Podcasts should be listened to audibly. So why bother creating written content when podcasts can only be accessed via audio? It's not worth the extra effort and time it takes to create your next podcast episode. You might be wrong.
Podcast show notes are a great way to enhance your listeners' experience. Podcast show notes can increase the accessibility of your podcast and make it easier to repurpose podcast content.
Podcast show notes simply describe the events that occurred during an episode of a podcast.
Podcast hosts may refer to different sources during a show, such as interviews, books, articles or television episodes. So that listeners don't have to relisten to the entire podcast, or remember what they were looking up, podcasters will often summarize the highlights of their show.
Most podcasters display show notes below their podcast titles in the podcast description. Podcasters can also write show notes, and post them to their blog or social media.
This is an example podcast show note from Adam Buxton:
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Let listeners know more. Podcast show notes let you share additional information or create calls-to-action that listeners can follow. It is possible to link to other podcast episodes, articles or videos.
Promote past episodes. You can link to older episodes in show notes that might be of interest to your current episode. A link to an older episode can be used to make your listeners more aware of the content that was previously produced and to help them understand why it is relevant.
Increase your listeners by using the best SEO practices. Your podcast's SEO will be more popular with your audience. To increase your podcast's visibility in podcast apps and search engines, you should include a strong keyword strategy.
Create a subscriber and follower list by using CTAs Add CTAs on your sign up form for your newsletter, your social media channels and anywhere else your content can be found by listeners.
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An outline of content will allow you to prepare for podcast episodes and also provide a foundation for podcast notes.
This content outline will help you organize your thoughts and make it easier to plan your show notes.
After you have an idea of the format for your podcast, then you can fill out each section with resources.
You don't want any important information to be missed, but your notes shouldn't be too lengthy. Listeners should find what they are looking for quickly and easily.
Podcast show notes don't contain a transcript, but instead they are where you point listeners to more information.
Pod Save America has compiled a list of bullet points that are concise and easy to remember for their show notes.
Give a brief summary about your guests. Tell the audience who your guests are and why you have them on your program. You won't reveal the most important bits, such as how they solved a particular problem or top tips. Make it a teaser to show why you should listen.
You can include links to books, podcasts, videos, and social media profiles. This will allow interested listeners to find more about you and your guests, if necessary.
Podcast The Diary of a Chief Executive with Steven Bartlett features a bio of each guest in the show notes.
Summarize everything you and your guests discuss in the episode without giving away too many details—they should want to know more after reading your notes.
Your podcast outline should be used to guide your notes. Don't forget to include any other topics you discussed in an episode. Your show notes should represent everything you talked about in that episode—it's easy for conversations to veer off the original plan.
Listening to a podcast is frustrating when you realize that there are no links to other episodes or articles.
Any data, videos, quotes or sources you refer to should be included. It allows listeners interested in your topic to find out more or verify information. Even if nobody clicks through, you can make yourself more trustworthy as a podcaster by including links.
Include any resource that you mention in an episode in your show notes. Include all podcast episodes, article and video links. This will ensure that your listeners don't have to search far to find what they are looking for.
You could set up affiliate links to help you maximize the income you earn from podcast episodes. This will allow you to earn a commission if someone clicks your link and purchases.
Ted Talks Daily has a complete list of resources to support all their podcasts.
Make your podcast show notes easy-to-read and concise. It's not common for people to read everything on a page so make sure they are able to quickly access the information they require from your show notes.
Your show notes should contain clear, descriptive headings. Your goal is to direct readers straightaway to the information they require. Use bullet points and lists when possible to give structure and an easily understood format.
Use paragraphs sparingly if you do decide to use them. You should aim for 2-4 lines. Make sure that the text is not longer than five or six lines when it's collapsed on mobile devices.
Give instructions to ensure listeners understand what next. Make sure to include at least one CTA to allow listeners to click on the link to view the full transcript of your audio or perform other actions such as subscribing or watching related videos.
Notes will allow you to keep track of key points and highlight the most important ones from each episode by including them in your notes.
A timestamp could be added to each quote, so that readers will find them in the episode.
Add a brief context next to each quote so that readers understand the meaning of each one. Take care not to go into too much detail though—you don't want to give away all the juicy details of the episode.
Everybody loves freebies. You might be able to encourage new visitors to your site to sign up for new episodes, or to listen to some of your older releases.
You could also mention bonus content on your podcast episode to increase listenership and encourage them to subscribe to future episodes.
Podcast Serial, for example, includes timelines and maps so that listeners who are interested can delve deeper into every episode.
Don't forget your keywords in your show notes. Google and the podcast app store need to find your phrase in order to index your page. Remember that your audience doesn't need to be stuffed full of keywords.
In a couple of important spots, include your keyword like:
A transcript is a great idea. It will include everything that you, your guests and I discuss in every episode.
A full transcript is a great way to make your episodes more easily accessible. People have their own preferences in how content is consumed. You can either read the transcript as you listen, or they may read it afterward to retain what was said.
You can also use transcripts to boost your website's SEO. These transcripts add a lot of new content to your website for search engines to index and read. This will attract more visitors to your website and encourage them listen to your podcast.
Include the transcript in your show notes as a link so that people have access to the entire transcript if necessary. It doesn't give away every episode. However, it might be useful for readers to listen to future episodes and/or check out additional content from you.
This American Life has a complete transcript of each episode:
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Your podcast show notes will help you get the most out of every episode. Although it may seem tedious to make show notes for each episode, you can reap many benefits for your audience and for your business.