There’s way more to a successful podcast than just great content and top-quality audio. A lot of what goes into making a podcast successful is actually text-based!
This is because text-based content is way better suited to being searched by those crafty search engine bots! But what does that mean for an audio-based medium? It means that podcasters have to employ other tactics to get their show and content out there.
And one excellent way to do this is through creating show notes for your podcast.
When we’re talking about show notes, we’re not talking about a word-for-word transcript of your episode content, neither are we talking about a blog post based on your latest episode. When we use the term “show notes,” we’re referring to a summarized version of a podcast episode, detailing the main take-aways, highlighting more about your guest, as well as a place to include all the links to products, resources, or prominent people mentioned in the episode.
In our book, show notes are a necessity that every podcaster should include in their podcasting workflow. Why? You ask. Let us count the reasons.
Show Note Pros
- Firstly, as we’ve already mentioned, show notes provide that great SEO value your podcast needs to get noticed, and will enable your content to be searchable and improve your ranking in Google.
- Show notes also enhance the user experience by giving listeners the extra details on both the episode, your guest, as well as providing a way for your listeners to recap any points they may have missed.
- Podcast show notes can also act as a great introduction to your show. They can welcome in new listeners, and give them a better idea of the topics that are covered.
- Particularly if your podcast episodes are data or stats heavy, great show notes can provide a quick and easily digestible format for newcomers to scan through without having to commit to listening to a whole episode right off the bat. And once they get a taste for all you have to offer, you’ll have won over another listener!
And now let’s look at some cons…
Show Note Cons
Just kidding! There are no cons to creating show notes for your podcast!
So now that there can be no doubt regarding the absolute necessity of podcast show notes, let’s get to the real meat of this post – how you can create great show notes for your podcast.
Here’s our top tips to help you knock your show notes out of the park!
1. Cover All the Basics
First and foremost, your show notes must include all your episode basics. This should include that great episode title, the episode number, the date the episode aired, as well as including the names of any guests appearing on the episode.
This information makes it easy for your listeners to find the content they are looking for and just helps to improve the user’s overall experience whenever they interact with your podcast.
2. Include a Brief Episode Summary
This is the heart of your podcast’s show notes. The episode summary, as is obvious from the heading, gives readers an overall idea of the contents of that particular episode. Think of your episode summary as a way to whet the appetite of anyone who has never listened to one of your episodes before. You can inject some of your winning personality, but remember the purpose is to give readers insight into what you’ll be covering in your episode in such a way that they hit “Play” without giving it a second’s thought.
3. Add Key Points, Top Take-Aways, and Memorable Quotes
Next, you want to include your top quotes or take-aways. This section of your show notes is the part that gives extra value particularly to your base of loyal listeners. After your summary, add some of your key points, your top take-aways, as well as some of your most memorable quotes. Think of these as the points that will make for some amazing tweets or Instagram posts!
You can also add a section here where you dive into greater detail on some of your points, or provide extra information about guest. Depending on your niche or the particular episode content, you could even include some additional resources that are complementary to the episode topic.
4. Link Resources and Notable Mentions
Great show notes also make it easy for your audience to get easy access to books, products, or other content you mentioned on the show. Make sure you provide links to any of the above you mention in your episode, as well as providing links to anything relating to your guest. If they’ve written books, have their own podcast, or website, or anything else they use as part of their brand, these should be included in your show notes. But we’ll cover this in more detail little later on in the post.
5. Remember Those Keywords
Now that we’ve covered the basics of what should be included in your stand out podcast show notes, our last points cover some insider tips on how you can take your show notes to the next level.
The first tip is adding some niche-related keywords to your show notes. These will help boost your content’s SEO value, and get your show popping up in all the right places.
But don’t cram with keywords! Your show notes still need to be readable – that’s their main purpose after all! Keep a list of top keywords for your niche, and then find key places where you can include them in your show notes.
6. Include Guest Bios
If you’ve got a special guest on your episode, include a fun bio for them in your show notes. Not only will this help your podcast pop up when people are searching for anything related to your superstar guest, but it also helps create context and excitement around the episode by showing all that listeners can look forward to by listening to your interview.
Including a great guest bio, as well as links to all their resources, is also just a great way to pay it forward and show your appreciation for their time on your show. This will also, in turn, help make your show a desirable place to appear on as you’re known for going the extra mile to make your guest shine and helping them promote all that they’re doing, too.
7. Throw in Some Freebies
Take your show notes to the next level by throwing in some great freebies! This could be checklists, cheat sheets, how-to’s, or some infographics showcasing the main take-aways from your latest episode.
Freebies are a super effective way to amp up your niche authority, and they help to make your show notes even more valuable! People are always on the lookout for freebies, and if your show notes are the place to find some amazing free content, you’ll find your podcast audience growing as your readers look for new places to find your content.
8. End with Your Call To Action
A great way to end your show notes is with a call-to-action. This could be a request for your readers to sign up to your weekly email newsletter, to follow your podcast wherever they usually listen, or a link to that great new resource you have on offer at the moment.
This is a particularly useful strategy if you started your podcast as a way to drive traffic to your website, gain new customers, or grow the brand awareness for your business. By ending your show notes with a well-placed call-to-action, your show notes serve as another way to help your podcast fulfil its objectives.
9. Be Consistent
You also want to keep your show notes consistent. You should keep the structure and layout of your show notes as similar as possible with each episode you put out. This is both to help you as the podcaster put your show notes together as simply as possible, but also to make it easier for your readers to scan through your content.
Consistency means that you can use a standard template to easily pull your show notes together, you can create clear headings to help order your show notes in easy-to-follow format each time you publish, but you amp up your show notes value by making it easy for readers to find what they’re looking for.
Remember, your show notes are not a transcript of your full episode – they are a brief overview of the main points of your latest installment. Think of your show notes as the highlights reel of each episode. With that in mind, you want to keep your show notes as to-the-point as possible. You want to extract the heart of the episode and use that as your summary, without adding unnecessary info, or waffling on. You want to include the best quotes that add the most value to your readers, avoiding the temptation of making your show notes feel like a self-celebration of your greatest hits.
Podcast show notes must be something that you create with the reader in mind. Yes, they will help you immensely, but they shouldn’t be about you. This means that sometimes you’ll need to make the hard call of cutting out a hilarious quote or including something in your summary because it adds no value to your reader without the context of the whole epoisde.
Yes, you can, of course, use this technique occasionally to spark intrigue and curiosity to get people to download and listen to your latest episode, but this shouldn’t be your standard M.O. The bottom line is that your show notes must be, first and foremost, a value-rich resource for your readers and listeners.
Getting your podcast to rise to the top of the charts and then some takes more than just great quality audio and value rich content. You have to build authority in your niche, continually grow and strengthen your podcast community, and, perhaps most importantly, you need to crack the SEO code. And creating amazing show notes is an easy way to smash all of the above and so much more.
Keep your audience in mind as you create your show notes, be consistent, be succinct, include some freebies, and follow our pointers above, and the result will be some amazing podcast show notes! Which is not only great news for your audience, but it’s also means great things for your podcast. And that’s what we call a true win-win!