Content Production "Hack"

Content Production Hack

When I started the pocketnote.co blog, I had a full time job with a very long commute. I was trying to produce content and failing because I was too busy during the day with work, and by the time I could get back online at night after the kids went to bed I was too tired to do anything productive. Between the commute both ways, the long and somewhat crazy day in and out of meetings, and spending time with my family for dinner and then the bedtime routine with my kids (which is always a wonderful time of the day), I was too tired to be productive. I’d get back online and would not be able to compose more than a few sentences before drifting off either into thought or being too tired to do the work. After a couple weeks of failing at writing, I realized that I could utilize my long commute to my advantage. Each morning before I left for work I had a topic or theme in mind for what I wanted to cover that day. When I got in my car, I turned on my audio recording app on my phone. Then I’d just start talking - trying to stay focused when talking to yourself about a topic is not the easiest thing in the world, but I eventually got better at it. What started as a lot of mostly useless rambling which I was and continue to be embarrassed to listen to, started to turn into more focused work. By the end of a week or so doing this, I got fairly decent at recording my topic - 2 to 5 minutes per audio recording - and realized I had a good way to produce content.

From there I wasn’t sure what to do - should I put the audio files up? That seemed like a decent idea at first, but even the best recordings need a fair amount of editing. Should I edit the audio? That took more time than actually recording the content in the first place. I finally settled upon using a 3rd party transcription service. I paid a tiny amount of money per recording to have software transcribe the audio. That wasn’t a great option, unfortunately, because the software couldn’t detect all of my words, and I ended up again spending more time editing the content that the software produced than I did on the original recording.

I found another service that was a transcription company called TranscribeMe (https://www.transcribeme.com/). They have a team of people that will listen and transcribe the recordings. It costs some money, but it’s not all that expensive - and the quality of work is pretty good. A 20 minute recording would get transcribed pretty well for a couple dollars.

I’d get the newly transcribed content and from there it was a couple minor edits and then a copy/paste job into my wordpress blog. 

My commute became more fun from then on. Each day that I had something that I thought was interesting to cover, I’d use the recording process, then have it transcribed and would then put it up online. This is how I made my first 20 or so blog posts. I still occasionally will use this process when exploring a new topic to “write” about. My top 3 tips for going this route are:

  1. Be comfortable with hearing yourself blab, and work through the embarrassment that that causes.
  2. Take the content and get it transcribed using a 3rd party service. Spend a little money on this.
  3. Publish the content - this is the forcing factor that closes the loop, and gets you getting your content out into the world.


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