How to Transcribe a Podcast to Grow Your Audience
Podcasts are a great way to get your voice out there for all to hear, especially when you’re discussing something you’re passionate about. Because podcasts are audio-only, you work very hard as a podcast host to ensure that they’re nothing less than flawless.
Did you know you can do more with them? Podcast transcription can grow your audience and greatly extend your reach. Maybe you’ve thought of this but don’t know how to transcribe a podcast. However, there are some very easy ways to do it without having to have specialized transcription skills.
Why Transcribe a Podcast?
If you’re a voice actor who does podcasts, for example, you’re probably aware they are a cornerstone of your career growth. They showcase your talents in a more complete way than any audition will. Podcasts are also great communication tools for a brand. Transcribing your podcasts can give you a boost in several areas that are directly or indirectly essential to your success.
Quotations and Credits
Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of transcribing your podcasts and publishing them is making it easy for people to grab quotations and credit you with them easily. They might want to quote you on social media, in an article, or on their blog.
They’re working, too, and don’t necessarily have time to find the right place in your recording to get the quotation they want and then transcribe it themselves. If you have transcripts alongside your podcasts, they can easily search for a word or phrase they heard and quickly find the full quote.
When social media influencers, influential bloggers, celebrities, media personalities, and others with large platforms quote and credit you, it lends you credibility and boosts your brand and image.
A Better User Experience
People listen to podcasts while exercising, working, walking their dogs, doing chores, etc. Podcasts make great audio for a massive variety of otherwise mundane activities.
But people prefer visual engagement when all they’re doing is sitting around. If someone is listening to your podcast on a computer, they can easily get bored. Transcripts give you a way to provide your audience with a visually-engaging way to listen to you. You can make it interactive, allowing them to click on a word and immediately jump to that spot in your audio.
For anyone who’s looking for something specific that you said, having a transcript alongside the episode they want will enable them to find what they need far more quickly. A good user experience puts you in people’s minds, and if someone’s on your website because they’re scouting you, you want to give them the best experience possible.
New Content Creation
You probably have a website that serves to let the world know who you are and where you publish and archive your podcasts. However, written content is necessary for a website, too. If you have a blog, your transcripts can provide you with ideas for all sorts of new blog posts.
You can publish the transcript as a blog post, or you can take parts of your podcast on which you’d like to expand and use your blog for that. If you have a transcript handy, you can pull your own quotations from it as you need to. Either way you do it, transcribing your podcasts makes keeping your web content fresh that much easier.
Search Engine Optimization
Speaking of websites, transcripts can help boost your SEO. One reason is that the search engines love fresh content, ideally written content. Another is because you can use your transcripts as SEO tools, blog posts, and accessibility tools for people who are hard of hearing or deaf.
Also, you don’t rank nearly as high in the search engine results without good SEO, so fewer people see you. As such, you should have a good SEO strategy in place. You get in front of more producers, creators, writers, and others who can offer you opportunities.
How to Transcribe a Podcast
Now how do you transcribe a podcast? You have three methods to choose from: Automatic transcription, finding a service, or doing it yourself.
Automatic Transcription Tools
Automatic transcription tools produce a transcript of your podcast within minutes. They’re easy to use. Some of them merely involve uploading your file to a site and then downloading what it creates. Others come as both web tools and apps, and some of those allow you to edit the transcript directly in the app.
They’re inexpensive to use for the most part, although that depends on what you’re willing to spend, if anything. Many of these tools are available on the web and as apps.
HappyScribe produces transcripts and subtitles within minutes in over 190 languages. You simply upload your file and download your transcript when it’s finished.
Podcasters especially enjoy this tool because it works with multiple voices seamlessly. It also gives you automatic timecoding, a personalized vocabulary, and punctuation without extra costs or more mistakes.
You can edit and fine-tune your transcript right in the editor, including your timecodes so that each time stamp perfectly matches the timing in your podcast. You also get an SEO-friendly embedding tool that helps you put your transcripts right on your site.
The Temi tool is good for podcasters and YouTubers alike because it’s simple. Like HappyScribe, you upload your file, and within minutes you get a transcript that’s up to 95 percent accurate. If your voice is good and clear, you’ll get 95 percent accuracy most of the time.
Temi has some drawbacks in that it starts running into problems with crosstalk and interruptions. It also has trouble with heavy accents. However, it’s reasonably priced, and you get a transcript you can edit directly in their app. You can also export it to PDF, Word, and other word processing and text applications.
Not only does Descript transcribe your podcasts within minutes, but it also has a sound editor, enabling you to edit the audio as well as the transcript.
If your podcasts require combining several tracks into a single file, you might enjoy Descript’s feature that does exactly that. But where it really stands out is in its ability to remove unwanted sounds, silences, and even crosstalk or other problems from the audio as you delete them from the transcript.
Because of that, you can create a smooth, seamless final product without having to work in a separate sound editor.
You can use transcription services with live transcriptionists. They’ll take your file and produce as accurate a transcript as possible, often more accurate than the automatic services. The downside to these services is they have a longer turnaround time, usually hours, sometimes days.
Rev is one of the best live transcription services out there. All you do is send them a link or upload a file, and they do the rest. They generate a transcript in as little as five minutes, but depending on how long yours are, they can take up to 12 hours.
However, they guarantee 99 percent accuracy, and they’ll notify you when your transcript is ready. If accuracy is more important to you than time, then Rev might well be the best choice for you. Even better, you can review your transcript and rate it so they know how they’re doing and can improve.
You can export the transcript to Word, PDF, or any other word-processing or text application that you like and upload it to your site or edit it if necessary.
GoTranscript supports 50 languages and is geared towards complex podcasts, especially those in STEM and other technical fields. Unlike other live transcription services, GoTranscript produces transcripts with a high degree of accuracy with even the most challenging audio. Depending on what your podcast is about, that may be exactly what you need.
Like Rev, GoTranscript’s turnaround time is on the high end of things, around six to 12 hours. If you prefer accuracy over time, they will work well for you. All you do is upload your file, pay the fee, and get your transcripts delivered into your email box.
Do It Yourself
You can transcribe your podcasts yourself if you’re willing to do a little extra work. You still don’t have to learn how to transcribe, so there’s no need to worry about that. There are a couple of hacks involving speech-to-text software you can use for free.
Google launched Live Transcribe as an accessibility tool for the deaf and hard of hearing. It writes down people’s words so you know what they’re saying. It also alerts you to things like your doorbell, a dog barking, etc.
However, you can use it to transcribe podcasts, too. When you open it, it starts writing what it hears automatically. You need to be certain that your podcast is the loudest and clearest sound in the room to get any degree of accuracy, though.
You can save it in the app for up to three days. In that time, you can copy and paste it into a text app or email and send it to yourself for editing and uploading to your website.
Doing a transcription this way is free but will require more editing than any other transcript service or generator out there. These transcripts are reasonably accurate, but not nearly to the degree that professional podcast transcripts and those generated by automatic apps and websites are.
Apple Dictation Apps
Apple has multiple dictation and speech-to-text apps in its App Store. One of them is a speech-to-text app called Transcribe. It is likewise straightforward to use. All you do is open it, and it starts transcribing. It supports over 120 languages and lets you import files from apps and Dropbox, making it easy for you to import your podcasts.
You can transcribe videos and voice messages with Transcribe, so you shouldn’t have a problem transcribing a podcast, too. You can also convert audio from multiple sources into text that’s ready for people to read.
Should you need to edit, though, you’ll have to put it into your favorite text editor.
Another good one for podcast transcription is Ada Dictation. It’s quite possibly one of the most accurate speech-to-text apps when it comes to creating transcripts. One feature that makes it stand out is that you can edit your transcripts right in the app before copying and pasting or exporting them to a text app.
Ada gives you more flexibility than other apps and services because you don’t have to be online to work. You get a level of privacy while you’re working that’s unavailable elsewhere, too. If that’s important to you, Ada might be a good fit for you.
While Ada has an upfront cost, Transcribe is free, but with in-app purchases. To unlock Transcribe’s features, you need to buy them. In Ada; you don’t have to do that.
Promoting a podcast takes a lot of ingenuity, and an easy thing to add to your promotions plan is podcast transcriptions. You improve your SEO, and influencers and celebrities can more easily quote and credit you. You also get the added benefit of putting text on your site for people to read as they listen.
There are several ways to transcribe your podcasts, so you don’t have to learn transcription yourself to do it. Whether you use a transcription service, an automatic transcription generator, or a speech-to-text hack, you can easily create the transcripts you need to build your audience and exposure.
If you’re looking for someone to voice your podcast, sign up for a Voices account today.