How to build a profitable podcast.
In this post, you will get tips for making your podcast accessible to a wider audience.
Let's welcome our guest writer Aron Britz!
Podcasts are becoming increasingly popular, with over half of Americans have listened to one in the last year. However, many podcasts lack accessibility features that would allow them to reach a wider audience and engage more deeply with listeners. Fortunately, there are strategies podcast creators can use to make their content accessible for people who have hearing or vision impairments.
In this article, we will explore how to podcast producers can implement these strategies so they can create engaging content that is accessible to everyone.
Podcast accessibility is the practice of making podcast content available to people with disabilities such as hearing and vision impairments. This includes adding features like closed captions, audio descriptions, and transcripts that make it easier for listeners with disabilities to access and understand the content.
Podcast accessibility has the potential to open up the reach and engagement of your podcast. By making sure everyone can access and understand your content, you are more likely to gain a larger audience and keep them engaged over time.
Additionally, making your podcast accessible is not only good for business but also important in terms of social responsibility. People with disabilities have just as much right to access content as anyone else. Podcast accessibility is one way of making sure that people with disabilities can enjoy and benefit from your podcast just like everyone else.
There are several strategies you can use to make your podcast more accessible. These include adding transcripts, closed captions, audio descriptions, and other features. Let's take a look at each one.
Transcripts are written versions of audio content and can be used to make podcasts more accessible to people with hearing impairments as well as people who are hard of hearing. Additionally, transcripts can also be beneficial for SEO purposes, as they can help your podcast appear in more online searches. Using a podcast transcription service can help make the process easier and more accurate.
Closed captions are text transcriptions of audio that appear in the same format as subtitles. These can make it easier for people with hearing impairments to understand what is being said in a podcast episode.
Audio descriptions are spoken versions of visual elements in a podcast episode. This could include describing images, graphics, or other visuals that are part of the podcast. Audio descriptions can be helpful for people with vision impairments who cannot access visual information.
If you are setting up an email list to inform subscribers about the latest episodes, it is essential that sign-up forms have labels for screen readers and fields that can be accessed using a keyboard. Otherwise, blind or low-vision users will not be able to interact with your website.
For those utilizing screen readers, descriptive link text should be used as a direct way to initiate activity. Make sure that your prompts are both specific and straightforward so they can easily understand what action needs to be taken.
Headers are critical for screen readers to effectively comprehend and browse a page. When you're advertising a podcast on your blog or even on its own specialized page, headers make it so much easier to find and access the audio content quickly.
Audio recordings should be clear with no background noise. If a listener is hard of hearing, it can make it difficult for them to comprehend what is being said if the sound quality is poor. Consider investing in a good microphone or in audio editing software to ensure that your podcast recordings are of the highest quality.
The media player that you use to share your podcast should be accessible to people with disabilities. Make sure the buttons and other controls are labeled properly and that the audio content can be paused, reminded, and fast-forwarded. Additionally, any visuals should be available in both color and black and white. Ensuring media does not autoplay when a page is loaded as well as the ability to navigate to controls via keyboard are also important considerations.
Several Downloads Options
To ensure your podcast series is easily accessible, consider offering it as a zip file for downloading. This way, people can play it on their preferred media player and enjoy the content in whatever format works best for them. Moreover, having a range of download options such as mp3, wav, and m4a can make it more convenient for people with different preferences.
Although adding a video component to an audio-based podcast may seem like doubling your workload, it is definitely worth considering. Every month, an astounding two billion users are signed in to YouTube – and these are actual logged-in users. This means that if you have a video element to your podcast, it can be watched on YouTube by those two billion users.
Uploading a video version of your podcast to YouTube can exponentially expand the scope of your potential audience. If at all possible, make sure you do so — it's not only convenient but could lead to an incredible influx in viewership.
When creating graphics and visuals to support your podcast, it is important to make sure that the colors are in high contrast. People with vision impairments may find it difficult to distinguish between colors that are similar in tone or hue. But with high contrast, they will be able to identify and understand the information better. For example, if you are using a white background, make sure the text is in black.
Alt text is the piece of code that you include when uploading an image to a website or social media platform. Most people think it is usually used for SEO purposes, but its main purpose is to provide additional information and context for people who may not be able to see the image.
For example, if you are including an image of a microphone for your podcast, the alt text can be something like “a black and silver microphone on a white background”. This not only helps people with vision impairments, but it also makes your content more accessible for screen readers and other assistive technology.
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act website accessibility laws, all content must be created to provide a fully accessible experience for all users. This means you should ensure that your podcast is ADA-compliant so that it is accessible to people with disabilities.
This includes keyboard navigation and proper labeling and grouping of content. Additionally, users should be able to adjust the font size to whatever works best for them and images should include alternate text (as mentioned). Finally, voice control for website navigation is also an important option to provide, as it can make it easier for some users to access your content.
Making your podcast accessible is not only beneficial for people with disabilities, but also for marketing. People with disabilities are an underserved market and making your podcast accessible can be a great way to reach this audience. A study by the Digital Accessibility Trends Report found that 76% of people with disabilities would remain loyal to a brand that is accessible, so making your podcast more accessible can be a great way to gain more subscribers.
Uploading a podcast to streaming services such as iTunes and Spotify can also boost your visibility. They allow you to tag the podcast with keywords, which makes it easier for people to find it when they search for specific topics, and with a good podcast description, you can also give potential listeners an idea of what the podcast is about and why they should listen.
Finally, with social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, you can easily share your podcast with the world and boost its visibility. You can also leverage other tools such as hashtags to reach a larger audience and make your podcast more discoverable.
Making your podcast accessible is not only beneficial for people with disabilities, but it can also be a great way to increase visibility and gain more subscribers. With the right strategies in place, such as uploading your podcast to streaming services like iTunes or Spotify and leveraging social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, you can help make sure that more people are aware of your content and have access to it regardless of their ability level.
Additionally, making sure that all aspects of your website comply with ADA compliance laws will ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity when accessing your content. Ultimately, these efforts will give you an edge over competitors who don’t take accessibility into consideration - so start putting them into practice.
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