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PodSchool Podcast | Should you transcribe your podcast episode?

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Why would anyone read a podcast?

Before we jump into this…if you don’t know what a podcast transcript is, don’t worry, you’re not alone.

Transcribing your podcast is just the process of turning the audio of your episode into text so there’s a readable version of your show on your website (a transcript).

If you’re thinking “isn’t podcasting about getting into people’s ears, not their eyes?” you’re right but there are a few reasons why taking some extra time to transcribe your podcast is a good idea…

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Podcast transcripts help with…

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Those three words are the difference between people finding your show when they search for topics in your niche on Google and your show remaining in the dark shadows of the interwebs.

Keywords are words and phrases people use when they’re searching for things that interest them in search engines.

Your content doesn’t pop up in their search results for no reason, it’s because it contains the keywords that people are looking for. So, if you’re building an audience from scratch, this can be a great way for people to find your show without knowing the name of it, or you.

Google is getting more sophisticated every day but one of the simplest ways to ensure all the words you say in your episode are picked up by Google is to include a transcript.

A beginner’s guide to podcast SEO

Read

Building your show notes

It’s a good idea to create show notes for each of your podcast episodes.

Again, this is so your content can be picked up by search engines but also so listeners have a place to go if they want more information or to find out more about you and the episode content.

Building these from scratch can be a pain but if you’ve got a podcast transcript you can use that as the base of your show notes and edit what you’ve already said on your podcast into a blog post.

If you’ve done the work already you may as well use it!

What are show notes and why do you need them?

Read

Making your content more accessible

A less selfish reason to transcribe your episode is so your show can be enjoyed by people who are hard of hearing.

Do I really need to say anything more on that except that it’s a great idea?

Why you should design an ideal listener for your podcast

Read

So how do I create a podcast transcript?

There are plenty of paid services out there like Rev or Trint but you should also check inside your podcast host to see if they offer transcription as part of your hosting plan.

I should stress that whether you’re using a website or your podcast host, automatic transcription is not perfect.

That means you’ll have to read through your transcript and edit it so it doesn’t sound like a robot wrote it.

Some transcription sites offer human transcription for a higher price which is much more accurate but it’s always a good idea to cast your eye over it before you press publish.

This process can take a lot of time especially if your show features more than one voice so you’ll need to weigh up whether it’s worth it or whether you can just provide your audience with more comprehensive show notes.

Got a burning podcasting question you’d like answered? Send me an email.

Want to start your own podcast but need a little help? Download my “How To Start A Podcast” guide or sign up for my online podcasting course, PodSchool.

Got some time on your hands? Read the full episode transcript

[00:00:00] Hello and welcome to the show. Today I'm going talk about whether or not you should transcribe your podcast episode. If you don't know what that means it's providing a text version of the stuff you say in your podcast. It's very easy to wonder "why would you want to do that?" but it's a good thing to do for a number of reasons. The first is SEO. You want to make sure you have the right key words and phrases in the text of your web pages so when people come try and search for things your website comes up and if you think about it it kind of makes sense. If you do a podcast episode and you embed that episode onto your web page, all those words don't get embedded into the SEO of the page. If you put a transcript there then all that information gets put into your web page.

[00:01:31] So, if somebody is searching for your show or searching for your niece or searching for questions that you've answered then there's more chance that your page will pop up and that people will find your show via search and the more people that find your info the more potential listeners you have. The other reason that you might want to do a transcript which I had pointed out to me the other day at our pod a podcasting conference that I spoke at a couple of weeks ago was that it provides an option for the hearing impaired to be a part of your show. And I thought to myself when I heard this and when it was explained to me I am a for never thinking of this. Podcasting is obviously a fantastic thing but there are a huge amount of people that can't enjoy your show. So the idea of putting a script on there so that hearing impaired people can also come and enjoy your content is a spectacular idea. So that's something to think about as well. A less selfish reason for transcribing your episode. Obviously on the one hand you've got all of the stuff that will bring more people to your page and hopefully grow your audience. And on the other hand you are actually opening your show up to people who might not be able to experience it. And that is a fantastic thing. One of the reasons that a lot of people are turned off the idea of transcribing their episode is that they don't realize there are actually resources online where you can get this done very quickly and cheaply and you don't have to sit there and listen to your voice and type it out in real time.

[00:03:07] There's a couple of websites I'll put links to on the show notes pages. I'm sure there are many more than these two, but one recommended to me is Rev.com and the one I use is Trint.com. I have always found that to be pretty close to accurate. There are obviously going to be some words, e.g. PodSchool isn't in the dictionary, so I have to go through and turn those back into the real words.

[00:03:45] I should stress Trint and Rev are digital products so there is no person on the other end that you are hiring to transcribe. You are literally uploading an MP3 or the WAV file and you can select which accent it's in so the program can better guess what the words are and then it transcribes your episode like magic. There's no person involved which is why you have to go through and fix up some of the things that it's missed.

[00:04:36] The other thing way transcribing your episode can be helpful is in making your show notes. When I get my transcript I copy and paste it and put it into the body of my show notes page and fashion the copy around that. So it's like almost having a pre written article ready to go. You just need to go through and format it and make it into more of a blog post than just a transcript which you can do with just a few tweaks. And, as I said before it also means hearing impaired listeners can be a part of your podcast too which is a stellar reason to do it.

[00:05:37] I hope that's helped you allay any fears that if you wanted to do a transcript for your episode you would be sweating behind a computer screen for days on end. The technology is so good now that it's completely out of your hands and for something like $15 an hour of transcript you can get that done online. As I said all of the links to the services that I've referred to will be in the show notes page at podschoolpodcast.com. There you'll also find links to my tech guide which will help you set up your own home studio. It takes you through all the tech that you need to get podcasting as well as a link to PodSchool, my online podcasting course that takes you step by step through every part of the podcasting process right from coming up with an idea to turning your show into a business. Thanks so much for joining me, I'll see you next week and until then, happy podcasting.

2 Comments
  1. Steve Lockwood says:

    Should you transcribe your podcast verbatim or should you change the way it written so that it’s easier to read/skim?

    1. rcorbett says:

      Hey Steve, If you have the time it’s always a great idea to edit. I’ll take transcripts from my PodSchool Podcast episodes and use those as the basis for my accompanying blog posts. It’s important to note that if you’re transcribing you’re going to have to do some editing anyway because the software rarely gets it 100%. Something to be mindful of because that does take time.

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