How to Format Your Podcast Show Notes
“…we’ll put a link in the show notes.”
If you’ve been listening to podcasts for a while, you know how ubiquitous this quote can be. Podcaster’s love sharing links, recommending books and articles, and pointing you to videos they discussed in their episodes.
Your podcast description is also a great place to market your podcast by adding links for listeners to review your podcast, follow you on Twitter, or support your podcast on Patreon.
But instead of just dropping an ugly URL into the middle of your show notes, you can actually link directly to the content you’re discussing. With a little bit of HMTL you can create links, lists, paragraphs, and more in your podcast show notes.
In this article we’ll teach you the HTML basics you’ll need to add links, paragraphs, lists, and more to your podcast descriptions.
What we'll cover:
- Add paragraphs to your podcast show notes
- Format text in your podcast show notes
- Create links in your podcast show notes
- Add lists to your podcast show notes
- More examples
1. Add paragraphs to your show notes
To start, you’ll want to break your show notes into separate paragraphs so your listeners don’t run into a wall of text. To do this you’ll want to add a <p> at the beginning of a paragraph, and a </p> at the end of the paragraph.
Now you can turn a wall of text into perfect paragraphs. Note: We’ve added the HTML tags in blue to help them stand out from the text.
2. Format text in your show notes
Once you’ve added paragraphs, you’ll want to differentiate some of your text by using bold and italics. You can use these to add emphasis or help something stand out.
- Bold Text. You can make some text bold by adding a <b> tag before and a </b> tag after the text you’d like to make bold. Just remember that <b> stands for bold.
- Italic Text. You can make some text italics by adding an <i> tag before and a </i> tag after the text you’d like to make italics. Just remember that <i> stands for italics.
3. Add links to your podcast show notes
No matter how popular your podcast becomes, it’s hard to convince your listeners to take a specific action on the web. That’s because most of your audience is listening to your episode in their cars, while doing chores, or working out. Most of them aren’t going to drop what they are doing to search for something on Google.
That’s why you'll want to make it as easy as possible for your listeners to find what you’re talking about whether it be books, articles, or your Twitter profile.
Here are a few things you’ll want to link to from your show notes:
- Your social media profiles
- Articles, music, movies, and other content you discuss in the episode
- Direct links to your iTunes listing so listeners review your show
- Your blog, a Slack channel, or reddit forum to discuss the episode with other listeners
- Social media profiles of any guests on the episode
To do this you’ll want to include an <a> tag. This example would lead to the Wikipedia page for Podcasts.
The first part in the quotes is the URL and the portion between the two tags is the text that makes up the link—the anchor text.
4. Add lists to your podcast show notes
When you’re writing your show notes sometimes you’ll want to include a list of items. Like a list of the topics discussed or a list of links. To do this we’ll create either an ordered list (1, 2, 3, etc.) or an unordered list (bullet points).
We can do this by adding a little bit of HTML. You can start the list by deciding if you want your list to be numbered or bullet points.
Ordered List: If it’s numbered we’ll start and end the list with <ol></ol> which stands for ordered list.
Unordered List: If you just want bullet points then we’ll start and end the list with <ul></ul> which stands for unordered list.
For both types of lists you’ll inclose each item inside an <li></li> tag. You can have as many or as few items in your list as you’d like. Here’s an example of how an unordered list looks in Apple Podcasts:
5. More examples
For more examples of how to format your podcast show notes, you can check out these pages from w3schools:
- How to make HTML paragraph
- How to make bold and italics in HTML
- How to create HTML links
- How to create HTML lists
Sound confusing? Try using Buzzsprout instead.
If reading this article gave you a headache, don't worry. At Buzzsprout, we believe that podcasting should be so simple even a caveman could do it!
That's why our show notes editor includes all of the features you just read, without having to worry about tagging everything properly.
In the Buzzsprout episode editor, you can:
- Add timestamps in our Chapter Markers feature
- Include links for every call-to-action to grow your email list
- List the main points for greater visibility in search engine results (SEO)
- Tell new listeners how to connect with you on social media
- Drop resource links for everything you mention in the podcast episode (minus the ugly URL)
It's everything you need to create great podcast show notes that hit the main points and provide additional information to complement each new episode.
To migrate from a different podcast host, simply create a free Buzzsprout account and preview what your podcast would look like inside of Buzzsprout.
Alban is the Head of Marketing for Higher Pixels.
You can send feedback or questions about this article to him on Twitter.