Are you looking for the infallible formula to write the perfect and most enticing shownotes for your podcast? Do you want to know what information to include and in which order? Or, are you trying to learn how to optimize your time and come up with an amazing text in the minimum amount of time? In this blog post, I am going to teach you exactly how, provided that you can read past my braggy introduction. I perfected my technique to utilize the time available in the best possible way and deliver the best possible piece, and today, you will learn how to do that too. Plus, I am giving you the template I use to write infallible shownotes for my clients. So keep reading.
If you want to skip all the brag, go straight to the anatomy of the perfect shownotes.
The task that not everybody likes and why it matters.
Writing shownotes is one of my favorite things about my job. I have always loved to write, I started journaling when I was 7 years old and I am a bookworm. I remember when I asked my mom if she could teach me how to write. One day I took a notebook and wrote some letters on its pages, I went around and asked all my relatives to read it. I was baffled that nobody could tell me what it said! I mean I knew the letters… how could nobody read my writings? So I told my mom that I needed to learn how to write. She is a Pedagogist so she taught me. With that as a background and as much as I love editing audio, shownotes are sometimes THE task I look forward to.
I dare say all my clients love my shownotes (I told you I was going to brag a little). HOWEVER, there are certain considerations when it comes to writing them, and it is very important to get that right. When a listener is not sure whether they should press play or not, they will read the notes and that is your opportunity to show them that it would be a mistake not to listen. Get your shownotes right, my dear.
Anatomy of the perfect shownotes.
First of all, they need to be consistent, they need to be clear and to the point, yet full of value, and sometimes they need to be done in a specific timeframe. That was indeed an uphill road for me until I made the perfect template and got the perfect workflow. Basically, I am giving you the perfect formula to write amazing shownotes.
For me, the perfect moment to start writing your shownotes is 1.- when you are planning/scripting your episode or, 2.- when you are editing your episodes. If you are going to write them from your script, it will be easier to identify the key points and takeaways because you used that exact information to write your script. If you have a freestyle podcast and you never write a script, or you just prepare a rough outline and press record, maybe you find it easier to come up with the shownotes when you are editing.
What to include in your shownotes
- Refer to your episode script/outline and use the primary expected outcome (what you expect your audience to learn/get from the episode) to write your shownotes excerpt and then, take your secondary expected outcomes to write the full body of the notes.
- As you are editing your episode, add markers wherever you identify enticing phrases that you want to share with your audience.
- If you have a guest, make sure to include their bio and quote them at least once.
- Summarize your episode and the benefits of listening to it in about 4 sentences and add them as key points or takeaways.
- Add a strong Call to Action, it doesn’t need to be salesy, it can be “shoot me a message,” “tell me what you want to learn from me,” “share with a friend,” “subscribe to my newsletter,” and of course, if you have a paid product, don’t hesitate to add “enroll” “buy now” “get access,” “join my waitlist,” if appropriate.
- Add all the links where people can find you and your products/services. If you have a guest, add their links too.
- If you have other episodes with related content, add links to those episodes.
And you are all done!
To wrap up.
Now, this is not the ONLY way to write shownotes, I know. Nor is it the best for everyone, but I have found that if you start with this structure, it is easier to remove something than to add more things on the go. For example, you can decide not to add any takeaway section and instead include in your shownotes body the benefits they will get from just listening to the episode.
Or maybe you just want to have two very concise and complete paragraphs and your links. But for you to discover that, you will need to give this structure a try and then perfect your method, just like I did.
I have prepared an amazing template download for you. I promise you that, if you use it, it will make your process easier and you will get beautifully consistent shownotes every single time. It will be free until next Wednesday 3rd of August, so make sure you grab yours.
P.S. Ready to outsource? Remember that the best friend of a podcaster in the making, is me, so don’t hesitate to reach out and never doubt the benefits of outsourcing the right tasks to the right professionals.