What are podcast show notes and how to write podcast show notes

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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. Having a written version of your podcast content allows 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.

Read next: How to search for a podcast episode to find specific content

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 gaining value from the written piece. It caters to different learning styles and gives consumers more options.

Increases podcast discoverability

With millions of podcasts, 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 can outshine the competition and get 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.

Read next: Does Apple Podcast Have Transcripts?

Here’s why full transcripts alone aren’t enough:

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 an engaging reading experience. The word choice and cadence that works well for audio don’t necessarily translate seamlessly to the written word.

Minimal formatting

Full transcripts are typically published as a wall of text without 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 explore an idea fully through narrative writing. Consider your goals – articles may work better if you want to boost SEO. If you want a quick reference guide to the episode, stick with show notes.

Do keyword research

Determine the terms and topics you want to rank for, 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.

Read next: 5 proven tactics: How to find long tail keywords!

Include multimedia

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

Include a call-to-action link to your podcast episode at the top, bottom, or inline of the post so readers can easily listen. Make subscribing and accessing your show as seamless as possible.

Promote the written piece

Don’t just publish your articles or show notes; 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.

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