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How to Write a Podcast Summary | 10 Steps & Bonus Template

Learn how to write a captivating podcast summary that draws in your audience! We'll walk you through each step and share a template to help.
Ortal Hadad
Content Specialist & Blog Editor
Published:
October 23, 2023
Last Updated:
January 15, 2024
11
min
Reviewed by
Ortal Hadad

You’ve planned, recorded, and edited the perfect podcast episode. Now, there’s only one thing left to do: write the podcast summary. It’s a tall order, but it’s extremely important.

You only have one chance to make the right first impression here. Potential listeners don’t have a wealth of patience. With that in mind, the description needs to be engaging, informative, and hook the reader from the start. 

So, how can you get it right? The following in-depth guide will reveal how to write a podcast summary from scratch. As if that wasn’t enough, we have also included a handy podcast summary template for you to look at before you start. 

What is a podcast summary?

Podcast summaries are short descriptions that tell listeners what to expect from each episode. The aim is to showcase the value that the episode offers to potential listeners.

A well-crafted podcast summary should pique your audience’s interest without giving away all of the episode content. On average, these blurbs should be between one and two paragraphs long. Here’s what you need to cover in each of your podcast summaries: 

  • Topic. What is the podcast episode about, and why should the audience care about this subject matter? What makes this episode unique and interesting to listeners?
  • Guests. If you are interviewing a guest (or even multiple guests), you should mention it in your podcast summary. You can also include a link to their website or credentials.
  • Teasers. Why should listeners bother with this episode? Add teasers of what they can expect to generate interest and encourage them to click the “play” button. 

There are different formats you can use for your podcast summaries. When you start writing them, make sure that you pick a style that resonates with your audience. As a general rule, you should use the same podcast summary format throughout the entire series. 

How to write a podcast summary: 10 Steps

Now that you know what a podcast summary is, let’s get down to business. Writing a description that wins over your audience is an art form. Here’s a step-by-step tutorial that will help you craft a highly engaging and effective podcast summary for each episode: 

Step 1: Listen to the episode 

Before you do anything else, you need to listen to the podcast episode. If you have edited the episode yourself, you will know its contents all too well. However, if you happen to outsource the editing process, you need to go back and refresh your memory. 

Step 2: Make some key notes

As you listen to the track, take notes on it. Think about questions like:

  • What are the main talking points? 
  • What lessons do you share with audience members? 
  • What are the stand-out parts that people should not miss? 

Creating a list of these highlights will help you when writing the summary. 

Step 3: Identify the episode’s unique selling point.

What is the unique selling proposition of your episode? 

Consider what the main “hook” is and why listeners should tune in. Chances are, there may be a few angles you can take here. Choose the strongest and most valuable benefit to the listener. For example, the podcast episode may teach them a special skill or reveal tantalizing information. 

Step 4: Create a catchy first line

The first line of your podcast summary is the most important. If it’s dull, you could lose the reader’s interest fast. For that reason, you must grab their attention. 

Consider using a short and punchy statement that they can relate to immediately. You want your reader to empathize with your words and feel curious for more information.

Step 5: Add in the vital details 

Podcast summaries should cover the main topic of conversation, any special guests, and some teaser information. The next step in the writing process is to make sure that you are ticking all of those boxes. Draft a paragraph or two that encapsulates the above details. 

Step 6: Optimize your summary 

Does your podcast summary contain relevant keywords? 

Since you are publishing this content online, it’s always wise to optimize it for SEO (search engine optimization). Google and other search engines rank content by how relevant it is to the searcher. They scan content for relevant keywords, among other patterns, and the more your content includes and matches these keywords, the more likely it is to rank.

This is why we recommend doing some research into the keywords and phrases surrounding your episode topic. By weaving these throughout your show notes and description, you can improve your chances of ranking well in search results. 

Step 7: Cut your summary down 

Spoiler: Your first draft of your podcast summaries will likely be too long. If you want to keep the audience’s interest, you need to make sure that this description is concise. Read your podcast summary and edit out any irrelevant information. If a sentence or phrase doesn't add any value to the reader, you should take it out completely. 

Step 8: Proofread your content 

If you’re in a rush, you may forget to proofread your podcast summary. Typos and spelling mistakes can make your content look amateur. To avoid that problem, you should always proofread the description before publishing it. You can also use handy tools, such as Grammarly, to check your content. 

Step 9: Submit your summary 

When you have done all of the above, the final step is to publish your episode and summary. It’s important to ensure that there’s a level of continuity in your podcast summaries. When you have picked a style that works for you, use it in each one that you publish.

You’ll likely publish your summary through your podcast host, but you may be able to edit this in your directory

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Best practices to improve your podcast summaries

We’ve already gone through the guide on how to write a summary of a podcast. But before you get started, you may be looking for some extra advice. To help you along the way, let’s take a look at some of the best practices you can use to improve your podcast summaries. 

1. AI tools to help 

Want to know how to summarize a podcast fast? Let AI do the work for you.

Using an AI summarizer means you can condense a wealth of content into just a few short paragraphs. Many different tools are on the market, such as, Riverside Summarizer.org and Semrush.

2. Make it skimmable 

When you’re writing a summary of a podcast, you need to make sure it is skimmable. That means that the reader can take in the information quickly and easily. Consider breaking the paragraphs up so that they don’t look like big blocks. You can also use bullet points or even numbered lists to share your takeaways with potential listeners. 

3. Get the language and tone right 

Who is your target audience? 

Think about your ideal listener — what they like and what they don’t like — when writing your podcast summary. You need to speak their language. Use the type of vocabulary that is likely to reach them on a deep level. Needless to say, the tone of a scientific podcast summary will be different to the tone of a chat show podcast summary. 

4. Don’t give too much away 

Sure, you want to get the reader’s attention. However, you should be careful not to give away too much too soon. If your podcast summary outlines everything that you talk about in the episode, the reader won’t need to listen to it. Rather than explaining in fine detail what you cover in the podcast, simply share the highlights along with some teasers here. 

5. Avoid making it boring 

Podcast summaries are marketing tools. You should try to capture readers’ imagination when you are writing them. Once you have finished drafting your show notes, read them back and consider whether they are doing the job. Does your summary sound exciting? Are you using creative language to make them want to listen to the episode? By evaluating each podcast summary before you publish it, you give yourself the best chance of success. 

6. Include bullet points 

Most readers will only scan your show notes before listening to each episode. So, you need to keep things simple. Add some catchy bullet points into the mix. These could include the lessons that listeners will learn or the key takeaways from the episode. 

Bonus: Podcast Summary Template

By this point, you should be ready to get started with your show notes. However, it’s smart to look at a podcast summary example for some inspiration. Here’s a well-crafted template: 

“Fascinated by the world of digital marketing? Join us for a captivating conversation with social media guru and startup founder, Angela Stein. In this episode, you can expect to learn mind-boggling tips on how to take your online promotion to the next level. We will cover: 

  • Angela Stein’s top five social media faux pas
  • The most effective and unexpected ways to reach your audience
  • How to create compelling social media content 
  • The big mistake that most content creators are making 

Get comfortable and we will begin. If you’ve ever wondered about the mysteries of the online world, you don’t want to miss out on this week’s episode.” 

The above podcast summary example starts with a question, instantly drawing the reader into the conversation. When you’re working on your writing, take a look at other podcast summary examples. Tip: Look through Spotify or Apple Podcasts and check out the top running show’s summaries.

If you need some extra help along the way, use the handy template below: 

  • Intro: Brief 2-3 line explanation of your podcast and what listeners can expect. This usually includes the podcast host’s name and the subject matter. 
  • Bullet point or second paragraph: This next section tells listeners what value they can expect from the podcast. What can they expect to learn from the episode, for example?
  • Call to Action (CTA): The final statement invites the listener to press play and tune in. You can also ask them to follow your podcast or even follow you on social media.

FAQs on Podcast Summaries

What is a podcast short summary?

Put simply, a summary of a podcast is a description of an episode. It is usually only one or two paragraphs. The short blurb should tell readers what they can expect from the episode and why they should listen to it. Some content creators call podcast summaries “show notes”. The two phrases are interchangeable.

What makes a good podcast summary?

If you want to write an effective podcast summary, there are some simple approaches you can use. Follow these tips to help you along the way: 

  • Keep it short. Podcast summaries shouldn’t be longer than two paragraphs. When you are writing your show notes, you should aim to keep the content concise.
  • Optimize your summary. It’s important to use keywords and phrases throughout your podcast summary. Do some SEO research before you start writing.
  • Keep it interesting. Podcast summaries have the power to grab readers’ attention. Make sure that the content is interesting and offers real value to the audience. 
  • Make it educational. Your podcast summary needs to tell the reader what the episode is about. Make sure that all of the right information is in the show notes. 

Is there a website that summarizes podcasts?

Yes. You can use an AI summarizer — like the ones that we have mentioned in this guide — to create your podcast summary. Keep in mind that you may need to edit the content that the AI generator creates. You should also optimize your show notes for SEO purposes. 

What’s the difference between a podcast summary and description?

People often confuse podcast summaries and podcast descriptions. However, there’s a simple distinction that you can make between the two. 

Podcast summaries apply only to singular episodes. Sometimes known as “show notes,” these blurbs give a quick overview of what listers can expect in a certain episode. They may include the topics you cover, guests’ credentials, and other details. When a listener clicks on a certain episode in Spotify or Apple Podcasts, they will see the summary there. 

On the other hand, podcast descriptions apply to the podcast as a whole. The description gives prospective listeners a general idea about the podcast’s subject matter. It covers what the topic of your podcast is, who you (or the hosts) are, and why people should listen. If you want to boost your following and gain listeners, you need to make sure that this hits the mark. For more information, read our extensive guide on how to write a podcast description.

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