It has been a while since Joe Rogan kickstarted the podcast boom, and it seems like everyone and their mother is starting their podcast. So if you want to get into the podcast market too and garner an audience instead of flopping about like a fish on land with nary an eye, but rather an ear toward you, you are going to have to make your podcast stand out. You are going to have to work on your content, your own speaking and interviewing techniques, and so on. It will require work, time, and perseverance as you build a podcast that is compelling and draws people in, who become loyal fans. We are going to help you get started on that path.
This sounds rather obvious, but you would be surprised how many people get into the business only considering what is trending at the moment or what is likely to get the most attention in as short a time as possible. No. This is absolutely wrong. You shouldn’t get into podcasting just because you want to chase a trend. People notice the passion and genuine interest, and if you are just rattling off items like a checklist, your audience will notice this and move on to someone who cares about what they spend hours talking about. You will produce engaging, passionate content that is hopefully not merely a one-episode wonder, but every episode, new and interesting, while still having unmistakably your DNA at the core.
You are never going to please everyone, so don’t attempt to do so. Are we saying to be so abrasive and conflicting that you alienate 97% of the world’s population? Most certainly not, but we are saying that you shouldn’t sell out to cater to the lowest common denominator merely to rake in as many people as you can. Instead, narrow your focus to a specific audience that you feel will get the most value and enjoyment from your content. If you are looking for inspiration, go hunting online. Reddit, Twitter, YouTube, and other platforms may be cancer in the form of digital code, but there are pockets of serenity, and you can quickly find interesting topics that fit you and are relevant to your podcast.
Stories are arguably the thing that separates us from every other creature; from the earliest days of our existence, we have been telling and absorbing stories to pass on in a variety of ways. Some have been handed down for centuries, their wisdom as profound and timely as it was when first told. Tell lots of stories. Listen to the most popular podcasters, or even people in general, and try to pinpoint what makes them such a joy to be around or listen to. Whether it’s Joe Rogan or Theo Von, they are masterful storytellers, and make no mistake, storytelling is an art—something that you have to study and master to effectively wield. Learn how a setup works, which builds to a confrontation or climax and ends in a resolution. Research all the little tricks the professionals use. Make storytelling something you are comfortable with, and your audience will be comfortable with you.
Engage with Them
Interacting with your audience, or customer base in general, regardless of field, is a ridiculously effective way to notice what you are doing well, where you can improve, what topics are popular and which aren’t, and what other topics your audience would also like to hear. Podcasting may be more or less a one-way medium, but that doesn’t mean you should, or even can, wall yourself off behind a digital wall. Ask your listeners questions, tell them to engage with you and give their feedback, and perhaps read their answers in your podcast. Not only do you get more entertaining content for your podcast, but your listeners are even more engaged knowing their answers may be read out loud, and you now basically have a bridge between you and them.
Stay on Topic
Pretty simple, but again, people don’t seem to remember this that much. Going on tangents is fine, and if it’s funny, doubly so, but nobody wants to listen to someone ramble so much that they don’t even remember what the podcast was supposed to be about. Have a basic script with keywords to help you stay on track, at least loosely.
Your audience shouldn’t be the only listeners on your podcast; you should be too. Listening to your guests, absorbing everything they’re saying, and asking pertinent questions that add to the discussion is an all-too-rare skill that seems weirdly difficult for most people. Don’t let yourself make the same mistake, and learn how to listen to your guests.
Podcasting is not only a business; it’s a passion too, and it should be the same for you if you get into it, as passion brings a panache and a flavour that mere job energy just can’t hope to match. With these tips, you can really up your game.