As a podcaster, producer, and podcast consultant, my clients ask me what are the essentials of a good podcast. And I offer direction to help them be better creators.
Over the past years working with my clients, this direction usually falls into five essentials that make a good podcast.
- Is “it” your voice?
- Is it entertaining?
- Is it informative?
- Is it edited?
- Is it good?
Is “it” your voice?
I emphasize and put “it” in air quotes. Only you are you. There’s no other person with your life story, views, thoughts, experiences, you name it. Your listeners want to hear your voice. There are very few “original ideas,” but there’s no shortage of “original people.” We’re all unique.
As podcast listeners, we discover new podcasts weekly because there’s an interesting topic or a big-name guest.
But the thing that’ll keep us listening to every episode is the host. Sometimes it’s their charm, sense of humor, or charisma, but it doesn’t have to be. Your voice, your “it” is important, and your listeners want to hear “it.”
Is it entertaining?
One of the goals of a podcaster is to have people listen to their podcast. Why else would you have created it? To keep people from unfollowing, unsubscribing, 15 second-skipping, or just plain ignoring or deleting your show, you have to figure out an entertaining way to share your content. I’m not talking about comedy.
One great example is to have a recurring “segment.” This creates something to look forward to so listeners keep coming back to hear new episodes. Entertaining doesn’t necessarily mean comedy or corny.
Is it informative?
Why is someone listening to your podcast? You should be asking that of yourself with every episode. “Informative” doesn’t mean a deep dive into a topic or an overlooked fact (unless that’s what you do). Informing your audience is an opportunity to provide an ‘ah-ha’ moment to the listener.
Your goal is to create episode after episode that the listener wants to share. Not every episode is going to be that. But when your goal is for that to happen, you’ll win more times than not.
Are you adding to their day, or are you just making noise?
Is it edited?
When people think about editing podcasts, they tend to be on either side of the spectrum. To some, editing means NPR-style podcasts. To others, editing means taking out a few “uhms” and “uhs,” and adding music at the start and end of your episode. In reality, editing lives somewhere in between. Here’s a fresh way of looking at editing.
Don’t think of editing as something that happens after creation. Editing is part of the creation of your episodes. Editing is as important as writing. As important as researching your interviewee. And, in reality, just as important as any other production aspect of your process. However your show works, remember to edit.
Is it good?
You don’t always have to create something for the largest possible audience. That’s the beauty of podcasting. It’s one of the joys that you can find your audience, no matter how broad or small. In short, is your podcast one that you would follow or subscribe to if you didn’t make it?
Do you like it?
Make the best podcast you can. In all areas. From concept to production, audio quality to a consistent release frequency. Good content, good audio quality, and staying true to your audience. These are the essentials of a good podcast. Above all, enjoy your podcast and your listeners will as well.
Podcasting is a MARATHON, not a sprint. Be patient, take action and apply yourself.
Connect with me if you would like to talk more about this. My calendar is available on my Circle270Media Podcast Consultants business website at circle270media.com
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