Why & How To Create A Podcast Transcript

Last updated on June 2nd, 2020

If you’re spending the time and energy creating podcast episodes, it’s important to make your content as accessible and discoverable as possible. You can add a ton of value to each episode with a podcast transcript. 

What Is A Podcast Transcript?

A podcast transcript is a word-for-word account of your episodes. You or an automated software simply listen to your episode and write down every word spoken by you or your guests. 

You can’t publish your podcast transcriptions on the big podcast directories like Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Spotify, but you can post it on your own podcast website. It’s best to include a transcription for each episode on the same page as your audio player and show notes.

The Benefits Of a Podcast Transcript

Why should you include podcast episode transcriptions alongside your audio files? They have several benefits.

1. Podcast transcriptions make your episodes more accessible

According to the World Health Organization, 5% of people struggle with some kind of disabling hearing impairment. Podcasting is an audio-first medium, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make your content available to people with hearing impairments.

An audio transcription gives people with hearing loss a way to enjoy your amazing content. They might use it to supplement the parts they can’t hear or they might read it through entirely.

Podcast episode transcriptions also make your show accessible to non-native speakers. You can help them out by putting that content in written form for them to look up.

2. Transcripts maximize your SEO reach

Your show notes are valuable ways to help Google understand what your episodes are about, but notes only create a few hundred words. That’s hardly the type of long form content Google likes to show at the top of its results.

A podcast transcript, however, can reach 6,000 words from a 30 minute episode. That’s a ton of content that creates a massive SEO boost for your website, which ultimately makes it easier for new listeners to find your content. 

3. Podcasts with transcripts have more backlink opportunities

Most content creators avoid linking to podcast episodes without a podcast transcript because there’s nothing for their readers/followers to explore without listening to an entire episode.

However, content creators don’t mind linking to podcast episodes with podcast transcripts because their readers/followers have something to explore without committing to a full episode or following a lot of steps. So if you want more backlinks (great for SEO!), publish transcriptions. 

4. A podcast transcript creates content you can repurpose

A podcast transcript is a valuable bank of written copy you can use to create other forms of content. You might use it for email marketing campaigns, social media posts, or infographics. Many podcasters use their transcriptions as sources for blog articles. 

How To Create a Podcast Transcript

Now that you understand the benefits of a podcast transcript, you’ll need to understand how to create them for your site. 

How to write a podcast transcription yourself

Writing your own podcast transcription is pretty straightforward: Just listen to your episode and write what you and your guests say. 

This method just costs your time. A 30-minute episode could take two to three hours to transcribe with pausing and rewinding. After transcribing a few episodes, most podcasters decide that their time is better spent producing content. 

You can speed up the process of creating your own podcast transcript with a voice-to-text app that automatically types whatever you speak. Let it run while you record your episode and it will capture the audio and record it as text. You’ll still need to clean up the app’s output, however.

If you want your episodes transcribed by a human, but don’t want to do it yourself, your only option is to pay someone to do it. This is expensive. The cheapest services cost about $0.50/minute of audio, which is five times the price of our automated service. If you need a native speaker (and you do), that price can be higher. 

How to create a transcript using a podcast transcription service

The easiest way to add a transcription to each podcast is to let software do it automatically. 

If you use Castos as your podcast host, our transcription service will automatically transcribe a full, word-for-word account of each episode. We’ve teamed up with the industry leading text-to-voice technology provider to offer an entirely seamless transcription experience that is available to all of our Castos hosting customers. If you’ve already published episodes with Castos, you can even go back and transcribe previous episodes.

If you don’t use Castos to host your podcast, you can use an automated transcription service like Rev or Descript. (Rev is our favorite. We like it so much that we use it to power our transcription feature.)

Four Examples Of Great Podcast Transcripts

Need inspiration? Here are some examples of shows who include podcast episode transcriptions in aesthetically pleasing and user friendly ways. 

1. This American Life podcast transcript

This American Life keeps their pages need by adding a link to the transcript at the top of the page.

This American Life podcast transcript link
This American Life creates new blog posts for each episode they publish.

Clicking that link takes you to a new page with the full transcript.

Full podcast transcript for This American Life
This American Life episode transcript featured on their website.

This method doesn’t concentrate SEO value on one page, but it’s an easy experience for the user. There’s a link from the transcript back to the episode anyway, so if a Google search brings you to the transcript, there’s an easy path to listen. 

2. Freakonomics Radio podcast transcript

Freakonomics takes a pretty standard approach. They publish their podcast episode transcriptions right beneath their introduction paragraph. They put the whole piece in quotes so you know can identify the transcript at a glance. 

Freakanomics podcast transcript
Freakanomics Radio posts full transcriptions below every episode.

3. Masters of Scale podcast transcript

Masters of Scale takes their podcast pages very seriously. Each page is well designed with lots of information, including custom photography from the interview. The last element on the page is this nicely formatted transcript. 

Masters of Scale podcast transcript
Masters of Scale post polished episode transcriptions, making it very easy for listeners to follow along.

4. StoryCorps podcast transcript

This is another podcast with a button to read the transcript. It’s right under the title, so visitors can’t miss it.

Story Corps podcast transcript
StoryCorps includes a link to their transcriptions in the same place for every episode so it’s easy for their listeners to find every time.

However, unlike This American Life, StoryCorps keeps all the content on the same page in a popup overlay. This concentrates the SEO value while also keeping things organized.

Story Corps full podcast transcript
StoryCorps episode transcriptions are featured in a popup window instead of as a separate page.

Where To Include Podcast Transcriptions

You have a few options when it comes to making your podcast episode transcriptions available to your readers. Choose the option that’s right for your show and your listeners. 

  • On each episode’s page. (Recommended method.) Post each transcription directly beneath your show notes and audio player on a blog page. This way everything relating to that episode is in one easy to find place and Google knows what the page is about. 
  • Podcast transcript collection page. A transcript collection page is simply a page on your website that’s dedicated to podcast episode transcripts. If you don’t have many episodes, or if your episodes are short, you can post all of your transcripts on the same page. Otherwise, you’re collection page would contain a list of links to each transcript.
  • Downloadable transcripts. Another method is to make the transcript downloadable. Upload the document to your website and create a link to that file on the episode’s page. The downside, however, is that you lose all of the benefits we listed above. Downloadable documents aren’t accessible, don’t help SEO, and people don’t link to them.

How Castos Transcription Works

Every episode you publish on the Castos platform can be automatically transcribed into a full, word-for-word account of your episode. We’ve teamed up with the industry leading text-to-voice technology provider, Rev, to offer an entirely seamless transcription experience that is available to all of our Castos hosting customers.

All you need to do is head over to our Integrations section and subscribe to the Transcription feature. This is an account-wide setting that will apply to all of the podcasts that you host with Castos.

From that point forward all of your podcast episodes will be automatically transcribed for you and sent directly back to your Castos dashboard within that episode details area.

From there you can copy/paste the transcription into your website if you’d like, or export a PDF copy of the transcription to offer as a download for your listeners.

Transcribing previous podcast episodes

If you’ve already been publishing episodes with us at Castos for some time you can even go back and transcribe previous episodes.

In the Integrations -> Transcription area of your Castos dashboard you’ll see a list of all episodes that have already been transcribed, and those that have not. There you have the option to manually trigger a transcription job of those previous episodes.

Billing information

Castos’ automated transcription service is a pay-as-you-go feature which you’re free to subscribe to and/or cancel at any time. There is a $0.10/audio minute charge associated with the transcription, and this will be included in your monthly Castos hosting bill.

So, for instance, if you publish weekly episodes that are all 30 minutes long you would have 120 minutes of audio each month. The transcription bill for that would be 120 minutes x $0.10/minute for an additional $12 on top of your existing Castos bill.

Time To Get Started

As you can see, a podcast transcript for each episode offers numerous benefits. Your show becomes more accessible, easier to link to, and more valuable in Google’s eyes. It’s not that difficult with the right tools. If the biggest podcasts in the world are doing it, so should you.

Ready to transcribe your podcast episodes and increase the reach and accessibility of your show? Check out Castos’ Transcription service today and see what a difference it can make for your podcast. Or read our Transcription Support Resources on how easy it is to set up.

Get started with Castos today

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