Why You Should Be Doing Podcast Show Notes

October 26, 2020

We often get two questions around podcast show notes: 

  1. What even are podcast show notes?
  2. Do I really need them? 

Podcast show notes provide additional information and resources for the listener to skim through and discover. And do you need them? Yes. 

But don’t worry, we’re not going to leave you there. Throughout this article we’re diving deeper into why podcast show notes are valuable and some key tips to making your own. 


What Are Podcast Show Notes? 

Some people tend to get confused with the difference between an episode description and show notes. Episode descriptions are a short, enticing, almost pitch for your podcast episode, telling listeners some key things they might learn and why they should listen. You’re trying to grab their attention and get them to press the play button. 

Show notes on the other hand summarize the episode and provide additional information and resources for listeners. This could include things like links to websites, articles, products or anything mentioned throughout the episode. Maybe you talked about an image you saw on the internet -- that can be attached in the show notes. You can also add links to websites, emails, and social media handles so that listeners can get in touch with you.

Podcast show notes offer tremendous opportunity and value to your series and are a great way to tell/show listeners the action that you want them to take next (a.k.a your written call-to-action). 



Why You Need Podcast Show Notes

Convenience 

Even though your main goal is obviously to get listeners to tune in and listen to your episode, sometimes audio just isn’t enough. Podcast show notes give listeners the opportunity to read a more in-depth overview of what you will be discussing in the podcast and some of the resources they can expect you to review. If they’re tight on time reading this can be a selling point on your series over another. Or what if there were some books that you referenced in the episode and listeners want to refer back to them? Are you really going to make them listen to the entire episode again? No! They don’t have time for that. 


Visual Element

Show notes add that visual element to your podcast, and sometimes that’s really necessary for listeners. And by creating in-depth show notes you’re also proving to your listeners that you’re dedicated to making sure they have all the information they may need to take their next step of action, such as check out resources you discussed, get in touch with you, etc. 


SEO 

Another take of the benefits of podcast show notes is SEO. SEO stands for "search engine optimization", and is the process of improving your visibility and traffic you generate from search engines like Google. The better your SEO, the more likely you'll grow your listeners. Your show notes are the perfect place to strategically place keywords that will help boost your podcast’s SEO overall, therefore assisting in your growth. 


Yes, it can take a little more effort on your end but trust us, your listeners will appreciate you and you’ll attract more exposure to your podcast. 



5 Tips For Creating Podcast Show Notes

  1. Keywords

While you’re writing your podcast show notes keep keywords in mind. Strategically place keywords in the titles, headers, and throughout the body text to boost your searchability. 

Be careful though not to keyword stuff (which is pretty much what it sounds like: stuffing as many keywords as possible into a chunk of text). No one wants to read that sales-y stuff and search engines don’t appreciate it. 


  1. Make Them Easy to Read

Remember, your listeners aren’t expecting to read a novel. Yes, giving them more in-depth information is important and you can and should do that. The way you format though is important. For example, when you’re linking resources, have a quick statement of what the resource is and then the link - simple as that.

In short, your show notes should be skimmable for whoever’s reading. 


  1. Guest Bios

Podcast show notes are a great way to add descriptions of your guests. Especially if a potential listener is debating whether or not they want to press play, reading your show notes and learning more about the guest may entice them. 

Make sure that in addition to your guest’s bios you also link ways for listeners to get in touch with them or find them on social media (if the guest consents to this). 


  1. CTAs 

Your call-to-action is key here. Tell your listeners what you want them to do and where they should go next. This could be anything from linking to a Patreon page for them to donate, your website, a webinar, social media channels, another series you have, or even to past episodes to boost your growth even more. 


  1. Format

We quickly mentioned format above but really wanted to hammer it home. When you’re writing show notes make sure to include titles, headers, paragraphs, bold text, italicized text, etc. Essentially, anything that will make your show notes easier to read.


Podcast Show Notes Resources 

If this article wasn’t enough to inspire you to jump in and create your own podcast show notes, here are some further resources you can check out: 

  1. Buzzsprout has created this free podcast show notes template
  2. Castos created some helpful SEO tips for podcasts;
  3. Podcast Fast Track is a service specifically focused on creating podcast show notes;
  4. If you need some more inspiration, check out The Tim Ferriss Show.


Your Show Notes Are For Your Audiences

And the final thought we’ll leave you with: remember that your podcast show notes are for your audience. You’re trying to add some convenience into their life while growing your series at the same time.


Platform
Price
Pro’s
Con's
Anchor

Free

  • Easy to use
  • Automatically distributes your podcast to major platforms.
  • Embed media player.
  • Great if podcasting is a
    side hobby
  • Very basic editing
  • Since it’s a free tool, you don’t have full control over the monetization of your podcast.
  • Not the right platform for people taking podcasting seriously
Buzzsprout

Free for 2 hours of content per month

$12 for 3 hours per month

$18+ for 6 hours and up

  • Very user-friendly
  • Caters to both long term and beginner podcasters
  • Advanced analytics
  • Easy distribution of your episodes
  • They measure their size requirements to hours not megabytes
  • Bonus: get a free $20 Amazon gift card when you sign up for any paid hosting plan!
  • Advanced features like dynamic ad insertion need some work
Libsyn

$5/month for Monthly Storage 50mb

  • Oldest podcast hosting site.
  • Easy distribution to major platforms and great for scaling once your podcast gets bigger.
  • Hosted over 35,000 podcasts.
  • An iTunes Podcast partner.
  • Allows you to publish your podcast to specific directories.
  • Embed media player.
  • Price is based on storage
  • 50mb storage for $5 won’t be enough if you are publishing weekly so you’ll end up with a higher price point
Podbean

Unlimited audio package: $9/month

Storage space:

Unlimited

  • Great support & customer service features
  • Unlimited audio.
  • Pages are easy to customize
  • Can schedule podcast release dates.
  • Easy to use.
  • Uploads and changes to podcast titles and/or descriptions are automatic to Spotify.
  • Embed media player.
  • Simple Analytics
  • Analytics aren’t as advanced as other platforms
  • Upload and changes to podcast titles and/or descriptions take a day to change on iTunes.
  • Not an iTunes podcast partner.
  • The process to send a podcast to iTunes is more tedious. But, you will still be able to get on the platform.
Blubrry

Classic

$5/month

Monthly Storage

50mb

  • Podcast Wordpress plugin and management.
  • If you want to record a new introduction or conclusion, add in a sponsored ad or upload a new version of a podcast, it doesn't count towards your storage usage per month.
  • Blubrry allows a 25% storage overage each month
  • Prices are based on storage.
  • Usability is okay.
SimpleCast

Starting: $15/month

Recommendation: $35/month

Monthly Storage: Unlimited

  • Hosts your audio files no matter what the size!
  • Dynamic insertion for podcast ads or edits.
  • Incredibly detailed analytics including number of episodes completed and listener location tracking.
  • Embed media player.
  • Easy to use.
  • Great distribution! Easy access to all major podcast platforms.
  • Customizable podcast
    website.
  • Prices are slightly higher than other platforms, but well worth it especially if you have a branded company podcast!