If you’re a podcaster, perhaps you already have a bit of an idea what show notes are. Perhaps you’ve seen other podcasters use them. Maybe, you’ve thought about using them yourself but you’re still not fully convinced about their value.
Whatever the case may be, it would be a good idea to find all there is to know about show notes, why having them is a superb idea, and why you should start using them.
Simply put, show notes are a preview (or overview) of a particular podcast episode. Akin to a commercial or a trailer for a movie or a show, they will help your listeners understand the essence of the episode better.
In other words, show notes act as short summaries of a particular episode and it’s where listeners can find a brief information about the guest, the topics covered, and the key takeaways.
If the idea of writing is enough to get your heart racing, you’re not alone. It’s actually understandable (and expected) especially if word-smithing is not something you know you can’t confidently pull off.
Fortunately, nowadays, you have the option to delegate this task to someone more capable. However, if you want to give it a go, keeping the following principles in mind can help get your efforts off to a good start:
This is one of the most important aspects you need to nail. Keep in mind that your primary goal is to provide your listeners with a crystal clear preview of the episode. That being said, it’s not necessary that you write a really long one. Keeping it short, straightforward, and meaty is the best way to go.
So what’s the sweet spot? A minimum of 200 words and a maximum of 400 is deemed ideal. Anything less than the minimum can be classified as a description. Anything more will most likely bore readers and turn them away.
It’s a given that the content of the show notes is something that’s relevant to the particular episode. However, some people sometimes commit the mistake of including information that’s not relevant. Deciding on what points to include can be a challenge in itself. The main idea however is to make sure you don’t go off tangent.
As a general rule of thumb, make sure you are able to paint a clear picture of what listeners can expect. Include the highlights, the primary and interesting points of the conversation. Also, in a way that’s subtle, entice them through the show notes so they’ll go out of their way to listen.
While this is somehow related to the second tip which is relevancy, this one requires taking things a notch higher. In other words, make sure you keep the readers engaged by helping them learn a lot of things while reading your show notes.
In line with this, include external links that will lead them to something interesting or beneficial. That’s something you can do for starters. Include links to interesting reads or topics they can look up when they’re able. The more relevant information you can provide, the better and more engaging your show notes will be.
Have you incorporated show notes in your podcast? What approach has worked for you so far?
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