The Fastest Way To Produce Content

Posted by on Mar 26, 2012 in Productivity Tips

The Fastest Way To Produce Content

I’ve recently been experimenting with different ways of producing content – and by that I mean written content like this article for example.

My view is that we have a limited amount of time in this world but there’s an unlimited amount of money out there – and in reality 99.999999% of us will not die in bankruptcy.

time is money


So that means we’ll have money in our accounts until the last day. So why not trade it for time?

Three Ways To Create Written Content

1.    Write it – duh, that’s an obvious one. The text you’re reading now was written entirely by me.

It’s difficult to estimate exactly how long it took me to write 870 words, because I need to factor in the time I spent researching online how many words per minute we typically speak and type.

In total it took me 45 minutes to complete this article with probably 10 minutes of researching and reading stuff online.

This is quite close to the time it took me to write around 600 words (eventually 500 words edited) when I did an experiment with an article for my tennis Facebook page which I created in the other two ways outlined below …

2.    Dictate it into a speech recognition software

I used a Windows 7 Speech Recognition software already installed on my PC and dictated an article into it.  I did take the tutorial first which taught me how to correctly use the software so that it understood what I was saying.

The software performed quite well and I would say that it was 85% – 90% accurate. It took me around 12 minutes to dictate the text of around 600 words.

In order for the software to work well you need to speak very clearly and make breaks (silences). That of course takes more time and breaks your line of thought.

So I tested the third way…

3.    Record yourself and have the audio transcribed

The third test involved just me recording myself with the Sound Recorder (again included in Windows 7) and the length of the audio was 5:47 minutes.

I then found someone on to transcribe that for me for $5 of course. I got the article back in about 2 hours.

Most people who transcribe on are willing to transcribe up to 10 minutes of audio for $5.

Of course, for the first time it took me some time to find the right provider on so that adds to the total time needed for the article but in the future it would probably take me 2 minutes to log in, order the gig and upload my file.

Keep in mind that in all three cases the article needs to be edited so I am not adding this time to each method as it’s the same.

Even when I write the article I don’t edit it during writing. And you shouldn’t either.

It just stops your flow of thoughts. So it’s best just to “dump” all your thoughts into text and edit it later.

The Dictation method did take more time editing because the computer misunderstood some words and I had to correct these later.

We also make some typos when we type and we typically correct them immediately. So that extends the time for writing too – in fact the longer the article, the longer this extra time is – as there are potentially more words that can be typed incorrectly.

But when you simply record your audio and have it transcribed there won’t be any spelling errors or typos in the text. You’re really making the best of your time and your thoughts and language flow unobstructed.


Bearing in mind I didn’t perform this test in a scientific way with accurate measurements, however, to create an article of 600 words, it roughly took me:

1.    25 minutes to write it
2.    12 minutes to dictate it into a speech recognition software
3.    Less than 6 minutes to speak and record it

You can see the end result on my TennisMindGame Facebook page – just expand the post from March 20th…

Based on this I will keep experimenting with recording myself and having that text transcribed and possibly even edited.

Typically we speak about 3 to 5 times faster than we type (test yourself).

I am more than willing to trade $5 for 15-30 minutes of my time (I could have a 10 minute audio transcribed for the same price) and when it comes to bigger projects it gets even cheaper.

I found projects on where you can have an hour of audio transcribed for $15.

With a normal speed of speaking which is around 120 words per minute, you’re looking at 120 x 60 = 7200 words. That could be the length of 7 to 10 articles.

Imagine creating 7 x 1000 word articles in one hour for the cost of $15!

How fast could your site’s content grow now?

Of course, not all topics are suited for dictation or recording yourself but I hope you’ll find at least some areas of your business where you can save time (and your fingers) by recording yourself and having that transcribed at a very low cost.

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  1. For Mac users there is MacSpeech Dictate, which is pretty accurate. I type really fast and enjoy writing, but I find that when I write an excess of 2,000 words a day I have trouble with my hands. Speech recognition software really helps with this.

    What are your thoughts on the new shakeups in the linkbuilding world?


    Tomaz Reply:

    Hey Christy,

    Thanks for pointing out MacSpeech Dictate.

    What aspect of link building are you referring to? That anchor text is not as important as it used to be?


  2. This was a much-needed smack across my head. When I first started working for a large company in about 1991, we were forced to learn to dictate all letters and reports. I got really, really good at it and very fast. I could do multi-page legal letters after scratching down just a few notes.

    Several years ago I wanted to get some of that productivity back and tried various speech recognition software packages. They just mainly aggravated me and I forgot about it.

    Last year I started outsourcing some small tasks and continue to do do.

    But…now you’ve pointed out the obvious marriage of the two! My content production has been falling as I am using my limited time for other website upgrade tasks…this is an obvious and welcome solution to “getting it all done.”


    Scott W

    I’ve only used Odesk in the past but will experiment with Fiver.


    Tomaz Reply:

    Hey Scott,

    If you’re good with dictating, you should definitely try it again. Perhaps even just recording yourself and having it transcribed.

    This approach CAN produce content really fast!


  3. Did you have them put your words into a text file? Or some other format?


    Tomaz Reply:

    Yes, I received the transcription in a Word format.


  4. I think Christy is referring to the massive devaluation of the BuildMyRank network and the implications for those who purchase blog-based links.

    I’d like to think, even bigger picture, that this is one more demotion in “the link” as an important ranking factor. The better G and Bing get at assessing on-page content, the less (perhaps) they will give credit to links that can so obviously be gamed.

    Scott W


  5. Hi Tomaz

    I can vouch for the third option. I am even taking it a step further.

    Last week I created (3) 2-4 minute videos and put them on youtube which get 12% of all internet traffic.

    I then went to fiverr like you said and found a gal on there that transcribed the 3 videos for $5.

    I then placed them on my blog and added the transcript under the video for people who don’t like video.

    I now am getting traffic from youtube as well.

    Another tip: Some people don’t know yet that you can upload your transcript to youtube which helps in rankings. That’s just another way to leverage what you already doing.



    Tomaz Reply:

    Good stuff, David! Thanks for sharing.


  6. Good stuff Tomaz! This is right up my alley right now because I’ve recently set loftier goals for myself as far as content production and these ideas will help.

    I think my first question would be whether or not you have at least an outline or notes laid out before you start speaking? Basically I mean something that will help you keep your thoughts together while you speak. Or does this defeat the whole purpose of these methods?


    Tomaz Reply:

    Brandon, I would need to experiment with that – but what I did was just to speak without notes.

    I imagine someone asking me a question and then I simply answer as if I am talking to a person and answering the question.

    I also tried that quite a few times at home when I had an idea regarding tennis technique for example and I just pulled out my camcorder, put it on the desk and taped myself explaining stuff right there in the middle of the living room. 😉

    Much faster than writing! Now that that idea is stored I can take time to edit it and polish it for the final product…


  7. Awesome stuff! This post got me thinking, so I started looking around a little. Another great option for those of us with iPhones is an app called Dragon Dictation that is free that transcribes your speech. Right now I’m picturing all the possibilities. Imagine writing content for my websites while driving down the road in the car by myself. I’m gitty! 🙂


  8. Hey Tomaz,
    What a great idea! I am going to try it out today! I find that while I am driving I could be coming up with content and was thinking of use a dictation software. I like this better as I can hand it off, bring it back and then edit it!

    Did you just talk normally when you tested this? Or did you say when you wanted a new paragraph etc?

    Thanx for this!


    Tomaz Reply:

    Hey Melanie,

    When I was dictating to speech recognition software, I had to speak slower, with breaks. But when I had my audio transcribed, I just spoke normal – as if I am explaining things to someone.

    Of course, I had to edit the transcribed text later but the key point is that you can “dump” all your thoughts at once and get tons of content recorded in a very short time.


    Melanie Reply:

    @Tomaz, Awesome thanx! I just did my first article and am about to send it in for transcription!


  9. OK…here’s my update. The bottom line is that I just paid only $19 to get the contents of 6 web pages and 4 chapters of an e-book transcribed.

    I found a person on ODesk who speaks perfect English in the Phillipines and I have established an ongoing relationship with her. I can just upload my mp3’s to a drop folder and she transcribes them and e-mails them back.

    For the web pages, I started my HMTL document and filled in all the meta tags to kind of orient my thinking. Then I just did the dictation. It came out really close to the final product. While editing I worked in my keywords.

    For the e-book chapters, I just turned on my recorder and interviewed my wife (the book is about teaching and she’s the teacher). I inserted some comments such as “label this section chapter 2” so I’d be able to cut and paste more easily.

    Now I’ll take those thoughts and either edit them as is or dictate a more final copy.

    It only took about two documents for the transcriptionist and I to to work out any issues (how I talk, how she types) and now we are all trained and ready to be even more efficient.

    Thanks so much for suggesting this Tomaz. It is already making a huge difference for me.

    Scott Weigle

    PS – I got a handheld digital recorder (Olympus VN 81200 PC)


    Tomaz Reply:

    It’s great to see theory put into practice, Scott. Taking action and adjusting along the way is actually the main key to success.


  10. Hi Tomaz,

    Nice article !

    If you want to make it even more effective, Chris Kent wrote a nice piece on how to structure articles/pump out content ideas REAL fast.

    Basically he talks about first brainstorming your top tips for your niche and then list them – say 100-200 tips and then write articles based on that.

    If you read Mike Gearys affiliate articles from TruthaboutAbs and also a SeoMoz article a while ago – they both pointed out the very good conversion of these type of “Top 3 Tips for…” articles.

    With a pre-arranged list of tips in your head beforehand plus your dictation tip, you can sure make articles real fast.

    all the best,


    Tomaz Reply:

    Thanks for the link, Marius! What a cool brainstorming session this has become…


  11. Tomaz, fantastic article! Thank you for sharing your methods.

    The implications of this as it relates to efficiency and the writing of good content is incredible.

    I especially like Dave’s method above with using youtube and transcribing together. Then, add in the ebook aspect (mentioned in above comments) and it truly becomes a swarm of good content at a fast rate of output.

    This stuff is exciting to me!



  12. Tomaz, there is something here that does not make sense. You say it takes whatever minutes to dictate the article but first of all if you just start dictating and get that recording transcribed you will still have to edit the transcription.

    I doubt that you or anybody can speak something into a microphones and have that come out perfectly for publishing. So what about the editing time?


    Tomaz Reply:

    Hi Luis,

    Even when I type the articles myself I still have to edit them. When I write I just try to dump my thoughts on the keyboard as fast as I can – and I suggest you do to.

    That’s how you can keep your train of thoughts – since typing is slowing them down and eventually you may lose your main idea.

    So once I am done “dumping” my thoughts, then I start editing. And the process is about the same as if I record myself and have that transcribed.


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