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How To Blog When You Don't Have Time!

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Posted 20th May 2013 at 06:37 AM by ncairncross

Would you like to know how to blog when you don’t have time? Of course you would, we all would. Perhaps I need to put it another way…

If you could do one thing, that If you did it you knew would ultimately ensure the success of your business, would you do it?

Really, are you sure?

Blogging is like that. While you can’t guarantee that writing regular blog posts will bring traffic and make sales, one thing is for sure – if you do not blog no traffic will come and no sales will be made!

If you blog regularly, you will bring traffic to your website. Some of that traffic will turn into mailing list subscribers. Some of that traffic will turn into customers.

It stands to reason, that the more you blog, the more traffic will come to your website, the more traffic that comes to your website, the more likely you are to make sales!

So, knowing that, why don’t all of us business owners blog more often?

I am as guilty as the next person. I have been very busy building a new digital agency and it takes all my daytime time.

Any time leftover is taken up by my teenagers who I love dearly and who I want to spend time with. For example it was my daughters 18th birthday recently, and she’s also learning to drive which involves a lot of what they call private practice.

Think Driving Miss Daisy but more terrifying!

So my own blog at has been sorely neglected recently.

My first idea was to speak a blog post into my new iPad using my new Voice Recorder Pro app and send off the audio to be transcribed by the ladies in the Philippines.

However I found that there was a hole in that idea as well. One of the ladies in the Philippines sadly lost her mother recently and the whole of her company has come to a grinding halt. I sent off eight transcriptions and nary a one has come back yet.

Now I come to think of it, that’s probably what they are using – some sort of software!!

So no blog posts have appeared.

My next idea was to use a cool function on my iMac that somebody told me about, which is to click into a document or email, press the function key twice and start speaking. When you press the function key twice again the text would appear, It is really quite miraculous!

However I discovered that as I type almost as fast as I speak (well, I type at around 60 words a minute) that functionality was simply annoying because the punctuation wasn’t right and my iMac mistook some of the words I’m saying. So if I’m actually sitting at my iMac I may as well type the blog post.

But most of the time I’m sitting at my iMac working I’m either working on work or I’m working on one of the more technical aspects of my business (or perhaps that of one of my small number of private clients).

When I thought about it I realised that I actually feel more creative regarding blogging if I’m actually away from my computer.

Something about being away from my computer enables my thoughts to roam more freely and somehow from my stream of consciousness thinking interesting and more surprising thoughts pop-up.

So I had the idea of going back to my bedroom and sitting in my bed with a cup of coffee and instead of creating audio I will try to use Siri to dictate the blog post.

In fact this blog post has been dictated entirely using Siri’s dictate functionality.

This might work better for me than simply recording audio and getting it transcribed as I’m a highly visual person. Seeing the paragraphs appear one by one helped me formulate my thoughts in this blog post, much like it does when I’m typing.

As I’m talking however, I realise that this is creating content in one medium only – text. This is a big drawback if, like me, you want to leverage your content across many platforms.

So really the more productive thing to do – from an efficiency point of view – is to quickly mind map a blog post content, talk my way through it using the voice recorder pro function, on my iPad, for podcasting, and then to get that audio turned into text somehow.

Then the audio can be put to a picture and turned into a video for both YouTube and even shared on Slideshare, if one uses a slide instead of a picture.

Being productive is all about thinking how you can use one blogging medium to create content that can be leveraged over many platforms. I realised that when I listened to Pete Williams when he did the Profit Hacks broadcasts with Rich Schefren.
Ideas For Bloggers On The Move Too!

The reason this is so much on my mind is because I have just visited the blog of my singing sister Heather Cairncross and realised that she has only done one new blog post in about 6 months now. And that one is all about why she can’t go on The Voice as it’s recently come back on tv.

Positive huh? Especially as the Assistant Producer is very keen that she should. He's emailed her....

Heather is a great, but relatively unknown singer, and she has a wonderful jazzy album for sale (which you can buy from her website at but a series of life events involving various friends of hers who have been taken very sick have meant that she has not blogged at all.

She also met the man of her dreams a couple of years ago after quite a long time being single. So, she does not feel that she has any time to herself – or for her jazz or indeed her business – between being in love, looking after her sick friend and travelling the world singing with the Monteverdi Choir and Synergy Vocals.

I would’ve thought that with all the travelling on trains, planes and automobiles and hanging around in hotel rooms, she would’ve found time to write a short blog post, but apparently that is not so. The mental energy involved in travelling is apparently not conducive to writing the kind of long blog posts about really interesting topics about the singers life on the road that Heather tends to favour.

So apart from the not inconsiderable demands upon her time – why is Heather not blogging? She’s not using any other form of traffic generation so blogging is the only way to bring potential future customers to her website. She’s certainly got plenty to blog about – this year alone she’s travelled to some amazing places and sung in some amaazing spaces.

Even just a diary style post each week with one photo would do it and that would not take too much creativity. You’d just sit down and think “where have I been this week and what have I sung?”

Especially why not when she knows that every time she writes a blog post she attracts horde of traffic to the website and MIGHT make some sales of her album?

She is also on a fairly tight budget so the option of recording audio and send it to the Philippines to be transcribed, is not one that she would consider.
Pot, Kettle & All That Nicola!

If it comes to that, why have I not been blogging more recently?

Why do any of us choose not to do things that we know we need to do, or indeed choose to do things, that we know that we should not do?

Well, one of the reasons is obviously because I am spending most of my time working in ROAR and I can’t divulge too much about a company that is co-owned by another person, or the clients of that company. As I’m not personally mentoring at the moment, I can’t talk about the challenges my personal clients face. However, I haven’t entirely given up on my own business, in fact I’m now more determined than ever to create a passive income ready for the day when we all move on from ROAR, hopefully in the form of a trade sale.

So I have to find a solution that would enable both Heather (on the road) and I (in my so-called spare time) to perhaps mind map quickly a blog post content, record the audio so that it can be used as podcast content too (because yes, she has a podcast on iTunes too) but that could also be turned into a blog post easily, that we would then just have to edit and upload an accompanying picture.

There must be some software somewhere that you can upload audio to, that then transcribes for you online. I am going to go and find out now if there is such a software available……

I’m also sure that there are many people out there who have not considered blogging in this fashion, but who would look to blog more often if the process is slightly easier.

It’s interesting that I particularly find blogging by typing quite a daunting concept even though I type at 60 words a minute, but that the thought of mapping out roughly a blog content by using a mind map and then speaking it into a recording device and then transcribing it, seems like less effort somehow.

How is Siri doing at translating my words now into typed content? It’s actually doing pretty well – or he as I think of it, because my Siri has a man’s voice, yes, it is actually doing pretty well.

I will have to correct the punctuation but generally speaking the words are coming out exactly as I’m saying them.

I know that I’m going to get some comments from some of you suggesting DragonDictate. I have done my research on DragonDictate and the video here will show you some of the frustrations with using what is popularly known as the best dictation software on the market.

Actually using Siri in the way that I am to create this blog post is doing better than the chap in the video is managing with DragonDictate!

The software I would like to find in my searching, is software that you could upload audio to and it would turn into text in the same way that my transcriptionist in the Philippines would do it and ideally, the software should become more intelligent as you upload more audio and it gets used your idiosyncratic way of speaking.

That last paragraph by the way went into this text document with hardly any corrections needed at all.

Perhaps Siri is becoming more intelligent and as I speak, it is picking up my idiosyncrasies of speech, and correctly turning them into text.

However it is not recording the audio at the same time – that would be ideal.

I wonder if it is possible to use Siri and voice recorder pro at the same time. I suspect not, because the iPad can only seem to run one application at a time, a source of constant frustration to me, when I want to listen to one thing while browsing the web for example.

While searching the web, I came across this page, which lists out all of the different, apparently free software services that take a recording of audio and turn it into speech. DragonDictate is once again listed. However there were several other examples that you may want to check out too. Mac speech scribe seems to be a fairly interesting option.

I’m going to check out some of the options and I’ll get back to you with my recommendations, however, in the meantime, it would be a good idea to get this blog post onto my blog and get your comments and questions and hopefully some recommendations too.

As I say, I am creating this blog post in my email program on my iPad using Siri dictation and I’m going to copy my sister Heather in on this email to because it might inspire her to write a new blog post too!

P.S. Since “waking” Siri up, he seems to have forgotten how to take dictation which is annoying, he is just searching for the definition of dictate online. Pressing the home key is no longer starting the dictate function! Help!!

P.P.S. I have realised that I wasn't using Siri at all, but clicked the little microphone on the keyboard. Such a dimwit sometimes!
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