5 Tips for New Podcasters
For me, starting a podcast was a big decision. I was riddled with self-doubt, and I didn't know if I could do it.
It wasn't until my wife got me a microphone for my birthday that I finally decided it was time to share my voice with the world.
Want to listen? There's an audio version below
Up until I started my podcast, I was “only” a blogger. Fast forward to today, and I've published over 200 episodes, I've had the honor of being on major podcasts like Smart Passive Income, Entrepreneur on Fire, and many more.
Podcasting has opened a lot of doors for me, and my show has helped me bring in clients from around the world. It's been an amazing ride!
So, I thought I'd share some tips for new podcasters designed to help you get started and move forward. And, perhaps you can avoid some of the mistakes I made, and avoid other mistakes I see all of the time.
5 Tips for New Podcasters
1: Audio Quality Isn't as Important As You Think It Is
Don't get me wrong, nobody wants to listen to you talk from inside a tin can. However, podcasters often get overly obsessed with audio quality.
I remember watching this video of Pat Flynn doing a review of popular microphones. He compared the $65 Audio-Technica ATR-2100 to the $300 Heil PR-40, and I couldn't tell the difference.
Audio quality is important, but it 100% takes a back seat to the content of what you have to say.
NOTE: There IS a big difference between a $20 microphone and a $65 microphone, so be sure you test both to see which makes you sound the best.
Plus, I see far too many new podcasters worrying about acoustic foam, noise panels, and other noise dampening features. While this all help audio quality and reduce the amount of echo your mic picks up, you'd be better off starting your podcast and seeing if you at least like being a podcaster before you spend too much money on padding your studio.
2: Get to the Point
One thing most podcasters agree on is that you need to get down to business fast. I don't have a study to quote, but in my experience, if I have to wade through junk to get to the meat, I'll just stop listening.
Yes, people will listen because you're the host, but a small dose of your personal story goes a long way.
3: The Answers Might Not Be Where You Think They Are
I'm in multiple podcaster-focused groups on Facebook, and I see the same questions asked year after year.
I know that newcomers have questions, but sometimes the answers to their questions can be found OUTSIDE the closed groups. Podcasters, as an industry, have gotten so focused on being good podcasters that they've lost sight of being good interviewers and storytellers.
Don't be afraid to look outside the industry for answers. There are a lot of information silos out there, and if you ONLY ask podcasters, you're limiting the quality of answers you'll find.
Which brings me to…
4: Study the Masters (Not Other Podcasters)
Back when I started podcasting in 2013, it was common for new podcasters to interview other new podcasters. They would trade interviews, and it was very incestuous.
Don't focus on being a great podcaster. Instead, invest in becoming the best interviewer you can be, the best storyteller you can be, or the best teacher you can be.
Your podcast is your tool, like a hammer or a saw. Your podcast is not your identity. If you only focus on podcasting, you'll miss the bigger picture and the larger story you could tell.
I don't agree with David Letterman's political views, but he's a master at interviewing. So, I watched and studied his Netflix show, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction. I wanted to learn how he conducted an interview and how he got his guests to talk about things they'd never disclosed before. And, to research for my YouTube channel, I looked at how the conversations were filmed and how they incorporated B-Roll into each episode.
I wanted to learn how to talk about anything while still being entertaining. So, I started watching Jerry Seinfeld's Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.
5: Size Doesn't Matter
Another common question you might have had, or seen in the podcasting groups, is,
“How long should my podcast be?”
The answer: It doesn't matter.
When it comes to podcast episode length, size doesn't matter!
John Dumas publishes EoFire at around 30 minutes.
Joe Rogan publishes The Joe Rogan Experience at around 3 hours.
On HBO, Game of Thrones runs 45 to 85 minutes.
On Netflix, Comedians in Cars runs 15 to 19 minutes.
Your new podcast should be as long as it needs to be, and not a second longer. Podcasters have a tendency to ramble (myself included), so fight that urge! To share a quote from one of my high school English teachers,
Your podcast should be the length of a skirt, long enough to cover the subject but short enough to be interesting.
If you're a new podcaster, let me know if these tips help, and post a link to your show below!