Show Notes: Long or Short? Does It Matter?

This week I was looking into conferences to speak at and found a few, and I also found someone else speaking about show notes (someone who does both audio and show notes). I looked at his examples on his clients’ sites, the ones he linked to on his web page and noticed he mainly writes show notes in a short, formulaic style with timestamped bullets. In other words, completely unlike my style. Which got me thinking: what are the advantages of short show notes over long show notes? Personally most of the shows I work on have lengthy show notes, like 10 paragraphs. Granted the paragraphs are under 6 lines of copy (anything longer than that is hard on the human eye, FYI) but the overall word count is still around 800-1000 words. But why would he (or anyone) go with short show notes over the lengthier style? First, short is easier of course. Second, if you have a formula you only have to fill in the blanks. I am certain that saves time and definitely saves energy! Third, you can outsource your show notes easier since you only have to train someone to fill in the blanks and pick out a handful of bullet points. For those three reasons I get it from a business model perspective, he must be successful with it and it must work for him and his clients since he’s speaking at a conference about it. Good on him and I’m sure his clients are happy to have that process done for them. Show Notes: The Long And Short Of It So why bother...

Show Notes And What’s Your Why?

What’s Your Why? I’ve been reading Simon Sinek’s Start With Why, and contemplating why I do what I do (or really how to put it into words). Do you have a why? Do you know who you serve and why you serve them? Is there something that calls you into action? I do, in fact I have several reasons. Although I haven't boiled them down into one why I'll share them with you anyway. 1. Podcasting is incredible. My first reason for what I do is this: I think podcasting is an amazing medium! I’m always blown away by people who get on the mic. Being willing to put yourself out there for all the world to hear is amazing to me. I thrive on personal one on one interactions, I’m not much of showman (woman) or a naturally expressive person. I can interact well with others in groups, but I far prefer one on one communication. And when I'm out in large groups - even when I'm having fun - I’ll be longing to be at home on my couch with a good book or a rerun of Buffy the Vampire Slayer! 😉 So I admire anyone who expresses themselves in such a public way. That’s one of the reasons I do what I do. 2. Podcasting is where it's at. Another reason is I believe in the power of podcasting. It’s a user-driven format and it’s groundbreaking. Now we can listen to whatever topic we want when we want! Not sure about your fantasy football line up? There’s a show for that. Want to know the best...

Show Notes Made Easy: Why I Donate and The Power of Giving

I've always heard that the most financially successful people are the biggest givers; they are the ones who start foundations or donate a certain percentage of their income to a charity (or charities). Whether or not it's true there's something about that concept that has stuck with me, I do believe what you give comes back to you and I've always gave to various charities throughout my career. In fact I even worked in several non-profit settings, and have done some fundraising. So when I released my latest version of Show Notes Made Easy I decided I would give 10% of every sale to one of my favorite charities, Camp Hometown Heroes. Although I have never served in the military, nor has any of my immediate family, this camp is very dear to my heart. Not so long ago a family friend was killed in combat. He was a recent high school grad who had plenty of other collegiate options, and still he chose to enlist. It was post 9-11 so he knew what he was in for, and he enlisted anyway because of the duty he felt to his country. Regardless of what you think of America's foreign policy you have to admire someone who would stand up for what he believed in even if it meant risking his life. After his death my mom and my sister began volunteering at Camp Hometown Heroes. It's a camp for children who have either their mom or dad while their parent was on active duty. Once a year CHH flies in these children from all over the country to a...

Vulnerability, Show Notes and 12 Things You Didn’t Know About Me

Vulnerability and authenticity are two hot buttons in podcasting and every other industry out there. To that end I was recently reading this great article by James Altucher about how to be a better writer. (It’s here, you should read it and then come back to this post…or read this post and then read his article). And one of his suggestions is to share something no one else knows about you. So in this post I'm sharing things you don't know about me,  12 things in fact! What does this have to do with show notes? Not a lot - on the surface. But it is an example of how to write and connect with people authentically: share yourself and be vulnerable. You don’t necessarily have to share with others in this style but you do have to share yourself. And your show notes are another way to do so: share yourself and who you are as a person, what makes you you and no one else. So find out a bit more about who I am: 1. I’ve done two copywriting apprenticeships. I’ve spent months writing copy for free simply to perfect the practice. And I still work on it today. 2. I’m from Wisconsin, I’m a Packers fan and I love cheese. I know it’s a cliche but I do! 3. I have a Master’s degree in Women’s Studies from University College Dublin in Ireland. It was amazing to live there for a year and Ireland will always be a special place for me. 4. I love NFL football. Sundays during football season are off limits for...

3 Productivity Hacks for Writing Show Notes

One of the reasons people hire me to write their show notes is how much time it takes them. And that's smart - as soon as you can outsource something like show notes you should. Because the one thing we'll all never get back and can never create more of is time. Because I've been writing show notes for nearly 2 years now I've picked up a few ways to save time along the way. Naturally my background is in writing (and marketing and online copywriting) so I am a faster writer than a non-writer but there are still ways you can save time using these 3 productivity hacks I've discovered. 1. Binaural beats app. I love this app. There are multiple options out there for binaural beats programs. My personal fave is called Brain Wave. That one's not free but it's the best $3.99 I may have ever invested. Why? It's shaved 15 minutes (or more) off my time on EVERY episode I write. If I'm producing 3 shows a day I've now got another 45 minutes in a day. Ok not a ton of extra time but multiply that by 5 and now we're at nearly 4 hours a week. Four hours! What the heck would you do with another 4 hours in your week? Play with your kids? Record more podcasts? Work out? Sleep? Whatever you want - that's the point. 2. Template for taking show notes. Create a template you use every time you write your show notes. You won't have to guess at where your headers should go, where the resources and the Tweetable...

Unconferencing: What It Is and How To Do It

Unconferencing: Um, What Is It? I recently had the experience of going to a conference, and not actually attending any of the sessions. It's what's called "unconferencing": you hang out at the hotel the conference is being held at, go to the parties and network with people but don't actually have a ticket for the sessions. I can't speak for others but I can tell you why I did it at this year's Podcast Movement. I love attending conferences but they can get expensive. Add up the cost of the ticket, the airfare, the hotel and food (I'm tiny but I eat often so it adds up) and often it's close to $1500 or $2k. So I factor in the cost and what my goals are for attending: am I there to network, spread the word of Show Notes Made Easy? Get new clients? Am I there to learn? Is it a combination of these? So Why Unconference? And How Exactly Is It Done? For this year's PM when I asked myself those questions my answer was networking. I love the world of podcasting and the opportunities it presents for people but for my business I don't learn about show notes by going to Podcast Movement. None of the sessions were specific to podcasting show notes, so my primary reason for attending was networking. And I opted not to buy a ticket to the event and instead use that money to pay to attend another upcoming conference, FinCon. FinCon is a conference all about finances: it's tagline is Where Money and Media Meet. I've been interested in going to...

2 Tricks to Hiring (For Show Notes, and Anything Else)

One of the hardest things about being a business owner, solopreneur or entrepreneur is hiring. At least that's been my experience! Some great advice I heard once (I think it was on Chris Ducker's New Business Podcast) was to hire slow and fire fast. With that in mind I've created a system of sorts for my new hires. They go through a six week internship program and work for free while we sort out the kinks and get them on track. After the six weeks if they make the cut I bring them on board. It's working out so far, the interns love the opportunity and all my new clients from here on in will be written by the interns. It helps me scale my business and helps them to learn a new skill while earning a little money. And that's my first suggestion for you when hiring someone: hire slowly! Set up a competition for interns for a few weeks. Make sure they learn something no matter what but also be sure they are the right fit for you and what you're doing. For me it's incredibly important that they can write and they can implement edits I give them the next time around. Or if you must hire someone straightaway be sure to take them to dinner, have a drink with them and figure out if you all are a match. Ask yourself if you'd want them in your home for a meal - if you say yes then hire them. If you aren't sure they probably won't work out. My second suggestion for you is when you...

Are Show Notes Dead?

I heard through the grapevine recently that there was a heated debated in Podcaster’s Paradise about show notes being dead. I’m not sure who said that but they should check with stalwarts like Pat Flynn, The Art of Charm and Chris Ducker. Those are some of the biggest names in podcasting and they’re still producing show notes. But the discussion raises a great point about show notes and any other industry: it needs to evolve, stay current and relevant. I may be wrong but I don’t believe Google indexes your audio content, or at least not as accurately as it does content and not without the use of an audio-recognition tool so why would they be dead? Not sure. How to Innovate and Evolve? But as I said I will agree they need to evolve, as any service or product needs to. To that end I am focused on adding SEO strategies to the show notes I write and produce, as well as making them mobile-friendly. How do people find you if they don’t know you? SEO. When do most people listen to podcasts? When they are on their phone or in their car - NOT when they are at their laptops or desktops and looking at your web site. I’m also experimenting with repurposing show notes and using them for such things as articles on Huffington Post’s web site, various giveaways for your audience and emails to your list. There are numerous possibilities in this category, these are just a few I’m playing with. I want to find out which work best, and if there is variation depending...

Self-Worth and Show Notes Pricing: They Go Hand in Hand

Don't Hollah For Just a Dollah For years I struggled to make a decent living as a freelance writer, mainly because I refused to write for content mills or those ridiculous people who wanted 10,000 words for $10. Maybe that works for people living in Thailand but I'd have to write a million words to make a decent living at that rate. I'm fast but I'm not that fast!! And I swear I read somewhere that writers were the lowest-paid white collar workers of everyone. I don't know if that's true but if it is that blows monkeyb**ls. I've also noticed the marketplace seems to have this idea that if you can type some words on a page and string together some sentences you're a writer. To which I say no, no and no. Whatever type of writing you're doing, from podcast show notes to copywriting to online content articles, it takes skill and talent that is honed over the years. Which brings me to our topic at hand: getting paid and pricing your work. If this is your first solo endeavor, your first go at self-employment then this may feel awkward. Oh heck even if you’ve been working for yourself for awhile this discussion may still be awkward, suck it up and set your price. And I say that as much for you as I say it for me too!  I don’t know that I enjoy this chat any more than I enjoy the dentist drilling my teeth but I still have it. Awks or not, it’s gotta be done. To Free or Not To Free: That Is The...

SEO – Part Deux

I've been digging into SEO of late, more first level kind of stuff for show notes. And I'm testing out a few tactics to see if they add value for one client, then I'll take that same process and apply it for the rest of my peoples. And in my quest for knowledge I came across this article on OkDork.com. It is SO full of information and high-level SEO treats. It's like an SEO bonanza for your brain. Now I'm passing it along to you,...
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