This tutorial shows you a fast and free method to turn your video’s subtitles/closed captions into text that can be repurposed for blog posts and DIY transcripts.
There are 2 reasons you might want to do this:
Using the subtitles files in your existing videos means you can create content in a written format without starting from scratch.
That saves you precious time, allowing you to focus your attention on creating words (if you’re an author) and amending them (if you’re a proofreader or editor).
Watch the video or use the written instructions below.
Your subtitles file now looks like this:
Edit your text to ensure the spelling and grammar are correct, and tweak the writing so that it meets your audience's expectations of written content.
If you're creating a blog post, introduce paragraphs, bullet points, headings and any supporting imagery.
Generating keyword juice for SEO purposes
Video is compelling. It allows our audience to see our faces and hear our voices. That intimacy can be compelling, and it’s a fast-track to building trust. That’s important for authors seeking to build a readership, and editors wanting to attract clients who need editing help.
However, there are no keywords in a video. Yes, YouTube is a search engine in its own right, but it’s not the first point of search for every member of our audience.
By repurposing video as blog content, we’re increasing our chances of being found in the likes of Google and Bing too.
Being findable on multiple platforms makes sense in an online world that’s becoming noisier by the minute.
Respecting customer/client preferences
Not everyone wants to watch video, and even if they do, it’s not always the most convenient option. Imagine the following scenarios:
Our reader’s broadband speed is slow
A blog post will load faster than a video on those occasions that the internet seems to be creaking at the seams.
If we’ve solved a reader’s problem in our videos, but they can’t play those videos, they could become frustrated and go elsewhere. If we’ve offered a written alternative, we’re more likely to keep them on our websites.
Video is difficult to scan
Written content is easy to scan and digest quickly. That makes it attractive to busy people. If our visitors can’t work out whether we’ve solved their problem without watching a video in its entirety, we might lose them.
When we provide written content as well, we can quickly show them what’s on offer with headings and bullet points. Our readers can scan this information and decide whether to dig deeper.
Blog posts can be printed
Some people still like to print useful content so that they’re not reliant on digital means to access it. A video can’t be printed; a blog post can. Again, it’s about respecting what’s convenient for our readers, rather than focusing on our own preferences.
What I’ve offered here is a DIY solution for authors and editors who need to keep an eye on the purse strings when they're repurposing vlog content.
It’s the method I use when I’m starting with a video rather than a blog post. Plus, I rather enjoy the process. However, it’s not everyone’s bag.
If you have the budget, you can commission a professional transcriptionist or content repurposer. They’ll have the tools and expertise to create top-quality written content from video that fits your brand and voice.
Editors and authors who are creating valuable content to make their books and editorial services visible can repurpose it in multiple ways. No one method trumps another – audio, video and words all have their place.
However, our audiences will have different preferences. What’s convenient today might not work tomorrow. Repurposing content allows us to respect those preferences.
The trick is to find shortcuts to that repurposing so that we’re not starting from scratch each time. This is one of them.
Louise Harnby is a line editor, copyeditor and proofreader who specializes in working with crime, mystery, suspense and thriller writers.
She is an Advanced Professional Member of the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP), a member of ACES, a Partner Member of The Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi), and co-hosts The Editing Podcast.
1/12/2018 09:30:36 pm
That is one of the most useful articles I have ever read. Thanks.
3/12/2018 11:23:50 am
5/7/2019 10:21:52 pm
This is the kind of blog post that BLEW my mind. You allowed me to turn my video on YouTube into a blog post in a matter of minutes without tedious editing. Total game changer!! Thank you!
5/7/2019 10:48:20 pm
Cheers - that's great to hear!
5/9/2019 01:31:39 am
Folks! Read the updated instructions. This new method is soooo much faster!
7/1/2020 04:07:05 pm
You are very welcome, Colleen!
24/1/2020 05:22:41 am
Your article is very useful but please reply me, will adsence will approve or not if i will do same always?
24/1/2020 10:04:37 am
I don't use Google Adsense so I can't answer that. Bear in mind, however, that it's only legitimate to do this with your own videos, not someone else's. To turn someone else's captions into a blog would be intellectual property theft. Focus on your own videos. Transcripts are useful for those who are hard of hearing and want to access written content that complements your videos.
12/2/2020 07:11:31 pm
even i have the same question, if you know the answer please let me know. Thankyou
12/2/2020 07:08:26 pm
can i write an article for my website using these subtitles? if yes is it belongs to copy content or a genuine?
12/2/2020 09:46:02 pm
If it's YOUR video you can do what you want with the subtitles. If it's someone else's video, you CANNOT use the subtitles because the content doesn't belong to you. That would be IP theft.
12/6/2020 12:48:25 pm
This is very informative article to me. I've learnt something new today. Thanks a lot.
13/10/2020 09:48:33 pm
thank you for teaching how to do this, i have been wanting to get a full transcript and could only find websites that do like 1 minute of video so this is really helpful!
28/2/2021 07:50:56 am
This seem interesting but will Google see this as duplicate content? Therefore negating any SEO benefit?
28/2/2021 02:00:18 pm
I can't see that Google would consider duplicate content. It's a way of offering the audiovisual content in a way that's accessible to those with different needs. If I create a video with slides and a voiceover about punctuation, and then turn that into a blog post or a transcript, I'm helping more people access that content in a written form; I'm not duplicating audiovisual content. And I'll always tweak the content so that there are headers, images, paragraphs ... anything to make the written form of that content styled in a way that readers expect for a written platform. It's repurposing with the user in mind, not copying.
16/3/2021 08:17:06 am
22/3/2021 01:13:04 pm
I almost burst into tears when I hit REPLACE ALL and my 29 pages of French subtitles I need to translate and fashion into an article turned into beautiful, beautiful text!
31/10/2022 08:18:24 am
Would we not be penalised for unique content on a monetised blog?
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