Podcast Transcription: A Complete Guide

Learn how podcast transcription can help you get discovered and expand your message to reach a wider audience. 

If you’re a podcaster and content creator, you might be tempted to write off podcast transcription altogether as an unnecessary expense. However, transcribing your podcast is a valuable investment that will help you reach a wider audience and gain new listeners. 

In this article, we’ll break down everything you need to know about transcribing podcasts so you can start building your audience—and your brand. But first, let’s dive into exactly why podcast transcription is valuable for you and your listeners.


Why is Transcribing Your Podcast So Important?

Whether you’re thinking about starting a podcast or already have an extensive back catalog, you may be wondering—should you include a transcript on your website of your podcast? After all, isn’t the audio enough? While it’s true that audio is a crucial part of your podcast, there are several benefits to offering listeners a transcript of each episode.

  1. Reach a Wider Audience

First of all, transcription can help you reach a wider audience of non podcast listeners. Not everyone enjoys listening to podcasts, but many people are willing to read transcripts or blog posts based on transcripts at their leisure. What’s more, transcription also makes your podcast more accessible to those who are deaf or hard of hearing—it’s a win-win. 

  1. Make Your Podcast More User-Friendly & Accessible 

Have you ever heard something interesting on a podcast but couldn’t remember the exact timestamp? Transcription makes it easy for your listeners to go back and find the part of the episode they would like to hear again. This is especially important when you have an extensive back catalog of episodes. 

  1. Boost Your SEO

Transcription can help you boost traffic from search engine optimization like crazy. Transcripts allow you to rank in search engine results pages for keywords and phrases people are searching for to direct people to your website. This can help your podcast appear in front of precisely the right audience, making it more likely that people who love content just like yours will find and listen to your episodes.

  1. Enjoy Hassle-Free Supplemental Content Creation

Transcription can help you create supplemental content for your website and entire digital stack. For example, you could create blog posts or social media posts solely based on the contents of your transcript, effectively doubling your content production. This is an efficient way to promote your podcast and drive traffic back to your website or blog—all while saving you the time and energy of creating something brand new.  

How to Get a Transcript of Podcast Content

At this point, it’s pretty clear—if you aren’t already transcribing your podcasts, you’re missing out on tons of bonus benefits that could come along with your audio content. So if you’re ready to start turning your podcasts into transcripts, here are several ways you can make it happen. 

  1. Transcribe it Yourself

The cheapest and most straightforward way to transcribe a podcast is to listen and write the words yourself. This option is worth considering if your podcast is relatively short, if your podcast is scripted, or if you’re an incredible typist. However, completing a DIY transcription can be tedious, especially if you release more than one or two episodes a month. If you value your time more than your money (and sometimes wasting your time on transcription also means wasting your money) this may not be the best option for you. 

  1. Use Speech-to-Text Tools

Another option is to use speech-to-text software to transcribe your podcast. Speech-to-text tools, otherwise known as AI transcription  will give you a rough transcription of your audio in real-time. Then, you can manually make punctuation, formatting, and accuracy revisions. Many people like this option because it offers lightning-fast transcription at the push of a button—but don’t be surprised if you have to spend some time editing the transcript for accuracy and formatting after the fact.

  1. Use a Transcription Service

If you like saving time and money, using a professional transcription service is the solution you’ve been waiting for. You can find professional transcriptionists on websites such as Speakwrite who will deliver polished, ready to use transcription documents. Unlike with AI transcription tools, a human transcriptionist will ensure accuracy and proper formatting. These professionals can get the job done in as little as three hours. 

Best Tools for Podcast Transcription

Nowadays, if you want to transcribe your podcast, there are many transcription tools to help you, from AI-powered transcription tools to white-glove transcription services. Here are a few popular options to consider. 


SpeakWrite offers 100% human transcription in as little as three hours. A professional transcriptionist will listen to your podcast, type the transcription, and format it precisely to your specifications. The transcription will be ready to post as soon as you get it—no editing needed. 


Otter.ai is a popular AI transcription service that uses AI language processing to transcribe audio. Otter is a great option if you are on a budget and don’t mind doing a bit of “cleanup” to perfect your transcription. Expect to tweak things like formatting, spelling, and punctuation before it’s ready to post. 


Rev is another service that offers both AI and human transcription. It’s pretty well-regarded and has a number of pricing tiers, so there’s something for everyone’s budget. If you go with the AI transcription service, you will need to budget some extra time for editing. 


Similar to Rev, Descript has both AI and human transcription. It’s an affordable option for podcast transcription, but like Rev, the AI transcription service isn’t perfect. Set aside half an hour or more to do some moderate editing. 


Temi offers basic, AI-powered transcription instantaneously. And while it’s certainly quick and affordable, you will likely need to go back through the text and edit for accuracy and formatting.  

What Are the Most Important Aspects of a Podcast Transcription Service?

If you’re thinking about using a podcast transcription service, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind before you invest your hard earned money. Here are the hallmarks of an excellent podcast transcription service—be sure to take notes. 


First and foremost, accuracy is key. So you’ll want to make sure that the service you choose can deliver transcripts that are free of errors. If you choose an AI transcription service, you will likely need to go back through your transcript after the fact and correct any mistranscribed words or phrases.

While it may take slightly longer, human transcription services are far more accurate and can save you the hassle of editing the transcript. Be on the lookout for services that at least offer human transcription as an option. 


When looking for a podcast transcription service, you need to find one that offers high-quality, custom formatting options. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a transcript that’s difficult to read and nowhere near ready to post on your website. 

Instant or AI transcription services may not generate a readable transcript since they aren’t programmed to respond to formatting requirements.With human transcription services, you’ll receive your podcast transcript in an easily-readable format that’s ready to copy and paste into your blog. 

Turnaround Time

People consume content like wildfire these days, so you’ll want to consider how fast the turnaround time is for receiving your transcript. If you need transcripts quickly, look for a fast transcription service that can turn transcriptions around promptly. A word of caution—be advised that instant or AI-driven transcription services require extra time for manual editing and formatting (and they charge extra, too!)


While it may be tempting to opt for the lowest-price transcription service, the quality of work may not be up to scratch. As with any service, if you don’t invest the money, you’ll have to invest the time on the back end. 

If you have extra time to dedicate to finishing the transcription yourself, a low-cost AI transcription service may be perfectly suitable. But if you want your transcription ready for readers when you receive the finished product, consider a human transcription service instead. 

What Does a Transcribed Podcast Look Like?

Here are a few examples of podcast transcription. Notice how they’re accurate, well-formatted, and accompanied by timestamps.

This American Life

This transcript is generated using AI and human transcription.


Freakonomics offers a great example of accurate, well-formatted podcast transcription.


NPR’s Invisibilia has an easily readable transcript for each episode. 

The Bottom Line 

Podcast transcription can be a great way to make your content more accessible and engaging for listeners—all while boosting your website’s SEO. There are several ways to get a podcast transcript no matter your budget, and your listeners will definitely appreciate that you took the time to offer a readable transcript. 

If you’re looking for a reliable and affordable podcast transcription service, Speakwrite is here to help. We offer 100% human transcription services at competitive prices. To see if Speakwrite is right for you, take advantage of our free trial today.