Issue #9

5 easy steps to create better podcast show notes

8 min read
In this Article

Podcasts can be a multi-tasker’s dream.

As a reader, you just don’t have the attention span for reading every blog post in your feed or keeping up with others on social media. If you’re anything like me, you can hardly sit through a five-minute YouTube video without opening a new tab.

In a distraction-heavy world, many people are now turning to podcasts. They are a great solution because we can listen to them while trying to be productive doing other things, like washing the dishes or driving during our morning commute.

While we’d like to think we gain everything a podcast episode has to offer while listening, chances are there’s a lot that we miss. This is why show notes are more important than ever.

What to include in podcast show notes

Why podcast show notes are important

Why can’t you just record a podcast episode, edit it, and publish it on iTunes? While it would be nice if the process stopped there, creating a successful podcast is just as much about promotion as it is about content creation.

Show notes are a must when marketing your podcast. You can think of it as the “hub” that collects everything new and what current listeners need to know about each episode. Here are some other reasons why podcast notes are important.

Podcast show notes give better detail

When you’re listening to an episode, it’s so easy to tune out and miss key points. I frequently do this since I usually listen to podcasts when I’m getting ready for the day, eating a quick lunch, or cleaning my condo.

For people like me who are in a rush (which is likely most of your audience), creating podcast show notes gives listeners like us a chance to catch up on what we may have missed.

Better Search Engine Optimization (SEO) with keywords 

Just like a blog post, you can add keywords to your show notes to help the content’s SEO value. Your SEO-optimized podcast title would then become your post’s headline and the description becomes your intro content.

Be sure to sprinkle a few of your industry-specific keywords throughout your show notes. If a keyword you usually use isn’t relevant to the specific episode, leave it out and add in other keywords that are still relevant to your niche but also to your episode topic. You may just tap into a new extension of your audience that way!

Easily repurpose them as a new quality blog post

When you start producing podcast episodes regularly, finding the time to blog will get a bit harder. Luckily, podcast show notes can act as another piece of blog-like content for your website. You still get many of the benefits of blogging, but you also get to repurpose the episode so you’re not duplicating work.

You can also turn themes from the show notes into multiple blog posts.

Pro tip: Don’t forget to link back to each blog post when you do. It’ll boost your domain authority which helps with your SEO.

They  become a hub for your most important resources

Everyone likes to know what others are reading, watching, and listening to, but it becomes overwhelming to answer these questions over and over.

When you create a podcast, you have the chance to naturally bring up your favorite resources in the conversation and then link to them in your show notes. You can also include affiliate links which can generate some nice side income. Don’t forget to mention your products and services too!

What to include in your podcast show notes

Now that you’re convinced podcast show notes are worth the few extra steps, let’s dig into what goes into a good podcast summary. A good thing to remember is that the podcast content has already done most of the work for you!

Here’s how to pull out the additional information you’ll need to create better show notes:

#1: The main points of each episode

When you listen to the episode in its entirety, try to pull out the main themes from the conversation. These main points can be displayed in a simple bulleted format for easy reading.

#2: A list of resources mentioned

Any time you mention a book, movie, or specific website, it’s important to include a link in your podcast show notes so listeners can access it later. If you want to add any extra context as to why you mentioned each resource, feel free to add it in.

#3: A collection of memorable episode quotes

When recording your episode, there will be so many notable quotes from the interview. When you listen to the final episode, write down the most quotable things both you and the interviewee said. These make for easy sharing on social media.  

5 steps to maximize your podcast show notes

How to maximize your podcast show notes in 5 easy steps

You now have a general workflow for what to include. Now we can start talking about how to get the most out of your podcast show notes. As you know, show notes take time to put together so these tips will help you conserve energy in the process.

Step 1: Write a loose content outline before recording

If you’re a little nervous about recording your first podcast episodes, don’t worry. It’s normal to feel that way with anything new. Luckily, there are some things you can prepare ahead of time to calm your nerves before the interview. One is to make a list of your main talking points.

Not only does a content outline help you organize your thoughts, it will also help you define what the main points of your podcast summary will be. This outline can steer the conversation and act as a guide in reviewing your interview.

Step 2: Have your guests help you with the work

Now, this doesn’t mean you’ll ask your guests to edit their own episodes–that wouldn’t be good. Instead, you can ask them to send over any talking points they want to discuss in the episode. Then you can use those as main points in the podcast summary.

You can also ask them to send over their headshot, bio, and any other information you need before recording the episode so it’s all ready to go.

Step 3: Translate main ideas > transcribing

You may have seen that some podcast hosts include a full episode transcription in their show notes. While that can be helpful for some, most people just want the main points if they’re not going to listen to the episode. Basically, don’t worry about typing out every word of the podcast.

Pro tip #1: Add timestamps along with your main talking topics to make it easy for your listeners to find or jump to the relevant section for them.

Pro tip #2: If you take accessibility seriously you should consider adding a transcription so they can be consumed by a deaf or hard of hearing audience. It can also be very helpful to non-native listeners.

Step 4: Share the podcast show notes on social media

Your podcast show notes are unique pieces of content just like a blog post or YouTube video. That means they’re worth sharing and promoting on social media.

You can do this throughout the first week of the podcast episode’s publish date and sprinkle it into your social media calendar for future promotion. Just because the episode is in your archive doesn’t mean it’s any less worthy of being promoted. Make sure to add social share buttons to your show notes, too.

To take it a step further, you can create a Click to Tweet link for each of the quotes or turn the quotes into pin-worthy graphics. You could even share the quote graphics on Instagram or include the text quote in your caption. Repurposing content you’ve already created helps you work smarter instead of harder.

Step 5: Offer bonus content 

Who doesn’t love a good freebie? When you add bonus free content in your podcast show notes, a first-time visitor may be interested enough to sign up and check out your podcast.

If you mention the bonus content as calls-to-action inside the episode, you may gain some additional subscribers from those who listen. If building your email list is one of your overarching marketing goals, this is a great way to do it.

Make a podcast show notes template to save you time

Using the same template for all your show notes helps you create consistent content for your audience– something that’s highly valuable. You’ll also create more content in less time. And since you’ve already decided what you’ll include in each episode, you’re already halfway there!

To help you finish up, we’ve created a podcast show notes template to help you write better show notes.

Share your podcast show notes

Want to give your audience a peek inside each podcast episode? Sending an email with your podcast show notes lets your audience know exactly what to expect in your newest episodes and get excited to listen in. You could also set up a landing page so your audience can sign up to be notified each time an episode goes lives.

And did you know you can set those up for free? On the ConvertKit Free plan you can create unlimited landing pages, broadcast emails, and even sell digital products! Sign up for your free account today and start connecting with your audience.



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Kayla Hollatz

Kayla Hollatz is a copywriter and content creator for creative entrepreneurs who want their words to connect and convert. Few things make her happier than ghostwriting for clients in her studio, aka her four-season porch with a lake view. She can frequently be found fighting Minnesota winters with a mug of hot chocolate in hand.

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