Podcast Show Notes: How to Write Them (with Examples!)

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Podcast Show Notes: How to Write Them (with Examples!)

January 10, 2023 β€’ About 10 min. read

Podcast Show Notes: How to Write Them (with Examples!)

Podcast show notes might be one of the most underutilized tools in podcasts right now.

That’s good news for you! 😁

Once we walk you through how to write excellent show notes, you are going to have an advantage in getting your voice heard and growing your listener base.

To help you really understand how to create good show notes, first we’re going to do a brief overview of what they are and then dive into why they are so important. With this context, you’ll be able to better utilize our step-by-step instructions in the “how to” section. Plus, we’ll give examples so you can have something to compare your show notes too as you go.

Does that sound like a good lesson plan? Ok, cool, we try. 🀷

Let’s get after it! 😀

What are Podcast Show Notes

The main thing to keep in mind is that podcast show notes are written text companions for episodes. πŸ§‘β€πŸ€β€πŸ§‘

They go beyond the limited “episode description” space generally allowed on directories like Apple Podcasts.

Instead they are usually hosted on a podcast’s website. Usually, the episode description in directories have a link to the full show notes on the website so listeners can easily click over to them. πŸ’»

Traditionally, it will have about a paragraph long summary and links to references where folks can learn more about the topics after they listen to the episode.

However in the ever evolving world of podcasts, show notes have become so much more. 😲

Now they often include time codes that outline the conversation. They may have a link to a full audio transcription of the episode. They sometimes have a full biography of the episode’s guest and add social media links for them.

And, as every marketer dreams of, they contain some kind of Call-to-Action (CTA, if you’re cool). The CTA might be to rate and review the show, sign up for the show’s newsletter, or start to follow the show’s social media accounts.

Like we said, this really is a written text companion for the episode. It isn’t just a summary or a list of links. It is a whole package. πŸ“¦

Seems like a lot, right? Honestly, if you prepare your show thoroughly, probably all you have to do is some copying and pasting and a tiny bit more writing. But even if you do have to put in a little more elbow grease, it is worth it.

Why? Well, we’re glad you asked. Hence the next section… ⬇️

Why Podcast Show Notes are Important

Podcast show notes are important because they boost your podcast in every leg of the listener journey: Find the show, follow the show, rate and review the show, share the show, love the show.

Let’s break it down.

Get Found πŸ”

First and foremost, the main benefit of podcast show notes is they help you get found. Growing your audience is all about Search Engine Optimization (SEO), baby!

Google bots will read through your text, identifying keywords. Then when someone searches those keywords on Google, your podcast’s website will rank high on their search result page. πŸ₯³

A lot of times a person would rather read a summary of your show than sit through an episode. Show notes provide them exactly what they want in this situation. They can dip their toes into your content before committing.

In fact, if your show notes are great, there’s a decent chance they’ll follow your podcast before they even listen to one episode! 🀯

Get Interaction ✌️

Because you can include links in your show notes, it is fertile ground for listeners to take action. This includes actions like rating and reviewing your show, following your show on different social media platforms, and signing up for your email list. πŸ’Œ

As social media platforms and Google see users interacting with your show and referencing it, they will prioritize with visibility.

Even more importantly, when a person interacts with your show, they are more likely to feel committed to the show. Loyal listeners are priceless! 😍

Get Love πŸ’œ

We talk a lot about growing your audience, but let’s take a second to just talk about the heart of podcasting- a quality product that enriches lives. Show notes really bring another level of quality for your listeners.

With show notes, your audience has the opportunity to engage more deeply with the topics you cover without having to do their own search. And folks really appreciate this! πŸ™

You have done all kinds of research work on the topic and its surrounding community so why not share that with your listeners?

Plus, it will help you be seen as an authority on the topic which can present more non-podcast opportunities to you like paid speaking gigs! πŸ§‘β€πŸ«

Also keep in mind that show notes can be critical for your audience that may have trouble otherwise accessing your content, whether they have trouble hearing or they just aren’t in a position where they can read more than they can listen.

How to Write Podcast Show Notes

To make this section easy to digest, we’re going to break down every section that podcast show notes should have.

Summary

The heart of good podcast notes is a summary. Write it so it is comprehensive, but concise. It should be around one meaty paragraph long, but it can be longer or shorter depending on how much content is covered in the episode.

It needs to be simple and easy to read. Sometimes it is best to write it as mostly bullet points to help keep it looking clean and digestible. πŸ“‹

Remember, this isn’t a short description. This isn’t some sort of tease to get someone to click play. It is a full wrap-up of all the action in the episode. 🎁

When writing a this section, remember this is the space where you want to put keywords as well as content to help individuals who are searching for your topic (remember: SEO!).

For any episodes that feature guests, you should include at least their name and general title in the summary. πŸ‘‘

Time Coded Outline

Think of this section like listing chapters in a book along with their page numbers.

You want to break down your episodes by main sections. If your podcast doesn’t really have separate sections, instead pick out key points. πŸ—οΈ

If possible, hyperlink the time codes to the actual spot in the recording so someone doesn’t have to take the time to try to find it.

A good outline allows potential listeners to click to the best parts of the recording and get a real taste of what your podcast can provide. 🍨

For people who already listen to your show, this provides an easy way for them to share your episode with a friend and say “hey, check this part out!” It is a great way to grow your audience organically. 🌱

Guest Information

We mentioned that you should include any guest names in the summary, but sometimes you want to highlight them a little more.

Consider writing a short bio for them, mainly centered on the reasons they are on your show. Include things like experiences and accomplishments. This is a great place to use keywords for SEO. 🌎

Many times professionals will already have a full bio for themselves written up, so feel free to ask them to provide it if they have one.

Also include links for your guests. Ask them what they prefer, but usually these links are to their social media or website. Sometimes it is a link to buy their book or read an article by them. If they are on your show to fundraise for something, include a link to their fundraising page. And of course if they have podcasts link to them! πŸ™Œ

By giving your guest a lot of visibility, you are encouraging more high-quality guests to join your show in the future. If possible, gather data like how many times people clicked on their links in show notes. Showing this concrete data in pitches to big time guests can be very helpful in getting them to agree to come on your show. πŸ“ˆ

Resources

Always give credit where it is due. And this is the place to do it. πŸ’ƒ

Anything you have read, listened, or watched to prepare for your episode should be titled and linked in your show notes. If in doubt, err on the side of including too much. You don’t want to be accused of plagiarism! Plus, it is jut the right thing to do. πŸ˜‡

Sometimes it best to have two sections in your resources: 1) Things you directly referenced in the show, and 2) Things you recommend people read, watch, or listen to if they want to learn more. πŸ“š

Remember, resources help make you seem more reliable and an expert, so don’t be afraid of this section!

Audio Transcript Link

Providing a full transcription of your episode’s audio recording is increasingly common for podcasts these days, and rightly so. It increases the accessibility of your show and it helps with your SEO. πŸ”¦

The full transcript is usually too big to include in the show notes so you should put it on a separate page of your podcasting website and only put a link to it in the show notes.

Fresh tip: Transcripts can be super helpful when you are editing episodes. In fact some editing software like Descript provides a transcript as a main part of its system. Also, they can be helpful when you are trying to find little snackable content for your social media posts. Transcripts are just all around handy so use them!

Call to Actions

The nice part about this section is that you can copy and paste it every time, if you want! πŸ‘

Here you can ask people to rate and review your podcast, sign up for your newsletter, add you on social media, donate to cover the costs of podcasting, subscribe for premium content… all of it. πŸ€™

Just keep it super simple and clean, with links that go where they are supposed to go.

Be sure to start the call to actions with the easiest going to hardest tasks. Or what you most want them to do most to what is less important. It is easy for people to zone out after the first listed ask. 😴

But do be sure to list them all! Different listeners have different things they are comfortable doing so you should give them all the options. For example, someone may prefer privately donating to publicly following the show on social media. To each their own!

Examples of Podcast Show Notes

Examples are sometimes the easiest way to learn, so check out the ones below to get an idea of how other podcasts do their show notes.

You’ll notice that no two are the same– take inspiration in that! You do have creativity and control to make the show notes best fit you and your content! πŸ§‘β€πŸŽ¨

Here is an example from Going Wild (note this is actually in Apple Podcasts itself):

Podcast Show Notes examples

And an example from a Scam Goddess:

Podcast Show Notes example

Let’s wrap up with Huberman Lab:

Podcast Show Notes example

What did you think of these podcast examples? Were some too short- what would you add? How is the writing style? Any points for cleverness? Can you tell what their SEO search keywords are?

One tip to create something well is to look at how others’ are doing it. The same goes in podcast world. Start a habit of looking at other podcasts’ show notes, recording what you do and don’t like. It will help you when it is your turn to write them! πŸ’ͺ

That’s all we’ve got for today folks. Thanks for reading- go out there and create some awesome show notes! πŸš€

Avatar of Katie
January 10, 2023

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