For some, it’s a once-a-month practice, an online journal or a place to throw things out to nobody, just to get them off your chest. For others, blogging is serious business. It’s a place of passion, of engagement, community and even income and a livelihood.
For bloggers on the latter end of the spectrum, I have a question for you to ask yourself: Should I develop an app for my blog?
I know what you are going to say — and no, I’m not crazy.
There are numerous reasons as to why a blogger should at least consider taking their voice onto the app stores, and in this article, we’re going to explore the very best of those reasons.
Before we do, though, there is one important aspect of app development I would briefly like to cover.
The reason I have to argue for my own sanity is because most people know creating an app is not cheap. Apps can cost a staggering £20,000 and up, which is a hefty sum for a business, let alone a blogger.
The key word here is “can”.
Not Every App Development Project Will Cost a Small Fortune
App development platforms come in all shapes and sizes, just as houses, cars and watches.
A premium-rate app development company is going to cost you tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands to create a bespoke application. But that’s your Lamborghini of the app dev world.
Most people can’t afford a Lambo, but lots of people still drive. There is such a thing as an affordable app development company; a company that creates apps which don’t cost the Earth — and your left leg, too.
These types of companies are relatively undiscovered, though, as they’ve only popped into existence in recent years, as the tech to create applications becomes cheaper and more accessible.
The point I’m trying to make is: bloggers serious about their website needn’t write-off app development as an unaffordable venture.
In 2017, anyone who wants an app can have one made.
Reasons to Develop a Mobile App for Your Blog
Now we’ve dealt with the elephant in the room, we can move onto the advantages of app development.
The word “compete” is not one synonymous with the blogging community. Bloggers, on the whole, are a supportive group.
Yet, there is an aspect of competition to blogging. No, you probably don’t want to crush your rivals so only you stand at the peak of success, but you do want readers and followers. People only have so much time, which means they can’t read every blog post circulating the community. Driving traffic to your blog is important, which means you need to stand out from the crowd and win over those clicks.
The problem is, this isn’t easy.
There are so many great bloggers out there making getting noticed difficult. So how, in such a competitive environment, can you stand out? By doing something different.
Very few bloggers have dedicated apps. Even the big names are behind on this technological advance. Developing an app delivers your content into a highly underutilised market and gives your blog an edge most simply don’t have.
So, it’s all well and good suggesting you make an app to stand out, but what does that matter if nobody will ever use it? Well, in actual fact, people are far more likely to engage with a mobile app than they are a website.
Market research has revealed that 85% of mobile phone users prefer apps over mobile websites. The key to their success is ease of use and accessibility.
When you also consider other statistics, such as that the average person spends three hours a day on their mobile, 2.5 of which is spent within apps, and that around 75% of all website traffic is from mobile users, you can start to understand the true value of an app.
People are much more likely to engage and use your app than your website — providing you can convince them to download it. That is another battle in itself, although there a plenty of online resources available to help get you started.
Apps represent the chance for bloggers to move forward with the way they connect with readers. Websites have provided powerful platforms for years, but they face limitations that apps don’t.
Having an app for your blogs means it’ll be much more visible, more conscious element in somebody’s mind, if it’s on their phone. They’ll see the little app icon and be drawn to your content. Having an app changes your branding and cranks up reader awareness.
However, it does more than that.
Apps come with certain functionality and capabilities that are either not available, or not practical, for mobile websites.
The first is that they offer hyper-connectivity. Apps are always running in the background, unlike a mobile site which, once closed, loses access to the reader. Having this kind of connection means you can utilise tools that simply aren’t available elsewhere:
- You can send people push notifications: little alerts that inform users new content is ready. Like when you receive a ping that you’ve got an email. This is a powerful way of getting your content noticed.
- You can also use location services on mobile phones to target your content. Let’s say you’re a London blogger. You can use the location of your readers to show them the most relevant content — maybe you’ve reviewed a restaurant around the corner from them, bought a product from a nearby shop, or know of some great secret hangouts within walking distance. Being able to organise and display content in this personalised manner enables you to provide readers with a richer experience.
Should I Develop An App For My Blog?
Apps allow you to do things a website simply can’t, which for bloggers means providing a better user experience and, ultimately, keeping your audience interested in what you’ve got to say.
It is, of course, a major step and a big commitment. Mobile app development takes a lot of time and energy, not just financial input. However, if you’re really looking to step up your blog and push it to another level, an app could be your best option.