transcripts help more people find your podcast
As a podcaster, you want as many people as possible to have access to your show and the content you’re talking about. And one strategy for doing this is creating transcripts for your episodes. Yes, it takes a little bit of time and money, but it’s totally worth it. And today we’re going to talk about all the benefits.
Here’s what we’re talking about today…
- What are podcast transcripts?
- How do you get a transcript for your podcast?
- How do transcripts benefit your podcast?
- Where do you put your transcripts?
Improve Your Podcast Workflow
Check off each of these items to ensure you don’t miss anything important when you’re producing your podcast episodes.
As a podcaster, you want as many people as possible to have access to your show and the content you’re talking about. And one strategy for doing this is to create transcripts of your episodes. Yes, it takes a little bit of time and a little bit of money. But I think it’s totally worth it. And today, we’re going to talk about all of the benefits. Take it away, Mister radio man! Podcast Your Business.
Hello, you! Welcome to Podcast Your Business. I’m Sunny Gault, and I’m a podcast coach and a mentor. Nice to meet you. If this is the first time you’re listening to Podcast Your Business. I’ve been podcasting for a really long time about 17 years, which I think makes me an early adopter. I believe. I am the founder and CEO of a company called Independent Podcast Network, you can check us out at https://independentpodcast.network. But today, I am here to help you create amazing podcasts specifically for your business. And we do this by mastering the five P’s of podcasting. So the five Ps, it’s a concept that I created when I launched my first podcast course, because I create a ton of free content for podcasters. Because I’m really passionate about it. And in this first course, I thought, Okay, what do you need in order for your podcast to be successful, and I broke it down into five P’s, which are prep, plan, produce, promote, and profit. Now, there’s a lot of things that you can talk about in each of those five P’s. So I do have a whole course which is absolutely free on https://independentpodcast.network, if you guys want to take that course. But in these episodes for Podcast Your Business, we pick a different P, and we focus on a topic that’s related to it. So Mister radio man, what are we talking about today? Produce.
Producing your show covers a bunch of different things, right, like the recording and the editing of your show. And it also includes any other components needed to publish your content, which is why it covers today’s topic, which is all about podcast transcripts. So here’s what we’re going to talk about today. These are the like the main core topics, we’re going to focus on. What is a podcast transcript. Now you may think you know what it is, but maybe it’s a little bit different than what you thought. So let’s start with a basic definition. So everyone’s on the same page. How do you get a transcript for your podcast, there’s different ways to do this. Some take a little bit more time and effort, some take a little bit more money. So we’ll go over your options. How do transcripts benefit your podcast? So that’s the that’s the heart and soul of today’s show, right? Why go through this whole process? Because it is an extra step. Like I said, it takes some time, it takes some money, it takes some planning. So why do all of this? How is your show actually going to benefit from it? And then finally, if you’ve decided that you are going to do transcripts, well, where do you put them? For the best bang for your buck, right? So that’s what we’re going to focus on today. And we’re going to get started right after this quick break.
All right, so let’s talk about podcast transcripts. First of all, what in the world are podcast transcripts? This is a written version of your podcast, right? So you have your audio version, or maybe you’ve got a video podcast, that’s great. But it is taking all of those words. So it’s basically a word for word account of everything that was said. But with the benefit of timestamps, you guys know what timestamps are? Right? So you’re reading along, it’s like, oh, it 10 minutes, you know, this is what was said. And then a little bit further down on the page, 15 minutes, this is what was said. So that’s a timestamp. So you get that that’s an added benefit, as well as people’s names. So for those of you who have multiple people that are part of your podcast, you know, sometimes you’re listening to a show, and someone says something, but if you’ve got several people that are talking, and maybe their voices are kind of similar, sometimes you don’t know who actually said that. So looking at a podcast transcript, in theory, if you do your job, right, and you align everything, so you know, you tell people who’s actually talking, then that’s one way for an audience to really kind of know what’s going on. Because in the course of a podcast conversation, it’s I find it really annoying if someone says, oh, by the way, this is sunny talking. Like it just, that’s not how we communicate with people. So if we have to stop every time and say, Who’s talking, that’s really annoying, but a transcript can help with that. Now, a transcript is not a substitute for your show notes, or your episode description. Depending on which you’re doing, I do more of episode descriptions for my show, so I don’t do I don’t do a lot of show notes where there’s a ton of links and you know, at this time, this is When we start talking about this topic, I don’t do a lot of that I don’t find that a lot of people benefit from that, at least for the content of the podcast that I produce. So I don’t do that I do more of a, hey, here’s what the episode is about. And it’s a, you know, quick little paragraph description. And I’m good. Either way, though, whether you’re doing show notes or an episode description, this is not a replacement for that, you still need that because the bulk of the people that listen to your podcast, they want kind of a summary of what’s going on. So whichever one you choose, just know that transcripts is something totally different.
Okay. So now, you know, so we’re on the same page. That’s what we’re talking about today, when we talk about podcast transcripts. How do you get a transcript for your podcast, as I mentioned earlier, it does take some planning, you have got to make this part of your production process. And you need to devote some resources to it. That could include time, money, and both. Okay, it’s probably going to include both how much time and how much money it really depends on how much money you’re going to spend. Right, we’ll talk about that in just a little bit. Creating a transcript usually happens in stages. First, you have what I call your raw transcript, which is usually done by some sort of AI slash computer program. And it is an initial comb through, if you will, of your entire episode. And let’s face it, when computers do things, a lot of times they make mistakes. So what programs can you get to create this raw transcript for you if you are recording remotely with some sort of podcasting app, okay, so these are your squad cast, your zen casters, your Riversides, those types of sites, a lot of times they have a transcription tool built into their recording process, you may have to pay more for it. But that’s one area where I would look at and see if they can at least give you the raw data, your raw transcript. There are other apps too. So for those of you that are creating a podcast, that’s also a video podcast. So maybe you’ve got an audio version and a video version, or maybe you’re just doing video descript is a great source for that. Now, there are subscription fees. But that is I’m not sure if they have a web based version, the version of descript that I have, I actually had to download to my computer. But they are great for not just transcribing. But if you’re going to put subtitles on your videos, this is one of the best platforms for doing that. So you might be able to make that work for your podcast as well. And then there is what I typically use. And that is an independent source. Then there’s a few that you can use otter.ai. So https://otter.ai is amazing. There is also a site called https://Rev.com that I’ve used before. And both of these I would say the most economical one is otter.ai. So here’s my process, I produce my podcast episode, I’m literally going to do this by the way with podcast your business right after I’m done recording. So I finished editing my episode, I open up otter.ai And I import the episode. And then from there, it automatically transcribes everything for me. And it’s a pretty good system, it will even try to divide it up according to speaker because it can tell a difference usually between the different speakers. Now you’re gonna have to go back in later and say the names of the speakers because it’s not going to know however, it is smart enough to know that if you record with the same people, it will start to guess based on previous transcriptions, like oh, that’s somebody’s voice. I recognize Sunny’s voice. So it really is a good system. And that’s what I use. So what happens is I’ll run it through and then I go back through. And I will make corrections because inevitably especially, it depends on the content that you’re talking about. But you could be using terminology that it doesn’t recognize or maybe someone’s connection their microphone is a little crackly or isn’t as clear so it messes up some words. So there still is a human component to this. But I do recommend that you have a machine do the initial work. Now with https://otter.ai. Like I said, that’s the most economical they do have a free version depending on how often you’re going to use it all the way up to about 20 bucks a month. Which is amazing. So you can get a ton of stuff ton of words ton of episodes done for just 20 bucks a month or less. Now REV I was telling you about that is a per minute service. So if you’re going to do their auto service right now, that’s 25 cents per minute just for the auto. Okay, the computerized version, you’re gonna have a human do it because they have that option as well. It’s $1.50 a minute. So you can see how quickly that’s going to add up versus something like otter.ai.
You can also just have someone manually do this from scratch. So like I said, REV does this, I have to tell you this funny story, you guys, it’s funny. Now, it was not funny when I was going through this. So I don’t even know how long ago this was, at least 10 years ago, I had this epiphany. You know, with regard to my parenting shows, I talk about them a lot on this podcast. So I was producing all this parenting content, various podcasts, multiple podcasts, you know, releasing a ton of episodes every week. And I had this epiphany that we needed to start doing transcripts for the episodes. And I was already hundreds of episodes into producing content. When I had this epiphany. I was like, Oh, my gosh, there weren’t these sites that I’m talking about. Now, these sites didn’t exist back then. So I hopped on like some freelance sites. By the way, don’t recommend that you do this, I’ll just tell you a funny story. I hopped on these freelance sites. And I found people that were willing to do this manually, I must have gone through 10 Different people to get a couple 100 episodes transcribed. It was a giant mess, okay. But I did it. But I did it. And I got caught up. But it was you guys, it was so difficult nowadays, it’s like, so easy to do this stuff. That’s why I’m like, just get it done just fine. So I don’t recommend that you do this manually, that cost me so much money to do. And it was just a mess. You know, people were formatting stuff in different ways. And that people will get bored with the content and quit and I’d have to find somebody else. It was a total nightmare. I do recommend you outsource this. If it’s going to take time. This is one of those tedious jobs, you guys that needs to be done. But it doesn’t necessarily need to be done by you, especially those of you that are running your own business. For the parenting shows, once I found otter.ai, I was like no, like, thank you so much. And it doesn’t take a long time. But I would say maybe it still takes me 35 or so minutes to do an entire like 30 to 40 minute episode. And I’m usually not just going through like with a fine tooth comb. I’m like, you know, there’s like certain areas I know, oh, it’s probably going to mess up this section or you know, any kind of proper names and stuff like that. So I’ll like kind of just scroll through, and then figure out what needs to be changed or if it picked up a speaker, but it wasn’t the right speaker and then I gotta go in and change the name. And I was doing that for a while for my parenting shows. And then I recently outsourced it to one of our hosts that I’m bringing on more as a producer slash host. And now she’s doing it for me. And life is wonderful. But I still do the transcriptions and run everything through https://otter.ai. For Podcast Your Business. now this show is really easy to do. Because it’s just one speaker right on the only person talking. And it follows a very specific format, it gets a little more tricky when you have like natural conversations between people happening and someone’s chiming in and people are talking at the same time that complicates everything, but especially if you are the solo host of your show. This is an incredible tool really easy to do. I know by heart now what words it’s going to mess up what words it’s not going to capitalize. It’s going to spell my name wrong pretty much every single time now it actually learned my name recently. So that’s great. But outsource this if this is something that you don’t have time to do give it to somebody else. So still have them run it through otter.ai Because that’s the cheapest version, but give it to an assistant to do or somebody else to do.
Okay. So let’s talk about why we’re doing this. What are the benefits of doing transcripts? I told you you should probably do it now why Sunny, we want the why behind it. First of all, and I think this should really be the main reason you do it. You want your podcast to be accessible to everybody, including people with hearing loss. If you have a audio podcast, that may be a challenge to someone who can’t hear as well. And I remember this was this was many years ago but with New Mommy Media I think which are my parenting shows by the way, it all falls under the umbrella of New Mommy Media. And I remember we had some parents reach out to us to ask if we had a transcript for this episode, they wanted the content, but they it just wasn’t in a format that worked for them. In fact, I think that’s why we started doing transcripts. So this is this is a great lesson, listen to your audience, because you’re putting out valuable content. But what if they can’t access it in that way? You know, I’ve talked about this before on this podcast, yes, you have your podcast. And maybe that’s where the content starts. But there’s so many different ways to repurpose it. So don’t just think about the content you’re putting out there as a podcast, but repurpose it in different ways. And as a transcript is a great way for people to consume the content. Transcripts are also great for the rest of your audience as well, because and I kind of alluded to this earlier, but it allows people to reference the information that they may have missed when they were actually listening to your show. So for example, they didn’t recognize that this person said it as opposed to this person. Or maybe they just want to go back over the content to let everything sink in. And maybe you mentioned some resources. You know, on this show, I just mentioned what otter.ai and rev and things like that, that’s a great way for people to go back in. And, you know, grab those resources and be able to use those moving forward. So they’ll like just basically skim through the material to find what they want. And I don’t think that people would actually prefer the transcript over your podcast, I don’t think it’s going to negatively impact your podcast listens. This is supplemental content. Because people are listening to your podcasts, they’re listening for you, they’re listening for the content, so they’re going to miss out on that personal connection. So I don’t think that having the transcript is going to hurt your download numbers. And then also, this can be used to boost your discoverability. You need as many people as possible finding your content organically, it’s fine to pay for that kind of traffic. But really, you want to get to a point where people are naturally finding you. So you don’t have to keep paying some sort of third party service to promote you, right? And we’re going to talk more about discoverability in this next section, which is where do you put your podcast transcript?
So let’s say you’ve listened to this episode, you’re like, Yes, I’m going to listen to Sunny. I’m going to create podcast transcripts. Now you have your transcript, and you’re like, What do I do now? I don’t recommend you add your podcast transcripts to your description of your episodes. So you know, when you’re uploading your content, and you’ve got, you know, different sites call it different things, but where you would put like your paragraph or your show notes, I don’t recommend that you copy the words from a transcript and try to paste it on there. First of all, the formatting is going to be all over the place, probably, but nobody is really going to look at it, are they? You know, because I see some people saying, Oh, these are all the places you could put your transcript. And they mentioned doing that. Whenever someone says something and a red flag goes up, I always like to go back to what would I do as a podcast listener? And keep in mind, people are listening to podcasts on very small devices, right? Your phone, maybe your iPad. It’s a very mobile form of media. So is someone really going to scroll through your entire podcast transcript on their phone? I don’t know. I’m not a big advocate of it. I do see some people. So some services out there like I think Captivate is one of them. That has a separate section for transcripts. So when you’re uploading your episode, there’s like a separate section with a file that you can upload a file. I think that could work better. But right now, what we’re really talking about is that description box where you just put text, right? What’s your episode about if you’re putting your show notes in there. I’m not a big advocate of plopping stuff in there. If there is a separate section, where you can upload the file for your transcript, so that maybe it opens up in a separate screen. I’m more down with that. Although I don’t really see the SEO benefit of doing that. Keep in mind I’ve talked about this on other episodes, the SEO for your podcasts when we’re talking about podcast apps that would be playing your content and making it available for other people to subscribe to. They are looking at three different sections for SEO. They are looking at your podcast names whatever your overall you’ve called your podcast, the name of your show the title of your show. They are looking at your episode descriptions or sorry your episode titles, not the descriptions, the titles, and your author tag those Are the three places where SEO is important for podcast apps, so you are not going to get any SEO benefit from copying and pasting a transcript into your description, or even uploading a file. So, you know, would it hurt to do it probably not. But it’s not going to give you a lot of bang for your buck. But if you’re doing this anyways, you know, you decide what’s best for your show.
But the main reason we are creating these transcripts are for our website. If you have a podcast that supports your business that’s connected to your business, I always recommend that you put your podcast on your business website. So you put it in the main navigation, right? main navigation of your website, you have a section for podcast. And then if you want to get the best bang for your buck, when you click on podcast, maybe it has like a description for your podcast and some information about you as the host or you know, some basic ways for them to subscribe. But then you would have a new, I’m just gonna call it a page. Sometimes, unlike WordPress, it calls it a post, you would have a new page for every podcast episode, that’s how you’re going to get the best SEO value for your podcast and having your podcasts on your business website. If you don’t have a business website, your podcast still needs to have a website. But there are great resources such as Podpage (https://podpage.com). And if you go on our website, https://independentpodcast,network, and you go to the bottom for discounts, we do have an affiliate with Podpage, I have for a separate project I’m working on, we have an account on pod page, I’m a big fan, that is the quickest way to get your podcast up and running. I really liked that site. And they do have a section on homepage where you can have a transcription, you can add it. And those people really know SEO over there. So it formats it really nicely. If you’re doing this on your own site, I can tell you a quick story. Here’s my advice, especially those of you with a WordPress website. So I told you earlier that I created all these podcast transcripts for my new mommy media shows which are my parenting podcasts. And I didn’t like how if you put the transcript actually on the page, it made for a really long page. Like I’m all about visuals, right? So I wanted the pages to look pretty, and you know, colorful and nice. And I didn’t want the pages to be super long, just because of some stupid transcript. Right? So what I did was I had the website designer, create a secondary page to put the transcript on and that the main episode page would link to it. So be like, Hey, do you want to view the podcast transcript and then you go to a secondary page, not smart. So learn from me guys, don’t put it on a secondary page, it has to go on the same page where all your other content is that is going to, you know, really helped with the little bots that go out there and try to figure all this stuff out. So we ended up changing it and we got a much better result. So keep it on the same page, there are things that you can do now. And if you want an example of this, you could go on the IPN website for Podcast Your Business and look at some of you know the setup for our pages. Because there are just gonna come little widgets, that might not be the exact term for it. But it’ll give you kind of a preview, and then you can click a button to see more, that is better than putting it on a secondary page. And the other thing that I learned too, is that while that is good for SEO, like it’s better for SEO, you’re still gonna get dinged a little bit. Google dings you if it thinks it’s a transcript, as opposed to a blog post, which is formatted with specific headings. So if you really wanted to make the most of it, you wouldn’t make it appear like a really long blog post, I guess I don’t do that. Like, there’s hope, like so far, I’m gonna go with this. So I’m not going to try to trick Google, it’s a transcript, but just know, they don’t treat transcripts the same way they would treat a blog post and it’s all about those headers on your pages.
Okay, so the other thing that you can do with your transcript is you’ll have the option of exporting it. So you can export it as a txt file. That’s typically what I do if I’m just gonna copy it and paste it somewhere else, like you know, on a webpage, but you can also export it as a PDF, or a lot of different formats, but I usually will export it as a PDF, just in case I need it down the road. I used to also upload the PDF to the website so that people could read the transcript on the website as well as exported, that is an option. I don’t do that. Now. I can’t really give you a good reason as to why don’t do that. Now. It’s just one extra step. But you could also offer it actually as extra bonus content, so if you have some sort of community, I’ve done this before, that’s one of the reasons like how I used it in the beginning is the PDF wasn’t necessarily on the website. But it was available for people that were part of a club or something like that. So I would have, let’s just say it’s a Facebook group or some sort of community. And if you are part of that group, you could also get the PDF versions of the transcripts. So be creative, right? There’s different ways you can use this content. But there are many benefits to using this, you know, you want to be available to as many people as possible, you also want people to really get your information. And if they need to refer back to something you said previously, or want more information or need to look up a certain URL or whatever, let them skim through the material later. And then the SEO benefit, right, you want as many people finding it naturally and organically as possible. So I do have a free resource for you. That goes along with today’s episode. More on that after this quick break.
There is a lot to consider when producing your podcast content, right. Sometimes even if you’ve been doing this a long time you forget some of the steps. So I have a resource for you. Of course, it’s absolutely free. All of our resources here are free. And it is an episode checklist, which Yes, could include creating your podcast transcript. So if you guys want this breakdown, so you can kind of check off things as you go. It’s on our website, go to https://independentpodcast.network, you can actually search for it there or the easy way is to click on the link in the description for today’s episode. But while you’re there at Independent Podcast Network, check out all of our amazing resources. We create free content every week, guys. So that could be blog posts, more podcast episodes like this other handouts and fun things that I think will really help you on your podcast journey. We have whole courses that are available, and it’s all free. Please do not pay money for a podcast course, necessarily. I’m thanking all the people that have paid for my course in the past. Thank you guys. I love you guys. But now it’s available to everyone. This is my gift to you guys because I’m passionate about podcasting, and I want you guys to succeed. So go to our website and find all of those amazing resources. Until next week, remember…. podcasts are awesome!