If you’re reading this, you already know that dictating your blog posts instead of writing them out enables you to produce a lot more content in less time. In fact, you can’t even compare it to writing!
You’re just able to cover so much ground and produce so much content without wasting a lot of time. How much content? I am able to produce 50,000 words or more per day!
This is the perfect blogging solution for busy people. Let’s be honest, nowadays, we’re all busy.
With that said, vocal blogging or dictation blogging is just a method.
The quality of your content is another thing entirely.
If you want to make sure that you dictate a lot of high-quality content quickly, you have to zero in on the one BIG SECRET to great vocal blogging.
What is this secret?
Well, it should be obvious to you by now if you’ve been reading this blog. The secret to high quality, quickly dictated blog content is a great outline.
It doesn’t have to be long – a few lines will do.
But you have to have the right info on it!
There are 9 elements to great outlines.
Make sure that your outline contains as many of these elements possible and you will pretty much guarantee that you’ll crank out a lot of high-quality content in no time.
Element #1: Focus on a narrow topic
Your outline must be laser targeted to a specific topic. You can’t ramble. You can’t cover all sorts of random unrelated topics. There has to be some sort of overarching theme. Here’s the secret: the narrower the theme, the better your outline will be.
Element #2: Start off with a tight introduction
When your outline has a very narrow introduction, you remind yourself about your content’s coverage. You’re not going to touch on many different topics in a wide-ranging blog post.
Instead, your coverage would be an inch wide, but a mile deep.
You will be clearly reminded of this when you include a tight intro in your outline. Think of it as the preamble or overview of what you will talk about.
A tight intro is a great organizing tool so you spend most of your time outlining and then dictating stuff that truly matters.
Element #3: Drill down into a limited number of sub-topics
When you’re outlining, look at the narrow topic for your blog post and then break it down into a small number of sub-topics. The smaller the number, the better.
Remember: your blog post should be narrow.
You’re trying to deliver value by being as thorough as possible.
The way to do this is to break it down into a number of sub-topics that would explore different angels of the overall topic of your post.
Element #4: Concentrate on the most common sub-topics for your post
Even though you’re handling a narrow topic, you can break it down into many different sub-topics. This is good news.
But this can also be a challenge because it’s very easy to get lost in the weeds. There are many random directions you can go. You can easily come up with all sorts of confusing tangents.
If you do that, that’s not going to deliver value to your blog post’s readers.
You have to assume that most of the people reading your blog post experience certain common problems. These are foreseeable. These are fairly easy to research and anticipate.
Focus on these because chances are, 80% of the people reading your posts would know about these problems and would be interested in them. There simply isn’t enough of a return on effort and return on investment writing a blog post that very few people are aware of or are interested in.
This is exactly what you get when you dwell on fairly rare and uncommon sub-topics related to your post’s main topic.
Element #5: Be clear about your outline claims
When you’re outlining, what you’re really doing is you’re lining up all sorts of claims. You’re basically saying to the reader “I understand your problems and here are the answers that I know will address those issues.”
These are claims.
Here’s the problem. Everybody can make a claim. Somebody can make a claim that the sky is made out of blue cheese. Now, just because you could make a claim doesn’t mean people will take your word for it.
This is how you can tell whether your post is going to deliver real value or not. And a lot of this is established by your outline.
When you make a claim, make sure you outline them. What assertions are you even really making? Are they clear enough?
Try to write your claims in your outline just like the entries or line items in your resume. Most people write their resumes beginning with a verb.
Start with a bang. It has to have an impact. This is how you clearly define the claims you are making or the solutions you’re describing in your blog post.
Element #6: Back up your claims with facts or supporting evidence
This should be self-explanatory. When going back to the example I made earlier, if somebody was claiming that the sky was made out of blue cheese, the next thing in your mind after hearing that claim is “Okay, prove it.”
You can’t just make one blanket claim after another. You’re going to think that this guy was either crazy or stupid. This is because the person didn’t back up the claim. You don’t want to look ignorant or insane.
When you make a claim as clearly as possible, back it up with one of two things. Preferably, supply both. Either you supply facts, these can be statistics, easily verifiable information or citations or quotations from another source that is respected.
Or you can make a logical argument. Basically, you appeal to the person’s logic based on facts that both you and the reader assume to be true.
If your logic and reasoning are clear and you don’t make any weird leaps or employ really wild assumptions, they would think that your claim is sound because it’s backed up by basic logic that most people can perform on their own.
Still, the best way to make a claim is to first back it up with facts and then logic. This makes your claims and assertions more bulletproof. If the reader has a problem with what you’re saying, they would have to jump through more hoops to disprove you.
They can’t just say that you don’t have any facts or that’s bad logic.
Element #7: Support your claims with several pieces of evidence
Depending on the point that you’re trying to make in your blog post, sometimes, one piece of supporting evidence or argumentation is good enough. Sadly, for highly controversial topics or unclear issues, you may have to do a little bit more work.
This means you have to show more pieces of evidence to move the needle. You have to assume that whoever is reading your blog post is naturally skeptical and suspicious.
Since we live in the age of fake news, this is to be expected.
The worst thing that you could do is to assume that the reader of your post will automatically take your side. That’s too much of an assumption to make. You’re not doing yourself any favors assuming that they would get what you are claiming and that they would automatically support you.
You have to show several pieces of evidence. What’s more, these pieces of evidence must be different enough from each other.
You can’t just take one study, slice and dice it, and try to make it seem like they’re different studies or different supports. They’re still from the same study.
You have to come up with different pieces of evidence from different sources and, possibly, different time periods.
Element #8: Try to include examples or stories in your outline
I’ve got some bad news for you. While most people like to claim that they can be convinced through logical argumentation, at the end of the day, we’re all emotional creatures.
Let that sink in.
We talk a good game about logic, reason, deduction, and inference.
Those concepts definitely sounds smart, intelligent, and responsible. This is how people should make decisions.
The problem is that isn’t reality. According to psychological research studies, the majority of people actually make decisions based on impulse.
Put simply, they reacted on an emotional level and they pulled the trigger. But when made to explain why they decided the way they did, they come up with all sorts of rational sounding reasons.
Take advantage of this fact.
We rely on our gut instincts and intuition more than we care to admit.
By using examples or stories in your outline, you tap into people’s emotions. They can’t help but relate to a particular character who went through the same thing they did.
This makes your post easier to identify with. In fact, it makes it easier for people to relate to and possibly learn from. It’s going to be very hard for your readers to really absorb what you have to say if they don’t even sympathize or they can’t relate.
Use these stories to break down complexities and lay out what you’re trying to say in a very human way.
Element #9: Finish strong
Since we don’t know that human beings are, at some level or other, emotional creatures, we need to finish on that front.
How? Summarize or tie up a lot of your claims in a form that hits close to home.
This means that you have to have a strong command of the narrow topic your blog post is about and what benefits it promises on an emotional level.
When people are reading a blog post on speaking clearly, they’re not just looking at technical tips to become a better communicator. Instead, they’re looking to be respected or appreciated more.
They may be looking to create a stronger impact so they can feel appreciated.
All these cut close to home. These are personal.
When you finish strong, you end on a personal note so the reader is quickly reminded that the value the blog post brings is real.
You didn’t just waste several minutes of their time talking about something that’s speculative or academic. Those are the kinds of things that you read up on for a test and quickly forget about.
Instead, the stuff you talk about should actually resonate with them at least long enough for them to develop greater trust in your blog.
Keep the 9 elements in mind when outlining and dictating your blog posts. They take practice but once you get them down cold, you’ll be UNSTOPPABLE.