AskPat 736 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey, what's up everyone? Pat Flynn here and welcome to Episode 736 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. As always, I'm here to help you by answering your online business questions, five days a week. Now here's today's question from Frank.
Frank: Hey, Pat. My name is Frank Jones. You can find me at www.FrankcJones.com and I wanted to start out by thanking you for letting me be part of the book launch for Will It Fly? I enjoyed the book so much that after reading it back in January, I picked up five copies when you launched it and I've donated those to libraries here in Raleigh, North Carolina so that way the information that you share in there can be accessible to more people.
The question that I have has to do with writing blog posts while traveling. I'm a digital nomad and the time that I have online is really important to be connecting with and interacting with clients. I help entrepreneurs with an audience figure out how to monetize their websites and so as you can see, I really need to spend the time that I have Internet connection connecting with the clients that I work with.
However, while I'm traveling or when I'm away from the Internet, I could be writing content and working on blog posts, and currently I'm getting by with a combination of using like Word and Dropbox, and it's working, but I think that there could be a better solution, and I'm wondering if you have something better to suggest. I know that you've talked about using Scrivener with the books that you write and you really like using that application. I've started digging into some blog posts talking about using Scrivener for writing blog posts, but I'm really trying to figure out what's a good offline workflow for creating blog posts for WordPress.
Thank you very much.
Pat Flynn: Hey Frank. Thanks so much for the question. Very cool that you're out there traveling and you're still looking to be productive. I think that's great. I think many people can do that in certain times of the day. Obviously if you're on vacation I wouldn't recommend actually writing and . . . you know . . . you want to be fully unplugged and away from work, although I say that, but I still do it myself anyway. It's really hard to kind of separate the two.
But that being said, I do . . . I have explored the offline writing options, specifically when I'm on a plane, for example, traveling to a conference; I want to get some writing done then. I typically write very well on a plane for some reason. I think because I know that there's a deadline, which is about fifteen minutes before we land, so I try to get as much done as I can. But no matter where you write in the world, where you write on your laptop is going to be really important.
Now, you mentioned Scrivener and that reminded me of an article that I had once read on Michael Hyatt's blog called “Five Reasons I Switched To Scrivener For All My Writing,” and that includes blog posts. And I remember when I read this I had almost switched over to Scrivener because I follow a lot of what Michael Hyatt does and I really enjoyed this post and he shows exactly why he switched, and I'll tell you what those reasons are in a second.
But I ended up switching from what I was using before, which is called Byword, B-y-w-o-r-d, which is also a great tool that you can use. I like it because it's very much . . . the power of Byword is the fact that it's distraction free. When you write it's literally just a screen and the cursor and that's it and then you write. Scrivener is similar, except it allows you to create a higher key and create outlines and all this other stuff. It's meant for . . . it was created for people who are screenwriters, people who are writing books, but if you're writing a blog post, it can be very, very helpful as well and allow you to maximize your productivity through the organizational aspects of Scrivener.
But I use currently Google Docs, which does present a problem sometimes if I'm offline, but for whatever reason it seems to work pretty well. And then Google Docs when we get back online, it then starts to sync and my team can get access to it. So that's why we use that. But Scrivener can work really well, so let me share with you really quick. Go to www.MichaelHyatt.com and look up “switched to Scrivener”. You can look that up and Google and you'll find this article here. And there's many other articles that are about actually switching to Scrivener for writing blog posts. But here we go . . . the five reasons he switched is because it provides (stutters) hierarchical . . . jeez, that's weird. It's early in the morning people, I'm trying to get stuff done, but you know what I mean. So it provides a hierarchical file structure.
Secondly it has a distraction free composition mode, like Byword does, which I think is really cool. There's also another tool like Byword, which I've heard good things about called Uylsess Three, and there's honestly dozens of others. But Scrivener's composition mode is great because you can just switch easily back and forth between the normal Scrivener screen, which has all the outlines on the left hand side and the kind of path that you're taking with the blog post and then back to the composition mode, which is just black background, white screen with dark text, and I think you can change the colors of that, too. And there's also some good information that comes with that if you sort of highlight the bottom part. It shows you word count, you can increase your text size, and other things like that.
Now this tool specifically was created with writers in mind, so it's really awesome because it allows you to take advantage of some of the tools that specifically are great for writers. For example, the statistical tools, helpful views like the document and maybe a corkboard if you wanted to create . . . you know, I know some people who used post it notes. Well, they have their own version of using post it notes called a corkboard where you can begin to outline and use things that look like little note cards to start to brainstorm and get ideas together. An inspector window like on many Mac programs that allows you to keep notes and links handy and all those other things, which isn't available on any other of those programs I was mentioning.
It also supports multi markdown, which I don't use myself, but multi markdown is a way for you to, as you're writing, to translate the different styling of the text like bold, italic, bullet points, all those kinds of things with certain notations that you make. So, I don't use it, but if you use it, this tool makes it very easy to do it. And there's a lot of export options. So you can export to HTML, you can export to PDF, Kindle, EPUB, iBooks author, you can export to Word, or wherever you like. You can even export directly to WordPress, which I believe is not exactly perfect, but it could work out depending on the kind of post that you write and what you have in it. So just something to explore.
But I would recommend actually, Frank, checking out Scrivener. I think if you're writing a lot this could be a great tool for you and once you get used to how to use it, then it's just going to be cake for you and definitely there's the offline version and then it just begins to sync online after that.
So, definitely check it out and I think there's a twenty percent discount you can get with Michael Hyatt's affiliate code, so make sure to use that. And that code is just “MICHAELHYATT.” He provided through his post here most of the information, so if you want to use Scrivener go ahead and check it out with the twenty percent discount affiliate code “MICHAELHYATT.”
Alright Frank. Thanks so much. I appreciate you and wishing you all the best and safe travels and I want to send you an AskPat t-shirt for having your question featured here on the show.
For those of you listening, if you have a question that you'd like potentially featured here on the show, just head on over to askpat.com and you can ask right there on that page.
Thanks so much. I appreciate you and here's a quote to finish off the day by Laura Fitten. She said, “Everyone starts out with nobody listening to them and nobody to listen to. How and who you add determines what Twitter will become for you.”
So that's specifically a quote about Twitter, but it's true. When you start out you've got zero people to follow and zero people listening to you, but how you use it and what you add, the kind of value that you provide to conversations already in existence out there is what's going to help you grow your numbers.
Thank you so much for listening in. I appreciate you and I'll see you in the next episode of AskPat. Bye.