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 to do any writing, and 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 do anything!
Evening after evening 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 and starting to get frustrated, 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. Not good!
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 a tiny bit of money, but the quality of work is pretty good. A 20 minute recording would get transcribed pretty well for a couple dollars. Not bad!
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. Voila!
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.
Without further ado, here are my top XXXXX tips to hack your commute and start producing content:
Be comfortable with hearing yourself blab, and work through the embarrassment that that causes.
- Before heading out the door, think about what topic you want to cover. Go over the topic in your head a couple times, then commit to the topic.
Flip on the recording and get to work!
Take the audio file and get it transcribed using a 3rd party service. Spend a little money on this.
Publish the content – this is the forcing factor that closes the loop, and gets you getting your content out into the world.
Hopefully this was helpful! Until next time…thanks for reading!