Sept. 18, 2020

Do I Need Transcripts For My Podcast?


#022 - Transcripts are becoming a bigger discussion topic day by day. So, do you need them? What are the pros and cons of transcripts? How do I get transcriptions of my show? These are all valid questions, let's explore.

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Transcript

NOTE: This transcript was automatically created with the help of AI. There may still be a few errors or inaccuracies.

Do you script to your podcast? Do you write out word for word what you're going to say?

I'm sure some of you do. I mean, if you have a storytelling podcast, it makes sense. But what about an interview? Is that scripted? Do you know what your guest is going to say word for word?

I certainly hope not. That would get pretty boring pretty quickly, I think.

So we have two questions to answer today. Number one, why do I need transcriptions? And number two, how do I get transcriptions? Let's figure it out.

Podcast Better is for you, the podcaster or soon to be podcaster, who has a business a cause or a hobby that you're passionate about. Each week, we'll take a closer look at the mental, physical, and technical skills necessary to produce a quality show that your fans will want to listen to. Thanks for sharing part of your day with me so that we can podcast better, together.

Welcome, welcome, welcome fellow podcaster back to another episode of Podcast Better today we are discussing the need for transcriptions and how to get transcriptions.

So first I want to tackle "Why do you need transcriptions?" And need is still subjective, of course, but this is your show, it's your podcast. Everything that you do with it is subjective. It's up to you how you want to run your show.

But I will say that there are a number of reasons that I would advocate for having transcriptions. There are reasons that will benefit both you and there are reasons that will benefit your listener.

And even if there weren't reasons that benefited you as the host, I would say, if it's going to make things better for your listener, that should be enough to convince you to move forward, because everything you do for your podcast, if it's going to make a better experience for your listener, why wouldn't you want to do that?

So first of all, it's going to be more convenient for your listener. Sometimes people don't have an hour to sit down and listen to your show. They don't have the commute. They don't have the time away from the kids, they don't have the time in the day where they can sit down and focus for an hour listening to what you and your guests have to say, in that case, let them read it.

Give them another option. Let them read through a transcript of the episode.

Wouldn't you rather that they are still consuming your content on a regular basis, even if even if they're not giving you a listener a play or a download? Wouldn't you rather that they're still consuming the content? I know I would.

And there's the fact of the matter that some people just don't like podcasts people like to consume content in different ways.

And this goes along the same lines, if you have the content that the person is looking for, let them consume it however they want to consume it, give them options. And adding a transcript is one way you can do that. The transcript also, on top of broadening your audience to people who don't like to listen to podcasts lends itself to accessibility.

There are people who just simply can't listen to podcasts because they've lost their hearing for some reason or another. And how are you going to cater to them?

I know some of you do use a video podcast. And I'm hoping that video podcast has subtitles.

But it's the same idea, right?

The subtitles are there so people can consume the content, how they want to consume the content. So they don't have to have the volume turned on all the time or they're hard of hearing, and they can still consume your content by reading the words on the screen.

That's the same thing we're looking at here with transcripts. So by having a transcript you are opening yourself up to a much larger audience.

And then on the other side of things, transcripts provide great SEO value.

Search Engine Optimization. I think most people are familiar with that term now. Search engine optimization is how you help Google and other search engines, find your site, find your content.

And while they're getting better at it, search engines typically don't search through pure audio content. So if you have a written transcription on your site, that is going to be something that Google can search very easily. And that is something that is going to bring people to your site, and maybe some of those people will become listeners of your podcast.

It's a whole big circle here, right?

You can put transcripts of your podcast onto your site to help those who want to consume your content differently or need to consume your content differently. And in turn, that transcript is going to help other people find your site and become listeners of your podcast.

It's a fantastic cycle that helps everyone.

You really, really should be adding transcripts of your podcast to your website.

It's another reason to have a website. Can you see what I'm building up to here? Like I said, within the next week or two, there's going to be a full episode on why you should have a [website] and I've mentioned a few things in the past few episodes that lend to that theory.

In any case, I hope you're starting to see why you should have transcripts of your podcast on your website.

Now, how do you go about getting those?

Well, there are a few services out there that can help you. If you start searching, the number one result that you'll probably find is a place called rev.com. That's rev.com.

And in my opinion, at least Rev has kind of become the gold standard in transcription services.

There are a few podcast services they're already kind of integrated with. And they just seem to have slightly better results than other transcription services out there. However, because of that, they are also a little bit more expensive than other transcription services out there.

They have a cheaper automated plan that just runs it through their AI system and will get you pretty accurate results. Or if you have the money to throw at it, you can have it looked at by a human and I believe they promised like 99% accuracy or something like that.

It is a fantastic service, but it can get very expensive very quickly, especially if you produce a lot of episodes or if you have longer episodes, because they charge by the minute it's going to get expensive.

So what other options are out there? Well, you have an option called Temi, that's temi.com.

They're very similar to Rev. They're pretty similarly priced too. So maybe not really another option yet, but it is a top competitor if you're looking at someone else.

And the third option I've seen, I've recommended, I've tried is otter.ai. That's otter.ai.

The best part I find about Otter is that they have a free plan, but it's a little finicky if you don't know what you're doing.

You have to be a little bit more proactive with it than I initially thought when I started using it.

I figured I could simply record my podcast episodes and then upload the file to Otter and go from there. And you can do that on some of the paid plans.

On the free plan though you're limited to how many episodes you can import, but they do have another option, which is what I've started to do now. And each time you sit down to record an episode, simply make sure you have a window open to otter.ai and press the record button over there. And it will start transcribing live.

Everything that you are saying in your podcast, everything that your guest is saying in your podcast. So by the time you are done recording your podcast, you will have a transcription of your podcast ready to go.

Now once again, this is all done with AI, it is all done automatically. There's no humans looking over this. So you might want to look over it yourself, fix whatever errors may be in there.

Or because I know that can be very time consuming to actually read through the transcription, find all the errors, figure out what you were actually saying instead of what was printed there.

The other option you have is to just copy and paste it as is onto your website with a little disclaimer upfront and say: "This transcription was created automatically, it may have some errors or inaccuracies in it."

Now personally, I would at least for the first few episodes, run through the transcription, and see how many errors are there, see if there's any common things that it just doesn't know how to spell or doesn't understand what you're saying.

Learn to look for those and fix those, especially if they're important parts, maybe a name of a product, or a name of a website. Those are things that you probably want to get correct. And especially if it's a website or a product that you are affiliated with, that someone might be searching for. That's something you would want to have correct in the transcript.

So when someone searches for it in Google that they are going to actually get the result of your page.

But honestly, Otter is the best option that I have discovered so far. It has a free option. There is a limit on how much you can record for free and how long you can record for free, but it's free. And if you really like what they have to offer, it might just be worth putting some money into it.

So that's the basics of it, folks.

Do you need transcriptions? No, there are plenty of podcasts out there that do not use transcriptions.

But if you want to get a step ahead of the game, if you want to serve your audience, make it easy and convenient for your listeners to consume your content, how they want to consume your content when they want to consume your content in the time they have allotted to consume your content, then I think by all means you should be using transcripts.

By providing transcripts on your website, you're essentially creating a blog, except you don't actually have to write the blog. It's just transcriptions of your podcast.

But there is important information in there. There are nuggets of wisdom scattered throughout your podcast. And if people can search for those on Google or any other search engine that they may be using, that is going to help everybody.

It's going to help them find the information they're looking for. It's going to help you get new listeners, new followers, a bigger audience, it's good for everybody.

So once again, if you're looking for sources to help you create transcriptions, head over to rev.com, temi.com, or otter.ai. I will have links to all of those in the show notes. And I hope you'll take advantage of some of them because they are fantastic services.

And like I said, they're going to help you. You're going to help your listeners, you're going to help search engines the search engines are going to help you and it's a beautiful, beautiful system.

That's all I have for now. I hope you understand why I hope you start using transcriptions. I hope you understand why I have started using transcriptions. I hope you'll consider it.

If you find a better solution out there, please contact me. Let me know what that might be. I would love to hear from you.

That's all for now. So we'll talk soon.

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