#ContentWritingChat: Launching & Running a Podcast with Ross Brand

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Launching & Running a Captivating Podcast in 2019 with Ross Brand

by | Jul 5, 2019 | ContentWritingChat

It’s safe to say that audio content is HOT right now. And it has continued to gain popularity over the past few years.
With more people jumping on the podcasting bandwagon, there’s a good chance the thought of launching one of your own has crossed your mind.
If so, you’re in luck! This #ContentWritingChat recap is packed with amazing tips for starting a podcast and making sure it’s a success.

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Launching & Running a Captivating Podcast in 2019 with Ross Brand

Our guest host for this month’s chat was Ross Brand. Ross is a broadcast consultant and talk show host. He’s been a guest on #ContentWritingChat before and it’s always a delight to have him join us!

Q1: What makes podcasting a content format worth considering in 2019? Is it something that anyone should do?

Before you dive in and start recording your first episode, we need to determine if podcasting is the right move for you. Here’s what you need to know:

Ross feels podcasting is a personal form of communication that has the potential to hold a person’s interests longer. As he pointed out, podcasts are great for listening while doing other things. And with average listening times longer than viewing times on videos, that’s definitely a plus.

Sarah also mentioned how podcasts are perfect for multitasking. You can easily tune in while working out, commuting, taking care of chores, etc.

Ross also said that not everyone needs to have a podcast. If you don’t enjoy podcasting, don’t force it! Consider your talents and where you really shine. That’s where you should direct your focus. You’ll also want to consider whether or not your target audience listens to podcasts. If they aren’t listening, it probably won’t be worth it.

Jason agrees that podcasting isn’t necessarily for everyone, but it is something anyone can do if it’s where your heart is. Getting started doesn’t have to be difficult and we’ll share more tips on that in a moment.

These stats are proving the growing popularity of podcasts! 32% of people listen to a podcast at least once per month, but many tune in more frequently. Wouldn’t you like to throw your podcast into the mix? If the answer is yes, keep reading!

Q2: You’re ready to get started with your very first podcast… What are the essentials that you need?

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you need to have tons of expensive equipment to launch a podcast. You can easily get started with just a few essentials.

First, you’ll definitely need a microphone, a quiet space to record, and software to capture all of your audio. Ross shared some fo his favorites to help you get started, so definitely check those out.

And of course you’ll need a place to host your podcast. Recommendations from Ross include Spreaker, Libsyn, Podbean, and Simplecast. Then, you’ll need to send an RSS feed to Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, Stitcher, and iHeart Radio to reach your audience where they’re tuning in.

Jason’s podcasting essentials include a decent microphone (which doesn’t have to break the bank), a computer, and a stable internet connection. With plenty of free tools to record your audio, you’ll be ready to go in no time.

Ray actually started his podcast in 2011 by just using iPhone. Although he eventually upgraded to a fancier setup, it’s a reminder that you can get started with what you have right now. Don’t feel the pressure to have the best of the best in terms of equipment. You can always upgrade later.

Besides all the tech, it’s also important that you have a strategic content plan. Caitlin knows this is essential to running a podcast because you want to make sure you’re providing value to your listeners and giving them what they want.

It’s also wise to consider things such as: the topic of your podcast, whether you’ll add video as well, the frequency, and more. Plan it out!

Q3: No one wants their listeners to tune out, so how do you keep them intrigued all the way through your episode?

The last thing you want is for someone to fall asleep listening to your podcast. So, how can you hold their attention and prevent them from getting distracted? Check out these tips:

Ross suggests keeping your intro brief, avoiding a long series of announcements, and keeping your intro music short to begin with. He also advises keeping most of the calls to action until the end of the podcast, which is when they’ll be more likely to follow-up anyway. Another tip he shared was to keep your energy throughout and ditch parts where the episode lags.

Don’t be afraid to get creative and mix it up! You don’t have to do things exactly the same way that other podcasters do. You can experiment and see what works best for you and your listeners.

Tell a story in your episodes and you’ll take your listeners on a journey with you. They’ll be so engaged that they won’t want to stop listening.

This format from Ray is worth trying out with an episode of your own! Adding a teaser to the beginning lets listeners know what to expect and intrigues them enough to keep listening.

Sarah wants to hear a lively conversation between the host and the guest. Choosing the right guests and topics makes a huge difference. And don’t forget to lead listeners to a call to action.

Q4: Many podcast episodes feature interviews. Can you share some tips on being a great host when working with guests?

When running a podcast, you’re likely going to be doing interviews with guests. This can feel intimidating if you’ve never interviewed someone before, but it doesn’t have to be scary. These tips will ensure it’s a hit:

Always research your guest before the episode to come up with questions that are relevant. You’ll want to consider current projects that your guest is working on because that will always be great to discuss. And as Ross said, make sure you’re listening to your guests as they speak.

Kathryn suggests sending the questions to your guest ahead of time. This allows for any changes to be made, plus your guest can come prepared. Once you hop on the call, ask your questions, listen, and just let the conversation flow.

It also helps to discuss the podcast ahead of time. What’s your show all about? What is your audience most interested in? How will the process of recording the episode go? All of these things will prep your guest ahead of time.

Q5: As a podcast host, should you also create show notes for listeners to check out? What are the pros and cons?

Show notes are common for podcasters to create along with each episode. But are they really worth it? Let’s weigh the pros and cons…

Ross feels the only downside to creating show notes is that they can be time-consuming. However, they do provide benefits that you might want to take advantage of. You can add CTAs with links, links to related content or paid offerings, and it’s a bonus for SEO.

Caitlin feels show notes can be really helpful. It’s an opportunity to cite research, mention important resources, and more. This is your place to add any relevant links so they’re easier for listeners to access.

For Sarah, she loves having the option to scan show notes before she commits to listening to a podcast episode. And as she mentioned, it helps with SEO too.

Alexis agrees show notes are great for SEO, but she feels providing a full transcript is even better. In those cases, it makes your podcast more accessible. If someone is hearing-impaired, they can read the show notes instead.

Julia always has show notes for The Write Podcast. The team here at Express Writers puts them together and they’ve helped increase shares, mentions, and links.

Q6: Now that you’re steadily pumping out new podcast episodes, what action steps can you take to get new listeners?

Once you have content ready to go, you need to start earning listeners. They won’t always just come to you, so it’s better to be proactive! These tips will help you attract more people:

Make sure you’re sharing your podcast episodes on your social media channels and with your email list. Ross suggests sharing clips of the episodes to leave your audience wanting more. You can also go live to connect with listeners and dive deeper into episodes while answering their questions.

Also, don’t just submit your podcast to Apple. There are other platforms, like Spotify, to consider as well!

Ray suggests taking action to get your podcast listed on various directories. This can help you gain exposure to so many more people.

Michelle suggests repurposing your podcast episodes into other pieces of content. You can create blog posts from them, pull quotes to create social media posts, and so much more.

Don’t forget to ask for reviews! This will help draw people in who come across your podcast for the first time since they can see what other listeners have to say about it.

Q7: How do you know if podcasting is working for you? What kind of feedback or metrics should you be watching for?

When it comes to your podcast, you likely want it to be a success. But what exactly does a successful podcast look like? Which metrics are important to track? Here’s what you should be on the lookout for:

If you’re podcasting as a hobby, the metrics likely won’t matter as much to you. You won’t necessarily be worried about subscriber growth and conversions, which is totally okay.

However, if you’re podcasting for business… You’ll want to see the value in all the work you’re putting in. Are you generating income from the podcast? You’ll want to make sure you can identify which clients and customers came from your podcast. It’s important to see your audience taking action.

Another great piece of advice from Ross is that you should always listen to your audience. It doesn’t matter if your podcast is a hobby or for business. Learn about their interests and consider this when creating future episodes.

If you see that guests are interested in coming soon your show, you’re getting a good amount of listens/downloads, and the average listen time is great… Then you’re on the right track!

Another thing to watch out for is engagement on social media. Is your podcast generating conversations? And if so, what are people saying?

Julia also agrees that conversations are important. There’s nothing more satisfying that seeing conversations taking place around the work you’ve created.

Ray suggests looking at the reviews listeners leave. This will give you a good idea of what’s working and what’s not.

Q8: What’s one thing all podcast hosts can do moving forward to ensure their episodes are captivating and their show is successful?

To end the chat, we asked everyone to share a final piece of advice for all podcast hosts. Here are a few of the responses we received:

Ross said to find the sweet spot of what you enjoy creating, what your talents are suited for, and what resonates with your audience. When you can do this, you stand a better chance at creating a captivating podcast. When you’re passionate and can bring the energy, it shows.

Know your audience! Create a podcast because you know your audience is interested in this format and record episodes with them in mind.

When you know what resonates with your current readers, you can plan your next steps and create the content they’re interested in tuning into.

Julia’s advice is to consider the interests of your audience, allow your guest room to voice their thoughts, avoid controversy, and end with a CTA.

Listen to other podcasts! You can learn a lot from other creators, whether they’re in your field or not. Don’t be afraid to branch out.

And finally, Jason said to keep it interesting for you, your guests, and your audience.
Want to join us for the next #ContentWritingChat? It happens on the first Tuesday of every month at 10 AM Central! Follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat to stay updated.
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