Guide to Writing Amazing Podcast Show Notes
There’s a lot of work that goes into producing a single podcast episode. From recording to graphic design to social media marketing, various essential tasks must be met before hitting that publish button…one of which is the podcast show notes.
In short, podcast show notes are written summaries of each episode that’s posted along with every episode. The podcast show notes either live on the podcast’s website along with each episode, or at the least, posted with each episode in the various podcast players.
Podcast show notes play a crucial role in a show’s success. A good way to think of show notes is it serves 2 core purposes. For one, it acts as a resource for your listeners to reference after listening to the show. For example, a podcaster might reference a website, an upcoming event, or an interviewee’s contact info. They would include these links in the podcast show notes for listeners to reference later. The second core purpose is to draw in new listeners. Podcast show notes can help new listeners find your podcast through search engines, and draw them into listening to your podcast after scanning your episode show notes summary.
In this article, we’re going to break down just what podcast show notes are precisely, why they are imperative to your podcasts success and growth, and how to execute them by reviewing:
- What are Podcast Show Notes
- Why are Podcast Show Notes Important
- What to Include in Podcast Show Notes
- Examples of Podcast Show Notes
- Podcast Show Notes Templates
What are Podcast Show Notes?
Most podcast episodes include a summary that can be found easily by looking at the episode details in the podcast player. While these notes are a rundown of the episode, they are more than mere summaries. They give you the opportunity to get more bang for your buck per episode by offering your listeners more than the episode but also resources and additional relevant information on the topic or guest. Podcast show notes take audiences to the next level of a particular topic by offering in-depth knowledge and links to elaborate on or reinforce the facts or opinions discussed.
Your podcast show notes become the listener’s hub for information, whether it be a segway into a guest’s Instagram or website bio or a stepping stone to the related articles and stats. Through show notes, you show that you are the authority on your show’s topic. The accumulation of information on your show notes page solidifies you as a reliable and plentiful source in google searching and browsing.
Why are Podcast Show Notes Important?
To grow your podcast, you’re responsible for marketing, promotion, and getting listeners to find you in a sea of podcasts. Podcast show notes are a great way to help make your podcast more discoverable by search engines and humans.
Well-written and thorough podcast show notes become a great collection of information and resources around your show topic. Having a text-based trove of content using podcast show notes can help bring new visitors searching for that content to your website, and your website then funnels readers to subscribe to your podcast.
Below are the core aspects of podcast show notes that help foster this funnel.
1. Listener Resource
Often, you’ll refer to 3rd party resources and websites in your podcast. By providing direct links to various online resources in each episode’s show notes, your website becomes the hub of information for both listeners and Google search visitors. The main goal is to be helpful to both listeners and visitors, giving them quick links to whatever you might’ve mentioned in your podcast episode.
2. Visuals Cues
A picture is worth a thousand words, and it’s still true in podcasting. Podcast show notes offer an excellent opportunity to add your logos, photos of your interview guests, screenshots, images, and infographics. Whatever can’t be easily visualized in audio format would be a good candidate to include visually in your podcast show notes. For example, if you host a photography podcast talking about photo editing software, putting examples of all the images you’re referring to in the episode show notes would be a good idea.
Podcast show notes are a great place to maximize your Search Engine Optimization by using keywords and hashtags. 13.6% of podcast listeners find new shows through internet searches. In 2019 Google began to scan audio clips, adding timestamps audio clips imperative to discoverability and reshares in your podcast show notes. If you’re writing podcast show notes consistently and with some SEO keywords in mind, you’ll find your podcast website rise in domain authority over time for your specific topic.
4. Helps Promote The Interviewee
If you have a guest that is an expert on a particular topic, an industry thought leader, or a celebrity, you will want their fans and followers to know about your show. Your podcast show notes can help you promote the episode. A well-written bio about your interview guest’s work, expertise, and relevant accolades not only helps your listeners learn more about your guest, but it also encourages the guest to share that link on their social platforms as well.
5. Maintain Listeners And Engage New Ones
Podcast show notes often mention other relevant episodes, both past and planned to keep audiences engaged beyond one episode. There are also links to social media, which offer polls and questionnaires. Your podcast show notes are a great way to thank your listeners, your production team, and give your audience a way to connect through email, contact form, and social links.
What to Include in Podcast Show Notes
Now that you know why you need to include podcast show notes, here are a few things you’ll want on the checklist when you’re formulating them.
Always make things easy for your listener by adding clickable URL links within your episode show notes. Your links should include sponsors and affiliates, reputable sources, additional relevant resources, and podcast guest information.
2. Social Media
Since most people interact with their favorite podcast via social media, you want to add all of your social media platforms with easy icons that are clickable and shareable. Don’t forget to always add social media links to your podcast guests as well. It’s the least you can do to help promote their brand.
Calls-To-Action motivates your listeners to tune in. In addition to asking them to subscribe and review your podcast on the various podcast platforms, you’ll want to give very specific directions for your audience to take other actions. For example, your CTA’s should include suggesting signing up for your newsletter, following on Twitter or Instagram, joining your Facebook Group or Slack channel, buying tickets to your next event, or supporting you on Patreon.
4. Catchy Quotes
We’re in the age of skimming, and most people only give podcasts up to 5 minutes to keep their interests. You’ll want to highlight your best moments by highlighting the best audio soundbites and quotes.
If you’re selling something, whether it’s a tangible good like merch for your show, or it’s a digital good like an online course, make it easy for your fans to make online purchases through your site. Podcast show notes provide the optimal place to include any crowdfunding links, product pages, digital courses, or any other thing you’re currently promoting and selling.
Examples of Podcast Show Notes
When it comes to podcast show notes, you always want to be consistent, and it should be easily scannable and digestible to the casual reader. There are a few options for formatting your show notes. You need to find the right style for your show and then be consistent with it.
1. Podcast Transcriptions
This is the most basic version of podcast show notes; it’s essentially a typed-out document of the episode’s audio word for word and can also include any relevant sounds.
Examples of the types of shows that would use this podcast show notes format are podcasts that rely on sequential storytelling, such as the Serial and This American Life podcast.
2. Podcast Blog
This is considered an ideal format because research shows that 346 million people globally read blogs. Blogs can go deeper and get creative with the topics; it offers more chances to use keywords, SEO, and images and use a more personable and relatable tone.
The New York Times: The Daily Podcast website is an excellent example of podcast show notes in blog format.
3. Podcast Recap
A recap walks a fine line between a summary and podcast show note, but it should be no less than 200 words and give more information than a summary, highlighting the best quotes and references from the episode. A practical recap show notes provide the reader an overall understanding of what the episode is all about, but it should still lure the reader into tuning into the podcast for more details.
In this example, The Joe Rogan Experience’s podcast show notes recap is a detailed outline format.
On the popular true-crime podcast, my Favorite Murder website, they recap the real-life story and facts that they discuss rather than how it’s discussed in the episode.
Podcast Show Notes Templates
We’ve covered a lot, but writing great podcast show notes is actually pretty easy. In fact, it really needs to be easy for you to be able to consistently write podcast show notes for every podcast episode you produce. If it’s too hard, you won’t be consistent, and consistency is key.
Here’s a brief rundown of what your podcast show notes should look like in 4 simple steps:
1. Episode Intro
In a short paragraph, describe what will be discussed. Why should the listener tune in? Why should they care? The intro, along with a strong title, is your opportunity to quickly hook your audience in.
If you have a guest; introduce them by name and any relevant accolades, expertise, and awards. This is your opener, so you’ll want to use some creativity and though into how to craft the best hook.
2. Episode Summary
Your episode summaries should be skimmable, yet have details about the episode with relevant SEO keywords and even some quotes and highlights from the episode.
You can write your summary in paragraph form, or even use a bulleted outline as your summary. The choice is yours, but we recommend you stay consistent from episode to episode, so your fans will know how to navigate your summaries and what level of detail they normally provide.
3. Useful Links
Clickable URLs and hyperlinks to resources and any pertinent articles. Listeners will also appreciate any links to recommendations on the subject, such as book, TV, and movie links. As we mentioned earlier, if you have an interview guest, always include links to their social profiles and anything they might be promoting, both as a convenience for your listeners and a small act of gratitude for your guest.
4. Where to Listen & Subscribe
Remember, not everyone who stumbles onto your podcast show notes is a listener. Make it easy for them to subscribe to your podcast by offering links to your show on all the major podcast players, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, your RSS Feed etc. And also include the actual episode in a web-based podcast player so a site visitor can press play while reading your podcast show notes.
No matter which format you choose, podcast show notes are essential in growing your podcast. Don’t forget to include them in every episode before you hit that publish button!