Podcast Show Notes are a necessary feature of any successful podcast. On top of enhancing the quality of your content, they are a very powerful marketing tool. In this post, I will go over how to create podcast show notes, why you should always have them, and share some tips on how to write great show notes.
What are Podcast Show Notes?
Podcast show notes are written notes that give an idea of what an episode is about as well as links to resources and other useful information discussed in the episode. They provide a potential listener with an overview of what to expect, a clear outline of where in the timeline a topic is discussed, and convenient links to anything related to the episode.
Why bother with Show Notes?
There are a lot of reasons I would recommend investing time in creating show notes whether you already have a podcast or you want to start a podcast, here are a few of the most important ones.
- Most content on the internet nowadays is primarily in text form so show notes really help your content get found especially through search engines.
- Show notes make your content more professional.
- They are an amazing tool for SEO(Search Engine Optimization) and when done right, they may direct a significant amount of traffic to your episodes.
- They help you understand your content and the structure in which you make it.
- They help your listeners understand at the outset what to expect from an episode which makes them more likely to listen through the episode.
- Your listener may just be looking for an answer to a specific question and not necessarily wanting to sit through the entire episode, show notes will help them find exactly what they are looking for quickly, and because of the amount of clickbait on the Internet nowadays your listeners will appreciate you being forthright and not forcing them to listen to everything when they simply need to hear a small section, this will build goodwill and make people more likely to listen to your show again.
- You can use them to build a blog around your podcast which is also great for further marketing.
- Another very important reason and one a lot of Podcast creators may not be aware of is the large number of people who are deaf or hard of hearing who primarily access their Podcast content by reading the transcript on the show notes page. Making show notes will definitely help those people and open your show up to a much wider audience.
The structure of Podcast Show Notes
Show notes are typically divided into 3 main parts
The structure may vary but it is typically built around these 3 main parts, I will go into each of these in more detail below.
This gives you an overall idea of what the episode is about and what to expect. What makes the summary very important is the fact that it may be what makes a listener either decide to listen to or skip an episode so you have to be very clear about what the episode contains. Make sure you don't deceive the listener by claiming to discuss something that you don't, they will probably not listen to your show again.
- The summary is generally about 50 to 100 words. Just a short overview of the episode.
- This is like the contents page in a book, it helps the listener navigate the content at will. - These are generally a single line describing a particular section of the episode, they usually have a timestamp to help the listener quickly jump to a desired section. - key points help your listeners quickly get to the section that is most relevant to them.
This episode touches on:
1. "the significance of game theory in social psychology" (00:52)
2. "games people play by eric berne" (6:15)
3. "can social interactions be classified as games?" (15:31)
4. "the pathology of dishonest gamesmanship" (20:03)
This is where you will list all the resources discussed in the episode with the relevant links.
- These are the books that were discussed, the software, tv shows e.t.c. - This is also where you put the guest's info, contact details, social media links, e.t.c. - You may also want to put your own personal links here including social media links. - If you have products or services you offer, you may put them here as well. - This is where you also put links to your sources. - If you talked about any charts or infographics, include them here. - Sponsors if you have any will also go in this section.
Tips for writing your own show notes
Writing good show notes can be time-consuming, here are a few tips to make the process easier and quicker.
- Start writing the show notes immediately after you finish recording. The show is still fresh on your mind and this makes the process easier. - Writing notes throughout the recording process is also useful but you have to be careful of making noise or losing the thread of the conversation. - Writing notes about what your guest is saying can also be helpful when you are writing the resources section later or even for social media marketing with quotes e.t.c. - Write a summary of what you want to cover before you start recording, this will not only help in later writing up the summary of your episode but it will also help you stick to the topic during the recording process, it can also help you be more comfortable when you record. - You should finish your show notes with a call to action. Ask your listeners to like your social media pages, ask them to comment and give their opinions about your show, you can also ask them to subscribe to a newsletter e.t.c. It's good practice to copy this and always put it at the end of every episode's show notes.
Podcast Show Notes Services
Writing show notes can be a long and involved process, here are some third-party service providers that can help you save time.
Offering a standalone show notes service for $40 an episode which includes a professionally written transcript, SEO optimization, turning the summary into long-form content i.e a blog post, and creating social media posts from some quotables in the episode(Instagram, Facebook, Twitter), all done within 24hrs or less, check it out here.
The team at Podcast Fast Track are really good at what they do, starting at $170 an episode, they can do the show notes quickly for you, check them out here.
Castos offer professional show notes as part of their podcasting essentials package, check them out here.
In conclusion, Podcast Show Notes can add tremendous value to the content you create by making it easier to navigate, easier to understand at a glance, and accessible to people who may not able to access it by listening. Show notes can help expand your capacity to grow and open up new avenues for marketing your podcast in different ways.
The good people at Castos have provided three free Podcast Show Notes templates, check them out here
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or suggestions.