After your cover art and podcast name, a podcast description is one of the first things listeners absorb when coming into contact with your show. When someone is going through the endless scroll of podcast offerings, you want to immediately sell them on your content.
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So, how do you do this? Here is how you can create a podcast description so snazzy that they’ll have no choice but to click play.
What is a Podcast Description?
A podcast description is a text that accompanies your show when it appears on podcatchers. It serves as your description of the entire show, not the individual episodes. Podcasters typically use this space to introduce themselves and the topics they will be covering as concisely and creatively as possible.
Your podcast description is a synopsis of your entire podcast. After your podcast title, it is the second thing that most people end up reading. Why? Well, your title is a teaser and doesn’t have enough information to really tell people what your show is about. That is where your podcast description comes into play. The title hooks them in, and the description convinces them to press play.
For example, look at how the My Favorite Murder description appears on Google Podcasts:
Where Do You Write a Podcast Description?
While your podcast description will show up on directories like Apple Podcasts or Spotify, you’ll actually write and store it with your podcast host. You can think of your podcast host as the permanent address of your show. While your podcast can appear in directories like Google Podcasts or on your website, it primarily lives with your host and just shows up elsewhere.
When you first upload episodes to your podcast host, you’ll be asked to submit a description along with it. Your podcast host will show that description everywhere your podcast appears. So, it isn’t something you should just write on the fly.
The benefit of everything being housed with your podcast host is that if you update your description there, it will automatically update on all directories. Thus, your podcast host is a one-stop-shop for crafting your podcast description.
When creating a new podcast on Spreaker, all podcasters have the ability to add their own description. If you already have a podcast on Spreaker and want to re-edit your description, all you need to do is go to your account > podcast > basic info > description. And voilà.
Why Podcast Descriptions Matter
A podcast description is where you’ll convert scrollers to listeners. In a recent survey by The Podcast Host, listeners answered that a podcast description was the most critical component of considering a new show.
So the more robust your description, the higher the chances of growing your podcast audience. Plus, writing a killer description can boost your podcast SEO, which we’ll get into later.
How Long Should a Podcast Description Be?
There’s no magic answer to how short or long a podcast description should be. The goal is to convey what your show is about, so you should aim to accomplish that without being too wordy.
You are given a reasonably generous 4000 character limit on most podcast directories. You might be tempted to use up as much space as you can, but fight the urge and put your most compelling text at the front. Usually, your full description won’t be visible unless users click “see more.” On most phones, you’ll be lucky to get 150 characters in.
Knowing that your full description won’t show up when scrolling, it’s best to keep things succinct and put forth the basics in the most interesting way you can. What does this mean exactly? Start strong. Make sure that your first sentence is interesting enough that it warrants a “see more” click.
Driving Search Traffic With Your Description
SEO, or search engine optimization, is the practice of driving more traffic to your website based on what people are typing in on search engines like Google. SEO can also be used for your podcast, and you can certainly use your podcast description to boost your visibility online. Some podcasters choose to include keywords in their descriptions, which can be found using tools like Ubersuggest or Google Keyword Planner.
SEO in your podcast description depends on where your audience is listening to your show. Search results come from podcast names, episode titles, and author names, rather than the descriptions themselves on some directories like Apple Podcasts. Given that 70-80% of podcasts are consumed on Apple Podcasts, you shouldn’t worry about stuffing your description full of keywords.
Spotify and Google Podcasts appear to consider podcast descriptions as part of search results. Remember that keyword stuffing still should never be the answer; always write quality content for people, not algorithms.
However, you should give some thought to what your target audience might be looking for. While your description might not appear in search results on podcast directories, your website or landing page will. Your page will rank higher in search results if they contain phrases your target audience may be looking for, as long as you don’t go overboard with the keywords.
How to Write a Podcast Description
Writing a podcast description falls between writing the inside jacket summary of a hardcover book and a Netflix film summary. It shouldn’t be too long, but it should give enough information that entices your audience enough for them to listen to a podcast episode. To get all the crucial info out, there are a few things that you should consider:
Who should listen to your podcast?
Before you say everyone, understand that trying to appeal to the masses will lead to failure. Every successful podcast knows its niche audience and targets them specifically. Calling out your target audience will allow them to relate instantly, which will trigger them to continue to reading if it’s for them or passing on their way if it’s not.
For example: The Side Hustler Podcast is for early-stage side hustlers and aspiring entrepreneurs who are ready to say goodbye to their passion project and go ALL IN with your business.
The first sentence of this description clearly describes who would benefit the most from listening to this podcast: early-stage entrepreneurs who are ready to go all-in with their business. Instead of focusing on every type of entrepreneur, this particular podcast is specifically addressing individuals who are still not focusing on their business full-time. They niched within a niche—demonstrating that there is no such thing as “too niche.” People who fit this description will be interested, but others who aren’t early-stage entrepreneurs will continue scrolling.
What should listeners expect?
A podcast can be many things, so write what your show consists of in your description. Do you conduct weekly Q&As with industry professionals? Maybe you stream the latest tracks in queer underground techno? Are you an improvised storytelling series with different hosts each week? Your listeners want to know off the bat what they’re being offered.
For example: Join Oprah on a full tour of the West Coast as she interviews the female winemakers revolutionizing America’s grape harvest.
Listeners know right away that they’ll hear from different people each week, not just Oprah.
You should also list the times and days you usually publish new episodes.
Why should someone listen?
Think of the value you are bringing to your audience to answer this one. Think about your podcast avatar and its psychographics. What problems is your target audience trying to solve, or what are their goals? If there’s something specific that your audience is seeking, adding it to your description can catch their attention.
For example: Each week, we teach you the French that you never learned in school, the kind that you can shout across the bar at your foreign Tinder date.
Who are you?
This one is optional, depending on who you are. If you have a title or experience that lends to your credibility as a podcast host, including this in your description can increase audience trust. For example:
Join dermatologist Dr. Jane Brown as she reviews trending beauty products worldwide.
Don’t fret if you don’t have a doctorate in your subject. It is not the only way to earn listener trust. If the goal of your podcast is also to learn about something, letting your audience know that can make you seem more relatable, and they can feel as if they’re learning alongside you.
Plus, a study by The Podcast Host showed that listeners don’t really care if they’ve never heard of a host before. The value your show brings to them is what counts!
Where can people find you?
Last but not least, make sure to add links to your podcast website, or your social media handles. If people want MORE of you, where can they find you? You can take it a step further and add links to your Patreon page, email subscription link, or your “buy me a coffee” page.
Examples of Good Podcast Descriptions
Stephen Dubner (co-author of the Freakonomics book series) and research psychologist Angela Duckworth (author of Grit) really likes to ask people questions and came to believe there’s no such thing as a stupid one. So they made a podcast where they can ask each other as many “stupid questions” as they want. New episodes each week. No Stupid Questions is a production of the Freakonomics Radio Network.
Why we like this:
- Introduces the hosts and their credentials right away
- Tells you how often new episodes are released
- Succinct description of what to expect
- Explains the podcast format clearly
Crime. Conspiracy. Cognizance. Welcome to Mile Higher, hosted by husband & wife duo Josh Thomas and Kendall Rae! Our show focuses on True Crime, but we delve into many other topics, including conspiracy theories, unexplained phenomena, metaphysics, futurism, ancient civilizations, and news stories the mainstream media doesn’t cover. Our guests include experts in these topics, as well as like-minded individuals who share our passion for uncovering the truth and exploring the mysteries of our universe. Come chill with us every Monday and prepare to take your mind a mile higher! Watch the show on YouTube every Wednesday!
Why we like this:
- Very descriptive of their actual topics
- Targets their audience and audience values
- Outlines the structure of their episodes: interviews
- Specifies when to expect new podcast episodes
- Gives a call to action on another platform with specific days
Whether you’re giving a toast or presenting in a meeting, communication is critical to success in business and in life. Join Matt Abrahams, a lecturer of Strategic Communication at Stanford Graduate School of Business, as he sits down with experts in the field to discuss real-world challenges. Do I send my message clearly when put on the spot? How do I write emails to get my point across? Can I easily convey complex information? How do I manage my reputation? Think Fast, Talk Smart provides the tools, techniques, and best practices to help you communicate more effectively.
Why we like this:
- Begins with a strong statement that the audience can agree with (and identify with)
- Introduces the host and their level of expertise
- Targets the audience’s goals and questions
- Proposes value and learning opportunities to the audience
Here is Our Podcast Description Template
Now that you know the 411 on podcast descriptions, time to get started on your own! Remember that you’ll hit the “…read more” after 120-150 characters depending on what platform you use, so aim to be concise.
Start off your podcast description with a statement that speaks to a scroller. Preferably something your target audience would agree with or are invested in. For example:
Writing alone in a dark room won’t turn your screenplay into the next Spielberg flick. So what will?
Introduce yourself and your show
Here’s where you tell your audience who you are and what they can expect from your podcast. If there’s a specific structure your show follows, like weekly interviews with special guests or improv comedy with famous comedians, then this is where you should mention it. For example:
Every Tuesday, join Shonda Rhimes as she guides you through the ins and outs of how to succeed in a writer’s room.
What value your show brings to the audience
If listeners aren’t already hooked, this is where you sell them on the value that you can bring to their lives. Think of what you’ll be helping them with or how you can further their personal goals. If you want to include keywords in your podcast description, feel free to pop some in (naturally!) here. For example:
If you don’t know how to sell your script or are still looking for that tight-knit writer’s community, tune in for all the tips you need to bring your stories to the silver screen.
Feel free to expand on this template as ideas flow to you, adding what you deem necessary. You can always update your podcast description as you go, evolving as your show evolves. Since your podcast host will update it automatically on all platforms, you can stay stress-free and edit as you please.
And there you have it, everything you need to know to write the perfect podcast description. Did any of our tips and tricks surprise you? Let us know in the comments below.