How to create a podcast transcript

October 10, 2021

As a podcast creator, you want your content to reach as many people as possible. One of the best ways to do this is to make your content more accessible by creating a podcast transcript. Even if your podcasts are on dozens of audio platforms, you’re missing out on a whole section of potential listeners by not using transcripts.

Though it takes some time and effort to create and edit them, transcripts are extremely beneficial for you and your listeners. Creating inclusive and accessible content shows that you care and are committed to your audience.

Here’s everything you need to know about what they are, why you need them, and how to create them.

What is a transcript?

A podcast transcript is a written form of your podcast. It’s usually a word-for-word account of everything that is said during an episode. If you want to go the extra mile, you can also include timestamps so readers can hop right into certain sections in the audio (and even better, if your website supports clickable audio timestamps your listeners would have an even better experience).

So why do you need text when podcasts are meant for listening?

Transcripts are extremely beneficial for listeners who have partial or total hearing loss. It allows them to enjoy your content, even if they can’t hear it. Podcasts also serve as a convenient way for listeners to reference what you said and when.

Be aware that transcripts shouldn’t be used to substitute summaries or podcast show notes. All three have very different purposes and shouldn’t be used interchangeably.

4 Benefits of creating a podcast transcript

Creating podcast transcripts offers all sorts of benefits. Here are some of the top reasons why transcript creation should become part of your standard process.

1. Increased accessibility

As referenced earlier, transcripts play a crucial role in making your content more accessible. Just because someone can’t hear doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be able to enjoy podcasts.

By creating transcripts, someone who has partial or full hearing loss can still enjoy and relate to your content. Transcripts allow you to target a niche audience that you may not have even thought of.

A text version of your episode may also be much faster to quickly browse through and understand the context of each episode.

2. Boost your reach

As a creator, your success relies on your ability to get your content out to as many people as possible. While closed captions and alt tags help, nothing makes your content more accessible than a transcript.

By having transcripts of all of your episodes, you can extend your reach and brand visibility.

The equation is simple. The more people that consume your podcast, whether by reading or by listening, the more successful your podcast will be and the more potential you’ll have to take it to the next level.

3. Search engine optimization (SEO)

SEO is a gradual process that doesn’t happen overnight. As a podcaster, there are hundreds of ways that you can improve your content’s SEO, including outreach, keyword research, and by serving as a guest on a well-known podcast.

Another way to boost SEO is by creating transcripts. Text-based content means more content for Google to crawl. But be aware that transcripts alone don’t guarantee quick success.

To give your content a big SEO boost, create transcripts as well as detailed show notes.

4. Improve your speaking skills

Transcripts are a great tool that you can use to improve and refine your speaking skills. By reviewing a podcast transcript, you can determine if:

  • You’re delivering the message you intended
  • The conversation is impactful
  • You build to a crescendo

If you find that you’re repeating the same words every other sentence, or if your content is packed with “like” and “you know,” you now see what you need to improve upon to provide better content for your audience.

How to create the podcast transcript

Now that you know why podcast transcripts are must-haves, the next step is to learn how to create them.

There are many ways to create a podcast transcript. Some podcasters choose to self-write them. Others hire a podcast transcriber. There are also podcast transcript generators, such as Descript, Otter, and Rev, which automate the process from beginning to end.

If you decide to create your podcast transcript manually, you’ll need to listen to the episode and write down everything that you said. This guarantees almost perfect accuracy, as you best understand how you talk and your lingo.

Hiring someone to transcribe your podcast comes at a cost, but you’ll find that the process is much faster, especially if you haven’t mastered the keyboard. By outsourcing your podcast transcript creation, you don’t have to deal with the stress and hassle.

Using a podcast transcript generator is often the best option – they use speech-to-text technology, so accuracy is still not 100%, but it would make things much faster for you to fix some errors. Many of today’s top platforms offer free trials so that you can see how the tool works before deciding to purchase it.

Transcript software can do most of the hard work for you. Once you have the transcript, simply read through it to ensure it’s correct and then it’s ready to be posted. Some services even do a hybrid auto+human transcripts, so you can rest assured it’s prefect.

Where to post a podcast transcript

After creating a transcript, the final step is to post it. What good is a transcript if your audience can’t find it? There are several places to post your text-based content.

We highly recommend that each episode page on your podcast website includes a podcast transcript. This way your audience can navigate to that page but also can easily search for other episodes as well. Podcastpage.io not only helps you automate the creation of each episode page, it also allows you to edit the episode and add the transcript via a dedicated field.

podcast transcript - podcastpage.io

If you add timestamps in your transcript, Podcastpage would automatically turn those into clickable links and help your listeners to jump to specific spots within your episodes.

Final thoughts

Creating a podcast transcript for each of your episodes not only benefits your audience. Transcripts also benefit you as a creator. Whether you decide to manually create your transcripts or if you use a podcast transcript service, the key is that you have a readable form of your content displayed on your podcast website.

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