If you’re a podcaster, or thinking of becoming one, please consider the role of show notes as a marketing tool and a service to your audience. As you’ll learn by listening to this 22-minute podcast, Google hates you if you’re a podcaster who doesn’t take the time to write  show notes. In this podcast, you’ll hear advice from experienced podcasters: Nicole Simon, Christopher S. Penn, Dave Jones, Wayne MacPhail and Aaron Strout.

Please tune in and let me know what you think!  You can listen to the podcast now with the player above or download it to listen later. Or subscribe to this podcast in iTunes using the link at the top of this page.

Here are the show notes:

[00:01] Intro and welcome
[00:45] Definition of show notes: text that accompanies a podcast
[01:15] Good reasons to take the time: listeners love them, and so does Google
[01:27] Podcasters love to complain about the time it takes to write show notes [I am kvetching right now; can you hear me?]
[01:40] Some podcasters produce a bare-bones outline; others do show notes with time codes [like these] and still others go for a full-blown transcript
[02:01] Guests today: Nicole Simon, Christopher S. Penn, Dave Jones, Wayne MacPhail, Aaron Strout
Nicole Simon, who produces Useful Sounds, Bloxpert and Cruel to be Kind, talks about the general value of show notes: link out to get others interested in your podcast; provide navigation to listeners.
[03:55] The more knowledge-intensive your podcast, the greater the value of your text
[05:00] And what about non-native-language listeners?
[05:18] Outsourcing your show note production
[06:18] Wayne MacPhail of W8NC and the Rabble Podcast Network explains why the Talk for Memories podcast he produced for the Alzheimer’s Society of Ontario, uses transcripts; knowing your audience demographic; being aware of high-speed Internet access
[08:29] Wayne used a company in India to do the transcripts
[08:56] Wayne doesn’t do transcripts for every podcast he creates; here’s his general view on show notes; time codes will become increasingly important as we move towards modular content for podcasts
[10:21] Dave Jones, a VP at Hill and Knowlton, produces Inside PR and Shill, two very different podcasts
[10:52] General goal of show notes is to help listeners navigate through podcast; provide links; tone of show affects tone of notes
[11:25] Dave and co-host Doug Walker take a more light-hearted approach with their Shill show notes; they’re part of the entertainment
[12:28] Aaron Strout, VP of New Media at Mzinga and community manager and podcaster at We Are Smarter, shares his process for producing shown notes
[13:39] How including interviewee names (such as Guy Kawasaki, Shel Israel, Tim O’Reilly and Mike Arrington) increases traffic
[14:44] Christopher S. Penn of the Financial Aid Podcast and Marketing Over Coffee (co-hosted with John Wall) quotes Julien Smith on why Google “hates you” if you’re a podcaster without show notes because it can only scan text; use important key words
[15:54] Chris talks about his approach to show notes at the Financial Aid Podcast; use of key words; cross-promotion across different media; how he deploys show notes; use of the lyrics tab; show notes are metadata; must write show notes with both Google and humans in mind
[18:38] Chris shares his secret for having his show notes picked up as a legitimate item in the Google News feed
[19:17] My own take on show notes; can be  a pain; I write an outline and flesh it out as I listen to my podcast after mixing; listeners like the show notes because they can skim, go back, blog easily about the content; and I like the Google juice
2[0:58] Where to send comments: email to Donna AT Trafcom DOT com
Theme music is “Beneath Your Surface” by the Elisabeth Lohninger Quartet from the Podsafe Music Network.


  1. Outstanding episode. The tips were diverse and useful.

    I appreciate podcasts that include timecodes in their notes, not because I skip parts or follow along while listening, but because I tend to go back to specific episodes months later. With good notes, I can get right to the section I want to repeat.

    One tip that was loosely touched on was the fact that Google seems to love…or at least really like… blogs. Often any mentions in my blog will score higher in search engines than those on my regular website…so keeping show notes or a strong show synopsis in a blog can help hit a wider audience.


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