The first week of Season Four of Podcast Pontifications is complete! Or rather, it will be at the end of this episode you’re reading (or listening to). Your choice! Thanks so much for sticking with me while I took a much-needed between-seasons break.
If you’ve been listening to Podcast Pontifications for a while, you likely noticed some changes in this week’s episodes. One change is quite trivial, but others subtle (hopefully) but a bit more foundational.
Don’t Try This Silliness At Home
It’d be hard to miss the new theme music I chose for this new season. And again, you've been listening to my produced podcast episodes for a while; you know I’m wont to do this. In fact, this marks the fifth change to theme music since this podcast started.
In the audio version of this episode, I play the previously-used quick bumpers/stingers from seasons past, making for a nice trip down memory lane. So give it a listen if that sort of thing interests you.
And speaking of music, you’ll note that my episodes have an extended “canned” outro where I use a longer piece of the selected theme music to play under the credit roll at the end of my episodes. (More podcasts should do this, IMHO. Give credit where credit is due.)
Caveat: This is an example of what not to do. I do not recommend changing up your theme music with each new season. Or anytime, really.
Branding is an important factor that plays a role in building your audience. The right theme music sets the tone of your show and isn’t something to be futzed with just because you get a wild hair.
Having consistent, tonally correct theme music is especially important if you’re a new voice in your given niche. I’ve built up a modest amount of name recognition in podcasting, so I can get away with being flippant with my rotating music selection. You may not be in that privileged position.
Audio branding in podcasting is hugely important, even though I didn’t treat mine that way. At least not for this show. However, I do eat my own dog food and have commissioned skilled composers to create bespoke theme music for other podcasts of mine and for my clients. Bespoke theme music created by a professional to properly encapsulate the “feels” of your podcast is absolutely money well-spent. If you can afford it.
Today’s Episode Is Brought To You By…You!
Whether you listen to my episodes or just read the articles, you likely noticed an ad placement at the top of your experience. It’s the first bit of italicized text in this article, and the same text is voiced by me just after the cold open on the audio episodes.
So what’s up with me running ads on a show that’s nowhere near the 50,000 downloads per episode threshold I’ve lobbied for over the years? Am I a hypocrite? Sometimes, yes. But not about this.
You're hearing/reading that ad at the top of the program is because of Bryan Barletta of Sounds Profitable fame. So blame him. Kidding. Sort of. (Full disclosure: Bryan and I have a professional working relationship.)
This week’s article on Sounds Profitable is entitled Never Let An Ad Slot Go Empty, and I highly recommend you read it, even if you (like me) don’t really have designs on using your podcast as an advertising vehicle. Those of you who are making bank—or want to make bank—with ads on your podcast will get a huge benefit from reading the article. But it’s worth it for all podcasters to read it, as it’ll likely spark some ideas for you as it did for me.
The ad you hear/read at the top of my articles/episodes is the most basic implementation. Since selling ads isn’t a top priority for me, I didn’t need to implement the complex adtech stack Bryan lays out. It’s actually quite straightforward to set up if you have the right podcast hosting company and ad partners. (And if you don’t, remember that it’s very easy to switch.)
And yes, that ad spot you read/heard is available. It’s a (but not the only) place where you’ll hear future collaborations with some of my listeners. I’ll use it as a place to spread awareness of the cool things they are doing to make podcasting better, which is the underlying conceit of Podcast Pontifications and my mission in life, as it were.
Let’s Make Podcasting Better Together
But I’m not the only one with similar goals. There are myriad dedicated people working day in and day out to make podcasting better, developing products and services to do just that. And I want to help them get the word out. We’re still working out the details on how that will work, but I wanted to get that first ad spot in at the beginning of the season as not to surprise anyone.
That’s just the start of the collaboration and partnership efforts I’ll be exploring this season. And yes, I’d love to talk with you about collaborating. Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll set up a time to talk.
Looking forward, I see there are 15 more weeks—roughly 60 episodes—in the first half of Season Four of Podcast Pontifications. That gives me plenty of time to make incremental changes to the show as those collaborations and partnerships increase. Yes, I’ll keep you posted. The best way to never miss any of the changes is to subscribe—for free—to Podcast Pontifications In Your Inbox. Not only will you get the produced audio and polished article emailed to you every day, but you’ll also get special announcements as new collaborations and partnerships are announced.
But if you’re just happy listening/reading, that’s cool. I appreciate that. You can also help ensure I can afford to keep doing this show four days a week by going to BuyMeACoffee.com/evoterra and lending me your support, either with a one-time virtual coffee purchase or a membership that sends me a cup—or five—every month!
I shall be back on Monday with yet another Podcast Pontifications.