functionality of true Windows 10 (after you unlock it from the default S Mode). This is a “real” computer in every sense of the word, except you have the added advantage of a touchscreen, plus the creative capabilities of a smart stylus.
Just Get a “Real” Computer
For my part, and your individual preferences and circumstances will certainly vary, the choice is clear. If I’m not doing any traveling out of town, I have no intention of doing any proper “blogging” outside of on my desktop computer in my home office. I used to bring a laptop with me to the coffee shop now and then, and I might take that up again, but the desktop is where my work “lives.”
If I’m traveling for a short period of time (overnight), I oftentimes won’t bother with the laptop and rely mostly on my phone and tablet to keep the ship afloat. If I plan ahead, there’s very little actual “blogging” I need to do until I get back. On the other hand, longer trips will almost always require the “real” laptop. That said, I am intrigued by the Surface family and I may end up replacing my laptop with a convertible PC as my next upgrade.
What about you? What device do you prefer to use when blogging on the go?