When we think about starting a podcast, the first thing that comes to mind is making sure that the sound is perfect. It’s the obvious point of departure when entering an audio medium like podcasting. But did you know that having forms of text is important to ensure a successful podcast?
There are many instances where having something written down adds value to your podcast. From having a script and transcribing your podcast to your podcast’s show notes and written description. These text-based elements will help you develop and refine your podcast. It will lead to incredible content for your audience and make it easier for you to construct and market your podcast.
We have a lot to get through in this article, so fasten your seatbelts and prepare for our crash course on why having text is important for a successful podcast.
Our first lesson on the importance of having forms of text in your podcast is making sure that your podcast has a script. A good script is like a trampoline: It is grounded and has a solid structure but can change according to each bounce. In this case, the bounce refers to any changes that may happen during the recording of your podcast.
In any event, a great script will be the tool that launches your podcast into the rich air of success.
Related Read: Do You Need to Script Your Podcast?
Clear, Concise and Valuable Content
Scripting your podcast is a wonderful way to make sure that you are saying exactly what you want to say. You will be able to capture your voice and tone and refine it to a point that aligns with your brand and the intended message for your audience.
Having a script for your podcast will prevent any deviation from your initial intention. As you write your script, you will be able to ensure that your key message is carried throughout the entire script. You’ll then be able to record freely, without worrying about saying something outside of your podcast’s vision.
During recording, keep checking on your script to make sure that you are still on track with your overall message. Sticking to your key message will help your listeners identify you as a brand. That will help towards building your brand image with each carefully cultivated podcast.
A script also allows you to fully immerse in providing valuable content for your audience. You can edit your script over and over again until it is as perfect as you want it to be. Polished, written content will keep your audience engaged and hungry for more.
Related Read: How To Improve Your Podcast Creative Writing Skills.
The second important aspect of scripting your podcast is that a script provides your show with a structure. This template for your show will make the recording itself flow better, whilst keeping your content captivating and easy to digest.
A script will make it easier to structure chats within your podcast so that no points of conversation drag on longer than they should. A conversation can sound natural even when it is scripted. A script just makes it cleaner (without any mistakes) and ensures that no important bits of information are lost.
Having a structure to your podcast will make you more comfortable in front of the mic. You won’t be nervous about what you have to say. Instead, you will know exactly what needs to be mentioned, and when. Then you can focus on other aspects of the recording, like your delivery.
Time is a crucial element of podcasting. Within your chosen format, you will need to know exactly how long your podcast needs to be in order to appeal to your target audience. A script will allow you to structure your podcast within the correct time frame.
You should add every little detail to the script. You can include sound bites, breaks for ad placements, and even note the pauses where you anticipate laughter or a prolonged reaction.
All this will help you to record your podcast within the given timeframe and will make the editing process so much easier for you.
Writing a script for your podcast can be a daunting prospect. You’ll be thinking to yourself: “I thought I was just going to talk into a mic. Why do I have to become a writer?!”
Don’t worry! You don’t have to take it all on yourself. You can employ a writer or use speech-to-text technology. The important thing is that you have a script that allows you to structure your show; prevent any mistakes or forgotten pieces of information; and makes it easier for you to record within a set time, which leads to a simpler editing process.
Scripting your podcast is the major text-based element that is bound to set your podcast up for success. Any great audio that you record will have its roots in a solid script.
With practice, scripting your podcast gets much easier, and gives you the confidence to tackle the other important text-based aspects of podcasting.
The second module in our “importance of text” crash course is your podcast’s transcript. A transcript is every single word from your podcast written down, verbatim.
Transcripts can be overlooked as items of value for podcasts. But, when you take a closer look, their worth becomes undeniable.
Related read: The Importance of Podcast Transcripts.
Some Prefer To Read
Whilst podcasts are intended for those who want to consume audio content, there are still many people who prefer to get their information through reading. Some aren’t yet used to the idea of listening to podcasts and are more comfortable scrolling through articles.
Transcribe your podcast and publish it to your website so that you are still able to reach the members of your target market who prefer reading over listening. This will give you a higher chance of growing your audience and, who knows, maybe even entice a few to start listening to podcasts – beginning with yours, of course.
It is difficult to search online for audio content as search engines rarely index the information on audio files. Unless it’s in the title or description, the content of your podcast will not appear in web searches if it is not written down.
A transcript will improve the chances of your podcast showing up in web searches. Search engines are now able to index your episodes to make them available for an online search. Portions of your show’s dialogue will appear in searches as keywords and phrases and people will be more likely to stumble upon your podcast.
Another advantage of having a transcript is that your podcast will be exposed to people who are searching directly for content such as yours. Some may even find your podcast by mistake due to a shared interest in your podcast’s themes. Either way, it leads to greater visibility for your podcast and therefore a better chance of growing your audience.
And growing your audience is a sure way to ensure your podcast’s success.
If you have a detailed (word for word) script for your podcast then your transcript is basically complete. If not, then it’s worth taking the time and effort to transcribe your show.
The possibility of increasing your listeners is a great motivation for adding this text-based element to your podcast.
3. Show Notes
The penultimate pitstop in our race for learning the importance of having text in podcasts is show notes.
Show notes are a complete summary of any particular episode of your podcast. They highlight all the main talking points of that episode, as well as having information on guests, resources, sponsors, and even links to your social media pages or to other sites that have been discussed during the episode.
Show notes are a great way for the audience to gauge whether or not they want to listen to that episode of your podcast. People will be able to get a good idea of what the episode is all about and will have extra information on your podcast for them to make a decision.
If you only publish your podcast with its title, then your audience may lose the ‘meat’ of what that episode is about and skip past it, missing out on something potentially valuable to them. Publish your show notes to ensure that your audience has everything they need to make an informed decision.
Related read: Why Your Podcast Needs Show Notes.
Much like transcripts, show notes are another great way of improving your podcast’s SEO. Show notes are an excellent way to provide value-rich, keyword-based text associated with your podcast.
The rule of thumb here is that text-based content is the best way to be visible through web searches. The more written content available on your podcast, the higher the chances of increasing your podcast’s online presence – which could lead to an increase in listeners.
We end our four-part crash course with a relatively soft-landing: Your podcast’s description.
A description is also a summary of your podcast. But instead of it being for each episode like your show notes, it is a one-paragraph summary of your podcast as a whole. You will only highlight the most important aspects of your show and give an idea of the genres and themes explored.
Again, having a description allows the audience to suss out your podcast. It is great to use for quick shares on social media and on other websites. For listeners who are not fans of reading or are short on time but still looking for their next podcast, your description will be the bait that lures them in.
Much like transcriptions and show notes before it, descriptions add value to your podcast when it comes to searching for your show online.
Another value-added win for the importance of text in your podcast.
Written Content is the Vehicle for Growth
Having written content for your podcast is paramount for your podcast’s growth. With meaningful text, you are able to perfect your show’s content, making sure that what you put out is of the highest quality.
Text will make it easy for you to structure and record your podcast, shortening the time required to edit it.
Above all, having great written content will increase the chances of your show being visible to a wider audience. Text relating to your podcast will be seen in web searches, exposing more people to your incredible show.
So, it’s time to bring out the notepad and pen and dust off the keyboard. Your podcast’s astronomical success is only a few paragraphs away.