You’re putting a lot of work into producing a well-researched, interesting podcast, and you want to spread the word. Therefore, it’s vital to make your shows as discoverable and as accessible as possible. One of the ways you can do that is by making a podcast transcript available for each episode you make.
A transcript is a word-for-word copy of the podcast audio; you transcribe every word you and your guests say on the show. You can then make this written version of each episode available on your podcast website for your listeners to access.
Show notes, in contrast, are a summary of the podcast episode, with a few teasers of what listeners can expect to find in the show. You generally upload them to the main podcast directories such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts. They act as a podcast ‘blurb’ to attract your audience to download an episode.
The bumper benefit to you as a podcaster of providing a transcription is the search engine optimization (SEO) boost. Transcripts help with SEO as they allow you to display that long-form content on your website that Google loves. Having a transcript of your show effectively makes your audio content searchable. Hopefully, that helps you climb the search engine rankings.
Your podcast is also more accessible if a transcription accompanies it. Although podcasts are primarily an audio medium, someone with moderate hearing loss can use a transcription as a read-along guide while enjoying the show to help them with the parts they can't hear. Or, they might become avid followers of your podcast simply by reading the transcripts alone.
A transcript is also a great way to broaden out your audience to non-native speakers. Having the dialogue in written form helps people differentiate tricky words and allows them to pause and look up unfamiliar vocabulary.
As a podcast host, a transcript can also help you out a great deal. Not only during the editing process but as part of your social media strategy. If you have a transcription right there in front of you, it’s simple to pull out quotes or details of the interview to repurpose for Instagram or Facebook without having to search through audio files. If you have a blog that goes with your podcast, you can also re-edit your interviews and pick out the salient points to craft into an engaging blog post.
Getting your podcast episode transcribed is a pretty simple process, but it will generally cost you either time or money. You can opt for artificial intelligence transcriptions such as Sonix.ai, Otter.ai, Trint, or Temi that often offer a free trial before you commit to the paid version, but beware. Although they are pretty good, you will have to carefully read through the transcript, manually make edits, and correct spellings.
It is relatively inexpensive to have a real live human transcribe your podcast. Try Rev.com or Fiverr.com. You’ll still need to proofread before you upload the transcription to your website, but it’s less likely there’d be any problems when done by a professional.
In the podcasting space, it is often the high budget, high profile podcasts that have both a transcription and show notes available. If you don’t have the funds right now to provide a free transcript of every episode, then focus on creating well-written SEO-friendly show notes in the meantime.
Interested in learning more about the best practices for marketing your podcast and reaching as many people as possible? Check out our Podcast Marketing 101 course which answers questions like "Should I transcribe my podcast?" and many more.