Any podcaster who’s been in the game for a while knows how easy it is to develop podcasting habits. Some are just muscle memory that comes from performing the act of podcasting across dozens of episodes spanning months or years. Habits help make things easier for us day to day.
But not all of the podcasting habits you develop as you get in your groove are good. Not, that is, if you want to become a better podcaster.
If we look at this from the opposite perspective, we notice that bad podcasters, or podcasters who make bad shows, tend to accumulate a collection of bad habits. Bad habits you (and I) would do well to avoid.
With that, let’s examine four of these bad habits and try to understand why they’re not what we should be doing.
Bad Podcasters Don’t Listen To Their Own Shows
You’d be surprised how many podcasters don’t listen to the final episodes of their shows once they’ve been produced. Which is weird to me because if you can’t be bothered to listen… then what makes you think your audience doesn’t feel the exact same way?
If you're feeling called out by me here, then I am absolutely calling you out.
I know you’ve listened to the episode during the development process. You might have spent four, 40, or 400 hours going over recordings, plotting out the story, editing the audio, scoring, and other on-task functions as you were making the episode.
But if you aren’t transferring the final .mp3 file to your phone, connecting your earbuds, and taking a walk away from your computer with the finalized audio proof playing in your ears as if you were a listener… you’re missing things!
If nothing else, you’re missing out on a private way to be critical of your own, completed work.
Bad Podcasters Don't Respond To Their Listeners
No one owes you anything for making your podcast. Yes, I know that you invested hours of your time, some of your hard-earned money, and lots of your blood, sweat, and tears into your latest episode.
But no one owes you anything for your podcasting efforts.
So when your content does inspire someone to take the time to send you an email, leave a comment on your episode page, write a review, or just share a link to your episode to their social connections, the least you can do is acknowledge that person’s efforts. You owe that to them!
Make a commitment to and a habit of always responding to any positive actions from your listeners. If you need to set up alerts to help with that, do it. Or work to keep your notification indicators close to zero. Just don’t leave hanging listeners who said nice things about you or were helping to grow your show.
Bad Podcasters Invest More In Gear Than They Do Content
All too often I see some noobie podcaster talking about how they just spent $3500 on podcast gear but have no idea what to talk about. Honestly, gear doesn’t matter. The best podcast equipment for you is the podcast equipment that you have and know how to use properly.
Yes, I know buying gear is sexy. I know it makes you feel like you’ve accomplished something. But spending $3000 on a Neve preamp isn't going to help you in the slightest during the ideation phase.
Yes, the quality of the audio you produce is super important, But it's not nearly as important as your ability to tell great and compelling stories on a consistent basis.
Bad Podcasters Have Production Schedules That Mirror Their Release Schedules
Get ahead, podcaster. Like, really ahead. Get weeks ahead if you can. Get months ahead if possible.
When you aren't ahead, you wind up shoveling lots of jobs into the same time slot, which means you spend less quality time on each of those jobs. Yes, I believe in and am a proselytizer of Parkinson's law. Yes, work expands to fill the time allotted for it. But it also adds a large amount of stress when you’re trying to do too many things at once. Rushing to produce content that you're releasing a day or two later—or an hour or two later like some people—is, if possible, to be avoided.
I’m calling myself out on this one. I’m forced to make a lot of sacrifices because of my insistence that I produce and release in a four-hour window each day. I don’t really need to do that. It’s not like I’m covering breaking news. So that’s something I’ll be examing during my long winter’s nap coming in a few weeks.
It's very likely that you, like me, currently have one or more of these bad habits. That doesn’t necessarily make you a bad podcaster. Heck, even having all of these bad habits doesn’t necessarily make you a bad podcaster.
But if you can break those bad habits in favor of better ones, how much better could you and your podcast be?
I feel kinda bad for Matt Medeiros of the podcast, Matt Report and also from the podcast hosting company, Castos. He’s managed to figure out how to send money with the Twitter feature I mentioned yesterday because he did so and sent me this message:
I refuse to tip more until I can.
Apparently, the rollout for Twitter hasn't made it to Matt’s accounts just yet. But hang tight, Matt! It’ll be there eventually. I hope?
Also, a quick shout out to everyone who’s been sharing my Twitter threads or direct links to my episodes. I do my best to say “thank you” publicly, but if I’ve missed anyone, it was unintentional. Thank you very much. I appreciate the value you return to me from your actions of sharing the show with others.
Speaking of value for value, if you received value from today’s episode and wish to return some of that value to me, check out PodcastPontifications.com/support for a variety of ways you can do just that. Now taking actual money as well!
I shall be back tomorrow with 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.