If you’ve ever said you didn’t have time to write or exercise more, this blog post is for you. We all wish we could create more content and shed more pounds, but inevitably, both goals get placed behind “doing my job” on the to-do list of life. But that ends today.Today, I’m going to show you how to lose weight and create content at the same time.
Talking vs. Typing
I'm writing this post while walking on my treadmill. In fact I've written a lot of posts and even entire chapters of my new book, The Invisible Sale, while exercising or driving to and from the office. I can do this because I'm talking not typing. I’m turning what is normally considered downtime into uptime because I’m multitasking. And all you need to join me is a computer, an inexpensive software program, and a few gadgets. That’s right, you get a perfectly good excuse to buy gadgets and lose weight… What more could you ask for?
Your Blogging Tools
The secret to this weight-loss content marketing program is Dragon Dictate (Mac version) or Dragon Naturally Speaking (PC version). This speech-to-text translation software is uncannily accurate. Normally, the software costs around $200, but if you keep an eye out for it on the Internet, you can sometimes find it on sale for closer to $100 a USB microphone optimized for dictation. You’ll also want to download both the smartphone app (available for android and iOS) along with the iPad app. And if you plan to use the iPad app (and I strongly urge you to do so) then you’ll also need an Apple Camera Connection Kit. You can findthese online or at your local Radio Shack for around $30.
Your Blogging Set-Up
There are three different configuration options for you to consider. You can dictate directly to your computer, use your smartphone or use your iPad. Let's go through each option and the pros and cons associated with each.
Direct to Computer Dictation. This is the most efficient configuration. As the name suggests, you plug the provided USB headset into your computer, fire up the Dragon software, open a Word Doc, and begin dictating. You can even insert line breaks, new paragraphs, and all punctuation via special voice commands. You can also format text, but honestly, that starts to get more difficult, so I just do it the old-fashioned way (typing) after I’ve completed my dictation. When you’ve finished dictating, you correct anything the software incorrectly translated, add any formatting---and you’re ready to upload to your favorite blogging platform.
Smartphone App Dictation. This is by far the most convenient platform, especially if you’re trying to exercise while writing. The smartphone’s small form factor makes it super convenient. The downside to this option is dictation accuracy. You can’t use Dragon’s USB headset with your smartphone, so you are forced to use the standard headphone/microphone that comes with your phone. I find this decreases the accuracy by about 10% versus direct to computer dictation.
To dictate, you just open the Dragon Recorder app, push the red button in the center of the screen, and dictate just like you do with the computer program. When you’re done, you save the file and then sync your phone to your computer using iTunes. In the iTunes menu, you can select the Applications Tab, scroll down to find the Dragon app and then select any dictation files you’ve recorded. These will sync to your computer where you can open them with the Dragon software and select “transcribe” to convert the audio file to a text file.
iPad App Dictation. This is the best overall solution in terms of convenience and accuracy. With the Apple Camera Connection kit, you can connect the Dragon USB microphone to your iPad. The iPad will recognize the headset and use it as the recording microphone. This improves accuracy rates to almost identical to what you get with the computer application---even when you’re running on a loud treadmill. Like the smartphone process, once you’ve completed your recording, you sync it to your computer and then let the Dragon software transcribe the file.
Plan Your Writing
Here’s a talking versus typing tip that I’ve learned along the way. Dictation is a completely different style of writing. If you’re someone that plans your writing, outlining what you’re going to write and then filling in the blanks, you’re fine.
However, if you’re like me, you simply sit down and start typing, you’re going to find dictation challenging. To ensure your final dictation file isn’t full of rambling thoughts, tangents, and unordered thoughts, you have to spend a few minutes thinking through your post. Use those minutes to outline the key points and sections. I find Evernote especially helpful for this chore. Then when it’s time to write, I simply activate the Dragon app on the iPad and then switch the iPad screen over to my Evernote app, where I have the outline for the post I want to write pre-loaded.
From there it’s as simple as hitting “start” on the treadmill and motoring on to another awesome blog post.