There are two reasons why so much of podcasting’s educational content is aimed at the beginning podcaster. The first is a market response. There's a continual flow of noobies wanting to start a podcast, and many are looking for fresh content. The second is an effort response. Creating content for podcasters just starting out is relatively easy, as just about any (good) step-by-step guide could be used by just about any brand new podcaster to get a show launched.
But just a few steps beyond “launch your show!”, things get rather fragmented. And advanced content that’s relevant to one serious podcaster may not be relevant to the next advanced podcaster. Or the next 100 serious podcasters looking to up their game.
In reality, podcasters looking to advance their craft face myriad diverging paths. That’s why I decided to dedicate this entire week of episodes to try and address that reality. I know I can’t cover everything. See the sentence at the start of this paragraph. But I can get you started.
Today, I’m presenting five somewhat passive ways you can use your eyes and ears to become a better podcaster.
Yes, I know it's very likely that you are already listening to or reading Podnews every single day. It’s a daily briefing on, not surprisingly, podcasting news as the rather apt title suggests.
And let’s get this out of the way first. No, the aim of the publication is not to make you a better podcaster. Instead, it’s designed to update you on the latest podcast news. Which, I’d argue, is an important thing for serious podcasters to do. The podcasting industry moves incredibly fast. Being informed across a large cross-section of our industry is important to any podcaster wishing to up their own game.
Also, the editor, James Cridland, often sources out excellent tutorials, guides, and thought leadership that are often, although not always, germane to more advanced podcasters and will go well over the heads of those just starting out on their podcasting journeys.
Get it at Podnews.net. I suggest reading and/or listening to it every single day. I do.
2. Sounds Profitable
Full disclosure: I edit the articles published on Sounds Profitable and also help produce the companion podcast. But that's not why you should get the newsletter or listen to the podcast episodes.
Even if you don’t care about podcast advertising, you need to read what Bryan Barletta has to say every week. True, the focus of Sounds Profitable is podcast ad tech. But podcast ad tech is becoming podcast tech.
Dynamic insertion may have been birthed by podcast ad tech, but it’s used more and more by serious podcast hosting services as a way to build dynamic content and keep content fresh. You can thank podcast ad tech for making your show’s statistics more reflective of what’s really going on with your content. And changing privacy regulations may impact podcast ad tech first, but will quickly flow down to our entire industry. Consider podcast ad tech as the canary in the coal mine, if you like.
Get it at SoundsProfitable.com. Read it every week and also listen to the podcast for extended conversations with industry leaders who discuss with Bryan the concepts from prior editions.
3. Hot Pod
In an odd bit of timing, the first edition of Hot Pod penned by Ashley Carman from The Verge happened to publish as I was recording this episode. It’s a sign from on high!
Hot Pod has been a staple of podcasting for several years. Though for almost all of that time it had to deal with a healthy heaping of shade thrown its way, mostly because the naysayers wishing the long-form newsletter covered “indie” podcasting with as much zeal as it did “big media” podcasting,
To which I say… meh. Don’t try to make it into something it’s not. Hot Pod was founded to cover how the larger players—big media organizations and large production houses, mostly— are finding success with podcasting. Serious podcasting, one might say, instead of hobbyist podcasting. Which is why it makes my list.
Get it at HotPodNews.com and read that every single week.
You’re a podcaster, so how about a podcast that makes you a better podcaster? That’s exactly why I have added HowSound, by Rob Rosenthal for PRX and Transom, to the list. No, it is not a(nother) podcast about podcasting, I assure you. “Who needs that?”, he said, sarcastically.
Instead, HowSound is a podcast that showcases the best in radio storytelling. Though don't get tripped up over the word radio in there. The episodes Rob produces are about audio storytelling. And every serious podcaster is also an audio storyteller. Or needs to become one.
The casual format of HowSound and the long clips—sometimes entire segments—play in harmony to really let you understand the why as much as the how behind these sounds. And each episode is full of great nuggets of audio wisdom for you to apply as you kick your podcast up a notch or two.
HowSound has a dedicated page on Transom.org. Add it to your podcatcher and listen every other week.
5. Podcast Pulse - A Twitter List
I find that one of the best ways to improve is to soak in an atmosphere of improvement. If you’re the kind of person who spends way too much time on Twitter, I’ve curated a list of 100+ Twitter accounts that frequently post excellent content to help any podcaster improve their skills. I call this the Podcast Pulse, for what I hope are very obvious reasons.
If you don’t use Twitter, you don’t use Twitter. I’m not going to tell you to adopt one more social media platform in your life. And if you do use Twitter, I’ll remind you that while every Tweet a person on this list puts out will be in The Pulse, not every Tweet will be germane to podcasting. That’s Twitter for you. You probably don’t want to turn on notifications, ‘cuz some of the accounts in the list get a little noisy.
Still, it’s an excellent idea to follow the list and check it from time to time to see what the current zeitgeist is bubbling with. At least on podcast Twitter.
Find the Podcast Pulse Twitter list here and be sure to pin it so it’s a simple swipe away. I suggest checking a few times a day when you can.
Did I Miss Your Favorite Resource?
I know I missed a lot of great material, so here’s your chance to rectify that. If you’ve a top-notch, can’t-miss resource that you turn to to help you think like a serious podcaster, I want to know about it. Comment below, send me a DM, an email, or join us in the Advancing Podcasting community to share with others who also want to become better at the art and science of podcasting.
And if you've got value from today's episode, please return some of that value at PodcastPontifications.com/support.
I’ll be back tomorrow with more information for serious podcasters who want to improve their craft on yet another Podcast Pontifications.
Podcast Pontifications is written and narrated by Evo Terra. He’s on a mission to make podcasting better. Allie Press proofed the copy, corrected the transcript, and edited the video. Podcast Pontifications is a production of Simpler Media.