Why you should transcribe your podcast episodes
You have worked diligently to create a podcast with unique content that you think is enlightening, informative, or perhaps even transformational, and you want to share it with the world. But what is the next step? How do you get your podcast in front of people who have never heard of you?
Thousands of people may be actively looking for the information discussed in your podcast, but how do they find it?
If all you’re doing is upload your episodes, the harsh reality is that your podcast might not go as far as you’d hope. But one strategy that can increase your reach, and give your current audience a better experience is transcribing your podcast.
Here are three reasons why every podcaster should transcribe their podcast:
1. Grow your podcast through SEO
When we want to find a new podcast or to learn something, we ask. We ask our friends, we ask our co-workers, but most of all we ask Google.
But there's a problem: Google isn't listening to your podcast.
Even though they've created self-driving cars, voice assistants, and the best search engine of all time, Google still isn't searching audio files. By transcribing your podcast, you make it easy for Google to find. And that lets Google recommend your podcast to the people who would love to be listening.
So, what kind of change can you expect when you start transcribing each episode? One of the most popular podcasts, This American Life, did this and luckily for us, they shared the results.
In 2011, This American Life decided to transcribe their entire audio archive and make it freely available on their website. They hoped to increase organic traffic, make their content more accessible to the hearing impaired, and improve the user experience for their audience.
Here’s what they found after three years:
- unique website visits increased by 4.2%
- the number of people who discovered This American Life through organic search increased by 6.7%
- 7.2% of website visitors read a transcript
Just by transcribing their episodes, This American Life was able to reach more listeners, and they did a better job engaging their audience. You can do the same for your podcast.
2. Engage with your audience
As convenient as podcasts can be, there are times when it’s better to read: we’ve all sat next to that guy at Starbucks who blasts a Facebook video from his phone. (Don’t those videos have subtitles?)
If you aren’t always able to plug in your headphones to listen to a podcast, the same goes for your audience. By transcribing your episodes, you’re giving your audience another way to stay up to date with your show.
Another benefit for your audience is share-ability. It’s just easier to share a blog post. If you think of somebody while reading a blog post, you can quickly copy the URL and shoot them a text. But if you want to recommend a podcast episode you’re listening to, it’s a bit more difficult. By giving each episode a home online, you make it easier for people to share your podcast.
Transcriptions also make it easier for people who literally cannot listen to your podcast. The World Health Organization estimates over 500,000,000 people suffer from disabling hearing loss. These are people you aren’t able to reach with your podcast that might be interested in what you have to say.
As much as podcasting is an incredible platform for spreading ideas and inspiration, it is just one tool you can use to deliver your message to the people that need to hear it. Transcriptions help you appeal to readers and increase the reach of your podcast.
3. Transcripts open the door to new types of content
If you think the potential audience of 500,000,000 with hearing loss sounds big, consider the billions of people that have not even listened to a podcast. By transcribing your podcast, you take your first step towards repurposing your content for people who don’t listen to podcasts (yet).
Here are a couple of ways you can repurpose your podcast to create new content:
- Turn an episode transcription into a guest post for another blog. A guest post will increase your reputation and point people back to your podcast.
- Write an eBook based on your most popular episodes. This is precisely what Tim Ferris did with his bestselling book “Tribe of Mentors.”
- Create an online course that helps your audience apply the techniques you teach in your podcast.
By transcribing your podcast, you can continue to go back to the well, drawing more and more value from content that previously only existed in one place. Now a unique insight, teaching, or perspective can continue to live and grow online, reaching more people and having a more significant impact.
I’m sold. How do I start transcribing my podcast?
Transcribing podcasts episode use to incredibly time-consuming or expensive; you either had to play the podcast multiple times to type out each word, or you had to spend $1 or more per minute to have someone else do it.
With this high barrier to entry, transcriptions were out of reach for everybody except professional podcasters. But times are changing, and with advanced speech-recognition software, online services can now do the work of a professional typist in a fraction of the time and cost.
If your podcast is on Buzzsprout, we recently added the ability to transcribe your episodes. We partnered with Temi, an online transcription service, to give you the best rate on the web ($.10 /minute).
All you have to do is upload your audio, click the new transcribe button, and review your transcription to make any necessary edits. Once you’re done, your transcript will be posted to your Buzzsprout website and you can copy/paste the transcription into your personal website.
Transcriptions can be a massive boost to your podcast: they can help more people find you through Google, they’ll offer a convenient way for people to engage your content, and transcriptions are the first step towards repurposing your content for other media.
You put a lot of work into your podcast. It’s time to let that content start working for you.
If you like the idea of transcribing your podcast episodes, you should give Buzzsprout a look. Machine transcription is built in, so you can transcribe every episode in minutes. Already have a podcast hosted somewhere else? No problem. Moving your podcast to Buzzsprout is FREE and easy.