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How to Transcribe Your Podcast

Steve

Steve Bennet-Martin has been podcasting since January 1 st , 2020.

Why and How to Transcribe Your Podcasts

Podcasting is an audio exclusive platform, so why spend the time, energy, and potentially money on putting our spoken word into writing? You may be correct in thinking that a large portion of your listeners will not benefit from you transcribing your podcast. The other portion, though, would otherwise find your podcast inaccessible, or at the very least, not user-friendly.  While we all love helping make our podcast more accessible for all, the fact of the matter is that transcribing will also help your podcast become easier to find online too.

The beauty of podcasting is that our words have the power to affect everyone who our message can reach. According to the World Health Organization, over 5% of the world’s population has disabling hearing loss – which equates to roughly 430 million people. If we do not manage to put our words into writing, we make our podcast either difficult or impossible to listen to and enjoy. However, that does not mean those individuals should be unable to read what we have to say, which requires it to be transcribed.

It is also worth noting that there are individuals who have no hearing impairments that enjoy reading podcasts. I love listening to podcasts, but occasionally someone mentions something I cannot exactly make out but that piques my interest – normally in the form of TV shows, video games, places, websites, products, etc. In those cases, being able to scroll over to read the transcript and find out how it is written is a huge convenience.  I would also bet money that there are a small handful of individuals out there that just prefer reading podcasts over listening, even when they can hear just fine. 

Now that we have gotten all the noble reasons out of the way, let us just say the big reason – it improves your Search Engine Optimization. For those of you not familiar with SEO, you can simplify it as “how google-able you are.” Only those who are extremely strategic or lucky in creating their podcast name can get their podcast to show up in search results when looking for it by name without a little help. Having a website is vital, even if it is just the one that typically comes with your podcast hosting, like with Buzzsprout. But what if you can find your podcast not only by its name, but by every word you talk about? It will not happen naturally – computers read, they do not listen. You must transcribe your podcast to make every word, phrase, and sentence searchable. 

How does someone go about transcribing their podcast? There is the obvious but painful way of listening to your podcast and typing out every single word and punctuation. This is a great solution for those who do not have expendable income and have all the time in the world, but it does require a certain skill to be able to transcribe accurately and not be driven mad. 

There is a middle of the road solution, which would be using a subscription service like Descript to do it for you. Their transcription services use computer magic to automatically transcribe your podcast with 80-90% effectiveness. You can upload that as-is, but keep in mind that your podcast will read like ‘that friend’ everyone has that uses voice to text but never bothers to read if it came out clearly. Only having to correct 10-20% of your podcast is certainly better than having to do its entirety at least!

The most convenient and effective way to get professional level transcriptions for your podcast is to leave it to us experts. Our team at KJST has all the tools and time at our disposal to turn your podcast and audio into accurate and easy to read transcriptions for your podcast. If you are interested in taking your podcast to the next level with our transcription services, click here!

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Pod Pivot

Steve

Steve Bennet-Martin has been podcasting since January 1 st , 2020.

Don’t Pod-Fade; Pod-Pivot! 

Almost two years ago, I decided I wanted to create my own podcast, and I knew at its inception that I caught lightning in the bottle. As a huge fan of so many kinds of podcasts, mine would be the perfect amalgamation of them all. A Lifetime of Happiness was going to tackle the topics of aging, mental health, society, memories, and differences between the generations. It’d be discussed in a brilliant format that combined narrative, interviews, social commentary, and listener voicemails. The best part of it all- after reading an article or two I knew ALL there was to podcasting and how to do it with a minimal investment.  

Spoiler alert- that is not what A Lifetime of Happiness was destined to become. It took me just over a year to get my podcast to become the well-oiled machine it is now and is so different from its origin that my pilot is unrecognizable. No matter what struggles my podcast went through during its freshman year, there was one thing I knew I needed to avoid at all costs- podfading. 

Podfading is one of those industry terms where most people can figure out what it means either way. Podcasts fade, or stop, the same way radio and TV shows fade. The reason why it has its own term in the industry is because it is unfortunately extremely common for something that is ultimately optional. As of December 2020, of the 1.74 million podcasts on Apple Podcasts only 990,000 have produced content in the past 90 days. Thanks to my husband’s math skills, that means that only 60.1% of podcasts you can listen to are virtually ‘reruns’ with little to no chance of future content. The only way I was able to stop my podcast from becoming another failed statistic was to pivot. 

I had multiple issues with my podcast at its inception but the only one that could stop me was myself. Over the past year I have managed to identify step-by-step what I could do better, and I did them. When I listened back to my podcast, I knew I needed help with the audio quality. Once the audio quality was fixed, I realized I needed a cohost who shared my passion and concept. Once we were on board, we attempted to make the podcast local, recruiting our friends as guests. While the interview style worked for a while, ultimately it was difficult with our busy work schedules to hunt down locals and ‘sell them’ on being on a free podcast. However, we looked back at our catalogue and remembered the few episodes we did when COVID happened where we discussed some of our favorite movies and tv shows. There was something there, and we decided to chase it. 

Chasing the concept of a pop-culture podcast where it is ultimately my husband and I talking about the things that make us happy is what A Lifetime of Happiness was meant to be all along. However, it was my acknowledgment that my podcast can pivot and twist and evolve that made it become the podcast it is today. 

Whether you are just starting your podcast journey, or if your podcast is in full swing, my biggest advice to you would be the ability to podpivot. When something with your podcast is not working, listen back and ask yourself what isn’t working or what could be better. If you cannot figure it out yourself, ask a friend. Keep in mind things like listeners only come with time. Pivoting is to make the format work for you and your schedule and your interests and what keeps you going.  

If you need help pivoting or creating your podcast, reach out to us today HERE! 

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Why Show Summaries Matter in Podcasts

Steve

Steve Bennet-Martin has been podcasting since January 1 st , 2020.
When it comes to podcasting, show notes can be almost as important as the material itself. Podcasting is growing exponentially but there is still more of a demand than there is product. Sure- there are those podcasts that you learn to search out – most likely because a friend or another podcast you listened to recommended it.

I remember one of my favorite adolescent activities was to stroll up and down the aisles of Blockbuster studying every movie they had on the shelf. No matter the app you are using, the experience of finding new podcasts vs. finding that rental is virtually the same. There are a few rare times where you know exactly what you want before you even walk into the store. You search for it, find it, and you are on your way. It worked for Scream back in the day and it works for My Dad Wrote a Porno today.

What happens when you do not know what podcast you want to listen to? You browse through the app, the same we used to at Blockbuster. You find the genre you are looking for – True Crime. You then look through that section and wow – there are so many to choose from!

At times, the logo will be enough for someone to download the episode, but those are rare occurrences. Most of the time, after you open the show, then you read the summary. What is their show about? You read it there – all the ugly details, the nuance, the character, the… oh wait… do you need to check yours right now to see what it even says? It is sad but true that this is something that is neglected the moment you fill it out your summary the first time and hit save. Once you are done with it, you typically never look back.

How does one summarize themselves in 250 words or less? While humanity has begun this traditional since the birth of the love note, it has never gotten easier over time or with the new ways we put our best foot forward. Show notes should get the same love and attention any dating profile would get if you were single, or any marriage would get if you were married. You may use the app or love the person every day, but you should also step back every now and then and look at it and ask yourself “What is this?”

While many shows find themselves and their concept on autopilot, that is not the usual experience for even the most thought-out podcast and shows. Your show will change and grow and pivot and evolve and mutate into things you never imagined it to become. Whether those changes are on a conceptional level or just a molecular level, you likely will change the way you summarize your show over time.
Even if it takes the help of Siri or Alexa or Google or your mom, remind yourself to check your show summary now and then. Does it summarize your show the way you would like it to? Does it include what your listeners can expect? Does it show your personality? Remember – these aren’t questions that should be asked the first time you fill in the summary. These are questions you ask yourself whenever your show makes a change, but it doesn’t hurt to set a quarterly reminder to check them just in case you forget. After experimenting with 8 different formats over 2 podcasts in 1 year, trust me – being flexible is important, but it will not help your show if your summary doesn’t match or jive with your format!
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Podcasting’s Power of Perception

Steve

Steve Bennet-Martin has been podcasting since January 1 st , 2020
While my list of reasons why I podcast is a mile along, one of the most unique benefits to podcasting is the power of perception. With most forms of media, it is clear the difference between high budget projects and independent ones. On television, we are trained to expect more from shows that are on during prime time or that are aired on ‘primary’ channels or apps. Before COVID, we were trained that movies released straight to DVD or streaming were ‘less than’ movies in theatres. Even radio, a predecessor, has the reputation for quality programming being on certain stations at certain times, with a difference in quality between the day hosts and midnight crew. One beautiful thing about podcasting is that when a new listener finds your podcast, it is impossible to make that judgement.

If you learn to control your podcast’s perception, then there is nothing stopping your listeners from believing your podcast is just as successful as your favorite podcast of all time. Becoming a successful podcaster takes education, research, and a bit of luck, but one of your first steps should always be asking yourself what the listener experience will be like. How do you judge your podcasts? At what point do you hit subscribe? At what point do you consider yourself a listener or fan? All these answers are quickly determined by how the listener perceives your podcast. In other media forms you would have preconceived notions of the content’s availability, time it airs, how polished it is, etc. However, all podcasts are perceived as equal.

The first way you control your podcasts perception is the logo. We live in a visual society so whether you are browsing through categories in your podcatcher of choice or searching for a specific topic, there is a very good chance that when the results pop up that your eyes are not drawn to their title, but their logo. Like most visual medians, there is a science to logo design, and that is why there are artists and companies designed around helping you create them. If you are gifted enough to be able to design your own logo, then make some variations. Think you have ‘the one?’ Put that logo in a line up with another podcast artwork of a similar genre/topic. Does its quality stand up? Does its aesthetic stand out? Once you have the perfect podcast artwork, you are that much closer to getting more listeners!

Getting a listener is important but turning a listener into a followers/subscriber is your goal and the two big hurdles will be your content and audio quality. Help with your content is best done via reaching out to us directly. However, your audio quality is something you can easily control. Do you have the recording equipment you need to collect quality audio? You might need equipment, but it could also be the recording space. When audio goes wrong it goes horribly wrong. When you listen to your audio make sure it is clear, and if it is not, then you might want to consider re-recording that part or episode. Don’t sweat small things- let your guests stammer here and there as they search for a thought and don’t be afraid of the occasional “um”, but the overall quality should be as good as the podcasts you are fans of.

Lastly, your language you use in your podcast controls how your audience perceives you. Words always have power – it is why we podcast, so talk to your listeners like you already have a million of them. Does your friend listen to your podcast and give you feedback or a comment on an episode? Bring it up during your next recording by saying that a listener reached out to say this thing rather than saying ‘my friend’ – both are true, but which makes you sound more successful? Another way people often discuss their own podcast is via reading out or acknowledging listener reviews. It’s natural to be so excited to get that (usually rarer than we’d prefer) review that we want to scream it from the rooftops.

Scream away, but when you announce that listener review make it sound like your reviewer is the lucky one to be getting that acknowledgment. You and I know that’s not true, but if this is our first date with a new listener, then do we really want to sound desperate? If you talk to your listeners like there are thousands of them and you continue to produce good content that you market properly, then the thousands will come. When you start your podcast, remember this is the one format where you can choose how new viewers approach your podcast. These three steps are three big pieces of a much bigger puzzle to have a successful podcast that takes advantage of the medium. At the end of the day, though, it will always be your content and your reliability that keeps your listens turning into downloads and your downloads into fans. We are lucky enough to be at the point in podcasting that it is one of the most accessible platforms for new content creators, so take advantage of what your podcast will become.

If you need more assistance with turning your podcast into a success, don’t forget to reach out to Kayden or myself here