I recently took over managing the feed for my Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast, and was able to rewrite the episode descriptions to make them more iTunes-friendly. iTunes is by far the most common way that people subscribe to podcasts, so it’s important to think about how your podcast is going to be displayed there. Each episode of my podcast features an interview, usually focused around the guest’s latest book, followed by a discussion between me and my co-host John Joseph Adams (and recently we’ve been having on a rotating cast of “guest geeks” to join us for the discussion). I tried to format our episode descriptions to make that information available at a glance:
Compare that to, say, the Suvudu On Air podcast:
Not that useful, right? You can actually find out who the guests are here by hovering your cursor over each episode, but I suspect that most listeners don’t have the time or patience for that.
Another thing I see a lot is that the podcast description will start out listing the names of the hosts, which means that more useful information such as the guest or topic is obscured in iTunes. Here’s an example from the Writing Excuses podcast:
Obviously I think it would be better to just put the guest or topic here, especially since the host names should already be listed at the top of the page, and in any event are somewhat redundant since they’re mostly the same from episode to episode.
Getting people to listen to any podcast in the first place is a huge hurdle, and I think descriptions that convey the relevant info as clearly and succinctly as possible can make a big difference in your number of listeners. Hope that helps.