Author Archives: Arlene Jones

The Art of Podcasting

Like a lot of things podcasting is a mix of art and science. That’s one reason the broadcasting field of which podcasting is one part is known both as Communications Technology and Media Arts — at the same time. On one hand there are definite, determinable answers. On the other guesses and judgment calls. On the one side technology. On the other the human equation.

So what is the art of podcasting?

What parts of podcasting qualify as art?

In this article I’m going to identify five different elements of podcasting that are more art than science. That are more judgment call than determination. Five elements where you can be wrong and you can be right — at the same time.

  1. Picking a format for the podcast

There are a number of different formats that you can choose for your podcast. To make matters worse you can even change formats for every podcast. Yes, you can ask your audience what they think. You can even get smart and ask your non-audience members. But ultimately, it comes down to making a decision. To picking the format that you like best.

  1. Determining the length of the podcast

Podcasts do have a perfect length. It’s called short. But what that means is anyone’s guess. Some podcasts run 5 minutes. Some run 15 minutes. Some a half hour. A few last for an hour. Some go longer. The truth is the proper length is whatever makes your audience happiest. And while you can ask them — and the people who’ve left you, the ultimate decision is going to be yours. And it’s going to be arbitrary and based on your best guess.

  1. Picking topics for your podcast

Each week you’re going to need to pick a topic for your podcast. Or you may need to pick a theme and a number of related topics. Yes, you can — and should — ask your customers what topics would interest them. But ultimately you’re going to have to guess at what topics they will be interested in. Guess right and you’re a hero. Guess wrong and you’re the goat. But either way, it’s going to be a guess.

  1. Picking guests for your podcast

One of the neat things about podcasts is that you don’t always have to do the work. One of the most powerful formats is the interview. While you don’t have to write the interview, you will have to pick the theme, topic and the person you will interview. And picking one that your audience will appreciate can be tricky.

  1. Performance (Recording your podcast).

The final piece of art in your podcast (at least in this list), is your performance itself. The way you talk. The words you use. The attitude you project. Ultimately you need to be honest to yourself because that is the only thing you can be certain of.

What to Avoid During a Podcast Release

Podcasts can be a very powerful tool for improving your credibility. For improving your traffic. For improving your reputation as an expert. For your information marketing business as a whole.

Everyone who is relying on the sale of books, courses, coaching and other courseware should be at least considering podcasting.

But they aren’t perfect. And there are things that you can do that will make them even less perfect. Here are six things for you to avoid during a podcast release.

  1. Probably the most common root issue is trying too hard to be perfect. Many new podcasters hear more experienced podcasters and believe that they need to be perfect in their delivery and their recording of their material. Nothing could be further from the truth. That’s what the editing or polishing process is for. Turning a set of imperfect recordings into one almost perfect recording. Besides, you want people to know you not the perfect you!
  2. Podcasts are only useful if they have listeners. I remember a Sunday School song that went “Hide it under a bushel? No! I’m gonna let it shine”. Like this little light you need to bring your podcast out from the bushel and let it shine. No one is going to listen to it unless you market it. You need to have a plan in place to get traffic to it. You need to get listeners. Unless you do, the work you’ve put into your podcast will have been wasted.
  3. The other side of the coin is over-marketing. Not everyone is going to be interested in your podcasts. That’s fine. Some people don’t like podcasts. Some people don’t like free information. And if you’re selling your podcasts that just means there are more people who don’t want to listen. You need to be careful that you don’t over market your podcast and drive your customers away. In short, don’t bug your email list about the podcast.
  4. We all tend to focus on our own lists when marketing. That’s natural. These are people that have already said they are interested in our products. But with a podcast, that’s a big oops! After all, one of the benefits from podcasts is an increase in traffic. And if you only market to your own customers you’re kind of missing the point! So be sure to identify in your marketing plan how you are going to get the word out to people who haven’t heard of you before. Don’t forget affiliates, search engines and podcast hosts. They are all good sources of potential traffic.
  5. Don’t overpromise in your podcast. Let’s face it we all tend to get a little passionate about our products. We all tend to get into the sales terminology game. The best! The newest! The whatever superlative term you can think of! Be careful of this. Don’t overpromise and underdeliver. Be sure your listeners return next week!
  6. Don’t forget that your podcast isn’t a one time thing. For most types of product we create one and then go off on other duties. With a podcast you are releasing an ongoing product. Sort of like a subscription monthly membership program. You need an ongoing marketing program. Don’t get so caught up in the release that you forget that you need to continuously market your podcast.

The Benefits of Starting a Podcast

So you’re thinking about starting a podcast, are you? Good for you! You really won’t go wrong by starting podcasting. You’ll find that you’ll be very happy with that decision and probably sooner that you think. But why?

What are the benefits of starting a podcast? Why should you start one?

In this article I’m going to share just four of the reasons – four of the benefits. But there are a lot more than just this.

  1. You can sell your podcasts as a product. Most podcasts aren’t sold. And there are a number of reasons why you might not want to. However, you can still make money from your podcasts. For example, there is no reason that they can’t be combined into a set of CDs (or MP3s if you want the online equivalent) and sold as a collection of podcasts. Or even edited together into a short course on a common topic.
  2. Podcasts help you to build a reputation. Because they are focused on you presenting knowledge, the content itself is an excellent way to build your recognition as an expert. But there’s more than that. Podcasts are repeating media. Each week there is a new chance for you to show off your knowledge. A new chance for you to establish yourself as an expert. Because of this repeating over and over and over podcasts are an excellent tool to help you establish yourself as an expert. In fact, unless you are singularly incompetent it’s almost inevitable that you’ll be perceived as an expert in your field.
  3. Podcasts help you to build traffic. One of the advantages of a podcast is that it is repeating. Every week people will return searching for your podcast. Why? Because they know that there is new, useful content that they want to experience. So rather than a single visit you are constantly adding new listeners to your existing listeners.
  4. Podcasts take up less time and effort than other marketing tools. Videos are complex. Not only do you need to get the content and the audio correct but you also need to get the video correct. Producing a single 10 minute video can take up to two days. Writing articles is simple. But you need lots of them. In fact, you need so many of them that you really can’t afford to do them yourself. But podcasts are simple. A complete month’s worth of podcasts can be taken from concept to recorded podcast in less than two days of work.