Introduction: Creating the post on CDN
In this post, I have described how I created the
3,500 4,400 word post about Content Delivery Networks. In this post, you can find the The tools, process used, and my learnings from that experience.
New! You can listen to the audio by clicking below
Creating the Epic Post
Some of the tools I used for this post include Otter.ai for speech to text, Ink App for copy writing, and using CDNs themselves for the post. But these came much later.
First and foremost, I used a paper and pen, and jotted down some of the basic points for this post. Namely, the CDNs or SaaS (Software as a Service) subscriptions I had used so far, which resources and tools to add to the post, where to do some research, and so on. Next, I used Otter.ai to actually record the basic text. And this happened when I was walking my dog yesterday. Once this was done, I exported the text, and did some cleaning up because there were a lot of errors. Moreover, it was unstructured and I realized I had to put some thought around making it more readable.
The raw text was mostly edited, which I put that into Ink App for helping with the copy or the copy writing as it is called. That is where the sentence length, also the grammatical errors, typos, and the sentence structures were all updated. Next, was the stage where addition of meta data or meta tags happened. It was slow, tiring, iterative and frustrating, but it gave me suggestions on making the article more reader friendly. Those iterations took the longest.
I already had a rough draft up, which actually I had published as a live version up on my blog post a day prior. It also had a few images embedded from different CDNs. I went ahead and edited the raw HTML from the post.
Specific steps followed for composing this post
Speech to text tool: otter.ai for the rough draft
I voice recorded my initial thoughts about the post in otter.ai.Next, I exported the text output from otter to Ink App.But there was an intermediate step prior to that. The text was formatted using a Markdown editor. To a markdown file. I used the Macdown Editor this time around, though typically I use iAWriter.
After formatting the headings, paragraph breaks, and some basic typos, it was time to send the rough draft to Ink App.
Note: This image will be updated shortly
Using the Macdown editor
Ink App for Copywriting and editing
I did some more formatting in Ink, such as adding URLS (website links) and exported from markdown to HTML. The App displays the “SEO score” on the right hand menu. A higher score is desirable. The rough draft had a score of 70. The app makes recommendations for grammar, context, Length of sentences and paragraphs, missing alt text for images, and so on. My score went up to 86, which I thought was quite good for this step. Remember, this tool is adaptive, similar to Copywritely. SO every time you run the tool, the SEO ranking may change.
c. Finally, I updated the HTML on the website itself.
d. Once the website was up, I discovered that a theme I had used on the Content Management System (CMS) – Bludit, did not support responsive images and some tables were appearing funny. Therefore, I ended up changing the theme as well.
Note: This image will be updated shortly
Using Ink App for copywriting
The Next Steps
In spite of multiple sanity checks and edits, there are some typo’s broken links, and content wise, some additional things to do. The steps that are remaining are:
a. Make an audio narration of the text itself (which I will embed and time permitting)
b. Maybe do a slide show or a screenshot tour. That would be sort of a video version of this particular post.
Time Taken and Lessons Learnt
The total time taken for this post was about seven hours. That is, 7 hours for a 3,500 word blog post. It was for the first time that I wrote an epic post, so the time was not really a priority. Considering that it was a deep dive post, that too on a topic I had little information about as little as 6 months ago, I decided to give it all. It involved quite a bit of research, structuring and re-structuring the post, adding multiple formats of content.
But if I have to write similar posts on a periodic basis, let us say once every fortnight, then seven hours of time requirement is definitely not doable. In order to make the writing more sustainable, I need to find out a better process of that. The key is to do the recording in such a way that the errors in speech to text transcription are minimal. That is step number one. Step number two for me would be for me to first write down the key points, not just the bullet points. Getting the clarity up front will reduce the number of iterations from the copywriting app.
All images below will be updated shortly.
Image editing, creation and formatting took a lot of time. We used Stencil for this purpose, and maybe we will try Promo Republic next. Finally, I think instead of doing everything live on a server makes a lot of sense to put everything first in our markdown editor.
I might also compose the post in a markdown editor in offline mode going forward, and then past the HTML on the server. it might also cut down the waiting time form my side. The time spent in logging in, updating the content, waiting for the page to load for preview, etc. can be cut down this way. Most importantly in case internet is down, I can get 80% of the work still done. Last but not the least, the bottom 40% of the the CDN post does not have any images. This makes the text very text heavy. I do have a table and an image at the very end, but a visual break may be helpful from readability point of view.
You can listen to the audio version of my notes for this post by clicking below
Note that I had recorded this post literally while doing dishes, you may hear background noise. And the recording was in low quality mp3 which I have tried to clean up a bit to make it more listenable.
Note: all images for this post, except for the title/ feature image,
are were hosted on Publist / Rethink. This service has been discontinued as on January 2022, I will update the images so that they are served from a different server.
I was finally able to get access to my account, thanks for help from their customer service team. Image form otter.ai obtained from the otter.ai website- Media Kit page.