The Podcast Energy Suck
It's very common to meet a new podcaster who will say something like, "My plan to promote my podcast is to be a guest on other podcasts."
That's not a bad plan. After all, the most likely person to listen to your podcast is somebody who is already aware of podcasting and knows how to find and listen to what you do.
But the downside, and something that few people ever mention, is that it takes a lot of work to get booked as a guest on podcasts. Beyond that, it takes a lot of work to schedule an interview, do pre-interview prep work, and show up in a way that listeners who hear you as a guest will want to expand on that relationship and hear you as a host as well.
Add video to the mix and you've got even more to worry about. Not only do you have to sound good and present yourself in a certain way, you also have to look good.
And it can be exhausting to feel like you don't have any privacy, which is an easy level to get to when you add video.
Yeah, I get why people would want a video component for their podcasts – YouTube is a great way to discover something new.
But what's the price you pay for this discovery? And how much actual "discovery" is there? Is it worth the trade-off?
In this issue of Big Podcast Insider, I've got some thoughts for you regarding anonymous and semi-anonymous podcasting. If you've ever wanted to take advantage of YouTube or other "video" forms of social media, but don't want to expose too much of yourself online, keep reading ...
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The Anonymous Podcast (and Semi-Anonymous Podcast)
Swindled is a completely independent podcast that utilizes narrative storytelling, archival audio, and immersive soundscapes to tell true stories of white-collar criminals, con artists, and corporate evil.
The stories are fascinating. The most recent episode, for example, is about an 18-year-old in Florida is who was caught masquerading as a medical doctor.
How does that happen? Listen here.
But perhaps even more fascinating is the host, who is anonymous and known only as "Concerned Citizen."
If you're looking for a way to make your podcast stand out, anonymous podcasting may be something to consider. But a far better option for most people is looking at how much you share about yourself.
The Middle Ground
Decide what level of anonymity you want to maintain. What information are you OK with sharing?
Options to consider if you want some privacy:
- Producing an audio-only podcast
- Using an icon/caricature for yourself, instead of a photo
- If you use a photo, using a single "official photo"
- Sharing only your first name or general location
- Using a nickname instead of your real name, but not something designed for total "anonymity"
- Using a dedicated email address for your podcast
- Using a PO Box or a business address for fan mail or packages
Find a level of exposure that works for you and know you have options.
How do you balance your level of "exposure" online?
I'm curious to know. Reach out and let me know what you're doing via Twitter or Mastodon, and, if you're OK with me sharing you're story, I'll add it to my additional commentary on this subject in the audio edition of this newsletter.
Anonymous Podcasting (and Video) Options
In a world where it seems like everything is being recorded and put online, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and overexposed. But fortunately, audio-only recordings can still give us some sense of anonymity.
If "being faceless" (but also making videos) is something you want to explose, you'll find this video interesting for two reasons:
- He shares examples of popular niches/topics that make money on YouTube (and would also work for podcasting)
- He shares examples of how people are doing videos on YouTube without showing their faces
Believe it or not, it's pretty common for podcast hosts to want to stay anonymous or limit their exposure on YouTube. This can limit exposure and promotion opportunities, but there are workarounds.
An example of this is the "Comedy Podcast about the Oddities of Christian Culture" known as Deconversion Therapy. It's a co-hosted podcast with one host all over social media and the other staying anonymous "due to professional reasons."
And it works ... because many Deconversion Therapy listeners want to remain anonymous as well.
Whatever your reason for not wanting to be on video or otherwise be anonymous, know that there are "faceless" options for you.
I'll have more thoughts in the audio edition of this newsletter.
Podcast Show Notes Summit – May 6th (Virtual)
Do you have a "Podcast Discovery" problem? Are you tired of spending hours crafting episode notes that go unnoticed?
This event will help you. It's virtual, it happens on May 6th, and tickets are only $19.
You'll learn strategies for creating compelling episode notes for your podcast, optimizing for SEO, and increasing engagement with your audience. You’ll leave with a comprehensive understanding of search and social media, how to use AI to compliment your podcast, and how to attract more people to what you're doing.
Get More Listeners with QR Codes
This is a clever promotion I saw for a musician that would work well for a podcaster.
Musicians, like podcasters, have a product that is often consumed via a mobile device. And the best way to get somebody on a mobile device is to use a QR code.
Notice the bottom of this newsletter ... a QR code.
Here's a $19 tool that generates custom QR codes that you can both track and change on demand. For example, it will allow you to take people to your current episode this week, then next week's episode next week.
Post your QR code everywhere, including:
- business cards
- print ads
- stickers (get a $10 credit at StickerMule)
- your "subscribe" page (see an example)
How are you using QR codes to promote your podcast? Join the discussion.
Missinglettr is an all-in-one promotion platform that turns podcasts into engaging social media posts and helps you solve distribution by finding the best influencers in your niche.
Riverside - Remote Recording Studio
Riverside records high-quality audio (and video) directly from your browser. No special equipment is needed and connecting with your guest is as simple as sending a web link!
You can try Riverside free (no credit card is needed) and, if you like it, save 15% on any paid plan by using the coupon code BIGPODCAST.
Publer – Social Media Scheduler
Use Publer to schedule and analyze all your social media posts from a single dashboard!
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.