(By Carey Green) A common line you hear in the podcasting space is this: “Everyone should start a podcast.” I disagree. I don’t think everyone out there has something of value to say. Befire you slap the label of “judgmental,” “bigoted,” or “narrow-minded” on me, hear me out.
I believe I hold a perfectly logical position about this, so let me explain. We see politicians, dictators, scammers, and quacks touting things that are dangerous and/or foolish quite often. Right? Then, why should we assume that when it comes to producing a podcast, those types of individuals don’t exist?
• Does slapping the name “podcaster” on a person’s chest make their motives and ambitions as pure as driven snow?
• Does it make them an instant expert or trusted resource, regardless of what they say?
• Does it make their message instantly valuable and worthy of broadcast to the whole wide world?
I don’t think so. I suspect you don’t either. Anybody who podcasts without the good of the end listener in mind should not be podcasting.
They are adding to the noise (hat tip to Switchfoot for that line). They are generating more heat than light.
They are not giving value to people in ways that improve the human condition. But those who do focus on adding value — adding a true benefit for those who will listen to what they produce — those people should take full advantage of what podcasting has to offer. If you are one of those individuals, learn how to podcast. Then, refine your craft episode by episode.
Here are my tips for how to do those two things, specifically.
LEARN HOW TO PODCAST
There are lots of resources out there to help you learn how to podcast. Some better than others, so be careful. Here are my recommendations…
• Hire a time-tested podcast coach — like Dave Jackson (www.SchoolOfPodcasting.com)
• Libsyn, one of the most trusted podcast hosts out there, has a 101/201 course you can use. It is pretty Libsyn-centric, as you might expect.
• I’ve produced an entirely free How To Podcast Step By Step podcast. Go figure.
Pick your approach and get started.
REFINE YOUR CRAFT
There are even more resources out there to help you refine what you do as a podcast producer. But again, you have to be careful.
Someone can call themselves an expert at podcasting without actually being an expert at podcasting. Vet their sources. Check out their credentials. Make sure they have actually done what they say they’ve done.
Some of the best resources out there (in my humble opinion):
PODCAST: Ask the Podcast Coach (Dave Jackson)
PODCAST: Podcaster’s Roundtable (Ray Ortega and friends)
PODCAST: The Feed (from Libsyn)
PODCAST: The New Media Show (hosted by Todd Cochrane and Rob Greenlee — both podcasting legends)
WEEKLY EMAIL: Podcast Optimizer (mine — occasional offers made)
And finally, if you do an interview-based podcast, you’ve got to grow in your interviewing skills. The very best resource I’ve found for this is another podcast, but one that deserves being highlighted in its own right. It’s called The Turnaround and is a podcast that
interviews famous interviewers about interviewing. Yes, it’s meta. But it’s also amazingly helpful. You’ll hear from folks like Larry King, Dick Cavett, Katie Couric, Terry Gross, and
If you do interviews you should go subscribe to The Turnaround right now.
I’m quite enthused about helping people with good messages get those messages out through podcasting. I work in the industry every day.
I say that to say this — I see a lot of great stuff out there, and tons of stuff that’s not so great — and it’s the people who take themselves and their message seriously for the sake of their audience who do great things through podcasting.
Carey Green is the Client Happiness Guy and founder at www.PodcastFastTrack.com