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Dragon Naturally Speaking — A Great Tool For Bloggers

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Have you ever wished that you could write twice as much in in a single day? Have you ever thought of the number of successful blogs you could have if only you had the time to write enough posts? I have rediscovered a tool that can make you an even more productive blogger. It’s called Dragon NaturallySpeaking and it is speech recognition software.

My history with Dragon

This is not the first time I have tried Dragon NaturallySpeaking. In fact, I tried it about 10 years ago when the technology was still quite new. It’s safe to say that while the potential was impressive, the reality was distinctly underwhelming. I put the software away and didn’t return to it for a while. This year, based on a glowing review from someone I trusted, I decided to give it another try. And I have been blown away. Here’s what my initial tests show.

Putting Dragon to the test

As a professional blogger, I have a pretty good idea how much I can write within 30 minutes or an hour. That’s just writing without editing. When I’m on a roll I can turn out 1,000 words in an hour. My initial tests of Dragon suggest that I can double that. One morning this week I dictated a batch of five articles (totaling 2000 words) in an hour. Accuracy was excellent though I still had a bit of correcting to do at the end. That took 15 minutes, which meant I saved 45 minutes over my usual writing time.

Setup and training

So how does it work? Install it, set up your microphone and spend five minutes reading the test file so that it can make a voice profile for you. Then start dictating. It’s as simple as that, and it’s a great improvement over the version I tried 10 years ago. What’s more, depending on the version you get (I have the cheapest standard version), you can run your entire computer with the software. Even with the version I have, I can format text and perform common program functions in Microsoft Word and in Windows Live Writer. (Note for Mac users: Dragon NaturallySpeaking is a Windows program, but I’m told that MacSpeech uses the same engine and is very good.)

Little niggles

One thing to be aware of is that because the software is designed to command your computer as well is to dictate text, you may sometimes find that you say something that is a command in the program you are working on. For example, with Windows Live Writer, when I say the word ‘blogs’, sometimes the blogs tab will open when what I really wanted was to have the word appear in my text. It’s a small price to pay. And I can train the software to recognize phrases I say often by importing them from the documents I write and by using the additional training files provided. So far, in a week of using it, that has not been necessary.

A productive blogger

What does Dragon NaturallySpeaking mean for me as a blogger? I blog regularly for three blogs and occasionally for a few more. Provided I know what I want to say it means that I can write my posts in half the time, leaving time to work on other projects. This 500+ word post took about 15 minutes to dictate and correct. How’s that for productivity?

Sharon Hurley Hall is a professional writer and blogger. Her career has spanned more than 25 years, including stints as a journalist, academic writer and ghost writer. Connect with Sharon on her website or Google+.

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Do You Get Lost in Blogging Busywork?

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My prime business intent going forward is to get my 124 ebooks in 1 billion places. That’s it. I will promote other opportunities of course and prosper through multiple channels but it is a billion with my 124. Hold me to that. Wait a second. You won’t have to hold me to that. I’m pretty good about being accountable to myself.

Anyway, it’s been fascinating to see moments of my mind attempting to pull me to blogging busy work. You know exactly what I mean. For me, my day is largely about promoting my ebooks through Twitter, Facebook, blog posts, guest posts, Live broadcasts on Facebook, my podcast, and videos on Twitter as well. Other than promoting a few other opportunities, I do not intend to do anything else. But of course my mind tries to pull me toward blogging busy work at times. How does my sidebar look? Is my sidebar converting enough? What about blog comments? Should I open comments on specific old blog posts? Each question indicates some type of busy work that is not genuinely important or business building for your blog. Of course, most bloggers spend a fair chunk of their days on busy work and wonder why they struggle and fail so horribly. If you spend most of your time doing what does not matter, you will fail. But if you spend most of your time doing what does matter, creating and connecting and opening multiple streams of income, you will succeed. Blogging is that simple.

But blogging is not comfortable at all because even though we intellectually know to avoid busy work, our fears pull us in towards the silly activities. Some bloggers spend weeks or months or even years doing stuff that ultimately does not matter. Why spend hours on your blog design when it’s the content you create and the connections you build that lead to your greatest blogging success? You have to be honest with yourself when it comes to blogging. Being straight with yourself makes the difference between success and failure.

I usually catch myself within seconds to minutes of being engaged in busy work that does not really make a difference. I scan my email in seconds. I am down to that number now. But I recall my struggling days when I would be in my email for 20 minutes or an hour or longer every day. I tried to read every word of every email. I tried to engage every silly sponsored post pitch. Huge mistakes. I wasted so much time on what didn’t matter. You know what matters? Creating helpful content and building genuine connections with human beings by helping other bloggers. Do these things and you position yourself to succeed. Add income streams and you position yourself to become a full-time blogger, just like I discuss in this eBook.

Blogging is simple but uncomfortable. Creating and connecting feels uncomfortable when your fear pulls you toward busy work. Ego is like that. The mind is like that. It makes a mountain out of a molehill by pulling you away from core, business building blogging activities towards stuff that waste your time. I have never looked at a heat map in my blogging life yet I’ve circled the globe for the past eight years as a professional blogger. Feel free to spend a few moments checking out heat maps but when moments become hours, you’re messing up. You’re too engaged in blogging busy work. Help people freely and generously. Trust in the process. Open multiple streams of income. Promote your core opportunity the most, like me promoting my 124 ebooks. Success will find you.

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Do You Reject or Accept Opportunities for Growth?

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I just wrote and self published this ebook in a little over 24 hours:

7 Things that Inspired Me to Go from Scared Security Guard to Smiling Island Hopper

 not bad, eh? I asked my readers for ebook ideas.  I received answers. I wrote the ebook. I really hustled on this one. I’ve already generated a quick sale. How? I accept opportunities for growth immediately. Do you feel the same way? Or do you reject opportunities for blogging growth? Be honest with yourself. This is not a comfortable process for bloggers to follow because your ego may sting a little bit.

 Blogging struggle is borne of rejecting opportunities for growth. Blogging success is born of accepting opportunities for blogging growth immediately. I opened another income stream within 24 hours based on seizing an opportunity immediately. No hesitating. No hemming and hawing. No delaying. Other than sleeping for a handful of hours I did nothing else other than write the ebook, proofread the ebook, add photos and publish the sucker during that 24-hour stretch. Oh yeah. I also did some networking and content creating and yes, I promoted a handful of my 123 books. But I wrote ebook number 124 during that time frame too. Why? I love blogging. I love freedom. I love seizing opportunities for blogging growth.

 Emerson said all life is an experiment and the more experiments you make the better. This wise man knew the secret to success. Seize the moment and squeeze all you can out of the moment by accepting opportunities for blogging growth fast. If a reader nudges you to write an ebook, write the darn ebook. Do not delay. Unless you despise writing, and you probably don’t because you blog, write the ebook, help the reader and make money. If one reader has that issue than 50 million readers have that issue. We are all human beings with pretty similar problems when you break everything down.

 How quickly do you reject opportunities for growth because you fear something or someone?  My most lucrative freelance writing client basically had to beg me to work for him. I so deeply feared I would not be worth the money he was paying me and I also feared his criticism, even though he was such a nice, warm, genuine dude. After he would not accept me saying no, I accepted the job and made a pretty penny over the course of our relationship. I learned my lesson. Now I gobble up opportunities for growth so quickly it’ll make your head spin.

 I could go to bed right now to take a quick nap. I just worked for the long stretch to write the e-book and release it. But I gobble up this opportunity to write a guest post. Again guys, I accept opportunities for growth and grow like a stinking blogging weed.

 Do not ignore opportunities because you fear seizing blogging opportunities because ignorance leads to struggle, failure and quitting. Seize the moment. Seize opportunities for blogging growth. Write the guest post. Broadcast live on Facebook. Upload a video to Twitter. Write the ebook. Convert it to audiobook. Create a course. How do you think I retired to a life of island hopping? I did not sit on the sidelines folks, waiting and waiting and waiting for opportunities. I seized opportunities for growth quickly and more opportunities flowed my way. Opportunities seized, multiply fast. Opportunities rejected disappear immediately.

Seize the blogging moment! 

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No Blogger Can Force Clients Customers or Readers to Learn and Succeed

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Sometimes you just need to get right to the point with blog post titles. This is one such title and blog post. After answering questions for readers recently I made a realization. Honestly, I’ve had this realization in mind for many years. I guess I never chose to write about it. But today I will cover the topic. You cannot force a reader, client or customer to learn and succeed. This is just not possible. You cannot will someone to see what they are not prepared to see or do what they are not prepared to do.

Sometimes, coaches struggle horribly because they base their success or failure on the success or failure of clients. This is lunacy. You can show a horse the way but you cannot force the horse to drink, right? Ditto for human beings. You can coach someone but you cannot force them to do what you advised them to do. That is 100% in their hands. In truth, the best blogging coaches, ebook writers and consultants are at peace with doing their best job and leaving it at that.

I regularly answer questions for free, offering experience, helpful advice for new or struggling bloggers. Said newer struggling bloggers return within a few seconds with more questions, trying to find a different way to succeed, trying to find the quick shortcuts that lead to guaranteed failure. I release these people. Although I have compassion for fear-filled new and struggling bloggers, it is not my job to convince them of my 30000 hours of blogging experience. Either they’re smart and listen, humbling themselves and their ego. Or they make the foolish decision of trusting their fears over my 30000 hours of blogging experience. Either way, I have nothing to do with their outcomes. They choose to listen or to ignore me. I’m cool with that.

Alonzo Pichardo and I spoke about this at length on his podcast; listening to pros and trusting their experience over your fears and lack of experience.

Be clear with the fact that most humans live predominately from fear so until they change their programming through a personal decision they will ignore good advice and follow bad advice. Self-fulfilling prophecy. In the same regard, you can trigger emotions in someone that allows them to follow your successful advice. Someone may open up and learn from you if it’s their time to open up. Totally their personal decision that has nothing to do with you. This is why I never get full of myself. I understand everybody’s life is their choice. I can show the way. You choose to follow or ignore. Nothing to do with me.

Stop wasting your energy trying to convince, manipulate or flat-out force clients and customers to do what you advise them to do. Offer your advice. Detach. Some folks will follow your advice and succeed with their blogs. Other folks will ignore your advice and continue to fail. You did what you could but now it’s up to them to use your knowledge and experience for their benefit. Keep helping people. Keep meeting new people. Don’t get attached to clients or customers. Offer tips and leave it at that. Every human being is fully accountable for themselves. You are a blogger, not a babysitter. You inspire but you’re not a savior. You can try but you can’t force people to do anything. Be at peace with this truth and you will become more successful than you ever dreamed. Most bloggers never succeed wildly because they never scale, being heavily attached to a few clients or customers. Highly successful, happy, free bloggers keep meeting and helping new people and allowing those people to find their own way. I am responsible for no one but myself. This is how I’ve lived the life of my dreams.

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Do you want to live a movie-worthy life of travel like me?

Buy my eBook:

Law of Attraction Series: How I Manifested a 4 Year Trip through the Tropics

PS…the featured image is me in New Zealand and the hut above is where me and my wife lived deep in the jungles of Costa Rica.

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