I have been listening to a lot of podcasts lately between my 2 and half hours of commuting per day and any other times during the day that I am doing something that doesn’t require my concentration so I can pay attention to the podcast such as exercising and cleaning up. Most podcast that I listen to have at least one thing if not many things that can piss off and lose listeners. I don’t have a podcast of my own so I am a good candidate to give these tips since I am on the outside looking in and can see what some people with podcasts are blind to.
Sound Quality: Obviously the best quality of sound is preferred but even with mediocre quality microphones; there are things to pay attention to.
1) Adjust the sound – Many podcasts have guests call in for an interview or for their expert opinion. This is a great way to provide great content and value to your listeners so make sure that their volume is at the same level as yours. There is nothing worse than listening to a podcast and having to turn your volume all the way up and strain to hear what the caller has to say and then getting an ear drum shattering boom from you as you give your take on the conversation. If you don’t want to go through the hassle of readjusting the volume for short comments, just repeat or summarize what the caller had to say before commenting back.
2) Same goes for music – If you play a music intro or some music to end off the show, make sure it is at the same volume level so that listeners don’t have to keep adjusting the volume. Don’t add to the hearing aid boom of 2020 which will be caused by the increase of portable mp3 players.
3) Start off at a low volume – this works great with music intros. Start off very low and start raising the volume until it is at your normal volume level. This gives time to your listener to readjust their volume without bursting their ear drums since the last podcaster that they listened to didn’t read these tips yet.
Advertising: Give us enough value to make the advertising worth listening to.
4) Don’t spend half the time advertising – Advertising is fine on a podcast, we understand that you have to monetize somehow but don’t go overboard. If you have a 10 minute podcast, there should not be more than 1 minute of advertising and even that should be broken down. Plugs are a lot better for the listener and much more effective. Personally, I usually look up most of the plugs after the show and ignore the advertising.
Personality: Even if you don’t have great content, people may fall in love with your personality.
5) Have a personality – There are some podcasts that I hate because the entire thing sounds like a commercial. It is either monotone or some super energetic guy reading a pitch from a paper. My favorite podcasts are done by people who just speak. They have something to say and just say it as if it were a one on one conversation with the listener.
6) Be passionate – Passion is contagious. If you are passionate about your subject, you will create passionate fans that will listen to you no matter what you have to say. People want to be part of that passion. There is one podcast that I pushed off listening to for a long time because he had no passion about his topic. I ended up listening to it and it had great content but his podcast will always be at the bottom of my listening list for when I have nothing else to listen to. It is the passion that gets people involved and encourages them to call in comments and continue the conversation.
Frequency and Length:
7) Podcast often, but not too often – Your listeners depend on you for what you have to say but if you don’t podcast for a while, they will forget about you and possibly unsubscribe when cleaning up their subscriptions. Don’t podcast too often because, no matter how good you are, listeners don’t have enough time in their day to listen to everything and if they fall behind, you may lose them.
If you have tons of great content and just need to keep podcasting, here are 2 solutions:
a) Start a second podcast – split your content into 2 or more categories and give them each their own podcast. People that love you will subscribe to your other podcasts and you won’t lose the first group of people who may get scared off because of too much content.
b) Edit your shows down – Edit your podcasts and only give 100% value instead of a whole bunch of filler.
8) Choose the best length for you and stick to it – It’s ok to be off by a few minutes because that is part of what podcasting is all about but don’t jump from 10 minute shows to hour long shows. Your listeners learn what to expect from you and will budget their time appropriately based on how much time they have at the moment. It’s a piss off when you have saved a 1 hour show for a long trip and end up with 10 minutes or have a short commute and your 10 minute show ends up being an hour. I won’t even go into the 3 hour long podcasts.
The Jazz: Make your podcast something special.
9) Jazz up the podcast – create regular features in your podcasts that keep people coming back or give listeners something to wait for. Joseph Jaffe has his “Winners and Losers” and Mitch Joel has his “6 Pixels of Separation”.
10) Create a catchy theme song – this can be for your entire podcast or even just for one of your mini features (as in tip 9). The catchy song will energize your listeners the second it comes on and it will have them humming or singing the song all day which can lead to some good word of mouth for your podcast. It keeps a subconscious hold on your fans.
If you have your own podcast (or if you are a listener like me), let me know what you think of these tips in the comment section.
I am a typical person more or less that has always tried to get away with doing the absolute minimum to get by. In school, I did my assignments last minute, I barely passes some of my tests, I crammed for everything and didn't care about retaining any information. I always wanted to be successful and get lucky but my problem was that I thought that luck and chance were synonymous. One day, all that changed when i found out that there was more to "Luck". I learned that it was possible to make your own luck and that people that were "lucky", all had very similar characteristics. I made a conscious decision to become one of those lucky people and the world started to open up. It didn't happen overnight and I'm still not there yet but at least I know what to look for and what to do. Recognizing the opportunities to get lucky is only the beginning of the battle. Now I have to train myself to jump on every opportunity and one day be truly "lucky".
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