Writing Podcast Show Notes

How to Write Podcast Show Notes [3 Free Templates]

Show notes can add tremendous value to your podcast by giving you a way to engage with your audience and share resources.

Let's look at what makes show notes an important part of your podcast workflow and why they're worth the extra effort!

Benefits of writing good show notes

Show notes are a powerful piece of value-packed, written content with wide-reaching benefits.

Here are a few ways writing show notes can benefit your own podcast.

Share information with listeners

It can be hard to share information with listeners via audio only.

Podcast show notes let you share information and create effective calls-to-action that listeners can act on easily.

Your show notes page can include things like:

  • your Patreon link,
  • affiliate links and discount codes,
  • newsletter sign-ups,
  • course registrations,
  • a shareable link to your podcast episode, etc.

Having a place to share this information can be a big support to your monetization efforts and grow your network.

Attract new listeners

Episode notes can draw in listeners browsing podcast apps for new content.

Show notes can also help convert traffic from your website to your podcast and encourage viewers to subscribe to your show.

And if you include key points and memorable quotes in your notes, listeners are more likely to Tweet about your content and increase your exposure.

Boost your podcast's SEO and accessibility

SEO strategies and keywords can boost your performance in podcast apps and search engines.

The more you optimize your podcast's SEO, the more likely listeners will stumble across it and want to listen.

Show notes also boost your accessibility for listeners who are hard of hearing.

Get more guests via cross-promotion

When potential guests see that you promote people and businesses in your show notes, they are more likely to agree to be on your podcast.

As a podcast host, this small gesture can help you book more podcast guests and get more opportunities for cross-promotion.

Promote your back catalog

Show notes let you link to older episodes that might be relevant to the current episode's topic.

Including a link to a past episode helps make listeners aware of previous content and keeps it relevant!

What to include in your show notes

What you include in your show notes depends on your preference.

Ultimately, you can craft them however you want. Here are some elements to consider putting in your notes.

SEO-optimized title

Optimizing your show notes can help your podcast appear in searches. Try to fit keywords in your:

  • Episode title
  • Episode summary and intro
  • Description and body text

You can determine you keywords using a tool like Keywords Everywhere to determine what listeners are searching for related to your topic.

Episode description

Summarize your episode in a way that makes readers want to listen. Make it clear how the episode can benefit listeners or help them solve a problem.

Try to keep this section between 100 and 200 words.

Bullet points of main topics

Outline the main points of your episode and include timestamps to make it easy for the reader to navigate.

Here's an example from Podcasting Q&A:

In this episode, we're going to look at some ways you can effectively promote your podcast using Instagram Stories.

00:00 - Introduction
00:27 - Behind the scenes
00:51 - Share from Spotify
01:10 - Visual Soundbites
01:54 - Repurpose for Reels
02:16 - Share listener content
02:48 - Countdown sticker
03:17 - Highlights

Guest bios

Introduce your guest with a short bio. Try to keep it under 75 words and highlight their accomplishments. You can also link to their social media, website, books, etc.

Example: "In this episode, Tom Buck joins the crew to discuss Amazon's recent acquisitions, Facebook's new social audio features, and going from a 9-to-5 career to being a full-time YouTuber."

Links to resources

You can include links to any quotes, data, articles, or other material you referenced in your episode. This gives credit to the sources you mentioned and builds your credibility, too.

Affiliate links

It's not enough to mention an affiliate on your podcast. Listeners need a link to research the item and make a purchase.

Include your affiliate links and discount codes in your show notes to support your monetization efforts and boost conversions.

Episode transcriptions

Theoretically, including your episode transcription in your notes can boost a podcast's SEO.

But most readers just want a short synopsis and key takeaways from the episode. We post transcriptions for Buzzcast on our episode page and keep our show notes simple.

Call to action

Your call to action is one step you want your listeners to take after hearing your episode. Your CTA could be:

  • Signing up for your newsletter,
  • Subscribing to your podcast,
  • Purchasing a product,
  • Enrolling in a course, etc.

Limit yourself to one CTA per episode, so you don't overwhelm listeners.

Podcast show notes examples and templates

You can customize your show notes as much as you want. Feel free to use these podcast show notes templates to get you started.

1. Basic notes with chapter markers

Basic notes work well for podcasters who don't have the time for longer show notes but still want to engage with listeners.

Date:
Name of podcast:
Episode title and number:


Brief summary of episode: Roughly 200 words about your episode's main theme. You can also include a guest bio and other relevant info here.

Bullet points of key topics + chapter markers
Topic #1 [timestamp]
Topic #2 [timestamp]
Topic #3 [timestamp]

Calls to action
Newsletter sign-up
E-course registration
Shareable link to episode

[Download template]

2. Notes to support monetization

If you work with affiliates and sponsors, you want to include those links, discount codes, and related resources in your notes.

Date:
Name of podcast:
Episode title and number:


Brief summary of episode: Roughly 200 words about your episode's main theme. You can also include a guest bio and other relevant info here.

Bullet points of key topics + chapter markers
Topic #1 [timestamp]
Topic #2 [timestamp]
Topic #3 [timestamp]

List of resources, suggested materials, affiliate links, and social media:
Topic #1 [timestamp]
Topic #2 [timestamp]
Topic #3 [timestamp]

Episode sponsored by: Include your sponsor's name, a short summary, and a link to their landing page.

Call to action
Newsletter sign-up
E-course registration
Shareable link to episode

[Download template]

3. Long-from style

Some podcasters craft their notes like a blog or even include full episode transcripts. If you prefer this style, here's one format to consider.

Date:
Name of podcast:
Episode title and number:


Brief summary of episode: Roughly 200 words about your episode's main theme. You can also include a guest bio and other relevant info here.

Write blog-style paragraphs associated with each main topic: Avoid overstuffing your notes with keywords, but try and incorporate them throughout your episode summary and the body of your text.
Main topic #1
Main topic #2
Main topic #3

[Episode transcript]

Episode sponsored by: Include your sponsor's name, a short summary, and a link to their landing page. Include your sponsor's name, a short summary, and a link to their landing page.

List of resources, suggested materials, and social media handles:
Resource link #1
Resource link #2
Resource link #3

Call to action
Newsletter sign-up
E-course registration
Shareable link to episode

[Download template]

Podcast show notes services

Don't have time to add one more thing to your workflow? These services can make great show notes for you, so you can focus on your content.

Pro Podcast Solutions

Pro Podcast Solutions offers A La Carte Services so podcasters can pick and choose the services they need most.

Choose from the Basic Show Notes package ($70) for a simple write-up and the Advanced Show Notes package ($80) for more optimized copy, Tweetables, etc.

Podcast Fast Track

Podcast Fast Track's show notes service starts at $170 per episode. The service specializes in crafting notes that get readers to listen.

Their service includes:

  • full show notes creation + blog posting service,
  • over 600-word posts, and
  • a customized publication frequency.

Lower Street

The team at Lower Street creates podcast show notes tailored to your audience.

They also offer lots of other podcast services you can add to your order. Fill out this contact form to get a quote for your podcast show notes.

Alban Brooke

Alban Brooke

Alban Brooke is the Head of Marketing at Buzzsprout and the co-host of Buzzcast. Have any questions about this guide? Reach out on Twitter.

FAQ

What are podcast show notes?

Podcast show notes are a an overview of your podcast episode. They can include things like an outline of your episode and resources to help listeners dig deeper into your topic.

Why do podcasts have show notes?

Most successful podcasts use show notes as a way to reinforce an episode's message and engage listeners in a visual way.

How do you write show notes for a podcast?

In general, write your show notes in a concise way including things like an episode summary, affiliate links, social media handles, and a call-to-action.

Does Apple Podcasts display show notes?

Apple Podcasts (formerly iTunes) displays your show notes format as you have it in Buzzsprout, but only for your subscribers. This Podnews article breaks down how to make your episode notes hold their formatting in most podcast players.

Do show notes appear on podcast apps?

Podcast apps display show notes differently depending on which HTML fields they support. The apps that display show notes most accurately are PocketCasts, Overcast, and Castro.

Should I include episode transcriptions in my show notes?

Only a handful of apps currently support transcripts, so we add our transcripts for Podcasting Q&A to its Buzzsprout website to boost SEO and accessibility.

Can I write show notes in my podcast dashboard?

Most hosting platforms let users write notes within their dashboards. Once you publish, the notes appear in directories as part of its listing.