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Podcast Pontifications on Smash Notes

Podcast Pontifications podcast.

December 28, 2019

Podcasting needs to be made better, not just easier. Because after 15 years, less than a quarter of the population listen to podcasts regularly. While new business models, discovery apps, and content curators will evolve, much of the responsibility --and work-- falls on us, the working podcaster. This short-form show takes an Advancing view of podcasting, with daily strategic insights to help you develop critical thinking skill needed to make the best future-proofed podcast you can with the tools of today.



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Humans tend to seek out digital content in one (or more) of three ways:

1. They trust a trusted source: People are happy to let others do the sorting for them, so long as those doing the sorting are trustworthy. The audience trusts that every day, week, month, or whatever the frequency, quality content will be delivered. This trust gives the provider a lot of latitude. A trusting audience is often a forgiving audience.

Many podcasts (like mine) clearly are trying to be seen as a trusted source. We generate content not because someone specifically asked for it. Our listeners (and readers) trust us to generate the content they need to hear. 

2. They seek out timely data: Even though we’re subscribed to our trusted sources, we often have immediate needs. Luckily, we all have search engines at our fingertips. 

But even with Google trying to insert podcast episodes in search results, this space is problematic for podcasts, especially if the nugget of information someone is looking for is buried deep inside a 45-minute episode. 

3. They look for infotainment: Some knowledge requires more than a glancing exposure, and a lot of it needs a full-on deep-dive. And most of all, we humans love a good story. Properly presented, informative deep-dives can be quite entertaining.

This is where podcasting can (and often does) shine, especially when it’s presented as a series of well-crafted episodes. If we make the story compelling, we can hook people into listening to a dozen episodes. 

But where does your podcast fit? 

Developing trust is easy if you already have a big following elsewhere, or are well-respected in another medium, or happen to be a celebrity. But for the rest of us without a big name or a big organization behind us, asking people to listen to or subscribe to our podcast is a very big ask.\

Producing timely data requires a great deal of effort for podcasters trying to stay in-step with the news cycle. And if you force someone to slog through your non-sequiturs or meanders before you deliver the goods 45 minutes later, then listening to your podcast is too big of an ask for someone who's looking for something very specific.

Figuring out a multi-episode, seasonal arc that digs deep, with compelling storytelling at every turn until the story is fully told is really, really hard. Can you find a worthy story and make it interesting enough to keep someone listening to a dozen episodes? Because if the story isn’t that compelling, or if you cannot pull off great storytelling with every episode, then it's too big of an ask to get people to sit through all of it.

Think about the kind of content you produce. Or the content you want to produce. Or the content you think you’re producing. Now think about which of the three scenarios above you’re trying to work toward with your content with one question in mind:

How big is your ask?

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Read the full article and share with a friend: https://podcastpontifications.com/episode/is-podcast-listening-too-big-of-an-ask (https://podcastpontifications.com/episode/is-podcast-listening-too-big-of-an-ask)

Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com/) is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is designed to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter (https://twitter.com/evoterra) for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro (https://podcastlaunch.pro/) to see how Simpler Media Productions can help you reach your business objectives with podcasting.

This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy Support this podcast

There’s more to podcasting -- much more -- than editing an audio waveform. Yet the ability to manipulate an audio file remains one of the biggest stumbling blocks -- and is sometimes a non-starter -- for many podcasters and would-be podcasters.

While we’ll certainly never go “no-audio” (that rather defeats the point), we might go to “no-audio-waveform-manipulation”, which arguably isn’t nearly as sexy or succinct as “no-code”, I concur. 

There are plenty of tools that allow you to record quickly on your mobile phone and load your ramblings to a podcast hosting company. Some of those services even allow you to mix in audio, take guests, and all the other trappings of podcasting. 

Those tools are not the equivalent of no-code in podcasting. Those tools, at least in their current state, are the equivalent of WYSIWIG editors from two decades ago. And I do not endorse them. 

“No-code” for podcasting allows us to un-relegate waveform manipulation from a chore we give to an audio engineer and make it an integral part of the episode construction process. Not that anybody can do it, mind you. Nor does it mean that the audio is automagically made perfect. Someone with a vision and a design still needs to be in charge. 

Listeners don’t interact with the waveform, they listen to the audio. Beyond those looking at the bouncy, squiggly line in an embeddable player or an audiogram, the visual representation of the audio -- the waveform -- is completely unnecessary to enjoy listening to the sound. Oscilloscopes were never designed as a household tool, yet here we are waving our waveform flags proudly. 

The audio -- not the waveform -- is the interface in podcasting. Yes, I know we have apps in the mix, but those interfaces are mostly for discovery and navigation. The real engagement happens at the listening level. Who says we need to manipulate a waveform to really design really great audio? 

What happens to your entire process of podcasting when you remove audio waveform manipulation as a requirement? What happens when you can go from a great idea in your head to a ready-to-publish episode without ever cracking open a DAW? The no-waveform-manipulation world is already here, and it may be right for you.

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Read more and share with a friend: https://podcastpontifications.com/episode/how-you-can-exploit-podcastings-no-code-future (https://podcastpontifications.com/episode/how-you-can-exploit-podcastings-no-code-future)

Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com/) is published by Evo Terra and designed is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter (https://twitter.com/evoterra) for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro (https://podcastlaunch.pro/) to see how Simpler Media Productions can help you reach your business objectives with podcasting.

This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy Support this podcast

As a white man pushing 52 years, I have a statement to make:

I am the beneficiary of institutionalized, systemic racism in this country, and I have benefited greatly from white supremacy.

It’s time for me to own that. And if you look and sound like me, it’s probably time for you to own that too. 

There are a lot of things I can do and will do with that ownership. To start, and with the permission of the Scene on Radio (https://www.sceneonradio.org/) to the end this audio. 

So bear through a few minutes of my taking ownership of my role - given though it may have been - and then you’ll get the good, eye-opening content. And I hope you decide, either before or after, to listen to all 12 episodes. Yes, it’s that important. Especially if you look and sound like me.

 - Evo (https://twitter.com/evoterra)

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Share this with a friend: https://podcastpontifications.com/episode/its-the-institutionalized-racism-stupid

This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy Support this podcast

I am a huge fan of breaking your podcasting efforts into seasons. And to be clear, I’m also a fan of taking long breaks between seasons. Not all of my fellow podcasting pundits agree. Many adopt the position that podcasting is akin to blogging and that new episodes should keep coming out on schedule. To them, I say: Hey, you do you. 

Me? I like breaks.

if you’re like me and are looking for a little guidance to direct some of your chill-time activities, I have just the thing. Or ten things, rather. These are in no particular order. And if they seem a little Evo-centric, there’s a reason for that. You’ll see at the end.

And to save space, I’m just putting the titles of the activities in this list. Check out the full article for more details at:  https://podcastpontifications.com/episode/what-to-do-during-your-podcasts-season-break (https://podcastpontifications.com/episode/what-to-do-during-your-podcasts-season-break)

Cleanup your podcast feed.

Put the final touches on your website.

Spend some quality time with Google Search Console. 

Hire a professional to help with the branding of your show. 

Replenish the content well. 

Put out bonus episodes.

Lock-in guest appearances for yourself.

Upgrade your equipment.

Upgrade your software. 

Gain some perspective and relax.

How practical is this list? Uber practical. So much, in fact, that I’m calling an end to Season 2 of Podcast Pontifications. Effective right now, I’m on break. Woot!

Season 3 of Podcast Pontifications will begin sometime after my birthday, which is in June. I had planned on taking a break the entire month of June, but decided to advance those plans. The ideas I listed out seemed too compelling not to start right away.

So keep your eyes on PodcastPontifications.com (https://podcastpontifications.com/) . Lots of back-episodes and articles if this is your first introduction to my show. I have  310 episodes to keep you full of ideas. Lots of changes coming to the site in the next few weeks that I’m excited to get started.

In the meantime, be safe, stay well, and I shall be back soon with season three of Podcast Pontifications. 

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Share this with a friend: https://podcastpontifications.com/episode/what-to-do-during-your-podcasts-season-break (https://podcastpontifications.com/episode/what-to-do-during-your-podcasts-season-break)

Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com/) is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter (https://twitter.com/evoterra) for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro (https://podcastlaunch.pro/) to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business!

This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy Support this podcast

Desktop consumption of podcast episodes is growing for the first time in… forever? Thanks to COVID-19 and the forced lockdown we’re are all having to deal with, we’re seeing people shift to consuming podcasts right on the device that’s busy blurring work-life boundaries for everyone.

Some enterprising companies see this as an opportunity. That opportunity, at the risk of your eyes rolling all the way out of your skull, is a re-imagining of what was once known as “enhanced” podcasts. 

A new wave of technologists and interface designers are turning their sights on browser-based listening. Interactive elements like polls and surveys. Short-form video or animation. Links to more content. And yes, ad units. We’re still in the very early stages of this, but I’m intrigued by those seeking to capitalize on “more than audio” in a way that enhanced podcasting failed to do.

In-car audio and display systems are nothing new, but they’re getting incrementally better. Just last week, Nielsen started talking up their initiative to help build a better navigating experience through podcast episodes (https://www.mesalliance.org/2020/05/07/gracenote-audio-on-demand-launches-for-podcast-search-discovery/) when we're driving in our cars. If we ever drive in our cars again. 

Smart speakers with display screens are rapidly evolving as people flock to them. Interfaces and apps are getting better as designers are finding interesting ways to blend visual and audio together to create a compelling “mixed media” experience. As they have done since we transitioned away from text-only interfaces a lifetime ago.

But some are designing away the visual interface completely. Smart earbuds are a wearable device that not only has no screen, but you can’t even see the device when it’s in operation. Earbuds lost their cord and gained ndividual computer chips and other electronics built right in, making them much more than simply a speaker. They are, quite literally, two computers that you stick in your ears, with plenty of sensors and input areas to bring a unique screen-less experience to listeners.

These easily-misplaced gadgets are voice-aware and tightly coupled to AI-based voice assistants that continue to get smarter. It doesn’t take much imagination to see a future where we’re searching for new shows or episodes, changing the order of episode delivery, or getting recommendations on future content right from the wearable device, never having to look at or even use a screen.

Which of these paradigms is going to win? Luckily, we don’t have to choose. I think we’ll see major advancements in both of these fronts, serving the very disparate needs for different types of listeners in different environments. 

I know my fellow long-time podcasters are likely skeptical. And I get that. But I posit to them that the environment today is vastly different than what it was a decade ago. These are just the kinds of developments that could cause the 70% of non-listeners to see what podcasting has to offer them.

Speaking of new listeners; I’d like some! When you reach out directly to one person -- just one person -- and tell them about Podcast Pontifications, it makes a huge difference. And who knows? Maybe the new person you turn onto the podcast loves it so much that they decide to go to BuyMeACoffee.com/EvoTerra throw their support behind your friendly neighborhood contrarian.

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Share this with a friend: https://podcastpontifications.com/episode/eye-cant-hear-you-a-podcasting-paradigm-shift (https://podcastpontifications.com/episode/eye-cant-hear-you-a-podcasting-paradigm-shift)

Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com/) is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter (https://twitter.com/evoterra) for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if... Support this podcast

Many podcasters woke to an email this morning from a large podcasting conference stating that this year’s event had been pushed back by a couple of months. A few days ago, another large podcasting conference sent out an odd “pandemic or no pandemic, we’re having a physical conference, dammit!” notice. 

I’m supposed to attend both of those events. But... I’m conflicted. And concerned.

Based on what I know right now, I don't think I'm going to go to any physical conferences or events for the rest of 2020.

Barring extraordinary developments, like me having a positive antibody test, the availability and reliability of therapeutics,  or a vaccine;  I don't think attending a podcasting gathering of any size is worth the risk.

But I’m not optimistic about replicating the physical experience virtually. pecifically, I’m not confident that trying to copy/paste the physical format into a virtual format is a good idea. Not that it can’t work. Clearly it can. But to make it keep working, we have to move beyond “replacing” and into “making a better experience”.

We’re already seeing it. Some of the aspects of forced virtuality of experiences that used be physical are, indeed, better. How do you happy hour when friends are a thousand miles apart? No one shushes me when I type snarky comments to my friends in chat room while the musician is the middle of their performance on the other side of the country.

Attempts to make something new with a virtual experience do excite me. Can a virtual experience lead to better educational outcomes? Can virtual events come with better biz dev opportunities? Can virtual experiences redefine what makes a successful conference?

For now, count me out of all in-person events for 2020. Call me overzealous if you like, but it's where my brain is at right now. 

I'm curious what your plans are. Are you still going to attend? What are your restrictions or requirements for that to make sense to you? 

Also, this is a great time for you to educate me on what cool, new virtual experiences you’re having that are better than in-person gatherings. I’m far from well versed in this area, so let me know what I’m missing. 

Apologies for the ill-prepared episode. While this episode likely isn’t one you should send to a new listener, I’d still appreciate it if you would mention the show to just one person today. Thanks in advance.

Not that I have you much reason to so do on this episode, but you can go to BuyMeACoffee.com/EvoTerra (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/evoterra) and lend me a little support.

Add your thoughts on my thoughts here as a comment. Or you can email me at evo@podcastlaunch.pro (mailto:evo@podcastlaunch.pro) .

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Share this with a friend: https://podcastpontifications.com/episode/feeling-conflicted-about-podcasting-conferences (https://podcastpontifications.com/episode/feeling-conflicted-about-podcasting-conferences)

Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com/) is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter (https://twitter.com/evoterra) for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro (https://podcastlaunch.pro/) to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business!

This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy Support this podcast

It’s not an overstatement to say podcasting would not exist without RSS feeds. But their magic and power is mostly seen by listeners for current and future episodes. As I discussed on Monday’s episode (https://podcastpontifications.com/episode/podcast-episode-management-for-tomorrow) , trying to listen to extensive back catalog episodes inside of a podcast listening app is a horrid experience. 

But we can make it better if we think about RSS feeds from a slightly different perspective.

Imagine if your local library organized books on shelves not by subject matter or author, but by the date they were acquired by the library branch. Now consider that the menu of your local restaurant isn’t a complete listing of everything in the chef’s repertoire. And think of how insane it would be to shop for clothes if you had to go through the full warehouse instead of the limited selections you see in a showroom.

Generally speaking, presenting people with overwhelming choices is a bad idea. To help, creators (sellers, providers, etc) segregate content into two buckets:

What We Want People To See Right Now

Other Options We’ve Moved Out Of The Way As To Not Overload People With Too Many Choices

So why don’t we do the same?

The List Of Episodes We Want To Display To New And Current Listeners

Well-organized Archived Or Back-catalog Content For Listeners Who Want To Dig

We can do this with current RSS feeds. And we can do it in a way that’s not confusing to listeners. 

This requires some strategic thinking on the part of podcasters. How “full” should your main RSS feed be? How do you decide where to break content? Do you need more than one archive feed?  

Here’s one way I could do it for this show:

Podcast Pontifications: Season 3

Podcast Pontifications: Season 2 (July 2019 - May 2020)

Podcast Pontifications: Season 1 (July 2017 - June 2019)

If you don’t do seasons, then what about years? Here’s mine again as an example, breaking out feeds by years would look like this in directories or apps:

Podcast Pontifications

Podcast Pontifications Archive: 2019

Podcast Pontifications Archive: 2018

Podcast Pontifications Archive: 2017

That looks nice! But it also might lead you to make a bad decision. Never make a new RSS feed for your next season or the next year. If you make a new feed for new content, people will have to subscribe to that new feed. You do not want to ask people to subscribe to a new feed. Because most -- the vast majority -- will not. That’s the opposite of “frictionless”.

Instead, you’re just renaming your main feed and removing content from it to fill up the “new” archived feeds which you’ll submit to the appropriate directories. You may also try adding a season-ending trailer to your archived feeds if you think that would help. Or you can try a totally different and more descriptive naming convention for each of your feeds. Just keep it simple and frictionless for your listeners. 

Best of all? We can do all this with the current architectural infrastructure podcasting relies on. We don't need to change the way RSS feeds work or how podcast clients ingest those feeds to make this happen.

This seems like a good idea to me. So much, that I'm going to implement it by the end of the week. Let me know if you’ll join me! (mailto:evo@podcastlaunch.pro)  

Also: please tell someone you know about Podcast Pontifications. Your word-of-mouth and personal recommendation goes a long way to bringing more listeners into the fold. So thank you in advance

If you’ve done that and want to help further, go to BuyMeACoffee.com/EvoTerra (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/evoterra) and slide a couple of bucks my way each month to support the show.

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Share this with a friend: https://podcastpontifications.com/episode/putting-the-simple-back-in-podcast-rss-feeds... Support this podcast

It’s getting easier every day to make a podcast. Yet the act is shrouded in a sea of exceptionalism. Not from the general public or a pool of would-be-listeners. No, the shroud of exceptionalism I’m speaking of comes from within the podcasting community.

Podcasting has always had a strong sense of community among creators. For every podcaster who views other podcasters as competition, I can find a dozen who view other podcasters as comrades in arms. Or pick a less-militaristic metaphor if you like. The point is, we tend to be a supportive bunch.

So we’re clear: I'm not suggesting that it be made harder to create a podcast. I’m not suggesting that we institute gatekeepers who determine who can and who cannot have a podcast. 

I'm just saying (and I hate sentences that start with that phrase) that the act of having a podcast is not exceptional. 

Podcasting isn’t the only creative art where that harsh statement applies. I'm a published author with five books to my credit. I know that it’s often hard, scary, and frustrating to write a book. But writing the book -- the first draft, especially -- wasn't anything exceptional.

The same goes for photographers, artists, and every other creative person out there. None of those creative pursuits require exceptionalism. 

Having a community to turn to sure is helpful when you’re just getting started and doubting yourself. A lot. Luckily for those who need it, there are podcast-specific support communities and community-minded people all over the internet.

But there’s a dark underbelly in all that collective high-fiving. It’s easy to assume that since all these nice people in this community are gushing with praise that every new person who listens to your podcast will also be amazed at your exceptional output.

They won’t. Because, chances are, your podcast is not exceptional. 

This big kumbaya hug we’ve developed in the podcasting community -- of which I've been a part of and encouraged -- is vexing. I’m concerned that we’re confusing worthy-of-effort with worthy-of-praise. And I think that even the most community-forward podcaster feels the same way and reacts with dismay when, after getting lavish praise for an early effort, the newbie podcaster wants to move immediately to promotion and monetization. 

Sturgeon's law applies in all things, and no one likes to discover that their baby is ugly.

But who’s to say what constitutes a beautiful baby? Again, you decide. If you find podcasting hard, rewarding, and fun for you; keep podcasting. There’s plenty of room.

Just remember that making a podcast is nothing special. Hundreds of thousands of people have done it.

I know this article was a little harsh. But sometimes harsh things need to be said. No, I don’t think you should send this episode to a brand new podcaster just because you didn’t like their first episode. That’s just mean. But I do hope that you’ll share Podcast Pontifications with that new person so they can keep the future of podcasting in mind. 

And if you like the harsh dose of reality I bring from time to time to the program, throw me a little support over at BuyMeACoffee.com/EvoTerra (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/evoterra) . 

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Share this with a friend: https://podcastpontifications.com/episode/busting-the-myth-of-podcast-exceptionalism (https://podcastpontifications.com/episode/busting-the-myth-of-podcast-exceptionalism)

Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com/) is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter (https://twitter.com/evoterra) for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro (https://podcastlaunch.pro/) to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm.... Support this podcast

Today, podcast subscribers only have two options when it comes to consuming available episodes: start from the most recent episode and work backward, or start from the very first episode and work forward.

Neither of those is very attractive for a show with 3,700 episodes. At that scale, the limitations of podcasting’s inherited sort-by-date and distributed architecture become glaring. 

Even if podcast owners use a mix of web analytics, media hosting company downloads, and consumption data to make a rudimentary recommendation engine, those efforts are moot once someone becomes a subscriber. There the experience is controlled by the app developer, and we’re back to date-sorting.

It’s messy, even if you don’t have a thousand episodes. There are over 300 episodes of this show. Sorry, new subscriber. Your only in-app option is to work your way from the start or from the most recent and go backward. Neither of those seems attractive. 

Date-sorting works for some podcasts, sure. And the good news is that we’ll probably never see that go away. “By date” is useful enough on every show. But it’s not the most useful way to present listening choices.

If I went over to your house and I looked at the books on your bookshelf, I would not find your books organized by publication date, right?

I imagine a future where smart earbuds change the game. Thanks to the growing adoption of smart speakers, we’re becoming more accustomed to using voice assistants during our day. These voice assistants listen to us. Perhaps they can listen to the episodes we’re enjoying, stepping in when one has ended and making a recommendation of what we should listen to next?

While I can barely remember what my episodes were about last week, AI-powered tech should be able to store contextual information on a much larger scale. That’s the direction we think Google is taking with its integration with Google Search. And Google’s voice search continues to improve. So it doesn’t take a crystal ball or corporate espionage to see where that’s headed. 

Curmudgeons may disagree and privacy wonks will sound the klaxons, but a future where deciding on what episode to listen to next is truly a hands-off experience guided by a smart device is rather interesting. And a bit obvious.

Speaking of interesting futures, I’m visualizing you, right now, going to BuyMeACoffee.com/EvoTerra (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/evoterra) and, you know, buying me a coffee.

I’m also envisioning you making a phone call or sending an email to one podcaster you know and telling them about Podcast Pontifications. Word-of-mouth efforts are really what spreads an ultra-niche show like this, so thank you in advance.

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Share this with a friend: https://podcastpontifications.com/episode/podcast-episode-management-for-tomorrow (https://podcastpontifications.com/episode/podcast-episode-management-for-tomorrow)

Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com/) is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter (https://twitter.com/evoterra) for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro (https://podcastlaunch.pro/) to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business!

This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy Support this podcast

I’m diving into this topic at the suggestion of a Podcast Pontifications listener, The Football History Dude (https://thefootballhistorydude.com/) podcast. He responded to my call for lockdown stories (Yes, I want your story too. More info at the end of this article.) from podcasters thusly:

Oddly enough, the lockdown and stay-at-home orders have been a positive experience for me and my podcast. Because am I one of the many people who are working from home, I'm able to be much more flexible when it comes to scheduling guests. 

Rather than asking guests to adapt to a limited window of available interview times, I’m able to record whenever they have time. It’s much easier for me to plan my work around their schedule since I’m working from home. 

I’m also using the additional time working from home gives me to pursue a dream of creating a sports history podcast network. I'm going to collect all sorts of different sports history podcasts under the same domain.

In the email that accompanied the media file, Arnie asked me to pontificate on podcast networks. So that’s what I'm going to do.

In general, I’m a fan of podcast networks and I love the concept. Anytime creators with similar ideas, opinions, content, and target audiences can collaborate, something good always tends to come out of the other end. 

On rare occasions, just being associated with the network is enough. But for the vast majority of situations, you need to get something out of this deal. And almost always, you’ll be asked to give a little too. 

What sort of promotional boost will your podcast get when you join the network? What are your obligations to promote other shows in the network on your program? 

What about media file hosting? Will you need to move from your existing podcast hosting company over to their hosting company? Who pays for that?  What about the migration process? Will making the move cause your listeners to have a thousand new downloads of episodes they’ve already listened to? 

Will the network help you write episode details or articles? Do they have an audio engineer that can do the final polish? Will you be assigned a producer or maybe a production assistant to help with concepts or bookings? 

How will your current monetization efforts be impacted? Can you keep your paid supporters? Can you keep your current advertisers without sharing a portion of that income? And how much of the action will the network take for all of this?

There's a lot to think about before joining a network or starting one. At the end of it all, you need to decide if your show is better as a part of a network or as a solo effort. A well-crafted network, whether you're joining one or forming one -- should provide obvious benefits. At every point, it should be clear that life for member shows will be better in the network rather than doing at it alone.

If you can't say that's the case with the network you want to join or form, then you don't have a good reason to join or form that network. 

Want your voice shared on Podcast Pontifications like Arnie? I’m interested in hearing what plans you have for your show after the lockdown restrictions are eased. Record a minute or two of audio and send the .wav file to me at evo@podcastlaunch.pro (mailto:evo@podcastlaunch.pro) . 

One thing I’m looking forward to: visiting my local hipster coffee bar. If you go to BuyMeACoffee.com/EvoTerra (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/evoterra) , you can ensure I have enough in my wallet to pick up one as soon as they re-open.

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The recent entrants into the pod-tech space are just a harbinger of what’s to come. The world is on lockdown. The economy is in the toilet. Lots of things suck. But things sucked when the housing market collapse of 2008 led to a recession. Yet all sorts of new ideas, products, and services came out of the other end. It’s starting to look at lot like that world all over again. I’m not going out on a limb when I predict a huge wave of new pod-tech soon to be coming at us fast and furious. 

Life under lockdown is horrendous for many. But not everyone. People unencumbered by pandemic-induced harsh realities are tinkering with new concepts and putting together new technologies specifically the podcasting space. 

That's why I say the wave we’re seeing now is just the start. 

As podcasters reliant on technology to ply our craft, our first reaction should be one of curiosity, not scorn, when we are introduced to new tech. But new tech threatens to upset the status quo or the equilibrium we’ve made between getting our next episode out on time and the utter chaos of our lives.

That’s why I don't want to dismiss or even laud any one particular new tool or service just yet. Instead, I’m trying to look beyond the current version of the service and the technology. If some new podcast tech looks interesting -- even if it’s not a perfect fit -- it's probably worth my time and yours time to sign up for their newsletter and maybe even keep the software updated. 

Again, our job is not to pick winners and losers. Our job is to find the promises offered by interesting innovations of today that might impact our podcasts tomorrow.

Some of you are actually playing around with a few of these early-release new tools and services. I would like to hear what you think about them. Love them, hate them… Tell me what you’ve picked up recently that you see promise in. Record a quick minute or two of audio, put the .wav file on Dropbox, and then send the link to evo@podcastlaunch.pro (mailto:evo@podcastlaunch.pro) .

If you’d like to show some support for this show, there two ways. The best way is to tell one other podcast or about this program. Pick up the phone or end then an email asking them if they listen to Podcast Pontifications.

The second best way is to go to BuyMeACoffee.com/EvoTerra and... buy me a coffee. And please consider set up for a monthly contribution. Your support really means a lot.

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Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com/) is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter (https://twitter.com/evoterra) for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro (https://podcastlaunch.pro/) to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business!

This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy Support this podcast

More people than ever before are deciding to launch their own podcasts. That takes a certain amount of curiosity to get started. What is it about podcasting that takes that curiosity away?

With newness comes a healthy amount of uncertainty, which often leads to fear. The layperson curious enough to investigate what it takes to make a podcast can be quickly overwhelmed by equipment choices, service providers, time constraints, and more.

Most people aren’t blessed with an abundance of time. In fact, if it were not for a lack of available time on my clients’ part, I wouldn’t have a podcasting business. Clients pay my firm to inject that curiosity into their podcast. Layered in with good processes and procedures, obviously.

It may seem odd, but a lot of podcasters just don’t care enough to become curious. It’s as if someone is forcing them to podcast. Which, in some cases, might be true. Some people cohost a show because it's part of their job. Some don't want to offend or disappoint the other host of the program. Which sucks for them and sucks for listeners, because their lack of caring bleeds through the mic.

The hyper-connected, always-available hivemind is a powerful force that can short-circuit our curious nature. Some are much more likely to turn to a Facebook group of 17,000 podcasters or a Reddit sub with 57,000 podcasters with their question rather than doing their own research. But what if the people who reply also aren’t all that curious and are just repeating un-researched advice they were given when they asked the same question a few weeks ago? 

We need a twist on an old saying: A lack of curiosity killed the podcast.

Luckily, we can fix most of those problems at the source so you’re no longer stopped from being more curious.

If it’s uncertainty and fear that stops you in your tracks, I’ll help by reminding you that you probably won’t screw things up if you experiment a little. If something you try doesn’t work, no one but you will know. Unless you decide to release it. But your listeners will forgive you.

If you’re lacking time, find someone with time. You can take yourself out of the time equation, but it’s going to take time to experiment with your podcast. You might be able to lean on someone close to who is curious. Or you might need to bring in some outside talent and pay for their time.

If it’s a lack of caring, then you should stop. Period. It’s not worth it to you or the listeners to keep putting out something you're not feeling.

 And if you find yourself relying on the tribe to do your research - stop. Do your own research first and then turn to your hivemind for validation. If you need them at all. 

As politicians and civic leaders around the globe are either thinking about or are in the process of lifting lockdown restrictions, I'm curious what that means to you as a working podcaster looking forward to the end of the lockdown. Record me a minute or two of audio and send that to me via a Dropbox link, which you can send to evo@podcastlaunch.pro (mailto:evo@podcastlaunch.pro) .

If you're curious what happens when you go to BuyMeACoffee.com/EvoTerra (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/evoterra) , I encourage you to scratch that curious itch. And you help support the making of this show. Win-win!

Finally pick up the phone and use it like a phone to call another podcaster and ask them if they listen to Podcast Pontifications. That’ll get them curious about what sorts of goodness they’re missing out on over here. 

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You want your show to be successful. I want my podcast to be successful. And of course, I want all of my clients’ podcasts to be successful. But how we define success metrics for podcasts is a big and sticky question.

It's fine to use the same metrics as every other podcaster… as long as you’re podcasting for the same reasons as every other podcaster. So long as the business goals and objectives of your podcast line up with the same business objectives and goals of every other podcast, you can track shared goals. 

But your goals and objectives are not the same as every other podcaster.

Tracking things like the average number of downloads per episode is tracking outputs, not outcomes. How you define a successful outcome for your own podcast is complicated enough. Crowdsourcing (or worse, outsourcing) that decision to various Facebook groups, Reddit forums, or Discord servers increases that complexity infinitely.

There’s a deeper problem with using generally accepted podcast success metrics tracking. They all point to the same assumed growth trajectory. Put more simply: Most podcast success metrics assume you want to make a really big podcast.

What matters is something much more simple, and I posit to you that it's a success metric worthy of considering for your own podcast. It’s the success metric that almost all intentionally-small businesses rely on:

“Can I stay in business?” 

It’s a simple, easy business metric disguised as a simple binary question with a simple yes or no answer. 

However, it does assume that you actually want to be in business in the first place. For a lot of podcasters, they really don’t want to be in the business of podcasting. And that’s OK. the vast majority of podcasts today are made by hobbyists because it’s fun.

But that doesn’t invalidate my simple metric. It just requires a slight modification: 

“Can I keep having fun?”

So whether your podcast is business-based or just for fun, this success metric doesn’t have to change. Can you afford -- either financially or emotionally -- to keep doing it?

But staying in business is very different from covering your costs. That’s why, for most, covering your costs is a bad podcast success metric. That’s not how you keep going. You have to stay in business. Or it's about feeling the investment required to make your show is smaller -- significantly smaller -- than the emotional return you receive.

That's really the podcast success metric that matters. 

And now, you have a choice: 

Option A: Right now, start a new email. No, not a Tweet. Not a Facebook update. Not a comment. I want you to send an email to one podcaster you know who may or may not be listening to this program. You’re sending them your personal recommendation that they listen to Podcast Pontifications.

Option B: Supporting the show by going to BuyMeACoffee.com/EvoTerra (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/evoterra) . 

You pick which option you like. I'm easy either way.

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Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com/) is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter (https://twitter.com/evoterra) for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro (https://podcastlaunch.pro/) to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business!

This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy Support this podcast

My body has clearly had enough of this locked-down reality. It’s behaving very strangely and I’ll share that with you in just a moment. But first I want to share a couple of stories from European podcasters (well, podcasters in Europe, at least) caught up in the pandemic like the rest of us.

French podcaster Laetitia Perraut of One Thing In A French Day (http://www.onethinginafrenchday.com/) talks about the extra work required with having three kids at home. She also decided to increase her frequency to daily, which as caused a 30% boost in her audience! And she’s trying out new music, deeper editing techniques, and even sharing non-podcast content with her listeners.

Professional expat Stephanie Fuccio of the Geopats Podcast (https://www.stephfuccio.com/geopats-podcast) moved from China to Germany when the virus was just getting going. As an ex-expat myself, I found myself wincing in sympathy for the realities she’s facing. What’s a digital nomad to do when all the not-at-home places to work are closed down, and the at-home environment is only temporary and not very comfortable? 

Back to me for a moment: Is anyone else having trouble eating? I’ve only eaten one meal a day for the last week. Perhaps it’s my body rebelling for the massive amount of food I consumed during the first few weeks of lockdown. Balance, you know?

And it just so happens that it’s the 300th episode of Podcast Pontifications. So… woot! 

But I know not everyone is having a good time with this. So I once again extend my offer to help. If you need any advice, direction, guidance, or just to bounce an idea off of someone, I’m here to help. Email me at evo@podcastlaunch.pro (mailto:evo@podcastlaunch.pro) . No strings attached. I genuinely want to help.

I’ll end with this: Please tell one person -- just one person -- about Podcast Pontifications. Like actually send them a personalized email and suggest that they listen to this program. It makes a huge difference when you reach out to someone personally. I love the retweets. I love you sharing episodes on social properties. But sending one person a single message works really, really well.

Have a fantastic rest of your Thursday. Enjoy your Friday (because I don't do episodes on Fridays). And then have a great weekend. At home. 

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Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com/) is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter (https://twitter.com/evoterra) for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro (https://podcastlaunch.pro/) to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business!

This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy Support this podcast

What part of your podcast do you love the most? What part of your podcast do you like the least? 

Once you have the answers, it’s natural to assume the easy position of eliminating or reducing the thing you don’t like as bout your podcast and doubling-down on the thing you love about your show.

But that’s not what you should do. What you should to is quite the opposite.

Your show needs tension. Often, it's the tension between the things you like and the things that you don't like as the host, creator, producer, or showrunner of a podcast that give the podcast life. Maybe not all of the life, but certainly some flavoring and seasoning. And no one wants to listen to a lifeless, flavorless podcast. So you never want to get rid of all tension.

It's in that margin -- the gap between what you love and what you hate -- where you find the true life of your show. It’s also where you may find new opportunities to take your show. Because growth often happens in this “conflict” zone. It’s where your innate problem-solving attentions keep returning to time and time again. So… lean into that tension!

There’s another trap that’s easy to fall into when thinking through the love-hate question. That’s the trap of conflating things that you just simply don't like to do with an aspect of the process of making a podcast that you don’t like. Sorry, but you can’t decide not to do the staples of making a podcast. You have to either get over that hatred or hire somebody else to do it for you. 

There's the old saying of “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change and change the things I cannot accept”, but I don't know that it’s all that useful in this setting. Sometimes the things you could change would make a vastly different and perhaps inferior product.

Maybe instead of looking for things to change about your show and your process, perhaps you should spend attention on the tension-parts of your show? Yes, I know that sounds really, really weird. And honestly, I'm not even sure I'm properly communicating the point I’m trying to make. 

But that's okay. That's one of the things that I love and hate about this show is that sometimes I don't know exactly where I want the conversation to go. But it tends to get there in the end.

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Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com/) is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter (https://twitter.com/evoterra) for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro (https://podcastlaunch.pro/) to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business!

This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy Support this podcast

Every time someone requests a proposal from my firm to help promote and or market their podcast, I always politely decline.

I turn down those jobs because I know the only predictable way to make a podcast successful is to nail the basics first. I know that spending money on promotion before the basics are in place is a waste of money. And I don’t like wasting anyone’s money.

Before you spend any marketing/advertising/promotional dollars on your show, you have to get these three things nailed down.

Thing One: Foundational Fundamentals There are actually four parts of Thing One, and they are equally important. No corner-cutting:

1. A web presence for your podcast. I mean a real and functioning website for your podcast. I do not mean an automatically generated website that is powered by your podcast’s RSS feed. Your RSS feed is designed to distribute episodes of your podcast to directories and apps. It is not designed to propagate a  website.

2. Complete distribution of your podcast. The right way to use your podcast’s RSS feed is to send out your episode to various apps and directories. Yes, that means Apple Podcasts. It also means Spotify and Google Podcasts. But it also means a dozen or so other directories and apps that maintain their own list of podcasts. You don’t get to control where people find your show. 

3. Don’t forget listenability! Before you throw money at getting people to sample your audio, make sure the sound quality doesn’t drive them away. No, “good enough” probably isn’t. Not when you’re talking about investing ad dollars. Listenable audio files are table stakes, and I’m a little ticked that I have to keep saying that.

4. Rinse & repeat & repeat & ... You have to be able to repeat your processes with every episode. You have to be able to do that and meet your self-imposed release schedule. And if you can’t, then you need to make an adjustment. 

Thing Two: Remarkable Content“Advertising is a tax paid by the unremarkable.”  Everything I just said above is moot if the contents of your episodes aren’t remarkable. You can have the best-looking and most-optimized website in the world distributing pristine audio files to every single platform on tight schedule… and still fall flat if the content is “meh”.

Thing Three:  Leverage Your NetworkBefore you try to bring in people from the outside (ala advertising), you have to start at home. Notice I didn’t say leverage “a” network. I said leverage “your” network. If you honestly have no network: start building one! And if you can't build your network, then you borrow one. 

You have to do all three of those things before you spend a dime marketing your podcast. But here's the cool thing: If you do all three of these things really well, you probably won't need to spend any money advertising or promoting your podcast. 

You may still want to spend money to grow your show even more, and that’s fine. Especially if you can draw a straight line from more listeners to more income. But don’t do that before you have all three of these things nailed down.

I know you’re probably busy with things, but if you could spare a minute or two telling me about your experiences as podcast living through the novel coronavirus pandemic, I’d love to feature you on Thursday’s episode of the show. Put a minute or so worth of audio on Dropbox and then send the link to evo@podcastlaunch.pro (mailto:evo@podcastlaunch.pro) , please? 

And if you have one more minute for me, please use that minute to tell one friend about Podcast Pontifications. It really makes a difference when you personally reach out to someone and tell them why you think they should listen. It's great when you retweet me and you share my content on Facebook, of course. But nothing beats an individual outreach to one person.

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Is comedy a genre? Is podcasting a genre?

I get that comedy is the underlying thread that ties standup comedians to comedic actors in movies. It’s the common thread that ties together the writing room of a sitcom as well as those who’ve made a career writing not just funny songs, but only funny songs.

So yes, I think comedy is a genre. But I’m less sure about podcasting.

I mostly view podcasting through a medium-shaped lens. All arguments about “what makes a podcast a podcast” eventually come down to the mechanics of media files distributed via RSS feeds. That definition clearly says that podcasting is a medium, since none of the words used speak to the content. 

When I got into podcasting back in 2004, it was as a creator. But I very quickly transitioned to becoming more of a facilitator. Even today, I’m still clearly a creator of content, but most of my contributions to podcasting remain on the facilitation side, which skews my perspective.

To really hold onto the notion that podcasting is its own genera, two things need to be true. First, there needs to be enough differentiation between content provided via podcast and other similar mediums. Second, there needs to be enough similarity between content provided within podcasting itself.

That second part is tricky. There's not a lot of overlap between the content put out by full-cast audio drama producers and a series of business-focused interviews. Yes, there’s some technology overlap, but I’m not convinced there’s a lot of commonality in the content. 

I realize most podcasters probably don’t struggle with this question. Which means you likely have an opinion of where podcasting fits, either as a genre or a medium. Sometimes I wish I had that level of clarity and conviction. 

Rather than try to put all of podcasting into a single box, maybe it’s better to just choose your perspective. And then maybe change that from time to time? I’m clearly medium-minded when it comes to podcasting. Perhaps I should work harder at being genre-minded, at least from time to time?

While we’re on lockdown, can I encourage you to increase your R-naught value? No, not by being irresponsible when it comes to public health, but in spreading Podcast Pontifications! I can’t stress enough how much it matters when you tell one person -- just one person -- who is also a podcaster about this show. It makes a huge difference.

You’ve also seen some mixed messages on when we might get out of this mess. Until that happens, I still want to share stories from podcasters just like you. So please, record some audio and send me a link to evo@podcastlaunch.pro (mailto:evo@podcastlaunch.pro) .

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Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com/) is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter (https://twitter.com/evoterra) for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro (https://podcastlaunch.pro/) to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business!

This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy Support this podcast

Today you’ll hear from three podcasters on the front line of the pandemic:

Robert Crandall, from the Short Storiess podcast (https://shortstoriess.libsyn.com/podcast) recently received a glowing review from a listener who credits finding his show as a way they’re getting buy during the lockdown. 

Brazillian podcaster RSS News (https://guiacorporativo.com.br/rssnews) , shares how he’s spending his newly discovered time at home to let him focus more on his show.

  Where Accountants Go (https://mgrar.com/category/podcast/) explains how recent changes to the format of his episodes have been received by his listeners.

Life here at The Vocal Fries podcast (https://vocalfriespod.com/) lives not far from me here in central Phoenix. As my wife Sheila and I were walking the neighborhood with our very stylish face masks from our time spent living in Bangkok, we saw Carrie and her husband Chris walking on the street in the opposite direction. It was good to catch up, From a good 10-15 feet away, of course.

I’m going to keep that streak running as tomorrow I'm meeting ex-UK and current AZ-podcaster Sam Walker (https://twitter.com/walkersam) for coffee. Some of the local coffee shops are still open for drive-through service ( support the local economy if you can, right?) and she and I are going to meet to exchange beets for shower cleaners. Because I got beets in a farmer’s market box that I won’t eat and she bought a shower cleaner that she can't use that I can’t find in my grocery store. (So.. support your local barter economy, I guess?) We’ll meet at the local coffee shop we both like, but maintain a safe distance from inside our own cars. I’m really looking forward to that.

What’s Your Podcasting Pandemic Tale?Yes, I still want to hear your podcast pandemic story, podcaster. Please record a minute or two of audio for me, put the .wav file on Dropbox, and send the link to evo@podcastlaunch.pro (mailto:evo@podcastlaunch.pro) . I'll most likely play it on next Thursday’s episode.

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Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com/) is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter (https://twitter.com/evoterra) for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro (https://podcastlaunch.pro/) to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business!

This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy Support this podcast

The perennial topic and the existential crisis of making the pivot away from audio podcasting to favor video is back! Under these extenuating circumstances, there seems to be a perfect storm brewing, and much of is pointing straight to online video. 

The data on podcast consumption during the crisis is mixed, highlighting some uncertainty around download numbers. 

Then there’s the impossibility of going through a day without catching a reference to Zoom or another video conferencing service/app.

Add in the launch of Quibi, a much-lauded and finally launched short-form video-based entertainment app.

Top all of that off with a huge uptick in YouTube consumption. It's 2020, and it’s still a lot easier to watch YouTube on your TV than it is to listen to a podcast on your smart speakers.

So yes, this looks like a perfect storm. These reasons and more seem to indicate it might be time for podcasters to make the switch to video. 

But looks can be deceiving.

Most podcast episodes make for terrible video content that most people don’t want to watch. This isn’t idle speculation on my part. It’s a measurable phenomenon you can test yourself, and I call it the 90/10 Rule Of Video:

90% of viewers are gone before they've watched 10% of the video. 

I’ve yet to find a consistent exception to this rule. I’ve worked with several podcasters who post video versions of their podcasts’ episodes to YouTube. In every case, they discover a tiny, tiny retention rate when they dig a little deeper into their “view counts”.

Successful video producers know the importance of making visually-compelling content. With very few (if any) exceptions, an un-moving video shot of one or two people talking is not visually-compelling. 

Our brains, which are attached to our eyes, need near-constant changes to stay stimulated. Our brains aren't good at watching talking head videos.

If you're thinking of making the pivot to video, please understand you have to do something more than stare at a camera and talk. No, getting a second person on camera via Zoom isn’t what I mean by “more”. That’s just two different talking heads, and it’s equally as boring to the visual processing center of our brains.

If you feel compelled to try your hand at video, podcaster, then by all means: go for video! But please do something compelling, interesting and amazing with that video. That's the only way you're going to make video work for you.

Do you know a struggling YouTuber who’s unwilling to make the investment in cameras, switchers, and all of that post-production work that's much harder in the video than in audio? Suggest to them that they make the pivot to podcasting. And if having them listen to an episode or twenty of Podcast Pontifications helps you make the case, great! 

I’m still collecting (and sharing) stories of how the novel Coronavirus is impacting your world as a podcaster. Right now, if you can, please record a minute or two where you tell me how your world is impacted by the pandemic. Load the .wav file up on Dropbox, and then shoot me an email with the link to evo@podcastlaunch.pro (mailto:evo@podcastlaunch.pro) . 

In fact, I will share some stories from other podcasters on tomorrow's episode of yet another Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com) . 

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Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com/) is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter (https://twitter.com/evoterra) for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a... Support this podcast

Perhaps you’ve noticed the trend of broadcasters who no longer have access to their professional broadcast studios are producing less-than-professional results for all of us to see.

Funny. Back in the day, it was podcasters who were leaning into the reduced spit-and-polish, embracing a “rough around the edges” approach that set us apart from the broadcasters.

So now we have not only big media trying to force authenticity into their podcasts, but big broadcasters on crappy webcams and built-in microphones trying to stitch together their programs with tools we gave up years ago.

Podcasters who also notice these trends typically have one of two things to say about it.

“Our Podcast Sound Great From Home, Why Can’t Their Broadcasts?”“Why haven’t these forced-to-stay-home broadcasters figured out how to make great cont from home? We do it all the time.”

“Are Our Podcast Episodes Too Polished?”“Maybe we've been making episodes that are too produced? Maybe we need to expose a bit more of the process to our audience? Maybe it’s having those rough edges present what makes a podcast special?”

I'm going to dismantle both of those arguments. 

I promise you, no rational person listens to your show ONLY for the imperfections. More often than not, they're listening in spite of those foibles.

No, I don't think that you should make a less professional show. No one ever stopped listening to a podcast because the episodes sounded too good. 

These broadcast pros aren’t doing a crappy job because they don't know any better. They’re doing it on purpose.

They're putting out a much lower-quality version of their regular programming on purpose. It’s completely calculated. They want to showcase the fact that they are in their homes and not their big studios.

So the next time you see them on screen looking dorky and goofy, with bad audio as they shout at their webcam from across the room, understand that they are intentionally keeping it rough-and-tumble because they want you to miss the professional quality they made before. That way, you too are longing for a return to normalcy. 

Rather than lamenting broadcasters encroaching into our lanes, remember that they're here temporarily. They'll be out as quickly as they can, and the space will be ours once again.

Don't make the mistake of thinking that we need to be less picky about quality than we are today. Get that bad notion out of your head! if you need someone to talk you off the ledge, I am your huckleberry. Email me evo@podcastlaunch.pro (mailto:evo@podcastlaunch.pro) before you make any silly decisions about reverting to a lower-quality show. 

Also: New podcasts are exploding right now, so there’s a very good chance someone you know is starting one. I’d appreciate it if you told that person about Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com) . Sure, the content is quite a bit above the “how to” content they need, but getting the new crop of podcasters thinking about podcasting’s biggest questions seems a good idea, right?

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Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com/) is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter (https://twitter.com/evoterra) for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro (https://podcastlaunch.pro/) to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business!

This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy Support this podcast

There are some best practices in podcasting that haven’t changed a very long time. Many of them exist for very good reasons, ensuring that podcasts can be enjoyed by as many people as possible. The world doesn’t yet have a consistent internet experience, so there are some technical trade-offs we’re forced to make. 

But not all of these trade-offs still make sense. Perhaps some never did.

It can’t be lost on you that there have been many technological advancements in the 16 years podcasting has existed. Much of those advancements can now support higher quality audio files. And most people still have the use of both of their ears.

We do not live in a mono world. Mono files aren’t any smaller than stereo files. Mono files inhibit clarity for some people with hearing loss. And all of the richness and warmth is taken out of far too many podcast episodes when they are bounced down to mono. Don’t do it.

Our stereo world keeps getting richer. New advancements from Dolby are here that will make podcasted audio more true to how we hear the world around us, regardless of where or how we listen. 

But only if we can get over this misguided notion that podcasting was perfect in 2006. It wasn’t. It’s not. And it’s going to keep advancing. So should our thinking on boring technical aspects of podcasting. Sorry, but we have to.

Failing to do so puts us behind the technology adoption curve rather than at the front. While we can’t predict the future, it’s a safe bet that technology will continue to move in the direction of more bandwidth, cheaper storage, and higher quality sound reproduction that makes what we listen to much more rich and immersive.

Why fight against that?

This episode is a bit ranty, but that’s what you get sometimes. Perhaps you know of a podcaster who would respond to this provocative statement? If so (or if not), please tell one podcaster you know to listen to Podcast Pontifications. Feel free to throw me under the bus with them if you like.

I shall be back tomorrow with yet another (hopefully less ranty) Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com) . 

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Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com/) is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter (https://twitter.com/evoterra) for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro (https://podcastlaunch.pro/) to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business!

This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy Support this podcast

If I come off a little weird and flippant, please forgive me. If you’ll recall from prior episodes or my various social postings, you’ll note that my wife and I have been experiencing intermittent, low-grade fevers for a couple of weeks now. No other symptoms beyond that. In fact, had we not been hyper-aware of health concerns, I doubt I’d have even bothered to check my temp. 

But the latent scientist in me is puzzled by an intermittent fever that presents no other symptoms and lasts for weeks. That’s not normal. And when good scientists get odd results, one of the first things they do is test their instruments.

I think the thermometer we’ve been using cannot be trusted. So we have a new thermometer on order. Until it arrives, we won’t change any of our behavior just in case. That, and this is the world we live in now.

As has been my wont on Thursday episodes, I’m once again bringing you short clips from podcasters around the world who are dealing with the realities of the pandemic. Because while we’re all in this together, it’s impacting each of us unevenly. Listening to stories of other podcasters gives me a sense of perspective. I hope it does the same for you.

First up, Susan Schwartz of Lush Life (https://alushlifemanual.com/podcast) , tells us how the Coronavirus lockdown has impacted the bartending and drinks world, which has had a direct impact on her podcast. She’s had to change how she records since the bars have been shuttered and her globe-hopping curtailed. She also shares a little about how bartenders are keeping themselves sane and their patrons entertained.

Then Matthew Cicorea from a rather unscientific survey (https://www.facebook.com/behavioralobservations/posts/2804159992995342?__xts__%5B0%5D=68.ARC0ZuGhzhXM4XWEUbR1pJXgq7GaDYJIg4Mdnp5r89P0qC7XAMqWWNwmG8Qfidtvnkc6NK266WJCkJb_OV6gC7hxa0COhDD650BcGYC3fLKTLKIvfC9tgtkLMjaksgBnYpCFS6XDSRtAq_XKqXudoXmN4puHqaDfZ9j9ll6nj2aC1EBHMXx96nlfMgSuH_oObcJJ9rbTICB6ZbOE7hxPAANLNiYQOq_TL-zo0i9L-oRx54azTGVy07ZiBu7PWm5l0MY56t1vtsyU0yCcQjdEmTTGHU1Ers0mbpeU4iIK7QFUpVg9CFNhpDqGnKm2nvRj7mVX0gVRgoB_j0AuPvJ_3g&__tn__=-R) he conducted of his listeners, the realities of a slowdown in sponsor dollars. And how he’s trying to mix things up for his audience as to not overwhel m them with COVID-19 topics. I feel you, Matt.

Finally, we’ll get the perspective from a new podcaster. Thomas, host of From Cubicle 2 Clouds (http://cubicle2clouds.libsyn.com/) works in the aviation industry and moonlights as a flight instructor. His livelihood is quite uncertain, as his day-job needs an injection of bailout dollars to stay afloat, and he’s not flying with students at the moment. But he’s committed to podcasting and promises to continue to keep listening and keep making content.

How has the pandemic impacted your world as a working podcaster? I want to hear it, and I want to share your story with other podcasters, Just record a quick minute or two audio, put the .wav file on Dropbox, and then email the link to  evo@podcastlaunch.pro (mailto:evo@podcastlaunch.pro) . 

Enjoy the rest of your Thursday. I don't release episodes on Friday, so please try to have a great weekend.

See you on Monday for yet another Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com) . 

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Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com/) is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter (https://twitter.com/evoterra) for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro (https://podcastlaunch.pro/) to see how Simpler Media Productions Support this podcast

In the eyes of search engines, podcast content is just web content. And there are no special rules for podcast search engine optimization. Google (and other search engines) evaluate the web pages we podcasters make for our episodes the same way they see every other page.

Unfortunately, following solid SEO best practices for posting podcast episodes might require a very different approach to podcast production and content creation than what you’re doing for your podcast today. 

In order to give your content -- your on-site content -- the greatest chance of earning a meaningful ranking in search engines like Google, you need to take a completely different approach to your content creation process. And you’re probably not going to like it. But here we are.

1. Topics Drool, Keywords Rule - Once you have a topic in mind, you refine that topic by doing research on the words and phrases used by people on search engines, plus analyze the current “competing” results that are already ranking for those phrases. Yes, that means using specialized tools that cost money.

2. Agonize Over Your Episode Title - You have to try lots and lots of titles -- using the info gleaned from your keyword research -- and craft a compelling -- that means click-worthy -- title. Again, this means using software to help you analyze each of the titles you come up with. 

3. Lock-In Your Angle For The Episode - With the keyword and the title of the episode now crystal clear, you probably have a good idea of how you’ll approach the topic on the episode. 

4. Now You Can Record and Produce - This is the part you know how to do. Now you’re just doing it with a good roadmap that’s materializing from the first three steps. 

5. Write 2,000 Words - If you want your episode page to have a chance at ranking for the keyword that started this whole process, you have to write a lot of words. No, 500 probably isn’t enough. 

6. Optimize Those 2,000 Words - Refine those words to make sure they’ve stayed on point, match the angle, reinforce the title, and are relevant to the keyword chosen as the focal point. 

7. Pretty Up Your Page With Pictures - The goal of this exercise is to get this podcast’s episode page to rank, and visual elements help make the page more attractive to searchers, the data show.

8. Organize The Structure Of The Page - Spending time breaking up those 2,000 words with headings and subheadings makes the page more scannable. Keep that keyword in mind as you do this crucial step. Not all text on a page is considered equal.

9. Rewrite Everything, If Necessary - Evaluate all of your words for “readability”  to make sure you're not talking over your audiences’ heads or not writing below their comprehension level. 

10. Now You Can Publish - Finally on step 10. And that’s not even counting the myriad steps and processes in the recording and editing step which I condensed into one.

11. Syndicate For Success - You spent all that time getting a great page live on your website. If you really want to win at this, you need to re-publish (syndicate) it on other sites, making sure they use canonical links that point back to the webpage you worked so hard on.

Everything I just said assumes you’ve done all of the pre-work required on your website so you can see if your efforts are paying off. All of this also assumes your website’s site architecture is conducive to getting good rankings. 

Getting podcast episode pages to rank highly in search engines is hard work. It takes energy and effort at every single stage of the process I just outlined for you. Honestly, this will take you hours of work. Per episode.

So back to my opening question: Is it worth it? That's a question you have to answer for yourself. 

Please do me a favor? It's great that you're retweeting my stuff and mentioning my show in various Facebook post comments. But those pale in comparison to... Support this podcast

For every successful show that uses the “no-planning” approach, there are hundreds of others that only entertain or provide value to those talking into the microphone.

The reality is that most podcast episodes can be made better with some planning. 

Naysayers will tell you that the danger is having things so rigid that the episode sounds like it was scripted. Bt some podcasts are scripted -- leaving no room for ad-libbing --  and quite successful.

And then there’s a middle ground, where some of the episode is scripted and some is more off-the-cuff. Yes, you can mix flexibility in with structure.

Where some podcasters run off the rail is when they try to mix in ad-libbing as they are following a script. That’s bad, as it’s often glaringly obvious to the audience when these asides occur. Or it frustrates your audio engineer who’s using the script to try and score the episode.

But you’re probably ready to reply with this pearl of wisdom from the great thinker Mike Tyson: Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face. But, with few exceptions, the risk of being punched in the face when you’re recording is pretty slim.

Even if your show is like my show (meaning it’s very extemporaneous), there's still room for planning. In fact, it’s almost a guarantee that you're doing planning right now. Excluding live-streamers who repurpose the audio of their streams as a podcast, every reasonable podcaster knows the topic they wish to talk about. That’s what drove them to the microphone in the first place.

having a topic means you’re already doing some planning. So why not take it further by adding in three more easy pieces to your new-found love of episode planning?

Find your angle - The topic is what you’ll talk about. The angle is how you’ll talk about it and is the unique point of view that only you can bring.

Strong beginnings & solid endings -  Even hosts of the most extemporaneous of shows should understand how the episode is going to begin and how that episode is going to end. 

Every podcaster can approach “the middle” differently depending on their ability to vamp or entertain without having notes or a script in front of them.

It would mean the world to me if you told one other podcaster you know about Podcast Pontifications. Pick up the phone, jump on the Zoom call, whatever. But please personally reach out to someone and tell them to check out Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com) .

I have about five audio recordings sent to me from podcasters who are managing to make it through the pandemic, but I’d love to have more to feature on the program. If you have time today (or right now), sit down behind your mic and record a quick one to two minutes on how your podcasting world is being impacted by the quarantine. Then stick it up on somewhere like Dropbox and email the link to me at evo@podcastlaunch.pro (mailto:evo@podcastlaunch.pro)

I’ll be back tomorrow for yet another Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com) . 

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Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com/) is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter (https://twitter.com/evoterra) for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro (https://podcastlaunch.pro/) to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business!

This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy Support this podcast

Lots of people struggle to grasp the difficulty of making all of the content necessary when we want out podcasts to be as great as they possibly can be.

No, it’s not all that hard to talk into a microphone. But what all the work after the recording phase, like post-production cleanup, audio sweetening, assembly and more?

Why not record your face talking into the mic at the same time so you can release a video? Because just like your audio has to be processed, described, and stored online, so does your video before you post it.

Live video won’t help you because you have to chop out the best aspects of live video -- the communal, back-and-forth conversation  -- so that it works in an audio-only mode.

You know you have to create some text that describes your audio episode before you publish it.  But if you just slam out a few sentences during the upload process, you’re not helping any listeners, current or potential, enjoy or find the content.

And even if you do spend some quality time with that text, very little of it works well on your website. Yet most (if not all) podcast hosting companies encourage you to just use the content designed to go in-app as on-page website content. And it sucks for that.

Imagery is important. That means episode-level artwork is required, as is understanding that episode-level artwork is useful for things other than podcast players.

Smart podcasters know to leverage existing social media channels to spread the word when new episodes drop. But letting some automated system grab your headline and a link to your audio file isn’t sufficient.

You’d be surprised how many of your current audience like to have things delivered to their email client. But you can’t simply repurpose other content, because most email clients don’t like embedded media players. And no one likes clicking “continue reading this email on the web”, right?

Though I'm not convinced audiograms actually have much value, a lot of podcasters use them. Creating them takes time, energy, and effort and shouldn’t be left to automation.

I just ran through nine things -- NINE! -- that are (or can be) part of the creation process. And that doesn’t even mention the content creation plan itself if, in fact, you create one. And you should

Here’s how I summarize the problem with COPE and CORE: They promise minimum effort and maximum expectation. 

Well… they excel at the first half. And sadly, they constantly fail to deliver on the promise of the latter.

Instead of thinking about creating one thing, we need to think about doing all of our creating at one time.

Yes, all nine of those things I mentioned above, if that’s what you do. Do the work to create each of them at once. Can you leverage certain elements across different pieces of content? Absolutely! But you have to make those decisions on purpose. And yes, that means more work to create better content.

That takes us out of minimum effort territory, I know. It’s definitely cranking up the effort required. But if we really do have maximum expectations, shouldn't we be prepared to put forth maximum effort? 

The notion that we can just create one thing and have it work everywhere is ludicrous. But for podcasters, we might get closer to perfection if we do all of our creation at one time. 

While you think about that would you do me a favor? Reach out to one podcaster you’ve met recently and tell them about this show. Working podcasters sharing the word of this show with other working podcasters is how we spread the good news. 

I’ll be breaking down myths about content creation all of this week here on the program. Enjoy the rest of your Monday. I shall be back tomorrow with yet another Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com) .

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One of the things I'd like to do with my show is to do the occasional check-in with you, the working podcaster, trying your best to survive under conditions forced upon us by a stupid virus. And vice versa. I’ll start, and then I’ll share a couple of clips sent to me. Today, they come from Thom Rigsby from 7 Minutes In The Morning (https://www.thomrigsby.com/) .

My turn first: Obviously, we're on lockdown. And by “we” I mean me, who always works the studio I’ve built in our home, as well as and my lovely wife, Sheila Dee, who’s been on Work From Home orders for a couple of weeks now. We’re both doing great, getting along just fine in close-quarters. 

The less-than-great news is that we’re both presenting slightly elevated fevers. But that’s it. And yes, we have called into our local COVID19 hotline and described our symptoms, travel history, and possible exposure vectors with medical professionals. They’ve advised us to do what we're doing: quarantine at home. 

So we are. We're reading to the grandkids a couple of nights a week, but via video. Much in the same way we’re staying in touch with friends and family, as well as how I stay connected with clients. Which is always the way I’ve interacted with clients, as clients of my firm are scattered around the world.

Sam Waker reports lots of changes and challenges, from helping her clients struggle to grasp remote recordings, retooling shows for more frequent releases, to dealing with tiny “co-workers” who aren’t very good at respecting their boss’s need (read: their mother’s need) to get some work done.

Thom Rigsby has also increased the frequency of his show, reworked the format of his program, and is helping his listeners -- mostly business owners -- not only get through the immediate pandemic, but also prepare for the bounce-back in the economy. Most encouragingly, he’s seeing an increase in downloads. Woot!

I wish both Sam and Tom the best and express my thanks or sharing their thoughts. And yes, I want you to share your story with me. Send me your audio clips of how you're doing as a working podcaster. What does the pandemic mean to you? And how have you been impacted? Keep the clip to a minute or two and send it to me at evo@podcastlaunch.pro (mailto:evo@podcastlaunch.pro) .

I shall be back on Monday with yet another Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com) . 

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Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com/) is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter (https://twitter.com/evoterra) for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro (https://podcastlaunch.pro/) to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business!

This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy Support this podcast

We working podcasters have a responsibility to the people who listen to our shows. We have responsibilities when we choose to lend our voices beyond our podcast. And for those of us who help produce podcast content for others, we have responsibilities for the content we helped bring to the world.

Ethics come into play for podcasters who interview guests. Yes, it can be oddly fun and entertaining when guests with kooky ideas come on your show. But where do you draw the line between kooky and offensive or harmful? 

What if you've agreed to appear on someone else’s show only to find out during the interview that the host of that show is a racist, crazy person? If you knew before, would you go on? Even if they had a really, really big audience?

For consultants, would you work for a client -- a paying client -- who was putting out wrong information that could result in serious harm? Are you complicit in that misinformation spread?

Maybe you’re only responsible for audio engineering episodes and you encounter something factually incorrect or unverified that could cause harm. Do you cut it out? 

What if you’re presented with an opportunity to use some grey-hat marketing tactics that border on the darker side. If these slimy-but-effective tactics get results, do the ends justify the means?

Are you working against the cause of “making podcasts better” by letting content out to the world that, if not bad, then certainly is not good? 

What about the ethical decisions around advertising dollars? Big companies have their fingers in lots of different pies. How far down the slippery slope are you willing to go when you vet advertisers?

 As a listener, do you have an ethical responsibility to reach out to the hosts of the shows you listen to, telling them that you like what they have to say, but I just wish they said it better? Does that become easier if it’s less a quality issue and more a question of spreading misinformation? Does your silence make you complicit?

I didn’t give you an answer to any of these on purpose. This show is designed to make you think, and only you can answer these questions of ethics for yourself. I have to answer this question every day for my own work and the work of my agency. I like to think I get it right most of the time. 

Chat with the other working podcasters you communicate with on a regular basis and bring up an ethical dilemma you’re facing and get their opinions. And, of course, tell them it was this episode of Podcast Pontifications that sparked the topic. I can always use a listener or two more, so please spread the good news.

If you want, you can tell me about your thoughts on ethical dilemmas. I'm curious about what do you do? Send me an email at evo@podcastlaunch.pro (mailto:evo@podcastlaunch.pro) .

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Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com/) is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter (https://twitter.com/evoterra) for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro (https://podcastlaunch.pro/) to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business!

This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy Support this podcast

In an effort to “lemonade” our current global situation, I’m declaring April 2020 as Podcast Experimentation Month. No, there’s no “official” proclamation from anyone other than me. But someone has to be first, right?

Because if we’re gonna be locked inside, we might as well try some different things! 

Location-based podcast experimentsI saw a great post on Reddit that showed someone’s podcasting set-up their garden (https://www.reddit.com/r/podcastgear/comments/frvjyx/podcasting_from_the_garden/) . You could also change up where you podcast from by changing to a different room or section of your house. Each area will have a different tonal quality on your voice. Or try recording from inside the car you haven't driven in two weeks. Assuming you’re not under a shelter-in-place order, go take a walk and take your recording gear with you. Just be sure to stay six feet away from people as you’re out in your neighborhood. 

Experiment with different podcasting equipmentGot too many mics you haven’t used in years? I do. So why not try them out? You could also use this time to get to know aspects of your equipment you might not be completely familiar with. Those settings and switches all do different things to the sound they record. Crack open the manual and learn how to use the equipment the way it was designed!

Experiment with voices other than your ownKids at home make it hard to replicate your old kid-free sound? Bring ‘em on the show!  Incorporating their voices on purpose could be fun for them, for you, and for your listeners. If you produce a monologue show like mine, maybe you could try adding some additional voices, either as guests or co-hosts.

Experiment with better podcasting softwareIf you’re using Audacity, GarageBand, or some other free service, now is a great time to download the fully-functional trial versions of iZotope (https://www.izotope.com/en/products.html) that make your podcasting efforts sound better or be done more efficiently.

Experimenting with your formatThat might mean trying your hand at making shorter episodes. Let's say, by way of example, that you normally do a 10-minute show. Do you think you can get out what you need in a little more than six minutes? Maybe you should just end the episode there and see what your listeners think?

Great idea, me.

In the meantime, share this episode with your podcasting friends who find themselves with some free time on their hands. Tell them that April is Podcat Experimentation Month. I can’t wait to hear what you come up with.

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Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com/) is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter (https://twitter.com/evoterra) for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro (https://podcastlaunch.pro/) to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business!

This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy Support this podcast

Today, I want to get into the topic of an abundance mindest vs a scarcity mindset. It's partly a scarcity mindset that got us into this trouble. For the purposes of this article, we’ll let abundance mean a situation where there's more than you can yourself could possibly consume.

The only factor in podcasting that is truly constrained by scarcity is time. We each get 24 hours every day regardless of where we live. Yes, you could argue that money also is constrained by scarcity. But just like an unlimited budget won’t make a crappy show any better, there are plenty of low-budget shows (and no-budget shows) that sound amazing.

I want us to approach podcasting like we approach breathing or drinking water. With notable (and genuinely catastrophic) exceptions, you probably don’t consider those two resources as scarce. 

We can approach podcasting with a similar mindset of abundance. Not a lackadaisical attitude, you understand. It’s important that we take the craft of podcasting seriously. But we don’t need to hoard the knowledge, and we don’t have to ask “what’s in it for me?” before taking action.

And that’s the crux of my argument. When you shift away from a scarcity mindset to abundance thinking, you’ll force at least a couple of changes in your attitude.

Generosity over selfishness

Activism over ignorance

I’m not so naive as to assume that every podcaster will make the shift away from scarcity to abundance. But I can try to convince you to do so.

I want you to be generous with your thoughts, your ideas, and your opinions. 

I want you to be more active in and aware of the overall health of the podcasting ecosystem we’re all inside of.

Not that we all have to agree on any of those points. You don’t have to agree with the thoughts, ideas, and opinions of other podcasters. And they don’t have to agree with yours. We don't all have to agree on what it means to keep podcasting healthy and hale. Adopting an abundant mindest also means a good amount of debate and disagreement. Airing out our different ideas will make podcasting better, but only if we can abandon the scarcity mindset. 

And I apologize for the depressing tone of last week's content. This week I promise to be significantly more upbeat.

If you know of a working podcaster out there who needs this message, I would really appreciate it if you would share my podcast and writings with them. It’s OK if you tell them to skip last week’s content and just start here. I’m OK with that. And I’d appreciate you helping ensure more working podcasters get this message. In the name of abundance, right?

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Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com/) is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter (https://twitter.com/evoterra) for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro (https://podcastlaunch.pro/) to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business!

This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy Support this podcast

The novel coronavirus pandemic either has or will hit all podcasters. And the impact will be unevenly distributed, affecting some more than others. 

I want to hear your stories of how it’s impacting you and your podcasting efforts. 

I also want to help you any way that I can.

I’ll start. We here at ShEvo Studios are fine. Neither we nor our immediate families have contracted COVID19, at least not that I’ve heard. Simpler Media (http://simplermedia.pro) , the podcast consultancy I run, is also doing fine. The small distributed team members that make the sausage for our clients are all virus-free, so the machinery we’ve put in place is working. We’re even onboarding new clients this week.

But I know that's not the case for everyone. I know that a lot of people -- podcast hosts or podcast service providers -- are already struggling with the changed world.

I want to hear and to share those stories. Stories of negative, positive, or neutral impact. Whatever is happening -- or isn’t happening -- to your life as a podcaster, I’m asking you to tell me. Grab your microphone, kick out a quick stream-of-conscious update, and send it to me (mailto:evo@podcastlaunch.pro) .

And because we’re buddies, I have an offer for you.  I want to help you, the working podcaster. I want to give you -- yes, give you -- very specific advice, suggestions, and assistance that will help you get over your own stumbling blocks and hurdles. For free.

Sure, you can jump into several podcaster-populated online communities and ask for help. You'll get a bunch of answers, some of which are great, some of which are not.

Or you can just ask someone with deep expertise what they think. Someone like me. No, exactly me. Just ask.

I am genuinely offering my advice, guidance, and direction for free. This is me giving back to working podcasters like you who listen to my show every day, four times a week. The least I can do is answer some questions for you. 

So please understand: You're not imposing upon me. You are not taking advantage of me. This is an open offer. If you are a listener of my program and you need advice, guidance, a nudge, for me to take a look at something, or take a listen at something, or give you my opinion on something: You've got it. 

I have the bandwidth to help you right now. So please reach out to me however you wish.  You can email me at Instagram at Evo_Terra, (http://instagram.com/evo_terra) it's up to you.

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Share this with a friend: https://podcastpontifications.com/episode/pandemic-parley-for-podcasters (https://podcastpontifications.com/episode/pandemic-parley-for-podcasters)

Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com/) is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter (https://twitter.com/evoterra) for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro (https://podcastlaunch.pro/) to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business!

This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy Support this podcast

Yesterday I went outside on my tiny little patio and smoked a pipe with 20 other people. Earlier in the week, my friend Addy (https://twitter.com/podcastplanner) led a brainstorming session with lots of people attending. 

None of us were defying CDC/WHO directives. We did all of those things virtually using Instagram’s live video feature.

For me, it was a chance to have a conversation with people that’s different than the conversations I have 4x a week on my podcast. It was similar for Rachel and Addy, both of whom found creative ways to engage with their audience -- including friends and family -- at a distance.

Many podcasters are feeling a loss of connection “in the real world”. Not because we’re podcasters. But because we’re humans.

Yesterday I suggested some ways you might want to modify your podcast to address the reality we face today (https://podcastpontifications.com/episode/everything-has-changed-why-hasnt-your-podcast) . Because everybody is impacted by this pandemic. However, there are other ways you can acknowledge and accept COVID19 without changing the format of your podcast.

This new content doesn’t have to be live video. It’s a very popular format, but it's not everybody's cup of tea. If writing is your thing, services like TinyLetter (not a sponsor) make it super-simple to get get a newsletter up and running. Or you could start a Twitter or other social media account you wanted to explore. And yes, I suppose you could start a brand new podcast if you wanted to.

What's going to enable you to feel better as you connect with other people in a new way? And what is it that people want to get from you that they aren’t getting from your podcasting efforts currently? 

This is one of the rare times I’m going to tell you to not pay all that much attention to the listeners of your podcast. At least, don’t try to pay attention to all of them. Instead, niche down and think about the ones with whom you do share certain ideas and passions that might not be covered in your regular podcast.

If this pandemic has you really down or has a segment of your community really down, think about ways you can address that without interrupting what you're doing with your podcast. 

And share this episode with another podcaster who you feel has something worthy of sharing beyond their podcast, please?

Tell them got the idea from Podcast Pontifications and you’d love to see them add some clarity, brightness, or just plain silliness to the world, would you?

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Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com/) is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter (https://twitter.com/evoterra) for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro (https://podcastlaunch.pro/) to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business!

This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy Support this podcast

According to studies by Podtrac (https://podnews.net/article/podtrac-download-audience-data-covid) , podcast consumption does not seem to be decreasing. Hooray!

But don’t get too comfy. Combined with yesterday’s news (https://podcastpontifications.com/episode/why-podcast-listening-wont-ever-return-to-normal) , it means that listeners are shifting away from many shows, even though they continue to consume podcasted content at the same or an accelerated rate.

Which makes many podcasters wonder what the heck they are going to do on their programs. You too, perhaps.

It's time to renegotiate the social contract between you and your listening audience. Thanks, Coronavirus. This isn't something that will go away next week or the week after next. 

If you agree with my bleak-yet-rational position, then you need to make some changes to your podcasts. Specifically, you really have to choose between one of three options. 

1. Ignore it. I don’t recommend taking this approach. It makes you seem rather out of touch or that you just don’t care. While there are certain instances where not addressing the pandemic might make sense, it should not be your default choice.

2. Acknowledge and embrace it. Assuming doing so doesn’t completely wreck your show and your audience’s expectations, I highly recommend you acknowledge and embrace the world we live in. I promise you that a good number of your listeners want to know how you and your crew are being affected. 

3. Do not quit. Seriously. Don't quit. Your audience listened to you before this pandemic happened. Your audience still wants to hear from you during this pandemic. And they're going to want to hear from you after we all come out the other side. 

Yes, that’s heavy stuff. And to be honest I'm pretty sure I'll be dealing with heavy stuff for some time to come on this program. Because this where we live, and the charge of this show is to help us all understand the future of podcasting in order to make it better. That means raising the right questions that impact your shows rather than blindly focusing on other aspects of our business. 

I'll be back tomorrow for yet another Podcast Pontifications. 

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Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com/) is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter (https://twitter.com/evoterra) for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro (https://podcastlaunch.pro/) to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business!

This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy Support this podcast

Listenership is down across the board in podcasting (https://podnews.net/article/coronavirus-covid19-affecting-podcasting) . Your listener's routines have been disrupted. In a big way. Some much worse than others, obviously. But rest assured that just about every listener you have is having their routine and habits impacted in some way. And it’s that disruption in habits that is the root cause of decreased listening that your show is likely experiencing.

People aren't going to the gym nearly as often as they used to, which means they aren’t listening on a treadmill, StairMaster, whatever else people do at a gym.

People aren't commuting as often as they used to. Less windshield time means less time spent listening to podcasts and all other forms of audio. 

But with all these people now staying home, why hasn’t podcast listenership increased? Because even at-home habits have changed.

Worse news: this isn’t just temporary. No, everything will not go back to normal as soon as this pandemic is over.

I hate the phrase “this is the new normal”. What we’re all living through right now is new and certainly is becoming normal. But normal is fleeting. What’s normal today won’t be normal next week. So “this is the new” is much better. That needs a hashtag: #thisisthenew

Yes, the restrictions currently in place will (eventually) cease. And when that happens, of course people will return to the gym, commute to and fro, and put their kids back in school.

But not exactly in the same fashion as they did before. 

Your listeners are forming new habits. Your listeners are learning new routines. And here’s the kicker: Businesses are learning too. They might learn that WFH -  work from home - is a huge cost-cutter, and some of your listeners might never again have a daily commute. 

New habits. New routines.

The longer we live in this new world, the more these new routines will become new habits. And the less likely we are to go back to old habits that no longer fit our new routines.

Please don’t take my words as a doom-and-gloom prediction. Yes, things will get better for most of your listeners. Yes, we will see overall podcast listenership increase to where it was and then beyond that. Podcasting will survive this pandemic.

But podcasting on the other side will be different if only because the habits people formed around podcast listening have changed and will never mirror the way they were before. 

I wish I offering up non-pandemic stuff, but it’s probably a topic I’m going to orbit for a while since this show is all about helping you think about the big questions faced by all of us in podcasting. And this is where we live now. #thisisthenew

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Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com/) is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter (https://twitter.com/evoterra) for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro (https://podcastlaunch.pro/) to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business!

This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy Support this podcast

What do you do in a situation where you notice that your podcast downloads have dropped by 10%? (That's what decimated really means, by the way. 1 in 10.) If you notice that has happened to your show… what do you do? How do you deal with it? Is there an “other side” to the slump? 

On today’s episode, I have three more questions for you to ask yourself before you jump into “find a solution” mode. 

1. Does it really matter? 

If you’re not paid by the download, or you can’t tie the size of your audience directly back to income or opportunities, then your answer to that question should be “no”. 

If your answer to that question is a resounding “yes’, then keep going. Many podcasters are able to directly correlate downloads to dollars, and a negative trend in downloads probably means a negative financial impact. That’s not good. 

2. Was it because of something you did?

Sure, that sounds a little weird and a lot rude. But quite often the reason download numbers drop is because of something you did. Likely unintentionally, but still attributable to something you did. 

There are plenty of things to check here, so be methodical. If you find a problem, fix it. And then don’t do that again. But if not, then we move on to the really hard question.

3. Is there anything you can do about it?

Chances are, there isn’t an easy yes/no answer here. This requires an examination of the external and internal influences on your download numbers. 

Seeing a drop in downloads is scary to any podcaster. Before you go making drastic changes, try your best to understand why the downturn happened. If it's a temporary dip, then hopefully you can ride it out. Lots of podcasters are playing the “wait and see” game right now, so welcome to the club.

One way you can help: become one of the many canaries in this coal mine we call podcasting. No one but you knows that your podcast download numbers are being decimated. And you don’t know if something similar is happening to others. We each need to act as our own early-warning system. Form a close peer group of other podcasters you trust and make it habit to report to each other when any of you see a dip in downloads.

And once you've formed that group, please tell them about Podcast Pontifications. It'll give you at least four different things to talk about each week, right? 

I'll be back on Monday with yet another Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com) . 

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Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com/) is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter (https://twitter.com/evoterra) for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro (https://podcastlaunch.pro/) to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business!

This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy Support this podcast

Podcasters often fail to understand the fundamental difference between using media for distribution or promotional purposes versus using media for content creation purposes. 

How strategic are you with non-podcast-related content you produce on a regular basis?

I’m far from perfect when it comes to my approach to my media stack. But it might help you better understand yours if I give you a rundown of what I’m doing, warts and all. 

This that you’re consuming didn’t start out this way. Nor did it start with me typing words on a keyboard. Nor did it start as a transcription of an audio file. It started life as a live video on LinkedIn. (https://www.linkedin.com/video/live/activity-6646042366056763392-UxlE)

From there, I stripped out the good bits from my extemporaneous talk and wrote an article that was published on my website, on my Medium profile, and as an article on LinkedIn. And by “wrote”, I mean it. Those pieces are not accurate transcripts of what I said, though I do include one of those on the page of my website where this article will live. Those articles are 100% re-written so that 100% of the value can be received just by reading.

Let me state that again: It’s OK with me that people who find this article never listen to my podcast. That’s because I get other tangible value from the effort it takes to make those posts.

I also spend time (and money) editing the live video down to a stand-alone video that’s loaded to the a playlist on my YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLIiiiguUmMmDC-WaQcgnSYzmNddfUg0ey) .

I get effectively zero views on these videos because they aren’t designed to be good video to watch. Each video is nothing more than my head mostly blocked behind a big fat microphone with a boom arm in the way. So of course it’s not good video! It doesn’t matter that I have a great lighting kit and a quality video camera. I'm not creating good video content. I’m merely using (abusing?) these media properties for distribution. Nothing more. Don’t be like me!

I’m better at social media. If you follow me on social media channels, you'll see I'm actively creating lots of content about podcasting in general in my own format and style. Not every forward-thinking, big question about podcasting is worthy of an episode of Podcast Pontifications. But they are great to share on social, mostly on my Twitter account (https://twitter.com/evoterra) . 

I could be better at sharing content on LinkedIn and through my company Facebook Page. But I’m not. And I’ve become OK with that. 

Other than my occasional guest appearance on someone else's podcast or getting up on a stage in front of a crowd (not that I can do that for a while, obviously), my media stack is small. Yours may not be. 

Regardless, I hope this helps you understand the difference between using your media stack for content creation versus using your media stack for promotion and distribution of your podcast episodes. There’s a difference.

What media stacks are you using? Where are you creating not your podcast content? And do you think it's effective? I want to know (mailto:evo@podcastlaunch.pro) , and I also want you to ask your podcasting friends what they're doing with their own media stacks.

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Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com/) is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter (https://twitter.com/evoterra) for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro (https://podcastlaunch.pro/) to see how Simpler Media Productions... Support this podcast

Today’s focus will a broader conversation that features some creative ways podcasters can make better use of bonus episodes. 

This is a tough thing for a lot of podcasters to wrap their head around. They're thinking -- rightly so -- that their episodes drop on Tuesdays at midnight, come hell or high water. But sometimes there’s a need to work around that publishing schedule. And that's what you do with bonus episodes.

Here are nine ideas for bonus content that you should examine for your podcast.

Announcing a break from publishing new episodes

Generate easier content in-between full episodes

Go behind the scenes

Feature a special co-host

Release a music-only episode

Turn the mic around and give a reverse interview

Interview your supporting crew

Podcast non-podcast appearances

When news breaks

And that’s just a start. There are all sorts of ways smart podcasters can use bonus episodes. But before you start, there are three major considerations you need to staple to your wall so you don’t forget to think about them before you drop a bonus episode.

1. Should this bonus episode live only in the feed or should it also be on the website?

2. How will you promote these bonus episodes? 

3. What will new listeners think about your overall show?

Get together with your podcasting family and have a conversation about how each of you are (or are not) using bonus content. Tell them you heard about me talking about making bonus episodes and put forth the idea of collaborating together. That might be fun.

You know what else will be fun? Me coming back tomorrow to do this again for another Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com) . 

Cheers!

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Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com/) is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter (https://twitter.com/evoterra) for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro (https://podcastlaunch.pro/) to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business!

This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy Support this podcast

Many podcasters are struggling with that same decision:  Should you say something to your audience acknowledging the reality of the pandemic?

On one hand, listening to podcasts is a great way to practice “social distancing”. And since most (?) podcasters produce their shows alone or with guests or co-hosts in remote locations, the act of making a podcast is also good social distancing put in practice. 

Still, our audiences might wonder what's going on with the people that make their favorite podcasts. And as human beings who make podcasts for listeners, we often feel a desire to let our audiences know what’s going on with us personally in times of crisis.

But if you produce a show that never covers current events, should you say something, putting the “evergreen” nature of your episodes at risk? What if you're in the middle of a six-part series on the history of apples (or anything non-pandemic related)? A “special announcement” at the beginning of your fourth episode would be terribly off-putting and impact the flow, wouldn’t it?

Remember: if you do decide it’s a good idea to say something, you don’t have to drop a note at the beginning of your next podcast episode. Nor do you have to put out an entire full episode about the pandemic.

A bonus episode might be just what you need.

Remember: Your podcast is more than just the audio you put out on your RSS feed. Does your show’s website have a role to play? What about the social media channels where you engage with humans every day?

Maybe audio isn’t the best place to share the message.

Of course, it might be. Here’s your North star for this: If you feel like you need to say something to your audience, either to let them know how you are coping, to let them know that you're in this together, to let them know changes to your production schedule, or whatever else you feel it might be important to say to them: I think you should say something to them.

I hope you're doing well during this time of coronavirus. We're okay on this side, fully adopting social distancing and self-quarantine methods as we do our part to flatten this curve. Hopefully, you are as well.

And tomorrow, I'll do it again. On another Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com) . 

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Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com/) is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter (https://twitter.com/evoterra) for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro (https://podcastlaunch.pro/) to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business!

This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy Support this podcast

Big media companies have piles of cash to throw at awareness campaigns, grab the best and most recognizable names in the world, and hire gigantic teams of a dozen or more talented people to work on a single episode.

And you, the indie podcaster… you probably don’t have any of that. 

You likely don’t have piles of cash that you can use to hire a team of talented people. You probably don't have a name that is recognizable by the majority of households in this country (or any country). You likely can't spend hundreds of thousands or millions of marketing dollars to give your work exposure to the masses. 

But big media doesn’t have a monopoly on shows that sound great. 

And as my friend Tom Kelly (https://twitter.com/TKellzzz) stated so eloquently, indie podcast doesn't have to mean shitty podcast.

As an indie podcaster, we can compete with big media podcasts on quality. They’re probably going to win when it comes to marketing. They’re probably going to win when it comes to talent acquisition. 

But there is nothing stopping you, me, or any individual person from making a podcast that always has amazing sound quality. 

If you’re just one person, there’s no way to scale to the ~125 hours of work required to put out a complex episode. So deal with that reality and do something different that does not require that level of people-hours. Reduce the frequency if you need to. Or better yet, reduce the complexity. Whatever you do, do not reduce the quality.

With very few exceptions, there’s nothing stopping you from ensuring your episodes sound amazing every single time. If you’re committed enough, you should be able to work with whatever tools you have at your disposal to make a show with amazing quality sound.

Your goal is simple: when someone listens to the Conan O'Brien podcast and then listens to your podcast, that person should be unable to detect a difference in sound quality. 

And if anything, you want your show’s sound quality to be better. 

You can do this. You, the individual and independent podcaster can do this. No, there isn't a magical button or box that big media spent $50,000 on that makes their shows sound amazing. It’s mostly just people and resources. Well, you’re a person, and clearly you already have the resources to make a podcast. 

The next time you get together with your podcasting friends, start a conversation about commitment to quality. If they ask you to check out their show, be honest with them about how you perceive the quality. They need to hear an unvarnished opinion.

And if you don't want to be the one to tell them, send them this episode of Podcast Pontifications and I will tell them how incredibly important sound quality really is. 

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Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com/) is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter (https://twitter.com/evoterra) for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro (https://podcastlaunch.pro/) to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business!

This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy Support this podcast

I’ve been fortunate enough to have some of my content (or my clients’ content) ranked number one for a highly desirable term. It’s great to see traffic come flooding in, For a while. For an all-too-short amount of time. A short amount of time that is continues to shrink.

Getting to the top of the list is hard. Staying there is even harder. 

Search algorithms are influenced by lots of factors. But two of the most important factors are freshness of content and authority. Both of those (and more) help you get to the top. But are you ready to produce the kind of content that keeps ringing both of those bells?

You're not probably going to rank on the word “podcast” no matter what you do. In fact, you’re probably not going to rank number one for your category of podcast. You might, however, rank high for more specific terms, Podcasts for private clinicians or something along the lines of scuba diving in the Maldives podcast, by way of example. 

To sustain a number 1 ranking for your podcast, you have to keep producing content about that thing. Whatever actions you took that paid off with the reward of being number one, you have to keep doing that. A lot. You cannot “get it and forget it” or you’ll quickly find your show no longer in that number one spot.

That might have serious ramifications for the type of show you want and the content of the episodes you produce. To maintain your number one ranking, you’ll have to forget about true independence. Sure, you can always produce whatever the heck you feel like. If you feel like producing an episode that’s nowhere near the term you ranked number one for. But that’s going to negatively impact your number one ranking. 

Are you willing to stay laser-focused on your content so that your show is and always will be about one thing? Are you willing to axe the clever little segments, avoid off-topic diatribes, break out the nine different topics you want to talk about into their own episodes, and possibly switch to a daily or multiple-times-per-day format? Are you willing to cut out anything that doesn’t contribute to your number one standing, changing your show so drastically to maintain that ranking? 

Getting to the top of the list is hard. Keeping your podcast there is even harder. 

Here’s your daily challenge: Ask one of your podcasting compadres what they think your show should rank for. Even if they don’t listen to your show (here’s a good way to get them to do that), just ask them what they think your show should rank for. And return the favor, were you tell them what you think their show should rank for. I’m fairly confident that you’ll both be thinking of rather different things. 

And by all means, tell them the question was sparked by this episode of Podcast Pontifications. I'd like to have another listener. :)

And if you have an opinion on what this show should rank for, drop me an email at evo@podcastlaunch.pro (mailto:evo@podcastlaunch.pro) .

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Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com/) is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter (https://twitter.com/evoterra) for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro (https://podcastlaunch.pro/) to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business!

This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy Support this podcast

Every podcaster I know (including this guy (https://twitter.com/evoterra) ) wants to grow their show. It doesn't matter if they run a gigantic show with hundreds of thousands of listeners; they want to grow their audience. It doesn't matter if they're a teeny-tiny show hyperfocused on one small corner of the world; there are always people the show hasn’t yet reached. 

At Podfest Multimedia Expo 2020 (https://podfestexpo.com/) in Orlando, which I’m freshly back from, I attended a panel discussion where several very successful niche podcasters -- all of them business-related -- were sharing the tips and techniques that made them successful.

During the Q&A portion, one of the panelists -- Practice of The Practice (https://www.practiceofthepractice.com/private-practice-resources/listen-to-the-podcast/) engaged in a dialog with an audience member who was struggling to grow their firm’s niche podcast. Joe asked a simple question of them:

“What pain does your podcast solve?”

The exchange between the two of them got me to thinking: what pain does this podcast solve? 

Which should lead you to think: what pain does your podcast solve? 

Initially, you might assume that not all podcasts are designed to solve pains. I know I did. But when you look a little bit deeper, maybe that’s incorrect. Because even if you make a show that’s just there to provide some levity and entertainment to your listeners, maybe that's enough temporary pain-removal for them.

Clearly, the more focused your show is, the easier it is to understand your own answer to that question. The advice came from a guy with a podcast and a podcast network designed to solve the problems of clinicians in private practice, which is quite specific. But as a focusing device, I think we can all benefit from asking ourselves the same question.

So how does your podcast solve pain? What pains do you solve with your podcast? These are interesting questions causing me to re-examine what I am doing with these episodes. Because while I think I do solve some pains, I think that could be better at being more focused on solving pains faced by working podcasters like you.

This is a good question to bring to your podcasting compatriots. Podcasters tend to run in tight circles, in my experience. And while most of our conversations are either light or super-specific, sometimes asking these larger, more ethereal questions is healthy. So the next time you get together, either in person or on a Slack channel, ask your podcasting buddies what pains they solve with their podcasts. Tell them you got the idea for the question from this episode of Podcast Pontifications and ask if they heard it as well.

And also, I’d love to hear how your podcasting efforts are solving pain. Even if you think that’s not what you do. Send an email to evo@podcastlaunch.pro (mailto:evo@podcastlaunch.pro) .

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Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com) is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter (https://twitter.com/evoterra) for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro (https://podcastlaunch.pro/) to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business!

This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy Support this podcast

Yes, I think you, as a working podcaster, should attend a podcast conference if you can find the budget for it. The chance to build connections among, swap ideas with, and learn from other podcasters is reason enough to go. (And if we met while I was there and the sticker I gave you was enough to entice you to check this out, welcome!)

Beyond the personal connections, podcast conferences are used by many podcasters as an immersive learning experience. There is a lot of information presented on the various stages. But frankly, there’s a lot of misinformation presented as well. The tough part is identifying what is fact and what is fiction (with or without malicious intent). And that’s an especially difficult task if you’re new or inexperienced with podcasting.

I have the utmost respect for the people who organize these conferences. Most of them -- and especially the Podfest organizers -- take their responsibilities seriously, ensuring that underrepresented and marginalized voices have a chance to be on stage. They understand that “tenure” in podcasting is ludicrous and that new ways of doing things are oftentimes more valuable and usually much more relevant than going-stale processes cobbled together a dozen years ago.

But that presents a vetting problem. Not vetting for experience. Vetting for facts and truthful information. 

Regardless of what conference you attend, some people on stage just don't have the proper facts, often regurgitating myths and falsehoods, or making assumptions and generalizations that are demonstrably false.

Unfortunately, attendees in the audience who lack the experience to sniff out the bullshit or keenly tuned into those hard-to-kill myths accept what’s being said on the stage.

How do you (and I) continue to support for the organization, the conference, the community, the comradery, and all the other great things make podcasting conferences special, yet also maintain a healthy dose of skepticism?

How do conference organizers fight this problem, preserving their own integrity which may be in jeopardy when the signal-to-noise ratio gets too small? 

Honestly, I don't know that they can. 

I don't know that they have the time or bandwidth. I know it's a lot of work to put an event on of any size. Just considering the time it would take to vet or fact-check each presentation would be massive. And likely untenable. 

That means the burden is on your shoulders. When you attend one of these conferences, you have to put on your skeptic hat. 

The barrier to entry for getting on stage at a podcasting conference is pretty low. Write up a very good description of your talk, give it an amazing title, and the selection committee is going to look upon it favorably. And given all the half-assed submissions they receive, it’s not hard to bubble to the top. 

Again, that’s not a bad thing. I don’t want it to be harder to speak at these events. But you need to understand that the person on stage isn't necessarily the expert they reported themselves to be. 

Ask your friends who also podcast about their experiences with podcast conferences or events  -- physical or online -- and the misinformation they might have encountered. Because it's everywhere and is the biggest reason I don't engage in the various Facebook forums dedicated to podcasting. There’s just too much misinformation, and it bums me out. I

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Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com) is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter (https://twitter.com/evoterra) for more podcasting... Support this podcast

This is not about politics. This is about learning lessons from the current frenzy that dominates the news here in America and abroad. Yes, I’m talking about American politics, but only so we can apply some lessons to the world of podcasting.

In order for Presidential wanna-bes to become a viable candidate, they first have to appeal to their base. The same thing holds true for podcasters. Your base is asking themselves this question: Should they help support your (or your show’s) viability?

So… is it? If so, you’ve got your base of volunteers and supporters. The people who may contribute to your show early on and maybe leave a rating and review of your show (https://ratethispodcast.com/podpont) .

Once your base is engaged and is supporting your viability, it’s time to take your message to the masses. Politicians have to appeal to their own party hardliners. In podcasting, the group you want to attract is the hard-core podcast listener. And they have their own agenda: Does your show increase the viability of podcasting overall?

if you are producing the type of show that they feel exemplifies what podcasting can be, then you’ll get the benefit of their word of mouth. And some of these people, like the journalists who cover podcasting, have very loud voices indeed.

After that, the people running for office have to appeal to the people who vote. Likewise, podcasters should appeal to the people who listen to podcasts. And when doing so, they have to understand why a listener would choose to listen to them. As before, it comes down to an evaluation on their part: Does your show validate their worldview?

Yes, it really does boil down to this: what's in it for them? Yes, the 30% to 40% of the people who listen to podcasts have an appetite for new content. If it’s good enough, they may be interested in listening to the content you put out. But it has to be more than good. It has to validate their worldview.

I’ll leave you with two key takeaways from this: 

1. You don't have to make podcasts that appeal to everyone. 

Politicians don't try and appeal to everyone. They only appeal to people who are likely to vote. Podcasters should make their efforts appealing only to people who are likely to listen to podcasts. And before you go to the larger world of podcast consumers, make sure you’re appealing to those inside of the podcasting community and to your own small group of base listeners.

2. Big shows don’t have to worry about a small base or the podcasting community. 

At least not as much. So if you're taking inspiration from the uber-successful shows, keep in mind that shows with hundreds of thousands or millions of listeners play by a different set of rules. Sort of like when politicians change their focus after they get elected. If you're not at that level, you still need to tend to the care and feeding of all three groups of people.

Share this piece with your friends who also podcast. Ask them what they’re doing to make sure they stay engaged all the way up the chain. And if you think you’re doing an exceptional job in the second group, let me know (mailto:evo@podcastlaunch.pro) , because I have a keen interest in making podcasting better. 

I’m off to Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com/) . 

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Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com) is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter (https://twitter.com/evoterra) for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro (https://podcastlaunch.pro/) to see how... Support this podcast

Podcast fiction is probably my favorite genre. If you're thinking today’s podcast fiction is simply a resurgence of audio drama 1930s radio, you have the wrong assumption. While podcast fiction certainly can replicate that style, today’s podcast fiction scene is much more broad and rich than that.

No matter what kind of fiction (books, TV, or movies) you like, there’s probably a podcast fiction production out there for you. I encourage you to go find it and have a listen.

But things aren’t perfect in the world of podcast fiction. The genre is oftentimes misunderstood (or underestimated) by other podcasters and those who cover podcasting alike. Journalists often pay half-effort lip service to the genre, perpetuating myths that keep people way. Inside the larger podcasting community, producers of podcast fiction constantly struggle to have their voices heard and gain acceptance. Not out of malice, but usually out of ignorance. 

There are many issues that plague podcast fiction that contributes to its ongoing ostracization. I’ll tackle a few of them head-on:

Some podcast fiction sucksAn oft-cited problem with podcast fiction has to do with issues of quality. If you randomly sample a piece of podcast fiction, there’s a non-zero chance that your encounter will be with something that’s decidedly not-great. 

But why is that surprising to you? Examine any creative endeavor, and you’ll find the same thing. Sturgeon’s Law (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sturgeon%27s_law) always applies to everything.

Podcast fiction is overlooked by advertisersAs ad revenue continues to pour into podcasting, producers of podcast fiction are often locked out. The people who sell advertising on podcasts don't know about podcast fiction. Or if they do, they don't understand the different listening behavior of fans of podcast fiction vs those who listen to “normal” podcasts.

But those ad salespeople need to get over that, as they're missing a golden opportunity. What makes podcast advertising a better buy than other forms of media? The live host read. And who better to do a live host read than people who make fiction come to life! 

Podcast fiction is hard to makeLike, really hard. From writing all the way down to post-production, making great podcast fiction requires a different spin on just about every facet of podcast creation. 

It's a giant amount of work at every step of the process of making great podcast fiction. I’m amazed people even try. 

So what can podcasters who do not do podcast fiction learn from the podcast fiction community? I think there's a lot we can learn about the process of and work behind making great audio, sure. But I think our biggest takeaway should be comradery. 

send me your recommendations (mailto:thisisevo@gmail.com) of other podcast fiction shows I should try out and consider adding to my shared list.

I shall be back tomorrow with yet another Podcast Pontifications. 

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Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com) is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter (https://twitter.com/evoterra) for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro (https://podcastlaunch.pro/) to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business!

This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy Support this podcast

Podcasting has some really good benchmarking statistics. But what we (or at least I) really need to see is a distribution chart that shows clusters of podcasts by audience size.

We don't have that distribution chart in podcasting. Or if we do, I haven't seen it. Yet this is something that the podcast hosting companies could make for us. It’s something that third-party tracking services like Chartable (https://chartable.com/) could make for us. They're not, but I really wish they would.

So without an actual chart, I’m going to speculate that podcasting’s distribution chart would look very hollowed-out. 

If we grouped shows by the number of listeners/downloads, I speculate that we would see a really big cluster of shows at the bottom of the distribution chart. The further along the x-axis we travel, the size of the clusters of shows would drop off precipitously. How precipitously? We don’t know, because the data hasn’t been presented to us in this way. (Yet?) Continuing on, I’m betting that we’d see (or perhaps we’ll start to see) a new cluster of shows growing at the high end of the scale.

And a big gap in the middle. Hence the hollowing out of the middle of podcasting. Here’s why:

Factors that push the big-audience podcast clusterBig podcast creation companies are getting more money.

 Podcast listening apps and directories get better at presenting better content.

Non-podcasting big media will continue to get excited about podcasting.

Factors that push the small-audience podcast clusterMore people listening to podcasts means more people dabbling in podcasting.

More services will make easier to podcast. 

Smaller shows are often happy staying small.

What do the podcasters you hang out with think about that statement? Are you sharing your numbers with one another? You should, and then you can make your own distribution curve to share with others. Tell your podcasting compatriots to listen to this episode of Podcast Pontifications and see if you can get them interested in contributing your own distribution graph. Maybe you’ll inspire others. Heck, I’ll even play along if you ask (mailto:evo@podcastlaunch.pro) !

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Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com) is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter (https://twitter.com/evoterra) for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro (https://podcastlaunch.pro/) to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business!

This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy Support this podcast

So today I’m going to think through how COVID-19 could impact podcasting and the lives of podcasters. I’m not a doctor, so we won’t be talking prevention. Not my job.

Will people like you and me opt out of attending podcasting events? Will we cancel already-booked travel plans? How will attendance of local events be impacted?

How will interview-based podcasts change? Some enjoy doing that in-person, where the host sits face-to-face with the guest. Some prefer to capture the ambient sounds of the venue as part of the show’s flavor. How will they adapt if their guests can’t or won’t meet in person?

 Then there’s the economics. What happens to your show’s primary income stream if budgetary constraints cause advertisers to pull back? Or supporters? Or people who normally buy your products/services but are out of a job?

I worry a little bit about the global supply chain as well. I've got all of my equipment and you probably do as well. It's more disruption in the global services chain that we podcasters rely on to distribute our episodes everywhere that concerns me. 

If you've not been thinking about how COVID-19 will impact your podcast, you probably should start. Yes, on top of the worrying you’re already doing about how the virus might personally impact you, your family, and people that you care about, I need you to also think about the impact COVID-19 may have on your podcasting efforts. It's hard to prepare when we’re in the early stages and really don't know how big the possible impact might be. But thinking through the things mentioned today can only help you as you continue your podcasting efforts through this health crisis. 

Pro tip: Reach out to your fellow podcasters and find out what they're thinking or worried about. Tell them you heard this episode of Podcast Pontifications and are bringing up the conversation so everyone in your podcasting circle is as prepared as they can be.

Enjoy your Friday tomorrow (I know it’s Thursday, but don't do episodes of this show on Friday) I'll be back on Monday for a short week because of Podfest Expo (no, I didn’t cancel). With that in mind, I shall see you on Monday for yet another Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com/) . 

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Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com) is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter (https://twitter.com/evoterra) for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro (https://podcastlaunch.pro/) to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business!

This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy

The decision to put content -- popular content -- behind a paywall is always an agonizing choice for any decent person. Podcasters included. 

It’s not a binary choice. Nor is it a choice that any podcaster gets to make. Successfully implementing a switch to directly charging for access is, for most podcasts, completely dependent on the size of the audience.

Here’s an easily busted myth: Every single person who currently subscribes/listens to your free podcast will continue to listen to (and therefore pay for) your content when you put it behind a paywall.

That’s categorically false. The question really becomes this; how many will, and how much can I make?

On average, you’ll be lucky to see 2% of the people who currently subscribe to your show for free switching over to the paid model. Sure, it can be higher. But it can also be lower. 2% is a good number from which you can do your projections. 

Nota bene: Subscribing to a behind-the-paywall podcast isn’t any harder than subscribing to any other podcast, with the exception that (for now) these for-fee podcasts don’t show up in podcast apps or directories. 

Let’s get back to that 2% number. If you have a thousand people listening to your episodes on a regular basis, you can expect 20 make the for-fee switch. If you're charging five bucks a month for access, that's $100.

For me, going to a fee-based model doesn’t make sense for my podcast. I have roughly 300 people who listen to me. 2% means I’d have six people paying, so a paltry sum. But if I had 10,000? Or 100,000? I’d have to consider it.

If my thoughts have you ready to jump on the paywall bandwagon, I’d advise caution and some math before you take the plunge. There are many, many things to consider. Choose wisely. This is something you shouldn't rush into. 

My advice? Check with your podcasting friends. See if your fellow podcasters are considering this as well, weighing the size of their audience against potential revenue gains to determine viability. And discussing the potential (real, actually) outcry from current listeners if there were to make the switch. 

Send your friends this episode and blame me for your bringing up the conversation. That way they can listen to a neutral 3rd party’s opinion and not bring the judgment hammer on your head. I can take the heat! 

What do you think about this? Email me at evo@podcastlaunch.pr (mailto:evo@podcastlaunch.pr) and tell me where you stand on the topic of putting some or all of your podcast content behind a paywall.

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Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com) is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter (https://twitter.com/evoterra) for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro (https://podcastlaunch.pro/) to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business!

This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy

Episodic podcasts don’t require the listener to back up to the beginning to get caught up. The most recent episode is sufficient, and even someone does take an immediate shine to your content, they might go back and pick up two or three of your prior episodes. It's not all that common where people download your entire catalog. 

Or is it?

My bigger concerns when people back and listen to everything ever produced by me are twofold.

1. Dealing with evolved best practices. 

2. Dealing with evolved cultural norms.

I am deep in the process of fixing some poor decisions I made when I started this show back in 2018. In short, I’m (finally) combining everything into a single property instead of relying on various disparate systems to present the show and episodes. The hard work is the boring part where I copy and paste content from various platforms to the new platforms. As I do it, I'm seeing some things that I'm not sure should be out there anymore. 

Can I trust a listener will know that any bad advice I gave back then has been updated? I don’t think I can. I don't mention the date during the recording. And podcast listening apps don’t go out of their way to show the date when a show was recorded. And I don’t really want them to, as I’m working hard to make evergreen content that is discovered by search engines, so I don’t want someone turned off by thinking the content is old and outdated. Except sometimes it is outdated! Agh! The angst is real.

Should a podcast be held responsible for what they said 10 years ago? Or should the responsibility fall on the listener to examine publishing date so that they take the contents with the context of time? That just sounds weasely as I type it! 

I don't know the right answer to this question. I want you to think about it. I think everybody has to come up with their own right answer. 

What are you going to do? What's your plan with all of this? Maybe you should have this conversation with another podcaster to find out what their plan is. I think these kinds of decisions are best made when we discuss them together. So talk with other podcasts at the next meetup, online chat, or when you go to Facebook or Reddit to see what the various forums have to say. Ask your fellow podcasts how are they dealing with the skeletons in their podcasting closet. 

And of course, you can tell them it was an episode of Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com/) that sparked the question. Yes, this is me asking you to tell someone to listen to this particular episode (and the whole show) because it’s helpful for any working podcaster, right? I mean, that's why you listen. 

If you want to tell me what you're doing to address your podcasting skeletons, email me at evo@PodcastLaunch.pro (mailto:evo@PodcastLaunch.pro) . I shall be back tomorrow with yet another Podcast Pontifications.

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Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com) is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter (https://twitter.com/evoterra) for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro (https://podcastlaunch.pro/) to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business!

This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy

Hang around with enough podcasters who've been at it for a while and you’ll eventually hear many of them ask the same question: “I don't know if my podcast is as big as it should be.” Or perhaps, in rare cases, “I don't know if the quality of the content I'm putting out is as good as it should be.” 

The best way to break the complacency trap is by understanding where you could be. You might have aspirations, but quite often they aren’t written down or codified in any way so that you or your podcast team can measure the effectiveness of your efforts. 

When you're not really sure what success looks like, you just keep going about the motions. You become complacent. Complacency breeds familiarity. Familiarity becomes habit. And habits develop into ruts. You do the same thing day after day, week after week, or month after month, without any growth or change. 

Once you’ve identified where you want to go, you're going to have to work harder. You have to dig in deeper, roll up your sleeves, and spend more time making great content. Can you do that? Can you afford that? Is that really what you want? Are you willing to completely overhaul your show? Are you ready to look at the consumption numbers provided by Apple Podcasts and Spotify to see exactly how much (or little) of your content is being consumed by listeners? Are you willing to make drastic changes when you face evidence that what you are doing right now is not resonating with your audience?

I know that’s a heavy set of questions to dump on you on a Monday morning, podcaster. But at some point, if you really do want to move closer to viability, you’re going to have to face the reality those questions present. Because complacency is the biggest mistake that mid-level podcasters are making today.

Raise this question with the other podcasters you interface with. Ask them if they’re complacent with where their show is today. Ask if they are happy or if there are things they want to do differently. Just by having this conversation with other podcasters, it’ll help you get over the hump and understand your own ideas around complacency and your podcasting efforts.

And while you’re having this conversation, be sure to tell them what sparked the idea. Maybe they're not yet listening to Podcast Pontifications. Maybe they need the regular kick-start I try to provide here on the program. I don't sell ads and I’m not even selling this type of advice, so please tell a friend about evo@PodcastLaunch.pro (mailto:evo@PodcastLaunch.pro) reaches me, and I’m always happy to answer any questions from listeners. Fire away!

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Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com) is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter (https://twitter.com/evoterra) for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro (https://podcastlaunch.pro/) to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business!

This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy

The promise most low-cost podcast media hosting providers make with you is for “unmetered” bandwidth. It doesn't matter how big your show gets, they say. They’ve got the bandwidth taken care of, and your monthly bill won’t increase. 

Well... what if I told you that wasn't always true? 

What I’m about to say should not cause the vast majority of podcasters to take drastic action. For the overwhelming majority of podcasts, you’ll always keep paying whatever you're paying right now for podcast hosting. 

If you’re successful at growing your podcast into a commercially viable enterprise, to the point you’re getting tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of downloads on your episodes, your podcast hosting company will be forced to make a business decision, because you’re costing them thousands of dollars each month. They’d like that back, and even to turn a profit so they can stay in business.

Look at the contract you probably didn’t read that spells out the terms of service with your hosting company. Chances are, you’ll find a clause that states something along the lines of, “If your show gets too big, we're going to reach out to you and find ways to help us recoup our real costs.” 

If you really do have designs on growing your show (and a plan to do so) to the point where it's commercially viable, then you need to prepare for this eventuality. Because it will come up. You need to be eyes wide open that someone will have to pay the bandwidth cost eventually. 

Because TANSTAAFL. 

Do you have a friend in podcasting who needs to know about this? Do me a favor and send them this particular episode. Word of mouth works really well to grow a podcast. There are almost 900,000 podcasts available, but I’m nowhere near having 900,000 people listening to my program, so I’m not facing the reality I just laid out. So don’t worry: You can send me as many listeners as you like! 

And if you have questions for me on this topic or anything related to making podcasting better, reach out to me at evo@podcastlaunch.pro (mailto:evo@podcastlaunch.pro) . 

Enjoy the rest of your Thursday and your Friday tomorrow, as I don’t produce this show on Friday. Instead, I'll be back on Monday with yet another Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com/) .

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Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com) is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter (https://twitter.com/evoterra) for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro (https://podcastlaunch.pro/) to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business!

This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy

Last week at Podcast Movement Evolutions 2020 (http://events.podcastmovement.com/la2020/) , I paid a lot of attention to the conversations regarding podcast advertising as a business model. Mostly because of the new moves in podcast ad tech (something I’ll dig into in future episodes) that are increasingly interesting to my ex-ad-exec brain. But also to better understand where the threshold is today for having a show with an audience size big enough to be attractive to advertisers.

So what’s big enough to be worthy of consideration? For many years, the threshold tossed around the community has been 5,000. No, not 5,000 total downloads over the life of your show. 5,000 downloads of a single episode of your show after it’s been live for 30 days.

But according to the people I spoke with and saw on stage last week, that 5,000 download number is woefully out of date. The new threshold floated around was double that. Or quadruple that. Or in the case of one big direct response advertiser who talked about the success his company is having with podcast advertising, it’s 10x that. His team won’t even consider booking ads with shows that have less 50,000 downloads per episode after 30 days.

So how much money is that? In the episode, I do a basic formula to show that each download of your show can be worth a dime. So if you have 5,000 downloads, that’s $500. And it’s hard to run a commercially viable business with a revenue stream of $500. $5000 is better… but you still need extra revenue sources to make that a going concern.

So here’s a radical thought. Assuming your show is not yet at that level (most aren’t), and further assuming that you aren’t financially ruined if you eschew the $50 or $100 a month of ad revenue you might get from some of the self-service podcast ad providers… 

What if you focused on growing your show through word of mouth? 

 No appeals to donate. No appeals to rate or review. Only a single call-to-action, repeated in every single episode for a year, that sincerely asks the listener to tell one friend about the show each and every time they listen.

So let’s try it. If you got this far, you're either a working podcaster or you know working podcasters. Would you find one of them -- just one -- today and tell them about my show, Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com/) ? Shoot them a text, an email, or send them a DM right now and tell them to listen. Thanks in advance!

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Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com) is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter (https://twitter.com/evoterra) for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro (https://podcastlaunch.pro/) to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business!

This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy

When The Podcast Academy (http://thepodcastacademy.com/) was announced last week, the reactions were split. One side was excited to see a solid and amazing professional awards ceremony that could bring the big dogs out to a red carpet event that could elevate podcasting. The other side was worried about the representation of indie podcasters. Would they be left in the cold? 

It’s to that second group I want to speak today. If you are worried about the indie voice and wonder why I'm not, it's likely because you and I have a different definition of what “indie podcasting” means. 

All amateurs or hobbyists are likely independents, but not all indie podcasters are amateurs or hobbyists. Plenty of indie podcasters produce amazing content that sounds great, is well-researched, and is well-produced.

Many amateur or hobbyist podcasters will look at the list of 13 peer groups identified by The Podcast Academy (https://podcastacademy.site-ym.com/page/membership) and be puzzled. Director, host, and producers as separate roles? Aren’t performers hosts? And why are all those not-podcasting roles on the list?

But independent podcasters who make great content won’t be puzzled at all. Because they know the value of all of those roles -- even if they have to assume many/most of those roles on their own. That’s the kind of indie podcaster I’m talking about: Those who recognize there's more to making a podcast than just grabbing a mic and saying whatever's on your mind. 

Not that there's anything wrong with the record-and-release style of podcasting. Nor does this new organization seek to eliminate that type of podcasting. All they want is to elevate the people who are making amazing podcasting content. 

There’s a lot of room between being having fun with a hobby and being a commercially viable success. But the good news is that commercially viable success doesn’t negate the efforts of those who have yet to achieve that status.

So no, I'm not worried about the truly independent voices who are making amazing content. Nor am I worried about the hobbyist or amateur podcaster. This doesn't stop anyone from doing what anyone wants to do with their own podcast. However, this could provide a roadmap to making better content that stands a better chance of being recognized by this particular group.

Before you go, would you go to BuyMeACoffee.com/EvoTerra (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/evoterra) and buy me a coffee to keep the show going in an ad-free format.

And finally, if you are in business and you need help figuring out whether or not your company’s podcasting efforts are worthy of being recognized by The Podcast Academy, get in touch with me: SimplerMedia.pro (https://podcastlaunch.pro/) to see a list of services offered to clients all around the globe.

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Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com) is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter (https://twitter.com/evoterra) for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro (https://podcastlaunch.pro/) to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business!

This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy

If Podcast Movement Evolutions 2020 (http://events.podcastmovement.com/la2020/) had a theme, it was this: commercial viability is podcasting’s new brass ring. 

Commercial viability means that the podcast has to pay for itself. It’s a business term because, for many, podcasting is a real and commercially viable business. 

Instead of asking “How do I grow an audience for my podcast?”, rephrase the question to “How do I grow a podcast for my audience?”

That change in thinking is at the core of what commercial viability in podcasting means. It starts with having an understanding of an audience and then building something that that audience wants. 

But what if you don't have an audience? What if you just have an idea for what you think might be a really great show? Common advice is “just start!”. But that leaving a lot to chance. No, it’s leaving everything to chance.

A better option is to put viability first. Take your idea to the audience before you start the podcast. Once you’ve identified the audience, shop your idea around with that audience. Ask them questions. Do interviews to make sure your idea can be crafted into a podcast that the audience truly wants and is something worthy of adding to their busy lives.

And if so, go build that podcast! 

I’ve more thoughts spurred from talks given and conversations had at Podcast Movement Evolutions 2020, so watch this space over the next few days. 

In the meantime, go to SimplerMedia.pro (https://podcastlaunch.pro/) to see a list of how we help businesses all around the world. 

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Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com) is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter (https://twitter.com/evoterra) for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro (https://podcastlaunch.pro/) to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business!

This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy

Last week a new service launched (not important enough to name or link) that lets anybody see how many subscribers any podcast has. When the buzz hit, many podcasters who checked their own show reported that the public subscriber counts didn’t match up with the private download data provided by their podcast hosting company, the service responsible for serving the media files.

So what's going on here? Nothing of importance, other than a chance to remind you that subscriber counts are pointless.

My biggest beef with counting podcast subscribers is that they don't represent anything tangible. 

Ask any email marketer out there about their open rate. Or do a search for the current average open rate for an email (https://www.google.com/search?q=average+email+open+rate) campaign and you’ll be shocked at how few people open emails they have specifically subscribed to. Then reflect on your own inbox. How many un-opened emails from various places do you have? 

Take a look at the gigantic YouTube channels, some with tens of thousands of subscribers or more. With few exceptions, those channels don’t see tens of thousands or millions of views on their video. It’s often only a single-digit percentage of subscribers who actually watch any of the videos published by those channels. 

Think of all the apps you have on your phone that send you push-notifications that new content is available. How often do you respond to that notification? How easily do you ignore that ever-incrementing number in the little red bubble?

Why would you think it's any different for people who subscribe to a podcast? 

So yes, list your show everywhere. And yes, encourage people to subscribe. But stop trying to count the subscribers of your podcast. That number just doesn't matter. 

What does matter is that you go to BuyMeACoffee.com/EvoTerra (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/evoterra) and buy me a coffee. If you really love me, you’ll set that system to buy me a coffee every month.

And if you need help with the business strategy behind your show, that's what we do here at evo@podcastlaunch.pro (mailto:evo@podcastlaunch.pro) if you have questions. 

I'll be back next Monday because the rest of this week I'll be attending Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com/) .

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Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com) is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter (https://twitter.com/evoterra) for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro (https://podcastlaunch.pro/) to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business!

This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy Support this podcast

Everything you think you know about podcasting and SEO is backward. Once you get it in the right order, you will have a much better approach to SEO and your podcast. 

Here's what I mean by a backward understanding of SEO. The way most people (podcasters included) approach SEO is by looking at their already-published posts, article, or other pages of their website, and then trying to add some SEO to the work already done. Like it’s table salt or some other seasoning that can improve the flavor. 

After-the-fact SEO doesn't tend to work very well. 

It’s great that you're spending time writing really in-depth episode details. That’s important. It’s great that you are spending time writing episode titles that are relevant and score high on the emotional scale. That's important. It’s great that you've done the hard work of building a great website that keeps your content all on one domain so the search engines can give you the authority you deserve. That’s important. 

But all of those efforts are often for naught if you’re still thinking about SEO at the end of those processes. You need to move your SEO strategy to the front. 

Before you do anything at all for your next planned episode: you have to do know what people are searching for. 

So how do you find what searchers are actually searching for? There are lots of tools out there, like SEMRush (https://www.semrush.com/) , and a whole lot more. I'm not personally endorsing any of them, simply because I don't care which one you use.

Once you understand what people -- many or a few -- are searching for, you can make an episode about that one thing, that one topic, or that one keyword if that's how it helps you think about the solution. Make answering that search request the primary function of that particular episode. Give people what they are searching for. And do it first, before you start planning or recording, not afterward.

Create content that answers the needs of searchers. That's how you get to the first page of Google. Not from doing minor tweaks to your site structure. Not from revamping your titles. Sure, those are important things, but not nearly as important as putting SEO at the beginning of your episode planning process.

What’s also super important is that you go to RateThisPodcast.com/podpont (https://ratethispodcast.com/podpont) and leave a rating or a review for this show. Don’t worry about where. That service will take care of that.

If you found this information valuable, you can buy me a coffee. BuyMeACoffee.com/EvoTerra (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/evoterra) exists for that.

And if you need help with the business strategies for your podcast, that’s what my company does. We’re SimplerMedia.pro (https://podcastlaunch.pro) .

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Podcast Pontifications (https://podcastpontifications.com) is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter (https://twitter.com/evoterra) for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro (https://podcastlaunch.pro/) to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business!

This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy

So today I’m going to think through how COVID-19 could impact podcasting and the lives of podcasters. I’m not a doctor, so we won’t be talking prevention. Not my job.

Will people like you and me opt out of attending podcasting events? Will we cancel already-booked travel plans? How will attendance of local events be impacted?

How will interview-based podcasts change? Some enjoy doing that in-person, where the host sits face-to-face with the guest. Some prefer to capture the ambient sounds of the venue as part of the show’s flavor. How will they adapt if their guests can’t or won’t meet in person?

 Then there’s the economics. What happens to your show’s primary income stream if budgetary constraints cause advertisers to pull back? Or supporters? Or people who normally buy your products/services but are out of a job?

I worry a little bit about the global supply chain as well. I've got all of my equipment and you probably do as well. It's more disruption in the global services chain that we podcasters rely on to distribute our episodes everywhere that concerns me. 

If you've not been thinking about how COVID-19 will impact your podcast, you probably should start. Yes, on top of the worrying you’re already doing about how the virus might personally impact you, your family, and people that you care about, I need you to also think about the impact COVID-19 may have on your podcasting efforts. It's hard to prepare when we’re in the early stages and really don't know how big the possible impact might be. But thinking through the things mentioned today can only help you as you continue your podcasting efforts through this health crisis. 

Pro tip: Reach out to your fellow podcasters and find out what they're thinking or worried about. Tell them you heard this episode of Podcast Pontifications and are bringing up the conversation so everyone in your podcasting circle is as prepared as they can be.

Enjoy your Friday tomorrow (I know it’s Thursday, but don't do episodes of this show on Friday) I'll be back on Monday for a short week because of Podfest Expo (no, I didn’t cancel). With that in mind, I shall see you on Monday for yet another Podcast Pontifications

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Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business!

The decision to put content -- popular content -- behind a paywall is always an agonizing choice for any decent person. Podcasters included. 

It’s not a binary choice. Nor is it a choice that any podcaster gets to make. Successfully implementing a switch to directly charging for access is, for most podcasts, completely dependent on the size of the audience.

Here’s an easily busted myth: Every single person who currently subscribes/listens to your free podcast will continue to listen to (and therefore pay for) your content when you put it behind a paywall.

That’s categorically false. The question really becomes this; how many will, and how much can I make?

On average, you’ll be lucky to see 2% of the people who currently subscribe to your show for free switching over to the paid model. Sure, it can be higher. But it can also be lower. 2% is a good number from which you can do your projections. 

Nota bene: Subscribing to a behind-the-paywall podcast isn’t any harder than subscribing to any other podcast, with the exception that (for now) these for-fee podcasts don’t show up in podcast apps or directories. 

Let’s get back to that 2% number. If you have a thousand people listening to your episodes on a regular basis, you can expect 20 make the for-fee switch. If you're charging five bucks a month for access, that's $100.

For me, going to a fee-based model doesn’t make sense for my podcast. I have roughly 300 people who listen to me. 2% means I’d have six people paying, so a paltry sum. But if I had 10,000? Or 100,000? I’d have to consider it.

If my thoughts have you ready to jump on the paywall bandwagon, I’d advise caution and some math before you take the plunge. There are many, many things to consider. Choose wisely. This is something you shouldn't rush into. 

My advice? Check with your podcasting friends. See if your fellow podcasters are considering this as well, weighing the size of their audience against potential revenue gains to determine viability. And discussing the potential (real, actually) outcry from current listeners if there were to make the switch. 

Send your friends this episode and blame me for your bringing up the conversation. That way they can listen to a neutral 3rd party’s opinion and not bring the judgment hammer on your head. I can take the heat! 

What do you think about this? Email me at evo@podcastlaunch.pr and tell me where you stand on the topic of putting some or all of your podcast content behind a paywall.

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Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business!

Episodic podcasts don’t require the listener to back up to the beginning to get caught up. The most recent episode is sufficient, and even someone does take an immediate shine to your content, they might go back and pick up two or three of your prior episodes. It's not all that common where people download your entire catalog. 

Or is it?

My bigger concerns when people back and listen to everything ever produced by me are twofold.

  1. Dealing with evolved best practices. 
  2. Dealing with evolved cultural norms.

I am deep in the process of fixing some poor decisions I made when I started this show back in 2018. In short, I’m (finally) combining everything into a single property instead of relying on various disparate systems to present the show and episodes. The hard work is the boring part where I copy and paste content from various platforms to the new platforms. As I do it, I'm seeing some things that I'm not sure should be out there anymore. 

Can I trust a listener will know that any bad advice I gave back then has been updated? I don’t think I can. I don't mention the date during the recording. And podcast listening apps don’t go out of their way to show the date when a show was recorded. And I don’t really want them to, as I’m working hard to make evergreen content that is discovered by search engines, so I don’t want someone turned off by thinking the content is old and outdated. Except sometimes it is outdated! Agh! The angst is real.

Should a podcast be held responsible for what they said 10 years ago? Or should the responsibility fall on the listener to examine publishing date so that they take the contents with the context of time? That just sounds weasely as I type it! 

I don't know the right answer to this question. I want you to think about it. I think everybody has to come up with their own right answer. 

What are you going to do? What's your plan with all of this? Maybe you should have this conversation with another podcaster to find out what their plan is. I think these kinds of decisions are best made when we discuss them together. So talk with other podcasts at the next meetup, online chat, or when you go to Facebook or Reddit to see what the various forums have to say. Ask your fellow podcasts how are they dealing with the skeletons in their podcasting closet. 

And of course, you can tell them it was an episode of Podcast Pontifications that sparked the question. Yes, this is me asking you to tell someone to listen to this particular episode (and the whole show) because it’s helpful for any working podcaster, right? I mean, that's why you listen. 

If you want to tell me what you're doing to address your podcasting skeletons, email me at evo@PodcastLaunch.pro. I shall be back tomorrow with yet another Podcast Pontifications.

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Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business!

Hang around with enough podcasters who've been at it for a while and you’ll eventually hear many of them ask the same question: “I don't know if my podcast is as big as it should be.” Or perhaps, in rare cases, “I don't know if the quality of the content I'm putting out is as good as it should be.” 

The best way to break the complacency trap is by understanding where you could be. You might have aspirations, but quite often they aren’t written down or codified in any way so that you or your podcast team can measure the effectiveness of your efforts. 

When you're not really sure what success looks like, you just keep going about the motions. You become complacent. Complacency breeds familiarity. Familiarity becomes habit. And habits develop into ruts. You do the same thing day after day, week after week, or month after month, without any growth or change. 

Once you’ve identified where you want to go, you're going to have to work harder. You have to dig in deeper, roll up your sleeves, and spend more time making great content. Can you do that? Can you afford that? Is that really what you want? Are you willing to completely overhaul your show? Are you ready to look at the consumption numbers provided by Apple Podcasts and Spotify to see exactly how much (or little) of your content is being consumed by listeners? Are you willing to make drastic changes when you face evidence that what you are doing right now is not resonating with your audience?

I know that’s a heavy set of questions to dump on you on a Monday morning, podcaster. But at some point, if you really do want to move closer to viability, you’re going to have to face the reality those questions present. Because complacency is the biggest mistake that mid-level podcasters are making today.

Raise this question with the other podcasters you interface with. Ask them if they’re complacent with where their show is today. Ask if they are happy or if there are things they want to do differently. Just by having this conversation with other podcasters, it’ll help you get over the hump and understand your own ideas around complacency and your podcasting efforts.

And while you’re having this conversation, be sure to tell them what sparked the idea. Maybe they're not yet listening to Podcast Pontifications. Maybe they need the regular kick-start I try to provide here on the program. I don't sell ads and I’m not even selling this type of advice, so please tell a friend about PodcastPontifications.com. evo@PodcastLaunch.pro reaches me, and I’m always happy to answer any questions from listeners. Fire away!

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Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business!

The promise most low-cost podcast media hosting providers make with you is for “unmetered” bandwidth. It doesn't matter how big your show gets, they say. They’ve got the bandwidth taken care of, and your monthly bill won’t increase. 

Well... what if I told you that wasn't always true? 

What I’m about to say should not cause the vast majority of podcasters to take drastic action. For the overwhelming majority of podcasts, you’ll always keep paying whatever you're paying right now for podcast hosting. 

If you’re successful at growing your podcast into a commercially viable enterprise, to the point you’re getting tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of downloads on your episodes, your podcast hosting company will be forced to make a business decision, because you’re costing them thousands of dollars each month. They’d like that back, and even to turn a profit so they can stay in business.

Look at the contract you probably didn’t read that spells out the terms of service with your hosting company. Chances are, you’ll find a clause that states something along the lines of, “If your show gets too big, we're going to reach out to you and find ways to help us recoup our real costs.” 

If you really do have designs on growing your show (and a plan to do so) to the point where it's commercially viable, then you need to prepare for this eventuality. Because it will come up. You need to be eyes wide open that someone will have to pay the bandwidth cost eventually. 

Because TANSTAAFL. 

Do you have a friend in podcasting who needs to know about this? Do me a favor and send them this particular episode. Word of mouth works really well to grow a podcast. There are almost 900,000 podcasts available, but I’m nowhere near having 900,000 people listening to my program, so I’m not facing the reality I just laid out. So don’t worry: You can send me as many listeners as you like! 

And if you have questions for me on this topic or anything related to making podcasting better, reach out to me at evo@podcastlaunch.pro

Enjoy the rest of your Thursday and your Friday tomorrow, as I don’t produce this show on Friday. Instead, I'll be back on Monday with yet another Podcast Pontifications.

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Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business!

Last week at Podcast Movement Evolutions 2020, I paid a lot of attention to the conversations regarding podcast advertising as a business model. Mostly because of the new moves in podcast ad tech (something I’ll dig into in future episodes) that are increasingly interesting to my ex-ad-exec brain. But also to better understand where the threshold is today for having a show with an audience size big enough to be attractive to advertisers.

So what’s big enough to be worthy of consideration? For many years, the threshold tossed around the community has been 5,000. No, not 5,000 total downloads over the life of your show. 5,000 downloads of a single episode of your show after it’s been live for 30 days.

But according to the people I spoke with and saw on stage last week, that 5,000 download number is woefully out of date. The new threshold floated around was double that. Or quadruple that. Or in the case of one big direct response advertiser who talked about the success his company is having with podcast advertising, it’s 10x that. His team won’t even consider booking ads with shows that have less 50,000 downloads per episode after 30 days.

So how much money is that? In the episode, I do a basic formula to show that each download of your show can be worth a dime. So if you have 5,000 downloads, that’s $500. And it’s hard to run a commercially viable business with a revenue stream of $500. $5000 is better… but you still need extra revenue sources to make that a going concern.

So here’s a radical thought. Assuming your show is not yet at that level (most aren’t), and further assuming that you aren’t financially ruined if you eschew the $50 or $100 a month of ad revenue you might get from some of the self-service podcast ad providers… 

What if you focused on growing your show through word of mouth? 

 No appeals to donate. No appeals to rate or review. Only a single call-to-action, repeated in every single episode for a year, that sincerely asks the listener to tell one friend about the show each and every time they listen.

So let’s try it. If you got this far, you're either a working podcaster or you know working podcasters. Would you find one of them -- just one -- today and tell them about my show, Podcast Pontifications? Shoot them a text, an email, or send them a DM right now and tell them to listen. Thanks in advance!

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Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business!

When The Podcast Academy was announced last week, the reactions were split. One side was excited to see a solid and amazing professional awards ceremony that could bring the big dogs out to a red carpet event that could elevate podcasting. The other side was worried about the representation of indie podcasters. Would they be left in the cold? 

It’s to that second group I want to speak today. If you are worried about the indie voice and wonder why I'm not, it's likely because you and I have a different definition of what “indie podcasting” means. 

All amateurs or hobbyists are likely independents, but not all indie podcasters are amateurs or hobbyists. Plenty of indie podcasters produce amazing content that sounds great, is well-researched, and is well-produced.

Many amateur or hobbyist podcasters will look at the list of 13 peer groups identified by The Podcast Academy and be puzzled. Director, host, and producers as separate roles? Aren’t performers hosts? And why are all those not-podcasting roles on the list?

But independent podcasters who make great content won’t be puzzled at all. Because they know the value of all of those roles -- even if they have to assume many/most of those roles on their own. That’s the kind of indie podcaster I’m talking about: Those who recognize there's more to making a podcast than just grabbing a mic and saying whatever's on your mind. 

Not that there's anything wrong with the record-and-release style of podcasting. Nor does this new organization seek to eliminate that type of podcasting. All they want is to elevate the people who are making amazing podcasting content. 

There’s a lot of room between being having fun with a hobby and being a commercially viable success. But the good news is that commercially viable success doesn’t negate the efforts of those who have yet to achieve that status.

So no, I'm not worried about the truly independent voices who are making amazing content. Nor am I worried about the hobbyist or amateur podcaster. This doesn't stop anyone from doing what anyone wants to do with their own podcast. However, this could provide a roadmap to making better content that stands a better chance of being recognized by this particular group.

Before you go, would you go to RateThisPodcast.com/podpont and rate the podcast? Even better: go to BuyMeACoffee.com/EvoTerra and buy me a coffee to keep the show going in an ad-free format.

And finally, if you are in business and you need help figuring out whether or not your company’s podcasting efforts are worthy of being recognized by The Podcast Academy, get in touch with me: evo@podcastlaunch.pro or go to SimplerMedia.pro to see a list of services offered to clients all around the globe.

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Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business!

If Podcast Movement Evolutions 2020 had a theme, it was this: commercial viability is podcasting’s new brass ring. 

Commercial viability means that the podcast has to pay for itself. It’s a business term because, for many, podcasting is a real and commercially viable business. 

Instead of asking “How do I grow an audience for my podcast?”, rephrase the question to “How do I grow a podcast for my audience?”

That change in thinking is at the core of what commercial viability in podcasting means. It starts with having an understanding of an audience and then building something that that audience wants. 

But what if you don't have an audience? What if you just have an idea for what you think might be a really great show? Common advice is “just start!”. But that leaving a lot to chance. No, it’s leaving everything to chance.

A better option is to put viability first. Take your idea to the audience before you start the podcast. Once you’ve identified the audience, shop your idea around with that audience. Ask them questions. Do interviews to make sure your idea can be crafted into a podcast that the audience truly wants and is something worthy of adding to their busy lives.

And if so, go build that podcast! 

I’ve more thoughts spurred from talks given and conversations had at Podcast Movement Evolutions 2020, so watch this space over the next few days. 

In the meantime, go to RateThisPodcast.com/podpont and leave a rating for the show. And one way to make sure that I bring you more ideas to help with your shows’ commercial viability is to visit  BuyMeACoffee.com/EvoTerra. Finally, if you have questions about your business podcast and its own commercial viability, get in touch. I'm sure I can help. Reach me at evo@podcastlaunch.pro or go to SimplerMedia.pro to see a list of how we help businesses all around the world. 

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Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business!

Last week a new service launched (not important enough to name or link) that lets anybody see how many subscribers any podcast has. When the buzz hit, many podcasters who checked their own show reported that the public subscriber counts didn’t match up with the private download data provided by their podcast hosting company, the service responsible for serving the media files.

So what's going on here? Nothing of importance, other than a chance to remind you that subscriber counts are pointless.

My biggest beef with counting podcast subscribers is that they don't represent anything tangible. 

Ask any email marketer out there about their open rate. Or do a search for the current average open rate for an email campaign and you’ll be shocked at how few people open emails they have specifically subscribed to. Then reflect on your own inbox. How many un-opened emails from various places do you have? 

Take a look at the gigantic YouTube channels, some with tens of thousands of subscribers or more. With few exceptions, those channels don’t see tens of thousands or millions of views on their video. It’s often only a single-digit percentage of subscribers who actually watch any of the videos published by those channels. 

Think of all the apps you have on your phone that send you push-notifications that new content is available. How often do you respond to that notification? How easily do you ignore that ever-incrementing number in the little red bubble?

Why would you think it's any different for people who subscribe to a podcast? 

So yes, list your show everywhere. And yes, encourage people to subscribe. But stop trying to count the subscribers of your podcast. That number just doesn't matter. 

What does matter is that you go to RateThisPodcast.com/podpont and rate this podcast. Also, if you found the information I provided today (or inside any of my 260 other episodes) informative and helpful, please go to BuyMeACoffee.com/EvoTerra and buy me a coffee. If you really love me, you’ll set that system to buy me a coffee every month.

And if you need help with the business strategy behind your show, that's what we do here at Simpler Media Productions. Check us out at SimplerMedia.pro. You can also send me an email at evo@podcastlaunch.pro if you have questions. 

I'll be back next Monday because the rest of this week I'll be attending Podcast Movement Evolutions this week in Los Angeles. When I return, I’ll do another Podcast Pontifications.

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Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business!

Everything you think you know about podcasting and SEO is backward. Once you get it in the right order, you will have a much better approach to SEO and your podcast. 

Here's what I mean by a backward understanding of SEO. The way most people (podcasters included) approach SEO is by looking at their already-published posts, article, or other pages of their website, and then trying to add some SEO to the work already done. Like it’s table salt or some other seasoning that can improve the flavor. 

After-the-fact SEO doesn't tend to work very well. 

It’s great that you're spending time writing really in-depth episode details. That’s important. It’s great that you are spending time writing episode titles that are relevant and score high on the emotional scale. That's important. It’s great that you've done the hard work of building a great website that keeps your content all on one domain so the search engines can give you the authority you deserve. That’s important. 

But all of those efforts are often for naught if you’re still thinking about SEO at the end of those processes. You need to move your SEO strategy to the front. 

Before you do anything at all for your next planned episode: you have to do know what people are searching for. 

So how do you find what searchers are actually searching for? There are lots of tools out there, like UberSuggest, SEMRush, and a whole lot more. I'm not personally endorsing any of them, simply because I don't care which one you use.

Once you understand what people -- many or a few -- are searching for, you can make an episode about that one thing, that one topic, or that one keyword if that's how it helps you think about the solution. Make answering that search request the primary function of that particular episode. Give people what they are searching for. And do it first, before you start planning or recording, not afterward.

Create content that answers the needs of searchers. That's how you get to the first page of Google. Not from doing minor tweaks to your site structure. Not from revamping your titles. Sure, those are important things, but not nearly as important as putting SEO at the beginning of your episode planning process.

What’s also super important is that you go to RateThisPodcast.com/podpont and leave a rating or a review for this show. Don’t worry about where. That service will take care of that.

If you found this information valuable, you can buy me a coffee. BuyMeACoffee.com/EvoTerra exists for that.

And if you need help with the business strategies for your podcast, that’s what my company does. We’re Simpler Media Productions, and you can find us at SimplerMedia.pro.

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Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business!

I podcasted my way right through the 2008 financial crisis. But don't think that I'm some sort of financial genius. I'm also the moron who bought a gigantic house I couldn't afford at the height of the mortgage bubble. So while I’m no help on economic issues, I do have some relevant advice for you and your podcasting efforts on surviving the coming recession 

My four pieces of advice will focus on things other than “go find more money”. Though clearly, if your podcasting efforts right now are funded by other people -- sponsors, advertisers, patrons, big VC dollars -- economic downturns are going to be particularly problematic for you.

So let’s get into the four ways you can prepare as a podcaster for the coming financial hiccup.

1 - Diversify The Content You Podcast

When the recession comes, it's going to impact shows disproportionately. Yes, podcasting will survive, but a lot of shows won’t. With multiple shows or you having roles to play on multiple shows, you spread out your risk.

2 - Differentiate Your Podcasted Content

When the recession hits, a lot of those undifferentiated shows will share the same fate. On the surface, that sounds like a good thing. Instead of 3,152 entrepreneur interview shows available today, that number might shrink drastically. If yours is one of the few that survives, that’s more audience for you, right? Maybe. But that’s being hopeful instead of strategic.

3 - Understand Your Podcasting Stack

If you rely on other people to keep your podcast running, remember that the recession will hit those service providers too. Some may go out of business. Some may be forced to give up their side hustles and find a more permanent gig. What happens when one of the cogs in your machine or of the links in your chain (pick your metaphor) is taken out of the picture thanks to that recession? What are you going to do?

4 - Built Your Network Now

The 2008 recession hit many people completely unaware. Without access to their work email accounts or their contact database from work, they had to start building a brand new network from scratch. Do whatever you can to start networking. Start making connections. Get out of the podcasting bubble that you have created for yourself and make sure you've got lifelines out to other people. Who knows what might happen and who might be able to help you? Or who you might be able to help. 

Remember, it's not a question of if the next recession's coming but when. I'm not predicting its arrival. I am saying that to not only survive the next recession but to podcast your way through it, those four tips will help you get there. 

And doing one or all of these three things will help me help you:

I'm off on Friday, so have a great weekend. I will be back here on Monday with another Podcast Pontifications. 

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Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business!

It's pretty easy to make a podcast. And getting easier by the minute. Not necessarily better, but it’s a lot easier to make a podcast now than it was just a few years ago. 

With that easiness comes a false sense of expertise. 

If you’re still podcasting today the way you did when you stumbled into podcasting 10 years ago…  there are probably better ways to podcast that you haven’t yet incorporated. 

So before you offer your services or advice, I want you to take what you’re doing today a step further. Specifically, I want you to work harder before you offer your advice or services to someone else.

In order for you to be a coach, consultant, or generally helpful person who also wants to make podcasting better, you first need to understand that there's more to podcasting than just the way that you do it. Even better, you need to understand how to make all sorts of podcasts.

So take your easy-interview show and make it more journalistic. Spend time gathering “field recordings” and incorporate them into your episodes. Do radically different things with your content that may take you 15x the amount of time you spend today.

Yes, that does sound like hard work, doesn’t it? But doing so will allow you to learn much more about making a podcast. I really believe that trying your hand at harder things is one of the best ways to grow. And it’s the only way to be worthy of having your own training course or developing a voice in the support forums that is worthy of listening to. Food for thought.

Speaking of food, or at least a coffee, how about going to BuyMeACoffee.com/EvoTerra to help support the program? 

You can also go to RateThisPodcast.com/podpont and leave a rating for the content that you have heard here. 

And if you need some help with the strategy for your business, get in touch with me. evo@podcastlaunch.pro reaches me, or go to SimplerMedia.pro to see a list of services that we offer clients all around the globe.

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Share this with a friend: http://podcastpontifications.libsyn.com/harder-podcasting-makes-podcasting-better

Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business!

There are four levels of podcast planning I want you to think about, and I particularly want you to think of them in sequence so you can see how they build on one another.

• Planning For Better Podcast Episodes

The first layer of planning you should consider is the planning you do for each of your episodes. You have a plan for your episodes, don't you? A plan for each episode? Even if you’re the kind of podcaster who likes to just get behind the microphone and wing it (I have been that kind of podcaster), you need a plan for each episode.

• Planning For Better Podcasts (Shows)

You need a solid plan for your entire show. How do the episodes of your show link together? Can you create an arc that allows each episode to be unique, but deliver a payoff for listeners who stick with you episode after episode? Have you worked out a plan for the weeks or months you’ll take a break from podcasting so you don’t overload on stress? 

• Planning For Your Involvement On Other Podcasts

Can you play a role in other people's shows? Spreading your influence beyond just the episodes of your show is a great way to increase your overall visibility and cause opportunities to happen. It'll also make you better at all aspects podcasting when you're doing more than one thing.

• Planning For A Bigger Role In The Podcasting Industry

Even if you're brand new at podcasting right now, you won’t always be. And that means you need a plan to have a bigger role in our industry. Are you engaging in constructive conversations with other podcasting leaders, either at conferences or in online communities? Are you well known in podcasting as someone with valuable and worthy opinions? If not, what's your plan to establish yourself at that level?

I think we could all use some occasional reminding to not be so focused on our singular podcast that we lose sight of the bigger picture. And almost always, having a plan is better than having no plan at all. 

Now, I didn't plan on asking this, but if you wanted to go to BuyMeACoffee.com/EvoTerra and buy me a coffee, you can set it up so that it buys me a single coffee every single month.

If money's a little tight and you just want to show your love and appreciation for what I have to say, go to RateThisPodcast.com/podpont and leave a rating. It’ll customize the choices to just those that work on the device you used to get to that URL.

And finally, if you know of someone or you are someone who needs some assistance with a podcast strategy that works with your overall business objectives; that's what my company, Simpler Media Productions, does for our clients. Go to SimplerMedia.pro or just drop me an email and we'll talk: evo@podcastlaunch.pro

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Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business!

Word of mouth not only comes with a recommendation of what you should listen to but why you should listen.

It helps to think about other media content to get us out of our head. Imagine that you’ve received a movie recommendation from me that came with all the reasons I loved a movie. But when you sit down in the theater, the following happens:

  1. The movie starts and you're fairly certain from the first opening sights and sounds this movie is not what you expected. 
  2. Perhaps more importantly, you can tell right away that you're probably not going to like it.

Yes, you’ll probably stick it out. You just dropped $15 and you’re committed.

But what if you were sitting at home watching the movie on a streaming service? Most people I surveyed said they wouldn’t finish.

If it were an episodic television program, like news or a comedy sketch show, most said they wouldn’t stick around the full hour.

But if it were a serialized show on a streaming service, most said they’d stick around for an episode (maybe two) before giving it the boot.

Which brings us back to podcasting. How does this behavior relate to our world? I’d wager it’s exactly like one or more of those experiences above. And it's a failure on the part of the creators to live up to the hype associated with word of mouth that causes people to give up on episodes, podcasts, or network.

Whatever your podcast is hyped with, get to that first! If you have a chatter and talky-stuff segment to stay nice and chummy with your long-term listeners, don’t let that get in the way of the hype new listeners cam to experience! 

If you occasionally drop not-normal episodes, preface that! Let your listeners know -- in the audio of the episode-- that this episode is something out of the ordinary, perhaps going so far as to recommend new listeners not listen to this episode first.

If you’re making serialized content, make sure you’ve set the tags in your feed so that the first episode of your series shows up first. And check your feed to make sure bonus content or seasons show up the way you want them to for new listeners.

Also, make sure your website -- a likely first-stop for people won’t haven’t yet developed the podcasting habit -- showcases your best episodes, not just your most recent one. The same advice holds true if you run a website for a podcast network or collective. Feature the best rather than the most recent.

Take time today to make sure your podcasting is living up to the hype associated with its word of mouth, would you? It’s critical to ensure new listeners immediately get what they expected, and it’s the best way to keep growing your audience. 

If you love that advice, I would love it if you went to BuyMeACoffee.com/EvoTerra and bought me a coffee. You can even set up a monthly recurring donation.

If a small contribution isn’t possible for you right now but you still want to give me a little something, go to RateThisPodcast.com/podpont and leave a rating or review of the show. 

Finally, if you’d like some help making sure your show or network is living up to the hype so you have the best possible chance to reach new listeners and grow, get in touch with me, as it's what I do. SimplerMedia.pro or drop me an email at Evo@odcastlaunch.pro

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Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business!

The gym or fitness center is a great metaphor for podcasting.

The building itself and all of the equipment inside represent the tools and services we working podcasters use to make our podcasts.

The people working out -- patrons -- represent working podcasters like yourself. You don't know how serious these patrons are. They could just be in there like me trying to get limber once again (as if I ever was), or they could be training for the next marathon, or they might be professional bodybuilders. Who knows? The same holds true in podcasting. You don’t know how serious they take podcasting when you encounter another podcaster.

Some patrons, perhaps most, only use a limited set of equipment for their workout. They check-in, workout for a set period of time, and then they leave. That's the same pattern a lot of podcasters employ: they ply their craft using one or two pieces of equipment to make their podcast episodes, and they’re done.  In-and-out. No muss. No fuss. And that’s perfectly fine. People who approach podcasting like that are why we're approaching 900,000 podcasts. 

The second type of people are at the gym are usually not working out, but are instead assisting the patrons of the gym. Personal trainers, you might call them. These people represent the professional service providers found in the podcasting industry. Audio editors. Copywriters. Podcast strategists. Personal assistants. Anyone really who offer ways to help podcasters with their craft.

Where the gym-employed trainer can show you how to work any of the equipment, they probably aren’t much help beyond that. The same goes for podcast consultants. Some, perhaps most, can show you how to podcast the way they podcast, but they probably don’t have much experience beyond that. 

But beyond the trainers on the payroll of the gym are the “professional” personal trainers who have studied training or physical therapy at university. Maybe they previously worked for a professional sports team or at a sports medicine clinic. These trainers will have a much more complete service offering that goes beyond the confines of the gym they are working in with their clients.

So too is it for podcast consultants who do who have been in the trenches for a long time. Truly professional podcast consultants are going to be more qualified to help you make a more well-rounded show or to help you get to the next level with our podcasting.

But the problem with working with truly professional personal trainers is that you must follow their routine. If you instead dictate the type of workout you want to do, the type of equipment you want to use, the frequency and the length of the sessions you want to commit to, and then state what outcome you’re looking to achieve… Well, you're probably not going to have a very good time.

If anything I’ve written (or said, if you listened) resonated with you, I would appreciate it if you would go to RateThisPodcast.com/podpont. It only takes a few seconds and is a free way for you to show your appreciation.

If you feel like it, you can BuyMeACoffee.com/EvoTerra and slide a couple of bucks my way. A

Finally, if you are looking for a personal trainer who knows what they're really doing to help with your business-focused podcast; get in touch with me. Evo@podcastlaunch.pro  or go to SimplerMedia.pro to see a list of the services we offer clients today. 

I’ll be at Outlier SLC, so please say hi if you are there. And if not, I’ll be back on Monday for another Podcast Pontifications

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Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business!

t's a lot easier to record a podcast today than it was 10 years ago. It's a lot easier to post a podcast episode today than it was when I started in 2004. It's a lot easier to manage your RSS feeds. More podcasters are aware of best practices and standards. 

So yes: the process of podcasting has gotten easier. Moreover, it will continue to get easier over time to make a podcast. 

But it still isn’t any easier to make a good podcast.

With few exceptions, all of those products & services that make it easier to podcast are designed to eliminate the rote and repetitive tasks that get in the way of the act of podcasting. While removing those low-level tasks from your brain might leave you with more time to focus on making your podcasts better, that’s not what they were designed to do.

Yes, there certainly are some improvements to make your podcast sound better. But if your waiting for a future where you will sit down, talk into a microphone, and everything else will be done perfectly for your good podcast, well…  Keep hope alive.

It takes time to create good content, and software probably won’t replace your need to focus on making really good content. 

Technology doesn't stand still, and new tech not only requires someone to know how to use it, but it also allows creators to go deeper and make things better. And more complicated. It goes hand in hand.

Here’s the rub: better content means audiences are getting more demanding. As they see how good content can be, they become less forgiving of half-assed attempts. You have to step up your game to make your content attractive to them.

In the year since I first raised this topic, I’ve done a lot to make this podcast better. I hope you’ve noticed a difference. If you did, I’d appreciate it if you went to RateThisPodcast.com/podpont. It is easier to leave a nice rating or review for this show via that service. Try it out to see how simple it is.

After that, you can go to BuyMeACoffee.com/EvoTerra and well, you know… buy me a coffee to show your support for the show. 

And if you need help with podcasting for your business or the professional service that you run; my firm is here to help. We do make it easier for our clients to have better podcasts (because we do most of the work!) Evo@podcastlaunch.pro reaches me. You can go to SimplerMedia.pro to see the list of services. 

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Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business!

Clients often ask me how they can promote their show to gain more listeners. Not that I’m surprised. That same question is still asked by people who've been podcasting for nearly 16 years.

Clearly, some have cracked the nut. When you look at download numbers for the top podcasts --  those that get all of the advertising dollars precisely because they have the majority of the listeners -- you see that overall listenership to those big shows continues to grow.

 But the average listenership for the rest of us remains relatively unchanged. That means the big shows are getting bigger, and everyone else is stagnating or is seeing tiny growth.

So why is that? Why are we seeing big shows grow, but very little growth at the lower levels? There could be (and likely are) many reasons, but the one I want to talk to you about today a reality you might need reminding of: 

The majority of potential podcast listeners aren't hardcore podcast listeners.

Candidly, I don’t think there's much that an individual podcaster can do to increase the overall awareness of podcasting to the masses.

However, that doesn't mean you should not try.

You’re just one person. I'm just one person. Everybody else is just one person. But if our collective voices get loud enough, we just might be better heard by the masses.

Right now, most of your podcast promotion probably leverages other podcasts and podcasters. That’s called “fishing where the fish are”, and it’s a super-smart idea. Yes, you should continue to do that.

But you also need to branch out to people who aren't yet listening to podcasts. You must make sure your promotional content is attractive enough to appeal to people who are aware of podcasting but decided it's not really for them. You must make sure that what you promote is attractive to anybody who sees the promotional content.

Not only do you have to do it, but your podcasting friends also have to do it. I have to do it. 

Unrelated but important to me is asking you to go to RateThisPodcast.com/podpont and say something nice about the show. I’d really appreciate it. 

If you found the information in this episode (or the hundreds of other episodes) valuable, go to BuyMeACoffee.com/EvoTerra.

And if you need help making podcasting work well for your company, my company, Simpler Media Productions, can help!  Go to SimplerMedia.pro or send me an email at Evo@podcastlaunch.pro

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Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business!

I sometimes wish podcasting were as simple as sitting down in front of a microphone and talking (and I certainly try to make it that simple for my clients). But you and I know that there's a lot more to podcasting than just talking into a microphone or editing an audio file. There are a lot of processes to process, and most people find that process happens best when you're inside of the zone.

It’s smart to establish a zone like that for your own work. But exercise caution: getting too deeply into the zone can lead to a pathological condition. And if you’re podcasting just one thing, like you really just have a podcast instead of being more broadly focused on podcasting overall, it’s too easy to be locked into your zone. That makes you myopic: so focused on your thing that you lose sight of the larger world around you.

Make sure that you find a way to get into the zone so that you are more productive. But also make sure that you can break out of that zone from time to time to observe the wider universe around you. Because podcasting changes all of the time.

One change is that you can now rate podcasts very simply. All you have to do is go to RateThisPodcast.com/podpont, for example. It doesn't matter what app you use to listen to podcasts. It doesn't matter what device you use to listen to podcasts., It doesn’t matter whether you're on mobile or your laptop when you go to RateThisPodcast.com/podpont. Try it and see how easy it is to leave a rating for this show.

If you thought this information was helpful, you can go to BuyMeACoffee.com/EvoTerra and buy me a coffee. You can pick a monthly recurring donation so that you pass a little bit of money my way every month. I don't charge for the show and I don't run advertising on the show, so your support is nice to have.

And if you need assistance with your podcast, please get in touch with me. Reach me at evo@PdcastLaunch.pro or go to SimplerMedia.pro to see all of the services that we offer our clients. 

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Share this with a friend: http://podcastpontifications.libsyn.com/podcasting-in-the-zone-without-zoning-out

Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business!

The intangible benefits you get from your podcast are likely the most important evidence of your success as a podcaster.

I can take this fairly complex topic and make it more simple to understand by talking about two different intangibles that you need to be tracking: reputation and resource. 

For resource, I'm talking about the content you create. Even more specifically, you need to understand whether or not others perceive your content as resourceful. Is your content referenced by people after you produce it? Do people find your content such a resource that they use it as an example? When I keynote the Outlier Podcast Festival in Salt Lake City at the end of this month, I'm going to reference a lot of podcasts as examples of the things I'm talking about. Will yours be one? Are you making content for your show that other people, whether they are listeners or your peers, view as a resource? 

For reputation, I’m talking about your reputation. Not the reputation of your shows or your episodes. This is your own reputation. Are you, personally, seen as someone with a good reputation amongst others in your own industry? Do you get invited to speak at events? Do people bring up your name in conversation when discussing your industry? And when it does come up, do others say nice things about you?  Are you seen as someone with a good reputation in your peer group?

One of the mistakes I see a lot of podcasters make, especially in my peer group, is being so focused on making sure that their content is seen as a good resource that they neglect to build their own reputation. So much so that they, the person providing the content, oftentimes disappear.

I can't tell you the number of shows that I listen to where I don't know the name of the host, the producer, or anyone involved. I know the name of the show, and I know the content is a good resource. But that person doesn't get any reputation points from me because I don’t know who they are. They failed to say their name enough for me to lock it into my long-term memory. They fail to brand themselves as a part of the content they produce. 

As you look and listen back to your own content, ask yourself if it resourceful, and if your effort is increasing your reputation. Those are the things that I want you to understand. 

I also want you to understand that you can go to RateThisPodcast.com/podpont and leave a nice review. On whatever device you are using, that service will customize the options for you, so check it out.

I also want you to buy me a coffee. BuyMeACoffee.com/EvoTerra is an easy and cheap way to show your appreciation for my content by funneling a few bucks my way. I don't run ads and you're probably, as a working podcaster, are not in need of the services that I provide to my clients. 

But if you are in need of some strategic podcasting guidance, check out SimplerMedia.pro for a list of the services we offer to clients all around the world.

Enjoy your Friday tomorrow. I will be back on Monday with yet another Podcast Pontifications

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Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business!

We live in a world of seemingly non-stop podcast conferences. A flurry of thought-provoking articles about podcasting. Online courses and services for podcasters are coming out on a continual basis.

So it’s quite natural for you to want to get even more into the podcasting world. It’s exploding, and you want to increase your chances of being swept up by this movement.

To put together a quality show can easily take a significant portion of a day, if not the entire day. And then there are the other things you have to do, you know. Like… your job? 

The simple solution for that starts with this realization: There's more to podcasting than the actual physical stuff, like sitting behind a microphone and talking, editing and engineering, writing up episode notes or designing artwork and graphics.

On this episode, I’ll give you these four ways to go deeper into podcasting without starting another podcast:

  • Solicit guest appearances on other shows
  • Write about podcasting for other publications
  • Speak about podcasting at conferences and meetups
  • Become part of another podcast

In short: Where can you lend your voice in podcasting that doesn't require you to have a new podcast? 

And f you liked what I had to say here, you can do a few things for me.


  1. Please go to RateThisPodcast.com/podpont and leave me a rating on whatever service you feel like. It’s super easy.

  2. if you really thought that this was good value, you are more than welcome to support me by clicking on BuyMeACoffee.com/EvoTerra and pass a couple of bucks my way.

  3. And finally, if you are in business and you know that your business needs some help with a podcasting push that’s strategized around your existing business goals and objectives, get in touch. Because that's what we do here at Simpler Media. We make it easy to podcast better for businesses. Go to SimplerMedia.pro for more information. 

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Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business!

It’s no surprise that big radio companies like CBS and iHeart have been spending lots of on-air time telling their listeners over-the-airwaves that they can also listen to their favorite radio programs or voices as podcasts.

We podcast pundits don’t talk about those apps much, because they account for very small percentages of overall podcast listening. 

 But that’s a huge mistake on our part. 

Small percentages don’t necessarily mean small numbers of actual listeners. Small percentages can mean really, really big actual numbers of listeners actually using the app. It’s also possible -- quite likely, actually -- that those who’ve been converted to app-listening by radio networks are not exploring beyond their standard radio fare. So there could be a huge audience out there that we’re just not tracking.

Hence my suggestion that you really lean into your podcast’s listing on radio-centric apps by adding a link to your show’s listing in those Big Radio apps to your website.

Heretical, I know. But it makes sense to capitalize on all the awareness-building Big Radio has been doing for years.

Also, there are people who really do buy into the funny Family Guy cartoon. Seeing a big, recognizable as-radio badge on your site could signal to that person that your content doesn’t suck.

Here are your next steps to make that happen. I know I’m not a “how-to” show, but this is important:


  1. Make sure your show(s) is/are listed on radio network apps like Radio.com and iHeartRadio

  2. Download that app yourself and make sure you're able to link directly and deeply into your show from that app

  3. Copy that link, find the big, recognizable-as-radio graphic, and add it to your website.

That’s my project for the weekend. I’m taking off the first two days of next week due to travel, but I’ll return on Wednesday, January 15, 2020. And while you wait:

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Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business!

For the better part of 15 years, I’ve had the attitude that I really don't care what app someone uses to listen, because all podcast apps do basically the same stuff. As you listen to podcasts these days, you’ll often hear podcasters end their shows with a call to action of “available wherever you listen to podcasts”. Again, there’s a sameness and uniformity of podcast listening apps.

But saying “wherever you listen” is missing a key point: anyone who asks “How can I find your show?” clearly doesn’t know where to find any podcast!

Yes. I know you've seen the studies that show that now more than 51% of the population has, at one time, listened to a podcast, but I don't trust that number. It’s not like the survey people said “Prove it!” to any of their respondents. 

The reality is that many -- perhaps most -- people actually don't know how to listen to a podcast. So if anyone ever asks you, “How can I find your podcast?”, don't tell them, “It's available anywhere you listen to podcasts!” 

What should you do instead? Previously when someone asked about my show or one of my clients’, I’ve asked what kind of phone they carry, and then direct them to the native app on their phone. Or to Spotify if they have that app pre-installed. That's fine to do, but I don't think that's as helpful as it could be.

I think that 2020 might be the year we finally start seeing some differentiation -- differentiation that actually matters --  in the podcast app space. It’s up to you (and to me) to help find an app that truly does differentiate (or at least is one that we think our new listeners will love) and to guide our potential listeners how to use it.

I know it sounds crazy, especially if there’s already a perfectly good-but-unused app on their phone! But you’ll make a much deeper connection with that person that way vs saying the equivalent of “It's been on your phone all along and you're dumb because you couldn’t find it.”

Speaking of not doing dumb things, you should totally:

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Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business!

As working podcasters, we can no longer ignore privacy issues.

But as a working podcaster. You're probably not a technologist or a lawyer, so you probably don't need to know all the vagaries. You just want to make sure you don't run afoul of the law.

So I’m offering up three common-sense steps to help make sure your podcast is on the right side of these coming podcast privacy wars, which are just getting started. 

  • Step 1: Understand Where Your Podcast May Have Possible Privacy Implications
  • Step 2: Disclose Those Players On Your Podcast’s Privacy Page
  • Step 3: Prepare For Change

That's how you survive this coming privacy war in podcasting. Not by jumping into the fray, or taking up pitchforks. But simply by making sure that you are doing your part in the process. And that's it. Let other people who have more passion than you fight this out. Unless you're the person that has the passion. If so, go for it! I’ll be making the popcorn. And more podcast episodes.

As a reminder:

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Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business!

What do we actually track to indicate growth of a podcast? 

  • We can't really track subscribers. At least not easily. 
  • The new wave of podcast listeners often times aren’t subscribing anyhow.
  • Tracking total downloads for all episodes is bogus. Just make more episodes!
  • One back-catalog consumer skews counts

In short, there’s no one-size-fits-all way of measuring growth. Think of the consumption habits of the audience of a long-form daily news show. Now think about the habits of listeners of an in-depth multi-part series. They aren’t the same.

The best tool I’ve found is tracking 7-day and 30-day downloads per episode. Here’s a chart of how my show grew in 2019, thanks to a data re-tumble from the fine people at Chartable. Yes, I think you should use Chartable like this. No, they didn’t pay me to say that.

Did your podcast grow in 2019? Tell me about it. And while you’re at it, use RateThisPodcast.com/podpont and BuyMeACoffee.com/EvoTerra. How you use those is pretty self-evident. Gotta love obvious domain names, right?

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Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business!

At first blush, Smart Speakers seem like the perfect companion to podcasters. I mean, they’re smart, right? Well… not so much in practice. And if you haven’t yet tried to listen to your favorite podcast on that fancy new smart speaker Santa gave you… Well, you’re going to have a bad time.

But that may be changing, and I’ve asked my friend James Cridland, Editor of Podnews, to explain to you why podcast listening on smart speakers may become a thing of the future. For some of us, at least.

And this marks the final guest-hosted episode. I’ll be back next week with brand new episodes of Podcast Pontifications. Yay! 

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Podcast Pontifications will return in January 2020, published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

Believe it or not, there are some things I suck at. Taking a vacation isn’t one, but one is writing a press kit. I’m just terrible at it! That’s why I’ve invited Skye Pillsbury, a journalist with PR chops, to tell you what it takes to make a great press kit for your podcast.

No, there isn’t a template you can copy. Well… there are. But those suck. As Skye will tell you (repeatedly), it takes a human approach to impact a human. And the journalists who write about (or need to write about) podcasting just happen to be human. Humans, oddly enough, tend to respond better to those they have a relationship with. Crazy talk!

She recommends following the guidelines from RadioPublic and Bello Collective to actually create a press kit for your show. And then she gives some practical tips on cultivating a relationship with the journalists you’re pitching. (Because there’s more to it than the mechanics of sending an email.)

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Podcast Pontifications will return in January 2020, published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

I’m a big fan of keeping podcasting simple. That word is in the name of my podcast consultancy, after all: Simpler Media Productions. Truth be told, podcasting is (or at least can be) pretty simple. If, that is, you know what you’re doing or have the time to learn all the ins-and-outs and avoid the pitfalls. The clients who hire my firm don’t have the time or inclination to do that.

But not so with hobbyist podcasters, artistic podcasters, or even businesses who do want to learn what it takes to make podcasting magic of their own. I applaud their efforts! But I also see them get bogged down in the minutia and tripped up on making things way to complicated.

That’s why I asked my buddy Mike Dell on the program. As the customer support manager for podcast hosting company Blubrry, Mike has seen more than his share of noobie podcasters making things way too complicated. Mike’s going to focus on these key areas:

  • Not overthinking your episodes notes
  • Not overthinking your media file encoding settings
  • Not jumping from hosting company to hosting company to get listed on a brand new platform (that everyone will eventually be able to submit their shows to)
  • Keeping your website integration with your episodes simple
  • His thoughts on episode-level artwork (which I disagree with)
  • Why “good enough” really is good enough when it comes to mic selection
  • Not overcomplicating (or force-feeding) social media is bad

In the episode, you’ll hear me cut in at a few points to offer my own modifying thoughts (or downright disagreement). But I think it’s important to give room for dissenting opinions. Because The Evo Way, while being a very good way to podcast, isn’t the only way to podcast. As with so many things in life, your mileage may vary.

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Share this with a friend: http://podcastpontifications.libsyn.com/simpler-podcasting-as-a-survival-technique

Podcast Pontifications will return in January 2020, published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit SimplerMedia.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

Almost by definition, podcasters have to be good at sharing. I mean, that's kind of the point. Just like I'm sharing my show with Ma'ayan Plaut. She's RadioPublic’s podcast librarian (of all crazy job titles) and she thinks you, the working podcaster, can share your podcast better.

In a nutshell, or at least in the text of an in-app episode description, she wants you to do three things:

  • commit to sharing your show smartly with the world
  • commit to sharing elements of your process so we can better understand your work
  • commit to sharing the load of your work with others

Of course, she goes into much greater detail in the audio. And it’s in that audio where she goes into detail about 

  • how to apply SMART goals to your podcast work (not just your show or your episodes

  • the One Shot rule pioneered by Amanda McLoughlin
  • why it’s so important to credit the other people who make your show possible
  • some solid reasons why you need to write more, not just talk more
  • the importance of building your own personal network
  • … and why being more strategic leads to being more efficient

Give it a listen. I promise you’ll learn a lot.

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Share this with a friend: http://podcastpontifications.libsyn.com/share-your-work-to-make-a-better-podcast

Podcast Pontifications will return in January 2020, published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

Today’s topic is relevancy, and the conversation is led by Mark Asquith. Not only does Mark host his own PAP (podcast about podcasting) called the Podcast Success Academy, but he’s the CEO and co-founder of the UK-based technology company Rebel Base Media. They make a lot of podcast-specific services and products, including PodcastWebsites, Poductivity and Captivate.fm. (Disclaimer: I sit on the advisory board of Captivate.)

Why talk about relevancy and what it means to working podcasters of today and tomorrow? How about:

  • The podcast landscape is vastly different than it was just a few years ago, and the pace or rapid change is increasing.
  • Big entertainment brands are entering the space, and that impacts how smaller shows present themselves
  • While consumers are growing more demanding, they’re also finding more ways to engage with their favorite things and passions via podcasting
  • Those consumers don’t care how they get their content, only that they get what they want
  • Why podcasters need to hold their heads high as they beat their drums.

And when you hear the last set of bumps, be sure to stick around to the end of the file for a little special something… that Mark probably wished I had edited out.

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Podcast Pontifications will return in January 2020, published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

Today, we’re going to have a conversation about the press and the relationship it has with podcasting. It’s led by guest-host Elena Fernández Collins, a freelance podcast critic and journalist who writes primarily for indie podcast-focused outlets like The Bello Collective and the Podmass column at the AV Club

Some things Ely will cover as she guest-hosts this episode while I continue my winter slumber:

  • The value (and lack thereof) of “listicles”, which we’re about to be flooded with because it’s the end of the year.
  • Why these listicles and other poorly-researched pieces rarely get picked up by big media outlets
  • The benefits of pitching to smaller outlets and individual journalists
  • Some insight into the mind of critics & journalist that will help you better fine-tune (or overhaul) your pitch
  • Why you should ask (nicely) those same critics and journos to cover podcasting overall as it relates to their own special interests, 

Elena Fernández Collins is a podcast critic, journalist, and an overworked graduate student. You can find them yelling about podcasts on Twitter or at ElenaFernandezCollins.com. And if you’d care to help this freelance journalist continue to eat and pay rent while they work towards writing about podcasts at bigger places, you can support her at Patreon.com/ElenaFernandezCollins.

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Podcast Pontifications will return in January 2020, published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

Guest host: Dave Jackson from the School of Podcasting

For all the similarities podcasting shares with radio, there are just as many ways in which the two mediums are radically different. None bigger, perhaps, than how each views “the competition”.

Radio stations and their subsequent shows are in direct competition with every other radio station and show that broadcasts in that time slot. If you’re listening to WXYZ’s Jocko’s Morning Madness at 7:30a on your commute to work, it’s impossible for you to also listen to the antics of Binky & The Whiz over on WZYX also broadcasting at 7:30a. One radio station per radio dial, please. 

But that’s not the case in podcasting. Navigating a radio station’s website to find this morning’s broadcast of Wombo The Snowchimp is problematic at best. But it’s a snap to listen to another podcast episode once the one you’re currently listening to is over. Hooray for time-shifted distribution and consumption! 

No, other podcasts/podcasters aren’t your competition. Yes, even if you focus on the exact same topics. Because you each have a unique take.

Here’s what Dave and I both know: Getting to know “the competition” in podcasting often, assuming no absolute jerks are involved, leads to friendship. Collaborations. And yes, even a few new business leads.

How weird is that? 

This isn’t a new phenomenon. But it may be a fleeting one, as more money pours into podcasting and thereby changes podcasting. Will a scramble for money and resources pit podcasters of similar topics against each other? I hope not, but time will tell. 

Your best course of action is to take Dave’s advice and make friends amongst your podcasting peers. If Dave and I don’t think we’re competing with one another, you shouldn’t see your podcasting peers as “the competition” either.

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Podcast Pontifications will return in January 2020, published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

Social media is a powerful tool. We, as podcasters and as listeners, use social media quite a lot. I often find myself turning to social when I want more information about the people who produce or voice the shows I’m interested in.

I’m not alone in this. So what I would like for you to do -- today, if you can, and if not, by the weekend, so set yourself a to-do item if necessary -- is to clean it/them up.

Recently I went on a big following hunt, adding lots of accounts by people from the podosphere. And I was largely disappointed.

  • Links to show websites often 404’d. If there was a link listed at all.
  • A depressing number of bios still used the word “iTunes”.
  • Most didn’t even have any mention of their involvement in podcasting.

I get that social media is 100% a personal choice. Just like with your podcast, you can do whatever you want. 

But dammit, if you’re going to have a public social presence for yourself and/or your show, you should make it a little easier on the people who might wish to follow you there. 

I’m eating my own dogfood and, right after this posts, will get on my own. I tend to (or at least I think I tend to) keep mine pretty clean always, but it never hurts to double-check. I hope you will join me and do the same.  

Now, as you know, this is my final episode of Podcast Pontifications for 2019. I’m taking a long winter's break from the program over November and December. But that doesn't mean episodes of the show will stop. 

I have a few special guests and other material lined up for people who follow/subscribe to the podcast. I won’t write extensive articles like this for those bonus episodes. They will be podcast-only exclusives until I return in January 2020. But if you’re reading this now, that means you’re already subscribed. You’ll still get them. Yay!

While I rest my vocal cords, I hope you’ll also join me an ~100 others in our private Flick group. On your mobile device, go to Flick.group/PodcastPontifications and sign up. It’s free to join and I may have some special goodies from me that go out to only this small community. 

You can also follow my thoughts and pontifications on Twitter, my social channel of choice. And if you think my diatribes worthy of your support, BuyMeACoffee.com/EvoTerra is for you.

I'll be doubling down on client work while I’m off. If you are a business and you would like some strategic guidance on your podcasting efforts, get in touch with me: evo@podcastlaunch.pro or go to PodcastLaunch.pro to see how my team can help ease your burden when it comes to podcasting so you can stay focused on your business.

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Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

Today I’m turning my (and hopefully your) attention to your website in an effort to make sure that you’re maximizing your podcast’s exposure to your website visitor with three simple links. Even if you think you're doing these right... you might be doing these wrong. So it’s worth a re-check.

Some people will disagree with me on the importance of a website/page for a podcast. They’ll often cite how other mediums, like radio and TV, don’t rely on webpages that magically integrate with your living room television.

But webpage-to-TV integrations just aren’t necessary for TV or radio programs. Why? Because everyone knows how to work their TV or radio to tune into the station that broadcasts the show they want to watch/hear. 

Not true for podcasting. Yes, the technology gap is shrinking every day. But still, a lot of people still don't know how to listen to podcasts.

That’s a foreign concept to you, the working podcaster. And that’s having a negative influence on the decisions you make on your website. If you think about your website at all. Because chances are, you probably don’t visit a website of a podcast prior to listening.

But you’re not a normal human. You’re a podcaster. 

You don’t (or you shouldn’t) build your show’s website or webpage for podcasters. You build your show’s website or webpage for normal humans. Your website for your podcast, or the web page on your website for your podcast, needs to feature -- prominently -- three links for those normal humans.

 

  1. Apple Podcasts - Around 60% of podcast consumption happens via Apple Podcasts. So clearly, you need to list it. 
  2. Google Podcasts - Because of some tech vagaries that aren’t important, it’s hard to get a true grasp on how popular Google Podcasts is. But since the listening app is on every Android phone (and Apple Podcasts is not on any Android phone), you need to list it.

  3. Spotify - Spotify is gaining ground, currently enjoying some 14% of overall consumption. In many European countries, it even outperforms Apple Podcasts. That trend will continue. List it.

 

And here’s my special offer just for you, the Podcast Pontifications audience: I’ll do this for you.

Seriously. If you don't know to add the links (and the proper graphics) to those destinations on your webpage or website, I’ll do it. If your IT department won't help you, I’ll do it. If you’re stuck in some crazy quagmire and have no idea where to start, I will do this for you.

No tricks. No hidden agenda. No trying to get you to sign up for something. Something I probably don’t even offer! This is me helping you. And since I won’t have episodes to put out for the next eight weeks, I should have some free time!

This is honestly my give-back to my audience. ByMeACoffee.com/EvoTerra. And please be sure to put something in the comments so I know you’re asking for help, OK? 

Let's make your podcast page better. Let's make your website better with at least these three links.

There’s still one more episode coming out tomorrow. So I shall be back then with another Podcast Pontifications

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Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

Today, I'm going to walk you through something very simple that you probably think you're doing right… but it’s highly likely that you might not be. Good news: This is an easy fix!

I’m talking about “show notes”, a term that is often abused. Specifically, I’m talking about the “show notes” that appear in the podcast app on the device that your listener is using to listen to your episode. Not a webpage or an article. But the textual content that listeners can view while they're listening to your episode.

Right now, as your listening to me talk to you, get to the most recent episode of your own show. (Because you're subscribed to your own show, right?) Once you have it, click through to get more info. Each app has a different UI, so I can’t tell you exactly how to do this. But it should be fairly obvious. 

Look at the text that displays here. Yes, you (or someone on your team) wrote that text. That’s the in-app episode-level details -- show notes -- I’m speaking of.

Done correctly, in-app episode details -- microcopy, as I call it -- can be invaluable engagement conduits for your listeners. If you tell your listeners “more information is available in the app you're listening on right now”, some will check. They don’t have to go to your website for more info. They don’t have to remember your episode number so they can visit your website later to find the info they were looking for. 

But only if you tell them that you’ve put in-app context-rich content inside their listening app. 

Yes, I recognize that some listeners are driving. Others are doing activities that don’t allow them to drop everything and click through for in-app details just because you told them to.

But what about all the people who aren’t doing other things and actually do have time to take action RIGHT NOW, as you said it? That’s who you’re doing this for.

You need to see what you’re doing right now with episode details. Whether you or someone else is responsible for publishing your last episode, go look at the episode details on that episode. Is it contextually rich? Does it contain the names of and links to anything mentioned during that episode? Because that’s what this is for. This is how you should encourage engagement with your show.

I’ll have two more tips to help make your content more shareable this week. But after this week I’m taking a little break. New episodes of Podcast Pontifications will resume in January 2020.

But that’s just the show. I’m still here, and you can still talk to me via the Flick.group/PodcastPontifications app. I may even release some special content just to that audience. So if you haven’t yet download that free app for your phone, click that link! 

You can still buy me a coffee over at BuyMeACoffee.com/EvoTerra if you’d like. 'm not disappearing from life. I’ll still be tweeting sharing good advancing-podcasting stuff in other areas.

And, of course, if you are in business and you need help with your podcast, get in touch with me: evo@podcastlaunch.pro or go to PodcastLaunch.pro to see a list of what we're doing right now for clients just like you all over the globe. 

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Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

It’s all about cozying up to people this week: The big aggregators, the keepers of the data, or the people who might provide you a way to earn serious money for your next show. Today, I want to talk about another class of people who you should cozy up to help your next podcasting project be even better: Other podcasters who are better than you.

Tennis players know they can improve their skills by hitting the ball against the wall and drilling on the fundamentals of the game. Buy to really get good at tennis, they have to play people better than themselves.

The same self-induced skills-limitation holds true in podcasting. 

Many of us, if we’re collaborating at all, tend to podcast with friends or peers at or near our same skill level. Many join online groups or attend conferences with the hopes of gaining some insight or tricks from better podcasters. And while that certainly can help, it’s a far cry from actually collaborating with other podcasters who are better than you.

I’m doing that. By fate, luck, or just the randomness of the universe, there are two people in Phoenix who fit the bill for me. Wil Williams, long-time podcast critic and podcast fiction force-of-nature, is transitioning out of her day job to focus on freelance podcasting life. And I recently met up with Sam Walker, the award-winning broadcaster and podcaster recently transplanted from Manchester in the UK to Phoenix with, among others, BBC chops.

These ladies are great at what they do. Both of them approach podcasting from a totally different angle than I. They are true podcasting professionals and, most important to this angle of this article, are better than me. 

The conversations on how the three of us will work together have just started, so you’ll have to wait for the exciting Wil-Sam-Evo collaboration announcement. Heck, we haven’t even scheduled our introductory dinner meeting.

My challenge to you is to do what I have done. Find the people (hopefully locally, but virtually can work as well) who you get along with, have some share thoughts and ideas, but -- and this is the important part -- are better than you. Suggest a collaboration. Find ways to work together. Heck, volunteer to work for them if that’s what it takes.

Because the best way to get better at anything is by playing with people who are better than you.

No new article on Friday, because that’s how I roll. But If you want to show your support for what I’m doing, you can do that at BuyMeACoffee.com/EvoTerra.

And if you're in business and you need a strategic partner who's better at the podcasting game than your business, I am sure that my firm could help you. Send me an email: evo@podcastlaunch.pro. And you can check out PodcastLaunch.pro to see how we work with our clients.

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Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

This week, I’m talking about cozying up to various places and players to make your next podcast better this week. I’ve already covered why it’s smart to get closer to the big dogs in podcast distribution and how big data will drive podcast creation in the future (like it is already).

Today, want to talk about a different group of people who are responsible for the biggest money flow for podcasters.

Podcast advertising revenue is somewhere north of half a billion dollars annually. And most of that is funneled through advertising agencies and sales representation firms. These companies work with lots of advertisers who want to spend lots of money on podcast advertising. These advertisers typically don’t have a single show in mind, but instead are looking for a very specific audience to advertise to.

But here's the thing:  These advertising sales agencies often don’t have enough inventory to meet the demand. Lest there be any confusion: 

Podcast ad revenue in 2019 isn’t limited by advertisers willing to spend money. It’s limited because there aren’t enough podcast episodes to run ads on.

And that's why you should be cozying up to these agencies and sales reps as you’re thinking about starting your next show. It’s in their best interest to tell you exactly what audience you should target so they can bring you revenue. (Because they make money when they do that.) 

Clearly, this new show you’re making that targets the audience podcast sales reps love probably isn’t going to make money out of the gate. It takes time to build a show’s audience, and in an ad sales relationship, you’re compensated based on the number of downloads episodes of your shows can provide to those advertisers. And that takes time to build.

Cozying up to a podcast advertising agency or sales rep firm can remove a lot of uncertainty when planning a new show. They’ll give you real numbers that you can then apply to your efforts to maximize your chance for success, Yes, you’ll still have to execute. There is no guarantee that those same advertisers will be around when your show finally reaches the numbers it needs to play. But at least you know what current companies are looking for today.

I'm curious what you think about this idea. You can hit reply to this email, or you can download the Flick app, a private and free group just for listeners of Podcast Pontifications: Go here on your mobile device: Flick.group/podcastpontifications 

Speaking of advertising, I don't run ads and have no intention of running ads on this show. You can support me by going to BuyMeACoffee.com/EvoTerra

And if you need some help with your podcast, my agency, Simpler Media Productions, provides strategic podcasting services for business clients all over the globe. Give me an email: evo@podcastlaunch.pro and check out PodcastLaunch.pro to see some of what we do. 

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Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

This morning, I was reading an article about new “virtual restaurants” that are booming thanks to data. Though calling them “restaurants” is a stretch, as these establishments have no place for people to dine-in or even take payments from customers like a take-out stand. Without foot traffic, how can they survive? Because they’re filled with delivery pickup drivers, thanks to the likes of DoorDash and more.

On yesterday’s program, I talked about some smart book publishers and how they’re working closely with Amazon to sell huge numbers of ebooks. But there are other super-smart publishers who pay close attention to what kinds of books Amazon users are buying, then quickly create content to fill that emerging need.

The tie-in to podcasting is fairly obvious. Companies that facilitate the transaction between podcast producers and podcast listeners have data. Bucket-loads of data that uncover content holes in the market.

And just like food-delivery apps and book-selling beast Amazon, some of them are looking for smart and agile content creators to fill those gaps.

Last week, we found out that one of the Gimlet’s shows, Science Vs, is now taking small little snippets of their 20-ish or so minute episodes and boiling them down to or extracting insights out of five-minute clips, which are in turn published as a brand new show designed to fit in the “daily commute” feature of Spotify, blending them with music clips, news, and other bits for a contained but varied listener experience.

It’s a foregone conclusion that these keepers of the data are going to start creating content based on that data. Or, perhaps more likely, they're going to start commissioning content based on that data.

What would you do if you were approached by these data-rich aggregators? You can hit reply and tell me, or you can download the private app for Podcast Pontifications listeners at Flick.group/podcastpontifications and share your thoughts with ~80 people… and growing!

If you missed the news, my friends at Buy Me A Coffee just dropped version 2.0 of their app. Congrats to Jijo and Aleesha on making #1 on Product Hunt yesterday! If you want to try their new and improved service, go to BuyMeACoffee.com/EvoTerra.

And if you are in business and need some help figuring out how big data could impact your podcasting strategies, get in touch with me, as I can help you with that. evo@podcastlaunch.pro or just go to PodcastLaunch.pro to see what we do.

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Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

A couple of years ago, I penned an article on Medium called Your Hatred of Apple Podcasts Isn't Helping

Here’s one thing that hasn’t changed since that article was published nearly two years ago: Apple still controls 80% of the podcasting world. Many apps and directories pull from Apple Podcasts’ dataset. Some don’t have a way to manually submit to them, making Apple Podcasts the de facto keeper of (statistically speaking) all podcasts. So as my friend James Cridland says, if your show gets kicked out of Apple Podcasts, you’re effectively kicked out of almost everywhere else that matters.

U.S. Presidential candidate Andrew Yang made the argument that sometimes services are the biggest because they're absolutely the best. To directly quote him: 

“There’s a reason why no one is using Bing today… Sorry, Microsoft. It’s true.”

The argument of whether or not tech giants should be broken up or not aside, there’s a reason Google is the tool everyone uses, even though there are a lot of other search engines out there. If you set up your podcast for Apple, you’ve mostly done it right for everywhere else that matters. Mostly.

Amazon has some pretty amazing superpowers. For example, Amazon can, with the near-literal push of a button, get an extra 50,000 sales of any ebook in a day. Most books never get close to 5,000 total sales for their entire life.

With those thoughts in mind, think on Apple and the incredible power they wield over podcasting.

But that doesn’t mean people should stop building competing podcast listening apps, podcast directories, and brand new podcasting services that give us something different (you could say better) than our Apple overlords.

As for working podcasters, I can’t tell you what to do or what loyalties you should have. I can only suggest that you not do silly things like try to get your listeners to switch away from Apple Podcasts, or decide to not put a link to your show on Apple Podcasts on your website. That’s just short-sighted. And rather pointless.

Speaking of pointless: I can’t think of the last time I used the raw RSS feed to subscribe to a show. And with few exceptions, I’m willing to bet you haven’t either. And we’re way more technically advanced than casual listeners. Of course, I could be wrong about that. Do you use the raw RSS feed to subscribe, or is that purely a hold-over from 2004 thinking, and I need to reset my assumptions? Go to Flick.group/podcastpontifications to chat privately on your mobile device with a small group of listeners to this program.

Maybe we should be more like my publishing friends and seek out a tighter integration with podcasting’s powerhouses? I'll be exploring this theme for the rest of this week here on Podcast Pontifications.

You’ll notice I don’t run ads on this show, but you can show your support for the program by going to BuyMeACoffee.com/EvoTerra and making a small contribution.

And if you're in business and need some help with strategic podcasting, that's what my firm, Simpler Media, does. Get in touch with me. evo@PodcastLaunch.pro or go to PodcastLaunch.pro to see how we can work together.

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Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

This week’s miniseries has been about leveraging your podcasting chops to make something that isn’t a podcast. We’ve covered:

But that’s just three. Honestly, there are so many more I could cover. So to wrap the week, I’m doing a rollup of a few select other options that should be on your radar. They are:


  • Write A Book - Whether you use your podcast to educate or entertain, there’s probably a path for you to publish a book. You already have a lot of information prepared. You've recorded dozens or maybe hundreds of episodes already. That's a lot of scripts written. That’s a lot of interviews gathered. That’s a lot of articles created. 

  • Launch A Video Series - Making a focused and intentional video series on what your expertise is or where your passions lie is a smart idea. Especially if you are willing (and able) to make compelling video-based content that appeals to the algorithms of the given video platform.

  • Create A Valuable Community - Communities are filled with people with shared interests. And whether you’re building one with Discord, Flick, Facebook, or a membership site, you can leverage all of your expertise as a podcaster to create a valuable community. Not just for listeners of your show. But for other people with similar passions and interests. 

No matter which of those six options you choose (or another) keep this in mind: 

The success of non-podcasting options for your podcast should have nothing to do with your podcast’s download numbers.

I know that sounds heretical. But I assure you it is not. Whatever non-podcast option you take, don’t tie the success of that option back to your podcast. They should be worth doing on their own merit. Clearly, I’m a podcast-first kind of guy. And yes, I want you to be podcast-first as well. 

But podcast-first doesn’t mean podcast-only.

Is there a non-podcasting portion of your publishing empire you’ve found success with? I'd love to hear about it. Head to Flick.group/podcastpontifications and share your story with the 70 or so people who have joined that free community.

As always, I'd appreciate it if you bought me a coffee. BuyMeACoffee.com/EvoTerra lets you do that virtually. And it's really really nice when you sign up for a monthly coffee purchase for me.

Finally, if you are in business and you need someone helping with the podcast strategy for your business, that's what my company - Simpler Media Productions - does. Get in touch with me: evo@podcastlaunch.pro or go to PodcastLaunch.pro to see a list of the services we offer our clients.

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Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

This week, I’m talking about things you can do with your podcast that clearly are not podcasting. So far we've talked about hosting live events and putting out an excellent newsletter. Today, I want to shine a light on audio-based learning opportunities.

You might have heard that people in China spend over $7 billion annually on audio-based learning experiences. (That number is often misreported as what people are paying for podcasts. But really, it’s audio-based learning experiences that people in China pay for.)

But rather than argue the “is that really a podcast?” discussion (which is pointless and painful), it sets the stage for a more interesting question:

Can you do that? 

Can you make an audio-based learning experience that is worth paying for? What would it take for you, the working podcaster, to make an audio-based learning course?

You’re a working podcaster. You have a microphone. You have all of the equipment necessary to make audio-based content. Can you do that again, but this time making audio just for people who want to learn from you? 

I'm curious about what you’d offer in your class. What skills do you have that might translate really well into an audio-based learning experience? You can tell me in the comments right here. Or you can go to Flick.group/podcastpontifications, a private and free mobile app where you can chat with other listeners of the show.

Want to show your support for my program? Great! You can buy me a coffee. I don't mean really buy me a coffee. I mean go to BuyMeACoffee.com/EvoTerra

And if you are in business and need to make sure your podcasting strategy is on point (maybe your business could produce some audio-based learning experiences for additional revenue streams?), get in touch. evo@podcastlaunch.pro reaches me, and you can visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see a list of services that we currently offer clients.

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Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

Today, I’m making the case why you need a newsletter for your podcast. Email is a fine distribution mechanism for special announcements and promotions. 

But there’s the utilitarian aspect of emailing, and then there’s having an intentional newsletter for your podcast.

Newsletters are having a bit of a resurgence as of late. Substack is making it super easy to create and monetize a brand new newsletter. Stoop is changing both how and where we consume newsletters, getting them out of our already crowded inboxes and into a dedicated reading app. And that’s just two examples.

As with any form of media, newsletter content should be crafted with intent. You need to consider your newsletter audience as just that: an audience. An audience, by the way, that may not listen to your podcast episodes. But they are still your audience, and it’s worth your time to create content specifically for that audience.

One of the most straightforward ways to do this is by using a newsletter as a way to catch your overspill. If your show’s episodes come out weekly or fortnightly, there’s probably a wealth of content that doesn’t make it on your show. 

The goal of an intentional newsletter is to be read. And, if you’re lucky, engaged with by the readers. 

That doesn’t mean you should stop using email as a promotional tool, or a revenue-generator, or whatever else you’re using it for that is getting results. (That final clause is important.) An intentional newsletter from your podcast brand is something different.

I’m genuinely curious how you’re currently using (and finding success with) newsletters today. You can leave a comment below, or you can go to Flick.group/podcastponntifications and say it in our private (but free) group about 70 people now. And it’s growing! 

If you want to support the show, you can go to BuyMeACoffee.com/EvoTerra. I recommend setting it to automatically buy me a coffee every month. You know, just to make it easy on you.

Finally, if you're in business and need some guidance and governance of the overall podcasting strategy and how that fits in with your business objectives, I’d love to help. That’s what my firm, Simpler Media Productions, does. Get in touch with me: evo@podcastlaunch.pro or go to PodcastLaunch.pro to see a list of all the services we offer clients all around the world.

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Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

I’m convinced that most podcasters are picturing Bob Ross in their head as they plan out their own live podcasting event. But no one wants that.

First, you’re not Bob Ross. And second, the final painting isn’t what was interesting about The Joy of Painting. It was the process of painting.

If the process of making an episode of your podcast is more fascinating than the actual produced episode… well then.

We shouldn’t draw too much from the live taping of TV shows. Why? Because people are watching the taping of a program designed to be consumed live or as if it were live. People who watch at home have almost the exact same experience as someone who's watching live. Sure, the live audience gets to see the set breakdowns and such during the commercial breaks, but beyond that, it’s largely the same experience from the audience perspective. 

Recently, I attended a live local podcast event put on by Kanu, the host of Real Love Real Stories. And I’ve just returned from SiglerFest 2K19, an event put on by long-time podcaster Scott Sigler. Both events were fantastic. And they were so much more than just a live taping of a podcast episode. Later on this month, BSP: Believer Skeptic Podcast is doing another live event right here in Phoenix, and I'm hopeful they do the exact same thing. In a few months, Helen Zaltzman will be here with a live event for her podcast, The Allusionist. Prior to that, I’m really considering driving over to L.A. to watch the Skeptical Extravaganza by Skeptics Guide To The Universe and George Hrab

It’s critical to understand that these events work because they are something more than just a live taping of a podcast. That's boring. That's really boring, and I apologize for all the times I’ve done that in the past. No wonder so few people (if any) ever showed up. 

The best way to put on a live event for your podcast is to capitalize on what you’ve built with the podcast and then build out an amazing event around that.

So all of this week, I'll be talking about things you can do with your podcast that are not podcasts or just the lazy repurposing of your content or your processes. Instead, these ideas will be of value to your current listeners and might actually bring in new people.

Have you put on or attended a great live podcasting event? Tell me about it in the comments here. Or you can go to Flick.group/podcastpontifications and start the conversation over there.

If you wish to keep the show going (because you notice we don't want ads in this program) go to BuyMeACoffee.com/evoterra and sign up to buy me a coffee, either once or every month.

And if you are in business and you need people on your side who can help you think through your strategic podcasting challenges, that's what we do at Simpler Media Productions. Please get in touch: evo@podcastlaunch.pro

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Share this with a friend: http://podcastpontifications.libsyn.com/how-bob-ross-ruined-live-podcasting

Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

I'm taking this week off, so that means no new episodes all this week.

Sorry. If you're looking for someone to blame, you could try Scott Sigler.  I'm attending Siglerfest2K19 later this week and I do need to do some prep work. 

But that's not really the issue.

The issue is that I'm really busy, and I made promises to clients that I have to keep. Because if I don't to that, then I'm not going to be able to keep producing episodes of the show.

So here's your 40 minutes back (well, more like 38 minutes after this episode) and I'll see you back again on October 14, 2019.

While it's a stretch to lump public speakers in the same miniseries where I talk about TV, radio, and print encroaching on podcasting (and vice versa), it fits well enough for me.

Since the beginning of our species, some bold people have been standing on a rock, on a milk crate, on a stage, or behind a lectern, sharing their words with crowds that number in the single digits to millions. Today, some of those people are choosing to do that virtually, behind the microphone of their podcast.

Judging by the growth of podcasting and the non-stop deluge you’ll get when you ask for podcast recommendations on any social channel, listeners want to hear the real voices of the people producing the shows they love. 

Still, lots of new podcasters struggle to find their podcasting voice. That means a voice that they, the podcaster is comfortable with and they, the audience, will like to hear. I’m not so callous as to say “get over it”. Instead, I’ll say this: get better.

Voice “talent” is like any other “talent”: For the vast majority of us, we had to work at developing our voice. We weren’t born with it. It’s not a gift from the gods. Sure, quirks of anatomy might cause one voice to be seen as more-desirable for certain applications, which in turn might give the owner of that voice an advantage. 

One of the ways you get better with and gain more confidence in your podcasting voice is to do what we did: Get on a stage. Any opportunity to speak in front of a group -- small or large -- is smart. And how you get better. Experience tells me that those who have on-stage or in-front-of-crowds speaking experience have a much easier time finding their podcasting voice. So go find yours. 

That's my message to you.

I'm curious how you, the working podcaster, feel about your own voice. You can tell me in the comments or you can go to Flick.group/podcastpontifications and tell the little group we’re building. 

How do you feel about this show? Do you feel like buying me a coffee? Because I don't run ads on the show and you’re not paying anything to listen to my crazy ideas four times a week. But you can buy me a coffee at BuyMeACoffee.com/evoterra to show your support.

Finally, if you are in business and need a pro helping on the strategies of podcasting as they relate to your desired business outcomes, my firm can help. Get in touch with me: evo@podcastlaunch.pro or go to PodcastLaunch.pro to see a list of the services we offer clients all around the globe. 

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Share this with a friend: http://podcastpontifications.libsyn.com/if-all-the-worlds-a-stage-i-want-better-podcasting

Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

Of all the old media channels, newspapers make the least sense as the one to find the most success with podcasting. Yet newspapers are winning the podcasting game over the other forms of old media. My evidence: The Daily

There's more to podcasting than sitting down and talking into a microphone. There’s the art of telling a clear and concise story. And print journalists are very, very good at this.

Print journalists themselves are driving a lot of print’s forays into podcasting. When they submit their column for printing in the paper, journalists are limited to a certain number of words or columns. A newspaper is a conglomeration of lots of different stories, all forced to share a finite amount of real estate. Not so in podcasting. 

Journalists can use all of the skills they were taught in “J-School” to put forth the best possible story. Not only with typed-out words on a piece of paper, but now with words that come out of people’s mouths. Words that were captured during interviews for the story that can now be presented as they were spoken, without any loss of tone that comes from print. And with the sounds that also accompanied the gathering of story, making the final story more real and immersive than could ever be possible in print.

And that makes us podcasters get better at our craft. 

We can learn from them. So if you’re worried the pro journalist will eat all of your cake, study up! Start listening to the shows -- good and bad -- produced by print journalists. Study their technique. Learn from them and improve your own show! 

What newspapers or print journalists do you know of that are making great podcasts I should know about? Let me know in the comments if you like. Or you can go to Flick.group/podcastpontifications where lots of podcasters just like you are having conversations with me and others. 

If you want to buy me a coffee to show your support for this show (you’ll note I don't run ads unlike newspapers or their podcasts) go to BuyMeACoffee.com/evoterra.

And if you're in business and need some help navigating the podcasting landscape for your business, please get in touch with me. evo@podcastlaunch.pro or go to PodcastLaunch.pro where you can see the services we provide to clients all over the world.

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Share this with a friend: http://podcastpontifications.libsyn.com/stop-the-presses-print-plies-podcasting-prowess

Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

Many people have been predicting that podcasting would be the death-blow for radio. Heck, I bet if you dug back in the archives of shows I was on 15 years ago (please do not dig in the archives of what I said 15 years ago), you’d probably find me saying that. 

Surprise. Radio is still around 15 years later, and probably not going away any time soon.

Unless you started out in or have extensively studied radio, you probably think of radio as “commercial radio”. Talk shows, music programming, news, and sports. That’s it. Because that's what's on your radio dial.

And then there’s public radio, which in many markets (perhaps not yours), is filled with ground-breaking storytellers we podcasters can learn a lot from.

Also, with more radio stations looking at podcasting, the time is ripe for podcasters to approach radio stations. Why not take what you’ve learned and address a local market with something new? That can only help build your skillset and portfolio.

Podcasting and radio can live in harmony with one another for the foreseeable future. There are advantages to both. Turn the radio on it plays. Podcasting has more content than fits on a radio dial. So let’s not worry about one killing the other. No claims of birthright matter. Both can and will work side by side.

Do you think radio and podcasting will keep working together hand-in-hand, like chocolate and peanut butter? Or do you think I’m missing a key point? Tell me right here in the comments if you like. Or go to Flick.group/podcastpontifications and get the free app where we can communicate. 

If my works have you so excited that you feel compelled to support my ad-free program, you can go to BuyMeACoffee.com/evoterra and well, you know... buy me a coffee.

Finally, if you're in business and need some help thinking about your strategy for approaching your audience, your clients, or your prospects with an audio-only medium; get in touch. evo@podcastlaunch.pro or go to PodcastLaunch.pro to see how we can help.

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Share this with a friend: http://podcastpontifications.libsyn.com/who-birthed-who-radio-podcasting-for-the-future

Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

Spotify is spending money trying to convert TV watchers to podcast listeners. It’s an interesting ploy that’s going to be an uphill battle, but there are implications for working podcasters like you.

Directionally speaking, TV watchers are gaining more exposure to podcasting, often through podcasts that could work quite well on TV. If fact, some are being produced by television production companies. And many more are being voiced by television actors.

“What TV show are you watching?” is a common conversation centerpiece among friends and co-workers. It’s also happening, albeit on a much smaller scale, with podcasting. But those talked-about shows -- regardless of the medium -- are often shorter, self-contained programs. Sure, talk shows, monologues, and news programming get a lot of viewers. But few parties are made better by an in-depth discussion of NBC Nightly News, for example.

How do we create that kind of content that today’s TV watchers are looking for when they discover podcasting? How do we adjust to the fact that everybody watches TV but not everybody listens to podcasts? If we're going to facilitate the switch away from TV and into  podcasts as our friends at Spotify have predicted… what do we have to do? 

Tell me that right here in the comments, or go to Flick.group/podcastpontifications and share with the group.

If you'd like to show your support for this ad-free program, go to BuyMeACoffee.com/evoterra and buy me a coffee. 

And if you are in business and in need of someone offering strategic advice as you navigate the podcasting waters, that's what my firm does!  Get in touch with me: evo@podcastlaunch.pro or go to PodcastLaunch.pro to see a list of services we offer clients all around the globe.

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Share this with a friend: http://podcastpontifications.libsyn.com/podcasting-is-better-than-tv-film-at-11

Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

We podcasters are at a disadvantage when it comes to listening apps. We can't control which apps our listeners use to consume our content.

Here’s the big and glaring issue that puzzles me. Around two-ish years ago, Apple released some new “specs” for podcast feeds that would allow Apple to better present content to users of the Apple Podcasts app. Using these new tags, Apple presents episodes to new listeners in a vastly superior way than the “one-size-fits-all” approach taken by all of the rest of the podcast app makers.

And I can’t understand why.

Can you help me figure that out? Better yet, can you help us figure out what we, the working podcasters, should do about this? How do we pressure makers of podcast apps to make their apps better?

Or maybe I'm wrong about that, and you feel that the experience -- especially for new podcast listeners -- is vastly better on a different app. Let's have a conversation. Again, you can comment here or you can use Flick.group/podcastpontifications to join the Podcast Pontifications community.

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Share this with a friend: http://podcastpontifications.libsyn.com/are-podcast-apps-part-of-podcastings-problems

Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

Every piece of web content -- and the episodes of your podcast are web content -- needs a title  that is descriptive and interesting enough to get someone to want more.

Yes, that’s a lot of work for only a handful of words. Hence the need for this episode. 

If you record your show (perhaps an interview), do all the engineering to make it sound great, and then come up with a title -- your going to have a hard time. Which means you’ll probably just stick with the name of your guest as the title of the episode.

If the most interesting thing about any given episode of your show is the guests name...  it's probably not a very interesting episode.

The better way: Come up with your topic, your title, and most importantly YOUR ANGLE before you ever sit down to record.

Episodes with no angle start with the host saying “Please introduce yourself, guest!” or “Tell me where your grew up” and rarely live up to the promise made in the title of the episode. That’s a bad experience that won’t engender new listeners to your program.

That's the message for today: rework how you come up with your titles by spending a little (or a lot) more time on your angles before you sit down to record.  

I'd love to hear how much time you spend on coming up with your angles. You can comment right here or you can go to Flick.group/podcastpontifications to talk to me and a few dozen avid listeners of the program.

If you care to show your appreciation for this and the other episodes I share four times a week, go to BuyMeACoffee.com/evoterra.

And for those of you in business wondering if your episodes were made with an angle in mind, get in touch with me: evo@podcastlaunch.pro or go to PodcastLaunch.pro to see a list of the services we offer clients all around the globe. 

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Share this with a friend: http://podcastpontifications.libsyn.com/angling-for-titles-that-are-more-than-just-the-topic

Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

For the culmination of my 10-part future predictions of podcasting that were first made in the inaugural print edition of the Podcast Business Journal, I’m taking on… well, me. And all the people that look like me. Because in the future, old white men will become less relevant in podcasting. And hopefully in just about everything else in the world.

(Catch up on all the prior episodes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, & 9)

When I give advice, it’s from 15 years -- nearly the entire duration podcasting has existed -- of experience. Therefore my advice must be great! (And it is, I assure you.)

But at some point in time, those experiences and processes are going to start getting in the way of advancing podcasting. Because established processes and best practices are notoriously difficult to change.  

The reality is this: There are a lot -- and I mean a lot -- of people in podcasting with valid voices speaking great ideas and concepts who aren’t old, who aren’t white, and who aren’t men. Podcasting has already matriculated people with amazing skills, some of which have only been doing this for a year, and some who have been doing it for just as long as I have, who don't happen to share the same dangly bits or skin tone as me.

No, that doesn't mean I'm stopping Podcast Pontifications. I still have a voice. It's still a valid one. Yes, I think you should still listen and of course, tell all of your podcasting friends to listen. But I can't be the only voice you or they listen to. I need you to try and find other people who don't look like me and are also saying interesting things about podcasting. 

Three things before I go:


  • If you would like to continue the conversation and tell me what non-white, younger, and not-male humans you are listening to, please do that. You can comment right here or you can go to Flick.group/podcastpontifications and chat with the 40-ish people who are participating in this private and free group.

  • If you would like to still buy an old white man a coffee, go for it! BuyMeACoffee.com/evoterra is one way to show your support. 

  • And of course, if you are in business and need help with your firm’s podcasting strategy, that's what I do. Get in touch with me: evo@podcastlaunch.pro and go to PodcastLaunch.pro for a list of all the services we offer clients.

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Yes, this episode is something you should share. Thank you. Here’s where you can find a re-written in-depth article based on the audio of the episode that’s perfect for sharing: 

Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

For episode nine of my 10-part miniseries on the future of podcasting (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, & 8), I ponder the spinoffs that will be a natural offshoot of podcasting.

If there's one thing you can count on once a medium gets popular, its that spinoffs happen. Which means that's going to happen to podcasting. But that doesn’t mean spinoffs will kill podcasting.

The technology we use today in podcasting will probably be the driving factor in what those spinoffs will look like. But as I sit in my dedicated studio space, with my high-end hardware, my professional-grade software, a healthy client-roster, and a good pipeline of prospects, I’m the wrong person to try and predict podcasting’s spinoffs simply because I don't need to look for them.

Whatever these spinoffs are, they aren’t going to kill podcasting as we know it. Change it? Sure. But I don't think the future of podcasting is in danger. 

If there’s a danger, it’s that we’ll choose to poo-poo spinoffs because they don’t threaten podcasting as it exists today. Why is that a danger? Because that interesting spinoff might be a better fit for us -- as individuals -- than what podcasting provides today. 

So I’ll keep trying new things, and I’ll encourage you to try new things as well. One of them is BuyMeACoffee.com/evoterra. Hint, hint.

Have you seen a spinoff from podcasting, or do you have your own prediction of what new things we’ll create with all this high-end tech at our disposal? Go to Flick.group/podcastpontifications and tell me about it.

And if you need some help with your business-focused podcasting efforts, drop me a an email at evo@podcastlaunch.pro or go to PodcastLaunch.pro to see a list of the services we offer clients all around the globe.

Yes, this episode is something you should share. Thank you. Here’s where you can find a re-written in-depth article based on the audio of the episode that’s perfect for sharing: http://podcastpontifications.libsyn.com/podcasting-spins-off-something-brand-new

Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

How will automation change podcasting in the future? That’s the topic of this, the 8th edition of my 10 part miniseries on the future of podcasting. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, & 7)

To be a podcaster, you need to be a blend of creative and technical. Podcasting is, by definition, a creative medium. Podcasters create content. But because podcasting is digital from start to finish, podcasters are required to possess technical skills as well. 

It’s that second half that’s most susceptible to the wave of automation.

Imagine what you could accomplish with your show if you didn't have to worry about all the little technical pieces, knowing that reliable and dependable software would take care of things you may only have a tenuous grasp of anyhow.

I’m OK with software eating that aspect of my job. Because I want to spend less time making sure files are encoded properly, with the right LUFS, etc. I’d much rather let my brain focus on much more strategic aspects of helping my clients achieve success with their podcasting.

What gets me even more excited is thinking about how the creative process can be augmented by software. Yes, people are writing software that will make it easier to be creative.

 At some point, software might even monitor Google Trends and create episodes based on what people are interested in right now, having an episode available in seconds.

Whether you think that is utopian or dystopian depends on your worldview and resiliency.

Tell me about your automation fears or visions of the bold tomorrow right here in a comment. Or you can go to Flick.group/podcastpontifications to join lots of people (OK, a few dozen people) chatting about these episodes.

And if you feel bad that I’ve predicted my own doom, you can go to BuyMeACoffee.com/evoterra and set up a small recurring donation. 

And most importantly, if you are in business and you need a podcasting pro in your back pocket to think through the strategies of how you can leverage the coming automation of your podcast, get in touch with me. evo@podcastlaunch.pro reaches me, or go to PodcastLaunch.pro to see a list of all the services I offer clients all around the world.

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Yes, this episode is something you should share. Thank you. Here’s where you can find a re-written in-depth article based on the audio of the episode that’s perfect for sharing: http://podcastpontifications.libsyn.com/betting-on-bits-for-better-podcasting

Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

We look advertising square in the face on the 7th edition of this 10-part miniseries on the future of podcasting. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, & 6)

Digital advertising changed the game of advertising forever. Rather than deal with the largely made-up numbers offered by print, radio, and TV publishers, digital ads came with data. Data not just about who saw/heard/read the ads, but what those people did after that.

And then Cambridge Analytica came and ruined the future.

 Since then, a sort of cold war has developed between consumer advocacy and privacy watchdogs on one side, and innovative ad tech companies still trying to make advertising better and more relevant. 

This is not a winnable cold war, I’m afraid. Of all the 10 predictions I wrote for the Podcast Business Journal’s inaugural print edition, this was the toughest for me. Which is why left it as a never-ending cold war.

While you wait for episodes eight, nine, and ten to wrap this puppy up, I again leave you with three possible next steps:


  • If you have your own predictions about the future of podcast advertising, I’d love to read it! Leave a comment right here or join a few other Podcast Pontifications listeners who have downloaded and joined -- for free-- the app at Flick.group/podcastpontifications.
  • If you want to show your love and support, BuyMeACoffee.com/evoterra.

  • If you are in business and need someone strategically thinking about your podcasting efforts now and for the future, please get in touch. evo@podcastlaunch.pro.

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Yes, this episode is something you should share. Thank you. Here’s where you can find a re-written in-depth article based on the audio of the episode that’s perfect for sharing: http://podcastpontifications.libsyn.com/surviving-the-cold-war-of-podcast-advertising

Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

The pending popping of the podcast ad bubble is the topic on part six of my 10-part miniseries on the future of podcasting. (1, 2, 3, 4, & 5)

Somewhere around $500 million was spent last year on podcast advertising. Not surprisingly, that number is projected to go up and up over time. But only if advertisers keep feeling good about the ads

The warm, fuzzy feelings advertisers get when they run live, host-read ads on a handful of podcasts quickly diminishes when they try to scale that to hundreds or thousands of shows. Worse, if the challenges facing influencer marketing campaigns spill over to podcasting, we’re in trouble.

Yes, even if you don’t run ads on your show, a popped adverting bubble is bad for you and all of podcasting due to stifled creativity. Sure, indie podcasters will still be creative. But if big production houses find more lucrative ways to make money, they take away their big marketing dollars, which means less new listeners coming to podcasting, stifling growth.

In the future, we will see the podcast advertising landscape change. But probably not in a way that’s better for podcast creators.

Advertising is never getting completely out of podcasting. But I don't think advertising will always be the lion's share of podcast-derived revenues. As these new revenue pathways develop, perhaps they’ll be a little less-speculative in nature.

Three things to leave you with:


  • Feel free to tell me I’ve crossed the line from skepticism to cynicism. One great place to do that: Flick.group/podcastpontifications. Yes, it’s free.

  • Check out BuyMeACoffee.com/evoterra to show your love for the show with a quick little donation 

  • If you are in business and would like some help making sure your content is ready for discovery, let's chat. evo@podcastlaunch.pro or go to PodcastLaunch.pro to see a list of the services we offer clients all around the globe.

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Yes, this episode is something you should share. Thank you. Here’s where you can find a re-written in-depth article based on the audio of the episode that’s perfect for sharing: http://podcastpontifications.libsyn.com/a-future-reckoning-for-the-podcast-ad-bubble 

Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

Podcasting’s perceived “discovery problem” is the topic for part 5 of my future-of-podcasting mini-series. (1, 2, 3, & 4

I say “perceived” because podcasting per se doesn't have a discovery problem. People who claim podcasting has a discovery problem really mean that they are upset their content isn’t ranking number one for an arbitrary, single search phrase they place a lot of importance on.

Another and likely bigger problem is that discovery doesn't just mean search discovery. How do you ensure that your content is being discovered on Spotify in ways that have nothing to do with search? How do you optimizing a single show to the individual tastes of millions of users?

The problem is not that our content is not being discovered by people. In reality, people aren't discovering your content.  So it's not a problem for the listeners. This is a problem for you.

Just making really great content that people want in their lives and you’ve made a lot of headway. But even then, I'm sorry to say that our discovery issue is never going away.

Three things before I wrap:

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Yes, this episode is something you should share. Thank you. Here’s where you can find a re-written in-depth article based on the audio of the episode that’s perfect for sharing: http://podcastpontifications.libsyn.com/solving-future-podcast-discovery-problems

Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

The future of free podcast hosting is part 4 of my future of podcasting miniseries. (Pts 1, 2, & 3)

In the future, free hosting for podcast media files will be a viable option. I base that prediction on one deciding factor: Spotify is going to do it. 

But I don't think everybody will switch to free. This is not meant to be a doom-and-gloom prediction. This is a coming reality that can be adapted to. YouTube’s free model certainly caused many of the other video hosting companies to shut their doors. But not all of them.

Hosting companies will have to adapt their business models to help podcasters make better content. Companies like Auphonic , Alituand Auxbus are already doing this today. More will come, making it not just easier to assemble and piece together audio, but to actually improve the quality of the episode. 

With Spotify lowering the barrier to entry even more, it’s going to encourage garbage content creation. We've seen it on YouTube. We see it on Anchor. You see it everywhere it’s dead-simple to post content. So that makes the landscape ripe for services to sift through and cut out all the garbage. Because there’s no need to take all that garbage with you.

It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to see how that one change could cause massive disruption, positive and negative, to our industry. I have no crystal ball, but the idea of podcast media hosting going free seems like a shoo-in. 

Before you go, three quick things:


  • If you want to join other people chatting about this episode and all the other episodes of the show, check out Flick.group/podcastpontifications. It’s a free app you might dig. 

  • If you want to show your support for the program, go to BuyMeACoffee.com/evoterra and buy me a virtual coffee. (You do understand it's not actually sending me coffee, right? Yeah, you probably got that.)

  • If you are in business and you’d like someone thinking about what the future of podcasting holds for your business, please get in touch with me. evo@podcastlaunch.pro or go to PodcastLaunch.pro to see a list of the services we offer clients all around the globe. 

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Yes, this episode is something you should share. Thank you. Here’s where you can find a re-written in-depth article based on the audio of the episode that’s perfect for sharing: http://podcastpontifications.libsyn.com/exploring-podcastings-cost-free-future

Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

The future of RSS feeds is part three of my 10-part miniseries on the future of podcasting. [Part 1, 2]

RSS feeds power the backbone of distribution. Barring a few minor namespace additions, they haven’t changed much in 15 years. And that alone makes them vulnerable, because the future favors change.

Many (if not most) of people new to podcast listening are consuming content in places RSS feeds don’t reach. For some of these platforms, RSS feeds don’t contain all the information needed. For others, the RSS feed is superfluous.

And apparently, if our media hosting companies are to be believed, the RSS feeds they generate on our behalf aren’t all that robust and are often error-filled or invalid. Odd that they don’t actively work to fix that, right?

For now -- but probably not forever -- RSS feeds will remain a fundamental part of podcasting. So don’t be lazy with yours. But don’t be Quixotic either. You have to embrace other distribution methods beyond RSS feeds already. Prepare for that to increase in the future.

Now, three things before wrap this up:


  • Please tell me I’m wrong. One great place to do that is at Flick.group/podcastpontifications, a dedicated mobile app just for this show. Yes, it’s free to join and cross-platform.
  • You could buy me a coffee to show your support. BuyMeACoffee.com/evoterra. I'd love it if you'd make it a regular recurring donation as well. 

  • And then finally, if you're in business and you're wondering how to best prepare your podcast for the future, get in touch with me. evo@podcastlaunch.pro and go to PodcastLaunch.pro to see a list of all the services my firm offers. 

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Yes, this episode is something you should share. Thank you. Here’s where you can find a re-written in-depth article based on the audio of the episode that’s perfect for sharing: http://podcastpontifications.libsyn.com/frenzy-or-famine-the-future-of-rss-in-podcasting

Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

(This is part two of a 10-part miniseries made up of my predictions of the future of podcasting.)

--

For every short head, there’s a long tail. And podcasting’s long tail shall forever be the breeding ground for hobbyists doing amazing things with their podcasts.

But… pressure from the short head of premium podcasts will cause hobbyist podcasters to consider making fundamental changes to their shows. If they want. No one is forcing this change.

Except for maybe listeners? While your current listener base may be perfectly happy with the content you’re making now, the new crop are heavily influenced by the short head and have different expectations.

Different expectations on what good content is. Different expectations on where good content can be found. And different expectations on what good content is worthy of their time. 

Yes, I think that future tech will come along to help us with that. But I also think we can’t wait, and that we need to start making changes -- perhaps fundamental changes -- to our shows. Yes, even if we want to stay as a hobbyist podcaster.

Tomorrow, I’m getting into the questionable future of RSS feeds. Yes, that’ll ruffle a few feathers! 

Before you go, consider doing one or all of these three things.


  • Check out Flick.group/podcastpontifications. It’s a totally free and private group in an app for your phone that’s just for listeners of Podcast Pontifications. Talk to me. Talk to your fellow listeners. Or talk to yourself, I guess.

  • Go to BuyMeACoffee.com/evoterra and buy me a coffee. I would love it if you decided to buy me a coffee every single month. 

  • if you are a business or are in business and you need someone in your back pocket making sure your podcasting efforts match your business goals, please get in touch. evo@podcastlaunch.pro and go to PodcastLaunch.pro for a list of all the services we offer clients all around the globe. 

---

Yes, this episode is something you should share. Thank you. Here’s where you can find a re-written in-depth article based on the audio of the episode that’s perfect for sharing: http://podcastpontifications.libsyn.com/mitigating-future-threats-to-hobbyist-podcasting

Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

This is the first part of a 10-part miniseries where I will share some predictions I have for the future of podcasting. Let’s start with a bang:

In the future, the shows that get the majority of attention and therefore downloads and listens will require some form of payment to access.

Yes, I’m aware of the history where this has failed to happen at any appreciable level. But I’m also aware of the larger media plays by Spotify Premium, Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon’s Prime Video. And I’m betting that will work in podcasting.

Yes, I think paid subscriptions will overtake the current ad-supported model that’s akin to commercial radio. 

And, crazily enough, I think this will be a good thing for all podcasters, even those of us who have no intention of ever making premium content. 

Three things: 


  • I’m excited by the growth and engagement on the Flick.group/podcastpontifications app! It’s free to join and works on Android or iOS devices. Plus there’s even a built-in player if you happened to miss an episode and need to brush up before wading into a conversation.

  • You can show your love for the show when you click BuyMeACoffee.com/evoterra. My favorite people have it set to buy me a coffee every single month.

  • If you own or work for a business that could use my help to ensure your podcasting efforts ready for this new bright new future, get in touch with me at evo@podcastlaunch.pro

---

Yes, this episode is something you should share. Thank you. Here’s where you can find a re-written in-depth article based on the audio of the episode that’s perfect for sharing: http://podcastpontifications.libsyn.com/premium-podcasting-will-soon-dominate-the-short-head

Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

You already know that you and your episodes need to be in/on the places where these new “rookie” listeners are already consuming podcast content. And you know that “being there” isn’t enough, but that you need to have your content live there, since that’s where the rookie listeners are living. And there’s no reason not to do so, because you can make a version of your podcast episodes that can comfortably live there.

Today I want to wrap it all together and point out why the feral hog or herded cats metaphor is right. And to convince you that the hub-and-spoke model is broken for podcasting.

Because downloading our shows media files or subscribing to our RSS feed isn’t required for people to enjoy our content. Too many podcasters either don’t know or forget this important fact.

Not that this will be easy. Yes, it’s going to mean not all of your listening activity is traceable. Well… big deal. Much of it isn’t already. 

And to do it right, we’ll need to make each of our media files customized to the destination platform. Until new technology comes along to help us that, we have to do it the hard way. And the tools we have today to help us distribute actively fight against customization. Boo.

This again makes my case that the future of podcasting is going to look quite different than the past of podcasting. Podcasters are in for some massive changes as we survive our way through podcasting’s existential crisis.

Three quick things:


  • Tell me what you think of this episode wherever you are consuming this episode. If the platform you're using doesn’t allow for communication (too many don’t), go to Flick.group/podcastpontifications. It's totally free to join. You can talk to me and other listeners of the show as well to keep the conversation going.

  • If you want to support the show and my efforts bringing you this kind of content 4x a week (except for holidays, obviously), go to BuyMeACoffee.com/evoterra and buy me a virtual cuppa. You can even buy me a coffee every single month if you like. 

  • Or if you think you’d like my podcasting brain working with your organization’s podcast, get in touch with me: evo@podcastlaunch.pro and go to PodcastLaunch.pro to see a list of all the services my team and I offer clients all over the world.

Yes, this episode is something you should share. Thank you. Here’s where you can find a re-written in-depth article based on the audio of the episode that’s perfect for sharing: http://podcastpontifications.libsyn.com/podcasting-has-a-hub-and-spoke-problem

Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

Today I'm continuing the conversation inspired by Tom Webster's excellent article entitled Three Ways to Survive Podcasting’s Existential Crisis. From that, yesterday I told you that you and your podcast’s episodes need to be everywhere these noobies (rookies, in Tom’s lingo) are finding and consuming podcasts. Places you and I, the working podcaster, barely recognize as a valid place to listen to podcasts

But it's not just a matter of your podcast being on all these different platforms that you hadn't considered before. The episodes of your podcast need to live on all those different platforms. 

Here's a quick decision tree to help you evaluate how your content can live on a particular platform.

Step 1: Does this platform allow me to natively upload my content?

Step 2: Can I make the kind of native content that the platform requires? 

Step 3: Is the native content I can make appropriate to the platform?

If you can answer “yes” all the way through, you definitely should. Because the people on that platform are making the choice to live there and consume podcast episodes there. They live there. And if your episodes can also comfortably live there, they should live there.

Your job is to make sure your podcast’s content lives where they live. 

Tomorrow I’ll wrap all of this together to bring this miniseries to an end. But before I go; three things:


  1. Keep the conversation going with our dedicated AND FREE Flick.group/podcastpontifications. Or you can comment right here, assuming the service you’re reading this on allows for comments. If not, Flick with others who want to make podcasting better!

  2. Support the show at BuyMeACoffee.com/evoterra. You can even make it a recurring coffee so that you automatically buy me a cuppa every month.

  3. If you are in business and you need a podcasting pro in your corner, get in touch. evo@podcastlaunch.pro

Yes, this episode is something you should share. Thank you. Here’s where you can find a re-written in-depth article based on the audio of the episode that’s perfect for sharing: http://podcastpontifications.libsyn.com/let-your-podcast-live-where-your-audience-lives

Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

The impetus for this week’s series is an article recently published by Tom Webster, Senior Vice President of Edison Research, entitled Three Ways to Survive Podcasting’s Existential Crisis. And you know what a big fan of existential crises I am!

The main premise of the article is that newbie listeners, whom Tom calls ”rookies”, encounter and consume podcasted content much differently than podcasting veterans. And I don’t mean veteran podcasters, but veteran podcast listeners

So what do you do? Well, to start: Be everywhere today’s rookie podcast consumers are. 

But what rookies call “listening to a podcast” is often unrecognizable as podcast listening to us veterans. So rather than try and correct their behavior and lexicon (like we’ve been trying and failing to do for the better part of 15 years), we need to recognize that for the Quixotic effort it is. And we need to just stop.

Yes, that means your podcast needs to be on all of the podcast platforms.

Yes, you also need to be on every social platform where you have a presence.

Yes, your show and your episodes need to be “search discoverable”.

Yes, that also means getting your voice heard on other podcasts. 

 Yes, you need to be hanging out to where listeners are hanging out.

So keep listening over (at least) the next two episodes to get the full picture. 

Two things before I go:


  1. Go to BuyMeACoffee.com/evoterra if you’d like to support this show. I don't run (and have no intention of running) ads on the program, so If you like what I'm doing, buy me a virtual coffee.

  2. Check out the (slowly) growing Flick.group/podcastpontifications to talk directly to me and your fellow listeners. 

Yes, this episode is something you should share. Thank you. Here’s where you can find a re-written in-depth article based on the audio of the episode that’s perfect for sharing: http://podcastpontifications.libsyn.com/be-where-todays-podcast-listeners-expect-you-to-be

Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

As much as I don't want to disappoint you, I really need back the three hours each day that this show takes. All is good on my end, but I need to put my head down and focus on my business.

Here's a taste of what's going on:

  • I'm onboarding two new clients at the same time, and that's a lot of work and focus from me. And I can't let those slip, as it's paying clients that afford me the ability to bring you Podcast Pontifications four times a week.
  • I'm giving a presentation about podcasting at Disrupt HR Phoenix this week, and I need to spend many, many hours to prepare for it. If you've ever seen me speak, you know I put a lot of effort into making sure the timing is perfect and that I have every aspect of my stage-game down pat. 
  • In a couple of weeks, I'm headed to Kazahkstan to talk about podcasting at PATA Travel Mart 2019. I haven't even started that preso, because I'm incapable of prepping for two different talks. Thanks, brain.
  • Prior to that, I have an original article due for the print-version of Podcast Business Journal, which I also haven't started. (Side note for Ed: How do people subscribe to the print version?)

So yeah... I'm busy. So is everyone. I don't think I'm special. But I am exercising my own control of my own show, and being a good doobie by letting you know in advance of my little break.

Talk amongst yourselves, and consider buying me a coffee if you like. Also, if you have topic ideas or things you want to talk, Flick.group/podcastpontifications is a nifty way to do that.

And if you want to add to my workload, great! Email me at evo@podcastlaunch.pro or go to PodcastLaunch.pro to see a list of the services we offer our clients all around the globe.

The show will be back right after Labor Day!

In this episode I (finally) stop espousing theory and give you the exact audio engineering steps you should follow to make amazing sounding and accessible episodes of your podcast. They are:

  1. Clean up the noise
  2. Control the dynamic range
  3. Tweak the EQ
  4. Compress to impress
  5. Mix well and export at -16 LUFS

How do you do each of those steps is dependent on your DAW, but I do mention some plugins and services I use, like:

Also, and somewhat uncharacteristic of me, I enlisted the help of some smart and talented audio engineers to vet out my thinking. So thank you, Marcus DePaula, Tom Kelly, Josh Wade and Chris Curran for keeping me honest.

Two things before I go one:


  1. BuyMeACoffee/evoterra is where you should go if you enjoyed the tips and guidance in this miniseries. More miniseries is are coming, and you can show your appreciation to me at buying me a virtual coffee.

  2. The Flick group app for Podcast Pontifications is growing! People are talking about next week's planned episodes as well as talking about this week's miniseries. We’d love for you to join. It’s free!

Enjoy your weekend (because I don't do episodes on Fridays!) and I shall be back on Monday with a brand new miniseries on Podcast Pontifications

Yes, this episode is something you should share. Thank you. Here’s where you can find a re-written in-depth article based on the audio of the episode: http://podcastpontifications.libsyn.com/how-to-make-accessible-podcast-audio-in-5-easy-steps

Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

Equipment and the environment where those tools are deployed have massive implications on your ability to make that podcast episode accessible.

Accessibility improves your podcasts listen-ability for everyone. And that’s the goal, right?

It starts with the right equipment, like microphones and DAWs. But talking about equipment without also understanding the environment where that equipment will be used is a fool’s errand. You’ll waste money. Or you’ll keep using the same free or cheap stuff you have access. 

Neither of those bad decisions will help you make more accessible audio content.

What I am advising is that you use equipment designed for the task at hand. Equipment specifically designed to produce podcast episodes instead of capturing the sounds of a band in a garage. 

Choosing Equipment dedicated to and designed for the job at hand is always the best choice. 

Once you have the right environment and the right equipment for the show you’re making, you have the best chance at making accessible audio that anyone can hear. 

Two things: 

Tomorrow I’ll get even more specific, now that I’ve laid the groundwork. Yes, I’ll talk about some plugins and processes you can actually put in play to your podcast production right away.

Speaking of accessibility, here’s where you can find a re-written in-depth article based on the audio of the episode: http://podcastpontifications.libsyn.com/make-an-accessible-podcast-with-the-right-equipment-environment

Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

If you care nothing about accessibility and take only one thing from this episode, please let it be that shitty transcripts will not help your website’s SEO.

Transcripts of podcast episodes are an accessibility feature, not an SEO benefit.

Captioning is added to the audio (and video) elements of your digital content so that people can consume those elements with their eyes instead of (or in some cases in addition to) their ears.

But do I mean a literal, 100% accurate transcription? Well… that depends. My processes is (or has been since June) to taking this 10-minute audio monologue and turning it into a (in this case) 1,323 word written representation of the topic. Why? Because it reads better than a literal word-for-word transcript, which you can read here

So that’s fine (I think?) for a short show like this. But longer shows? Not so much, so I’m changing the advice I give to all of my clients. While it’s still important to create a well-crafted “landing page” for each episode, complete with charts, graphs, and other visual components to really make a piece of worthy digital content, that’s not enough.

That's not sufficient for servicing the needs of the hearing impaired. In most cases, the audio of your episode and the contents of this new landing page, another digital asset, are vastly different. If that’s the case for you, then you need to include a transcript of the actual audio episode. Yes, that means more work for you. Sorry?

Tomorrow I’m going to get into some technologies and tools to help you make your audio content more accessible. But before that, two things real quick:


  • BuyMeACoffee.com/evoterra is running if you want to show your appreciation for this show. You're probably never going to buy the services my firm offers since you're a working podcaster, so buy me a virtual coffee instead.

  • The new Flick group app is growing. People are having conversations with me and themselves, but it's just getting started. If you want to be one of the early members of this new Flick group (it's an app on your phone), come on in! It’s free to join, of course.

Speaking of accessibility, here’s where you can find a re-written in-depth article based on the audio of the episode: http://podcastpontifications.libsyn.com/captioning-your-podcast-with-a-transcript-for-those-with-hearing-loss

Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

Why am I pumped about making podcasts accessible for those of us with hearing loss? (Hint: it’s the word “us” in that sentence.)

This may come as a shock, but people with hearing loss listen to podcasts. Or rather, we listen to podcast made by conscientious podcast creators who work hard to make sure their content -- all of it -- is accessible to those of us with less-than-perfect hearing.

I assume all the dialogue you wrote for your episode is important, right? Too bad I can’t hear some of it, so I’ll never know.

You know that noisy world you live in? We do, too. And that noisy world isn’t something you can avoid. Neither can we. So if you’re designing your content for someone sitting down with perfect headphones in an anechoic chamber, you’re limiting your audience. You do want to grow your audience, right?

More bad news: making your audio accessible to the hearing impaired isn’t a push-button or after-the-fact solution. Software is advancing fast, but you still need to use proper techniques inside your episodes to make sure people like me can hear all your hard work. Transcripts alone aren’t enough. Nor is making sure to export at -16 LUFS. Yes, you should do both of those things. But you need to do other things too.

 Other links mentioned in the episode:

Speaking of accessibility, here’s where you can find a re-written in-depth article based on the audio of the episode: http://podcastpontifications.libsyn.com/hearing-loss-accessibility-and-your-podcast

Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

"What? A Friday and a Saturday show, Evo?"

Don't worry. I'm not making a habit out of this. It's just that you people keep going to BuyMeACoffee.com/evoterra and demanding more. So... thanks!

With the sounds of the vendors at Podcast Movement 2019 tearing down around us, I sat down with Alban Brooke, Head of Growth at Buzzsprout, in the fancy Buzzsprout recording booth. They had two lovely-looking SM7Bs (my studio mic is back in my studio), and Alban has shared with me his theory on podcasting's "Two-And-A-Half Men" Problem.

(Oh, and 2hile it was great fun to do an interview, I don't plan on changing the format of the show!)

I'll be back on Monday with a brand new miniseries! 

Podcast Movement 2019 Day Four:

Yes, it's a special Friday episode! You can thank the fine folks who went to Buymeacoffee.com/evoterra and... bought me a coffee! They asked for a final recap of the show after the last day, and who am I to refuse those who've bought me a virtual coffee?

It's late here in Orlando, so I'm making these episode notes brief:

The reason I come year after year to Podcast Movements and other events? It's to see my friends. It's to make acquaintances into friends. And it's to make a whole lot of new friends. Because the friends I make are the kinds of people who'll make podcasting better.

I'm putting my money where my mouth is, and I'm registering for Podcast Movement 2020 -- both of them! -- as soon as this episode posts. You should buy yours too before the price goes up.

Because yeah... you wanna come meet my friends. And make them your friends too.

Podcast Movement 2019 Day Three:

You still have one day to meet me for coffee, lunch, breakfast, or whatever! Hit me on Twitter or send me an email. Let's get together this Podcast Movement!

Even though my voice crapped out -- I hope I'm not getting sick, but I probably am -- I'm back with another recap of another fantastic day at Podcast Movement 2019. Here's who I had great conversations with today:

Jijo and Aleesha from BuyMeACoffe.com/evoterra. No, they didn't make that just for me. In fact, that's not even how I first met Jijo. But that's what happens when you understand product/market fit, and he's back to a product that does work. And yeah, I'm trying it!

I caught up with Andrea and her brother John of Andrea Sager Law. They're helping podcasters protect their IP with trademark protection services, something many podcasters -- big and small -- fail to think about. And I'm guilty of it too!

Alban was very gracious with his time, explaining to me Buzzsprout's approach to the market. I really love that they're making podcasting better by "down-coding" audio files to podcast-appropriate steps, even if their customer accidentally(?) upload uncompressed .wav files!

I downloaded the Flick app some time ago, but didn't immediately get the value. Spending a few minutes with Andy changed that, and now I have an app-based chat group for Podcast Pontifications listeners. You can have one too... and it's free!

Hindenburg Journalist Pro is the editing tool we use for engineering our client's shows (and this one!). There was one feature that I wondered if I fully understood. After chatting with Nick, it was clear that I hadn't grokked the full usage. But good news: I didn't need to! Stellar support.

I rarely conduct interviews, and most of my clients pull their interviewees from their own personal contact list. So I'd never considered much the need for services like Interview Valet. But after talking with Karen for a few minutes, I really saw the value. And did I mention her service is free for podcasters looking for guests?

Podbean is another company I thought I knew all about. You'll recognize this tune by now: I was wrong. Jennifer shared with me the great things they are doing to enable internal corporate communications -- a big part of their business!

It's always great to catch up with Chris and Josh from the Podcast Engineering School. If you really want to step up your game behind the board, these guys know what they are doing.

I've known Paul Colligan -- long time podcast consultant -- for almost as long as I've been podcasting. But what I didn't know until today was his methodology of getting businesses on the path to successful podcasting. I had no idea the Podcast Partnership was so comprehensive!

If you forced me to pick one company that's leading the charge in advancing podcasting, I'd have a tough time not picking RadioPublic. I've been talking with Joshua for years now, and it was good to put a name to a face. But I also got a chance to meet Jake, Nicola, and Chris, spending a little time with each to learn more about how they are actively working to make podcasting better. Fabulous! 

Spotify certainly wins for the most impressive booth at the show, and Rollie was kind enough to spend some time with me. Not surprisingly, he didn't divulge any of Spotify's upcoming plans. But I was surprised that the tech team for Spotify's podcast initiative is based out of Mesa, AZ! That's just a few miles away. I wonder if I can get a tour? Probably not.

Mattia from Voxnest started to catch me up on all the things their company has going on. Talk about a wide net that goes beyond what we think of as podcasting!

And of course, I always enjoy my time with Zach and Rock from Squadcast (seriously, why would you use any other remote recording solution?) and Mark and Kieran from Rebel Base Media (who work the lovely Lucy and Sam way too hard!) (DISCLAIMER: I'm on the advisory board for one of Rebel Base Media's products, Captivate.)

... but even with all of that, I still haven't made it to all the vendors I want to see. So I guess that means a bonus bonus episode coming tomorrow?

Cheers!

Podcast Movement 2019 Day Two:

My offer to meet you for coffee, lunch, breakfast, or whatever still stands! Hit me on Twitter or send me an email. Let's get together this Podcast Movement!

My approach today was simple: Forget I know anything and ask people what they are doing to make podcasting better.

I received some amazing answers. It's amazing what happens when you get your ego (read: Evo) out of the way and let other people talk.

I spent a lot of time with Adori Labs, who bill themselves as a "business-in-a-box platform for the modern audio publisher". But that doesn't tell you they're making content for the next generations of consumers. (And hi, Kartik!)

I talked with Adswizz and suddenly I'm excited for the future of ads inside of podcasts, because they know how to separate form from function.

The smart people at Audimute helped me select the right kind of sound conditioning for my studio, so the show will sound even more amazing in a week or so.

I had a lovely sit-down with Amira from Glow. She and I have been talking since before it was called Glow. I'm excited for her lightweight solution to make premium content an option for any podcaster.

Even Headliner, a tool I know and have used for a while, had people in the booth who helped me see opportunities I had missed.

Peter from the newly spun-off-from-Himalaya content shop HiStudios sat down for a long conversation about where podcasting has been and what excites both of us about the future.

Cole from Podchaser showed me all the opportunities I'm missing (and your missing) by not fully utilizing his totally free service.

... and the helpful guys at the Samson booth showed me how to actually hear myself when using the Q2U mic, so this episode should sound better.

And I'm missing lots of others, because there's just so much to mention. So much, that I'm at it again tomorrow. 

Can you tell I'm excited about what I'm learning at Podcast Movement 2019? 

 

 

 

 

 

Podcast Movement 2019 Day One:

Yes, I want to meet you for coffee, lunch, breakfast... whatever! Hit me on Twitter or send me an email. Let's get together this Podcast Movement!

Today I walked the vendor exhibition hall. I'm blown away not only by the companies attending -- the usual suspects but also some new big players -- but by what the reps from the companies are saying. They have big plans for podcasting.

Today I met a dozen new podcasting friends, many of which were not OG pioneers, but with amazing drive and passion for how podcasting fits into their lives, as well as how they're shaping podcasting to fit their needs and better serve their audiences.

And really, the show hasn't even begun. There's something in the air that... I can't put my finger on. Yes, it's hunger and excitement. But those are common at any podcasting event. And as much as I love Podcast Movement, I don't necessarily think it's the event itself that's causing the change. I just think it's here and now.

There are two things I'm certain of after the first day of Podcast Movement 2019:

  1. The next 15 years of podcasting will bear little resemblance to the next 15 years of podcasting.
  2. I look forward to bringing you another live report tomorrow.

Cheers!

In a couple of hours, I fly out to Orlando Florida to attend Podcast Movement 2019. I was a keynote speaker at the first-ever Podcast Movement back in 2014, so I'm excited to see how the event -- the very large event -- has changed over five years.

But I'm not speaking at the event, which is weird. I'm just an attendee. And because I want to maximize my time at the event, I'm making some modifications to this week's episodes of Podcast Pontifications. 

Yes, this will be a miniseries once again, but an abbreviated, audio-only version. No video component (not that many people watch the video) and no 1,500-word accompanying blog post (which many people do like to read), and a little less rigor to the self-imposed time-constraint. 

Also, the focus and tone will be different. Normally, I draw from my own thoughts and experiences when I create these episodes. But my promise to myself at PM19 is to shut up, get out of smart people's way, and do a lot of listening. My intent is to then take what I've learned -- me, the old dog learning new tricks -- and report back to you on the items I found most compelling. Services, models, and people who also wish to advance podcasting.

That's the plan as of right now. But also the plan is to get back to packing. If you are attending PLEASE GET IN TOUCH so we can meet, even if it's only a quick meet-and-greet. 

See you in Orlando!

 

For the final episode of the miniseries, I’m turning your focus to podcasting events and enlisting you in the cause of Advancing Podcasting.

It's worth revisiting the tenets of Advancing Podcasting to help illustrate why your appearance at a conferences can help make podcasting better. 

  1. We believe that technology should make podcasting better, not just easier.
  2. We believe that new models are required to bring the ~75% of non- and infrequent listeners into the fold. 
  3. We believe in and respect the inherent choices made by podcast listeners, podcast creators, and podcast enablers.

I third tenet is something you should always have in mind, so this episode will focus on the first two. Specifically, I want you to:

  • Submit a talk centered on ways to use technology to make podcasting better.
  • Be on the lookout for new approaches to podcasting that will bring in new listeners.

If you're going to be a Podcast Movement 2019, I will be there too! And I would love to meet you for coffee, drinks, dinner, or just a quick meet and greet. Get in touch with me wherever you can.  I'm @evoterra on Twitter, or you can email me at evo@podcastlaunch.pro. Get in touch with me and we'll book a time to sit down together. Let's not leave it to  random chance. Since I’m not presenting, I have plenty of time to meet other people who were interested in Advancing Podcasting. 

Pass along the good info in this episode via this totally re-written in-depth article based on the audio of the episode: http://podcastpontifications.libsyn.com/advancing-podcasting-at-big-events-on-stage-or-in-the-audience

Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

Today, we're going local with your own influence as you strive to make all of podcasting better. Why not go to the larger online communities? One reason: Going local means you can become the big podcasting fish in the little podcasting pond.

Here are three ways you can do that:

  1. Join local podcasting meetups
  2. Pitch podcasting stories to your local TV news outlets
  3. Attend networking events that have nothing to do with podcasting

All of these suggestions work better -- much better -- when they are done on a regular, periodic basis. You know… just like podcast episodes. 

I go into much more details in the episode itself and have also created a totally re-written in-depth article based on the audio of the episode if you’d care to share it with someone: http://podcastpontifications.libsyn.com/becoming-the-local-podcast-advocate

Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

Today the focus in on you as an advocate for podcasting made better, spreading the good news of better podcasts to friends, co-workers, and people you meet in the course of your day. But not in a pushy or self-promotional sort of way.

When someone asks you about the podcasts you listen to, they’re really asking you for a recommendation. And if that person isn’t already into podcasting, you really should make a recommendation to hook them for life, rather than trying to just get more listener to your show. 

Trouble is: it’s hard to remember “noobie friendly” shows. So I’ve a simple recommendation: use a secondary podcast listening app and subscribe to shows that are IHNIs. Now you’ll never be at a loss when it comes to a solid recommendation.

I go into much more details in the episode itself and have also created a totally re-written in-depth article based on the audio of the episode if you’d care to share it with someone:  http://podcastpontifications.libsyn.com/how-to-be-a-not-so-pushy-podcast-pusher

Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

Today, I want to focus on your relationship with people who have been podcasting for less time than you.

I think, as a working podcaster who also wants to help make podcasting better for the rest of the world, helping “younger” podcasters is one thing you can do to make podcasting better for everyone.

But there are two pitfalls to watch out for:

  • The act of making a podcast doesn’t make you a podcasting expert.
  • Honest feedback always trumps insincere praise.

Because we need more good guides and mentors in podcasting to make podcasting better. Just remember to stick to the things that you actually are an expert on and don't be afraid to say “I don't know”. And when someone asks your opinion on how they can make their podcast better, it is incumbent upon you to be honest to that person. 

Tomorrow, more on how you can help make podcasting better by becoming an excellent advocate and steward of podcasting to would-be listeners. This week is all about what you can do in this movement of making podcasting better by advancing podcasting

Want to send this along to a friend who needs to hear it? Send them to this totally re-written article that also has an embedded player: http://podcastpontifications.libsyn.com/guiding-mentoring-junior-podcasters-with-honesty-expertise

Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

Part 4: How long does it take to actually get better at podcasting so you can call yourself an expert? We’ll cover that today. But ICYMI:

You've probably heard a phrase popularized by Malcolm Gladwell: It takes 10,000 hours to be an expert at anything. Though scientists and researchers bristle at the lack of, well… science and research to back up the claim, I think it’s fine to use directionally.

If you dedicate one hour a day, every day, to practice your skill as a podcast, it’ll take you 27.5 years to hit the mark. That’s a long time.

Do it for eight hours a day, every day, and you slice that time down to 3.5 years. Still a long time. But much more in the realm of possibility.

The fact that I’ve been podcasting for 15 years isn’t what makes me an expert. That’s just how long I’ve been in the game. And honestly, being in the game too long can actually become a liability.

I come off more than a little angst-filled in this episode, so you might want to check out totally re-written article where I became a bit more coherent: http://podcastpontifications.libsyn.com/age-treachery-vs-youth-skill-in-podcasting

Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

I’ll answer the question “how long should a podcast episode be?”, but only from the perspective of making a better podcast. 

You should never try to stretch an episode beyond your own ability to be interesting. And if you follow what psychologists have been telling us for decades, you’ll change things up every two minutes or less to keep your audience interested.

All of us have expectations for how much time we should allocate for everything we do, every single day. Not just the media we consume, but the tasks and experience we have in the real world, too. Why wouldn’t that be true for podcast listening as well?

So how long should your episodes be? as short as you can possibly make them, as long as it's consistent, episode after episode after episode. That's the long and short of how to make a better podcast.

If you’d prefer to read about it, here’s a link to a totally re-written article that is based on the audio of this episode: http://podcastpontifications.libsyn.com/the-long-short-of-better-podcast-episodes

Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

We’re investigating time in this four-part miniseries. Yesterday was all about your personal time-horizon. Today we're going to tackle the hard question that a lot of podcasters avoid: How much time does it take to make a better podcast? 

  • Minimum effort for a better podcast: 8 hours per episode. 
  • Par excellence effort for a better podcast: 100+ hours per episode.
  • Sensible effort for a better podcast: 20-50 hours per episode.

Do those numbers scare you? Or do you scoff at them? Both are acceptable reactions. But if you really are focused on making your next podcast a better podcast, they are good numbers to use for budgeting. Because many of the new shows coming out are budgeting that way… and those shows are becoming the norm of what better podcasts sound like. 

Why you make your next podcast is up to you. Is it art? Is it business? Is personal? You get to choose the why and the how. It’s the what I’m interested in, and I hope what you’re interested in making is a better podcast. 

You’ll hear all about that in the episode, and you can read all about it in a totally re-written article if that helps: http://podcastpontifications.libsyn.com/how-long-does-it-take-to-make-a-better-podcast

Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

If you make better use of time, it will get you on the track of making podcasting better. Today, we’ll focus on where you focus: Your own personal time-horizon.

Some podcasters have a super-short time-horizon, perhaps just a few minutes out. Others plot out entire seasons, preferring to leave little to chance.

While the right answer is probably somewhere in the middle, the reality is that there is no right answer. And many podcasters will realize they need to have multiple time-horizons.

You’ll hear all about that in the episode, and you can read all about it in a totally re-written article if that helps: http://podcastpontifications.libsyn.com/expanding-your-podcasting-time-horizon

Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

Getting your mindset right and making a commitment to move from hobbyist podcaster to podcasting professional is key, but only after you:

No, none of these are easy. But the mindset is probably the hardest part. So I’ll wrap this four-part miniseries with two messages:

  1. There's a very good chance that you will not succeed. Yes, that’s a Bummer. But it’s reality. No matter how much effort and energy you put into becoming a professional in the world of podcasting… it just may not work. 
  2. Success might look completely different than what you're thinking about right now. So keep your mind open and increase your luck surface area.

There’s never been a better time to make the decision to turn pro. I’m rooting for you! 

A text-based and totally-re-written-for-reading version of this episode can be found at: http://podcastpontifications.libsyn.com/getting-your-mind-right-about-becoming-a-podcasting-professional

Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

The connections you need to cultivate is part three of my four-part miniseries on switching from amateur/hobbyist/just having fun with podcasting to becoming a podcasting professional. Part one was a reality check and level set. Part two was an honest evaluation of your own abilities and how to improve them. 

A full written-for-reading guide can be found at: http://podcastpontifications.libsyn.com/cultivate-the-right-connections-to-become-a-professional-podcaster

First I drop some harsh truths:

  • Your friends will not help you become a podcasting professional.
  • Your family will not help you become a podcasting professional.
  • Your fans will not help you become a podcasting professional.

It’s not all bad news.

  • The right support community can help you turn pro.
  • The right coach can help you turn pro.
  • The right supporting cast can help you turn pro.

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Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

Part two of a four-part miniseries. Did you miss the reality check on what turning pro actually means?

Today’s focus is on you, targeting the skills and abilities that got you where you are in podcasting today. Because you need to boost those to get into the pro podcasting level. And recognize that true professionals are always working on their skills to stay at the top of their game.

Do you know what you’re good at? Do you know where you need to improve? Asking your fans is kinda like asking your mom, so that’s not helpful. 

Do you know what professional looks and sounds like? Do you know what true professionals outside of podcasting with those skills do to keep their skills fresh?

A text-based and totally-re-written-for-reading version of this episode can be found at: http://podcastpontifications.libsyn.com/upgrading-your-ability-to-become-a-pro-podcaster

Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

There’s more to being a professional podcaster than you probably think, especially if you think only the cream-of-the-crop are worthy of the title of “pro”.

My definition is simple: Pro = makes a paycheck. Just like every other form of media (and everything else), paychecks are available to pros at all levels of the game.

Spoiler: There are professionals at every level inside of podcasting. 

Even if you may not be able to transfer your amateur hobby podcast into a professional podcast, you may be able to leverage the knowledge you have gained running that particular podcast to get a paid gig in professional podcasting.

Yes, there’s a possibility you can go pro and get a paycheck with your current efforts on your current show. 

But it's not the only possibility. 

A text-based and totally-re-written-for-reading version of this episode can be found at: http://podcastpontifications.libsyn.com/turning-pro-in-podcasting-a-reality-check

Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

If you really want your show to grow, the metric that matters is Conversion Rate. Before I get into it, here’s what you missed that you may want to catch up on:

… but none of those really help you understand if you’re doing the right things to make your show grow. For that, you need to understand your website’s conversion rate. 

Bad news: You can’t get this metric from your hosting companies, apps or directories.

Good news: It’s a metric you can get for free from Google Analytics

Unsurprising news: You probably need to pay someone to set it up properly. But it understanding this number -- and influencing it -- will make your podcast better.

A text-based and totally-re-written-for-reading version of this episode can be found at: http://podcastpontifications.libsyn.com/understanding-your-podcasts-most-important-growth-metric

Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

Part 3 of the “metrics that matter for podcasters”, today’s episode is an in-depth look at Apple’s Podcast Analytics and how they can help you improve your podcast.

ICYMI, check out Monday’s episode about  obsessing over downloads and Tuesday’s on conflating social media metrics with podcast success

Did you know that Apple gives every podcaster access to the actual listener behavior of their own actual episodes? Yes, the actual measured listener behavior related only to the episodes of that show.

That’s… powerful! And too many of us don’t look at it. Boo, us.

The secret weapon about this chart/line graph is the little player barely visible at the bottom of the chart. You can drag the “play head” of that player to any timestamp on the chart/graph to hear what was said at any point.

So why don’t more people pay close attention to this valuable listener information Apple graciously provides to us? Because it looks weird. It’s not a single number, like downloads or number of likes on an Instagram post.

Tomorrow, I'll share the most important metric of all that every podcaster should be tracking… yet probably isn’t.

A text-based and totally-re-written-for-reading version of this episode can be found at: http://podcastpontifications.libsyn.com/spying-on-your-listeners-can-improve-your-podcast

Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

Social media sites treat audio content as a second-class citizen. Yet we podcasters are told we must engage with our audience socially. But… what if our social audience doesn’t care all that much about our podcast content?

In this short episode, I’m looking for a social media metric that matters to podcasters. A metric that tells us not only if our social efforts are working, but how that metric impacts the growth and health of our podcast.

It’s a frustrating search, if I’m honest.

A text-based and totally-re-written-for-reading version of this episode can be found at: http://podcastpontifications.libsyn.com/can-social-stats-track-your-podcasts-growth

Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

All this talk about “downloads” isn’t helping. Unless you’re paid per download (like some shows are via advertising), you should probably care less about tracking downloads.

You’re going to hear two shocking statements in this episode:

  1. Significant growth is not the natural state of podcasts.
  2.  I don’t measure the success of this podcast based on downloads. 

For reals.

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A text-based and totally-re-written-for-reading version of this episode can be found at: http://podcastpontifications.libsyn.com/overcoming-download-depression-syndrome

Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

This episode will help make sure your show appeals to the 25% of people who listen to podcasts regularly. 

You'd think this would be easy, as I just mentioned at the top of the program. And in fact, it is easy. Experience podcast listeners really only need to know two things to listen to your podcast:

  1. The knowledge that you, in fact, have a podcast
  2. The name of your podcast (and gods help you if you used funny spelling)

But there’s one thing you don’t, and in fact can’t know: how an experience podcast listener would prefer to listen to your podcast.

The tl;dr version: Submitting your show to Apple Podcast is not enough. This episode will help convince you of that. And after you’ve listened, you can share this page with others who need to get the message:  

The prior three episodes in this mini-series tackled other audiences. If you missed them, here’s a quick listening guide: http://podcastpontifications.libsyn.com/appeasing-the-fickle-podcast-listener

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Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

For all of podcasting’s greatness, it’s really hard for podcast content to be “stumbled upon”. But if you’re willing to make the investment, you can buck the trend. Here’s how I do it:

  1. I invest in Google-friendly content. 
  2. I publish where readers are looking for written content.

In case you missed my subtleness, I’m not talking about the audio files themselves. In this episode, I make the case where investing in high-quality written content -- content that was entirely based off your audio file -- makes your podcast episodes much more discoverable.

By way of example, be sure to read the text-based and totally-re-written-for-reading version of this episode at: http://podcastpontifications.libsyn.com/turning-happy-accidents-into-a-podcast-audience

Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

Turning to your contacts and other communication channels is one of the best ways to grow your podcast’s audience. However, it’s not as easy as that. In this episode, you’ll learn these harsh facts:

  • 75% of the people you actively engage with in various communiction channels don’t have the podcast habit.
  • Less than 10% of the people in your contact list will bother to check out your podcast.

But it’s not all doom-and-gloom. The trick is a two-parter:

  1. Make your contacts feel special
  2. Don’t pollute their chosen channel

If you can do those things -- and yes, I will give you specific examples of what I mean -- you can not only increase your odds of turning a contact into a listener. But you’re actively working to make podcasting better.

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A text-based and totally-re-written-for-reading version of this episode can be found at: http://podcastpontifications.libsyn.com/convincing-your-contacts-to-listen-to-your-podcast

Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

What happens if your avatar is part of the 75% who have not yet picked up the habit of listening to podcasts? This episode gives some practical advice that you should implement right away because:

  • Words like “subscribe” & “follow” have no context
  • They’ve no recognition of podcast app logos
  • They don’t know where to go digging for a player… so don’t hide it!
  • They’re less likely to forgive you for three minutes of chitter-chatter before you get to the point!

Keep in mind that three out of every four people who find your website have likely not regular podcast consumers. Three out of four. That’s the majority. Clearly, your site needs to address their needs as well as more seasoned listeners. 

Do your part to make podcasting better for them… and all of us.

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A text-based and totally-re-written-for-reading version of this episode can be found at: http://podcastpontifications.libsyn.com/design-your-podcast-for-the-75-who-dont-listen-to-podcasts

Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

Hello and welcome to the Second Season of Podcast Pontifications with me, Evo Terra.

If you missed the 190 episodes of season 1, don’t worry. There won’t be a quiz. And if you did catch them all, I have good news for you. Expect more of the same, only... better.

But for the new people: Podcast Pontifications is my four-times a week, short-form podcast where I, and stop me if you’ve heard this before, pontificate about podcasting.

What qualifies me to assume this role? Well… 

  • I’ve been podcasting since October 14, 2004, and producing online audio for much, much longer,
  • I’m the author of both Podcasting for Dummies and Expert Podcasting Practices For Dummies,
  • I founded a podcast distribution network made up of over 700 shows,
  • I’ve delivered keynote presentations about podcasting on three different continents, 
  • ...and  I run a strategic podcast consultancy as my full-time (and only) gig.

But as proud as I am about my history with podcasting, I’m much more interested in podcasting's future. More to the point, I’ve a driving ambition to “advance” the cause of podcasting, to make podcasting... better. 

Better for listeners. Better for creators. And better for the podcast hosting companies, app developers, directories, and curators who connect us all together.

Season Two of Podcast Pontifications will be focused on just that: ways to make podcasting... better. Better right now, and better in the future. 

This is not a how-to podcast… podcast. This isn’t really even a podcast about podcasting. It’s a podcast for working podcasters. At least, working podcasters who also have a vested interest in making the next fifteen years of podcasting... better.

Because we need to make podcasting better, not just easier. 

New episodes will drop starting in July of 2019 every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Thanks in advance for listening to Podcast Pontifications, with me, Evo Terra, available now at Podcast Pontifications.com. Cheers!


An old boss once told me (and it’s proven out true) that work expands to fill the time allotted for it. That’s probably why I’m a fan of artificial constraints. It keeps me focused.

The same probably goes for your podcast. You probably have a constrained amount of time you spend on each episode. Well… what if you didn’t?

In this episode, I challenge you to consider what kind of show you could put out if you had nearly unlimited time. No, not just an incremental bit of extra time you could (and probably should) dedicate to various aspects of your podcast production process. But how would your show change if you could spend 5x the amount of time on it?

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A text-based and totally-re-written-for-reading version of this episode can be found at: http://podcastpontifications.libsyn.com/will-time-change-your-podcast

Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

Growth at all costs is a big mantra in the startup world. But does it make sense for your podcast?

This episode questions the wisdom of “growth at all costs” by taking a look at best-case and worst-case scenarios of growing your show into the top 20% of all podcasts.

For most of us, it’s not quite as lucrative as you might think. And for a good number of us, it might result in unforeseen business challenges down the road.

So what do you do instead of focusing on growth? Build a better podcast, of course!

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A text-based and totally-re-written-for-reading version of this episode can be found at: http://podcastpontifications.libsyn.com/should-you-grow-a-big-podcast-or-work-to-build-a-better-one

Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

Podcasting is 15 years old now. And while you still might drive a 15-year-old car and think nothing of it, consider this: teenagers who were in the first wave of podcasters are now in their 30s.

Yeah.

Even if you don’t find it all that challenging to keep up with the changes in the technology of podcasting, you might find it more difficult to keep up with the changes in attitudes and expectations. Because the world we’re podcasting into has changed A LOT in those 15 years.

That’s a big part of why the Advancing Podcasting Party was started. And why we need your help. You should join us at AdvancingPodcasting.xyz

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A text-based and totally-re-written-for-reading version of this episode can be found at:http://podcastpontifications.libsyn.com/can-old-podcasting-dogs-learn-new-tricks

Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

TAKE NOTE: AdvancingPodcast.xyz is now live. Yes, you should sign up if you have an interest in making podcasting better, not just easier.

Unless you’re part of a big network or have a big ad budget, your podcast will only grow if people share it. Sadly, far too many podcasters -- even big ones -- fail to include share-friendly links. That makes it hard for me to share your excellent content.

No, I’m not sharing a link to the episode inside the app I’m using. I don’t want to force my social followers to change their habits! I want a website to share. That’s a “permalink”, and it’s built into the podcasting spec.

And far too many aren’t using it. Hence my appeal for you to fix that. Yes, on all of your old episodes. Because you want your show to grow, right?

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A text-based and totally-re-written-for-reading version of this episode can be found at: http://podcastpontifications.libsyn.com/sharing-is-caring-about-your-podcast

Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

Announcing the official launch of the Advancing Podcasting Party! No, we’re not running for office. But we are working to make podcasting better. And we need your help!

Here’s what we believe:

  • We believe that technology should make podcasting better, not just easier.
  • We believe that new models are required to bring the 78% of non- and infrequent listeners into the fold.
  • We believe in and respect the inherent choices made by podcast listeners, podcast creators, and podcast enablers.

But talk is cheap, and it’s time for us to start working toward those goals. We’re going to start with a series of lightweight tools that any working podcaster can use -- with their current setup! -- to make their own podcast better.

Want to join us? We’re looking for talented developers, designers, and others who also share a deep love of podcasting.

We’re not trying to create a new podcast hosting company.

We’re not trying to build a huge unicorn startup that disrupts podcasting as we know it.

… and we need your help. Get in touch with me if that sounds interesting, OK? evo@podcastlaunch.pro reaches me.

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Get more here: http://podcastpontifications.libsyn.com/the-advancing-podcasting-party-wants-you

Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

As I was watching today’s SpaceX launch “webcast”, I found a few lessons that I think are applicable to podcasters. The population of the world breaks into two classes: People who've watched a space X launch and those who have not. If you have, you know they are a lot of fun to watch. But if you haven't, that's okay too!

  1. You're not making your podcast content for everyone. You're only making content for the people who are interested in the topic that you have to discuss.
  2. Make sure that you talk in normal language and explain what needs to be explained.
  3. Go ahead and fly your geek flag when you need to. Done right, it’s infectious!

Even if you’re in the “never watched a SpaceX launch” set, I hope you’ll pick up something from this bit of content. And if you need help with your podcast or need someone on your team with big ideas around podcasting, it’s what I do four times a week for you and all other times for my clients. Get in touch.

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Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

I hear from a lot of companies who present this as their business plan:

Make great content > Attract a huge audience > See huge profits.

As great as that sounds, it doesn’t prove out. Why? Because it’s not a business plan. It’s a description of their podcasting aspirations.

But it’s a good start.

Making great content takes more than a good idea. It takes time, money, resources, and the ability to execute on great ideas.

Attracting a large audience frames the problem incorrectly. While audiences are attracted to great content, great content doesn’t have magnetic properties over distance. Instead, you have to get your content in front of people. And that takes time, money, resources, and the ability to execute a quality marketing/advertising campaign.

And the profit window -- at least from advertising -- might be closing. It’s only a matter of time before the honeymoon is over and advertisers demand results. That’s what makes tools like Glow interesting -- a diversified income stream.

Making money with podcasting requires a business plan. Do you have one? Perhaps I can help. Get in touch.

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Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

If your podcast is more than a year old, you should have two things “dialed-in”:

  • Your comfortable behind the mic (or you fake it well enough)
  • You’ve built an audience (small or large) and have acquired “regular” listeners

With those two things in place, you can ask yourself a single question:

Why am I doing this?

Chances are, the purpose of your podcast has little to do with the cash and time you spend on your show. And you know what? That’s OK. Because it’s your time and your money, and you get to spend it how you want.

But I am genuinely curious as to the purpose behind your podcasting efforts. After you’ve listened to this episode, please send me a quick email or a tweet that tells me your purpose, OK? It’s my birthday wish to you. (Yes, it really is my birthday today!)

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Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is aimed at the working podcaster. The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

Follow Evo on Twitter for more podcasting insights as they come.

And if you need a professional in your podcasting corner, please visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see how Simpler Media Productions can help your firm. Podcasting is our only business.

It's been a wild-and-crazy week in the podcasting world. No, make that a wild-and-crazy six months. Though an argument could be made that we’ve been in the midsts of wild-and-crazy for more like 18 months.

For the better part of two years, the podcasting landscape has seen a huge number of changes. You probably find it all quite exhausting. You probably find it very difficult to focus on these crazy changes and do the things you need to do every day to keep your business running smoothly.

I get it. I feel your pain. Literally.

That's why I said at the beginning of this episode, “do you need a break?” Because I need a break, at least for the day. And since this is Thursday, it’s a good day to take that break.

I'll be back on Monday, refreshed and rethinking, ready to pontificate on what the next changes might be, or how recent changes might impact our world in the future. And next Monday is my birthday, so I might come up with something special. Sort of a “happy birthday” from me to you, which is backward, I know.

Enjoy the rest of your day. I shall be back on Monday with yet another Podcast Pontifications

Cheers!

You may have missed the news, but search is about to work in podcasting. Apple recently announced a magnificent upgrade to searching inside the Apple Podcasts app (yes, I’ve talked about this before). If you missed that too, Apple will soon churn through the actual contents of podcast audio files to serve up relevant episodes of a podcast.

Google is also “transcribing” the contents of your podcast’s episodes behind the scenes and is serving up playable podcast episodes on search engine results pages.

(Nota bene: We’re seeing just the beginnings of these efforts, and I’ll return to the topic of what we podcasters think we want out of search vs the way search engines think about search results vs why people would turn to search engines when looking for podcasted content at another time.)

Along with that, brand new developments are surfacing around the curation of content. While it’s true that people have been curating podcasted content for a long time, curated lists are coming to podcast listening apps. Spotify is running a pilot test right now to expose a sampling of users to curated playlists of podcasts, though it’s not clear if those are podcast episodes or entire podcasts.

This makes a lot of sense for Spotify. I would argue that curated playlists is one thing that makes Spotify so popular for music listening. It’s oftentimes easier to grab a curated playlist rather than selecting your own list of individual albums or individual songs throughout the day. Can that same thing apply to podcasts? Will a curated playlist of episodes work better than a playlist of entire podcast contents? Again, I want to reserve that for a deeper dive once we’ve seen these lists in action.

Let’s look at this from the perspective of efforts just like these that have dominated content marketing discussions for a very long time. So take off your podcasting hat for a moment consider the larger digital marketing space.

When it comes to discovery of any digital content, search has to be part of the strategy. Probably the lion’s share, because a lot of activity takes place on a search engine.

Also quite common in content marketing is the “listicle”: an article published on the web that is little more than a list. LIke “the top 10 places to get a great doughnut in Phoenix”. I have searched for that. And I have found that. And I have consumed doughnuts at many of the establishments that made it on that listicle.

So listicles definitely work. But all too often, they kind of suck.

For as easy they are to make, it’s very difficult to gauge their quality. This problem plagues the travel blogging industry, a world I dabbled in for a number of years when I was traveling abroad. But it’s not just travel blogging that has problems with listicles. It’s everywhere. The problem is so bad that years ago, our friends at Google decided to devalue many listicles -- link farms, we called them back in the day. Low-value, thin-content pieces that aren’t serving anyone. It's hard for an average person to determine whether or not that list is of value or not.

With this perspective, are these new podcast discovery methods boiling down to listicles versus search?

Will search engines be good at surfacing podcast content?

When people are looking for something to listen to, do they want a list of podcasts to choose from or just one that fits that need?

And is anyone likely to specifically search for podcast content on a search engine? And how will web-based search engines determine if that was someone’s intent?

I'm interested to see what happens when these new curated lists show up inside of an app. I'm even more curious to see how the app decides rate and rank the quality of these curated lists.

I wonder how search results that contain podcast episodes will work at scale, and how that might change the way we think about podcast discovery.

If you're looking for someone to help guide you through the podcasting process for your business, either your existing podcast or by starting a brand new one, that’s what we do at Simpler Media. Please get in touch. evo@podcastlaunch.pro reaches me, and you can go to PodcastLaunch.pro to see a list of all the services we currently offer our clients.

I shall be back tomorrow with yet another Podcast Pontifications.

Cheers!

Wow,  but are the podcast-aware Twitter people, Facebook groups, Discord channels, Slack workspaces and seemingly everywhere else going wild. The speculation about what Apple might say leading up to the event was rampant. And after yesterday's 2.5-hour long keynote event, a lot of that speculation was confirmed.

Today, I want to give you, the working podcaster, some specific advice as to what you should change about your podcast. So skip the speculation and guessing. Because I have the answers you are looking for. If you missed the keynote speech for Apple’s WWDC19, I’m about to give you the highlights from that speech with very exact steps you need to take to ready your podcast for this brave new world.

Are you ready? You might want to take notes, because it’s a little complicated.

The first thing you need to change about your podcast is…

Nothing.

[checks notes]

Well, yeah. That... That's what I have written down here. Nothing.

Not that there weren't big announcements made at the event. Clearly, there were big announcements, and many of those announcements made at WWDC19 will certainly impact podcasting.

But probably* don't need to change anything for your show. No, you really don't.

This is not the first time you've heard that Apple was making changes, right? We, the podcast pundits, have been talking about this basic fact for some 20 months or longer. Yesterday was just (looked at through a very narrow lens) just validation of our speculation.

But there were some very cool things announced at WWDC19. Three, I think, are most germane to podcasters.

The break up of iTunes

The release of the new operating system for Mac computers, mobile devices, and more signals the end of iTunes. In its place will be three new (?) apps, one for each type of content. Music will be in Apple Music. TV & video content will be in Apple TV. And podcasts will be in Apple Podcasts. Yes, just like on your iPhone. But with Catalina, that will be mirrored on Mac computers as well.

This is causing lots of podcasters to freak out. But as I covered on yesterday’s program, links to the old iTunes ecosystem will all translate into Apple’s new Apple Podcasts system. At least for a while. It's only a matter of time before those redirects are phased out, so just get it done now and not be surprised later, OK?

While you're in there, do the links from your website really still say iTunes? Really? Seriously? In June 2019? It’s been almost two years since Apple started telling all of us to stop calling it iTunes. If you were a holdout because “hey, some people still use iTunes”, that excuse is going away, along with the words “iTunes”. So change it. Now.

Apple leapfrogs their podcast search problem

Search sucks on Apple Podcasts. And has always sucked. At the keynote, they announced the new Apple Podcasts experience will use AI and machine learning to take a completely different approach to solving their own search problem.

Rather than doing basic (oh, so basic) word-matching in a limited number (read: two) fields, artificial brains inside Apple Podcats will be churning through the actual audio files of podcast episodes, using  machine learning and AI-powered robots in some virtual back room, effectively documenting every word you say on your show (that’s your cue to freak out, privacy-wonks). No, we humans probably won’t be able to read these transcriptions. But Apple does plan on using these robot-readable transcriptions to make Apple podcast search better.

In theory, the new search results inside Apple Podcasts should return results based on the actual spoken contents of the audio. And you need do nothing about this for what I hope are obvious reasons. Sure, maybe you want to be a little more strategic in the actual words you utter during your episodes. But in all honesty, you should already be making the kinds of content people are looking for, talking about that content in the same way other people talk about it. But don't try and think of ways to “keyword stuff” your audio. Please?

Adding commentary to enhance the Apple Podcasts experience

I may be getting excited over nothing, but I saw a new enhancement for Apple Music that I hope they also add to Apple Podcasts. So note: This is pure speculation on my part. But if Apple Music can display lyrics to songs as you are listening to that song, they can do something similar for Apple Podcasts.

This could mean that read-as-you-listen text -- a complete transcription, highlights, extra info, etc. --  presented right on screen. Of course, we’ll have to provide that text. No, the machine-interpreted data Apple’s computer brains generate aren’t going to cut it in this form. If Apple does support this, it’ll mean you need to do a better job of crafting the “show notes” that go inside your episodes. Not the “show notes” that act as a landing page on your website for that particular episode, but the text you place inside of the episode itself.

To recap, there’s nothing you, the working podcast, need to do to prep for Apple’s coming changes. Well, probably nothing. Unless you do need to make an adjustment to that whole “iTunes” situation you should have done months ago. So go do that.

If you need help doing that (or other things), get in touch with me, because I would love to help you, your business, your podcast take advantage of all the new things coming down the pipe. That's what I do. Email me at evo@podcastlaunch.pro and go to PodcastLaunch.pro to see a list of all the services we offer our clients.

I shall be back tomorrow with yet another Podcast Pontifications.

Cheers!

This content was created just before the big WWDC -- World Wide Developers Conference -- from Apple kicked off. All around the world, podcasters just like you (and me) will be watching live to see how the company that controls something like 85% of all podcast episodes downloaded around the world will change podcasting. Again.

Over the weekend, The most talked-about assumed change was that iTunes is going away and what sorts of changes podcasters would need to implement on their website -- quickly! -- to preserve their listeners after this dreaded change.

Two things on that:

  1. Yes, you should change your website, podcaster, especially if you reference iTunes in any way. Get rid of any reference to iTunes everywhere on your website. You know, like Apple and anyone worth their salt in the podcast world has been telling you for the better part of the last two years?  
  2. Calm down. Apple is not a stupid company. When they do kill off iTunes, they aren’t going to start throwing 404 errors when people click on your legacy links to iTunes. They’ll all redirect to Apple Podcasts. At least for a while. But even if they do work, you should change them. See #1.

So yes, make the changes. But before get in there to make the changes, let’s talk about a way to improve the experience for the brand new listener. Because maybe those big company-provided “listen with [app]” aren’t as helpful as you might think?

Apple & Google Branding vs A Better Listener Experience

Both Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts have given podcasters branding guidelines of how they would like us to represent their apps on our pages. You've probably seen a consistently branded “Listen with Apple Podcasts” button and a “Listen with Google Podcast” button podcast websites. Those all look the same because Apple and Google (and a bunch of other apps) provide the button for easy integration.

I think it's time to reconsider our reliance on those auto-generated buttons. Specific to our consideration: Are those auto-generated buttons helping our listeners, or just helping big tech companies with their branding efforts?

When Apple finally kills iTunes, they’ll put a lot (at least I hope so) of marketing effort into the brand change. If Apple starts “advertising” Apple Podcasts, more people will be aware of Apple Podcasts. And in turn, the logic is that they’ll start looking for the Apple Podcasts branding. Because that’s how branded advertising works.

But I don’t think that’s a likely scenario. I just don’t see your average person having any recall around “Apple Podcasts” or “Google Podcasts” as an app. Not anytime soon.

Also, I don’t think it's incumbent upon podcasters to do the work of running branding campaigns for big tech companies. Our primary focus should be on our listeners, making it easy for them to consume our content. And for the ~70% who don’t listen on a regular basis, talking up “Apple Podcasts” and “Google Podcasts” isn’t leading them to giving your podcast a shot.

So let’s shift who we’re working for, podcasters. Until such time as Apple or Google (or someone else) puts out a significant branding campaign that leads to high awareness and recall of their branded apps, let’s tie the listening experience to brands they are familiar with.

Listen On Your Mobile Device

~85% of all podcast episodes are downloaded directly to a mobile device. Create two buttons for your website (I’m working on this today) that reference either “iPhone” or “Android”. Perhaps something as simple as “Listen on your iPhone” and “Listen on your Android” does the trick, where the first links to your show’s listing on Apple Podcasts, and the second to Google Podcasts.

I’d present these two options first. Every reasonable person can easily sort themselves into those two buckets. (We’ll cover the exceptions in a moment.) And there’s no uncertainty that comes with thinking about installing another app (even if they don’t actually have to install it).

Listen The Way You Listen To Other Stuff

That means that Spotify and Pandora. Remember, we’re designing this experience for people who don’t yet listen to podcasts on a regular basis. So I really don’t care -- and you don’t care -- if there are more superior listening apps than these two music giants. What you care about is letting users of these music giants that your content is already included in the listening service they already use.

Listening Dead Simple & Terribly Complex

Believe it or not, there are a lot of people who never listen to anything on their mobile device that isn’t a live phone call. Weird, right? On the opposite side, there are power-listeners with complex listening apps that you can’t possibly cover. So we need to take care of both of them, and I think you can do it in the same section.

First, you need to make it possible for people to subscribe to your show via email. They give you their email, and you (via automated process unless you have way too much time on your hands) send them an episode of your podcast every time you publish.

For the second group, you need to expose the raw RSS feed to them. I highly recommend doing so in a text-field so that it’s not clickable. For many, seeing raw XML in their browser is terrifying. But you can’t click-thru on text in a text field, you can only copy it. Genius, I know.

Properly implemented, now you’ve covered mobile-listeners who don't on the regular, added support for the two most popular listening apps, and provided uncommon options for the people who just would rather listen to your content some other way.

That's what I'm working on this week. If you're a client of mine, that means all new stuff for you and some changes. We'll help you implement these changes, obviously, because it's what I do.

If you’re a business owner or a professional service provider looking for help getting your company or brand into podcasting, get in touch. You're the kind of client we work with. evo@podcastlaunch.pro or go to PodcastLaunch.pro to see a list of all of the services we offer our clients.

I shall be back tomorrow we get another Podcast Pontifications.

Cheers!

Many early podcasters got into podcasting with the idea of doing something different than was possible with other mediums. And while that’s still the case, many podcasters -- especially businesses just getting started with podcasting -- are choosing a more conservative path, choosing to follow-the-pack instead of doing something bold.

And I get it. It’s hard to be bold. It’s hard to get fired by following the beaten path. But when you do something wild and weird? Your exposure goes way, way up.

But right now, in mid-2019, I’m convinced that there’s never a better time to go bold and do something different with your podcast.

Before I give you three reasons why that’s more true than ever before -- yes, even for business podcasts -- I’ve a caveat. Before you can make the conscious decision to something different from the status quo, you have to know what the status quo is. You need to do your homework and understand what un-bold podcasts in your particular niche look and sound like. No, you're not going to fulfill that need by listening to one or two shows in your space. This requires a relatively deep study of what's going on right now so you can really break from it.

With that caveat out of the way, let's get into the 3 reasons why I think right now is probably the best time ever to go bold with your podcast.

All New People

There's an old saying I’m fond of repeating: It won’t matter what mistakes you make today, because 100 years from now; the world will be filled with all new people. That's the case in podcasting as well. Except we're living through “the all new” people faze right now.

Every day, a new flood of people become podcast listeners. Many have never heard a podcast before. Others have had very limited exposure to select shows. New listening apps are attracting new listeners who don't have any (or not very many) preconceived notions of what podcasts should sound like.

(Of course, they do have some expectations of sound quality from other sorts of audio-based media. So don’t think you can get away with something that sounds like garbage.)

These “all new people” becoming listeners represent a much bigger slice of the population than the current listening audience. We know that only mid-to-high 20% of the population are regular podcast listeners. That “all new people” pool represents something like 75% of the population. These are “all new people” who have different expectations than the current listening set. So play to that.

Differentiation Trumps Discoverability

We hear a lot about the discoverability issue in podcasting, which is both real and imaginary. One way to beat discoverability problems in podcasting, now and definitely in the future, is with differentiation. We podcasters don’t have much direct impact on discoverability (other than, you know, just making a great show that well-described, obviously). But we have 100% control over differentiation.

Once you do your study (see my caveat above) and realize that there are already two, twenty-two, or twenty-two-hundred shows already out there in your niche, each competing for the same audience and presenting the same sort of content, content that you also planned on producing in almost the same way, you quickly understand that the answer to discoverability has a lot to do with differentiation.

There Is No Pot of Gold At The End Of The Rainbow

“With over 700,000 podcasts out there, the owners of those shows must be making tons of cash. I also would like tons of cash, so I'll follow the proven model that they used so I, too, can get my share of those riches!” - every business-minded person new to podcasting who is soon to be disappointed

Businesses rely on playbooks others have put in place. These playbooks detail how one or more people found success, with the promise that if you emulate those steps, you’ll find success too.

And while that’s true with podcasting to some extent, there’s one key factor missing. The money. In truth, there’s not a lot of it.

Most podcasts -- even business-focused podcasts -- do not rake in piles of cash. Yes, we do have our standouts. But by and large and especially for my client's -- businesses and professional service providers who want a podcast but don’t want to become podcasters -- the purpose of podcasting is to communicate to clients and prospects rather than selling services directly to the audience like an infomercial.

The good news is you can experiment with formats and styles without risking your share of the easy money if you just followed the well-trodden path. We're not talking about alienating a Facebook-sized audience -- or their checkbooks-- if you have a quirky idea that fails to take off.

For as much as podcasting is growing, we’re still pretty small. That makes it a great time to do bold, interesting, and engaging things. Right now, you're not risking giant piles of cash when you choose to not follow the standard model. So… don't follow the standard model!

 

Be bold. Differentiate your podcast. Make content that appeals to the new wave of people who are looking for something different when they turn to podcasting for the first time. Surveys tell us that people don't listen to podcasts because they think podcasting has nothing there for them.  So make interesting content for them!

Don't worry about the piles of money. We don't have those. Yet. Instead, think of the piles of cash that might come in the future if you do something bold and different. Yes, even with your business podcast.

If you'd like some help figuring out how this works for your business for your professional services form, or just for you if you think podcasting might help you reach your audience; get in touch with me. My firm launches podcasts and keeps them running while keeping my clients out of the technical weeds.

Email me at evo@podcastlaunch.pro or go to PodcastLaunch.pro to see a list of all the services we offer.

Happy weekend! I shall see you on Monday with yet another Podcast Pontifications.

Cheers!

Conventional wisdom in the podcasting world is that the first few episodes of your podcast are going to suck. Conventional wisdom says you just need to get those sucky episodes out of your system, and then you'll be all better on the other side of the suck.

I don’t disagree with that. Where I depart from conventional wisdom is when they translate “out of your system” to “into your podcast feed so everyone sees how much your episodes suck”.

Call me crazy, I'm not sure many businesses can afford to purposely release sucky content. In any form.

Last night I had a conversation with a new prospect about starting a business podcast for there firm. One of the questions they asked was, ”Is the market saturated?”. Of course, my answer was no, there's plenty of room for in the market for another podcast. Even at somewhere north of 700,000 shows, there’s no upper-limit and we’ve plenty of room for more podcasts.

However, we may be quickly running out of room for crappy business podcasts.

I don’t think that we podcasters, especially those of us who've done it for a very long time, have done a good job as stewards of the medium from a professional sense. At least not as it applies to businesses looking to get into podcasting for the first time.

Nota bene: Everything I'm about to cover is going to be highly controversial. If you're just in podcasting for the fun of it, what I’m about to say likely doesn’t apply. But in the vast majority of cases, businesses don’t get into new mediums like podcasting for the fun of it.

Let's go back to correlating a first podcast episode with a first draft of something written. With the notable exception of email and social media posts, the first draft of written content is rarely published. Written content -- annual report, monthly reports, chapters of a book, case studies --  goes through several revisions before it's ready for public consumption.

So true is -- or at least should be -- with podcasting for your business.

The very first time you start talking into a microphone, you're probably not going to be “a natural”. There are many things you need to learn. Proper mic placement, diction, pacing, how to tell a good story... There are many skills, hard and soft, you need to learn to create good spoken-word content.

And yes, as you do more behind the mic, you will get better over time. What you need not do is shine the public spotlight on your content as you work through that “getting better” phase.

That's a tough pill to swallow, and it goes against conventional wisdom in podcasting. I realize that the way to get better most things is learning how to be better at those things. Practice and repetition is a part of that learning. But so is bringing in additional people and mentors who are skilled knowledge workers who know what they're doing. It’s the rare good business podcast that’s staffed by a team of one.

Conventional wisdom in podcasting is to release your early (read: sucky) episodes to the public and get feedback. You will, conventional wisdom says, find out what your listeners like and don’t like about your episodes. This is helpful, it is said, because you're not podcasting for yourself, but for your audience.

As a seasoned business operations guy, I understand the importance of getting early feedback from the user base. But what I don’t buy is that listeners of your show’s early episodes -- or even later episodes -- make for a good focus group. In my experience (which mirrors the experience of many others) any feedback you get from your audience is occasional at best. As much as we talk about podcasting being a great medium for getting instant feedback from your audience, I haven’t seen evidence to back that up.

Worse, I worry about all the people who were going to listen to those early (read: sucky) episodes and decide the content certainly does suck, and that they are not going to listen any longer. Yes, there's a lot of bad podcast episodes out there. But there's also a decent amount of good content available for the listening.

But we can’t ignore the fact that first drafts suck. I think you should be OK with making content for your business that sucks. What you should not be OK with is publishing content that you know sucks.

Content that sucks can be made not to suck. That’s the reason we iterate: to take something that sucks, get it to a place where it doesn’t suck, and then keep refining it until it’s great! Go back and edit. Maybe take another editorial pass on the script. Get back behind the mic if you need to.  

A sucky episode doesn’t mean the concept for the episode sucks. It only means your first execution didn’t work. That’s fine. Just don't publish it!

You'll hear many podcasters repeat the mantra that “Perfect is the enemy of done”, and that it's better to publish than polish. But I'm going to disagree, at least in some cases, and say that if you know that episode is nowhere near perfect, you should not publish.

Another nota bene: You know the difference between something with a few flaws and something that is a rolling train wreck. If you can't; get someone's opinion. Not the public's opinion, but somebody not afraid to give you an honest appraisal.

Fix it. Go back and redo it if that's what's necessary. I don't care if it takes you seven different revisions to get it better. If that’s what it takes, then you do seven revisions. Get it better before it goes out live to the public.

It's your business we’re talking about. It's not just podcasting for fun. Listeners are getting more discerning all the time.

Yes, you will get better at podcasting over time. And yes, your first few attempts at making episodes will suck. Conventional wisdom has that right. Where I disagree is in what you should do with those sucky things.

I think you should learn from your mistakes. You should listen, find out what's not working and go back and tweak it. I don't care if it takes you hundreds of hours to get it right. It probably will take something like that, counting up all the hours spent by all the people necessary, with a lot of those hours tossed out before you've produced an episode dialed in enough to release to the wild. I'm sorry that you find that number shocking and disappointing. But there it is.

However, if you want to buck against my recommendation and publish your first draft, go for it. You can do that. I'm not a gatekeeper. Just keep in mind that here we are, 15 years in to the world of podcasting, where the amount of leeway listeners will give us for making obviously flawed content is shrinking. The window of forgiveness is closing and fast on your business. So get better at your craft. Do not rush publish that first draft or that second draft. Wait until it's ready to go and then publish it.

I'll have more to say about this on future episodes, but for now, thank you very much for listening. I shall be back tomorrow with yet another Podcast Pontifications

Cheers!

(I didn't even do my normal roll-off ending…)

You don’t have to be a marketing expert to put out a podcast. But unless you’re doing your show purely for fun, your podcast episodes play a role in marketing. Yes, even if you didn’t intend them to.

This episode will not teach you how to create an effective marketing funnel. Instead, I’ll hit the highlights, sharing a simple metaphor for the marketing funnel with you to help better understand the various states of minds people are in when they encounter your podcast episodes.

That metaphor? See. Think. Do.

Or in the case of podcasting: Listen. Think. Do. And let’s take them one by one, understand where podcast content fits all the way down.

The See (or Listen) level is the very top of the funnel. When you produce content for this level, you achieve success when people -- probably lots of people, yet still within your target audience -- see (or listen) to your content.

That’s it. That’s the entirety of the job of content produced at the See (Listen) level. It’s pure awareness building.

A lot of businesses podcasting today are creating podcast content at this level. Perhaps unwittingly. A good chunk of my clients create content at this level, simply as a branding play. More eyeballs (ear holes) on their content is a Good Thing. Hooray for more Listen-designed content!

At the other end of the funnel sits the Do stage of the marketing funnel. This is the payoff. The point at which action is taken. And for a lot of podcasts you listen to (maybe most podcast that are making money today?), that podcast episode is “the thing” at the bottom of their marketing funnel. No action required on their afterward.

That’s how selling ads often works. Sure, the person who paid the money to run the ad on the show likely wants some action taken. But for the business-focused podcaster, just getting someone to listen is the Do action they are looking for.

But that's not enough for my clients, because my clients aren’t selling ads on their content. And because of that, my clients don’t produce podcast episodes for people at this stage of the marketing funnel. Yes, they want listeners, but they require listeners to do something else to make the podcasting investment pay off.

A growing number of my clients are making podcast episodes that fit in the middle: the Think stage.

The middle part -- you may have heard this referred to as the consideration stage -- of the marketing funnel is where podcasts can really shine. The Think level is when people are actively consuming your content and really considering you and/or your services.

This is where thought leadership reigns supreme, and podcasting often represents a significant advantage over other mediums. Producing podcast content at the Think level isn’t a branding play. It’s not enough to make people aware. To be successful at making content at the Think level, you need the listener thinking about how you, your products, your services, your thoughts benefit them. Not just once, but again and again.

Producing Think-level content on your podcast gives you a chance to really tell your story to an engaged audience. You already know that people like spending lots of time with podcasted content. More time than they like reading your blog posts. And a heck of a lot more than they like spending time with advertisements.

Can podcasting work at the top of the funnel? Absolutely. Can it work at the bottom? You bet! Podcasting has a part to play in all stages of the marketing funnel, but perhaps the biggest play is to be found in that middle Think level. That's where well-thought-out podcast content can be interesting for the listeners and result in big payoffs for business-minded podcast producers.

Do you know someone with a business who needs to know this? Send them this article. Or pass along the podcast version of this episode. Then have them get in touch with me, because my firm launches podcasts for businesses, taking care of all the heavy lifting and technical considerations that go into making a podcast that achieves business goals. evo@podcastlaunch.pro reaches me. Or you can go to PodcastLaunch.pro to see the services we are currently offering our clients.

I shall be back tomorrow with yet another Podcast Pontifications.

Cheers!

No, this isn’t an article about using Snapchat and Instagram to promote your podcast. This is an article about packaging the contents of a single episode of a podcast by borrowing (read: stealing) a big part of Instagram stories. Which they stole from Snapchat, so turnabout’s fair play, right?

Many podcasts are highly produced, often requiring more than 100 hours of work to put out a single, 30-minute long episode. Other podcasts require almost no extra work, where people just get behind the microphone and start talking. (Stop looking at me.)

Between these extremes is room for many, many different effort-level approaches. One format made popular by newsletter publishers and Instagram influencers hasn’t yet taken off in podcasting. That approach is to create content “on the fly” throughout the day -- or sometimes the week --. Newsletter writers typically save the publishing until the entire “send” has been assembled, where IG stars publish each discrete bit as they go through their day.

I think podcasting might be able to leverage those concepts, either as a new technology play or by Mechanical Turking our way to a new method of creating content that, for some shows, might be actually better than what they are doing today

If you've listened to Podcast Pontifications for a while, you know I'm a big proponent of what I call Advancing Podcasting. That's the idea that software and technology should make podcasting better, not just easier. It also assumes that brand new business models will appear, which themselves necessitate new podcasting formats and approaches.

This idea of assembling and producing content on-the-fly might be one such approach.

Plenty of podcasts gather content on the fly. The work of James Cridland at PodNews.net comes to mind. James dutifully gathers the best podcasting news of the day, writes up his very popular daily newsletter, and also records a short “headlines only” version released as a podcast episode.

He’s not alone. Many podcast producers gather news/information/inspiration throughout the day, writ their notes about each element, adding in their own commentary on each or as a whole, create a final script, and then sit down behind a microphone to record the whole thing.

Enter the Instagram Stories approach. What if, instead of only writing about each bit as it happened, the podcaster grabbed the microphone and narrated their thoughts on just that bit. OK, some writing is likely warranted. But once the writing for that bit is done, you’d narrate it. Just that bit.

Were this really an Instagram Story, you’d publish that bit. And that doesn’t really (thankfully) work in podcasting. Instead, you would “publish” the bit in some sort of a queue or draft-mode. Today you could just save it locally. Though this presents an opportunity for some custom software that will enable this to be better.

Rinse, repeat that five or six times throughout the day, and all that’s left to do is assemble those individually produced bits. That could be a simple as dragging your intro into your DAW (Digital Audio Workstation), maybe narrating an overview, dropping in your produced bits, adding a bit of transition music between each if you like, maybe narrating a recap, and then dragging in your outro.

Done.

It’s an interesting way to think differently about assembling content. Actually, it's really just a shift in how you work. Rather than being in “gathering mode” first, followed by “recording mode” and then finally “editing mode” at the end, now you’re doing all three modes at multiple times during the process of putting out an episode.

Come to think about it, this sounds a lot like how some writing tools like Scrivener work. And it’s exactly how magazines and newspapers are assembled.

Any of us could do this on our own right now, just saving off the pieces. But we need software to help enable this. A new Saas that lets producers record content and store it in a queue in the cloud. That software could even remind you of a looming deadline. You could use the interface to easily re-arrange content. And of course, it’s smart enough to place your intro, outro, and transition elements for you. Heck, done right, it could even automate the “show notes” and/or transcription, assuming you loaded the narrative parts -- and links! -- for each bit.

We need that software. If someone built that software, there would be a lot of would-be podcasters lining up to use such a service. So there you go, hosting providers. Steal my idea and build us a “Stories for Podcasters” product.

Until that time, get in touch with me if you like this idea. Especially if you think something like this could work as a good approach for your business’ podcast. Get in touch with me at evo@podcastlaunch.pro. And visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see all of the services that my firm currently offers our clients.

I shall be back on next week with yet another Podcast Pontifications.

Cheers!

Ask around and you’ll hear a common theme amongst digital marketers and content creators lauding praises on podcasting: There’s no algorithm to try and game/fight/adapt to. Once someone subscribes to your show, they’ll get your episodes. Period. End of story.

If only that was the end of it.

Like so many things the web, too much of a good thing means an algorithmic change.  Algorithms exist for one reason: To surface the best content for the person who is engaging with -- often unwittingly -- the experience controlled by the algorithm.

Many of us were first exposed to algorithms thanks to Google. When you search for something on Google, your query goes through a very complicated algorithm with literally hundreds of different factors at play to determine the information presented to you on the search engine results page (SERP).

Years later Facebook and other social media platforms recognized that literally billions of people all creating and consuming content make too much stuff to be presented chronologically. So now, most social platforms use algorithms to determine which content to show -- and which to hide.

When we have near infinite choices available, we humans aren't very good at making choices. So algorithms come into play. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Spotify and more have a vested interest in keeping people consuming the content on their platform. They implement algorithms to keep people engaged with their platform. Not necessarily any particular content from any particular provider.

As an individual, that decision to filter your content through an algorithm might piss you off. It may, in fact, cause you to abandon that platform and use a different service, albeit one with a smaller pool of content that hasn’t (yet) implemented algorithms.

But these platforms aren’t stupid, and you can bet that if there was a real exodus away from them due to their algorithms, they’d either abandon the algorithm or change it. And while changes to algorithms happen all the time, they aren’t abandoned. Because they work at keeping the audience using the platform more.

So what does it have what's this have to do with podcasting?

While I don't see algorithms influencing how podcast episodes are displayed to you once you’ve already subscribed (though there is evidence that might be changing), algorithms will have a big influence on how new content is presented to you.

Spotify is about to relaunch their app (finally), add you can bet your bottom dollar that an algorithm will be a big part of showing you what podcasts you might like. Pandora is about to drop a tsunami of podcasting content in its app, and we already know there Podcast Genome Project will be a big part of their offering. Google Search now features playable podcast episodes in search results, all of them algorithmically placed.

YouTube’s content has been algorithmically controlled for some time now, with smart publishers adapting their content to play to the algorithm simply so they can get more views. And I’m not talking about short-fixes and grey-hat tweaks to titles, descriptions, and keywords. Content produced specifically for YouTube is seeing fundamental changes. Changes in length, style, and approach. This is resulting in better content,  much of it so highly produced that it looks a lot more like something you would expect to see on Netflix than some funny cat video.

If the algorithm is causing YouTube creators to change the content they produce, it’s not a stretch to see that happening in podcasting.

Podcast apps and directories will implement algorithms in their search pages and home pages. They’ll do this not because they think you and I, experienced podcast listeners, need help finding content. No, they’ll dit because they want to make the majority of humans, the 72-ish percent of people who don't regularly listen to podcasts, to have a rewarding listening experience because of their app or directory.

No, we don’t know exactly what factors will go into these algorithms. But it doesn’t take much digging to realize that all algorithms tend to reward “better” content. The existing algorithms tend to reward content that gets people engaged with, commenting on, or just sharing the content with others. Does your podcast compel listeners to do that?

But you may not think in-app or directory-based discovery matters much. Surveys, after all, tell us that word-of-mouth is the number one way people find new podcast content. And there’s no way an algorithm can influence word-of-mouth discovery, right?

Well… not so fast. If better in-app/directory discoverability does actually surface better content, then it stands to reason more people will be talking about the really good content they just found. So… more mouths to spread the message?

The growth of podcasting isn’t likely to stop. As new shows -- good, bad, and somewhere in between, continue to release, new listeners are going to be continually flooded with too many choices. That’s not a trend that will reverse anytime soon. Soon enough, we’ll live in a world where most podcast listeners will be exposed to algorithmically discovered content.

That future fact means you need to be prepared for this change. It means that everything we've done in podcasting today is foundational, and the world of tomorrow might make the quality of content the most important ranking factor. With the rise of all the new podcast production companies with experience in producing exceedingly high-quality content, you can bet these future algorithms will have plenty of high-quality content to chew on.

How sure are you that your podcast will be loved by these coming algorithms? Get in touch with me. I would love to take a look/listen and talk with you more about where I see your show fitting in our algorithmically-driven future. I firmly believe algorithms will -- eventually -- make podcasting better. evo@podcastlaunch.pro reaches me, or go to PodcastLaunch.pro for a list of the services my firm offers our clients.

I shall be back tomorrow with yet another Podcast Pontifications.

Cheers!

While we often think about growth of a podcast as a natural progression. Slowly, you’ll gain more audience. Or, with the right application of marketing strategy, you can accelerate that growth.

But that actually runs counter to the history of most things made for the internet. Most things made for the internet start out and end up with tiny audiences.

I think podcast pundits (Hi!) would better serve podcasting if we recognized that fact. Because not every podcast -- either from hobbyists or for businesses -- has designs on growth.

Most people who create content have no aspirations of having that content reach a massive -- or even modest -- audience. At its core, the internet is a communication medium. It was built to facilitate the publishing of information. You could argue that the true “superpower” of the internet is the facilitation that lets people exchange, text, images, video, audio, and have conversations about those items.

This communication platform, though global in nature, does not require the things shared be seen by the majority of internet users. There's no implied success built into the underpinnings of the way that the internet works. The same holds true for podcasting: There is no inherent need for a show to bubble to the top.

Of course, you may want to have your podcast reach a gigantic podcast. Great. Go for it! But on this episode, I want to talk about the merits of podcasting to a purposely tiny audience.

That tiny audience for your podcast could be just the employees of your company. That tiny audience could be just a circle of friends that get together monthly for a happy hour. That podcast might serve a tiny group of people all interested in one very specific, highly-focused interest that you have to be a little weird to deeply enjoy.

Maybe it's a local podcast. Maybe it's something that is so hyper-local that there's only a handful of people in your given city, your neighborhood, maybe only people in your apartment complex would care about.

But I can hear the confusion from here: “Why would I invest all this money in hiring a firm like Simpler Media if my podcast won’t be huge? Why did I buy this $400 microphone if I'm not going to reach a gigantic audience?”  

My answer: We spend a lot of money on things that just make us happy. No ROI required or even anticipated.

Also, consider that there isn’t an inherent value equation between the money (and time) you put into your podcast and the size of your audience. Because unless you’re charging people to access your podcast or already have a big enough audience to make meaningful money with ads on your show, you aren’t making more money when more people listen to your show.

And the reverse is more applicable: It costs you the same amount of money to produce a show that person listen to as it does to produce a show that a hundred thousand people listen to.

There are many good examples of creations that are meant to stay purposely tiny. Take online communities and groups as an example. Yes, you can many communities that have built very large audiences. There are even a few podcast support and advice groups exist that have thousands of members.

But for every one of those big groups, you'll find dozens (maybe hundreds?) of much smaller communities that exist to only serve their tiny audience.

Look at newsletters as another example. In fact, there's a service called TinyLetter. It’s designed for tiny newsletters. That's it. That's its whole reason for being. To help creators make a tiny newsletter.

Keeping things tiny on purpose has merit. Sometimes we only want to beta release creations to a handful of people. And sometimes, we know that when our creations reach a very large audience, things change.

When the audience for something gets big, it changes the relationship between the creator and the audience, as well as the tone and tenor of the conversation amongst those who are consuming the content.

Bigger isn't better. Bigger is different.

And as much as I love change, not everyone does. Keeping your podcast tiny on purpose makes it more resistant to unintentional changes from outside forces beyond your control. When things get big accidentally, some of those changes can get a little squishy.

But remember: tiny-on-purpose doesn’t necessarily mean “private”. Making a truly private show comes with some technical challenges that, frankly, aren’t worth it for most people. That means you still need to make your tiny podcast available Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and the other key directories. It’s public, but you just care a whole lot less about discovery issues than anyone else.

Every day I come on this program and talk about ways to make podcasting better in the future. I’m as guilty as the next person at assuming better means bigger. It doesn’t.

You can -- and you should -- absolutely work at making your show better even if you don’t want to make it bigger. Call it pride in ownership or creation if you like. But know that you can make an excellent podcast and keep it’s audience small on purpose for yourself, for your business, or for your community.

There are ways to make podcasting work that do not require a gigantic audience. I would love to help you figure out how to do that for your business or organization. Email me at evo@podcastlaunch.pro and check out PodcastLaunch.pro (which I'm probably going to revamp completely in the next few weeks) to see a list of the services at my firm currently offers our clients.

I shall be back tomorrow with yet another Podcast Pontifications.

Cheers!

The series finale of Game of Thrones just happened. This coming weekend, the Indy 500 is happening. I know these things, but I’m not (yet) a watcher of Game of Thrones. Nor am I fan of auto racing.

But nonetheless, I'm aware of these things because they are blockbuster events. How can you, the working podcaster, do something similar?

Both NBC and HBO have fostered the public conversation -- nationally and internationally -- about these two events. When you look closely, you’ll see that there's a big difference in the way these events were marketed vs the way podcasters typically go about marketing their shows/episodes.

Granted, big organizations like HBO and NBC have something that most podcasters don't have.  A true network. And they’re in the business of driving either eyeballs (for ads) or keeping you from canceling your paid subscription. Quite a few of podcasters, especially business podcasters, don't run ads. And most aren’t relying on paid subscriptions. So there are differences.

But in those differences is where we find the lessons.

Most podcasts -- even business podcasts -- tend to market “after the fact”. The big push for new listeners is done in arrears after the episode is published. From a listener-perspective, that makes sense. Why advertising something that isn’t yet available? Especially when there’s no immediate need to have massive numbers of people listen at the same time. Heck, doesn’t that entire concept break what podcasting is all about?

Leaving that last concern (if it even is a valid concern) aside for the moment, let’s examine the idea of building anticipation in the world of podcasting.

Most podcasters will face challenges in building anticipation. Many podcasters are podcasting too close to the ball and have no idea what’s happening on their next episode. But all it takes is some planning and foresight to solve that problem. Which you have to do it you’re going to build anticipation for a future episode.

But not every episode is worthy of anticipation-building. But events, however, often are. That Game of Thrones episode last week was the end of the series. That's a big deal. If your podcast is also “seasoned”, where you’re producing episodes that build off one another and finally culminate in a final episode, you’ll find it easier to can get people excited about the finale.

Don’t underestimate the power of a “series wrap” to draw in lots of listeners. I have seen several cases where a podcast experiences a big spike in downloads when the final episode is posted. There are many people out there who will wait to subscribe/listen until all of the episodes are available, then they binge.

Can your business-focused podcast play to that audience?

If not, can you create your own event? Or is there an event in your industry that you can build anticipation for?  In the podcasting space, we have a big event each year when Edison releases their Infinite Dial report. Many of us in the business of podcasting -- even hobbyists -- talk up the event for weeks in advance. That’s a good promo for the report release, which builds an even bigger audience.

If we can “manufacture” an event around a report release, surely you can do the same for your business podcast. What event -- or perhaps your take on an event -- can you leverage to build anticipation for your coverage?

Of course, when HBO, NBC, or other networks do this, they have the power of a network behind them. As a business podcaster, you probably are not part of a network. But you could build your own. I've talked previously about the DIY approach to building your own network. And I think businesses can do it a whole lot easier than independent podcasters.

The lesson podcasters can learn from the Game of Thrones series finale and the Indy 500 race is one of anticipation. People like to anticipate things. So if you have a “thing” worth of building anticipation, start marketing it earlier and make those marketing efforts laser-focused.

Think about how you can build anticipation around an event, and utilize that anticipation to bring attention to your business-focused podcast.

Need more business ideas for your business podcast? Get in touch with me at evo@podcastlaunch.pro or checkout PodcastLaunch.pro to see a list of the services my firm offers to our clients.

I shall be back tomorrow with yet another Podcast Pontifications.

Cheers!

Over the last three episodes, I've convinced you of the importance of making sure your podcast accurately represents your business’s brand. Today, I’m sharing three tips to make sure you’re getting to that crucial alignment.

There’s no doubt that you put a significant amount of effort to make sure your business’,  your organization’s, your nonprofit’s brand is on-point in all public facing assets produced by your firm.

And it saddens me that all too many of your peers don't do the same thing with their business-focused podcast.

How bad would it be for your company if your business development lead went with a crappy PowerPoint presentation? With the logo of your business all pixelated because it was “upsized” from a thumbnail image and then expanded as the cover image? With crappy and inconsistent font usage (lots of Comic Sans)? Maybe with weird color schemes nowhere near your carefully chosen palette? Or filled with pictures of people with bodies stretched out of proportion? Or with ill-conceived transitions between slides?

You'd fire that business development person and hire someone else who cared about the quality of their pitch deck and respect for the established brand.

The same holds true for the people who are managing client relationships. What would happen if they showed up to a board meeting for a Fortune 500 client wearing ratty jeans and a poor-taste t-shirt?

You'd have issues with that, wouldn’t you?

Well that's might very well be happening with your podcast. Every single day, your podcast is representing your brand. To your customers. To your clients. To your prospects. Maybe to your competitors. Certainly to the public at large. Your podcast is causing those people to make assumptions about your brand.

Are those assumptions the ones you want?

Here are three tips that will help you make sure that you're giving your podcast’s listeners the best chance of making the right assumptions about your brand.

You have to become a listener of your podcast (and others).

You wouldn’t let a brand new biz dev person pitch to a prospect or client without screening their deck and presentation skills, would you? And you’d likely accompany your biz dev people on key pitches from time to time so you could observe them in action, right?

Just like you’d monitor the real-world interactions between your account management people and your customers. Or just like you’d try your best to see with your own eyes how anybody else in your company is representing your company to the real world.

It’s incredibly easy to monitor your podcast. And not just occasionally. Always.

You are already observing how your people represent your brand in the real world, either by walking around the office, attending a few biz dev meetings, or even sitting in on client update sessions. Because you own the business, and you have a responsibility to make sure the people on your payroll are accurately representing the brand you've worked so hard to build.

So please, listen to your podcast. I am amazed at the number of business owners I have met just in the last six months -- in big companies and small -- who’ve have authorized someone in their organization to make a podcast for the company… yet the business owner has never listened to the final product.

And for the few that do listen to their company's show, that’s the only podcast they’ve ever listened to. Equally bad, because they may think “well, it’s a podcast, and podcasts are supposed to be lower quality than content produced for the radio, an audiobook, television, or any other form of media, right?” Wrong. Very, very wrong. So, please... Listen?

Give your team time to make great content.

It's not a 30-minute long process to put out a 30-minute long podcast episode. That should not surprise you. It might only take you 15 minutes to read the latest white paper your company put out. But you do recognize it took longer -- much longer -- than 15 minutes for your employees to assemble that paper, right?

That 30-minute sales deck your biz dev person just pitched to your biggest prospect took her days or weeks to assemble. Not minutes.

Quality products take -- and deserve -- time and attention.

As the business owner -- the person that's controlling the purse-strings -- you to allow your people to invest their time (and your money) into making a high-quality product that accurately represents your brand. Give them time to do that.

Partner for the future.

It's very possible that the people inside of your business cannot do this alone. It might be necessary to partner with someone because the podcasting space is moving crazy fast.

It's very difficult to keep up with all the changes unless your a full-time job is making podcasts. Just like it's difficult to keep up with what's happening in digital media, web development, video distribution, or all of the things that are necessary but not central to your business.

You need someone outside of your organization. An expert whose job is to keep track of what's happening today and look forward at the changes podcasting is going to go through and suggest/shepherd changes to your podcasting effort to keep your brand on-point. To make sure that your brand’s message is accurately conveyed in the best way possible in this medium today and tomorrow. To make sure you’re making the right kind of content that accurately represents your brand and the content your customers/prospects/listeners want to hear.

Of course, I’d be happy to chat with you to see if my firm is a good fit in that role. Get in touch with me by sending an email to evo@podcastlaunch.pro. You can go to PodcastLaunch.pro to see a list of the services my firm currently offers our clients all over the world.

Hope you've enjoyed this little mini-series on how your podcast impacts your brand. I shall be back not tomorrow, but on Monday, with yet another Podcast Pontifications. Cheers!

No, you don't have to release an episode of your business’ podcast each and every week. Or every two weeks. Or even every month.

The myth of “publish or die!” is an ad populum fallacy. Most podcasts are made by hobbyists. Most of those hobbyists are “playing at radio” with their podcast. Or they're inspired by traditional media -- television, newspaper, magazines - that issues new content on a consistent (often weekly) basis. Others were bloggers before they were podcasters,  perhaps published their own newsletter. They’ve gotten used to -- and popularized -- the notion of creating and publishing content for their audience on a regular basis.

That might make sense for a hobbyist. But does it make sense for your business?

Unless you're in the business of publishing, you're going to find that a weekly or even a fortnightly podcast publishing cadence is hard to sustain. If the schedule you set for your podcast episodes doesn't neatly fit into your business' work schedule… expect difficulties meeting your arbitrarily established podcast publishing deadlines.

But even if (as is likely) your business is not built around pushing content each and every week, you can still have a podcast. And a successful one at that!

You need to break out of the mindset of “let's do whatever the other podcasts are doing” and refocus on “let's do what's right for our business.”

Here are three different methods that might fit better in with the way you do business. And as a bonus,  I'm going to share with you three amazing benefits you'll get when you follow a non-traditional podcast episode publishing cadence for your business-focused or brand-based podcast.

Event-based

Is there an event on your business’ yearly calendar that you or your employees are going to either attend? Or maybe your business is putting on your own event? And even if you aren’t planning on attending, perhaps there's an event that is incredibly popular within your industry, attended by potential customers, existing clients, and even your competitors

If that's the case, you can build a series of podcast episodes that are catered to that pending event. You can produce a series of podcast episodes that culminate either on the day of that event or perhaps just before that event … even a great recap of the event once it’s over. It’s that single event that becomes the focus of your podcast. Doing this can cement your business or brand identity as a (if not the) thought-leader for the event and, by way of association, a thought-leader for the topic of the event.

Cycle-based

Think “seasons”. As in, “the seasons”, like Fall or Spring. Now think about the seasons your business or industry goes through on an annual basis. Can you build a series of podcast episodes that coincide with that business cycle?

When are people purchasing equipment? When are they making decisions about business planning? When does the news cycle really ramp up within your industry? What are the natural cycles your industry goes through on a regular basis? Do you have a low season that you can do some demand shaping around? Do you have a high season that you need to take advantage of?

Take inspiration from the way you’ve planned your business for the entire year and tailor your podcast episodes -- production and release -- to that.

Content-based

Even though you are likely not in the business of publishing like a newspaper or a magazine, there may be some things that you are in fact publishing.

We talked about making podcast episodes more like white papers on yesterday's episode. If you’re publishing actual white papers periodically, you can make podcast episodes that support those publications. Maybe one of your teams is producing a series of videos. Great! Build podcast episodes around those, maybe with some outtakes or with a “the making of” or “director's cut” type content.

When you look, you might find that your business is already producing content that's not in podcast form, but you can make podcast episodes to support that content to help it go even further.

There are some tangible benefits to non-traditional podcast publishing that work great for your business. Things like:


  1. It makes marketing is so much easier.
    It's easier to build a marketing campaign around a less-frequent publishing cadence. It's hard to come up with marketing content every single week for a podcast the publishes a new episode every single week. It's fatigue, and it’s felt by you, your marketing team, and even for your listeners.

  2. You’ll have time for serious promotion.
    You can plan out your promotions much better when you break the weekly habit. Promotion of individual elements -- episodes -- seems fresher and more important when it’s not something you have to do because a new episode is dropping on Friday.

  3. It allows for easy content repurposing.
    Let's face it: There's a limit on the number of places where re-sharing a weekly podcast episode makes sense. The same “racing against the clock” problems that fatigues marketers and promoters also fatigues those who are trying to repackage and repurpose your content.

As you can see, your business has many more (and even better) options as to when to publish content than conventional podcasting wisdom would have you believe.

There's more to podcasting for businesses and for brands than what bubbles to the top of the larger podcasting landscape.

I'd love to help you think through the right podcast publishing approach for your business. If the info above helped you, fantastic! But if you need personalized help making it happen, this is what we do at Simpler Media Productions. Get in touch with me at evo@podcastlaunch.pro or visit PodcastLaunch.pro to see a list of all the services we’re currently providing our clients.

I'll be back tomorrow with yet another Podcast Pontifications. Cheers!

Do you know why so many business-focused podcasts are interview-based? For the same reason that the tire ads are in the sports section of your Sunday newspaper. Not because people who read the sports section are more likely to buy tires. No, it's because that's where the tire ads go. After some 50 years of advertising, that's where the tire ads go. It’s become a habit, and businesses are keen to capitalize on ingrained habits of consumers.

But back to podcasting for your business or brand. I promise to you that there is a lot more to podcasting than interview-based show. Consider for a moment what having an interview-based show say about your brand. Think about the story each episode tells about your brand? Even if the conversations you brand and your guests are having are on-point and wonderful that the audience seems to enjoy… those episodes may not be telling your brand story in an effective and meaningful way.

In this episode, I’ll share three ideas for content-generation that will make sure your podcast’s episodes are business-focused by making them business-first. And no, that doesn’t have to mean boring.

Before I list those, forget everything you know (or think you know) about podcasting for a moment and think about your business or brand overall. What kinds of content are you generating? What are you publishing and promoting that shares the story of your brand?

Social media posts are likely. But podcasting isn't social media.

Maybe you’re producing videos and publishing them to YouTube. It’s often touted as the second biggest search engine, so it’s an obvious content play for most brands. But people watch business-focused YouTube videos for very different reasons than they do when listening to a podcast episode from a business or brand.

But there are three types of business-focused content that work really well in podcast form.

Case Studies

People want proof. Especially in business, where talk is cheap. But a well-crafted case study shows how the products or services offered by your business caused a meaningful change on or more of your clients.

If you’re saying to yourself “I don't read those case studies”, then you’re making the classic blunder of using yourself as a sample size of one. Businesses case studies are popular. No, centering your podcast around case studies isn’t going to get you a Webby award. But treating your podcast episodes more like case studies will get potential clients excited about your solution, your business, and your brand.

White Papers

Again, you probably are saying “Evo, I don't I don't really read white papers.” But once again, I promise you that in the business world, white papers are consumed. A lot! White papers showcase one or more aspects of your business in a deep-dive. It’s not casual. It’s an on-purpose and a rather exhaustive rundown of one or more aspects of your business. And it’s often times just what a potential client needs to get them to commit.

Presentations

Businesses spend a lot of money to fly employees to conference all around the world. Much of their time is spent in the audience, listening to (or getting inspiration/advice/etc from) people on stage. The person on the stage has not only a captive audience of dozens, hundreds, and sometimes even thousands of people but a highly qualified audience who are choosing to hear what this business/brand has to say.

Scoff at this idea as “PowerPoint in podcast form” if you like. But then think about all those people in the audience at those conferences, many of them paying serious attention and taking copious notes. For them -- the ones that matter -- it's not a boring experience at all. It's exactly what they want to hear.

But I’d be remiss if I didn’t give you a bit of a harsh reality check on the above advice.

  1. Taking a business-focused approach to your podcast’s content will likely not get your podcast to the number one placement of any podcast chart.
  2. Taking a business-focused approach to your podcast’s content is a lot more work than just doing a casual interview show.

But unless you’re in the business of selling ads against your content, neither audience growth nor speed-to-market is your top priority.

Instead your top priority is simple: attaining measurable business outcomes from your podcast content, either directly or indirectly. Those outcomes should be commensurate with the effort you put into making each episode of your show. Those episodes must appeal to a very specific audience, with ample opportunity for them to easily respond to your content.

Take a business-first approach will result in a very different type of show than you may be used to listening to. And that’s OK. The people who listen to your business-focused content are hungry for something different. Your acknowledgment of this and commitment to making content that appeals to this need will be seen as rewarding for them, which in turn rewards your business or brand. Because you're giving them exactly the kind of content they need to hear to be successful.

Let them be entertained somewhere else. Let that need to just keep listening filler content every week (or perhaps four times a week) be scratched somewhere else.

If you want to be serious about podcasting for your business, you must make sure that your brand is adequately represented in your podcast.

As always, you can email me at evo@podcastlaunch.pro or you can check out the business-focused podcast services my firm offers our clients at PodcastLaunch.pro.

I shall be back tomorrow with yet another Podcast Pontifications. Cheers!

Is your podcast serving the purpose to boost your brand? Or is it actively damaging the hard work you’ve put into building your brand?

I stated before I'm going to say clearly once again: I honestly think that almost any entity -- company, nonprofit organization even as an individual or professional service provider can have a podcast.

Not that they should. But they can.

As with all things in life; just because you can do something doesn't mean you should do something.

Because you are choosing to have a podcast to represent your brand, it’s almost a given that you should do it properly.

I've recently made the decision to stop listening to some podcasts by brands because the contents of the podcast episodes have completely damaged the brand for me. Specifically,  I mean they seem not to care about their podcast. They don't care about quality. They don't care about the contents. The podcast seems an afterthought for them. And since they are clearly spending resources on it, it makes me wonder if they take that same lazy attitude to their products and services. No thanks.

This week, I want to talk about ways you can make sure that your podcast and your brand line up with one another. And if you care about your brand, podcasting cannot be an afterthought.

(Nota bene: I know that for many hobbyists, podcasting certainly is an afterthought. Or just some fun thing they do once in a while with a friend. That’s great. In fact, I think businesses can also have a lot of fun with the podcast. But I’m not talking about having fun. I’m talking about making content that represents a brand image.)

You can’t look at your large audience base as an indication of brand-damage. Nor can you ask your engaged fans if the carefree-attitude you are taking is damaging your brand to them. Of course it’s not. Fans of your podcast will almost always say the same thing: They want more of the same. Of course they do! They're already listening.

The danger is that fans tend to not be very honest. But it’s not the current listener base a podcaster has to worry about. It’s the potential new listener.

The podcasting space is getting easier (and hopefully better), which means it’s easier than ever to start listening to podcasts. (Thanks, Google!)

And among those new people listening will be people who do not know the brand you’ve already established. For them, the listening experience defines your brand?

Is your most recent episode a good steward of your brand? Perhaps you publish a monthly magazine (one where people pay money to subscribe to the print/digital version) and, as a promotional effort or because all the cool kids are doing it, you also put out a podcast. A podcast with unedited episodes. Episodes with four or five different voices talking over one another with wildly varying volume levels of volume. If that’s the kind of attention you put into your podcast, it makes me wonder if your magazine is rife with typos and lacks any sort of editorial control.

Or maybe you're a consultant with thrice-weekly podcast episodes of great, highly focused advice. Except you’ve made the decision that the first two minutes of your short episodes are nothing but a giant ad for a different company only tangentially related to the topic of your show.  For a different service that I know that you're going to make a commission on when you get. It makes me wonder about the kind of advice you provide a consultant.

Given the intimate experience people have when they listen to your podcast, it’s critical to not damage your brand with your podcasting efforts.

For the rest of this week, I’m going to help you understand how decisions you make with your podcast directly impact your brand. We’ll talk about the actual contents of your show and how you assemble them. We’ll talk about a release schedule and what that says about your brand. This deep-dive will look at the podcast episodes you are already producing to make sure brand new people not only get the message you want, but also that the “intangibles” of your brand are passed along as well.

You’ll get some insight, so keep a pencil and paper handy as you listen. And feel free to hit the rewind button as necessary.

I shall be back tomorrow with yet another Podcast Pontifications. Cheers!

I made a joke on Twitter earlier this morning that back in 2004 when someone said “How can I listen to your podcast?”, you'd tell them to download some software and then get them the RSS feed but don’t click on the RSS feed, and then give that RSS feed to the software they installed, and that software would then download the latest episode of your show show, and then could  transfer that episode onto their mobile device so they could listen. Which was kind of a pain.

In 2005, Apple started listing podcasts inside of iTunes, and it was slightly less complicated for the next 13 years, but still a process.

But now, in early May 2019, when someone asks “How can I listen to your podcast?”, you can just tell them to Google it.

Seriously.

If you google “podcast pontifications”, you will see, right there in Google's SERP for that query, play options for the three most recent episodes of my show. No need to visit my website first.

But what I've noticed (and remember this is very early in this release) is something subtle and interesting. Best of all, it relates to the theme of “podcasting things I’ve changed my mind about” I’ve been pursuing this week.

When you google “podcast pontifications”, you should get my domain and website -- PodcastPontification.com -- as the first listing. Underneath that listing, you'll see sub-listings playable recent episodes. After that, you’ll see a bunch of other pages/sites that Google displays, like Stitcher, Spotify and a bunch of other ones. That’s how Google works, giving you lots of choices, but with the best (?) first.

When I did something similar for my clients’ podcasts, I noticed something different. While episodes are showing in the SERP, those episodes aren’t sub-listed under with the primary websites for my clients. Often times, it’s the show’s Apple Podcasts listing in the SERP that has the episodes listed below. Why is that happening, my clients are sure to ask.

Here's what I think is happening. I think that Google is looking for a dedicated website -- not just a web page on an existing website -- for the podcast.

If I’m right (and again, it’s very early), I’m now going to even more strongly communicate to my clients the importance of establishing a domain and dedicated website their podcasts.

Not that the website has to be extensive, mind you. You don't have to go through the trouble of building an entire website or creating per-episode pages on that new domain. If you look at my site, PodcastPontifications.com, you’ll notice it's a one-page website. It’s a single page, and it doesn’t even link to all of my episodes. My episodes on a totally different domain -- podcastpontifications.libsyn.com -- that's generated by my podcast media host, Libsyn.

To test this theory, I did a little searching on popular podcasts Choiceology, a fantastic podcast by Charles Schwab, doesn’t have a dedicated website. Instead, they -- like a lot of my clients -- use an internal page of their well-established website as the podcast’s “home”. The first listing on Google’s SERP is indeed the internal page for the podcast, but there are no episodes associated with that listing. Instead, they are associated with the Apple Podcast listing of the show.

But with Freakonomics, the episodes in the SERP are associated with the primary domain, as the name of the site matches the name of the podcast. And that’s just two. Try it and see what you get.

The new recommendation I'm going back to all my clients with is to build a dedicated website for their show. Even a single page website will do the trick. Knowing how Google works, this makes perfect sense.

But a caveat that bears multiple repeats: We're not looking at the final implementation. Heck, with Google, there’s no such thing as a final implementation. But remember that this new world was dropped on us within the last 12 hours or so. It's going to change quite a lot.

But still, it's a really good idea for your podcast to have its own website. Even if that website is a single page. That's better than having a page on an existing website, even if that website has lots of domain history and lots of authority. Don’t take that page down. But it sure seems like you need to have a different website on a separate domain that matches the name of your show. Full stop.

Who knows what's going to happen next with this fun little wrinkle Google has put in the podcasting world. In a good way!

I know it's tough to keep up with these changes. If you need help keeping up with these changes and the ones just around the corner, get in touch with me. I am happy to help you with that: evo@podcastlaunch.pro. You can go to PodcastLaunch.pro to see a list of all the services I offer to my clients.

I'll see you on Monday for another Podcast Pontifications. Cheers!

Stats are important. They tell you how well your business is functioning. Podcasts also have stats. They exist to ensure your podcast is functioning properly.

At least that’s the theory. In practice, business owners with podcasts probably aren’t getting the right picture by looking at the stats of their podcast. Allow me to explain.

This week, I'm doing a whole series of episodes that cover things I used to think were best practices but have since changed my mind and my approach. The ability to quickly changing one's mind is important in an industry that is as fast-moving as podcasting.

Today, we recheck our assumptions about podcast statistics and the story the tell for your business-focused podcast.

Podcasters like us rely on the podcast the statistics we get from our podcast hosting company. I used to spend a lot of time -- probably way too much time -- looking at stats for my shows as well as the stats for the show's my firm produces on behalf of our clients.

And if I'm being honest, I still spend too much time doing that. But I'm getting better. In fact, I haven't reported stats to my clients for about three months now. It used to provide rather extensive reports for each client, pulling down information from the hosting company and re-formatting said data in a way I felt was valuable to my clients. I’d even provide “benchmark” numbers so they could compare their podcast success against all other podcasts.

I’m not doing that anymore for one simple reason: it’s data puke.

There’s a real disconnect between what podcast stats tell us and what business-focused podcasters really want/need to know. And as I’ve said previously, IAB 2.0 compliant stats won’t help the owners of most business-focused podcasts. Note also that I'm not complaining about the accuracy of current stats (though I do have some questions about the accuracy). Remember that IAB stands for Internet Advertising Bureau. They exist so advertisers can get an accurate counting of downloads to measure the reach of their ads. Well… none of my clients run advertisements. All of my clients are business-focused.  They're using their podcast to influence people in an effort to (hopefully) cause, at some point, a business outcome. And while you could make an argument that more people listening to a podcast will create the opportunity for more business outcomes… I feel that’s a bit of a stretch. And a bit too obfuscated.

I admit that I’m struggling to find the answer to this. I'm trying to get to is a set of universally acceptable metrics that tell the businesses behind these podcasts how they're doing, and how those metrics directly impact their business.

But that metric doesn’t exist. Yet.

I would love to be able to tell my clients how many listeners they have. But I can’t. I can tell them how many downloads their show received. But that's a download, not a listen. And just because an episode was downloaded, it doesn't mean it was listened to. We can get actual listen-numbers from Apple Podcasts and Spotify. But those platforms only represent a sample of listeners, not all listeners.

Worse, this listener/consumption reporting is “black boxed”. We don't understand how what the methodologies are behind the reporting beyond some very vague explanations.

What I learned from the dozen years or longer I spent running advertising agencies is this: you only measure the things you are trying to influence.

So what metrics are business-focused podcasts trying to change? Maybe it’s getting their current customer base listening to the show. Great. But you have to understand how are they trying to implement that great idea. Are they sending out emails to their existing customer base? If so, you can track click-thrus. But what about the people who don’t click but instead just search for the show in their favorite podcast app? Do we have to do a brand-lift study? Decisions… decisions.

Here’s my advice: If you're examining metrics that you really can't change, you're going to be really, really frustrated. You won’t have an understanding of why the numbers go up and then go down. You won’t know what you did with your show that influenced those fluctuations. So maybe… stop?

And now I need your advice because clearly, I’m not solving this on my own. Maybe you've an idea on how to tackle this problem? It’s quite possible that I'm too close to this problem.

What’s your solution? Reach out to me evo@podcastlaunch.pro reaches me. You can find me on Twitter at @evoterra. I would love to continue on with this conversation. I'll keep working on it. I'll keep pounding away.  

And in the meantime... I shall be back tomorrow with another Podcast Pontifications.

Cheers!

Typically, consistency is important when producing a podcast. And when someone -- subscriber, casual listener, or first-timer -- hears your work, it needs to grab them right away. But what they are listening to can't be a mystery, so you need to "intro" each episode.

This week, I'm exploring elements of podcasting where I've had a change of approach. The ability to change your mind and your implementation is quite important in the fast-moving medium of podcasting.

Back in the early days of podcasting, we were all doing we were taking from the world around us -- TV and radio. That led to many early podcasters going with the "canned intro" approach. We'd write some compelling (?) copy and then have a professional (?) voiceover actor narrate that for us. We'd produced it and then drop it in at the front of each episode. Some were short. Most were terribly long.

Others took a different approach, choosing to do a "fresh" intro. Often times this wasn't much more than "My name is Bob. You're listening to my podcast. My guest today is..." And that style is still around today.

Which is better? Well, my opinion has recently shifted. Back in 2016 when I jumped back into podcasting, but this time as a consultant with clients looking for me for advice on what to do, my advice was old-school: Write an intro and can that intro so that you've a consistent experience that meets your listener's expectations.

But lately I've been changing my tune, and now I'm recommending my new clients take a "fresh" approach. My reasons for making this shift are twofold:

  1. If you listen to a lot of podcasts you'll hear the trend is definitely moving towards shorter intros. Getting people to the "meat" of content quicker is a smart move.
  2. Many new podcasts are eschewing professional voiceover talent in favor of the natural voice of the host or hosts of the program.

So because of that clear trend, I have been recommending my new clients record a "fresh" intro for each episode.

But there's a challenge with that.

Several episodes ago I talked about the similarities between a hoagie sandwich and a podcast. Specifically, I called out that the way people eat a hoagie is very different than the way that a hoagie was made. And it's the same thing for a podcast. The way people consume a podcast is linear. But the best podcasts aren't made linearly.

But back to the challenge. When doing a live fresh intro... it kind of encourages the bad behavior of narrating the fresh intro and then introducing your guests in the same take. And since you're already narrating those two things, you might as well kick out the interview with the guest in the same session, right?

Wrong. That's lazy. Yeah, it's faster, but it's not better in many many cases in many cases. It's still better for you to compartmentalize and focus on each segment of your show, even if those segments are largely invisible to the audience.

The problem is this: it's the podcaster's voice on all three segments. And all three have all been recorded discreetly and at different times.

The "canned" intro is your voice six months ago or six years ago. Maybe you had a cold. Or you have a cold now. Maybe you had a totally different microphone. Maybe you recorded that in your grandmother's closet. That segment has your voice from six months or six years ago.

Then the listener hears your "today" voice as you open the episode with whatever info you want to give them before you get into the meat of the program. It's very difficult to get the sound of this version of your voice to match how you sounded six months or six years ago when you recorded the canned intro.

And after that, there's yet another totally different version of your voice as you interview your guest (assuming you have guests). And actually, this version of your voice should sound different, because you're talking to your guest and not the listener of your program.

So now you have three versions of your voice. That's just weird and can be a bit off-putting to your listeners.

The new way of doing things is to get rid of canned intros all together and do them fresh -- as fresh as you can on each individual episode. This means there are at most only two versions of your voice on the episode (again, if you're interviewing a guest). And that's very OK.

Go fresh with your intro and make it roll in nicely into your opening segment. Make it short and sweet, giving out just the information that a new listener needs to know what they are in for. You don't have to sell your entire podcast archive at this point. Your goal is to get them to keep listening past the intro and setup.

That's the growing trend, and that's what I'm doing now with all of my clients. I think you should do that too.

And if you need some help with your podcast; consider my firm? We launch podcasts for businesses all around the globe and keep them running. Go to https://PodcastLaunch.pro to see all the services we currently offer our clients. And if you have questions or something special, email me at evo@podcastlaunch.pro.

I'll be back tomorrow with yet another Podcast Pontifications. Cheers!

Time-shifted audio is what podcasting was built upon. We didn't want to be stuck with the appointment-based mentality of radio, television, or other media that require the listener of the content and the producer of the content to be on the same schedule.

Because this is podcasting! People subscribe to the show and then our content automatically downloads, leaving it up to the listener to consume the content on their schedule. At least that's the theory.

Since starting my consultancy, I have been recommending my clients select set day and time for their episodes to release. Unless they have a compelling reason not to, that time is usually midnight local time for the producer. Assuming a good portion of their listener base is on the same or adjacent time zones, putting a file out at midnight allows time for the file to propagate down to all of the devices all of the applications for all subscribers. When the audience wakes up in the morning, there is a fresh episode of the podcast waiting for their listeners to consume.

That has been the advice I've given for a very long time. But maybe that advice needs to change.

Several things have happened recently that are causing me to change my opinion. One is the proliferation of shows that are time-of-day dependent. The Daily, for example, comes out every weekday morning while you're sleeping. That makes sense because the New York Times is a newspaper, and papers tend to come out in the wee hours of the morning.

But there are also some new shows releasing episodes timed for evening drive-time. Ride Home Media produces both a tech- and a politics-based show to get you caught up on all the niche news you missed while you were working. Episodes of both shows are out by 5:30 pm Eastern Time.

The third trend is the time it takes for a new podcast episode to be available to subscribers. That used to take some time, so making sure your episode was ready as soon as listener wakes up and looks to their phone for content was smart. But with the proliferation of new podcast listening apps and updates to existing ones, you've probably seen "new episode available" notifications from your listening app of choice throughout the day. What took hours before is now only taking single-digit minutes.

That's powerful. Especially when you remember that just because someone is subscribed to your podcast, it doesn't mean they're actually listening to your episodes. Many of your subscribers rely on that little notification to remind them to check out the recent episode to see if it's worth downloading.

Maybe time of day is much more important than I thought? To help you answer that question, I have three "tests" for your show.


  1. Is the source and/or content you're producing time-dependent? I mentioned the Ride Home shows earlier. Those shows gather news that happened throughout the day, so those episodes need to go out at the end of the day. If the hosts waited until first thing the next morning, they'd be talking about yesterday's news. 

  2. When is the audience in the right mood to listen to your show? Take the great and very weird show Desert Oracle as an example. The only time I listen to it is when I'm taking a late-night drive. It's just too weird for daytime use. Think about your listeners for a moment and think about when they might be in the mood to listen to your show.

  3. Can you take advantage of a buzz factor from those podcast app notifications? Few people are getting notifications at midnight, because the phone and the person are both asleep. Which is why many of us wake to something like 17 notices of new episodes every Monday. All of those are lost to the din. Zero buzz factor.

So we need to rethink our approach. By the way, email marketers know this. I think we need to start learning from them. Time-of-day and day-of-release are going to become more important to more podcasters in the future. So much for time-shifted media production.

If you think you might need help understanding that for your show or your company, check out PodcastLaunch.pro or you can email me at evo@podcastlaunch.pro. I'll be back tomorrow with yet another Podcast Pontifications. Cheers!

Facebook's pivot to privacy and 1-to-1 communication will clearly impact your podcast's presence on Facebook. 

In this short episode, I discuss how podcasters will have to adapt to this new world. It's based not purely on conjecture, but experiences I had with the Bangkok Podcast when we embraced 1-to-1 communications with our listeners... sort of on accident.

My recommendations focus on a single theme: this idea of a more intimate relationship was originally and today remains a key differentiator between podcasting -- where the first three letters stand for "personal on demand" -- and broadcasting (which follows a more spray-and-pray approach).

So while others decry the loss of organic discovery and rail against the need to pay their way to more views and engagement, you can start refocusing your Facebook approach as you prepare for this inevitable future.

And if you need help analyzing these changes for your business-focused show, I'm here to help.

If I'm feeling exhausted keeping up with all the changes in podcasting, pontificating about how our industry will change in the future... you must be near catatonic. Sorry about that.

In this short episode, I share some good news for all working podcasters: Disruption of an industry -- and yes, the podcasting industry is clearly going through a period of disruption -- impacts the industry. Not the end user.

So while there is good reason to vie for an early-mover position in some cases, most of the changes I talk about every day on this program won't come to fruition for months. 

You have time to breathe.

But you don't have time to be complacent. So I give you two tips:

• Don't stop reading. You can't play ostrich. For if you do, you'll be left trying to sort out six months of changes. Keep reading. Just don't react.

• Get your house in order. Some of these disruptions will likely cause you to change your processes and procedures in the future. You need a comprehensive understanding of what you are doing -- and why -- to evaluate the new best practices that will come out of all this.

But also... breathe. :)

History hasn't been good to free podcast hosting companies. But for some startups, hosting podcast files for free is an integral part of their business model. 

That's causing old-school podcasters to scratch their heads. Because the conversation is shifting away from "how do I make money with my podcast?" to "how can I discover a business model with where I subsidize the costs of media hosting as part of my overall service offering?" 

In this short episode, I'll quickly discuss three new(ish) companies who've taken that approach and what that means to the health of the podcasting ecosystem as a whole. 

(Hint: It's a very, very good time to blend podcasting and startup culture!)

While purging in the dietary sense is very bad for you, a good purge every now and again can be just the thing you need to do as a podcaster.

In this short episode, I pontificate on the following points of podcast purging:

  • Your listening list, going so far as suggesting you create "The Seven"
  • The communities you belong to, with a call to seek out new ones to join
  • The social connections you've made, which helps ensure you're fighting group-think
  • Your entire "process" of podcasting, getting rid of outdated thinking and getting you to the new baseline

I personally do a purge this way a couple times a year. And it's time once again! 

(Note: Do not purge Podcast Pontifications from your listening list. I mean all the other podcasts, clearly.)

As Luminary fights off a flood of takedown requests, podcasters have to ask themselves how they feel about having their content automatically added to new products and services. More importantly, podcasters need to take action to ensure that their rights -- their copyrights -- are explicitly stated*.

Since I'm not a lawyer, I asked one. Ruth Carter is an IP attorney and personal friend. It was from my conversation with Ruth that I give the following advice:

Go add this to the tag in your RSS feed right now: © 2019** by [Rights Holder Name]. All rights reserved.

No, this isn't a guaranteed fix to keep Bad Actors from grabbing your feed and adding it to their own directory service. It's incumbent upon services/directories to respect copyright. (Sadly, I don't think most do today. But with all this brouhaha, future services may start.)

No, this doesn't stop you from submitting your show to new services/directories as they come about. The fact that you, the rights holder, go through the submission process on that new service/directory acts as a license you are granting to that service (though Ruth recommends you read the click-wrap agreement, which is just what you'd expect an attorney to say.)

While I recommend taking this action -- I just did it for my shows and all of my firm's clients' shows -- there will be a business impact. Namely, if precedence is set so apps/services/directories decide it is in their best interest to secure licenses with each rights holder... that's going to slow things down. Big time.

And that's a topic worthy of future discussion, don't you think?

* Ruth reminds me that, at least in the US, copyright applies even if the rights-holder doesn't expressly state them. Still, stating them is good practice, so do it.

** If you're looking at this in the future, adjust the year accordingly. And yes, you need to change the year on Jan 1 of every year. Dumb, I know. 

 

With all the attention and investment opportunities pouring into podcasting, you're probably considering upgrading your show so you can get some of that sweet cash. Or just more ears on your content.

In this short episode, I'll help you understand what sort of bang you can get for your bucks. I'll use the following directional budget-buckets to help you prioritize your plans:

  • $100 lets you hire an editor, either of your audio files or of the text that accompanies your episodes. 
  • $500 lets you hire a producer, which affords you the opportunity to upgrade from the basic, linear flow to something resembling a narrative podcast
  • $5000 puts a whole production team at your disposal, with a suite of professionals to help make great episodes from square one. You can also afford some solid marketing and PR.

As stated, these budget-buckets are directional, not absolute. Hopefully, they give you some guide-posts and reality checks to help you on your podcast upgrade path. 

(And if you need help with your business-minded podcast at any of those levels, reach out!)

Largely because of the non-stop love podcasting is getting in financial (and other) publications, developers with novel ideas are finding it easier to raise capital to build the latest and greatest podcasting app.

Some offer exclusive, pay-walled content. Some blend social sharing with listening behavior. And others have less-scrutable business goals. But one thing is certain: we'll see many more launched, and it's hard to pick the winner.

Or is it? In this short episode, I'll tell you, the working podcaster, how you can "win" this heating-up app war, ensuring your content is available no matter who winds up on top (or more likely eventually gets dumped.)

Most of us get by just fine on our own. To make sure we stay on the right track, we regularly see "experts" for checkups. Doctors, financial advisor, and dental hygienists. We trust these experts to catch things we might have missed, keeping us on the path.

Maybe we podcasters need our own version of hygienists?

In this short episode, I make the case for that, offering up some tips on the kinds of routines worthy of examining in such a relationship. I have one client I do this for about every six months. And while it's not currently a core service, it might need to be. Given all the changes happening right now in podcasting, having a pro on your side to perform a set of subjective and objective tests on your efforts seems like a good thing. 

So... maybe a new service offering is in the making? Get in touch!

Also, I changed up the music and some other things in this episode. Let me know that you love it!

As a professional contrarian, I know first hand the power of the dissenting voice. And I also know what it's like to be raked over the coals for espousing unpopular views.

Recently, an opinion piece by the editor of the Podcast Business Journal and a perspective by the pop music critic for the Washington Post have the podcasting community breaking out the virtual torches and pitchforks. 

This episode is my attempt to persuade you that dissenting opinions -- especially ones you vehemently disagree with on a foundational level -- are both good and necessary for a healthy and evolving podcast ecosystem.

The Podcast Consumer 2019 report from Edison and Triton Digital is out, with lots of podcasters & pundits gobbling up the data and interpreting the results.

In this episode, I focus on the one slide from that report that holds the most significance to business-minded podcasters: The reasons and rationale of why people choose not to listen to podcasts.

And keep in mind: while the majority of Americans have listened to a podcast episode at least once, a good chunk of people walking around out there never have. Which means a good chunk of your customers, mailing list members, or anyone else you want to listen also have some preconceived notions about podcasting that you need to break through.

  • 75% of non-listeners say podcasting isn't for them. Just like coupons will never entice me to try out a Chinese Buffet, cajoling (begging) your mailing list to listen isn't helping. Time to play the features/benefits card.
  • 51% of them say there's not enough time for them to listen to podcasts. So consider the length of your episodes. If that's fine, you need to help these people in your list understand that podcast listening isn't a zero-sum game
  • 49% think there's nothing inside of podcasts that they can't get through other means. Are you using those other means -- social, emails, blog posts -- to demonstrate the unique value contained inside your episodes? Or are you just auto-Tweeting headlines and a subscribe link? That's not going to work for them.

Speaking of that last one, I go into much more detail inside the episode, so give it a listen. (Though given the nature of the content of this show, it's probably immune to those reasons. Still, just in case...)

Here's a fact I live but often forget: Most people aren't looking for perfection. That's as true in podcasting as it in every aspect of life.

Earlier today, I saw a Tweet from the actor Jameela Jamil that illustrated this point perfectly (he said, ironically). So on this uncharacteristic episode, I lean into the love, which is the single biggest motivating factor for a lot of podcasts.

Not everyone strives to have a perfect podcast, just like not everyone strives to have a perfect body. Hell, most people don't strive to have a perfect body. But that doesn't mean they aren't proud of their show and actually put out effort to make a good sounding show. But those people care little about what self-purported experts (hi!) say makes a good sounding show. When you do it for the love of what you create, you have a different set of success metrics. And pleasing cranky salty old-timers like me isn't high on that list.

And that's OK. Because you're podcasting for you first, not me. (I think I needed to hear this today, so I said it myself!) 

I've been blessed (cursed?) with an abundance of confidence. Couple that with nearly 15 years experience in podcasting and my leadership role seems cemented.

But to be honest, I'm constantly fighting the suspicion that the processes I use and the advice I give will one day (soon?) be irrelevant.

In this short episode, I'll examine my own fears/concerns, including how I fight against this constant pressure and never-ending fear that I'll be seen as a legacy provider, rather than maintaining my leadership role.

Even if you've only been podcasting a short while, this future is in your cards too. Learn how to fight it! 

As podcasters, we're always looking to get more people to subscribe to our show. But that drive runs counter to the new wave of podcast listeners, who want to be nothing more than that -- a casual listener. 

In this short episode, I'll share with you three real-world stories that lead me to this conclusion.

But those signs, plus the fact that Google Podcasts is transcribing content podcasting content to feed to their algorithm, and even Apple is coming out with cross-platform webpages for podcasts that are indexable by search engines... it points to a growing trend that subscribing is now more optional than ever.

What are we going to do about that? Well, I have a few ideas that are in the episode. Spoiler: They little to do with trying to convince these non-subscribers of the benefits of subscribing. 

Yesterday, I went back to the gym after a 5-week break. I'm more than a little sore today, but it got me thinking about how similar this is to re-establishing a podcast that has faded away.

In this short episode, I'll walk you through the three steps you un-fading a show. Note: this isn't just theory; this is practical advice I learned when we re-launched the Bangkok Podcast a few years back.

Broadly speaking, here are the three steps to re-establishing a podfaded show:

  1. Remediate! Get to the root cause behind why the show faded... and fix it! 
  2. Go slow & in stealth! Too many shows make grand "we're coming back!" announcements, then fail to deliver.
  3. Plan to fade again. Hey, it happened once before. And on a long enough time scale, all shows come to an end. So plan for it.

Listen in to hear more about those topics, and join me tomorrow for another episode of Podcast Pontifications! 

Also, happy 150th episode!

The next big thing in podcasting is daily podcasting. Which shows how history likes to repeat/rhyme because one of the first podcasts ever was a daily show.

But with so many newspapers, magazines, and other sorts of "publishers" jumping in the podcasting space, there's a growing hunger among listeners for more frequently produced content. 

In this short episode, I'll walk through some considerations you might take before deciding to increase your publishing cadence. Sure, new listeners might be expecting more content. But what about the existing listener experience? 

Also: moving to daily requires more and different work. It's quite possible the routines you've established for your show aren't what's needed to keep a daily program running. 

Listen in to find out if you should make the jump -- or maybe start a new daily show?

The NAB Show is just getting started this week, yet the podosphere is already buzzing with concerned podcasters worried that broadcasters are encroaching into their territory.

They've a good reason to be concerned.

In this short episode, I lay out the areas where professional broadcasters -- radio and TV -- have the upper-hand over podcast-only service providers. It's more than just access to pro equipment, quality editing, and established processes. Commercial radio can be quite good at understanding and meeting business objectives for their customers.

For the stations/networks that manage to get past their distribution hangups, they see podcasting-as-a-service as a big part of their business plans for the coming years.

To bring the theme of "control" to a close, I'm taking on the heavy topic of controlling the future. No, I'm not magic. No, I can't predict the future. No one can. But there are ways you can control how you navigate your podcast when the future becomes the present.

In this short episode, I discuss three main points:

  • Investing in resiliency
  • Increasing your luck surface area
  • Reducing surprises

By applying the skills I discuss here, the future of your podcast becomes a lot less murky. And when things do change (perhaps for the worse) you and your podcast will come out on the other end, maybe even better than before!

There's a misconception that podcasters have no control over whether or not a potential listener decides to sample and/or subscribe. The same misconception applies for listeners and their decision to hit play or stop on your episode.

That's all bunk. Because the listener experience is a two-sided transaction, and it starts with you, the podcaster.

In this short episode, I show you how to look at your podcast with a set of fresh eyes. Because you can't control what you don't know, right?

Tomorrow, I'll conclude the mini-series on control with an episode on controlling the future for your podcast.

Lots of podcasters are constantly looking for the one piece of tech that will increase the quality of their podcast. But as you'll learn in his short episode, the single most important controlling factor of your podcasts quality is... you.

No, I'm not suggesting you fire yourself. But I am suggesting you have a better and more comprehensive understanding of all of the steps that go into making your podcast. 

Nor am I suggesting you strive to produce a perfect or flawless show. I am suggesting that you make sure that you have the right quality all along the process of making your show, for that's something you control completely.

Listen in for some tips as I continue to explore the concept of "control" and podcasting this week.

As a working podcaster, you have ultimate control of the distribution of your show and episodes. But wielding that control is something worthy of strategic thought before taking any action or following questionable advice.

On today's short episode, we'll look at three aspects of distribution control for your podcast: 

  • The nodes or distribution points (directories, apps, platforms)
  • The depth of content (because there are no practical limitation on how much content you wish to release)
  • The selection of content you wish to distribute (perhaps all episodes aren't worthy)

As is my wont, this is the first of a four-part series on control. Next up will be ideas around controlling the quality of you show, how to control the brand experience for your listeners (and not-yet-listeners), and way to control your own future. So keep listening! 

The changes we've seen thus far this year are just the tip of the iceberg. That's the way change works: always constant and often increasing. This is the hockey stick your mother warned you about.

So how does someone like you, the working podcaster, stay up on all those changes? Well, you've already made the smart move of listening to this program on a 4x-a-week basis. But assuming you want to go beyond that:


  • James Cridland's Podnews.net should be in your inbox every day. Or listen to the short podcast version if you like. If it's new, important, and about podcasting, James covers it.

  • Podcast Business Journal is a relatively new industry-specific online magazine staffed by luminaries in the industry who provide context and insight. Sure, it's a little "inside baseball", but that's kind of the point.
  • There are legion other podcast-focused newsletters. The Bello Collective and Skye Pillsbury's Inside Podcasting 
  • Subscribe to every other show that podcasts about the same kind of stuff you podcast about. Yes, all of them. (I subscribe to 26 other PAPs -- podcasts about podcasting.)
  • Get involved with those same people and start collaborating. Because podcasting isn't a zero-sum game.

If you're serious about podcasting, you'll find time to stay updated on the vast changes coming. I hope those tips help.

It sounds kind of obvious that the way you think about your podcast impacts your podcast. That's because it is obvious. But like most other obvious things, it's not the kind of thing often re-examined.

In this short episode, I'll encourage you to think differently about your podcast by examing two key questions:

  • Why do you podcast the way you podcast?
  • What do you want to get out of your podcast?

Understanding your unique answers to these questions will help make a better podcast. Bonus: Ask yourself these questions continually. But now I'm spoiling tomorrow's episode...

Expect big changes to podcasting at the technical level this year. But you're at the mercy of your hosting provider for many of them. Which begs the question: How well-established is your relationship with your podcast's hosting provider?

In this short episode, I'll explain why, now more than ever, it's extremely important to know the full range of options available from your hosting company. Because there's more to feed management than just having a link to your media file.

While change is scary for many, and the unknowns with changing where/how you record/produce your podcast seems like potential boat rocking.

But actually, what might be a terrifying change for you can often be the catalyst your audience is looking for. In fact, changes you make to how your show sounds can re-spark their interest to share your program with others.

In this short episode, I'll do my best to convince you that change is good, as well as provide some ideas on how changes to your physical space can often (always?) make your podcast better. And all this week, I'll cover other aspects of change for your podcast.

As mass adoption of podcasting continues, it's becoming easier and easier to create a podcast. And while that sound lovely, fair and idyllic, a world where literally every person has their own podcast might be the worst apocalypse we can imagine for the industry.

In this short episode, I'll dig into the challenges facing the companies and entrepreneurs that have that as goal or business model. And I'll dig into how such a future might play into the hands of the new push for privacy and more intimate communication. 

In the end, it's probably not the future we want to see. But a version of it might happen, so it's good to mentally prepare.

While the cash-flush see podcasting as the Next Big Thing, those high expectations can be problematic if the medium fails to deliver serious returns. Where prior boom/bust cycles haven't proven a fatal blow, we've not seen investments of this size before. 

Which begs the question: What happens if podcasting fails again?

In this short episode, I'll look at that potential (though unlikely, IMHO) future, offering up some comparison of prior podcasting failures. 

Podcasting will likely see at least one billion dollars of investment money in 2019 alone. And while VCs are used to losing most of the bets they make, they're also used to very big payoffs. And it's that pressure to make huge returns that may signal the end of free podcasting as we know it.

On this short episode, I focus on the apocalyptic -- the aPODcalypse, if you will -- when most people are listening to either heavily ad-supported content or various (and varied) "pay to listen" curation apps and destinations. 

How likely is this future? Fairly, I'd say. Ad-supported shows are going to be under heavy pressure to squeeze more money out of a relatively small audience (comparatively speaking), which means loads more ads getting in the way of content. 

Suddenly, paying a few bucks to access ad-free and highly curated content might be a lot more appealing. But we'll see what the future holds!

To properly index podcast content, sounds need to be converted to something like text, if only for a robot to parse through and make sense of. It's only a matter of when, not if, unscrupulous black-hat scammers try to rig the game.

In this short episode, I'll share one possible scenario that looks a lot like the black-hate SEO game of the late '90s and early '00s. Back then, it was common to display white text on a white background at the bottom of the page. No human would see it (unless they viewed the source of the page), but the at-the-time dumb robots would happily add that text to the visible text on the page. Back then, more instances of the keyword would almost guarantee you a spot on the first page of search results for that phrase.

Today, the most used search algorithms for podcasts are even dumber than these early efforts. And that's a fertile breeding ground for bad behavior and shady businesses to do chart manipulation on a whole new scale. Don't fall for it!

Say it with me: Downloads and increased listener rate of your podcast are NOT BUSINESS OUTCOME.

They are tactical outputs. And while very important to success, THEY ARE NOT BUSINESS GOALS.

In this short episode, I implore you to focus on the outcomes for your business that your podcast serves. Very un-sexy things like:

  • Increase retention and acquisition rates
  • lower operating costs or increase revenues
  • measurable cultural change

That's a big shift from tracking downloads and retweets. But if you really are treating your podcast as a part of your business, you have a fiduciary (another unsexy word) responsibility with your business (or yourself, if you are the business) to treat it as such.

I'm hopeful this episode helps you make the mindset switch required.

Podcasting is the most intimate medium we've come up with to date. Yet far too many podcasters treat their show like it's being listened to by hundreds (or thousands, or tens) of people enjoying a movie together.

Not true. We have solid evidence that shows most podcast listening is singular, with headphones plugged into a mobile phone.

That means a single person. You should be talking to a single person with each and every episode.

In this short episode, I talk to you about why that's such a challenge and ways to work through it. And as a bonus, I encourage you to go even further, giving your perfect listener (avatar, though I hate that word) a name. It'll change the way you do your show. For the better.

Every good presenter, blogger, or podcaster knows that each item produced (slide, blog post, podcast episode) should be about one single topic.

On today's episode, I explore that even deeper, giving you the concept of taking multiple episodes to cover a single topic and making all of those episode parts of a larger season.

Why would you do this? Well, it can lead to better podcasts episodes. Bonus, it can help you avoid burnout.

Also, I have a cold. Boo.

This week, I'm focused. So, therefore, the conversation is all about being focused.

Specifically, I'm going to bring forth some ideas bring getting better focus to your podcast. Tips I gathered mostly from the last week when I was at Podfest in Orlando, which was my first time being at the event. I have to say this about Podfest: Hands down an amazing event. Thank you very much to the organizers for bringing me out and out. You probably should make plans to go attend pod fest 2020. Lots of excellent information at the show and some of that information this year had to do with focus.

Get Focused to Improve Your Podcast

Specifically, focus on collaboration to build your audience. Because you're not part of a big network and it's hard for you to grow your audience without a big network behind you.

The reason that the top 10 shows in the charts are all from big companies most of the time is because of something called "the network effect". The network effect means comes from an actual network of other shows working together to elevate a brand new -- or perhaps re-launched -- program to the top of the charts. That's hard for you to do because you are not part of a big podcasting network.

But thanks very much to my friend Dave Zohrob at Chartable, there is a way. His presentation was all about this, drawn heavily from an episode of his program -- Chartable Radio. -- with Multitude Productions' Amanda McLoughlin.

Creating the DIY Network Effect

Amanda refers to this as the "DIY Network Effect". You're trying to replicate that effect by building out your own collaborative network. A network that exists so other like-minded shows can collaborate, share, and help a new show flourish.

Unlike a "real" network, the DIY Network Effect doesn't share resources. (You could if you wanted to.) The idea to get audience growth for a highly-focused, niche-appeal show. Candidly, your show is not something that the masses want to hear. The masses who listen to audio drama, or the masses who listen to random interviews, or even the masses who listen to funny comedy shows. Getting shows that do appeal to those audiences to mention your show is hard. Worse, all of that exposure isn't going to help grow your show. At least not in the same way it benefits the mass-appeal shows that do get mentions on the big networks. Those shows all have a focus and a theme. And your focus and your theme for your show are different.

So that's what you're going to do as well. You may not break into the Top 10 All-Time charts anytime soon. But you can definitely increase your audience. I've seen it time and time again by utilizing this focused network approach. Here's how you do it.

From Discovery To Collaboration

It starts by finding somebody you can collaborate with. One of the best ways to do that is to... well, go search. Yes, we know that search in podcast directories is terrible. But it's what we have to work with. That's step one: go search and discover other shows that talk about the same things you talk about on your show. Get a list five, 10, 20... whatever number you can come up with. The more the merrier, because not all of them are going to say "yes" to this idea.

Listening to those shows -- at least one episode fully -- is required. And make sure put your critical-thinking hat on as you do. Step from outside of your normal comfort zone and think as if you were a listener of your own show. Then ask yourself: Is this the kind of content I would be willing to share with my audience? It is similar? It is complementary? If it's not: cross that one off your list. If you're not willing to share the show with your audience, cross it off your list.

But if you are, then ask yourself a second question: Does this show seem like it might appeal to an audience who might like my content as well. And again, if that's a no: Cross it off your list.

Now you've got a potential match. Someone who makes a show you're willing to share, and someone with an audience you think might be receptive to your own content. Perfect.

So now... connect with them. How do you do that? Well, it's pretty darn simple to find out who is actually running a podcast. You click through to the website on whatever app you're listening to. You find the host/producer's contact information, and then you tell them (not in a form letter and not in some email blast you also send to 100 different people) how much you really liked their episode, and you tell them that you're a new subscriber. (Because you really need to listen to other shows to really make this work.).

How To Collaborate With Other Podcasters

Next, you offer up your desire to help them grow their audience, which helps you, in turn, grow yours.

Guest First, Swap Later

If your show is an interview show, ask them to be a guest on your show. After they've had a great time guesting on your show, you offer this idea of being in this quasi-network -- a collaborative network -- where you help each other. One way to do that is with an episode swap. I did that recently with Mark Asquith. He has a show called The 7 Minute Mentor where we both "swapped" episodes recently, gaining exposure to each other's audience. Not as a guest (though guesting is a great idea too), but with the full show for the other audience to enjoy.

And if you really want to stretch the concept, go ahead and do your half of the swap ahead of time -- even if you don't know that you'll get reciprocation. Tell the host you did it, and then ask if they'd be willing to help your show as well.

The Group Power Of Live Podcast Shows

Another great use of a DIY Network Effect is with "live" shows, where you book a venue and you record your show live in front of an audience. But your show may not have enough listeners to warrant the cost associated with that. So you collaborate with other podcasters who are in the same town to both share the costs and reap the benefits. Don't have other podcasters in your town? Look again. You'll be surprised. Ask if those hosts would be willing to come and share the stage with you. Make an entire evening of the event. Or an afternoon or a morning if that makes sense. You could even do it virtually if you wanted.

Sharing Sponsors Among Podcasters

Finally, you could use your quasi-network to share advertisers and sponsors. Because if you don't have the audience to entice an advertiser, you can bring that advertiser to the others in this little DIY network you've built for yourself. Sharing the wealth.

All this is designed to bring your content to more people to grow your audience. And I really hope that you do.

Need A Hand With Making DIY Podcast Networks For Your Business?

If you need help with any of this, please get in touch. As you know, I launch podcasts for businesses and keep them out of the technical weeds. You can get more information at PodcastLaunch.pro and evo@podcastlaunch.pro reaches me.

I shall be back tomorrow with yet another podcast pontification. Cheers!

 

Triton Digital's Infinite Dial 2018 report is out, and there are lots of great nuggets that show just how much podcasting grew in 2018. On this short episode, I'll highlight the most germane points. Like:

  • Big shakeup in Social Media Brand Awareness that businesses will love. LinkedIn gained "share of mind" to beat out Twitter! And while Facebook still commands a larger piece of the pie, it's shrinking, with an estimate 15MM fewer users in 2018 vs 2017. Wow.
  • Smart Speaker ownership is soaring, now at 1 in 4 Americans. Even more interesting: a quarter of them say they own 3 or more smart speakers, which is up from only 11% in 2017.
  • Online Audio is way up in all age ranges, but growth among seniors (55+) is staggering. It was 33% in 2017, but now it's at 40%!
  • Really interesting to my former life: audiobook listening is up for the first time ever! It's been hovering at 44%, but the 2018 report shows it at a full 50%!
  • Podcasting in-car is growing (duh) and now has reached parity with online radio listening (26%), which beats the pants of satellite radio listening!
  • And while podcasting awareness was up to 70% from 64%, the pull quote of the article is this: More than half (51%) of the US population report listening to podcasts at least once a month. Hooray! And the individual demographic breakdown is interesting:
    • 12-24 grew from 30% all the way to 40%! Wow!
    • 25-54 also grew significantly, from 32% up to 39%. 
    • 55+ is up as well, from 13% to 17% in 2018. 
  • But among self-reported Spotify listeners aged 12-24, we get this little nugget: in 2017, 32% said they listened to podcasts monthly. In 2018, now that Spotify has over 100,000 added, that usage has shot up to 52%! Holy cattle! If you list it, perhaps they will come!
  • And finally, weekly listening (the brass ring to me) is up to 22% over 17%.

Every single number is great and shows what strides we made last year. And now, with the pouring of resources and increased attention, we should expect even more from 2019. Here's to making it happen! 

"I'm Evo Terra, and I approve this message." No, I'm not running for office. But I do use the metaphor of politics on this short episode to better define the two camps I see forming in podcasting, plus offer up a "platform" of sorts for the one most strongly identify with.

Note: The war between indie podcasters and professional podcasters is both made up and stupid. That's not what I'm talking about.

The two "political groups" in podcasting are Conventional and Advancing. And I'm though I recognize the need for and welcome the views of those on the Conventional side, I'm a proud member of the Advancing party.

Currently, I see two guiding principles that set my side apart. 

  1. We believe that technology should make podcasting better, not just easier.
  2. We believe that new models are required to reach the 70% who don't yet listen to podcasts.

So yes, that means we love and welcome change. Changes across the spectrum of podcasting. Changes to hosting platforms. Changes to show formats. Changes to consumption apps and discovery methods. Changes to monetization opportunities. Changes that cause ripples down to the very foundation of how the Conventional side define podcasting.

We're OK with that. Which side do you fall on, podcaster?

We've seen around $600M of investment dollars pouring into podcasting in the last 35 days. And we're barely out of the 2nd month of the year.

The most recent funding round was for as-yet-unreleased listening app betting heavily that if they can make (or at least fund) content worth paying for.

Naturally, this has caused a stir in the podcast community, with voices on one side decrying the eventual pay-walling of free content, while the others celebrate the fact that they and their staff are getting paid to create amazing content.

But what's the impact to podcasting overall with moves like this? In this short episode, I'll discuss the benefits that a limited set of professionally produced content can have on the overall ecosystem. And maybe not all of those changes are bad.

Podcasting holds a single metric as sacred: downloads. And to ensure a podcast gets the most downloads consistently, lots of energy is spent encouraging people to become subscribers. 

But podcasting has a dirty underbelly that we're largely ignoring. Many of us don't want to face the truth, but the reality is that many downloads are never listened to.

Shocked? Don't be. Email marketers have known this for a very long time. It's not good enough to track delivery. We need to track if the file is ever opened. 

Once a podcast episode is opened, we know (thanks, Apple) that the majority -- upwards of 85% -- of the episode is listened to. That's much better than online video, where the vast majority of views are for less than 10 seconds -- often with the sound off. So hooray for podcasts, right? Maybe.

In this episode, I'll tell you how to use information from your podcast hosting company and from Apple Podcasts to find out what your show's "listen rate" actually is. Even better, I'll give you practical advice on how to improve it.

 

You put all that time, energy, effort, and money into making a great podcast. But it's not growing as fast as you like. And that's probably because you're not marketing it properly.

To properly market a podcast, you need three items:

  1. Planning
  2. Creative
  3. Budget

You must have all three. If you've a plan and some creative but no budget, your efforts will flounder. If you've a plan and a budget but no creative, you're just wasting money. And if you the more common combo of budget and creative but no plan, then you're using "spray-and-pray" tactics.

You must have all three to properly market your podcast. That's what I'll get into in this short episode today.

When a podcast host tries to one-up their guest, it's a bad thing. It's also bad when the host continues to interrupt their guest, hoping to plug their book, product, or just get a point in edge wise.

It's not a competition, podcaster. It's a collaboration.

The extreme opposite isn't any better, where a host abdicates the mic, and each episode is literally just about the guest telling their own story.

Yawn. Your audience wants your point of view. They listen to your show for a lot of reasons, and having quality guests is only one. One that's easily replicated and doesn't foster loyalty.

In this short episode, I'll give practical tips on removing the competition from the encounter, making a better show for you, your guests, and the most important party: your listener.

"I'm not going to invest in improving the quality of my show until I know this is something I want to do long-term."

That's a common refrain I hear from my podcasting clients. And I understand the need to control costs, especially for activities seen as experimental and not core to the business.

But it's also terribly short sighted.

There's a minimum level of acceptable quality, and that bar is only getting higher and higher. Listeners have effectively limitless choices, and there are more competitors podcasting than you probably think. 

In this short episode, I'll lay out my case for paying attention to your show's quality. On obvious reason? It's your band personified. Can you afford to ignore that?

"If you go in through the little door, you stay in the little room." That's from some business book I've forgotten the title of. But it's of importance to podcasters who spend a lot of time trying to chase down small ad-spends from big companies. 

Please stop.

This short episode is the first in a mini-series about what NOT to do with your podcast. Today I'm talking about why chasing down ad dollars is futile unless you've over 50,000 downloads per episode or are a publisher.

But if neither of those hold true, I'm still not opposed to you making money with or at least paying for the costs of your show. I just think your time would be better spent cultivating sponsorships and collaborations with those firms. Sure, that might involve some "ad-type" mentions on the show, but the long-term intangibles are much more valuable. For you both.

I've been listening to another short podcast that I really think you're going to like. So much, that I'm sharing an episode of the show with you today.

This one is called Understanding The 3 Pillars of Podcast Discoverability, so it should be right up your alley.

The podcast is called The 7 Minute Mentor and it's produced by Mark Asquith. His episodes are short, come out three times a week (every Monday, Wednesday, & Friday), and are chock-full of forward-thinking info.

I'm subscribed and I hope you will too. Easy way: subscribe.fm/7mm or just search for "The 7 Minute Mentor" inside of your podcast player. Cheers!

I'm wrapping up my "things that should exist in podcasting but don't" mini-series today with a preview of my upcoming presentation at Podfest Orland in early March of 2019.

In this short episode, I'll run through the main "inflection points" podcasting has gone through over the last 15 years:

  • June 2005 - iTunes 4.9 (still the winning podcast directory)
  • January 2007 - iPhone (listening and directory integrated)
  • June 2012 - Apple Podcasts standalone app (which sucks but still wins)
  • October 2014 - Serial (public awareness skyrockets)
  • February 2019 - Spotichorlet (too early to tell if it will be a true inflection point, but investing $500M is worth noting)

When I look at those seismic events, I notice something a little troubling. There were plenty of entrepreneurial people behind those changes. Maybe it's time for some intrapreneurs to make their presence known in podcasting over the next 15 years?

For a medium that's supposed to represent choice, podcasting is rather restrictive. It's not quite "all or nothing" but it's close.

Today, when someone subscribes to a podcast, they have the choice of either listening from the most recent episode or backing up all the way to the first episode and start from there.

There isn't a third choice, unless you consider the painful attempt at self-selecting which episodes to download from crappy titles and missing descriptions inside an RSS feed a choice. It's really not.

Software can fix this problem, and I discuss it today on this short episode. I also talk about a dirty little secret of podcasting which you're probably not going to like very much. But that problem helps illustrate the problem if why podcasting needs to (and probably will) to better in the future.

Subscriptions -- free, mostly -- have been baked into podcasting since the beginning. But back then, there was a big push for "subscribe to my blog". Then Google killed Reader because of poor adoption of the tech.

On this short episode, I'll demonstrate how odd it is to assume a potential listener wants to "eat all the things" made by a producer, and talk about some alternative options that might be more palatable to the needs of the 70% of people who've still yet to make podcasting a part of their daily lives.

This is a continuation on the "future of podcasting" deep dive, which asks more questions than it gives hard answers. So if you like to ponder, listen in.

It's 2019. A new 5G network with blazing speed is coming out this year. The cost to store larger files has plummeted. Mobile device storage will soon be measured in terabytes. 

But the standard for podcast media file settings hasn't changed since 2006. Serious. I'm encoding files -- for myself and my clients -- based on a standard I helped establish back in 2006. 

But before you rush to start saving your files at 320 kbps or making episodes in rich, binaural sound: keep in mind that's not what everyone wants. Some people listen with a single ear bud in. Others over their car audio system when the road noise is high. Some live in areas where bandwidth is at an expensive premium.

But it's not an either or proposition. In this short episode, I'll layout an opportunity for the next-generation of listening apps to provide the best possible listening experience for each and every listener. And I'll tell you how to prepare for that coming future.

Custom podcast apps -- a dedicated mobile app that's just for your show and your show alone -- haven't been widely embraced. In this short episode, I'll talk about why that may be changing in the near future.

While it's easier than ever to make a custom app for your podcast, they aren't all that convenient for most listeners. Put another way: there isn't an advantage to listening to the content in app.

But that might change.

If a podcaster -- or group of podcasters -- is able to create compelling content beyond their regular episode release, then an app can be a fantastic way to share that with the right audience. Audio. Video. Images. Documents. All of that is possible to share on a custom app right now.

But that's just scratching the surface. An app that lets listeners connect with the host of the show better and immediately. An app that lets listeners connect with each other, sharing information and building their own tribe. An app that truly makes a comprehensive experience. That's what the future holds.

Ask the pundits and you'll hear plenty of reasons why paid podcasting will never really take off in America. Most often cited is "the djinni is out of the bottle".

But they forget that other media (see: TV, radio) have plenty of success stories in doing just that, and now both have rich ecosystems where paid and free content exist in essentially the same form.

Recent moves such as Slate's Supporting Cast platform, Substack's new audio-centric paid newsletter offering, and Himalaya's $100M investment round are just the more recent moves that could signal changing attitudes around the concept of paid podcasting.

Will they be enough to get anywhere near the $7.3B that Chineses podcasters earn mostly through paid subscriptions? Maybe. If we're ready to commit to podcasts worth paying for. 

That's what we'll discuss on this episode.

Video was once a strong format in podcasting, but that's been awhile. Today, only a single-digit (or sub-single-digit) percentage of podcasts are video-only. But will it always be that way?

There's no doubt that video is popular. More popular than audio, if you compare TV vs radio. Or even the number of YouTube videos available compared to the tiny number of audio-only podcast episodes.

But before you abandon your podcast to beef up your YouTube page, you might want to listen to this short episode. Because without a serious shift in consumption habits and content creation, the podcast-as-video segment is likely to remain very small. 

"Live podcasting" is a growing trend. From existing services like Spreaker Live, re-tooled platforms like Periscope's new audio-only option, to new devices like the Rødecaster, plenty of people are betting heavily on making it easier for podcasters to go live.

But is that a good thing?

In this short episode, I'll cover the shortcomings all of these players face, and talk about the two key things required to make a "live" podcast work well.

For all the buzzing from us podcasting insiders, speculation from tech reporting companies, and even financial media companies weighing in on Spotify's buying spree, we're not doing a good job of answering the question on most podcasters' minds:

What is the implication for my podcast, and what should I do right now?

In this short episode, I'll answer that question, as clearly and concisely as I can, with four primary points:

  1. Relax. No changes will be seen for weeks/months to come.
  2. Check to make sure your show is on Spotify. And if it isn't, fix that. (All of my clients' shows are already on Spotify. You're welcome.)
  3. Think about Anchor as a possible additional distribution point. (All of my client's shows are already on Anchor's platform. You're welcome.)
  4. While we can't know what Spotichor (yes, I'm totally coining that) will look like in the future, you should double-down on making the best episodes for your show as possible. Quality and attention to detail will matter even more than they do now.

Lots more details in the audio itself, so click play. It's less than 10 minutes. You'll love it. 

Social sharing of audio-only content sucks. Thus far, podcasters have all bad options: Share a direct link to the media file (inflated metrics, zero context), share a link to the episode page (often un-optimized and where is that listen link?), or share to a platform that only 25% or less of the audience use.

But ignored in Spotify's recent acquisition announcements is this fact: Social sharing of a podcast episode on Spotify does not suck. In fact, it's quite good.

In this short episode, I remind you that social sharing of video sucked until Facebook and (belatedly) Twitter and LinkedIn realized how popular YouTube video sharing on their platform was growing, and how much they wanted in on the action.

So my big prediction: Those social giants will see the value in sharing natively uploaded audio on their platforms very soon. And you can thank Spotify for that. If enough of us start sharing our episodes social via Spotify, that is. 

I'm starting now. How about you?

 

When you create your podcast on your own, you feel a sense of accomplishment. Even if it's not perfect, maybe a little rough around the edges... that sense of pride you feel is well-deserved.

When you share it with your friends, unless they are bunch of dicks, they'll pat you on the back and tell you what a good job you did. Because they are friends. Many of whom haven't made their own show, so you're already better than them.

But members of the general public aren't your friends and will, often times, be a little harsh. Not because they are bunch of dicks (OK, some are), but because they are becoming more discerning in their tastes, and less forgiving of "quaint" mistakes your friends over look.

In this short episode, I equate all of this to home improvement projects. Which works. I think?

15 years later, and podcasting is still a big joke to most people. That's likely an unpopular sentiment, but it's borne out by the fact that 75% of the US population still doesn't think podcasting has to offer them.

And as much as I love the Amazon Alexa "Not Everything Makes The Cut" commercial that prominently features podcasting, it's treated as a joke. (Yes, I'm aware the entire commercial was poking fun. I understand humor and its place in advertising, trust me.)

Of course, Spotify's recent announcement that they are trying to buy Gimlet Media for $230 million is most certainly not a joke, and could signal (gods, I hope so) a changing landscape. 

In this short episode, I'll go beyond the current-focused thinking and get into what an investment like this could mean for the future of podcasting. Caution: Wild speculation and wishful thinking ahead!

This episode was inspired by a 6'4" Canadian discussing peeing on his knees in Thailand. And it's also about how to build a "loyalty program" for your podcast. 

For The Bangkok Podcast, they do that with their LINE business account. When they share content -- episodes but also special "quick-hits" -- they get feedback within seconds.

Is the following there as big as the social accounts for the hosts or the show itself? Not even close. Do the majority of their listeners follow the show on LINE? Nope. Is LINE a convenient way to listen to podcast episode? Not so much.

But (at least for this show) it's become the place where their most loyal fans directly interact with the show. And as the hosts continue to feed that channel with content other than podcast episodes, I predict a significant bump in word of mouth.

Listen to this short episode as I try to make sense of this trend and adapt it to many of my other clients. It's a work in progress, so your feedback is appreciated!

At the risk of offending my libertarian-minded friends: Podcasting's lack of clear standards is hurting the growth of the medium.

Not that I think we should make a standards board that reviews the quality of podcasts for inclusion in our secret club or anything draconian like that. No, I'm committed to podcasting being and weird and wild, or as bland and tame, as the creator(s) want their show to be.

What I want -- nay, demand -- is that we establish standards for all the non-artistic, behind-the-scenes plumbing and duct work that make a podcast a podcast.

Yes, I realize we have guidelines. But as you'll hear on this short episodes, guidelines lead to ignorant decisions and often stymie a would-be podcaster from getting started.

There's no reason we can't declare *the right* encoding specs.

There's no reason we can't declare *the right* ID3 specs.

And it's 2019, and it's ludicrous that podcast hosting companies still let invalid RSS feeds publish. No one makes an artistic decision to have an invalid feed. Why does it happen? A lack of standards.

Fair warning: This episode is a little rant-y. You're welcome.

Spoiler: Paying someone to "SEO" your existing podcast's content isn't the solution to getting more attention from Google.

If you really want Google to pay attention to your podcast's content (which means including your podcast's episodes in relevant searches), you have to change your mindset and involve Google earlier in the process.

This isn't an episode about SEO. Rather, it's an episode to get you think like a person who does SEO strategy. Yes, it is possible for you to create content in a format and style you want that still resonates with Google. But it's very hard to do that -- if not impossible -- after the content has already been created.

Modern medicine makes it easy for many to deal with chronic problems with acute solutions. "Take two of these" really does work in many cases. At least temporarily.

There's a parallel in podcasting, where one of the biggest chronic problems is listener growth. And many of the reported solutions aren't all that lasting.

In this short episode, I'll get into three commonly-used methods of getting more attention to you or your show:

  • Getting a big name guest on your show
  • Being a guest on a show larger than yours
  • Upping your social media/promotional output

Don't get me wrong. All of these are very good tactics to spur audience growth.

But just like paracetamol won't correct the fundamental problems with the musculoskeletal structure of my back, getting lots of clicks on a fundamentally flawed podcast -- quality, content, or site structure -- will only lead to temporary spikes in activity. 

Remember when I said that podcasting would never get any easier? Well... what if I was wrong? 

While I don't think an army of robots will take over podcasting anytime soon, there are lots of ways in which automation is already making podcasting easier. I talk about a few in this episode, like:

  • Amazon Alexa's voice assistant that emulates a broadcaster's voice 
  • Automated content gathering tools like Paper.li that apparently never die
  • Audio processing filters and software that save engineers gobs of time
  • Episode distribution was born from automation (and has been extended)
  • Why robots are better a placing ads that people don't hate

With those advancements come constraints. It's not easy to cross the uncanny valley, and it's often not a straight line from idea to automation. Check out the episode for my thoughts, and share you feedback with me (or the world!)

While it's smart to have measurable business objectives for your podcast, focusing too much on easily tracked items such as downloads and reviews can cause you to miss out on serendipity.

In this short episode, I briefly touch on a concept called the direction of maximal interestingness, but spend most of the time encouraging you to pay attention to something a little harder to quantify: opportunities.

You won't find them in download numbers. Not in reviews. And you won't be able to act on them if you're working under scarcity conditions.

Best/worst of all? Some opportunities may not be in line with your current show. But they could cause you to make a better podcast. Or just be a better podcaster.

"So... what do you get out of that podcast you do?"

Every podcaster I know hates (or at least hated) this question. You feel the need to justify what you're doing, often to someone who isn't equipped to judge your relative success in achieving what you set out to do.

And that assumes you know what you set out to do. Many podcasters don't.

In this short episode, I'll talk about the need to be specifically selfish about your podcast. Because when you know the specifically selfish reasons you are podcasting, it cuts through the noise and clutter and keeps you focused on the task at hand.

There are always new tools, processes, devices, and services to make it easier to podcast. But in podcasting, easier rarely leads to making a better podcast.

But that's true with all media creation. It's not limited to podcasting. In this short episode, I'll talk about why it will still (and always) take a lot of time, energy, and effort to make a good-sounding podcast. 

Yes, there certainly are ways to simplify your tech chain, streamline processes, and plug in experts to increase the efficiency. And many of those can also lead to making your podcast sound much better. 

But it's still doing to take time. And as the title says, it's never going to be easier to make a good podcast. Sorry for the bad news.

Business with podcasts care most about two types of listeners: current customer and existing customers. 

If your business is one where customers frequently (or occasionally) visit, you should consider showcasing your podcast recording area.

In this short episode, I'll talk through why that's a great idea for any business, plus give you some advanced techniques (OK, tricks) for leveraging that great-looking space when a hot new prospect comes to visit. 

And if you do it right (and why wouldn't you?), you'll find much of that equipment is easily made portable, so you can keep showcasing your podcast to the public at trade shows and events your business sponsors.

I'm speaking at several events in the coming months: Phoenix Startup Week, Podfest Expo, and Podcast Movement, with more coming. Plus some new workshops/seminars I'll soon be announcing right here in Phoenix

And that's got me to thinking about ways to convince your employer to send you to a podcasting conference. 

As you'll hear in this short episode, I have a love/hate relationship with conferences. I love my time on stage, plus all the time that goes into making sure I create an entertaining and engaging experience for the audience in attendance. 

But there's a lot I hate, like networking and dealing with pushy trade-floor vendors.

I don't say this often: Don't be like me.

You'll get (and hopefully bring back) valuable, first-hand information at conferences like these. You'll meet great people that can spark collaborations. And you'll learn what the future has in store, not just for your show, but for podcasting as a whole. 

I give some actionable tips in the episode. And deal with my own anxiety. Thanks for suffering through. And again, don't be like me. (In this very specific case, as least.)

No matter how you slice the data, podcasting is growing. More listeners? Check. More shows? Check. More traditional media coverage? Check. More people asking for podcast recommendations? Check.

But for all that growth of the industry, podcasting doesn't make for the best growth channel for an individual business or professional service provider. 

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but while there are huge numbers of new people consuming shows, they already have plenty to listen to. That means very, very few of them are just waiting for your show to drop.

But that doesn't mean you should let your show (perhaps un-launched podcast) waste away in obscurity. In this short episode, I'll talk about how you can get your podcast to grow. If you're willing to put in the effort and not be scared.

To succeed in anything, you need to establish a routine. But building processes from scratch takes time and a lot of trial and error, which is one reason clients come to me. I give them the processes, and we work together to incorporate solid templates into the daily/weekly routines for their businesses.

But you can take a routine too far, where that groove becomes a rut. It may be comfortable, and it may even feel like it's working, but ruts tend to keep going by inertia, making it difficult to see what you're missing with your podcast.

That's what I'm discussing on this short episode -- creating good routines but breaking free when they become limiting. Oh, and happy 100 episodes to me!

Commoditization happens in all industries. And by some accounts, it's already happening in podcasting. With some 1,000,000 podcasts expected by the end of 2019, it's bound to happen.

The good news: Most of those podcasts -- and I'm just quoting Sturgeon's Law here -- suck. So simply by not sucking, you can fight the race to the bottom that comes with commoditization.

But there likely isn't a dial on your Yeti mic or button to press on Audacity that says SUCK LESS. It's something you have to work at.

In this short episode, I'll give you several suggestions of how you can fight commoditization of your show, helping you stand out from the crowd. Because as much as we all like cans of beans, we like special cans of beans better. (If that metaphor holds up.)

You can't avoid change in podcasting. And if you're using a free podcast host, that change -- the company closes up shop or start charging -- it's going to happen to you sooner or later.

Recently, a free podcast hosting company out of Arizona, Zcast, announce their intention to close after four years in the free hosting game.

It happens.

And while a smart bet might be to pay a lot of money for hosting, that won't protect your podcast perfectly. There isn't a way to be 100% free of worry. 

Unless, that is, you concentrate on resilience.

Having a resilient show means you have the processes and procedures in place to quickly (dare I say easily?) recover for the inevitable changes that will impact your show.

In this short episode, I give some concrete examples of how to do that for your own podcast. Change is hard. But resilience helps.

I'm a big fan of applying the "seasons" or "mini-series" concept to podcasting. But it has to be done right, and for the right reasons.

Selfish reasons like "I'd just like to take a break every 30 episodes" probably isn't the best reason to break your show into series, though it's certainly a valid one.

In this short episode, I'll talk about some changes to the infrastructure of podcasting that now better enable seasons. Plus we'll talk about some new consumer preferences we just didn't know existed a few short years ago.

 

Most successful businesses have multiple revenue streams. The same should hold true for business-focused podcasters.

Patreon -- a platform that enables podcasters to monetize their audience with patronage -- is one common revenue source. But how applicable is it for businesses with a podcast?

Short answer: There's no good reason to not allow your loyal audience to show their patronage to you and your content.

Longer answer: Adding a revenue stream to a business should always be a considered decision.

In this short episode, I share some eye-opening stats and audience expectations to help you decide if this is the right course for your business and want to make it a serious income stream.

If you tell four random people you have a podcast, three of them will look at you blankly. That's because around 70% of the US population don't listen to podcasts. They are, you might say, clueless.

Keep that in mind when you are designing your promotional efforts -- a podcast page on your website, email newsletters, social posts, etc. And realize that maybe that high-paid podcasting consultant you hired (hi there!) may not have all the answers.

When it comes to promoting your show, you need to embrace the clueless. 

Sure, it's important to follow best practices for engineering, production, distribution, and even content. And you very well may need some strategic help (hi there!) to make sure you've got all the bases covered.

But when it comes to designing promotional elements, are they "clueless" enough to speak the the three out of four people who'll see that promotion? Or are you better using a clueless-about-podcasting person (perhaps you) to evaluate those efforts?

At its most basic level, a business website serves two functions:

  • Discoverability
  • Information dispersal

And while I don't think a business podcast will is better than a website at the first, I'm convinced a business podcast is MUCH better at providing information than a website.

More people than ever are consuming podcasts, and that means expectations are changing. Just like every reasonable person expects a business to have a website, they'll come to expect a podcast too.

This short episode gets into why that's true and offers some advice on what sorts of information a business podcast should contain (and what you might want to skip!)

As we near 2019, more people don't listen to podcasts than do. Understanding that reality is key to finding success for any podcast, but especially those podcasters with business goals in mind.

In this short episode, I'll give you a simple two-question test that will help insure your overall web-presence is podcast friendly. You can do this test in five minutes and immediately make changes to

  • your website
  • your podcast page on your website
  • your key social media profiles
  • and the podcast-specific content you share on those profiles

Also, this marks the end of the four-part Know Your Podcast, Know Yourself mini-series. And it's the last episode of 2018. I'll be back in early 2019 with yet another Podcast Pontifications. Cheers!

"Make great sounding audio", says everyone. Often with little actionable advice on how to make that happen. 

In this short episode -- the third part in my Know Your Podcast, Know Yourself mini series designed to help with your retrospection as you face the new year -- I'll focus on what makes audio sound bad, as well as provide you with things you can do RIGHT NOW to get rid of bad things you might be doing.

I talk about some easy mistakes to avoid when using that magic talking stick we call a microphone, gaffs to avoid when your recording environment isn't a professional recording studio, and how to let your voice be your voice without annoying your audience. 

We all know how important first and last impressions are. One of the problems with podcasting is that we often forget what sort of impression we're starting and ending with. Not because we're clueless, but because of the way podcasts are build.

Many podcasters haven't heard their bed music, canned intro, or canned outro since they were recorded months (if not years) ago. And that's potentially a problem.

In this short episode -- part 2 of a 4 part mini series called Know Your Podcast, Know Yourself -- you'll learn what not to do with your intro and outro, plus some "new hotness" trends that you might have missed.

And if you've not yet started your podcast, this episode will make sure you start your show with the right impression. (Though you'll want to revisit that in a year or so, right?)