Podcast show notes are an integral part of podcasting and play a critical role in boosting your podcast's visibility and listener engagement. Show notes can provide the following benefits:
- serve as a roadmap, summarizing the key points of each episode
- enhance search engine optimization
- provide additional resources to your listeners
- can be an effective platform for affiliate marketing and other monetization strategies
In this blog post, we will delve deeper into the art of writing compelling podcast show notes, outlining what exactly you need to include to maximize your content's potential. So, whether you're a seasoned podcaster or just starting out, keep reading to find out the six most important things show notes should include.
#1. Episode description and synopsis
Your episode description provides listeners with a quick overview of the podcast episode content, helping them decide if they want to listen. They function as a kind of 'elevator pitch' to entice potential listeners–many people look at this before pressing play on an episode.
A well-crafted description and synopsis provide valuable content for search engine algorithms. By using key terms and phrases related to your podcast's theme, you can enhance your podcast's visibility in search engine results, attracting more listeners. Also, podcast players, like Apple Podcasts, use these fields to categorize and recommend podcasts.
Pro tip: Most podcast platforms allow basic HTML formatting (bold, bullet points, etc.), but not all of them might display the formatting exactly as you intended. We recommend keeping your show notes simple and clear, minimizing the use of complex formatting to ensure they are accessible on all platform. This Podnews article might also help.
#2. Guest information
Incorporating detailed guest information provides recognition and gives context about their background and expertise. They also serve as a valuable resource for listeners who want to learn more about them or their work. Many guests agree to come on a podcast for this cross-promote benefit, so it’s important to include things that make it worth their time. Including links to the guest’s:
- social media accounts
- other related works
Including detailed guest information can further optimize your podcast for search engines. By mentioning the guest's name and relevant keywords associated with their field, you can potentially rank in the search results for those terms, boosting your podcast's visibility.
#3. Links to resources
Including relevant links and resources in your podcast show notes helps drive listener engagement and enhance their overall experience. By including links to resources mentioned in the episode, your listeners can delve deeper into the topics discussed, leading to a more enriching experience.
Resources might include:
- any other material that expands on the episode's content.
Links and resources boost your credibility as a podcaster by substantiating your content and showing you've done your homework. Lastly, including a variety of quality outbound links in your show notes can improve your SEO ranking, increasing your podcast's visibility on search engines.
#4. Time stamps
Using timestamps or chapter markers in your show notes can provide listeners with an easier way to navigate the episode. By breaking down the content into a few distinct sections it can help them jump to particular topics or discussions they're interested in. This is especially beneficial for longer podcasts or when listeners want to revisit certain parts of the episode.
Time stamps can also improve SEO. Here’s how:
- Creating structured content makes it easier for search engine algorithms to understand and index, enhancing your SEO ranking.
- Describing each chapter in your podcast naturally adds relevant keywords to your show notes, increasing keyword density and improving SEO.
- They improve user experience by enabling listeners to navigate effortlessly through your content, a factor search engines consider positively for SEO.
- You make quick work of creating time stamps by either jotting down the approximate time manually as you record, using a tool like Descript, or outsourcing your show notes to a transcription service that includes writing show notes.
#5. Calls to action
A CTA is a directive to the listener, prompting them to take a specific action–whether it's subscribing to your podcast, following you on social media, signing up for your newsletter, or purchasing a product or service, CTAs drive engagement and can lead to growth in your listener base and potential revenues for your podcast.
Here are some examples of effective CTAs for your podcast show notes:
- "Subscribe to our podcast to receive the latest episodes directly to your inbox."
- "Follow us on [social media platform] to stay updated about upcoming episodes and behind-the-scenes content."
- "Sign up for our newsletter for exclusive content and special offers."
- "If you enjoyed our podcast, please leave us a review on [platform]."
- "Visit our website to explore additional resources related to this episode!"
While crafting CTAs, make sure it is clear and direct, and easy to act on so you don’t confuse listeners. Convey the value the listener will get from taking the desired action. This could be access to exclusive content, staying informed about new episodes, or receiving special discounts.
Just remember to keep it simple and never include more than one (maybe two) CTAs at a time so you don't overwhelm listeners.
Pro tip: Give listeners an incentive to take action–a discount, a free download, special access, etc.
#6. Monetization information
Incorporating sponsorship mentions and advertising information in your podcast show notes is a great way to acknowledge and promote the entities that support your podcast. This can be done in a straightforward and transparent way to ensure that listeners are aware of your affiliations and endorsements. You can keep it simple like:
- "We would like to thank our sponsor, [sponsor's name], for their support. Check out their [specific product/service] – we think you'll love it as much as we do!" or,
- "Support for our podcast comes from [sponsor's name]. Find out more about their [product/service] at [website link]."
You can also include donation links, exclusive offers, merchandise links, or discount codes!
Ex: "Interested in deepening your understanding of _______? Check out our comprehensive online course at [Course Link]. This course offers further insights, practical exercises, and expert guidance to help you master the topic at hand. Use the code ______ at checkout for a 20% discount. Enroll today and begin your journey of discovery and learning!"
The ultimate podcast show notes outline [free template]
Trying to write podcast show notes without a template can take a lot of time. This template can help shave time off your workflow–feel free to customize it according to your needs!
Guest name (if applicable):
Introduction: Briefly describe the episode's content and introduce the guest (if any).
Key points discussed:
Point 3 ...
Links and resources mentioned:
Include any relevant links to resources, books, studies, or products mentioned in the episode.
[00:00:00] – Introduction
[00:00:00] – Key Point 1
[00:00:00] – Key Point 2 ...
Call to action:
Prompt listeners to take a specific action (e.g., subscribe, follow, sign up for an email newsletter, leave a review, etc.).
Acknowledge sponsors and provide information about their products or services.
Remember, this template is just a starting point. Feel free to customize it to include the elements that are most important to your podcast. The goal is to provide a comprehensive guide for your listeners, enhancing their podcast experience and encouraging engagement with your content.
Podcast show notes provide an excellent opportunity to enrich your listener's experience, increase your podcast's SEO ranking, boost listener engagement, and even generate revenue. Taking the time to craft detailed, well-organized, and resourceful show notes can significantly enhance the value of your podcast!