Podcasts, audio and voice are popping up all over the internet, and it’s no wonder why… people can consume audio while driving, doing the dishes or exercising.
One of the easiest ways for you to create audio content is to go back to your best blogpost and articles and convert them to audio.
But how do you do this?
It’s not always as simple as reading your post into an audio recorder. After all, the written word and the spoken word aren’t quite the same thing.
Step 1: Determine if your content will convert well to audio
Not all content is going to translate well into an audio piece.
For example, imagine an infographic, which typically contains many stats or short tips along with plenty of graphics being translated into audio. It’s simply isn’t going to work.
Content that does convert well to audio includes:
Stories and case studies
Inspirational, self-empowerment and motivational content
Short list pieces (for example, “3 Secrets to Attract Love”)
How to do something (as long as diagrams and photos aren’t needed)
Content that doesn’t convert well to audio includes:
Anything technical, especially if it involves complex parts, needs diagrams, etc.
Long lists of anything (27 Ways to Lose 5 Pounds) (The Best 12 Autoresponder Companies)
Maps, infographics and anything highly visual.
Step 2: Read your post aloud to find the rough spots
Just as people speak differently than they write, they also listen differently than they read.
Certain lines of writing can look smashing on the page, and yet come across as stilted and awkward when spoken aloud.
Plus, online writing is structured as much for search engines and skimming readers as it is for people who read from start to finish.
Then there’s headings, subheadings, links, photos, video and audio snippets… it’s going to take a bit of tweaking to turn your post into something that works well on audio.
Read your post aloud and mark all the places that don’t flow smoothly.
Step 3: Make small re-writes
Your goal is to turn that post into something that sounds like it was meant to be spoken. Smooth out the rough edges as needed to create a conversational tone.
When you encounter headings and subheadings, you’ll definitely need to make adjustments.
For example, let’s say you’ve got the following inside your post on adopting a cat from a local animal shelter:
Choosing the Right Cat
There are several things to consider before deciding which cat to adopt from your local animal shelter.
And while many people will look for the ‘cutest kitten’ and think that’s all there is to it, you might want to consider the following:
Kittens’ Personalities Take Time – a kitten’s personality isn’t fully formed yet, and so you won’t know exactly what you’re getting for perhaps a year or even two. Once they mature, you’ll see if they are shy or outgoing, inquisitive or retiring, playful or sedate, gentle or rough.
Of course, to a certain degree some of these things can be taught, if you have the patience and the time to do it. It’s nature versus nurture – you will only be able to influence a cat’s personality so much, and no more.
Older Cats Already have a fully Developed Personality – An older cat, however, will show you who they are quite quickly. For example, if your preference is for a gentle, sedate and loving kitty…
When you are speaking your blogpost, you’re not going to say, “Choosing the right cat,” because people don’t speak that way.
But you could say, “How do you choose the right cat for you?”
And instead of, “Kitten’s personalities take time,” you might delete that and alter the first sentence to, “A kitten’s personality isn’t fully formed until they are completely mature, and that can take as long as two years.”
In the example copy above, you can almost delete the subheadings altogether and just slightly reword the verbiage that follows.
Images and Videos
If you have embedded images and other media, odds are you’re simply not going to use it or even reference it.
In certain cases, you might take information found inside or underneath an image or video and incorporate it into your audio piece.
Links are tricky. A basic rule is that if the link takes away from the flow of the post, then don’t mention it.
But if you need to cite a source, you can sometimes simply reference the source name without mentioning a URL, like, this: “According to The Washington Post, 8 out of 10 people who kayak on a regular basis will eventually capsize at least once.”
If you need to give out a link, make it as simple and short as possible.
Step 4: Choose a Voice and Record
You can choose to narrate the post yourself or hire a professional to do it.
And if it is a guest post, then you have the third option of asking the original author to be the narrator.
The good thing about being the narrator yourself is that you’re familiar with the content, and your readers might be very interested in hearing you cover the material.
But, if you’re not a good speaker, or if your voice will sound too much like you are reading so that the effect is one of being monotonous, then you might want to hire a voice actor.
Voice actors are trained storytellers and know how to bring content to life. But of course there is a cost to this, and if you are converting many posts into audios, it can add up.
You might want to record the post yourself, and then send a copy to a few people to get their opinion. Let them know you want the truth, not a slap on the back. If they suggest you might get a better result with a professional, then listen to their advice.
There is one more option, and it entails using a software service to electronically convert your posts into audio speech.
Blog Caster https://blogcaster.io/enterprise/ can convert your blogposts using either an automated system or a voice professional.
Play https://play.ht/ Helps to narrate Medium, Pocket and WordPress articles with 30 different types of voices. You can use your own voice, human narrators or their high quality text to speech technology.
Amazon AI has a text to speech WordPress plugin that supports more than 50 languages. From the WordPress plugin website:
Create audio version of your posts, translate them into other languages and create podcasts! Amazon Polly is a service that turns text into lifelike speech. With dozens of voices across a variety of languages, you can select the ideal voice and build engaging speech-enabled applications that work in many different countries. https://wordpress.org/plugins/amazon-polly/
Blog Cast https://blogcast.host/ uses text to speech technology to generate audio versions of your articles.
Step 5: Upload Your File
If your blog is on WordPress, then embedding an audio file should be no problem. Remember, there is a plugin for everything on Word press.
And even most other CMS systems will offer similar capabilities, along with a helpline if you have any issues.
You can also distribute your audio via your podcast. Here is a list to get you started:
The Biggest Podcast Directories:
iTunes / Apple Podcasts – you have to be on here if you want to be found by most people
Spotify – the #2 destination for listening
Google Play Music – if your podcast is listed on Google Play Music, it’s possible for your podcast to show up in the search results.
Stitcher – they’ve got 8 million users, making this another directory where you want to get your podcast listed
TuneIn – available on every platform and device
More Podcast Directories
Spreaker – podcast app, directory, podcast hosting, desktop software and more
Blubrry – podcasting hosting provider with a popular podcast directory
Digital Podcast – create an account, paste in your URL, choose your categories and you’re done
iPodder – easy to join directory
Podcastpedia.org – you can add your Facebook and Twitter pages in addition to your podcast details