Stop Typing Blog Posts – How To Save Time And Improve Quality

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I don’t know about you, but for me, writing blog posts takes time. Too much time.

So this year, I’ve been trying something new.

I don’t write my blog posts.

I speak them – to my phone.

stop-typing-blog-posts-how-to-save-time-and-improve-quality

7 Reasons Why Recording A Blog Post Is Better Than Writing One

1. It’s faster.

Even if you’re a great typist, which you probably aren’t, it’s a lot quicker to talk than it is to type.

2. It separates out the drafting and the editing.

For me, this is the main reason recording blog posts saves me time. I avoid the temptation to start editing when I’m only halfway through the first draft.

When you’re writing, you sit there thinking about the SEO, about whether that word is the best it can be. You worry about what you want to say. But when you record a post, you just talk. You get through your first draft quickly.

Of course you still need to edit and review, but if you do this as one process at the end, it’s a lot quicker.

3. It encourages you to use natural language.

This one is really important.

Most people out there want to hear somebody talking easily, with personality. They don’t want gobbledy-gook. They don’t want formal speech. You may know about readability scores too – natural speech is a great starting point for a good readability score.

If you record your blog post, you’ll be writing something that sounds the way you talk. Even when you tidy it up afterwards, it’s going to remain natural.

4. It’s a good use of dead time.

Maybe you’re five minutes early for a meeting. Maybe you’re in the car stuck in the traffic. Now you can record your blog post and use that time effectively. You could do it on the bus, but you might get a few strange looks.

5. It’s great for interviews.

Recording is the easiest and simplest way to do an interview – whether for a blog post or not. It stops you breaking the flow by having to stop and write notes. So neither you nor the interviewee gets distracted. Plus, it’s easy to cut and rearrange afterwards.

6. It can help if you’re writing blogs for other people.

Even if you’re not writing an interview post, recording an interview can really help with some clients. So many people can’t write a blog, but they come alive when interacting with another person. With clients like this, I record a conversation. I ask them questions. I tap into their expertise. And I get something useful, personal and interesting, like this post on the side-effects of acupuncture.

7. You can easily convert your blog into a podcast.

You might need to be a little more careful with this one – it doesn’t allow so much editing of the original recording. But podcasts open a world of new opportunities.

Like the radio, podcasts are audio only. You can listen on the bus, on the train, in the car. While you’re cooking dinner or cleaning up the study. Suddenly, your content and your information is available and accessible to people at a time when they’re doing something else. It makes it easier for them to find times to listen and interact with you.

How To Record Blog Posts Effectively

Now you have seven good reasons to record blog posts instead of writing them. So how do you go about it? Here’s my personal process.

Map out your post structure in advance of recording.

Be sure you know what your topic is and what your main points are. List those in order, make notes of any key examples you’re going to quote. Without this preparation, you’re likely to go off track and ramble.

It’s actually the same process as doing an interview. You might have an introductory section, then a list of questions that you’re going to work through. It’s all about having enough structure to stay on track, but not being limited.

Record your post.

Once you have the bare bones of the structure, you’re ready to record. You can do it just about anywhere. Try to avoid too much background noise, or anything which will distract you. (The kids!) But unless you’re going to podcast, the sudden motorbike roar doesn’t matter at all. Your transcriber will ignore it.)

If your phone doesn’t already have voice recording software, download an app for free. Just go to Play Store or the App Store, and I’m sure you’ll be able to find something which suits you. (You don’t need high production values – just enough that someone can understand and transcribe.) I have an Android phone and I use Voice Recorder by Green Apple Studio.
Get your post transcribed

This sounds like it could be a real pain in the proverbial, doesn’t it?

But it isn’t. There is an absolutely fabulous site called Rev.com, which will transcribe your recording for just $1 a minute.rev-screenshot1-start-order

That’s one U.S. dollar per minute. For me in Australia, and for Tom in Canada, it’s a bit more than a dollar a minute in our local currency, but it’s still pretty damn cheap. Remember the average blog recording is only 5 minutes or so. Recording blogs saves me hours of time faffing about in front of the computer tweaking words, all for less than $10 a time. My time is worth it and I bet yours is too!

Other great things about Rev.com:
• You can specify your accent, so it gets transcribed by someone who understands the way you talk.
• You can list unusual words or acronyms which the transcriber might not know. Useful if you’re blogging in a technical field.
• If you have multiple speakers, you can provide names and they’ll add them.
• You can rate your transcriber. If you don’t like the quality, your jobs will never go to that person again. (I’ve never had a bad job, though.)

Wait for your transcription.

revcomturnaroundtime

I’ve never waited more than 24 hours. I often get jobs back within 4-6 hours.

Edit your transcription.

When I said people like conversational language, I wasn’t quite accurate. What they really like is cleaned and tidied conversational language. Unless you’re a practiced public speaker, you’re going to need to edit.

But once you have the entire post transcribed, editing is short and sweet.

I’m not going to go into detail on editing as that’s not the topic of this post, but just a couple of tips.
• If you care about SEO, be clear on your target keyword(s) before you start editing.
• Break it up. Add headings and bullets.
• Keep that Flesch-Kincaid readability score above 60. (Or 5-10 points above your competition if you’re writing about something polysyllabic like post-operative complications.) Check readability here.

Add some images.

typewriter

Every post needs images! I have to say a big thank you to Tom in relation to images. Pixabay was something that I had never heard of until I found a link to this list of free image sources on his site.

Now I use it regularly. At first it was a bit of a pain, because the images weren’t very searchable, but the search filters are now so much better that it’s a fabulous site. I’m actually considering giving up paying for images at all.

Publish!

Congratulations, you made it to the end!

Of course, with all the planning, editing, optimisation and image selection, your blog post will still take time. But try this process. I’ll bet for many of you it takes a lot less time than it used to.

One final tip on recording blogs to save you even more time:

Batch record multiple posts!

Most posts are only about 5 minutes of speaking time. (This one was 6 minutes.) Set aside an hour to plan and record 3 or 4 posts.
This is the only way I have ever managed to get ahead of my editorial calendar – and boy does it feel great to be that way!

It’s also fantastically time-efficient when you’re working with a client. Give them 3-5 topics to prepare, then interview them. Now you’re set for the rest of the month. You write up, they approve, but you don’t have to mesh your schedules any more.

Bridget Holland
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Bridget Holland

Blogger at NoBull Marketing
Bridget's a global citizen with a British passport and Australian permanent residency. She's lived and worked in 5 countries, alternating between marketing and general management roles in start-ups and fast growth companies, mostly in service industries. She likes listening to customers, listening to data, then fixing the issues they tell her about.

Bridget has lived in Sydney since 1999, but still believes Christmas in summer at the beach is inherently unnatural. She splits her time between looking after her husband and two children, and helping others grow their businesses via her consultancy NoBull Marketing. The second is easier!
Bridget Holland
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11 Comments

  1. thanks for sharing these awesome tips

  2. Jen G says:

    I’ve been thinking about dong this! Now I’m definitely going to try it!

  3. Benson Basil says:

    This is great news for me .I’ve never thought about it,now its a planted idea in my head.Thanks a lot.

  4. This looks very effective and I must try this out. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Thanks everyone for such positive comments.

    This really does save me so much time. But you must make sure you have an outline of what you want to say before you start, or you’ll end up wandering all over the place. (It can’t be just me, surely??)

  6. Brittany says:

    Wow, I talk to text all the time but it never occurred to me to talk out my blog posts. I think I would definitely ramble a lot in the beginning but I really want to try this to see how it works for me. Thanks for the idea!

    • Rambling on the phone is a lot quicker than rambling on the keyboard!
      But don’t be too hard on yourself if you have a few false starts. It’s another reason to batch. First post, I ramble. Second post, I’m fine. Third post, I may even have a sassy opening right off the bat!

  7. I thought about this before but couldn’t find a decent voice transcription program. I use the voice to text feature on my phone quite often when I chat with friends so it makes sense to use it for my work too. I especially liked the point where you mentioned the articles will sound more natural and conversational, that’s really important. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Have you tried Google voice? It will put talk to text for free. Go to Chrome, Drive, then download the Docs app. Instead of typing, you speak in short sentences. Voila! You have your blog spoken and typed for free. Then you access from your computer and edit.

  9. Kelsie says:

    Hmmm, this sounds super interesting! I’m kind of weird and I like hashing things out on the screen and seeing my words before me..but I guess I could always say them first and then get to that point.

  10. Marie says:

    I’m actually looking into becoming a transcriber so I like to write my posts to practice for that. I am wondering if there is a way to record my posts onto my IPhone 6 and just go back and type what I wrote into my blog? I know on Facebook messenger and my text messages I can send messages that I spoke out.

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