Writing a complete book by dictation

If writing is your passion but simply do not have the time to sit down in front of your computer, or putting your thoughts and ideas to paper, then writing by dictation may be a great solution for you.

Writing by dictation is both a totally new and different experience for you. To help you get started, here are some tips and tools.

Select a digital voice recorder for writing a book

When you are considering getting a voice recorder, there are factors that you must take into account when selecting the right one for your needs.

Recording Quality – This is greatly influenced by the quality of your microphone. To have a clearer recording, get a higher bitrate.

Memory Capacity – You must have an idea of how long is the piece you want to record and store in your digital recorder. Make sure the memory capacity and storage space are adequate before starting your dictation.

Interface – A voice recorder interface should be easy to use and control. You can check out how to advance and comprehensive the controls are. Decide of you want a lot of features that come with more expensive models, or a simpler one to record conversations or just capture your ideas.

Operating System Compatibility – once you have made your recording, it is vital that you will be able to transfer them from your digital recorder to a computer. This is usually done using a USB connection. Although most recorders are designed to be will be compatible with both Windows and Apple software, it’s a good idea to double-check before you purchase.

Here are some brands of quality voice recorders

Olympus WS-852 Digital Voice Recorder – The Olympus WS-852 has a 4GB memory and records audio in MP3. This results in smaller file sizes. The WS-852 can store over 1000 hours, or an equivalent of 41 days of audio recordings.

It also has an Intelligent Auto Mode that automatically adjusts the microphone sensitivity to the volume of your voice. It has two different information modes. It has a simple mode that displays only the most pertinent information, which is helpful for anyone unaccustomed to the screen. It also has a normal mode that is suitable for advanced users who want more control over their recordings.

Sony ICD-UX533BLK Digital Voice Recorder – The Sony ICD-UX533BLK is an easy-to-use voice recorder with large buttons that are easy to read. It looks just like a remote controller, with a large menu button that lets you play your recordings and easily scroll through your menu.

The ICD-UX533BLK comes with 4 GB of stored memory that can record up to 1,073 hours of audio footage. It also has an expansion bay for a micoSD card to allow you to double or triple your recording time. This voice recorder is programmed to automatically adjust its sensitivity levels depending on your voice and on the environment. One special feature this voice recorder utilizes is stereo recording, providing richer and more detailed vocal recordings.

Using voice to text for writing books

Speech to text or voice dictation software is a speech transcription technology that can convert your spoken word to written text. It allows you to write books, emails, speeches and more just with your voice.

Try choosing from the following apps to help you.

Dictate using a book app

1. Voice Memo App – For Apple users, this app can record voice memos on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac. You can then edit and share your recording. Google Docs Voice Typing

2. Google Docs –When you speak, the tool listens to your voice and transcribes what you say into a Google Doc. The feature is intended for people who cannot easily type or who prefer to dictating notes. You can also use it to reduce the time it takes to transcribe an audio recording down to approximately the same time as the actual recording. This is useful if you want to switch from voice typing to regular typing in the same document.

3. Dragon – Dragon is the leading software in dictation and it has the reputation of being one of the most accurate dictation software programs. This reputation has a cost associated with it, though. It can handle fast dictations and has a high recognition accuracy that continually improves as it adapts to your voice.

There are no time or length limits, it lets you speak as long as you want to. Dragon also comes with a robust voice formatting and editing option, including the ability to select words and sentences for editing or deletion.

Writing a novel with Dragon Naturally Speaking

Dragon NaturallySpeaking, also known as Dragon for PC, is a speech recognition software. It runs on Windows personal computers. The macOS version is called Dragon Professional Individual for Mac, also known as Dragon for Mac.

Dragon Naturally Speaking uses a minimal user interface. To show an example, dictated words will appear in a floating tooltip as they are voiced out. When the speaker pauses during the dictation, the program transcribes the words into the active window where the cursor is located.

The software has three main areas of functionality: voice recognition in dictation where the speech is transcribed as written text, recognition of spoken instructions or commands, and text-to-speech: speaking text content of the document.

These voice profiles can be accessed by different computers in a network, although the audio hardware and its configuration must be the same with the machine generating the configuration. The Professional of this software allows users to create custom commands to control the functions or programs that were not built into Dragon NaturallySpeaking.

Write a short outline for your book

After deciding on what voice recorder and app you will use, it is now time to start on your book. To make your thoughts flow faster and in a more organized manner, it is helpful to prepare and a short outline of your book. This will serve as your guide when you start your voice recordings.

Dictate your book chapter by chapter

It is also helpful to break down your book into sections or chapters. When you include the chapters you want to cover in your outline, it will help you go through the recording more smoothly and confidently. This will also ensure that you will not miss out on important points during your recording.

How to edit yourself verbally when dictating

You can edit and adapt text while dictating. For deletions during dictation; you can just say ‘scratch that’.

Keep these in mind and give book writing by dictation a try.

How Do I dictate a Novel quickly?

Dictation has been part of human literary creativity for some time now. Homer probably dictated Illiad and Odyssey because he was traditionally known to be blind. Great writers like Paul the Apostle, Henry James, Winston Churchill, Agatha Christie, and Dan Brown also depended on it.

Recently, more writers are using dictation to write, and many more are curious enough to try. This means we need to find ways of delivering quality work at a faster pace to get ahead.

It is not difficult to put words into a page or chapter by dictation. The challenge is to decide which of the words to keep. Most of us were typing our work before we tried or switched to dictation.

The first thing you notice is that your draft usually has more words and is less organized.

You need a different style in editing or spend more time on it entirely.

Here are some tips that can increase your writing productivity.

Preparations before Dictating

  • Plan Ahead

Organize your thoughts before you start dictation. Create an outline. Take a few minutes to sketch out each scene or section.

You can write down some pointers in an index card or notebook. You can even use a phone or computer for the outlines. Since talking is much faster than typing, we tend to say things that can be off-topic.

Outlines and notes can help you stay focused on the plot.

  • Allow For Errors

The accuracy of dictation software is generally at 95%-98%. Expect to correct about 2-5 words per hundred you speak. These are usually the words the software did not understand. Depending on your typing abilities and your native dialect, these corrections could be better or worse than your typing errors. You have to go over your work frequently to check on accuracy while the original idea is still fresh in your mind.

  • Speech Clarity

Speak swiftly, but clearly. Don’t mumble your words. Also, hold the microphone a few inches from your mouth. The generated static or noise will annoy the transcriber, or result in transcription errors by the software. This wastes time and money.

But also try to relax, make your dictation more free-flowing. This will prevent you from making lots of fillers like er’s, ah’s, hmm’s. They take up data and complicate transcription.

Think before you speak. Whenever possible, pause for effect. Pausing prevents you from making bloated and disorganized writing and saves you a lot of time during the editing portion.

Depending on your preference, dictate in a peaceful place: lakeside, quiet backyard, or in your room, as long as you are undisturbed.

  • Dictate punctuation

Train yourself to include punctuation in dictation. This feels weird at first, but once you get into it, it just comes naturally. The process of dictating punctuations will help articulate your meaning well. It also gives structure to your writing. Finally, it ensures that there will be no corrections to the final edit of your work. This applies well both to manual transcription or software.

  • Practice

Use dictation as often as you can. You will soon find yourself preferring it than typing. After all, talking is much more natural than typing. Remember talking is faster than typing!

 

Choose Your Method of Transposing Recorded Dictation to Text

The second part of writing by dictation is transcription. That is converting speech to text. Depending on which method you choose, your overall productivity will be affected by this.

  • Manual

If you are not that tech-savvy, bring your recording to a trained transcriptionist. There are hundreds if not thousands of people available for hire through the web, and most of them are good and charge reasonably. But there is that risk of security and compatibility issues. It would be better to have referrals or have someone in the office do the work as extra.

A quick option is sending your audio file online to transcription service companies like Speechpad.com, Rev, Otter, TranscribeMe, and many others. It’s safe, reliable, and reasonably priced. Of course, they offer varying degrees of accuracy and turnover speed that correspond to their prices. Transcription prices range from $1-$3 per minute of audio. Some companies give volume discounts. But for book transcription, you could already buy voice recognition software for the cost you will have to pay. So, in the long run, this could be an expensive option.

  • Using Devices/Software

Using a combination of digital voice recorder and transcription software, you can record your dictation now and then transfer the file to a computer for editing at a later time. This gives you more time to get every idea out first and recorded right away without any distraction. Next, just upload the file into a transcription program like Dragon Naturally Speaking for Mac and proceed to edit.

There is also available text software that allows you to dictate through a microphone plugged directly into a computer. You can then edit your work in real-time. A downside to this method is you get into the mindset of wanting to continuously edit the text, get distracted, and lose your concentration.

If you do not get distracted easily, this method can be more attractive. You can buy a cheap ($15) microphone and plug it into your computer and start talking. The next step is to edit your dictation, but this is not so difficult. Most software comes with editing consoles to let you edit your work easily.

Editing Your Work

You can approach editing in stages or levels. Start at big-picture editing down to word-level details.

Make sure your writing has a natural flow. Check that your plot lines are well-placed. See that your scenes or sections are evenly weighted.

Paragraphs and sentences should be short and presented in a logical order. Avoid wordy sentences. With dictation, you develop the tendency to produce sentences with 40 words or more. For better comprehension, sentences with 20 words are better.

  • Use editing tools

Editing tools can be good problem-solvers. If you have gotten off track with your book structure, Scrivener can help you analyze and reorganize your work. Scrivener Binder can help you rearrange sections of your book.

I also found out that Microsoft Word has a similar feature with its Navigation Pane. You only need to make some tweaks first before you can use it. (Check out How to Make Word Behave like Scrivener).

There are other available editing tools at your disposal. There are some words (just, even, really) that give emphasis when used in spoken language. But when these are present in written sentences, they tend to change the meaning.

Use a macro (NeedlessWords in Microsoft Word) to spot these and remove them.

Macros are tiny programs that can handle repetitive tasks that could waste time when done manually. Microsoft Word and other word processing programs can run macros.

Sentences become longer when you dictate your writing. That is okay when you speak because there is intonation to help listeners handle the words into coherent groups. There is no intonation in writing, so you need to shorten sentences and put punctuation marks. The Hemingway Editor can help you with this.

Complicated words can add value to your work, but they can also be a hindrance to having your thoughts understood. Use simple words and improve readability. The PlainLanguage macro, Find and Replace macro, and the Hemingway Editor can assist you here.

There is an editing tool called Grammarly that’s been recently making waves. It can help you with three of the four previous concerns. However, when it comes to editing a full manuscript, it has certain limitations. (Read Book Editing & Proofreading: Can You Trust Grammarly?)

 

Conclusion

Getting proficient in dictation to write a novel takes time and patience, and certainly a lot of practice. We have cited many steps to take to achieve that goal. You can decide on your methods and pace yourself according to what feels natural. Happy writing!

 

How Much Should I Pay Transcribers For My Blog Post Dictations?

You have a very important dictation recording of a blog that needs to be posted as soon as possible.

The audio file is about an hour, and with a very tight deadline. You can’t type very fast and don’t have the proper equipment, to begin with.

What do you do?

Well, don’t worry because there are a lot of online audio transcription companies ready to serve you. All you need to do is go to their website, upload your audio file, choose your options, and provide a payment method. After that, you wait a little while, and you get a readily usable transcript you can rush off to beat the deadline.

Here are some factors that you may want to consider before you choose an option.

1. Type of file-this will determine if your job will require an automated or human-based service.
2. Accuracy- depending on the level required, again influences the type of service to be employed
3. Cost-most transcription companies charge on a per-minute basis. But there are a lot of options like bulk plans that offer better value.

The following are the most important factors to consider.

Different methods of transcriptions

• DIY

You do the listening and type exactly what you hear. This type is the cheapest and probably the most accurate. However, this is the most cumbersome and time-consuming method. Just trying to keep the pace with the speaker against your typing is challenging at best. Then there’s the formatting and editing. Before you know it, you’re ready to give up.

• Automated Transcription Services

This type is the middle option in terms of price and accuracy. As described in the introduction, these companies provide convenient services that produce decent transcripts as easy as ordering pizza. Accuracy is not as good and also varies depending on the company itself. Most of these companies have automated transcription and only a handful offer human-based services.

• Trained Transcriptionists

This type offers highly accurate service, since usually more than one transcriptionist work on your file.

However, that means higher costs and longer turnaround times.

You may also have some security concerns, but most operate under strict NDA policies, so they allow removal of your files from their servers anytime.

Costs

The industry standard is $0.80 – $1.50 per transcription minute on the automated services and $3.00+/minute for the higher-tier human-based services. Typical hourly rates start from $30 up. Some have ‘hidden’ fees, such as additional costs for noisy recordings and poor quality audio. Others bill extra for rush jobs. Still, others offer subscription fees or special rates for groups/teams. Another consideration is the number of speakers in the recording, which can mean additional charges.

Turnaround times

Companies such as Rev boast an industry best turnaround time of 4 hours for recordings that are less than 10 minutes.

TranscribeMe’s Machine Express automated transcription service claims a 3:1 ratio turnaround time.

Some companies, like GoTranscript, have the slowest at five days but of course, are the cheapest.

Human-based services such as Drennan Transcription commits 48 hours and does not charge extra for rush requests.

They try to juggle their operations to accommodate the client.

Cognoplus charges the lowest rates (at $0.60 per audio minute based on 50 minute blocks) and usually deliver with 60 hours.

Accuracy

Both Rev and Drennan Transcription guarantee 99% or higher accuracy in their transcriptions.

They hire only highly experienced transcriptionists that have passed rigorous training.

Rev even has a quality assurance and client feedback system that ensures only the best transcriptionists remain on their team at all times.

Cognoplus doesn’t offer an accuracy guarantee but this is included in the free proofreading and formatting services they include in their transcription service.

File security

Most of the companies like Rev have handled millions of video and audio files with proprietary information, security data, and varying degrees of sensitivity. They assure clients that nothing is ever shared outside of their company. Files are transmitted and stored with TLS 1.2 encryption, the highest available security level. Lastly, files can be deleted upon client request.

The Leading 9 leading online transcription companies

Cognoplus

Offers the best overall value. Rock bottom pricing for completely human/manual transcription at 60 cents per audio minute plus proofreading and formatting.

Rev

Offers a good balance between accuracy and speed

Rev provides a wide range of video and audio transcription services, as well as captions, subtitles, and translations. It has a very high accuracy rate of 99% and usually returns the transcription in a few hours (4 hours for 10 minutes of recording or less). They charge $1 per minute for transcription and captions; and $3-$7 for translations.

iScribed

iScribed provides general transcription services and specialized legal and medical services. They have a two-phase process of reviewing a file, which results in 99% accuracy. Turnaround time is relatively fast at 48 hours. Transcription charges start at $0.89 per minute plus $0.20 per minute for verbatim and timestamps. If you are in a rush and want a result before 48 hours, you can pay an extra $0.60 per minute. Aside from the mentioned transcription services, iScribed also offers closed captioning, subtitles, translations, and content writing services.

Scribie

Scribie offers both manual and automated transcription services. Their manual services have an accuracy rate of 99%, charges $0.80 per minute of audio, and has a turnaround time of 36 hours. However, they have an additional cost of $0.50 a minute for speakers with accents, noisy backgrounds, and poor quality sound files. All a user has to do is upload the file, choose the plan option, pay the fee, and get the transcription in Word format document within the quoted time.

Scribie has a FREE automated transcription service for documents with lower sensitivity and accuracy expectations. For this service, you upload the audio file, wait for 30 minutes, and get a transcription with 80%-95% accuracy. This place is a reliable source of clean audio files with American accent speakers.

Temi

Premium automated transcription service

Temi boasts of its affordable automated service that many established companies use, such as ESPN, The Wall Street Journal, and PBS. They use advanced voice recognition software to transcribe a video or audio file in just 5 minutes. They guarantee a 90-95% accuracy for ideal recordings (clear speakers with a minimal accent and minimal background noise). Transcript files are typically obtained as Word documents or PDF files.

Transcription is $0.10 per minute. And there are no minimum volume requirements, no subscription, and monthly fees. So if you’re a user with fewer transcription needs, Temi is a solid choice.

TranscribeMe

Offers manual and automated transcription service at competitive prices

Offers manual transcription services starting at $0.79 per minute of audio, accuracy at 98%, 24 hours turnaround with speaker ID and timestamps included. For higher accuracy rates, additional costs and longer turnaround times apply.

TranscribeMe also has an automated transcription service, which they call Machine Express.

The cost of transcription is at $0.10 per minute, with no required volume, and with a turnaround time at a 1:3 ratio. To put it simply, for every 1 minute of an uploaded audio file, it will take them 3 minutes to transcribe. Once ready, the text the customer receives it (often through email) in different file formats (Word, PDF, HTML).

TranscribeMe claims their Machine Express uses an advanced voice recognition software that can be tailor-made to fit any business requirement.

Speechnotes

Free automated voice transcription service

Speechnotes started as a free web-based voice transcription service that uses advanced voice recognition software to transcribe speech in real-time. It’s perfect for users who are more comfortable speaking rather than typing. The interface is very straightforward to use. Just click on the microphone and start dictating to the browser-based notepad. It even has commands for punctuations like “period.” The resulting text can be downloaded to the computer or emailed to you.

Recently, Speechnotes started its automatic transcription service for pre-recorded audio and video files. Transcription charges are $0.10 per minute.

GoTranscript

UK based 100% human-generated transcription services

GoTranscript only offers manual transcription services done by a team of top-notch professional transcribers.

They back this up with a system of reviews and checks to ensure quality and 99% accuracy.

Their transcription prices start at $0.72 per minute with a turnaround time of 5 days, up to $2.50 per minute with a turnaround time of 6-12 hours.

They have a customer loyalty program that gives a 5%-20% discount depending on the length of uploaded audio that needs transcribing.

GoTranscript ensures that your information is secure by having their transcriptionists sign a confidentiality agreement. Furthermore, they give the clients the option to erase the transcripts from their database.

Drennan Transcriptions

Drennan Transcriptions offers human-based transcription services only. They do not use voice recognition software. They specialize in transcribing ready and usable podcasts, blogs, online content, market research copy, and others. They charge starting at $1.32 per audio minute but guarantees 99.9% accuracy. Turnaround time is about two days. But depending on their current load, they can accommodate rush jobs at no extra costs. Drennan Transcripts also guarantee no additional editing required to all transcripts they provide.

The Final Word

Depending on whether you prioritize cost, accuracy, or turnaround times for your transcription requirements, there are a lot of options available at your disposal.

Of course, choosing any one of them is worth having than letting your recordings simply go to waste.

Good luck and happy blogging!

Best Voice Recorders for Writing a Book

Digital voice recorders are essential tools in dictation for writing a book.

They can help increase your writing productivity.

At the very least, they can help you outline and record your ideas.

With the right features, recorders allow you to speed up the dictation, transcription, and editing stages, without sacrificing quality.

Finally, if you can balance those features with a fair budget, then you’re all set.

Essential Features to Consider

Recording Quality

We all want clear recordings as much as possible. While it doesn’t need to be podcast quality, it has to be free of excessive background noise, rumbles, and echoes usually present in poor quality recordings. This factor affects the ease of transcription. It also determines the amount of data or size of the file recorded. A recorder with a high bitrate usually means better quality recording, but this requires more data.

Storage Capacity

Memory storage available determines how much data you can record at a time, and therefore the frequency of deleting or transferring files. Typical internal capacities would be 2GB to 4GB, which translates to 40 hours or more of recording time. And this is influenced by the type of file (DSS, WMA or mp3), and quality of the recording as well. An expandable memory would be a plus.

Operation and Controls

The recorder has to be easy to use. The controls should be highly visible and easy to access. The file system should be easy to navigate. The screen should be large, uncluttered, and back-lit, to be easily read in any light condition.

Connectivity

Recorders are usually connected to computers via USB port and micro SD slot, allowing smooth transfer of recorded files. Some devices have transcription systems that automatically transpose recordings into word documents. And most of them are compatible with Windows and Apple software.

Battery Life

Power limitation is also important to consider as it can influence how long a dictation/recording can last. You don’t want to get interrupted in mid-sentence or lose a train of thought just because the battery died. Most of the recorders would have a display showing battery level, but a long battery operating time is very assuring.

Accessories Included

This aspect could serve as deal-breakers in choosing a digital voice recorder. Some brands include accessories like external microphones, earphones, USB cables, extra micro SD cards, batteries, chargers, case or covers, among others.

Top Recorders for 2020

Let’s look at some of the various models available in the market. For this guide, I am listing seven recorders from the most basic to the advanced. I hope they are good representations of features and price mix.

1. Sony ICD-PX240 Digital Voice Recorder

This Sony unit is a wonderful audio recorder now priced at less than $40. It’s a no-frills, basic unit that records in mono, but has surprisingly good sound quality. Moreover, it boasts of a 4GB internal memory giving you 43 hours of continuous recording at 192kpbs in mp3 format. It runs on 2 AAA Alkaline or NH rechargeable batteries, though you cannot use the recorder to recharge the batteries. You can transfer files to a computer through the provided USB connector.

A pleasantly surprising feature of this little wonder is the Overwrite and Add function. These functions allow the user to edit the dictation, to either record over, or to add a portion of the recording, as necessary.

With a low price and not-so mediocre features, the ICD-PX240 is certainly a nice way to start off the list.

2. Olympus WS-852 Digital Voice Recorder

Inexpensive at below $50, it still gives an excellent performance. It has 4GB memory storage, but since it records in mp3 format, it can store up to 1000 hours or 41 days of audio recordings! It also has a microSD port that allows memory expansion up to 32GB. Two AAA alkaline batteries provide 41 hours of recording at 128 kbps in mp3 format.

The WS-852 comes with two display modes: a simple version which only shows the most important information for beginners; and a normal version for the more experienced users, who want to have more features like making adjustments on their recordings.

One example of this is the Intelligent Audio Mode, which automatically adjusts the microphone sensitivity. It senses and compares the volume of the speaker against that of the ambient noise and adjusts accordingly.

The WS-852 comes with a direct USB port that allows you to plug the unit directly into your computer, thus eliminating the need for a USB cable.

3. Sony ICD-UX560BLK Digital Voice Recorder

This model comes in just below $100 and sports a slim half-inch design. It has a built-in stereo microphone with a voice-operated recording. It can record in three modes: stereo, focus, and normal. The recording quality of this recorder is among the best in its price range.

It produces clear, understandable audio in classroom-, quiet office-, and noisy coffee shop settings. It has a “noise cut” feature that filters out the high- and low frequencies. The recorder comes with a 4GB internal memory also has a micro SD slot for memory expansion to 32GB.

The LCD screen is backlit, the controls are highly visible and quite easy to operate, and has a recording level indicator. The menu is very easy to navigate. Buttons are clearly labeled.

The ICD-UX560BLK operates on a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, which takes about 3 minutes to charge for a typical 1-hour recording. The battery has a 27-hour life and provides 39 hours of recording audio on mp3 format.

It is recharged by a slide-out USB 3.0 connector that allows easy connection to the computer for the transfer of files. And it also has a headphone jack and microphone inputs.

4. Olympus VN-8100PC Digital Voice Recorder

A unit costing below $200, This Olympus recorder comes with 2GB memory capacity. This size means it can record audio up to 843 hours or 35 days. It records both in mp3 and WMA formats.

The device has a large screen that allows you to adjust the font size for viewing preference.

It can be connected to the computer by USB enabling the user to directly access the file for email, editing, and archive. It provides 51 hours of recording powered by two AAA batteries.

As an added feature, it has 5 folders that can hold 200 files each.

5. Zoom H2n Handy Digital Recorders

The Zoom H2n doesn’t look like your average digital recorder. Rather stylish and compact, there are almost no buttons, so it can be a bit complicated to use. It comes with a 2GB micro SD upgradable to 32GB. The audio recording is superb because it has five microphones and can record up to 20 hours on two standard AA batteries.

The H2n records in either WAV or mp3 format at their corresponding bitrates that directly affects recording time. Finally, it has a lot of other features like Variable-speed playback, Auto Record, Auto Gain, Tuner, A-B Repeat, and Surround Mixer. Now with a price of $170, it certainly puts the competition in check.

6. Philips DPM6000 Digital Pocket Memo Voice Recorder

The DPM6000 is different from the previous examples as its screen is designed specifically to display only relevant information, thus uncluttering the screen. It comes with an aesthetically pleasing slim design and durable stainless steel. It also features a convenient push-button for professional recording control.

The DPM6000 offers an advanced unique feature – the ability to record in DSS (Digital Speech Standard) format developed by Phillips (together with Olympus and Grundig Business Systems). DSS is specially designed for dictation software and provides more recording accuracy.

As such, the model comes with Speech Exec workflow software for efficient data management. The unit also records in mp3 format as an option. The recorder has two built-in microphones for high-quality stereo recording.

The DPM6000 comes with a 4GB micro SD expandable memory (up to 32GB).

It operates on a lithium-ion rechargeable battery that provides 30 hours of recording audio and has a standby time of 200 days. Finally, with a price of about $250, this recorder is undoubtedly an all-around favorite.

7. Olympus DS-3500 Professional Dictation Digital Recorder

The DS-3500 is considered one of the top-line models in the market and is explicitly designed to function with professional dictating software.

It records in the proprietary DSS format, and is voice-activated! It allows you to insert, overwrite, append, and partially erase pre-recorded files by just speaking to the unit microphone!

It automatically corrects typographical errors and grammar mistakes, and allows you to do so without typing!

On top of all that, the DS-3500 offers password protection and file encryption.

All your work will be kept safe and secured, so privacy is assured.

Features a dual 2GB SD/micro SD removable memory expandable to 32GB, 2-inch color LCD screen, 26-hour recording time on a rechargeable Li-ion battery, five folders capable of holding 200 files each

The DS-3500 comes with the price of a little under $500. But considering all its features, it’s certainly an investment worth making.

The Final Word on Digital Recorders for Writing Books

There are still a lot of digital recorders that we did not cover in this guide, but we hope that the essential factors in choosing one that suits your particular needs.

At the very least, these devices will help you take advantage of the many benefits dictating your book brings.

You can use any model on my list to help you write your book.

Whatever model you choose, we are sure you will find them satisfactory, as these units are well designed and manufactured to quality standards.

Thank you for stopping by, and good luck with your book project!

How to speak faster when dictating blog posts or articles

Dictating is a faster option when you have to multi-task.

In fact, I dictate blog posts, articles, and other online content at a rate of 20,000 words per day or more.

How do I pull this off?

It is important to be relaxed and to think about what you are about to say to make your message as accurately as possible. Speaking fast when dictating saves yourself time, but the clarity of your diction is equally important to make yourself understood.

Here are some tips on how to produce good quality dictation recordings:

Train yourself to think faster

The human brain is an amazing thing. It is considered the supercomputer in charge of commanding and controlling the human body, from the simplest movement of lifting a finger to the most complex task of solving mind-boggling puzzles.

1. Exercise your thinking

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Brain cells not only need physical movement; it also needs mental stimulation. People who think fast always find ways to utilize their brainpower.

You can do this by experiencing new tastes and smells, travel to new places, create art, learn a new skill, research a new topic or develop new habits. This activates various parts of your brain to make it receive and transmit information more efficiently.

It is similar to the way bodybuilders try new weightlifting exercises to help build and develop underutilized muscles.

This way, your brain will get to improve the function of the usually inactive parts of the brain.

2. Be curious about things around you

Our brains are designed to be naturally curious. Unfortunately, as we grow older, most of us begin to suppress or deny this natural curiosity.

We tend to stick to a normal routine or form assumptions or generalizations that cause us to think less about the “whys” of things and simply accept them without further thought.

The best way to exercise curiosity is to ask “Why?” Make it a point to ask yourself a minimum of 10 “why’s” everyday.

This will get your brain thinking about things and you will be surprised to find that there are so many opportunities and solutions in your life and work.

3. The Mozart Effect

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More than a decade ago, psychologists at the University of Wisconsin noticed that listening to Mozart can improve people’s mathematical and spatial reasoning skills.

In their experiment, they let a mouse walk through a maze while listening to Mozart’s music. They noticed that they went through the maze faster and more precise than when they were listening to white noise.
Although there have been studies that not everyone benefited from Mozart’s music, they have found that music does boost brain power simply because it makes listeners feel better and more relaxed.

4. The benefits of writing

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Writing is a way of capturing thoughts and ideas then putting them down to words. It is a way to keep your brain is active and organized.

The biggest benefit of writing is that it can expand your brain capacity.

Try to find ways to write, such as writing something for your friends, writing your childhood story, starting your own blog or simply write diary entries about how you spent your day.

No matter the topic, the act of putting your thoughts to paper is a great way to train your brain to think.

How to speak faster

Millions of thoughts zoom through our heads every single day. When it comes to dictation, thinking fast must be coupled with clarity of thought. When your thoughts are clear and organized, it will be easier to find the right words to express your ideas.

1. Loosen your tongue

Background photo created by halayalex – www.freepik.com

Most often than not, we are too lazy to move our lips and tongue when speaking.

To practice, try looking at yourself in the mirror and talk. Keep your back straight and speak in a clear and steady tone. Open your mouth and form the tones of the words clearly and with confidence.

2. Keep your sentences short and simple

Do not attempt to form complex sentences at the start.

The longer and more complicated your sentences are, the more effort and time you will spend analyzing your sentence structure and organizing your train of thought.

Express yourself using simple sentences that are easy to understand.

3. Enunciate to improve your quick speech pronunciation

When starting a dictation, learn to relax. You can try practicing some hard-to-pronounce words in advance to make you feel confident about using these words in your piece.

4. Learn from your mistakes

It is normal to mispronounce a few words or stammer as you find the right word at the start.

Once you identify these mistakes, work on getting rid of those. Research on the right way to use that new word or sentence structure and practice saying them out loud.

In no time, you will improve your English considerably.

5. Try practicing on some English tongue twisters

Tongue twisters are not just silly rhymes and exercises in phonics. They can actually reveal certain weaknesses in your speaking and pronunciation skills.

Try saying some English tongue twisters out loud to practice sounds and tones.

This way, you can both improve the clarity of your voice and at the same time practice speaking faster.

6. Read aloud to yourself

Background photo created by halayalex – www.freepik.com

This will improve your confidence and help you enhance your flow when speaking.

Try it in your favorite book or any short article. As you read out loud, train yourself to speak faster with each repetition.

7. Thinking in Fast English

When you surround yourself with sped up English (ex: watching Youtube videos in 1.25x speed setting), you will get used to speaking in sped up English.

Soon, you will notice a considerable improvement in your speech clarity and speed.

8. Pick a role model

Try to find a favorite English public speaker, radio or television personality.

Observe the way he or she talks and expresses ideas. This will surely help you learn English quicker and faster.

With these tips in mind, you can greatly improve your ability in both thinking and speaking quickly.

This will help you improve on your dictation skills, making you more confident in expressing yourself, speaking faster and getting your message clearly to your listeners.

(Featured image photo rights notice: Sale photo created by drobotdean – www.freepik.com)

20 Dictation Blogging Best Practices

Who doesn’t have a smartphone nowadays? I might even win if I make a bet that you’re reading this article on your phone.

We see a lot of mobile app ads, and some of them have successfully replaced individual gadgets. Certainly, smartphones have become indispensable in the twenty-first century.

Speech-to-Text features aren’t something new. However, technological advances have greatly improved speech recognition, and lately more smartphone users are appreciating and taking advantage of speech-to-text mobile apps as well as computer software. Nobody hates convenience, do we?

Why spend your precious time typing and hurting your fingers if you can push fewer buttons? Here are some tips to boosts your blog posts success when using dictation apps:

dictation outlining

Always prepare an outline in advance

This helps you stutter less and come up with complete sentences.

Having an idea of what you are going to talk about will result in smoother and more natural sentences.

Don’t have time? You can dictate your outline ahead of time.

Provide identifying information

Try to always include dates, addresses, and spellings. The details that you give will help your readers understand your ideas or description better.

Get ready to pause your dictation

Get ready to push the pause button

If you think a long pause in your dictation is coming, hit that pause button.

Get the time you need to collect your thoughts and proceed.

Get the right recording gear

Get the Right gear

A good mic is a good investment. Choose your preferred device among the three types: wireless, wired, or built-in mic.

Your choice of mic can also increase or decrease the word accuracy.

Get to know your recording device

Familiarize yourself with the features such as pause, insert, and delete.

Easily controlling your device will let you focus on other things such as your sentence patterns and coherence.

Test your blog dictation recording equipment

Always test your mic before every recording

Be sure that it can capture your voice clearly by trying a few words before you proceed dictating.

Check your pronunciation and test out your voice

Making sure your voice is clear means less editing time. You may need to exercise your vocal tract, jaw, and tongue by vocalizing before recording.

Mind your tone and pace

You might want to enunciate clearly while speaking at the same speed when you are having a conversation with someone.

Some people, when anxious, excited, or emotional, badly articulate or unintentionally muffle their voice.

Use dictation placeholder words

Consider using placeholder words

Sometimes there are some words like proper names that a dictation app refuses to recognize.

It might insist on mangling it, so it’s a good idea to use a word for the meantime instead.

When you edit, simply search for the word you want to replace.

Spell out hard words when dictating

Spell out difficult words

When you use easily confused or unfamiliar terms, you should consider spelling it out.

Ditch abbreviations

Most abbreviations have multiple meanings, so they can rise to confusion.

Use short sentences when dictating

Short sentences will do

As long as your sentences are complete, you’ll be understood by your readers.

Anyway, comprehending longer sentences takes more time. And long sentences scare readers.

Dictation production best practices

Choose a place with minimal noise when dictating blog posts

Your best choice is a quiet room because louder background noise would compromise your word recognition accuracy.

Punctuate for clarity

Say the words “dollar sign”, “comma”, “period”, “percent sign”.

Remember: Paragraphs matter

Start a new line by saying “new line.”

Your blog would not be appealing if you have blocks. Divide them into a smaller 3-sentence paragraph to look friendlier.

Don’t forget to use apostrophes where needed

Contractions of the verb “is” and the use of “s” after a noun to show possessive property should be emphasized.

Drink water to avoid dry throat

Have a cup of water on standby beside you while dictate

A dry mouth or throat affects the quality of your voice. Your dictation app may even have difficulty recognizing your words.

Always blog for others

Always remember that your dictation is intended for other people

Consider them and try to make it easier to understand and more colorful or vivid to imagine.

Improve your dictation app’s speech recognition accuracy

Train the app constantly by familiarizing it with the way you pronounce.

With all of the languages and accents, not everyone pronounces words in the same way.

Mark where your entry ends

Say something like, “end of dictation.”

This comes handy when you have to edit.

What is the best voice dictation app?

You can go ahead and read reviews, but I already did that. So the name Dragon Professional Individual is a highly recommended dictation app. It’s no wonder that it gets mentioned or recommended with all of the features that come with it. It’s compatible with both Windows and Mac.

How do you talk text?

Tap Messages App Icon on your iPhone and then choose which friend you want to send a message to. Or you can make a new message by tapping the blue button in the top-right corner of Messages menu.

Give the text field a tap to open the keyboard.

Push the Dictation icon which looks like a microphone.

You will be asked to enable dictation on a pop-up menu.

Say your message aloud while holding your phone in front of you or just speak normally as you do when using Air Pods or ear pods.

Unfortunately, you cannot command the app to send your message, so you’ll have to push the send button on the screen.

How to use a phone in dictation system?

Download a dictation app from Play Store or App Store if you don’t have them yet.

Typing without using your hands is even faster boosting your productivity and creativity.

How do I dictate punctuation on android?

Just speak out the name of punctuation that you want to insert.

For instance, Hi! What are you up to these days? That’s: hi exclamation mark what are you up to these days question mark.

How do you put punctuation in voice text?

Punctuations are added by naming them.

Say period to add a period.

How to turn on speech to text on android?

Bring up your device’s keyboard and look for the mic icon which is located on the left side of the space bar.

With that, you can now start dictating.
 

FREE DICTATION APPS

Transcribe App

Voice memos and videos into text files? Do it best with Transcribe!

Pros:
        Import and export files
        Supports more than 80 languages

Cons:
        Only available on App Store
        In-app purchases to unlock most features
 

Speechnotes

Add greetings, signatures, and other texts you use frequently with Speechnotes custom keys. Simply tap on the app icon and the mic icon next and you are all set.

Pros:
        In-app purchase
        No account needed

Google Gboard – The Google Keyboard

Download Google Keyboard for free from Play Store. This app is said to support more than 60 languages.

Pros:
        Compatible with Google Translate
        Basic speech-to-text tool

Cons:
        Absence of shortcut commands
 

PAID DICTATION APPS

Dragon Professional

The best bet for those looking into buying a business-grade speech-to-text app is Dragon Professional.

Just say the word and you’ll be making a spreadsheet or editing a document with all the convenience.

The more time you spend using it, the more it adapts to your voice and choice of words.

Pros:

        Very high accuracy rate
        Approximate typing speed equivalent per minute:  160 words

Cons:

        Aimed at professionals (who have a budget)
        Pricey @$300

Otter

Highly recommended for smartphone and laptop users, Otter allows you to give real-time commands.

Organizing, editing, or searching during meetings, lectures, and interviews will never be the same.

Pros:

        Premium plan: space for 6,000 minutes of dictation to text
        Available in a team plan
        Free tier
 
Cons:

        Needs speaker ID assignments for multiple speakers

Verbit

This dictation app is marketed to offer ease and convenience to students and entrepreneurs.

By using both algorithms and neural networks, it can differentiate speakers even when the accent is changed.

It does more by incorporating information from the news into your recordings.

Pros:

        Offers services from human editors

Cons:
        Isn’t always live
 

GOOGLE VOICE TYPING COMMANDS

As seen on https://support.google.com/docs/answer/4492226?hl=en.

Select text by saying:

• Select last [number] words
• Select last word
• Select next [number] words
• Select next word
• Select word
• Select last [number] lines
• Select last line
• Select next [number] lines
• Select next line
• Select line
• Select last [number] characters
• Select last character
• Select next [number] characters
• Select next character
• Select last [number] paragraphs
• Select last paragraph
• Select next [number] paragraphs
• Select next paragraph
• Select paragraph
• Select all matching text
• Select [word or phrase]
• Select all
• Select list items at current level
• Select list item
• Select none
• Unselect
• Deselect

Format documents by saying:

Text formatting

• Apply title
• Apply subtitle
• Apply heading [1–6]
• Apply normal text
• Capitalize [word or phrase]
• All caps [word or phrase]
• Strikethrough
• Superscript
• Subscript
• Underline
• Italicize
• Bold
• Italics

Text color and highlighting

• Highlight
• Background color [color]
• Remove background color
• Highlight [color]
• Remove highlight
• Text color [color]

Font size

• Font size [6-400]
• Increase font size
• Make bigger
• Decrease font size
• Make smaller

Paragraph formatting

• Line spacing [1-100]
• Line spacing single
• Line spacing double
• Increase indent
• Decrease indent

Alignment

• Align justified
• Align center
• Center align
• Right align
• Left align
• Align left
• Align right

Columns

• Column options
• Apply 3 columns
• Apply 2 columns
• Apply 1 column
• Insert column break

Lists

• Insert bullet
• Create bulleted list
• Insert number
• Create numbered list

Remove formatting

• Remove strikethrough
• Remove underline
• Remove italics
• Remove bold
• Remove formatting
• Clear formatting

Edit documents by saying:

• Insert horizontal line
• Insert bookmark
• Insert comment [then say your comment]
• Insert header
• Insert footer
• Insert equation
• Insert footnote
• Insert page break
• Insert link [then say the URL you want to use]
• Insert table of contents
• Update table of contents
• Delete table of contents
• Copy link
• Delete
• Delete link
• Delete [word or phrase]
• Delete last word
• Paste
• Cut
• Copy

Add or edit tables by saying:

• Exit table
• Insert table
• Remove table
• Insert row
• Insert new row
• Insert new row below
• Insert new row above
• Delete row
• Remove row
• Insert column
• Insert new column
• Insert new column on the left
• Delete column
• Remove column
• Insert table [1-20] rows by [1-20] columns
• Delete table

Scroll

• Scroll up
• Scroll down
Stop voice typing

say “Stop listening.”

Resume voice typing

To move the cursor to the end of the paragraph and start voice typing again, say “Resume.”

To move the cursor to the end of a particular word or phrase, say “Resume with [word or phrase].”

Here are all the commands you can say to resume voice typing:

• Go to [word]
• Go to the end of the line
• Go to the end of the paragraph
• Move to the end of the line
• Move to the end of the paragraph
• Resume with [word or phrase]
• Resume

Commands to open help

• See all voice commands
• Voice commands list
• Voice typing help

Using the tips and resources above, you’ll now be well on your way to dictating 20,000+ words per day

Blogging is fun as it is when you love what you’re doing. But if you have the options to make it more convenient for you, why not grab it? Try recording your voice and get it on with dictation apps or services. You might get surprised how this can transform your blogging experience.

How to get more traffic to your blog through intentional blogging

To get more traffic to a blog, you just have to blog in an intentional way.

I know it sounds crazy because a lot of bloggers basically just blog by passion. Now, they’re getting sophisticated because they have target keywords but it’s still basically passion-based.

So, if they feel the urge to blog about a certain keyword then they would just get to it, write it out, post it, and be done with it. Then they’d head to the beach. Maybe hang out with friends. There’s nothing wrong with that.

But if you want to make money by generating more traffic to your blog, you have to be intentional. In other words, you have to treat it like a job. How?

First of all, you have to have a game plan for what you’re going to post. This has to be a list of keywords and then you have to turn them into topics.

The topics have to fit some common theme that makes sense. Then you compare that outline with the rest of the content that’s already out there.

Can you blow everybody awake and deliver value? If not, keep working on your outline. If you already have a solid outline, write it out.

Now, this can take several days if you type slowly. But if you can talk quickly and you already know your stuff, you can dictate a very meaty blog post. And I’m talking about 5,000 to even 9,000 words in an hour.

How? Dictation.

You can really take your blogging game to the next level by dictating your blog post instead of writing them out. But if you want more control, you can write them out.

Whatever you do, get it out of you. Just get it out of your system. Write that blog post.  Pretty soon, you might clock 20,000+ words per day

Now that you’ve done that, you then have to be intentional in terms of getting the word out.

social media blog posts

So, you can do the following. Split your blog post into subheadings and then Tweet out the subheadings through Tweets targeting certain niche-targeted hashtags on Twitter.

Next, you can share the photos that are in your blog post on Pinterest and also target Pinboards or Group boards that are related to your niche.

Next, you can find Facebook groups that talk about your niche and then share your content there.

Next, you go to a Reddit and there are many sub Reddits that may be related to your niche. Post your latest blog post there and start a conversation.

Next, you can post some of the pictures on Instagram and target hashtags that are already on Instagram that are related to your niche.

Next, you can record a short video. It doesn’t have to be a picture of your blog. It doesn’t have to be a video of you talking. Maybe you feel like you don’t look good on video.

That’s fine. It could be your voice. It could also be the dictation audio of your blog post, and you just turn it into a slideshow. Whatever the case may be, put up a video on YouTube and use it as a teaser to drive traffic to your blog post.

Check the extremely helpful video above from Trena Little to get great ideas on how to turn your blog posts into videos.

This is what I mean by intentional blogging. You have to not only be intentional in what you’re going to talk about in your blog post. But you also have to be intentional about where you’re going to distribute your stuff.

That’s the key. They go hand in hand. Because Google will find you faster if you’re already out there on social media.

Do you get how this works? Also, it’s very important for your new blog posts to reference or internally link to older blog posts. This way, whatever traffic you get will go back to your older blog posts and you can link your older blog posts to your newer blog posts.

This way, it could turn your blog into a traffic circulation machine and this can lead to a community forming around your blog.

How To Save Money on High Quality Human Transcription

If you haven’t tried automated transcription, you might not be missing much.

Generally speaking, fully automated transcriptions still suffer from accuracy compared to the works of human transcriptionists. You’ll find plenty of dictation apps and software out there but nothing will beat a human’s professional quality and accuracy.

For general blogging purposes, human transcription is the best option among the most common transcription methods out there.

By choosing a human transcriptionist or getting your transcriptions done by hand you bring up the accuracy rate and make sure that your files are free from errors. No need to spare some time to edit those text.

Finding a high-quality human transcription service is easy, but it often comes at a price. In contrast, automated dictation apps offer basic services at a much cheaper price. Some of them are even free apps.

When you don’t want to compromise quality, you go for the more expensive plan sparing yourself from reviewing the texts to check for errors.

Reasons To Get A Human Transcriptionist

One of the biggest advantages of getting an actual human being to transcribe your audio is the transcriber’s flexibility. Unlike machines, humans can handle noisy backgrounds and poor audio quality better.

When using automated transcription services, you will be asked to pay more when the speakers have accents or if there are multiple speakers. Humans can easily understand words despite the accent or dialect resulting in inaccurate words. By understanding or analyzing the context of the sentence, the right word makes it to the text.

A person can easily identify how many speakers there are. A dialogue may confuse dictation software, but humans can easily follow who is speaking and what is being said.

Homophones often present a problem for machines. Homophones are words with different spellings but the same pronunciation.

A human transcriptionist would easily know which spelling to use. This makes the sentences on the text free from eyebrow-raising mistakes and confusion.

Best Human Transcription Service Providers for Bloggers

1. GMR Transcription

A US-based company that ensures file security. Straight forward rates without hidden charges.

2. Cognoplus

Only $27 per 50 minute block. No hidden charges. This includes free proofreading, editing, and formatting!  They also offer VA services.

3. Words Wizards

With more than 20 years of presence in the industry, they have established a name for themselves.

4. Do it Now

Based in Australia, they offer a 4-day turnaround for a dollar per minute. You can also have your texts in just a day for 2 dollars per minute.

5. Go Transcript

Your audio files are in good hands with their experienced transcriptionists. They charge 72 US cents per audio minute.

How To Get Cheap Transcription Services

Of course, everyone wants a quality transcript, and it’ll be more amazing if you don’t have to spend a lot to get your hands on it. Beginners usually have a hard time actually finding excellent transcription service on a budget. This article will help you boost your luck in looking for one so you don’t have to resort to making a transcription yourself.

hand dictation

Get A Dictation App

The cheapest option you have when you need to turn speech to text is to head to Play Store or App Store. There are some of them which are for free.

Or you can also take advantage of the free trials they offer. Even if you decide on a paid app, the standard rates are way cheaper than the services of human transcriptionists.

The issue with dictation apps is that you’re lucky if you find one that’s compatible with your recording. You shouldn’t get your hopes high and ask for 100% accuracy.

At best it’ll only be around 80%. Background noise, poor quality audio, multiple speakers, and accent cannot be overcome by automated speech-to-text software resulting in poor transcription.

Dictation app works best when the recording is clean from background noise and the pronunciation of the speakers is well-rounded. Or else, you’ll have to brace yourself on your seats and dedicate some time to edit. Very time consuming if you ask me.

transcription

Compromise between features and security?

You’ve got to make your choice between paying fifty cents or a dollar for a minute of recording. They are set apart by how many features they offer and how much they value security.

You might think that a cheap option will do until you discover that it isn’t exactly cheap. Yes, you may be lured by the cheap price, but that might mean that you’ll be getting the most basic features unless you cough out more money for additional features which are charged separately.

If your recording has only one speaker, then you don’t have to pay more to set the app to identify multiple speakers. They also adjust the price depending on the quality of the audio, accents, and how many speakers there are.

Companies that offer better security charge higher, of course. They promise that your privacy is safe because they have in-house transcriptionists.

Schedule

You save money when you aren’t in a rush to get your hands on your transcripts. Longer turnaround time cuts off the price up to 20% compared to rushed transcriptions.

This is the most helpful tip on this list because you don’t have to compromise quality nor security. If you really want to spend less, you just have to make a schedule.

verbatim dictation

Consider which verbatim is suited for your needs

Intelligent verbatim is a standard in the human transcription industry. This feature eliminates fillers like “uhms” and repetitions along with stutters. If your recording is clear and free from these distractions or you don’t find them necessary in your transcripts, you’ll be saving some money.

A strict verbatim will include every detail. But for those satisfied with basic transcription, you can look for transcription services where summary options are offered.

10 KEYS  TO PROFESSIONAL TRANSCRIPTION QUALITY CONTROL 

Keep the following in mind if you’re manually transcribing your audio files or if you’ve hired someone else to do it for you.

1. Make notes before you start the transcription. Organizing the content and giving a brief description beforehand will make sure the message or ideas get across to your audience.

2. Increase your focus and minimize distractions. It pays off to be well equipped. For instance, the proper type of headphones helps ensure that you are able to listen to what you are transcribing clearly all the time.

3. Steer clear from busy and noisy surroundings. Transcribing in a quiet room eliminates the chances of you getting distracted.

4. Pay attention to source guidelines. Clients do not always give the same set of instructions.

5. Stand from your seat from time to time. Regular breaks will help you be more productive. It can be taxing to sit for hours, and it won’t be long before you start making mistakes.

6. Download software that cleans up the audio. This way you’ll be spending less time analyzing and have a smooth time working.

7. Invest in a good quality keyboard. Keyboards are not made the same. Finding the best keyboard for you will help increase your typing speed.

8. Mind your punctuation. Be sure that you have them where they need to be.

9. Check your grammar all the time.

10. Don’t forget to proofread. You may want to download grammar checkers. Even the best writer needs someone to proofread his/her work. You are more prone to ignore your own grammatical slips, so getting a free app to check your grammar isn’t a bad thing.

transcription scheduling

Conclusion

A professional transcription doesn’t happen overnight. After transcribing for a while, you’ll be able to discover your own style and have a smoother time transcribing. Even a professional was a beginner once.

When you don’t want to transcribe it yourself, you have two options: get an app or hire someone to do it for you. A human transcriptionist is still no match with dictation apps.

How to Manually Transcribe Dictated Blog Posts

There are many ways to transcribe dictation audio.

You can use software. You can dictate directly into Google Docs. You can even turn your audio file into an MP4 file, upload it to YouTube, and copy and paste the automated transcription.

Of course, you can always choose to do things the old school way and manually transcribe audio dictation files.

I prefer manual transcription because transcription software, as well as Google Docs and YouTube still have a long way to go.

While YouTube transcriptions can do a fairly good job, its lack of punctuation is a deal killer for me.

Plus, Youtube autranscriptions require many time-consuming steps.

Also, slowly dictating into Google Docs is a non-starter.

The main reason why I choose to dictate my blog posts, articles, and books, is because I want to crank out more words per day. This is why I’m able to write more than 20,000 words per day.

Slowly and carefully dictating into Google Docs defeats the purpose.

If you are dictating your content, here are the steps on how to manually transcribe dictated blog posts the right way.

speed up the audio to review dictation

Step #1: Play the audio at 1.5 or 2x speed

Using VLC or some other audio playback software, listen to the source audio file at 1.5 to 2x speed.

Speed listening enables you to get an overview of what the whole file is about. It’s not much different from reading a book.

If you want to read a book quickly, it’s a good idea to skim through all the sections of the book to get a general idea. You will be able to figure out the different parts of the book, how it’s formatted, and the organization it uses.

You may also be able to pick out the main points that the book is trying to make.

Audio dictation files are no different.

Listen to the material quickly at least twice.

This also prevents you from stressing out when it comes time to manually transcribe the audio.

By the time you start transcribing, you won’t be dealing with completely new materials.

You familiarized yourself with the audio so it doesn’t come off as completely new, and some parts won’t come off as surprising.

Slow down dictation blogging audio for transcription

Step #2: Slow down the audio

Use software that can slow down the audio so you can listen to each word clearly enough to transcribe it.

Each word must be transcribed correctly because certain words have different spellings but sound alike or very similar to each other.

Slowing down the audio enables you to pick out the overall context of each sentence. This increases the chance that you will be able to transcribe every word correctly since you understand the context of that text.

Several software packages will help you do this. Some are better than others.

Personally, I prefer nch.com.au’s Scribe Software.

This software slows down the audio so you can make out each word. You can also change the speed setting so you can speed through the audio that you easily recognize.

Step #3: Read your transcription closely

Read the transcription with a critical eye.

Your job is to pick out sentences that may have been formatted wrong.

Believe it or not, sometimes if you put a comma in the wrong place, a sentence meaning changes.

Similarly, you need to read closely for mistranscribed words.

You can’t just read in one sitting, assuming that all the words are correct.

Instead, you’re looking to read and look for a rough spot. This is where the sentence doesn’t seem to make any sense.

This is your clue that a word may have been mistranscribed, or the sentence construction is off, or the clauses are not right.

Step #4: Read for logic

After hunting for grammar problems with your first reading, you should read your transcription a second time. This time, slow down and question the meaning of each paragraph.

Does it make sense?
Does it contradict itself?
Are there holes in its argumentation or its presentation?
Is it referring to stuff that isn’t there?
Is it making any promises that it fails to deliver on?
Are there any inconsistencies in the use of certain terms or jargon?

At this stage of editing, you’re looking at your transcription in terms of logic.

Does it make sense? Is it persuasive? Does it follow up on its claims?

Step #5: Format for maximum readability

If you read a lot of blog posts, you know that big blocks of text scare people.

People don’t have the time to hack through big blocks of text.

Format your transcription the same way. Use short sentences by chopping up long, heavy sentences.

Organize these short sentences into short paragraphs. As much as possible, use subheadings, lists, and bullet points.

By following the five steps above and constantly looking to fine-tune your transcription and editing skills, you will be able to transcribe even the most difficult audio files.

None of this comes easy.

You won’t pick up this skill overnight. But with enough practice and the right attention to detail, you will be able to transcribe your own dictated audio files or somebody else’s at a high-quality level.

5 Ways To Transcribe Your Blog Article or Book Dictations

So far, I’ve taught you how to dictate your book, blog posts, and articles so you can make more money, save time, and enjoy many other benefits.

As awesome as these benefits may be, you need to get one key step right to fully enjoy the increased productivity and other advantages dictation brings to the table: you need to pick the right audio transcription method.

Quick Recap: What is audio transcription?

It is simply the act of converting audio/speech into text through a transcriber. Podcasts, interviews, Zoom meetings, courtroom recording, medical recordings, and research recordings can all be transcribed into text for a larger audience.

Types of Transcription Service

In transcription, there are two main things to consider: the audio file and the transcriber.

To get accurate content, you need to create a high-quality audio recording.

The speech must be clear, have a good tone and be delivered fluently in your chosen language.

Once the audio recording is of good quality, the next is to consider the transcriber.

The transcriber is simply the medium that converts the audio into text.

There are five main ways to have your audio files transcribed:

1. Dragon naturally speaking
2. Google docs transcription
3. YouTube auto transcription
4. Freelance human transcription
5. Hiring a transcription agency

dragon naturally speaking for dictation blogging

Dragon Naturally Speaking

Dragon Naturally Speaking is one of the best speech recognition software with millions of users across the world.

It was first developed by Dragon Systems of Newton, but currently owned and managed by Nuance Communications. It runs on Windows and Mac operating systems.

The simplicity, flexibility, and ease of use have enabled many content producers to use it for all their audio transcriptions.

Dragon has three main features: voice recognition, command recognition, and text-to-speech.

You create a user profile and then dictate the words or speak naturally while the software does the transcription.
Once you are done speaking, Dragon will deliver to you the text word document of the audio.

Pros:

Dragon has a friendly user-interface and easy to use.

Once fully trained, it is claimed that this software can reach a 99% accuracy rate. That means for every 1000 words, there will be 10 mistakes.

The accuracy rate, however, improves with time as the software gets to understand your proficiency and tonation.

It saves time and effort and can be used by authors who are sluggish in typing.

Cons:

It can take some time to fully train the software to transcribe your audio at a high accuracy rate.

If you have an accent or your voice varies, you may have to wait a long time for the training process.

There are minor mistakes such as punctuation, spelling and all others.

This will require a little editing to ensure that the document is accurate and presentable.

The software has no free or trial version.

The pro version is priced at a one-time price of $ 199.99. If you want other languages, you will be required to purchase other versions.

Voice blogging with Google Docs

Google Docs

Google Docs is one of Google’s Office Suite free applications. It is readily available as long as you have a Gmail address.

The audio transcription feature has been developed in Google Docs to help users who might prefer speaking to typing their text.

To get started, open the voice typing feature from the tools menu on Google Docs and then proceed with the recording.

As you speak, Google Docs will take off the hassle and automatically type the text for you.

After you are done speaking, you will have the word version of the audio.

Pros:

Google Docs is simple and easy to use.

It supports more than 50 languages: English, German, Spanish, French, Arabic and many others.

The voice typing feature is free for all users.

It has a relatively good accuracy rate for a lot of busy users.

A help section is provided with instructions to improve the accuracy of your audio transcription.

Cons:

You have to speak at a very low rate of speed for Google Docs to accurately transcribe.

You have to speak PUNCTUATION commands and this can slow you down further.

The voice typing and dictating feature can only be used on only Chrome browsers. That means you can’t use the voice typing feature on Firefox, Explorer and any other browser out there.

Might be too slow to produce any real productivity boost compared to other methods of transcription.

Use Youtube auto-translate to transcribe audio files

YouTube Automated Transcription Service

While YouTube is not an original audio transcriber, it has been an in-built automatic audio transcription technology.

To use this feature, you simply have to convert your mp3 into mp4 and upload your mp4 file to YouTube, click on the “More” button, select the preferred language and then transcribe.

Wait and then check the transcription. Copy and paste.

Edit the transcription and post on your site.

Pros:

YouTube provides free reliable automatic audio transcription service that is available to all users.

It can have a high accuracy rate.

Accuracy depends on the noise at the audio background and the clarity of pronunciation.

It also points out mistakes in grey color, making it easy to edit the transcript.

Cons:

You have to have the time to edit your transcript.

Very time intensive since you’re waiting at several stages: mp3 to mp4, upload, transcription, transcript editing.

You have to convert mp3 into mp4 first – this can take a long time with big files.

Sometimes auto-transcribes in the wrong language and you have to reupload the video.

You need to have a YouTube and a Gmail account to use the automatic audio transcription technology.

As compared to Google Docs and Dragon where you get to speak directly while the software does the typing, YouTube only provides the transcript of the uploaded audio file. Just like Google Docs, it works on only Chrome-based browsers.

How to hire a freelancer to transcribe dictation bloog posts

Freelance human transcription

If you have already done the audio recording, you can consider employing a freelance transcriber to convert the audio to text.

You have to ensure that the freelance transcriber is good with your language, tone, voice, vocabulary, and fluency.

This person not only transcribes but can also edit, format, add pictures, and even post to WordPress.

Pros:

You get a human experience with your transcription instead of using artificial intelligence.

Audio files can be transcribed very well with minimal mistakes, taking into consideration punctuation, grammar and all others.

The final document can be well-formatted to match your needs.

Cons:

Freelance transcription may come at a higher price. Pricing may vary based on the expertise, accuracy and professionalism of the transcriber.

Transcription services might start from as little as $ 15 to $ 40 per hour from freelance sites such as Fiverr, Upwork, Guru, etc. Reviews will be needed when there are errors in the transcript. This can increase the final turnaround time.

My experience: I’ve been lucky enough to get my transcriptions done by people with STRONG EDITING SKILLS for a consistent $20 per audio hour which is good for 6000 to 9000 words.

How to use an agency to transcribe audio blog posts

Freelance Transcription Agency

Instead of employing a freelancer, you can hire a professional audio transcription agency with a track record.

The agency will have either a freelance team or in-house transcribers to get the job done.

The final work is reviewed by an editor to ensure it meets the client’s quality standards.

Pros:

You get a high-quality transcript based on the agency you chose.

The transcription service is matched with a transcriber who understands your language, industry, tonation, and keywords. The final work is formatted and sent via your email.

If there is a need to manage the freelancer, it will be taken care of by the transcription agency.

Cons:

Agency pricing is higher than that of a solo freelancer, yet they promise high quality.

The price ranges from $ 90 to $ 180 per audio hour.

If you need a recommendation for a cheap high quality agency, contact me. I can direct you to one of the agencies I use, they only charge $50 per audio hour (good for 6000 to 9000 words).

The Final Word on How to Get your Audio Dictation Transcribed

When an audio file is converted into text, it can be used for multiple purposes: blog, website content, social media posts, email newsletter, press release, case study, research data, book creation, and many others.

Using an audio transcription service is extremely important. The key is to find the best medium that meets your cost, preference and quality standards.