How to Write A Podcast Description that Turns Scrollers into Listeners

There are millions of podcasts to choose from. Apart from marketing, reviews and word of mouth recommendations, what goes into influencing someone to listen to your podcast for the first time?

Along with your cover art, podcast name, trailer and episode titles, your podcast description (sometimes called a show summary) is a key ingredient for helping new listeners find and choose your podcast over the others in your category. 

When you’re starting your podcast, your description is a must-have piece of information that you’ll need to fill out (don’t worry, you can edit it as much as you like). So, how do you craft a short, succinct and persuasive podcast description that encourages listeners to hit play?

In this guide, we’ll cover exactly what you should include in your podcast description to get the very best results, as well as give you some shining examples of summaries that get the job done!

Podcast Description FAQs

What is a Podcast Description?

Your podcast description is a summary of your podcast. Its goal is to provide new listeners with enough context, information and motivation to want to know more. 

A screenshot of Apple Podcasts, showing the Spark of Rebellion podcast.

You can include anything you like in your description, but more often than not, podcasters use it to explain who they are, who their show is for and what kinds of topics they cover. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?

Like your podcast trailer, your podcast description is like an elevator pitch designed to hook in your ideal listener. You need to be able to describe – quickly and clearly – all the things that make your podcast so appealing to your audience. In other words, why is your podcast for them and why should they care?

How Long Should a Podcast Description Be?

Apple Podcasts gives you a limit of 4000 characters for your show summary. To put that in perspective, that’s around 500-600 words (or one full page!)

Unlike show notes, where it can be beneficial to use up your whole character limit, there’s no benefit in writing too much for your podcast description. In fact, not all apps and directories will display your description in full if it’s beyond a certain amount of characters.

Remember the goal. The job of a podcast description is to summarise your podcast in a short, concise and effective way. You need to make sure you’re getting the most across with as little as possible, kind of like a Tweet (240 characters, by the way). Whether that means 2 lines or 2 paragraphs is up to you. 

Where Do You Put Your Podcast Description?

When you first start your podcast, you’ll be asked to write a short summary as part of the set-up process with your podcast host. Your description, like your title and author information, is a vital piece of information included in your RSS feed that apps and directories will use to serve your podcast to listeners. 

On Captivate, you can set your podcast description when you create your podcast. Plus, you can go back and edit it at any time by accessing your show settings!

How Do You Write a Podcast Description?

We’ve established that your podcast description is a great opportunity to sell your podcast to new listeners. It needs to be short, concise and packed full of information – a big ask! 

What should you include in your podcast description, and how do you make sure it’s effective enough to win you listeners? 

Don’t worry, crafting a strong podcast description isn’t hard as long as you follow our blueprint. Answer these 5 questions and you’ll have a ready-made summary that tells listeners all they need to know!

1. Who Is Your Podcast For?

Think about your target audience or listener avatar. Who are you trying to reach with your podcast – a specific niche, a community, a market? 

2. What’s the Format?

What kind of episode structure and tone can listeners expect? Is it informal, meandering conversation between friends, an interview format, or a solo-hosted, non-fiction epic? Tell people upfront so they know exactly what they’re about to hear!

3. What Topics/Subjects Do You Cover?

Think again about your target audience and what topics, names or themes they will find most interesting. You could do some simple keyword research here to find what people are searching for most. 

4. How Do You Add Value?

Why should they hit that play button? What are the common challenges held by your audience, and how are you helping them to overcome them? Who are you interviewing that they know and respect? 

5. What’s Your Release Schedule?

Lastly, tell people when to expect new episodes and how often. It’s also a good idea to mention how long your episodes are (for example, if each episode is 5 minutes max because your podcast is designed for busy parents, that will be a huge pull!)

Pro-tip: Get help answering all these questions with our free Podcast Launch Accelerator course. Watch as Captivate CEO Mark talks you through how to choose a podcast format, design your listener avatar, pick a manageable release schedule and tons more!

4 Examples of Good Podcast Descriptions

What does a good podcast description look like in the wild? We’ve tracked down 4 strong examples to draw inspiration from:

1. Royally Obsessed

A screenshot of Apple Podcasts showing the title, ratings, category, cover art and description of Royally Obsessed podcast.

“Hear ye, hear ye! This is Royally Obsessed, the podcast that discusses all things Royals! Roberta Fiorito and Rachel Bowie both write about the Royals for PureWow and, each week, they discuss the latest news coming out of Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace and beyond. Follow the show on Instagram @RoyallyObsessedPodcast and like our Facebook group, Royally Obsessed.”

Why this is good: 
✅ Short summary of the topic and what they discuss
✅ Hosts state their expertise in the topic
✅ We know when to expect new episodes
✅ There’s also a strong call to action to follow the community

2. MOOD with Lauren Elizabeth

A screenshot of Apple Podcasts showing the title, ratings, category, cover art and description of the MOOD with Lauren Elizabeth podcast.

Online personality Lauren Elizabeth is a business-savvy Midwestern girl living in Los Angeles. She’s honest, hilarious, and isn’t afraid to keep it real. Each episode Lauren dives into her best and worst moods of the week. You’ll become obsessed with her current mood boosters ranging from lifestyle products to tips and tricks. Stick around for each new topic discussion and #MyMOOD advice segment. Subscribe to have your mood boosted each Wednesday.”

Why this is good: 
✅ We know exactly who the host is and why we should trust her
✅ There’s a clear value and USP
✅ We know exactly when new episodes come out
✅ There are opportunities to get involved with the community – a pull for new listeners!

3. I Could Murder A Podcast

A screenshot of Apple Podcasts showing the title, ratings, category, cover art and description of I Could Murder A Podcast podcast.

“Hello and welcome to I Could Murder A Podcast! Join good pals Tom and Ben as they make weekly deep dives into the mercilessly morbid, curiously creepy world of true crime. The boys will be exploring the who’s, how’s, what’s, where’s and why’s of all things strange and intriguing. From mass shootings to serial murderers, to tragic events and mysteries – they will pick apart each subject with their unorthodox commentary and bizarre references, looking into the Red Flags and Motives, as well as exploring the impact and aftermath of each case.”

Why this is good: 
✅ They clearly set the tone and format of the podcast 
✅ We know what to expect from the topics and content
✅ We know exactly when new episodes come out

4. Golden Grenades

A screenshot of Apple Podcasts showing the title, ratings, category, cover art and description of Golden Grenades podcast.

“Golden Grenades is a weekly podcast about birds and those who worship them, all set against the heart-warming upbeat backdrop of the end of the world. Each week YOLOBirder chats to a special guest about their 5 favourite birds, one of which must enter a best bird duel against the mighty Peregrine Falcon! Twitter: @YOLOBirder Artwork, music, bells & whistles by Will Rose.”

Why this is good: 
✅ We know exactly when new episodes come out
✅ A credit for the artwork and music creator
✅ A simple, entertaining premise explained simply
✅ We get a sense of the tone and structure of the podcast

Recap: Why Are Podcast Descriptions So Important?

Along with your podcast title, tagline and cover art, your podcast description is yet another opportunity to attract and engage potential listeners. 

The good news is that creating a short, strong podcast description is really easy when you’ve taken the time to design your show properly. Remember the blueprint when writing your own:

  1. Who is your podcast for?
  2. What’s the format?
  3. What kind of topics do you talk about?
  4. Why should they listen – how do you add value?
  5. When can they expect new episodes?

By answering these questions, you’ll have a ready-made podcast description that will inform, motivate and encourage new listeners to tune into your show!

What to Do Next

Rachel

Rachel is Captivate's Marketing Coordinator and works closely with podcasters to ensure that the content that Captivate creates is genuinely helpful and easy to understand.