Podcast show notes may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about starting a podcast. However, they are important.
Your podcast show notes will provide a number of benefits to your listeners, and they can also be incredibly valuable to you as the host.
Let’s first take a look at the benefits of creating podcast show notes, and then break down some of the key components you should include.
The benefits of podcast show notes
The benefits of creating podcast show notes are plenty. On the flip side, the only reason why you might choose not to create podcast show notes is… well, the time it takes to create them.
But even if podcast show notes aren’t something you want to take on yourself, there are plenty of companies out there that will provide a show notes service at a reasonable cost.
Benefit #1 – For your listener
By creating a show notes page you’re giving your listener a reliable and place to go for a recap and references of what was discussed in any given episode.
The added benefit for them is they get to tune in to your episodes on-the-go and know that they can always visit your website later on to grab links and notes.
Benefit #2 – For your guest
If you are doing an interview-based podcast, then creating a show notes page gives your guest another place to shine. Linking back to their website or social media profiles – or to one of their products or services – is a big plus for them.
Benefit #3 – For your sponsors and affiliates
This is really a benefit all around: for your listeners, for your sponsors and/or affiliates, and for you.
By creating a show notes page you’re not only making it easy for your listeners to grab links for products or services they might want to check out, but you’re also giving your sponsors and/or affiliates another visibility point.
As a result, you’re also giving yourself an additional opportunity to increase conversions and earn commissions.
Benefit #4 – For your site
Podcast show notes – if done right – can be of big benefit to your website overall because of the added SEO potential.
Do you have to include transcripts in order to gain benefit from having a show notes page?
While it could help, depending on the words within the transcript, I don’t think it’s necessary to have it in order to rank well.
What podcast show notes should include
Now that you have solid reference for the many reasons why creating podcast show notes can be of benefit, you might be wondering what your podcast show notes should include.
The short answer is: they should include what your listeners want.
The long answer is…
Your podcast show notes should include what your listeners want, which is dependent on you knowing them intimately. Remember, this is the importance of knowing your avatar inside and out: when you come up against questions like this, it should be quite simple to answer them based on what you know about your avatar.
For example, would your avatar tune in to one of your episodes and want to take a ton of notes, but not be in a position to do so?
If yes, then it would be really helpful for them to have a show notes page they can go to afterwards in order to get a recap of the most important points, plus have links to the recommended resources or references made throughout the episode.
Or maybe your avatar loves tuning in to the podcast, but what they would really find helpful in addition is if they had a place to go in order to read a full transcript because that’s how they’ll best retain the content.
An example of podcast show notes
You can check out an example of our podcast show notes, but a note: our show notes have evolved and been updated several times based on our knowledge of what our listeners want, in addition to the format of our episodes.
As an example, our show notes for our masterclass episodes are much more in-depth than our show notes for our Q&A episodes.
Regardless of the format you choose for your podcast show notes, be flexible, and always be asking and listening for feedback from your listeners.
Also, whether you choose to go bare bones with your podcast show notes or go all out with a full transcript and more, these are the elements I believe are most important:
1. A short description
Every podcast show notes page should include a short description of what your listener will walk away with. Whether it’s a topic-based episode, an interview episode, or a Q&A episode, you should be able to communicate in 1 – 2 sentences why someone should tune in.
2. Links to resources
Throughout each of your episodes you’ll likely discuss books, reference quotes, mention something you’ve learned from someone else, or make recommendations for software or other services you’ve used.
This is not only a great opportunity to include sponsor and/or affiliate links on your website, but it’s also a way for you to add value for your listeners by making it easy for them to access the things you’ve discussed.
3. Key takeaways
Giving your listeners the peace of mind that you – the host – is there to ensure they walk away with the highest amount of value is important, and by listing out key takeaways from the episode you’ll be doing just that.
4. Where you can learn more
If you discussed a particular topic or had a guest on your show, it’s good practice to include links to other resources where your listeners can learn more – either about that specific topic or about the guest you had on the show.
Podcast show notes
Podcast show notes are an important addition and something I recommend including.
But don’t feel like it has to be perfect…
As you continue improving your podcast workflow you’ll learn new ways to be more efficient when it comes to creating your show notes.
One way I love to create show notes is by jotting down notes as key points are discussed, or dropping markers throughout my recording where I know I can go back to identify an important point during an interview.
Wherever you decide to go with your podcast show notes, make sure you stay flexible and always be looking for ways to improve based on feedback from your listeners.