The #1 Podcasting Crutch (and How to Break It!)
There's a real art to being able to get behind a mic and record a solo episode. But the first time you do it, it feels weird, which is why I think more podcasters don't stick it out long enough to get better at it.
I hope you'll give it a shot and also stick it out. It only takes 10 minutes per day to see real improvement and being able to do solo episodes, even if you don't need to do them all the time, will completely change your ability to reach your audience.
Why? Because relying too heavily on other people in order to get your podcast out is dangerous. You're in a much better position for podcasting success when you have nothing standing between you and listeners.
We're just a few weeks into the new year. It's not too late for you to start building this skill and step up your podcasting game this year.
The plan is here. It won't cost you a thing and, if you have any questions, you can reach out to me via Twitter ... or Mastodon and I'll help you get going.
Speaking of questions ... I have one for you:
If you're not doing solo-format episodes, why not?
Not that you have to do them all the time, but I know people who never do them and most of the time it's because they feel like they can't do them. I get that – I'd had a weekly, interview-format show for almost a decade before I jumped in with solo episodes.
But you can do them, if you're willing to practice a little. Again, just 10 minutes daily. That's not hard.
If you're up for this challenge, take a look at the Sausage Factory Formula and make it happen. :)
Need help? Want a quick review of what you record? Hit me up via Twitter ... or Mastodon and I'll get you going in the right direction.
More info on how to be a better podcast host in this issue of Big Podcast Insider ...
By the way, if you're wondering what kind of episodes you'd do, here are 101 podcast episode ideas you can use.
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Podcast Hosting Skills
Positive Momentum for Podcasters
I have a couple of strong beliefs about podcasting:
- The podcast you start isn't the one you end up with.
- If you do your job as a podcaster, not only does your podcast evolve, you do also.
If you search for "podcasters" online, you'll see photos of happy people having a blast, many of them sitting in well-appointed studios with the latest gear, natural sunlight, and smiles on their faces. But the reality of podcasting is often the exact opposite of this. For example, I podcast alone, in a closet with no windows.
Doing a podcast takes work and is often a very lonely process. So it can be good to have a "reset" that helps to keep you on track.
Sound helpful? Check out Butterfly Goo, a daily newsletter with short, crisp stories (and a helpful call-to-action at the end) to help you build intentionality in your day. It's not about podcasting specifically, but will make you a better host.
I didn't get the title of this at first, but "Butterfly Goo" is a real thing and makes perfect sense here – it's the "messy middle" that happens in the process of a caterpillar turning into a butterfly.
Should You Listen to Bad Podcasts?
Alan Moore would probably say YES to this, since he believes aspiring writers should read terrible books.
I think it's good advice. It's hard to know exactly what you want until you've seen what you don't want, or at least seen the options that are available.
For whatever reason, we romanticize the "first boyfriend" or otherwise getting in on things early, but the reality (for most of us) is that things take a little while. And that's probably good. Aren't you glad you didn't marry your first boyfriend?
Looking for a Podcast Co-Host? Guests?
Polywork is your place to discover opportunities to collaborate with other professionals. Partner on side projects, speak on podcasts, beta test new apps, and more. If you're looking to connect with a certain type of person, you'll find that type of person on Polywork.
Worth a look.
What a Great Co-Host Looks Like
When you're on Polywork looking for a great co-host for your podcast, consider these strategies ...
You want to focus on what you're good at, so look for a co-host with complementary skills. For example, if you're into research and interviewing, find a co-host who's great at editing and production.
Make sure you share a similar vision for the podcast. Have a clear idea of what you want to achieve with your podcast and make sure your co-host is on the same page to avoid later disagreements.
Consider someone who has a different perspective. This will keep your podcast more interesting to listeners. It's also a great way to attract a diverse audience and keep your show fresh.
Be open to collaboration. If you're not willing to work with a co-host, what's the point of having one?
Don't be afraid to try out different co-hosts. it's important to find the right fit for your podcast, and that might take some trial and error.
What are your thoughts on this? Join in on the conversation.
“One Sentence” Will Make Your Podcasts Better
Austin Kleon has related thoughts.
Maybe not a single word to make your podcast better, but a single sentence, often known as a "focus sentence," definitely will.
Transom has some examples. A good one ... “I’m doing a story on X and it’s interesting because Y.”
Take this and put it on top of your interview or narration notes. Then keep going back to it as you work – hit that button as many times as it takes.
I love this technique, especially for multi-episode podcast series. It will keep you focused and keep listeners engaged in your story.
Let me know how it works for you via Twitter ... or Mastodon!
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The Wrap Up
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If you like the newsletter, you'll love the podcast. It's called Build a Big Podcast and it will help you do three things:
- Grow your podcast audience.
- Get people talking about your podcast.
- Make more money with your podcast.
You can subscribe for free.
On a desktop? Use your phone to scan the QR code above to make it easy on yourself! Or call me at 615-488-4321 and I'll send you the link via text.