Content creation takes a lot of work (but I didn’t have to tell you that!). You have to come up with an idea about what you want to write (whether that’s from keyword research or something you came across that you wanted to share with your audience), write the thing, then add visuals that help you tell a compelling story.
And you have to do that as often as you can, without sacrificing quality. The new rules state that blog posts should be at least 1000 words, which is a fairly long article. And writer’s block is a real thing (that sneaky so and so).
But I think I’ve found something that works amazingly well to help me write more posts than ever before. It’s also how crazy starts, and that’s dictation, which is a fancy word for setting up a microphone (or earbuds) and letting the voices in your head be heard.
Here’s how I use Dragon Dictate to write a 1000 word blog post in 20 minutes:
Step 0: Write Your Title
You should spend as much time crafting your title as you do writing your post. Why? It’s the first thing people read. The thing that tells them whether they should click to read more or keep scanning. A compelling title creates intrigue. Make people curious, don’t hide the lead, add numbers where appropriate, and don’t forget to include negatives if they make sense.
Example: I saw a blog post titled, “Dented isn’t Broken” or something like that. I clicked through to find an awesome story about how my friend found a $2000 refrigerator for $50. When I shared that story with the Stacking Benjamins readers, I wrote, “How Jake Got a $2000 Refrigerator for $50,” which got a huge number of clickthroughs on the newsletter alone.
Of course it did. How could it not? That’s a great story that piques anybody’s curiosity. Who doesn’t want a refrigerator for $1950 less than retail? If he could do it, you could do it, right?
So write your title before you turn on Dragon.
Step 1: Outline Your Article
Before using Dragon, I almost never outlined my articles before writing, which led me down a number of tangents that didn’t belong in my posts. But you’ll find way more success if you write your main points (headers) before you start dictation. That will help you know where you’re going before you get there, and it will help avoid the inevitable ums and ahs that come from dictating when you don't know what to say.
Now, provided you’re not in a library or coffee shop, you can turn on Dragon.
Step 2: Dictate the Body
Once you have your outline written, go ahead and start dictating! Plug in your earphones, or if you have a microphone, use that, and go to town! Think about what you want each paragraph to say before you hit “go” and pause as often as you need to in order to get your point across seamlessly. Hit stop when you’ve finished a section, move the cursor to the next section, get a drink of water, and repeat the process. Dictate your conclusion.
Step 3: Edit Heavily
Check and see your word count. I bet it’s higher than you expected. Good job! Now, go over your content with a hawk eye. Look for homonyms. Look for places where Dragon doesn’t know the word. Look for awkwardness. The editing stage is a lot longer with this method, but the writing process is a lot shorter. Just another example of how you can’t get something for nothing.
Will Dragon Work for You?
Learning how to use Dragon, and teaching Dragon how to understand you, is exhausting. The learning curve is steep, the training is boring, and if you want to help Dragon understand you better, you have to put in the extra effort of teaching it corrections. That said, I use Dragon all the time, and I find it to be an awesome way to create content more quickly. I’m a fast typist, sure, but my words-per-minute typing pale in comparison to how quickly I can talk. I’d be willing to bet you’re the same way. Unless you’re my former coworker who types flawlessly (and freakishly fast — hi, Dani!).