These days I’m working on filling the missing spot here at ShoutMeLoud. What I meant by that is; integrating other blog promotion and marketing techniques to make ShoutMeloud reach out to more readers. And one of them is developing an iPhone app for my blog, and most of the options I have found are either paid or free with a catch. While researching for the same, I landed at Bloapp website (Pronounce as “Blope”) , which will let you create a complete free iPhone app within 5 minutes. Before you start jumping with the joy, you should remember, you will not be developing a stand-alone iPhone app for your blog, rather you will be serving your blog updates via Bloapp iPhone app. But, the kind of features and benefits we are getting here, made me try out this free service, and write about the same.
Features. Pros/Cons of BloApp:
Let me quickly explain how Bloapp works. You will be using their website to create an Android and iPhone app for your blog using RSS feed. You can customize the look and feel of your app, and later on you will be getting QR code, which will quickly let your add your blog on their iPhone using Bloapp iPhone app. Bloapp is a stand-alone iPhone app on app store (Link). So technically, you will not be creating a stand-alone app, but you will be serving your blog via feed, using their native app.
The good thing is, this whole setup process will take only 5 minutes, and it’s complete free. More over, you will be adding another method to promote your blog for free. (After all, having something is better than nothing). You can also monetize it using AdSense. Now, let me quickly share some of the features and pros and cons of this service.
- Works with all self-hosted platform, along with BlogSpot, Tumblr and weebly.
- You can track how many users have subscribed to your blog.
- And it’s completely free.
Pros/Cons of BloApp:
- Great thing about this app is it’s free, and takes not more than 5 minutes to setup. (Detailed tutorial after the break).
- Your regular blog readers will not mind subscribing to your blog via native bloapp, as the reading experience is good.
- You can make money from your app.
- The major downside is, your blog is not actually creating a stand-alone iPhone app, so consider this service as another promotional or content distribution channel.
Step by Step Tutorial – Using BloApp for developing your Blog iPhone App
Now, let me quickly walk you through the process of using this website, and few other necessary stuff that you should know. Go to official website homepage, and create a free account. Verify your account, and login to Bloapp dashboard. Here you can quickly add a blog, and you will be seeing below screen. If you also offer partial feed like me, I recommend you to use a service like FullTextRSSFeed, to convert partial into complete feed.
Add a description and fill out all the field shown in the above image. Next step is to verify your blog, and that could be done by adding a Meta tag or by uploading the HTML file. BlogSpot bloggers can read this .pdf file for understanding the process.
Next step is to customize the look of your app, and you can select from few pre-defined templates. You can further customize the look of your app, to match your brand colors, and you can also add your own logo or branding material.
Once you have done all the customization, you will be provided with unique QR code, which you can embed in your sidebar or anywhere, and users can quickly download your blog app via Bloapp. Your blog readers can also search for your blog in the directory of Bloapp, and quickly bookmark it.
I have now done much of customisation from my end, but when I started browsing ShoutMeLoud via bloapp, it actually looks nice and readable. Here are few screenshots:
To enable ads on your app, click on the “make money” link on Bloapp website, and add mobile supported ad banner code.
- Also see: How to create an Android app for your WordPress blog
- How to create Android app for your blog without any coding
Over all within 5 minutes, you can offer a new way for your readers to subscribe to your blog, an iOS and android optimized version of your website served via an app, and everything for free. I highly recommend you to take next 5 minutes to create one for your blog, and share the QR code via a blog post or sidebar widget. You can also link to this article for your readers to know about Bloapp free service for bloggers.
Don’t forget to scan above QR code and install ShoutMeLoud app on your iPhone or Android Smartphone. If you find this article informative, consider sharing it on Facebook and Google plus.