Episode summaries and show 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 show notes are and what they look like in podcast apps
- How to add lists and hyperlinks and other formatting to your show notes with Markdown
⚡️ Bonus: We've created a free show 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 Show Notes
When you create a new episode in your Simplecast dashboard, you'll have the option to add an episode summary and full show 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 of where the episode summary shows up in a few apps:
Apple Podcasts (iPad)
Your show notes should contain your episode summary, in addition to other information that you'd like to include about the episode or your show.
Detailed show notes can add a lot of value to a podcast episode, so it's worth investing some time into your episode's show notes.
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)
- A call to action (what you would like to listener to do next)
Formatting Your Show Notes
You can add special formatting (hyperlinks, bold and italic text, and lists) to your show notes using Markdown or the built-in text editor in Simplecast.
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.
Here's how formatted show notes look like in a few different apps:
Apple Podcasts (iPad)
It's easy to format text using the built-in editor in Simplecast, but the show notes editor also supports Markdown formatted text.
- To create a hyperlink: 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 (example below).
- To bold text: 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. You can copy and paste formatted show notes like this straight into the Show Notes field in Simplecast.
Copying Show Notes Into Simplecast
When you copy and paste formatted show notes from your text editor into the show notes field in Simplecast, it'll be converted to HTML before it goes out to Apple Podcasts and the other podcast players. It'll end up looking like this:
Another benefit to writing your show notes this way is that you can use almost any text editing app (I keep plain text files in a folder in Dropbox), and you won't have to worry about losing your work if you accidentally close your browser window without saving first.
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)
- Free online Markdown tutorial
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