Creating quality show notes for a podcast episode takes time… is it worth it?
I’ve heard all kinds of opinions about the subject…
- In Facebook groups
- Google Plus communities
- On actual podcasts about podcasting
The truth is there’s no one-size-fits-all answer.
But as a podcast producer whose company PROVIDES SHOW NOTES for many of my clients, I’m going to try to convince you that there is more reason TO create show notes than there is NOT to have show notes.
Here are my top 4 reasons you should consider show notes a necessity.1 Show notes provide text-based content for search engines to find and display for people searching for the topics you cover in your show.
In case you didn’t know, Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines don’t have the ability to crawl through the audio of your podcast and pull out keywords and topics in order to discover what your episode is about.
They rely on YOU to tell them what the audio is about, so that they can in turn tell the people searching for those topics.
That’s one of the most important things good show notes do.
Now that doesn’t mean that you can any old thing onto your site as show notes and expect the search engines to feature it.
You have to employ proper web-writing techniques that optimize your show notes for search engine ranking… which IS part of the difficulty of writing good show notes (which I’ll address more fully in a moment).
But if you take the time to do that, you’ll be creating the most organic way for people to find your episodes and become familiar with you and your podcasting brand.
On a side note, show notes are one more source of content. It’s like another hook in the water. The more content you have out there, the greater your chances of landing that big client or raving fan.2 Show notes provide one of the simplest ways for your listeners to locate the resources you mention.
The reason you’re producing a podcast in the first place is to provide value to your listeners – right?
It’s of tremendous value to make it easy for your listeners to benefit from the things you highlight or promote on your show. Here are some examples:
- Show notes are an incredible opportunity for you to funnel listeners to your own products and services through easily clickable links.
- It’s a great way to include affiliate links to relevant resources, which is a nice source of additional income for you (just make sure you disclose that they ARE affiliate links).
- Show notes enable you to feature the resources of the guests you have on your show. Not only is that good form, it’s a great way to nurture the connections you’re making with people, which only serves to advance your cause in the end.
Now, some people have said,
I include all that stuff in the description of my actual MP3 file already. My listeners can find that information there.
That’s a valid response, but let me ask you a couple of questions related to that:
- Are you telling your listeners that those resources are embedded on every episode you publish? You should be.
- You’ve already created a version of show notes to put IN the description of your MP3 file. Why not simply copy and paste it into a show notes page for that episode so you can get the natural SEO value of having another piece of content on the web?
- Have you considered that some of your listeners may actually LIKE to do things on the web instead of through the metadata of the file itself? I think it’s better not to force-feed your listeners the format YOU prefer, give them options! It’s about THEM, after all.
All that to say… show notes are one of the most natural ways for your listeners to easily access the resources you’re trying to highlight in your episodes.3 Show notes provide an excellent and natural opportunity for social sharing of your podcast.
A good show notes page encourages your listeners to share the valuable stuff you’re producing.
- It’s visually appealing, and people like to share things that appear “cool” or well-done.
- It provides social sharing buttons to make word-of-mouth sharing easy.
- You can include “tweet this” functionality on your show notes page to enable your listeners to spread your great content via Twitter.
Think about it, a good show notes page gives your listeners exactly what they need to spread YOUR message.4 Show notes pages can feature additional or BONUS content related to your topic to provide even MORE value to your audience.
Some of my clients intentionally offer BONUS content on their episodes. It’s like a special treat for those who took the time to listen to their show. And guess where they send their listeners to get that bonus content? Yep, their show notes.
Why is that a smart thing?
For all the reasons I’ve mentioned already… social sharing opportunities, community-building, promotion of your guests…
But even more, by getting your listeners to your website. When you do that, you’re exposing them to even more of you, your brand, and what you have to offer.
- They might pick up one of your courses or products or books.
- They might sign up for your email list.
- They might find the ideal solution for a problem that’s been plaguing them.
- They might join your members-only community.
Show notes are an amazing way to pull people who are already interested in what you’re doing, deeper into your community.
I hope you’re convinced that show notes for your podcast are a good idea.
What I’ve mentioned are only my top 4 reasons, there are many more.
But I haven’t addressed the difficulty of actually producing good show notes, have I?
In order to create show notes that have a positive impact…
- It will cost you time.
- You’ll have to ride a learning curve.
- You will need to invest in it.
And none of that is something you can simply cram onto your already full plate and expect it to happen.
So how can you produce the best show notes in the fastest way possible?
My company creates show notes for our clients multiple times, every single day.
My best writers produce 6 to 8 SEO optimized, visually appealing, social search integrated show notes every single day.
And they don’t do it by luck or by natural gifting… they have a system.
The next episode of Podcastification I’ll share part 1 of a two-part series where I’m going to reveal the Podcast Fast Track team’s step by step process of quickly but effectively creating great show notes.
What is YOUR belief about show notes?
- Why do you create them?
- Why don’t you create them?
- Is there anything I’ve missed that you think is vital to know?
Share your insights on the show notes page for this episode, at www.PodcastFastTrack.com/ShowNotes1
You can find the follow-up episode here – www.PodcastFastTrack.com/ShowNotes2 (Beginning August 26, 2015).