Should you transcribe your podcast episode?


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Transcribing notes on a typewriter

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.

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

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…

iTunes Google Podcasts Stitcher Spotify

Podcast transcripts help with…

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Those three words are the difference between people finding your show on Google and it remaining in the dark shadows of the interwebs.

Keywords are the words or phrases people use when they’re searching Google.  For your podcast or podcast website to turn up in those search results your content needs to contain the keywords people are searching for.

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.

Since Google isn’t able to trawl MP3 files (yet) you need to make sure the keywords you say in the episode are somewhere on your website so the Google bots can find them.  And an easy way to do that is by including your podcast transcript.

How to write great podcast descriptions


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.

Building these from scratch can be a pain in the butt coz you’re basically staring at a blank piece of paper.  But if you’ve got a podcast transcript you can use that as the bones of your show notes and edit it into a blog post.

What are show notes and why do you need them?


Making your content more accessible

A less selfish reason to transcribe your episode is so your show can be enjoyed by the deaf community and 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


So how do I create a podcast transcript?


These are a couple of my website recommendations.  I’m sure there are plenty more out there so feel free to research further than this page but to get you started, check out Rev and Trint (this is the service I use and it’s great).

I should stress these are digital products so there’s not a person on the other end doing the transcribing. You upload the MP3 or WAV file and the program transcribes the podcast all by itself.  What a world we live in.

While it’s quick and easy, it doesn’t always get it 100% right so you still have to jump in and edit the text to make sure it’s correct.  The last thing you want to do is have a podcast transcript on your website that’s full of spelling mistakes and grammatical errors.

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.

  1. Fausto Fonseca says:

    I’m doing transcriptions of my podcast at the moment, but I’ve been having this question in my mind: am I not possibly partitioning my audience between transcriptions and audio? If I want the podcast to grow and want to show analytics to possible sponsors, shouldn’t I try and push everyone to listen to the audio and just make a short excerpt or just some show notes on the description? I’m using anchor.fm to host the podcast but then I create posts in my website with an audio player for the episode.

    1. rcorbett says:

      Hey Fausto, Transcribing your episodes is useful for a bunch of reasons including providing a way for people who are hard of hearing to read your content and to help with SEO. Having people find you via your show notes pages where you’re providing valuable content can be a way for people to discover your podcast so if it’s helping your SEO it can grow your audience rather than detract from it. Hope that helps. Rach

  2. Emily says:

    Thoughtful article. I came to find out why I should continue transcribing our podcast show (or not). But I wanted to add: Rev actually uses real people to transcribe. So it’s not automated. And that’s one of the reasons it’s better. Take one look at Youtube’s machine-made free captioning if you’re in doubt of the difference. Cheers.

    1. rcorbett says:

      Hey Emily, Thanks for your message. Rev actually has an option for human transcribed but also machine transcribed, Rach

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Discover all the tools and tech you need to get your podcast started. Plus get access to my weekly podcasting tips delivered straight to your inbox!