Podcasters Guide To Show Notes

May 1, 2023

What Are The Benefits Of Having Show Notes?


User Experience – It makes it easier to skim and see what is included in the podcast episode. We can skim the notes and simply read the nuggets that interests us. It also entices the user to listen to the episode (or watch if you have YouTube video embedded on the page). 

Encourage Listener Engagement – If they see a topic in your notes that peaks their interest (or a specific time stamp), they are more likely going to click, download and listen. 

Visual Appeal – There’s nothing worse than an empty page. Sure you may have the image and a tiny blurb – but then there is all this dead space. To me – what’s the point? Why have a page that has barely anything on it. 

Conversion Opportunities – The more information you put on the page, the more opportunities you have to pepper the page with graphics and call to actions. Get people to sign up for tools that you use (especially if you are an affiliate). Share your lead magnets or products or services. 

Boosts Authority – When the podcast is about you and your expertise it gives you the chance to expand on your knowledge and showcase your authority on the topic. They are more likely to see you as the go-to expert. 

Repurpose Content – When you have show notes, it’s easier to create social media posts, quotes and consumable micro content. 

Search Engine Optimization – If you have meaty show notes, it gives you the chance to SEO the post and rank for a specific keyword. Search engines can crawl and index, so your podcast shows up in relevant searches. But you have to do your research (and it’s okay to change the title of the post. If it doesn’t match the exact podcast graphic / episode title – that’s okay) and use a keyword that is being searched for (but not too competitive). 

You Can Use Them To Write A Book – Have you ever read Tools of Titans by Tim Ferris? Good book – I have it. It’s made from podcast episodes! Enough said! 

Organic Traffic To Your Site – by publishing your episodes (guest or hosted) on your site as ‘blog posts’, using show notes, you are able to push traffic to your site from your emails, social media etc. You always want to point traffic to your  main hub, where people can get on your e-list, check out your products/services and expertise. You have more chance of generating sales calls and clients this way. 


Elements of Great Show Notes


Introduction  – This is a quick summary, maybe 3-6 sentences long that gives an overview of what you can get out of the episode, or what key topics are covered. You can also use this summary for social posts and even the episode description in your podcast host! 

Key Outcomes – You can share what the listener will gain from listening to the show. A brief list of what the benefits are. 

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Key Questions Asked – An easy way to format your show notes is to write down the key questions that were asked during the interview. And under those, share the key takeaways from those questions. Easy huh?

Key Takeaways – Or you can share key information that was shared during the episode. For each major point shared, give a few bullet points or a paragraph. You want to give enough information so that people understand the takeaway without having to completely listen to the whole episode. They can skim and take away a good tip or ‘aha’ moment.  Example below:

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Quotes – You can even share some key quotes shared in the episode, whether it’s you or the guest. You can create a graphic and put that on the page, or simply put one in bold so it stands out and breaks up the text on the page. They are an easy way to share a quick ‘nugget’ of info. Plus it’s so easy to use those for social media posts. 

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Blog Style – You can make a really meaty article based on the conversation or your script (if it’s a solo episode). This is a dream to SEO and rank for a keyword. 

Check out this example https://www.smoothbusinessgrowth.com/podcast-interviews/

Time Stamps – Time stamps are so amazing! It truly makes a great user experience and boost engagement. It’ll show the time stamp of a specific part in the episode about a specific tip. If that helps the user, they click on it and voila – they hear that exact spot in the interview – it skips right to it.  

You can give a short version of time stamps…

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Or you can give weightier information for each time stamp. 

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I’m not sure which one I like best – both are so helpful. 

Guest Information – If the topic is helpful, the reader/listener is going to want to know how to reach the guest. Share their short bio, as it gives a brief rundown as to what the person’s expertise is, and the website and social links. Make it easy for the user to find the person. Plus the guest will appreciate back links to their sites AND Google loves when you use outside links to reputable sources. 

Resources Mentioned In The Episode – Don’t make the user/ listener have to write things down, try to remember – it’s painful! If there are tools, websites, books or anything else mentioned in the episode put the links on the show notes! 

Sponsors – If you have sponsors on your show, this is a great space to showcase them! The sponsors will appreciate it and gives them more value. 

Call To Actions – YES! Don’t forget to add call to actions on your show page. You can do some snazzy graphic and link to your free guide, lead magnet, membership program or even affiliate product. Convert, convert, convert! 


Show Notes Mistakes You’ll Want To Avoid


1 – Not having any – Read the top part of this article! 

2 – Having the guest information at the top – So many show pages I see simply have the information about the guest. Their bio. Boooorrriiingggg.  It does NOT entice the reader in any way to listen to the episode. 

3 – Use transcripts – I mean – who actually reads them? They are so hard to read as we speak differently than we write and they are not organized by thoughts. They are impossible to skim and honestly, make my eyes bleed. 

4 – Using AI by itself – Sure AI is a great tool. BUT you can’t rely on AI to pull the best moments and summary from an episode. They spell things wrong and pull out strange statements that are not a proper reflection of what is covered in the episode. You HAVE to review them, alter and tweak. 

5 – Only write 3 sentences – A few sentences on what the episode is about is NOT enough to make the listener want to read. It does not evoke emotion. It does not give a sneak peak on what is covered and how they would benefit from listening. It does not give you an opportunity to create amazing and engaging micro content, nor SEO the post. 


How To Leverage Show Notes 


Okay, this is a whole other topic, but briefly, you want to USE those show notes to showcase the episode. 

Share sections of the show notes in your emails to your list – give them a really good tip, aha moment or quote that was in your show notes. 

Create a social media post sharing ONE of the key takeaways or quotes. 

Use the show notes to create a LinkedIn Article or Newsletter 

I touch upon this in my Podcast Leverage System for Hosts and Guests


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