If you're not familiar with the term, "show notes" are simply a written record of what was discussed on a given episode of a podcast. Many podcasters choose to include show notes on their website or blog, as they can be a helpful way for listeners to follow along and reference back to important topics later on.
They're a key part of your content marketing strategy and can help you attract new podcast listeners, generate leads, and grow your business. Additionally, show notes help new listeners understand what your podcast is all about and whether it's something they might be interested in.
In this blog post, we'll discuss why show notes are essential, and we'll give you tips on how to write them effectively. We'll also provide some templates and examples that you can use as inspiration.
If you're still on the fence about whether or not to write podcast show notes, here are three reasons why you should definitely make the effort:
Show Notes Help with Search Engine Optimization
One of the best ways to ensure that your podcast is discovered by new listeners is to optimize your website for search engines. This means including relevant keywords throughout your site, including in your blog posts and podcast show notes.
When potential listeners do a search related to your podcast topic, you want your website (and specifically, your show notes) to come up in the results. By including key information and keywords in your show notes, you improve your chances of being found online. On top of this you want to make sure you have an SEO-optimised podcast title to attract listeners when browsing.
Written Content will Allow You to Share More than Just an Audio Clip
While the audio itself is obviously the most important part of any podcast episode, show notes give you an opportunity to share additional information with your listeners. This could be anything from links to articles or products mentioned on the show, images, or even an episode transcript of the conversation. This extra content helps listeners engage with your podcast in a more meaningful way and gets them excited for future episodes.
Show Notes Help You Build a Community Around Your Podcast
One of the best things about podcasts is that they allow people from all over the world to connect with each other and build a community around shared interests. As a podcaster, you have the opportunity to foster this community feeling by engaging with listeners through comments and social media. But you can also use podcast show notes as a way to start conversations and get people talking.
For example, you could pose a question at the end of your show notes and invite readers to leave their thoughts in the comments section. Or, if you're featuring guests on your show, include links to their websites or social media channels so that listeners can connect with them directly.
How to maximize your podcast show notes in 6 easy steps
Now that we've talked about the importance of show notes, let's get into some tips on how to write them effectively. Here are a few best practices to keep in mind:
1. Keep it Concise
The key to writing effective podcast show notes is to be concise. You want to include enough information to give listeners a brief summary what your podcast is about, but you don't want to overwhelm them with too much detail. A good rule of thumb is to keep your show notes to around 200-300 words. This may seem like a challenge at first, but remember that you're not writing a novel - you're just giving listeners a quick overview of the episode.
2. Use Keywords
Similar to a blog post, including relevant keywords in your show notes is important for search engine optimization. But even if you're not worried about SEO, using keywords can be a helpful way to organize your thoughts and ensure that you're covering all of the relevant topics.
For example, if you're writing show notes for an episode about social media marketing, some of the keywords you might use include "social media," "marketing," "strategy," and "tactics."
3. Be Clear
When it comes to writing podcast show notes, clarity is key. You want to make sure that your readers can understand what you're trying to say without getting lost in a sea of jargon. So, avoid using technical terms or industry-specific language that your listeners might not be familiar with. Instead, opt for clarity and concision - this will help ensure that your show notes are accessible to everyone.
4. Use Lists and Bullet points
One of the best ways to make your show notes easy to read and digest is to use lists and key points. Breaking down your thoughts into smaller, manageable chunks will help readers follow along and understand your points more easily. Plus, lists and bullet points just look nicer on the page - which can also help improve the overall aesthetic of your show notes.
5. Include Links
If you're mentioning any external resources in your podcast show notes - such as articles, products, or services - be sure to include links. This is an essential tip for anyone who is using affiliate marketing links and wants to gain as much commission as possible.
This will make it easy for listeners to access the information you're talking about and learn more about the topics you're discussing. Plus, if you're linking to any of your own content, this is a great way to drive traffic back to your website or blog.
6. Proofread Your Show Notes
Once you've written your show notes, it's important to proofread them before publishing. This will help you catch any typos or grammatical errors that might have slipped through. Using apps like Grammarly Additionally, reading your show notes aloud can also be helpful in spotting any issues. So, take a few minutes to review your show notes before hitting "publish" - it'll be worth it in the end.
Podcast show notes are a great way to engage with your listeners, improve your SEO, and drive traffic back to your website. By following the tips above, you can ensure that your show notes are effective.
Three Podcast Show Note Templates To Start From
Now that we've gone over some tips for writing effective show notes, let's take a look at three different templates you can use to get started.
The "Brief summary" Show Notes. If you're short on time or just starting out, this simple show notes template is a great option. This template includes the bare minimum information you need to get your show notes up and running.
A brief episode summary
A link to the episode
The "Detailed" Show Notes. If you want to include a bit more information in your show notes, the "detailed" template is a good option. This template includes everything from the "quick and dirty" template, plus:
A list of topics covered in the podcast episode
A transcript of the episode
Links to any resources mentioned in the episode
The "Full-Featured" Show Notes
If you're looking for a comprehensive show notes template, the "full-featured" option is for you. This template includes everything from the "quick and dirty" and "detailed" templates, plus:
A list of questions covered in the episode
A call-to-action for listeners
Additional resources related to the episode topics
Which template you choose will ultimately depend on your needs and preferences. So, take some time to experiment and see which one works best for you and your show.
Podcast Show Notes Examples
To give you a better idea of how show notes can be used in practice, let's take a look at a few examples.
Example 1: The Art of Charm
The Art of Charm is a popular podcast that covers a wide range of topics related to dating, relationships, and self-improvement. Their show notes are concise and easy to read, which makes them great for quickly scanning through episodes. Plus, they include links to relevant resources, so listeners can easily access the information they need.
Art of Charm Show Notes Example
Example 2: The Tim Ferriss Show
The Tim Ferriss Show is another popular podcast that covers a variety of topics, including business, investing, and lifestyle design. What's great about their show notes is that they're broken down into sections, which makes them easy to navigate. They have an outline, important time stamps, as well as descriptive sponsor messages. If you would like to know about podcast sponsors make sure and check out our article here.
Additionally, they include transcripts of each episode, so listeners can easily follow along.
Tim Ferriss Show Notes Example found here.
Example 3: Copyblogger FM
Copyblogger FM is a podcast about content marketing, copywriting, and online business. Their show notes are well-organized and include everything from a transcript of the episode to a list of resources mentioned.
Plus, they also have a call-to-action for listeners at the end of each post, which is a great way to keep people engaged.
Copyblogger FM Show Notes Example:
As you can see, there's no one right way to format your show notes. It all comes down to what works best for you and your podcast.
When it comes down to it, there are really no downsides to including show notes for your podcast episodes. Not only do they help with search engine optimization, but they also give you an opportunity to share additional information with listeners and build a community around your show.
So if you do not already include them, be sure to start writing up those show notes! Your listeners will thank you for it.