Some of us really hate writing, or find it impossible, yet the best of us can talk underwater to anyone willing to listen. And if you can speak well, that’s gold.
Of course, these days you need never write at all. Vlogs, webinars and podcasts have boomed over the last few years. But does your communication have to stay audio-visual, or should you convert your speech to text too? And how would this benefit your audience?
It sounds perfect until we start reading it
I have an entrepreneur friend who has strong natural health industry experience as well as a huge network of contacts. He is responsible for bringing incredible wellness products to people who want to get and stay healthy naturally. He loves trying out new gadgets, tools and hacks because he is always looking for ways to work harder and deliver faster to his customers.
Over the last few years, he’s launched several new businesses. To promote one of them, he started publishing audio interviews on LinkedIn he had done with experts in their field. On his website, he started uploading the transcripts of these conversations. I can read far faster than I can listen, so I thought I’d take the short cut and read these interviews.
Well! He’d thrown the transcripts up there without editing them. I tried, but they were almost unreadable. The transcript tool used to convert speech into text meant it was difficult to tell who was speaking, especially as we all naturally overlap in a conversation. The script was peppered with the typical speech tics we filter out with our ears but that disrupt our reading.
Yet, he is never going to sit down and write an article from this interview in the same amount of time. He can create a 5,000-word interview in an hour, but it would take many more to create a proper 5,000-word blog on the same topic.
Those same speech-into-text flaws show us the way to creating content fast
This apparent flaw in converting speech to text can be turned on its head and become our fastest way to create the content we want. For instance, you know that 5,000-word transcript he created with his one-hour long interview? He is bang on there. Most of us tend to speak around 1,000 words every 6 minutes. And what is your typical blog length? Normally around 1000 words. You know what that means?
It means you can create a weekly blog in 6 minutes.
Now, don’t do what my friend does and throw your narrative transcript up onto the website without editing it first. Well, you can, but don’t expect great results.
With 3 extra steps, you can get a quick blog up there and be done in under 2 hours, and eventually under 1 hour once with practice. (You can even do it in six minutes if you send the audio to me and I’ll handle the rest!)
If you want to manage the whole process yourself, those 3 steps are:
- Edit your audio
It doesn’t have to be perfect. It won’t be perfect – but make it readable. Remove the repeated words, the ummms and ahhhs, and complete any sentences that drift off or get interrupted. Read it out loud (take it back to its original form!) and see if it sounds how you meant it to when you first recorded it.
Create a great headline
After creating 5 to 10 reasonable-sounding headlines, I always run them through a headline checker. Ideally, they are some combination of specific, useful, and unique with a sense of urgency.
The aim is to choose headlines that are truthful, relevant, and make your ideal reader want to read your blog.
I tested my headlines out using the free version of Coschedule Headline Analyzer for well over a year before upgrading. (This is not an affiliate link, though maybe it should be as I recommend this tool so much). Add some subheadings for the skimmers – and make these as interesting as possible too.
Include a call to action
What do you want the reader to do once they’ve finished reading? Give them a clear signal and make it easy for them to take the next step. It might be as simple as asking them to comment. It might be as audacious as asking them to purchase. If they’re reading, you’re clearly already helping so give them more help, offer more value, let them find the answer you offer.
See! Hardly any writing involved
Speak for 6 minutes and you’ve done 80% of the work. Use the remaining 54 minutes of that hour to make it the best version of your message using the 3 simple steps of:
- Edit out your speech ticks
- Create a great headline and intriguing subheadings
- Include a clear call to action – a link, a button, an invitation
If you’re happy with the first step—speaking—but not with the rest, let me know. I can create a couple for you, or I can teach you the simple, step-by-step process I use in my business so I can support your business.
Happy to talk, but don’t want to write?
If you prefer to leave the writing to the writers so you can get on with your on passion, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll get back to you promptly.
I’m Rananda, a Sydney-based writer and editor.
With 25-plus years in corporate life, a financial background, a science education, and a lifetime of writing, I know there is more to starting and growing a loyal following than just the words on your website or saving that draft manuscript in a folder.
I bring comprehensive practical experience to supporting your writing needs.