How To Write Attractive Podcast Show Notes That Engages Listeners [2023]

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You’ve poured your heart and soul into creating an amazing podcast episode. You’ve got the perfect guest, the juiciest stories, and the most mind-blowing insights. But hold on a minute, what good is all that if your potential listeners don’t even give your episode a chance? That’s where engaging show notes come into play, my friend.

Podcast show notes give your audience a quick summary of the podcast episode, encourage existing listeners to tune in, attract new listeners, and provide some SEO boost to your podcast show if done well.

By mastering the art of writing show notes, you’ll maximize the potential of your podcast, attracting new listeners, and keeping your existing audience engaged. So, we will unlock the secrets to creating show notes that leave a lasting impression and drive the success of your podcast.

Are you writing your own show notes well enough? Let’s get into the best tips in this post to create great podcast show notes!

Host Seven Million Bikes
Naill Mackay- The Podcast Guy

Podcast show notes are essential and hugely underrated. Have you ever seen new podcasters skipping show notes or writing a 5000-word essay under the show note section that scares listeners?

Whether you are falling into one or the other, it is not your fault. I’ve been through the same thing in my podcasting journey. However, these dos and don’ts tips accelerated my writing and helped me engage listeners.

What Are Podcast Show Notes?

When it comes to podcasting, show notes play a crucial role in captivating your audience and enticing them to hit the “play” button. But what exactly are show notes?

What Are Show Notes?

Besides the podcast intro and outro, there’s an important part of a show- a compelling show note. This is one of the elements of the podcast metadata that you shouldn’t neglect.

Show notes are concise summaries of your podcast episodes that accompany the audio. They serve as a written companion to your episode and provide important information that can hook listeners and give them a taste of what to expect.

Imagine walking into a huge mall, and you don’t know where to find your favorite clothing store. First things first, you’ll get to the information desk, right? Now, the show note is like the information desk for listeners. It helps them navigate where they are and what the episode is going to be about.

Are podcast show notes essential for podcasters? The answer is YES.

 Podcast show notes
Podcast show note example

What is included?

Some podcast apps, for example, Apple Podcasts, typically limit the visible portion of a show note to around 400 to 500 characters. This means that only a brief summary or snippet of the show note will be displayed to listeners on Apple podcasts.

Try to include these important elements:

  • Summary
  • Key Talking Points
  • Guest info/quotes
  • Resources and Links
  • Call-to-Action

Episode descriptions and show notes

The episode descriptions and show notes are not the same, although they serve similar purposes and often complement each other. Both of them can appear on podcast-listening apps, but they serve different functions and may be displayed differently.

Episode Description

  • The episode description is a brief summary of the podcast episode that appears on podcast directories and platforms.
  • It is usually a few sentences to a short paragraph long and aims to grab the attention of potential listeners and give them a glimpse of what the episode is about.
  • The episode description serves as a marketing tool to entice people to click and listen to the episode.
Example of an Episode Description on Spotify
Episode Description

Show Notes

  • They are typically written as a separate blog or webpage post that accompanies the podcast episode.
  • Show notes provide additional context, information, and resources related to the episode. They can include a more in-depth summary, timestamps for different segments, links to additional resources mentioned in the episode, guest information, transcriptions or quotes, and other relevant information.
  • Show notes serve as a valuable resource for listeners who want to delve deeper into the episode’s content or access additional resources.

Why Do You Need Podcast Show Notes?

Keep reading if you haven’t spent extra effort on your podcast show notes. Podcast show notes are important for listeners to judge if they want to tune in to the episode or not. Here are four reasons why podcast show notes are important:

Introduce The Episode to New Listeners

There are millions of podcasting episodes on the internet. Therefore your podcast show notes could be your chance to stand out from the crowd and let people tune in to your show. Make sure you are concise when writing and include key points of the core goal of the episode.

What are the issues or topics that you want to solve in your show? What makes YOUR podcast show unique from other shows in the same niche? You can also create a template for this section and reuse it for every show note.

At the end of the day, know why you started a podcast. As a business, you want people to follow you on social media, check your latest online course, or sign up for your e-mail list.

Include those links (podcast email marketing, products’ links) in your podcast show notes to help our listeners take the next step and engage in your business.

Repurposed Content

When it comes to show-note writing, this process probably takes hours to summarize and clarify. Don’t throw that invested time away! As a podcaster, one way to get more listeners is to build a marketing strategy.

Those podcast notes can be part of a short social media caption, later expanded to be a blog post or story. – The creativity of how you repurpose that piece of writing is YOURS.

Does Podcast Show Note Help Your Podcast’s SEO?

In my podcast about the truth about SEO for podcasts, I go into a lot more detail on this. However, the short answer is no. Your show notes do not help your podcast SEO.

Many other people will tell you that you can include specific keywords in your title and show notes that will help your Google ranking. This is not true.

How To Write Podcast Show Notes?

We got all the main reasons why podcast show notes are essential. Now, let’s turn your show notes into a converting and engaging piece of writing.

Even though providing educational information is essential, you should not overdo it and flood your podcast show notes with every tiny detail and long description. A great podcast show note has a mix of informational and engaging writing that includes relevant calls to action for listeners to stay engaged with the show.

Step-by-step For The Better Podcast Show Notes

A HOOK

In this part, provide an opening statement to create tension or intrigue. Then a statement as to how the episode will remove that tension

Remember to include a fascinating hook. The hook serves as a compelling introduction that sparks curiosity and creates intrigue.

Brief summary

Remember to keep your episode summary concise, engaging, and easy to read. Aim to capture the essence of your podcast and entice potential listeners to click play.

  • Highlight the Main Points: Identify the key takeaways, main talking points, and summarize the most valuable or interesting aspects that listeners can expect to hear.
  • Include a Call to Action: Use phrases like “Listen now to discover,” “Join us as we explore,” or “Don’t miss out on.” This prompts readers to take immediate action and engage with your podcast.
  • Consider SEO: If you want your show note to be discoverable in search engines, incorporate relevant keywords naturally into the summary.

Episode’s main talking points

Including the main talking points of an episode in your podcast show notes, it’s important to provide a clear and organized overview of the key points and discussions covered.

  • Identify the core topics: Listen to your episode again, and make note of the key topics or themes discussed.
  • Include quotes or soundbites: If there were any particularly impactful quotes or memorable soundbites from the episode, consider including them
  • Clearly articulate how each topic or discussion contributes to the episode’s message you want to convey.

Guest bio

The goal of including guest information in your show notes is to provide your audience with a glimpse into the expertise and background of the guest, building anticipation for the episode and highlighting why their insights are valuable.

  • Short bio: Give a brief overview of who they are, mention key accomplishments, achievements, or notable experiences of the guest. Focus on aspects that are relevant to the episode’s topic or the value the guest brings to the conversation.
  • Include Social networking site/ Website Links: If the guest has a website, blog, social media pages, or an audio file consider including direct links in the show notes.

Timestamps

Timestamps in podcast show notes are markers that indicate specific points or sections within an episode along with their corresponding timecodes.

  • Be accurate: Ensure the timestamps align correctly with the corresponding content in the episode. Double-check the timings to avoid any discrepancies.
  • Use clear and consistent labels: Clearly label each timestamp with a brief description of the topic or section it represents. This helps podcast listeners quickly identify the content they are looking for.
Example of timestamps
Timestamps example
  • Previous Episodes: If you have covered similar topics or related discussions in older episodes, consider linking to those in your show notes. This helps your listeners aware of relevant content that complements the current episode and deepens their understanding of the subject matter.
  • Written Content: If you have written articles, blog posts, or any other content related to the topic in your podcasts, include links to them in the show notes.
  • Recommended Books or Resources: If there are books, websites, podcasts, or other external resources that provide further insights or expand on the episode’s subject matter.
  • Include links to your podcast on other platforms

Call to action

This is an opportunity to deepen the connection with your audience and guide them toward further engagement. Tailor your call to action to align with your podcast’s goals and the specific episode’s content to maximize its impact.

  • Be Clear and Direct: Make your call to action clear, strong and actionable. For example, “Subscribe now for future episodes,” “Leave a review and share your feedback,” or “Join our newsletter for exclusive updates.”
  • Use Visual Elements: Incorporate visually appealing buttons or icons that link directly to your desired action, such as a “Subscribe” button, “Review” button, or “Sign up” form.

Podcast show notes template:

Title:

[Title of the Episode]

Description:

[Brief summary of the episode’s topic and what listeners can expect to learn]

Guests:

[List of guests, including their names and any relevant credentials or affiliations]

Topics Discussed:

[Topic 1]

[Topic 2]

[Topic 3]

[etc.]

Key Takeaways:

[Key takeaway 1]

[Key takeaway 2]

[Key takeaway 3]

[etc.]

Resources Mentioned:

[Resource 1]

[Resource 2]

[Resource 3]

[etc.]

Wrap up the show note by reiterating the main points or key takeaways. Thank the readers for their time and invite them to listen to the episode for a deeper dive into the topic.

Here are a couple of do’s and dont’s to give specific examples of good podcast show notes.

Do’s and Don’ts When Writing Podcast Show Notes

Do’s on Podcast Show Notes

  • Summarize the episode’s key points in 3-4 simple sentences.
  • Include headings and subheadings
  • Include a short and catchy call-to-action with your website link or social media to grow your marketing channels and generate leads
  • Mention key benefits of listening to the episode or refer to the Treasure Hunting technique
  • Use bullet points that help the reader understand the main issues easily
  • Include 2-3 internal links in the description that can lead to your blogs (if any)
  • Brainstorm and get ideas from AI, for example, Descript

Don’ts on Podcast Show Notes

  • Write long paragraphs to summarize your episode.
  • Use long and wordy sentences that confuse the reader
  • Include ALL your products and services in one go and create a spammy description
  • Miss key benefits that the reader could learn from the podcast episode
  • Use many interlinks in your description (even links that aren’t related to the episode) that create a spammy paragraph
  • Not using keywords in your descriptions, not using Headings and Subheadings.

With this being said, I highly recommend downloading my simple podcast show note template and editing your podcast show notes today. 

Bottom line: Keep podcast show notes simple, be straightforward, and focus on what could be easily digestible from the listeners’ point of view.

A Conclusion

And there you have it, my podcasting aficionados! You now possess the insider knowledge and ninja skills to craft show notes that will leave your audience begging for more. Writing show notes is like adding a pinch of magic to your podcasting recipe, captivating your listeners and drawing them into your world of audio awesomeness.

Remember, show notes are your secret weapon for boosting engagement and building a loyal fanbase. By hooking your readers with a compelling introduction, summarizing your episode with flair, highlighting the main points, introducing your incredible guests, providing valuable resources, and sprinkling in a call to action, you’ll create show notes that pack a punch.

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