Dog lazily looking out a car window
Dog lazily looking out a car window
Photo by Ignacio Amenábar on Unsplash

Podcasters are impressed by other podcasters who make difficult tasks seem effortless. But generally speaking, the public cares more about quality than complexity. Sometimes the easier path is the best.

I spend a great deal of time talking about the need to make podcasting better, not just easier. I’m not one for mission/vision statements, but something very like that phrase appears on all of my social media bios, so I guess I have one?

But candidly, I’m more than a little concerned that the message received is “don’t do easy things”, which is not at all what I’m trying to say. So let me be clear: the majority of the work you do as a podcaster should be easy.

Plotting Out Podcasting’s Good And Easy Bits

I often turn to 2x2 grids to help me think…

Garden gnome in zen position
Garden gnome in zen position
Photo by Dorota Dylka on Unsplash

Podcasting pundits and journalists are busy releasing speculations ahead of announcements from Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and even Facebook. But are those opinion pieces helping or hurting podcasters?

What should your reaction be to the rumored changes coming to Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and very-late-to-the-audio-party Facebook?

My suggestion is that you have no reaction.

As much as I enjoy speculating ahead of announcements like these, I’ve some very real concerns that my enjoyment is causing you way too much anxiety and stress. I hate the fact that my breathless enthusiasm for potential changes has a negative impact on the mental health of anyone.

So if you can, suspend your anxiety and worries for just a moment and I’ll let you in on a little secret: Whatever is announced…

Screenshot of Spotify’s new Top Podcasts page
Screenshot of Spotify’s new Top Podcasts page

The most popular podcasts on Spotify are now on public display. Getting your show ranked on that page could be a huge boon. But are you willing to pay the steep price?

Spotify has made their podcast ranking charts available via a public webpage. It’s the same ranking data provided in their app. But it no longer requires logging into Spotify to see the data. That’s yet another clear and bold proclamation by Spotify that they, not those other purple people, are the dominant force in podcasting.

Whether or not their proclamation is true matters not. Whether or not you, the working podcaster, believe Spotify is the leader in podcasting matters not. What matters to Spotify is that their users and the general public believe that to be true.

Should you…

Mannequins wearing black “sale” tshirts
Mannequins wearing black “sale” tshirts
Photo by Xiaolong Wong on Unsplash

“Stick to a format and a release schedule for your podcast!” is a common refrain. But consumption habits change during the year. Are we sacrificing opportunity in the name of evergreen content?

Maybe we’re wrong about the importance of making podcast content evergreen. At least some of the time. And perhaps a lot more of the time than we think.

Podcast listeners are people, and people’s habits change throughout the year. Or perhaps put a better way, seasonal activities cause people’s habits to change. For a great many products people consume, seasonality plays a big role. We buy roughly the same amount of commodities—like toilet paper, for example—every month, regardless of the month. …

Kid playing with Jenga blocks
Kid playing with Jenga blocks
Photo by Michał Parzuchowski on Unsplash

Easy peasy lemon squeezy does not make for a compelling podcast. At least not for your listeners. If you want to be a more proficient podcaster, you can’t ignore the hard parts of podcasting.

At the risk of offending you with my opening salvo; podcasting is too easy.

Let me put that another way. It’s too easy to gloss over the difficult parts of podcasting that, when done right, help make a show truly outstanding and remarkable.

Getting The Easy Things Out Of The Way

Think about the process you go through when making an episode of your podcast. Or, if you’re part of a team that makes podcasts, think through the processes you go through to fulfill your role.

Start from the beginning. No, the beginning isn’t when you hit the RECORD button. At least I hope it’s not. Go…

Silouettes of people looking at the sunrise or sunset
Silouettes of people looking at the sunrise or sunset
Photo by Chang Duong on Unsplash

Podcasting’s sense of “coopetition” isn’t as common as it was, but podcasters collaborating with other podcasters still happens, creating better shows than possible from solo efforts. Here’s proof!

Last night, the most ambitious podcasting project I’ve ever produced was made public. No, this is not going to be a promotional episode about that new show. By now, you should know that’s not really my style.

Instead, this episode is about recognizing your own limitations as a podcaster and then collaborating with other podcasters who have skills in other areas so you can collectively create a podcast experience bigger and better than any of you could do on your own.

It was almost a year ago, in late May of 2020, and the pandemic just getting started. It…

Man with red tape over his mouth
Man with red tape over his mouth

Podcasting has always been more or less welcoming of less-than-radio-perfect voices. But with more pros launching great podcasts, is there still room for normal voices in podcasting? Luckily, yes!

I want to listen to you-the real you-when you voice your podcast. I want your voice to sound like the real you when I listen to your podcast. And so do your listeners.

The phrase “authentic voice” is very overused. But when it comes to the voice listeners want to hear on your podcast, your “authentic voice” is absolutely the right terminology.

But a quick caveat and a recognition that not everyone’s authentic voice is a match for their authentic self. If the voice that comes out of your face does not match the voice of the person you…

Fingers opening a wooden box with coins inside, like treasure
Fingers opening a wooden box with coins inside, like treasure
Image credit: Immo Wegmann on Unsplash

Podcast apps have all the data podcasters want. Way more than our hosting companies provide. But there’s so much more they could tell us that would be good for us, for them, and for the listeners.

When Apple Podcasts launched their portal-Podcasts Connect-several years ago, I was terribly excited at the prospect of getting more data from the most widely used podcast listening app and directory. And I wasn’t alone, as just about every podcast pundit was looking forward to getting some real, meaty data.

And then it came out, and all of us had to dial back our expectations.

Some jumped into Apologist mode, explaining away the difference between what Podcasts Connect was telling us and what download activity from Apple Podcasts we were seeing in our podcast hosting companies’ dashboards. ‘Cuz they weren’t…

Dropped ice cream cone melting
Dropped ice cream cone melting
Image credit: Sarah Kilian on Unsplash

There’s no doubt that podcasting today — producing and listening — is much less complicated than before. But some lingering challenges remain that we must overcome to capture more public attention.

Looking back over the last 16+ years that podcasting has been a thing, it’s clear that we’ve made some rather huge accomplishments. We’ve minted a few millionaires. We’ve collectively created more than 2 million shows available to listeners. Some of us have built solid production houses and other podcasting-specific firms that gainfully employ dozens and sometimes more than a hundred people.

There’s no doubt that we have, indeed, build a real economy out of podcasting. And I’m thankful for that, as podcasting is my only job!

But some things about the podcasting economy we’ve built are still dumb. And…

The number 5 on a green background
The number 5 on a green background

Making your podcast better doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking. Here are five small, incremental additions you can make at the episode level to move your podcast from good to great.

“Perfect is the enemy of done” is a common refrain. Shipping a product out the door with a few non-fatal flaws is almost always better than failing to launch a product because it doesn’t meet your unreasonable expectations of perfection. The same statement generally holds true in podcasting.

But today, I want us to finally pay attention to that nagging suspicion that we often have when listening to the final mix/master an episode suggesting to us that maybe, just maybe we could make it better.

Let’s keep our attention on an individual episode because I want to make this…

Evo Terra

Podcast philosopher. Professional contrarian. On a mission to make podcasting better. Hip he/him. คุณ | | http://Simpler.Media

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