WANT TO START YOUR OWN PODCAST BUT NEED A LITTLE HELP?GRAB MY GUIDE
GET MY FREE PODCAST GUIDE

blog

How to write great podcast descriptions

GET MY FREE PODCAST GUIDE

WANT TO START A PODCAST BUT HAVE NO IDEA HOW? THIS GUIDE TAKES YOU THROUGH ALL THE TOOLS AND TECH YOU NEED TO GET GOING!

SEND IT TO ME!
Red writing quill in bottle of ink

How to write descriptions that will entice new listeners

After your podcast name and logo the next thing potential listeners look at is your podcast description.

This is your chance get across the essence of your show and most importantly, what listeners are going to get out of it.

So how do you write descriptions that makes people think “OMG!  This show was made just for me!”?

iTunes Stitcher Android RSS

The two types of podcast description

Your show description

This is the blurb that explains what the show, as a whole, is about.

After people have been drawn in by your cover art and show title the next thing they’ll look at, to work out whether your show is for them, is your show description.

It’s the thing that will get people to subscribe so it’s important to create something compelling and entertaining.  It’s also important to clearly explain to a listener what’s in it for them.

Are they going to learn something?  Will they laugh?  Are they going to be on the edge of their seat?

Make sure you give them a reason to listen.

Podcast logo design tips

Read

Your episode description

This is the blurb for each episode that explains what listeners will hear if they press play on that specific show.

Even if you’ve got subscribers who love your podcast they can be picky about what episodes they listen to.

The combination of your episode title and description is the real estate you’ve got to convince them to press play, so use it wisely.

How to choose your podcast name

Read

Some tools that will help…

Use questions

Want your audience to know the minute they read your description your show is for them?  Why not kick it off with a question?

With the PodSchool Podcast I start my show description with “Do you want to create a kickass podcast that people want to listen to?”

If somebody is scrolling through and that’s their goal they’ll know immediately this show is for them.

After your question you can go into more detail about what they can expect if they listen.

The steps to release a podcast episode

Read

Don’t forget to get tone into your writing

Since you don’t have vision or audio to play with you have to try and get as much of your personality into the copy as possible.

This requires some copy writing skills but the main thing is to not overthink it.

The reason some people struggle to get tone into their copy is because they think they need to be overly formal.

Just write as you speak and try and capture as much of “you” as you possibly can.

If your show is cheeky be cheeky in your description, if it’s funny, be funny.  If you’re trying to convince a potential audience they’re going to be entertained by your content but your copy isn’t entertaining they’re probably not going to believe you.

Should you write a script for your podcast episodes?

Read

Make use of keywords

Most SEO experts agree putting keywords into your show description doesn’t necessarily help your show turn up in searches (it does help in your episode and show titles however).

But these same experts say it probably does impact whether someone decides to subscribe.

This is important because the more subscriptions you get the better you rank in charts and that’s important to the long-term life of your show.

Just remember if you’re using keywords it’s important to make sure everything you write is “human readable.”

This means you don’t want to stuff your descriptions so full of keywords they read like a list  of Google searches.  It’s got to read like something a human would say to another human.  Not something a human would say to a bot hoping it’ll rank them higher in Google.

What are show notes and why do you need them?

Read

Share your episode highlights

You don’t have to give everything away but don’t be afraid to be clear with your audience about what they can expect.

Does your guest tell an amazing story you could tease to?  Is there a tip you’re going to share that you might be able to hint at?

You’ll write your description after you’ve recorded each show so you’ll know what’s coming.  So, tease those bits and give people even more reason to listen.

How to promote your podcast before it’s live

Read

Don’t click bait your audience

While it might be tempting to use phrases like “the most amazing interview of all time” it’s important to deliver on what you promise.

Yes, you want to excite your audience but you don’t want to lie to them.

We’ve all been the victim of click bait and people are wise to the “over sell.”

You don’t need to claim something is the “best thing ever” to get someone to listen.  Just highlight the strongest moments from the show and be clear about what your audience will get and that should be enough.

Be entertaining, engaging and honest.  And always have your audience, and what they’re going to get out of it, top of mind.

Got a burning question you’d like answered on the podcast? Send me an email.

Want to start your own podcast but need a little help?  Download my “How To Start A Podcast” guide or sign up for my online podcasting course, PodSchool.

Read full show rundown

Hello and welcome to the show. Today I’m following on from last week's episode where I talked about how to come up with a name for your podcast and talking about the other place where you can shove a lot of words in your podcast and that is your podcast description.

There are of course two different descriptions. There is your show description which is the bigger description about what the show, as a whole, is about. And then there is the episode description. The ne you do for each individual episode. Next week I will be doing an episode specifically on how to title your episodes but in this show, I'll talk about descriptions generally for both your show and each episode.

Last week I said the first thing people look at is your cover art. And then of course the title. That's basically like the front cover of a book. That’s the first thing you look at when you’re going to buy a book. And the next thing you do is turn the book over, look at the back jacket and read the description. I have picked up plenty of books in my time where I thought “Ooooh, that’s a snazzy cover!” then read a couple of lines on the back and thought “That’s not for me.” So, what you want to do with your show description is get people into the idea behind your show. And that is the back jacket of your book. It’s the thing people are going to read to work out if this is the show for them. So, it’s important they get a sense of whether it’s designed for them. So rather than being a place where you wax lyrical about your own achievements and how fabulous you are. Your description should really be benefit driven and detail what they’re going to get out of it. Are they going to learn something? Are they going to be entertained? Is there a specific niche area of you’re going to explore? You want them to read your description and think “That sounds interesting!” So, this requires a little bit of copy writing skills. You need to get tone into your writing and draw people in so you can engage them. You don't want it to be boring. You want to highlight the best bits of your show and shove a few key words in there as well.

SEO experts tend to say that keywords in your description don't necessarily help that much with search but there is a lot of research to suggest that it does actually help with subscriptions. So, when people read that description that’s the thing that makes them think “this is the show for me!” I'm going to press the subscribe button and of course the more subscriptions you get the better you rank in the charts and that's really important to the long-term life of your show. So, getting the description right is very important.

It's like you're sitting down on a first date with your potential audience and you’ve got to wow them and make them think “I want to date this person for a while. I want to get them in my ears and spend a bit of time with them.” Think about this as prime real estate to be as impressive as you possibly can.

One of the tactics you can use in your description is asking questions. If there is something your audience is interested in, why not ask them directly at the beginning of your podcast description? So, for example in the description for this show I say “Do you want to create a kickass podcast that people want to listen to?” So, if somebody is scrolling through and they find my show that that’s what their goal is they’ll think “Yes! This is exactly what I’m looking for!” So, try and ask a question so as soon as your audience reads your description they’ll know it’s for them. Then you can go into a bit more detail about what they can expect from the show. Kicking off that way is a great way to hook people in and make them realise immediately, without having to read through 300 words of copy, that the show is actually designed for them.

Try and get your tone into the copy if at all possible too. You don't want to bore people to tears with a list of all of the things that you're going to be covering. If it's a cheeky show be cheeky in your description, if it's a funny show try and be funny in your description. Easier said than done but try and get as much personality into that copy as you can so people can get a bit of a vibe of you and the show. If you’re a sparkly jazz handed personality person, then you want to express that in the copy of your show so try and get as much of your own personal sparkle in there as you can.

Of course, I mentioned SEO and the fact that putting keywords into your description perhaps doesn't affect this search engine optimization in iTunes but of course is still important to put those key words in. You just want to always make sure that what you're writing is “human readable.” Remember it's humans that reading these things so you want everything you do with your descriptions and titles to make sense in a sentence. You don't want to be putting keywords in there so that you're appealing to the bots that read them and rank your podcast higher. You want to be writing those descriptions for people so they seem natural and normal and like words humans would say to each other.

The only other thing I would say about when you're doing your episode description is don't be afraid to repeat the name of the guest in the description. Sometimes we'll put the person’s name in to the episode title but then you won't repeat it again in the description. Experts might say that descriptions don't matter that much but to be honest we don't know a great deal about what's going on in iTunes and those things might change. So, it's always best practice to put as many key words, without it being crazy and not human readable, in there as possible. So definitely put the name of your guest, if it's somebody people might be searching for, towards the front of your episode description. That episode description as well as the title will be the reason people click on that show so even if you've got subscribers who love your show and subscribed to the whole thing they are still going to be picky about what episodes they actually listen to. The combination of your episode title and description are your opportunity to flesh out more than you can get into a title. It’s your chance to tell your audience exactly why they should listen to the show.

If it's an interview series, then make sure that each episode gives an indication of one of the highlights of that episode. This is the same if you're an educational podcast. What's the best tip that they're going to learn? What’s going to make them click on that episode or want to learn more about it? Again, you can employ questions here. Whatever you need to convince someone to listen.

It’s not a foregone conclusion that people who’ve subscribed to your show will listen to every episode so you have to convince them this is content they are going to be interested.

So, the description of each of your episodes is gold territory and you don't want to waste it. Don't think of it as an afterthought or as something that doesn’t really matter. Especially if you’re using more creative or cryptic titles. We do this with our Mamamia show, Mamamia Out Loud. We often write more clever titles that reference something funny that was said in the episode or give the essence of what was discussed. But you can’t get a sense of exactly what the episode’s about from the title, so the description is where that comes in handy. So, make sure you’re making the most of that real estate. And again, make sure the copy is in keeping with the tone of your show. You want it to sound like it's you talking in those pieces of copy.

You often only have a small few moments to get the attention of an audience that is so distracted with a million other things. So, it's really important to make use of all of the ways that you can get them to click on your show and listen.

And please, never click bait or promise something that you can’t deliver. You know I know that it's tempting to use “the most amazing interview of all time” but that's a pretty high benchmark to get to so don't over promise and under deliver. It’s always better to be realistic about expectations. Yes, you want to excite your audience but you don't want to lie to them. We’ve all been click baited for so many years you can smell it a mile off when somebody is telling you “this is the best most amazing story you'll ever hear.” So, make sure you’re mindful of going too over the top.

Be excited, be compelling and get people interested. But don't click bait whatever you do.

I hope that's helped you think a little bit more about how you can get the most out of those episode descriptions and show descriptions so you can get people onboard and interested in your show because that's the main thing. We're trying to get more people to put your show in their ears.

If you want a bit more help with your podcast, then make sure you head to PodSchool.com.au and sign up for my online podcasting course where I take you step by step through everything.

And if you are enjoying the show please leave a review or rating as it helps other people find it as well who might need help with their podcast.

I'll see you next week and until then, happy podcasting.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

GET MY FREE PODCAST GUIDE

WANT TO START A PODCAST BUT HAVE NO IDEA HOW? THIS GUIDE TAKES YOU THROUGH ALL THE TOOLS AND TECH YOU NEED TO GET GOING!

SEND IT TO ME!