Show notes, this is almost every podcasters bane. The number one part of podcasting that no one likes seems to be writing show notes. Why? Well from my guess most podcasters don’t like writing. Hence the reason they are podcasting, that way they can create content with hopes of not writing as much. So if all your content is spoken shy should a podcast worry about show notes? Why should you worry about show notes? I would put show notes in the category of discoverability. The notes that are put out, help search engines like google, bing, yahoo, to find out if your show is what their searchers are looking for. It allows for people to evaluate whether you are going to be giving them good information.
What do show notes need?
Minimum length of show notes should be about 300 words. The more words you write ,the better, but do not write for Google or any other search engine. People who write just for SEO will eventually get hit with some update. You are seeing people talk about the penguin update and how it has messed up their seo strategy and needing to spend many hundreds if not thousands of dollars to correct what was broken with a Google update. That could all be alleviated if they had tried selling to a person instead of an algorithm. When you do write, write to your audience and share the needed information Give details about what is going to be in you show
What do you not need to put in your show notes
In this episode… Many new podcasters will start off with the phrase “In this episode…” somewhere in their show notes. It really doesn’t help with explaining what it is an episode most people who find your podcast episode’s show notes will quickly find out that this is for a podcast or at least some type if episodic content. Why some people don’t do show notes
- I have heard, “I don’t want to lose listeners because they are getting what they need from the show notes.” This says I don’t have confidence in my material. I don’t believe my show is good enough for people to be interested in every episode. IF that is the case relax. Work on your material and improve it each episode. but keep putting out good show notes
- Other people think that they are not good writers, and there for don’t believe they should subject people to what they wrote. If you are not a good writer again relax. Keep writing your writing will improve with each time you write.
- The Notes takes too long / or too busy to write. Yes notes can take a very long time to research and write and at times the show notes can take a very long time. But the end results are well worth the time, the frustrations, and fingers tied up in knots.
Growing your audience takes work, not just time taken into recording but to type out well thought out show notes. Examples of good show notes
The School of Podcasting – Well this is done by a master so it is always goood to show the best example of show notes
Strange Worlds Travelogue – Great extra bits about the show and explains about what the episode is about.
Examples of not so good show notes
Smodcast – really doesn’t tell you anything about what the episode contains.
What to Think – The notes touch on what is going to be talked a bit but lacking in detail and makes it difficult for search engines to use that information for potential audience members who could trip across the site.
Blackberry podcast directory is gone. Blackberry has taken the submit a podcast page down and if you go to the actual catalog page it is gone too. So it looks like Blackberry is hurting pretty bad and is starting to shut down some services. There for the link has been removed from the approved directory listing.
Margaret Bartley asked a question on the Podcatchers page, and she is wanting to know if there is a podcatcher that allows for people to edit the id3 Tags and the file names so that the episodes she wants to listen to again are easier to find.
A quick review.
Before you hit the Record Button…
Well not quite yet there are a few small items to get out of the way before you fire up the recorder and flip the mic switch. The saying the devil is in the details can play true in this step. You don’t have to do these but if you want you show to be well received then you want to follow them. Take it from someone who goofed each of these steps up.
Set your hours
First and foremost, you want to decide how often you want to do your show. This is more important than many people think. This schedule is as important as store hours are for a store. People like to know when they can expect you to show up, and how long you are going to be around. So do you want to have a 5 minute quick and dirty tip show? OR, are you looking at having an hour and a half show filled with detail? The length of your show is somewhat important but it doesn’t really have to be set in stone. You want to have you show length be dependent on the information. If you only have 30 minutes of information you have to share then really don’t need to try to repeat your information over and over just to fill space. Now this is different from reviewing what you have talked about because rehashing your words just to fill space will start giving the impression, at worst, of you not fully believing your own words, or you are just unprepared. But if you find out you have more information that goes past your set time, then there is also nothing wrong with continuing the discussion next week. If you believe you have enough for the next show.
What Days are you open
When are you going to release your show? Are you weekly monthly, or are you aiming at being the next John Lee Dumas and you’re going to release your show once a day? The frequency is important and you want to try to adhere to the schedule as close as you possibly can. People want to trust you. They want to know that every Monday morning at 6:30 they are able to get the newest episode of your show. Think of it like this, how popular would Game of Throwns be, if no one knew when the next episode was going to be aired? Some people may catch it, and some wouldn’t. Yet, because HBO releases an episode right on schedule every Sunday during the season, the fans of the show are able to anticipate the next new episode and will adjust their personal schedule around the airing of the show.
So, pick a time and try to stick to it. If you cant make it you might want to have an episode or two that are evergreen content and keep them for those times you are tied up at work, or on vacation. That way your listeners will be able to keep receiving all that great content you make.
Once you have the frequency of the show make a list of 10 different topics.
This needs to be done for a couple of reasons. One you will always have a list of ideas at your side and you can keep adding as you go. Also this will help concrete your resolve to keep making shows. There is a stat out on the net that if a show can make it past the 7 episode it is twice as likely to keep going. So push past the seventh episode and aim for the tenth and this way your show will have an even better chance of continuing
Decide on the important second episode.
Yeppers the second episode the first one is 99% intro and is just normally a hey this is who I am why I am doing the show and yada yada. So, once you have the how do ya do’s out of the way what to you want that second episode to be? This will depend on you. This is what you feel to be important in your gut. Lets take this podcast for instance. I decided that the first set of podcasts episodes to be release should be an over view of how to get a podcast up off the ground. Is this how most podcasts about podcasting do it? I think so but in the circles I run in the intros are 50 episodes or more older and a few are over 300 episodes. Now some folks go back and listen to all the back catalog and that is great. That is the reason podcasts leave their back catalog up. So that those extremely interested in what is being said can get the full back story of the podcasts shows. They can learn the inside jokes. Understand why that sock puppet is so darn loved. But to get to the inside joke, most people will listen to that second episode, to understand the back story and why a person feels the way they do about whatever the current topic is being discussed. How do you make that second episode great?
Did I just hear the crowd of podcasters groan? I think I did. If you ask any podcaster what they dislike the most about podcasting, they will tell you show notes 4 out of 5 podcasters detest writing show notes. Come on we are podcasters not bloggers. So why should you write show notes for an audio podcast.
- So your listeners can go back and find that link you were talking about.
- You listeners can comment and start a discussion about your topic.
- So Google will be able to find your site.
- Some people like to read while they listen.
Some show hosts will put in just a little overview of the show. while others will actually have their show transcribed and placed in the show notes. This is up to you, just know that the more information you put in to your show the easier it is for Google to find new listeners for you. The links help your listeners to grow as much as your advice and experience.
While working on your show notes make sure you find an image to place in your notes this is for the Pinterest users and gives you a little more traction in Facebook’s Edgerank and if you use Google Plus the image will show there too.
Now you While you are recoding you will want to take notes of links other bits you will want to add to your show notes, afterward this will help your listeners out and if they can trust you will put the links in the show notes that you mention in the show, you will be helping your listeners out and that will provide incentive for them to listen even more. Because you are now creating even more value for them and if you are being of value for your listener they listen and listen intently and will follow your suggestions, and tell their friends about your podcast and your audience will grow. These little details in your podcast show notes are very valuable. Your show notes are valuable.
Podcasting and learning the details of how to podcast are as important as doing the show. You show notes let your listeners know that you are prepared and ready to record. Your podcast show notes show be helpful and contribute to the value of your show. Besides showing Google what your audio file is about. The value of putting your time into your show notes is one of the best ways you can show your listeners that you care and are passionate about your podcast.
*Tip of the Week*
You want to try to make your show notes before you record. Even better if you can make them a day or two before you sit in front of your microphone. This will allow for your creative juices to regenerate after you have depleted them with the show notes. This is actually for two different reasons. First is You will be better prepped for your show when it is time to record. The second reason is you can use your show notes as notes for your show! Sweet you don’t have to write the outline and then turn around and rewrite the notes.
Now if you don’t want to write the show notes first then you might want to use at least an outline. A good tool for writing an outline is workflowy an online outline this will help keep everything in some sort of an order as you talk about different bullet points in your discussion. Yet either way you want to have some sort of plan on what you are going to be talking about.
While working on your show notes make sure you find an image to place in your notes this is for the pinterest users and gives you a little more traction in Facebook’s Edgerank and if you use Google Plus the image will show there too.