While the podcast audio format is engaging and convenient for many, every podcast episode deserves a written companion as well in the form of podcast show notes and even an article. Here’s why.
Benefits of Written Episode Show Notes or Articles
There are several benefits to pairing each podcast episode with an article or set of show notes:
Allows readers to consume the content differently
Not everyone consumes information the same way. Some people prefer reading, while others like listening. By having a written version of your podcast content, you allow consumers to interact with your ideas in their preferred format. Whether they read the full article, skim the show notes, or switch between reading and listening, you make the content more accessible.
Enhances the audience experience
When you only have an audio version of your podcast, you limit how audiences can engage with your work. But by also offering a written version, you provide a multimedia experience. Readers can still listen to your original podcast recording while also gaining value from the written piece. It caters to different learning styles and gives consumers more options to choose from.
Increases podcast discoverability
With millions of podcasts out there, standing out from the crowd is a challenge. But pairing podcasts with written content makes it easier for new audiences to discover your show. The written pieces allow you to better optimize for search engines and rank for relevant keywords. When someone searches for a topic you covered, your article has a chance of outranking the competition and getting your podcast in front of new listeners.
Why Transcripts Alone Aren’t Enough
In the past, some podcasters have published just the raw transcript of an episode and considered their written content complete. However, this approach misses many of the benefits outlined above.
Lack of optimization
Transcripts capture exactly what was said, verbatim, during a podcast recording. While accurate, this format isn’t optimized for search engines or for an engaging reading experience. The word choice and cadence that works well for audio doesn’t necessarily translate seamlessly to the written word.
Full transcripts are typically published as a wall of text without any formatting, images, or media assets to help break up the content. This hurts readability and fails to take advantage of the multimedia options available with written content.
Less narrative flow
During an audio discussion, thoughts don’t always follow a narrative arc like they would in an article format. Transcripts can feel disjointed or jump randomly between ideas without transitions. This makes it harder to extract key insights.
Best Practices for Written Companions
To get the most value out of your podcast content, follow these best practices when creating written episodes:
Choosing between podcast show notes and articles
Show notes include short bullet point summaries of the key takeaways from an episode. They offer an overview without going in-depth. Articles allow you to fully explore an idea through narrative writing. Consider your goals – if you want to boost SEO, articles may work better. If you want a quick reference guide to the episode, stick with show notes.
Do keyword research
Figure out the terms and topics you want to rank for, and then optimize your written content accordingly. This includes using keywords in titles, subtitles, meta descriptions and image alt text. Also focus on providing value around these topics in your content.
Insert relevant images, graphics, embedded media, and other visual elements to improve the reading experience. Break up walls of text and help highlight important points.
Link back to the podcast
At the top, bottom, or inline of the post, include a call-to-action linking to your podcast episode so readers can easily listen as well. Make subscribing and accessing your show as seamless as possible.
Promote the written piece
Don’t just publish your articles or show notes and expect readers to find them. Promote them on social media, link to them from your podcast episode descriptions, and ensure they are easy to discover through SEO best practices. Publish audiograms – short video snippets!
Pairing podcast episodes with show notes, articles or other written content allows audiences to consume your ideas in their preferred format.
The bottom line is that your podcast audio alone is just one way for audiences to interact with your ideas and expertise. Give them options by creating purposeful, strategically written companions for each episode. Follow these best practices, and your podcast and website content will become more discoverable, engaging, and effective overall.