My system for writing a 10,000 word blog post in 5 hours

Bryan Harris —  Bryan Harris /

Writing is easy.

Just pick up a pencil and start putting words on paper.

(Or if you were born after 1925, use a computer. It’s faster.)

But writing stuff that people actually want to read?

That’s hard.


If you’re anything like me, you tend to overcomplicate the process.

The great idea you had at 8 a.m. turns into a 12 hour escapade that leaves you frustrated and swearing that you’ll never do this again.

For example…

It took me 25+ hours to finish writing this 10,000 word behemoth of an article. By the time I finished it I was completely exhausted and never wanted to write anything again.

But then I found an old blog post I wrote 2 years ago (yay for blogs!) and I was reminded of a crazy cool way to write really good long form content without wanting to pluck my eye balls out.

So, I started using that method again and quickly churned out my next 3 posts (all of which averaged 2,000+ words) in less than 5 hours a piece.

Here is the process:

  1. Write an outline
  2. Open up your voice recorder app
  3. Talk through your outline
  4. Transcribe the recording
  5. Pretty it up a little

Want to see it in action?

Good! Here goes…

This is what that process look like in action (finished product)

Step 1: Write an outline.

Here is the outline I wrote:


Step 2: Open your voice recorder app

I use the built in recorder app for my iPhone

Step 3: Talk through your outline

Here is the audio of me talking through the outline:

Step 4: Transcribe the recording

Here is the transcription:

Step 5: Pretty it up

Here is the final copy:


And that’s it.

That’s how I’m writing every blog post for Videofruit in 2016 (including this one).

I’ve found it’s much easier to talk than to write. The ideas flow 1,000,000x quicker. Then once I have the raw ideas down on paper, I can clean them up and edit them for the final version.

Hope that helps!

PS: If any of you use this method, I’d love for you to share your outline, recording, transcript and final version below so I can learn from you.

  • Google Docs now has great speech-to-text capability. They just upgraded it too so you can add lists and headings by voice. Still experimenting with it, but the potential is huge.

    • I noticed it today. Awesome!

    • Cathryn Lavery

      I saw that! Gotta try it out. has great for transcription also. $1 a minute.

    • I’m thinking I’m going to have to give this voice-to-text thing a try.

      Do you know any good suggestions for desktop apps? (Because I’m old fashioned like that and sometimes prefer to write without being connected to wifi.)

      Will still be trying the Google Docs thing though. 😉

      • Dragon Dictate is the gold standard. OSX has decent built-in speech-to-text, as does iOS. iOS speech-to-text requires the internet though.

      • Queen Optimize

        Your basic windows system that has Microsoft word will have accessibility options built in, I speak all of my recordings it is great.

    • J.Rose Allister

      Ooh, thanks for that tip! Gonna have to go check that out.

    • Agreed, light years ahead of what it used to be!

    • Historically Siri has struggled with my southern drawl. My drawl is still there but Siri has gotten better. I’ll have to give Google Docs speech-to-text a whirl

      • Oh my poor phone is like this girl is From Tennessee Text To Speech FAIL!!

    • Yeah Google Docs is great, I’ve been using it a few months on both laptop and iPhone. You have to speak nice a clearly but it gets better over time. Rev is another great resource for transcribing at $1 a minute and they have an iPhone app.

    • I haven’t tried the lists and headings yet, but I’ve been using the G-docs speech-to-text for a little while now. Maybe it’s just me, but it works much better than dragon ever did.

      It has its shortcomings, but I was able to open a doc and start talking right away. It’s nice to be able to do that instead of having to go through the whole training process like you do with dragon.

  • Hey Bryan,
    Have you heard about Dragon Naturally speaking?

    It’s the same idea but it actually transcribed your speech as you talk.


  • Pretty easy, pretty simple! 🙂 Thanks a lot! I’ll leverage it next week )

  • Joel Widmer

    Bryan, LOVE this method! One of my favorite tools (most people don’t know about) for this is a free transcription service called Voicebase. You can upload your audio and it’ll transcribe an hour recording in a few minutes.

    It also lets you easily find any word or phrase and jump to the different times you said it in the recording, it finds the main themes in the text and allows you to make notes in it. It’s machine transcription but surprisingly accurate if the recording is good quality. And it’s browser based so you can use it on any computer.

    One small tweak I’ve found helpful, even when doing this for yourself, is turning the outline into questions you can respond to. Think about responding to an email. You don’t think twice giving advice to someone when they ask through email but writing that same advice as a blog post proves to be a pain. So writing questions you can respond to can really help if you’re drawing a blank.

    Last thing: I use Dragon Dictation and Google Docs voice typing constantly throughout the day and love them both. a few weeks back I wanted to see how they actually compared to each other so being the nerd I am I set up a quick test to see how the free Google docs voice typing compared to the $200 Dragon Dictation software. Google Docs did just as good and better in some instances so if you use Google, save yourself $200 and just go with Google’s voice typing. Sure, there are as many bells and whistles but between that and Mac’s built-in voice to text software, you can do almost anything.

    Great meeting you in person this weekend at dinner Bryan!

    • Lino

      Thanks so much for this information Joel.

    • What an awesome response! I am most certianly going to give Google Docs a try with the voice to text feature 🙂

  • Corrie Ann Gray

    Great post, however, I’m the opposite. I have no trouble writing posts and editing from there. Talking through my content wouldn’t be pretty. :o)

  • Loved the transparency and playing the audio recording back, seeing the transcription on screen and also following along with the finished product blog post. It is quite interesting to see that the final product is a lot different than the transcription.

    Do you do the editing yourself? Or does your EA do a first pass, etc?

    How long would you say it takes to massage the transcribed text into the final form that’s published as a blog post? I’m sure it saves tons of time, but it still looks like a lot. I’m guessing the more detailed your outline is up front, the closer the two will be in the end.


  • Michelle Anderson

    I’ve never thought about doing it with the voice recorder! Nice Bryan! And loving your course so far!

  • John Rallison

    I’m a pastor and I use this method sometimes for writing and also for developing sermons. Sometimes the ideas just don’t flow so I stand up and start talking as though I was talking to people. It often breaks the choke and makes me really feel like I’ve got a focused piece.

  • Mark

    I like the post, but your headline says this is your “system for writing a 10,000 word blog post in 5 hours,” but in the post you say you’re actually writing articles that are about 2,000 words in 5 hours each — which is more reasonable, of course, but a far cry from what the headline says 🙂

    • And 2,000 words in 5 hours is the same rate as 10,000 words in 25 hours. 🙂

      • Mark

        Re-read the headline 🙂

        • It’s not in the headline. In the post itself, he says he wrote 10,000 words in 25 hours.

          “It took me 25+ hours to finish writing this 10,000 word behemoth of an article.”

          But 2,000 words in 5 hours is the same rate of progress as 10,000 words in 25 hours.

          • Ya, I should have done my math better. I’ll reframe.

  • Ann Marie Thomas

    I also use Dragon software for speech-to-text. I thought it wouldn’t work as I am a stroke survivor and don’t always speak clearly, but it does very well. However, when it decides to misinterpret it can be infuriating. I use it for transcribing passages from books, so I can hold the book and not have to type, but go back and do corrections manually, because it’s less annoying.

    What I’m trying to say is instead of dictating and transcribing, just dictate into speech-to-text software.

  • Lino

    It’s a great technique indeed.
    You can also do this to transcribe your videos in YouTube and paste it in the decription to rank for the keywords you use.
    Thanks Bryan.

  • This is just what I need right now.
    I need to write a lead magnet PDF for my new blog and this will help me do it in a very short time.
    Thanks a bunch Bryan.

  • Bryan, this is awesome! Thanks for the great tips and for always being so helpful.

  • Audio recording? Interesting. I am going to give it a try. Thanks.

  • Terri Webster Schrandt

    Great ideas! I needed to work on a guest post and “wrote” it dictating into google docs while walking my dogs. Great way to multitask. Easy to save in dropbox, too!

  • Ben Friedman

    Bryan, thank you for that. Speaking through the article’s draft is such a great way to extract your thoughts easily to paper (or voice recorder).
    How would you do it for articles you need to research?

  • Fabulous idea will give it a go,
    thanks for sharing!

  • Gabi Montoya-Eyerman

    Hmm, Interesting approach. I’m not sure if it will work but I might try it. I’m not much of a talker. I’m the kind of person who writes a long lesson with all these wonderful ideas written down and when I get up to teach it, my brain to mouth connection goes awry. Do you have a fix for that?

  • VeronicaLeeJeans

    This is brilliant…I love writing but blogs are hard. BUT I have no problem telling people what to do and teach 🙂 I have seen Google Docs but have not tried it. So glad I discovered you guys!!!

  • The graphic has that “wait but why” fun style…

  • Dude. This simplicity of this is genius. I’d heard of recording audio for a blog after writing it, but flipping the process in reverse is SO much easier. Thanks for the hack. Will give it a try and let you know how it goes.

  • Thanks for this tip! As a new blogger I think this will really help churn out great content. Would love any other tips you have on my blog:


  • This is a great concept! I’ve been thinking about how dictation is possibly a more efficient vehicle to blogging and this post breaks it down in a very manageable way. I’ll have to give it a go!

  • Matt Karamazov

    Cool idea! My biggest challenge is overcoming trying to edit while I write. Best to just keep writing and then edit at the end. Teach what you most need to learn, I guess!

  • Thanks Bryan. I tried this out today and it works really well. The thing I struggle with the most while I write is constantly editing at the same time. I find it difficult to get a flow going.

    This solves that issue as I can’t really edit myself while I speak. All I need to do once I have the transcript is go through the editing process.

  • Bryan i love your posts. So easy to read and understand. I use frequently the speech to text feature on my Galaxy Note 3. I mainly use Evernote, that way I can go back and type later. But speaking out parts of my outline makes it much easier to sit and write later.

  • I’ve started doing this on my commute via a headset instead of listening to podcasts. This way, I am producing instead of consuming. Thanks for the idea!

  • Jenn Grainger

    Firstly you are a legend. yes Im going to give this a red hot go. Hate writing. Second – I know you like engagement = its true engagement for an quality audience like yours. Happy Easter – Discus is too invasive to start using.

  • Aurelle Noutahi

    Thanks. Great tips!!!

  • Phil Gadd

    I just wrote a 600 blog post in 1.5 hours using this trick, nice one my man!

  • samex4rill

    Writing a blog post isn’t as good enough as publicizing it to the right

    Thats the main reason scheduling its a very good idea to try and schedule down posts with time so that you can have more leisure time to spread out and gain a wider audience reach with the previously published posts.

    Although I blog and write my post myself but most time I just hire someone to do the hard writing work for me at while I work on publicizing the posts myself, it really has been saving me a lot of stress lately because this guys is just so fast and generic, he come up with great blog post in no time and they are always well proofreaded and optimized.