Episode summaries and notes play an important role in attracting new listeners and creating a good experience for your audience. In this guide, you'll learn:
What an episode summary is and what it looks like in podcast apps
What episode notes are and what they look like in podcast apps
How to add lists and hyperlinks and other formatting to your episode notes with Markdown
⚡️ Bonus: We've created a free episode notes template that you can download and re-use for your podcast. You'll find the link at the end of this post.
Episode Summary and Notes
When you create a new episode in your Simplecast dashboard, you'll have the option to add an episode summary and full episode notes:
Your episode summary will be one of the first things potential listeners will see when they check out your episode online or in a podcast app, so make the episode summary a quick and interesting overview of the content in the episode. The goal is to convince the person reading the summary to listen to the episode.
💡 Note: Most podcast apps and players don't support special formatting (Markdown or HTML) in episode summaries, so you should stick to plain text.
Here's an example episode summary:
Here's an example of where the episode summary shows up in a few apps:
Apple Podcasts (iPad):
Your episode notes should contain your episode summary and other information that you'd like to include about the episode or your show.
Detailed episodes notes can add a lot of value to a podcast episode, so it's worth investing some time into them.
I recommend including:
A list of topics/themes discussed in the episode
Additional information about any guests and where listeners can learn more about them
A list of links/URLS to anything mentioned in the episode that listeners might want to check out (websites, podcasts, books, products, etc)
Contact info (email address, voicemail number, etc)
A call to action (what you would like to listener to do next)
Formatting Your Episode Notes
You can add special formatting (hyperlinks, bold and italic text, and lists) to your episode notes using the built-in text editor in Simplecast. Highlight the text you'd like to format, then click the appropriate icon in the bar that runs across the top of the text editor.
You can also click the Markdown button to use Markdown for formatting your episode notes.
What is Markdown?
Markdown is a way to format your text without having to write HTML code. It's especially useful for podcast producers because it makes it easy to add lists and links and other formatting to plain text.
It's easy to format text using the built-in visual text editor in Simplecast, or with Markdown.
To create a hyperlink using the editor: Highlight the text you'd like to turn into a link, select the 🔗 icon, paste the link/URL into the box and click the ADD LINK.
To create a link using Markdown, surround the text with square brackets, and then put the link/URL in parentheses right next to the text (see example below).
To make text bold using the editor: Highlight the text then click the B button.
To bold text using Markdown, place two asterisks **on either side of the text**.
To italicize text: Highlight the text then click the I button. To italicize text using Markdown, place a single asterisks *on either side of the text*.
Here's an example of episode notes that have been formatted using Markdown.
If you copy and paste formatted episode notes like this from your text editor into the episode notes field in Simplecast, it'll be automatically converted to HTML before it goes out to Apple Podcasts and the other podcast players. It'll end up looking like this:
💡 Quick tip: Write your episode notes in a text editor on your computer or phone, and save a copy to a folder in a cloud drive, like Dropbox or Google Drive. This will ensure you always have a backup of your episode notes.
Additional Resources to Help You Get Started:
⚡️ Show Notes Template (Download this .txt file and customize a copy to use for your show notes)
Typora (a beautiful free text editor for Mac that I use for all my writing and show notes)
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