If it isn’t abundantly clear, I have more than a passing interest in making podcasting better, not just easier. Oftentimes, podcasters who listen to or read my words are inspired to take some concepts back to their show, making their own podcasts better.
Today, I want us to take a wider view and some liberties with the words of America’s 35th president: Ask not what podcasting can do for you; ask what you can do for podcasting.
9 Ways You Can Give Back To Podcasting
OK, that was a rather cheesy and rather obvious play on the quote. Please forgive me and consider these nine things you can do to help make all of podcasting better. In no particular order:
1. Write a niche newsletter
There’s no shortage of 101-level, how-to-get-started podcasting newsletters and other resources out there. Though if you feel inspired to launch another one, don’t let me stop you.
But before you head too far down that path, I would counsel you to think much more narrowly. Rather than creating something for all beginners, can you lean on that one thing that you do better than anyone else and create a newsletter focused on that? Whatever your “secret sauce” is, consider creating a weekly (?) newsletter that other extant podcasters could use as a trusted source. (Bonus: it’ll build your authority that much quicker!)
2. Buy something advertised on a smaller podcast
No, I’m not suggesting you replace your mattress every six weeks or stack in-home meal delivery kits. But if you have the means, consider responding to the call to action in an advertisement running in a smaller podcast. It’s a struggle for small podcasters to get ad deals, and any ad deal they do get is likely predicated on a certain number of listeners taking action on the ad.
Lots of the promotions have trial runs, so it’s not really costing you anything to try. And just the act of signing up for a trial account can be enough for that advertiser to extend the relationship, giving your favorite small podcast income to keep doing what you love. (Which is what they love too!)
3. Volunteer to help at a podcast event
I’m hopeful that 2022 will see a return to in-person podcast events. They’ll need your help. Yes, you can submit to speak at the event. But remember that event organizers are always hungry for volunteers to work the event. There are plenty of jobs big and small that need to be done, from helping with audio to checking people in or a hundred other tasks mostly done by volunteers who make the event a memorable experience. You can be a part and attend for free!
4. Participate in PodRevDay
PodRevDay—Podcast Review Day—is the 8th of every month. Starting in Season 4, I’m going to remind you of that each month. And while we all know that reviews don’t really help with the perceived “discovery” problem, they certainly can help convinced a would-be listener to take a chance on a show. And they make the podcasters on the other end feel amazing.
No, you don’t have to wait until next month. You can use your podcast listening app to leave a review for your favorite podcast today. And if your app won’t let you do that, then go to Podchaser and leave a review for the shows you love.
5. Share podcasts outside of your podcasting circles
While I’m always happy to take your recommendations of podcasts I should be listening to, sharing amazing podcasts with people who aren’t deeply involved in podcasting is even better!
But remembers: people who aren’t super into podcasting may be a lot less forgiving than you are. You may love a show in spite of its quirks and flaws, but will the uninitiated? So keep a few IHNIs at hand. IHNIs, you may recall, are podcasts that sound amazing and cause first-time listeners to say “I Had No Idea that this is what podcasts were like!”, hooking them for life.
6. Try out new podcasting tools and services and share your experience
New tools and services are hitting the podcasting market all the time. And while I’m sure you’ve a solid routine that keeps you efficient, it’s always a good idea to try new things. So if you’re a curious person like me, fill some of your free time with trying out new things that might improve your podcasting process.
And when you find one you love, shout about it! There are probably less adventurous podcasters following you who are stuck doing something the hard way. Hearing how you solved that problem or got some time back by using a new tool or service may be just the thing they need to kick their podcasting up a notch.
7. Become a mentor to a less-experienced podcaster
There are many ways to facilitate this. I’m in the mentorship program that’s part of The Podcast Academy and have found it a rewarding experience. It’s up to you and your mentee how these are structured. You might meet weekly or fortnightly. You won’t get paid (that’s an apprenticeship), but you will get to share ideas and provide feedback to boost the prowess of another podcaster. And you, old dog, might learn a new trick or two!
8. Host a local podcasting meetup in your town
If you live in a really big town like Phoenix, the fifth-largest city in the country, go ahead and start one in your section of town. Podcast meetups are great for giving encouragement and fostering a sense of camaraderie. Hanging out for two hours on a rooftop with other podcasters can be a wonderful way to recharge everyone’s batteries.
We’ll re-start the PHX Podcast Club this year!
9. Start collaborating with other podcasters
Maybe you find interested podcasters at the meetup you hosted. Or maybe you’ll rope in a couple of other podcasters you always find yourself chatting with online. Form alliances. Start generating your own network effect across all of your podcasts. Or even think about building a new podcast together, if that makes sense for all of you.
Great things will happen when you pool your efforts together, collaborating and sharing ideas. And speaking of sharing, share a link to this article or episode with other podcasters. Because we should all do our part to make podcasting better.
If you'd love any of these ideas, I’ve a single request: Show me your love and appreciation by going to BuyMeACoffee.com/evoterra to buy me a virtual coffee.
I shall be back tomorrow for yet another Podcast Pontifications.