Show notes for podcasts - what are podcast show notes and how to write podcast show notes.

6 Common Show Notes For Podcast Mistakes (And How To Fix Them Quickly)

Do you feel exhausted from constantly promoting your podcast on social media without seeing substantial ROI (return on investment)? Are you searching for proven podcast growth strategies that can repeatedly enhance your visibility and attract new listeners? Podcast show notes are an often overlooked and misunderstood podcast marketing strategy. Today, we’ll discuss the typical mistakes podcasters make while creating show notes for podcasts, where to find podcast show notes, and my preferred AI tool to get the job done. With so much bad advice floating on the internet, it’s time to set the record straight!

Welcome to my corner of the internet! I’m Danielle, a travel and personal finance podcaster and podcast marketing coach. I help podcasters build a name for themselves in their industry, grow their audiences, and attract podcast sponsors by articulating their unique value proposition. On this blog, I write about podcast marketing and monetization. I invite you to join my newsletter so you always know when I publish a new article.

What are podcast show notes?

Podcast show notes are detailed summaries of podcast episodes written in a blog post format. They provide key points discussed in the episode, links to resources mentioned, guest information, and additional insights. Show notes can also include timestamps for specific topics discussed in the episode, making it easier for listeners to navigate and find relevant information.

They can enhance the listener’s experience, improve accessibility, and be a valuable promotional tool. Moreover, show notes can be used to generate income by including affiliate links, generating website ad revenue, or leveraging podcast sponsorships.

In a nutshell, show notes for podcasts are multipurpose assets for your brand.

Now, you may be wondering where to find podcast show notes. Unlike episode descriptions within podcast platforms like Apple Podcasts and Spotify, show notes are published on your website and accompany each podcast episode.

If you don’t already have a website for your podcast, consider Podpage. It’s an easy-to-use platform that helps you build a professional podcast website quickly from your RSS feed. You don’t need any coding or technical skills to use it.

Why podcast show notes are essential for audience growth

I have been working on improving my show notes for the past five years. At first, I followed the trend of writing brief summaries of each episode on my website. However, I realized that these summaries were not helpful to me or my listeners. So, I experimented with a more extended blog-style approach, and it worked wonders for me. My website traffic increased, and people started listening to my older episodes. My podcast, The Thought Card Podcast, started getting daily listens without any promotion from my end.

Here’s how it works. As people search for the topics I cover on my show, they stumble upon my blog posts (show notes page). They click on the embedded podcast player and tune in. They might even follow my podcast to stay in touch or stick to reading the blog post. Either way, they discover my work through a natural Google search.

So, the long-term growth strategy is two-fold. I leverage SEO (search engine optimization) in each post, and I also increased the length of my show notes from 300 words to nearly 2,000. By incorporating relevant keywords and phrases in each post and providing more value through longer posts, I improved my chances of being found by potential listeners through search engines. This increased traffic to my website, ultimately attracting more listeners. Today, many of my posts appear at the top of search results, growing my listenership passively on repeat.

What’s important to highlight here is that show notes for podcasts serve as a valuable resource for engaging with your audience beyond the audio content. I know it’s easy to rush the creation process, but I encourage you to take the time to create detailed and keyword-rich show notes to improve the overall searchability of your show. It’s worth the effort, and guess what? You only have to do the work once (with the occasional maintenance). I still have show notes from years ago, which continue driving daily traffic and affiliate sales today. This long-lasting impact is undeniably powerful.

Now that the basics are covered, here’s how to get the most out of them by avoiding these mistakes.

1. Embedding the podcast player in the first paragraph

One common mistake made by podcasters is embedding the podcast player from platforms such as Libsyn and Ausha in the first paragraph. While it may seem like a good idea to promote your podcast right away, this can actually hurt your podcast SEO efforts. Search engines, such as Google, prioritize the first paragraph of a webpage when analyzing its content. By embedding the podcast player in the first paragraph, you miss out on the opportunity to include important keywords and hooks that can attract readers and improve your search.

2. Not linking to specific episodes in various podcast players

Sometimes, podcasters make the mistake of not including links to specific episodes in various podcast players. Instead, they might only link to their general podcast profile, which can make it difficult for potential listeners to find and listen to a specific episode. To make it easier for your audience, include direct links to your episodes on popular platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, and more. One way to simplify this process is using a universal podcast link service like Podlink, which directs listeners to their preferred podcast player.

3. Neglecting keywords in episode titles

Episode titles are a key factor in attracting listeners. They are often the first thing potential listeners see and can either encourage them to listen to your episode or make them skip it altogether.

Include relevant keywords or key phrases in episode titles to increase their visibility on search engines and help potential listeners discover your content.

Take the time to review your episode titles, ensure they are clear and compelling and include highly searchable relevant keywords. Doing so can improve your search rankings and increase the chances of attracting listeners.

4. Keeping show notes too brief

Less is not more. I recently watched a video where advice was given that show notes for podcasts should be read in ten seconds or less, which is poor advice.

Most podcasters make the mistake of keeping their posts too brief. They worry about giving away too much information and prefer to keep the juicy bits in the audio file.

Show notes should serve as a written resource hub for your audience. Not only should they provide valuable information, but also entice readers to listen to your show. By offering more value, encourage casual scrollers to explore your content further.

Podcast show notes should not be an elevator pitch for episodes either; instead, consider them a written companion to each episode so your audience can either listen or read, making your content more versatile and repurposed in multiple formats.

Interestingly enough, many of the top 100 shows have minimal show notes, often just a sentence or two, or none at all. Larger shows can afford to overlook detailed show notes. Smaller shows don’t have that luxury. With limited resources, we have to take advantage of every available long-term discovery and visibility lever we can pull.

Improving show notes is one of the strategies my podcast coaching client used to go from 100 to 700 downloads in less than a year. Read Kyla Denanyoh’s inspiring case study here.

5. Ignoring the power of AI tools

With the introduction of AI, creating show notes for podcasts has become less time-consuming.

Podcast show note writers like Swell AI are now the go-to assistants in creating show notes, social copy, and newsletters, among other things. It’s easy to use; all you have to do is import your media, and Swell AI automatically creates content that you can customize or export as is. If you haven’t tried using AI to enhance your show notes yet, it’s worth considering as it can save you time and effort while making your notes more comprehensive.

6. Not linking to other episodes

If you’re not linking to other related content on your website, you’re missing out on another opportunity to grow your show. My rule of thumb is always mention 2-3 additional episodes to listen to after the current one. If you want visitors to stick around, guide them to what’s next.

Podcast show notes are an effective podcast marketing strategy for growing a show and attracting new listeners without relying on social media. Google receives millions of daily searches, making it a valuable traffic source, which I encourage you to leverage fully.

Let me know in the comments below which of these mistakes you’ve made and plan to avoid in the future.

Found this blog post helpful? Get my podcast show notes templates here! This bundle includes episode description templates, show notes templates and a keyword tracker for podcasts.

Read Next: How To Create a Podcast Marketing Plan That’s Right For You

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