Right. Well, I guess I feel unusual about creating a blog in this way because this is the first time I’m going to use a speech to text app to record and transcribe something, because typically it takes a lot of time to create content and you have to sit and type it out and figure out exactly what sort of structure you’re going to use and think about the content and wording in advance.
And in this case I have not done so. I’m creating this as an experiment in simplifying, the creation of blog content through an app. So I’m just using the pixel 6 and recording using the transcription services built into the phone. And you know, the core thing here is I’m going to try and just reduce the amount of time that it takes to create blog content by doing this on the move.
Ever since I started doing web development many moons ago, this has always been a stumbling block. Getting content for a website is always one of the hardest things to do. If you think about the recommendations currently for content, you know you have sites like Moz recommend attempting to get your content at least 10 times better than the competition.
And if you think about it from a user’s perspective, you know not everybody’s just looking for a top level overview of a specific service. Like, if you take roofing, as an example, people don’t just search for “roofers+location”, you know, they search for the specific problem that they have.
So they can be “oh my garage roof has got a leak”. So, search for “garage roof repair in Edinburgh” or something similar to that. Now, if you only have a service page about the fact that you’re a roofer, but your competition has a page about how garage roof repair, and you think about that from the perspective of a computer algorithm – at the end of the day and the guys who have a specific page on that topic and are more likely to be perceived as relevant.
There are a lot of other factors involved, but that’s probably one of the core elements of search engine optimisation. You’re optimising your site for those searches and in order to do so, understand the searches and set up your website structure in a manner to match the market.
And that’s great in theory. I’ve spent a lot of time researching markets and then understanding how people search, using that information to create information architectures which are effectively just large road map site maps resulting in a whole list of very relevant pages.
But I don’t have the content to fill those pages – and the roadblock happens because I can’t write that content to a level of quality that an expert in field can.
That’s across the board. You know, even if you hire a good copyrighter they are never going to give you the same level of insight and experience and knowledge as somebody who has spent time in the field and understands their business and understands their market. Now getting someone who, you know, works a busy day job, or is managing people or just running their everyday tasks to set aside the amount of time it needs to generate that content (to a high standard) is really, really difficult.
Transcription can solve that certain extent because, when you ask a client to sit down and write about what they do, they’re going to sit down and they’re going to hammer out a paragraph for you and, that will likely be the same as every other website (in some cases exactly the same).
But if you can sit and talk to them for half an hour about their business, you’ll find you just get a depth of information that isn’t there otherwise. Especially if they’re not familiar with sitting down and writing about themselves because nobody really does very often, whereas they do regularly get asked a constant barrage of different questions every day when they talk to a potential client or a customer or another business and you don’t get that from them when they’re face with the task of typing something out and trying to hit a minimum word count.
When you say, can you write me a page about this subject, what they’ll do is sit down put together a paragraph on the technical aspects of it from their perspective of their day to day work. Maybe a little bit about why you should choose them. That’s just not really good enough though. It’s not really good enough to convince somebody either when they’re browsing through a site trying to make a decision.
So what this transcription idea is that if you sit down with a customer, interview them and talk about the business and products or services and run through the usual kind of content creation structures, along the lines of introduction, problems that you solve, what’s your market, why should people choose your business over another and so on and you’ll get genuine insight.
Then you can start to talk about the types of typical customer conversation you might have with somebody, the frequently asked questions, the unusual examples, all the stuff that adds colour and demonstrates expertise and authority. The content that actually makes interesting reading at the end of the day and that’s the stuff that starts to really make your content great for search engines but also just genuinely interesting for the reader.
It keeps them engaged it’s really, really difficult to get that large amount of quality content from people who are busy doing their day job. So the theory is that even though I’ve only been speaking for, I’ll check – for seven minutes so far I should have a fairly large word count of reasonable content. (edit – 1140 words, not too sure about the quality of the content!)
I’m probably going to have to edit it quite a bit (edit – I did have to), but if we think about the time that I’m going to spend versus me sitting down and trying to type this stuff out – hopefully, that’s a considerable saving. I have a reasonable understanding of what’s required for content and have approached this with zero prep, but if I could set up a structured interview, on a topic for a page using this method and end up with a clear transcript, the editing becomes a minor chore because it’s really just grammatical and spell check work.
The technology is getting better and better all the time but I already have a pretty good transcription of that interview. I can then structure it in a manner that’s sensible on a page, has on page optimisation where relevant and allows the client’s expertise to shine and just improves the website overall.
And so, let’s see how much editing I have to do. I’m going to stop recording now.
Final edit: Probably spent about 15 minutes fixing grammar and incorrect words in the transcript. The content doesn’t read very well, but that would be easily fixed with a little bit more time (and a structured plan on the topic before I started, rather than just going off on a grade a blethering session). I definitely say “you know” far too often when I’m talking too.