How to use Google Voice to create website content

Here’s the most common excuse I hear when it comes to creating content for your website — “I don't have the time.” Let’s say that’s true. Let’s pretend that you’re so overwhelmed with stuff that you can’t find the 45 minutes to write your first article. Do you have three minutes available? Do you or a coworker interact with customers or prospective customers on a regular basis? Great! Then you can use Google Voice to create website content.

Three common excuses why you’re not creating website content

For purposes of this article, let’s say your website content will mostly be written. After all, if you’re not writing blog posts, you’re probably not creating videos, podcasts, eBooks, or whitepapers, right? I mentioned the most common excuse why people aren’t creating content (not having time). Actually, there are three other common concerns I hear:

  1. “I don't know what to write.”
  2. “I don’t like to write.”
  3. “I’m not good at writing.”

Fair enough. I have one question for you — are you good at talking? In other words, if you’re meeting with a customer or potential customer, do you have the ability to speak to that person? Excellent! Then we don’t have those excuses to lean on anymore.

Why and how to get a Google Voice account to create website content

Why do we want to use a Google Voice account?

  1. It’s a free service.
  2. It will transcribe your voicemails.
  3. It will be an unlimited (within reason) repository of content for your articles.

If you don’t have a Google account, get one of those first. Then, follow this Step-by-step guide to a Google Voice account (with pictures) to get a free Google Voice number. (Hint: Get one with your main office area code so when you call the number from your land line it’s not long-distance. Can you believe there are still long-distance charges?) If there aren’t any within your area code available, you can just call the number from your cell phone instead.

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How to use Google Voice to create content for your website

Remember all four excuses from above? Here’s how to eliminate them. After interacting with a customer or potential customer — whether it’s in person, on the phone, or via email — call your Google Voice number. Leave yourself a message describing the interaction, what questions the person had, and how you answered their questions. The average person talks at about 100–200 words per minute. Take 2–3 minutes to provide the details of the interaction, and that will be plenty of material for a great article.

After you call the number and leave yourself a voicemail, you’ll have an audio recording and a (surprisingly good) transcription of what you said. You may be thinking, “Spence, I already have transcription software available for free. Windows, Apple, and other devices have speech recognition built in.” Great point! I found Google Voice to be better than these options for two reasons:

  1. If you just use Google Voice to record your interactions with customers, that will be the sole source for these ideas. It’s not another folder buried somewhere on your computer or device.
  2. When you call and leave yourself a voicemail, it’s done immediately. If you’re at all like me, you can’t resist editing the inevitable typos from speech recognition software as you’re dictating. That will slow the process dramatically and the interaction with the person will not be as fresh in your mind.

Use the Google Voice transcriptions to create content for your website

Set aside a day each week, preferably Friday. After leaving yourself voicemails on your Google Voice account throughout the week, read the transcriptions or listen to the messages. Which of these will make for great website content? The questions that you’re hearing consistently from customers and potential customers. I call this Teaching-Based Marketing, and it will form the foundation by which you educate your customers and potential customers. Take these transcriptions, copy and paste them into your website blog editor, and you’re good to go. Simply add some things, take some other things out, and create great titles and subheads to maximize the value of that article for both the readers and search engines (SEO). The vast majority of the writing is already done, and you simply need to refine it.

If you’re lucky enough to have someone at your company or firm do marketing for you, this person will be elated to get these transcriptions or recordings. The biggest concern I hear from marketing directors is, “The subject-matter experts don’t give me enough to work with. I’m trying to create content based on what I know. If I knew what they did, creating great content would be easy.” Make their job (and yours) easy by distilling your daily customer interactions via Google Voice.

Spencer X. Smith is a Waunakee-based business consultant.

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