5 things that won't fix your podcast

If you're looking for ways to improve your podcast, skip these. They may improve your podcasting workflow, but they won't make your podcast better.

Thanks to Darla from Scientific Quilter for inspiring and suggesting this topic!

UPDATE: there's a great conversation about these points in the Podcasting Technology and Resource group on LinkedIn.

1. Enhanced (AAC) podcast

Despite the name, enhanced podcasts really aren't that great. These are specially formatted audio files the support changing cover art, chapter markings, and embedded links.

This sounds great, but it really doesn't provide a reasonable enhancement to the listening experience. Audio podcasts are consumable while driving, working, shopping, exercising, and more. The benefits of an enhanced podcast are lost in these environments.

Also don't assume that just because someone uses iTunes, they want or can even use an enhanced podcast.

The production time and software requirements significantly increase with enhanced podcasts, but the payback is very little.

If you absolutely must show something, point your listeners to your well-written shownotes or start a video podcast.

2. Better audio-editing software

Audacity is completely free, but it may cost a little extra time to do what you want. You could spend up to $350 to upgrade your audio-editing software, but it won't improve the quality of your podcast; software only makes things easier (or sometimes just different) for you.

I have thousands of dollars of podcasting equipment and a licensed copy of Adobe Audition (with my Creative Cloud membership), but I still use Audacity.

3. More twitter followers

Twitter is still such a social-media rage, but the number of followers you have makes almost no difference to your podcast, or even increasing the size of your audience. If you want to use Twitter to enhance your podcast, you have to be proactive and reach out. Simply having more followers makes no difference.

4. A faster computer (or a Mac)

Similar to upgrading your software, upgrading your computer (or switching to a Mac) will not improve your podcast. You may like how you can do things on a different PC, but your audio or video files will probably be the same.

Does an expert photographer take better pictures with a newer camera? No. Because art does not depend on the tools, it depends on the technique.

5. Sponsorship

Many podcasters will think, “If I could just get a sponsorship, then my podcast will have arrived!

Extra money from your podcast can be nice, especially if you've worked your guts out to build a big enough podcast audience or empire that a sponsorship can be your new primary income.

But simply being doesn't give you new content, bring more listeners, or improve your audience quality. But a case can be made that sponsorship diminishes a podcast with interruptions, website banner ads, long commercials, and such.

What have you tried?

Have you discovered things that do enhance your podcast? Or maybe things you tried but didn't? I would love to hear your feedback in the comments!

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This post may contain links to products or services with which I have an affiliate relationship and may receive compensation from your actions through such links. However, I don't let that corrupt my perspective and I don't recommend only affiliates.

About the Author
As an award-winning podcaster, Daniel J. Lewis gives you the guts and teaches you the tools to launch and improve your own podcasts for sharing your passions and finding success. Daniel creates resources for podcasters, such as the SEO for Podcasters and Zoom H6 for Podcasters courses, the Social Subscribe & Follow Icons plugin for WordPress, the My Podcast Reviews global-review aggregator, and the Podcasters' Society membership for podcasters. As a recognized authority and influencer in the podcasting industry, Daniel speaks on podcasting and hosts his own podcast about how to podcast. Daniel's other podcasts, a clean-comedy podcast, and the #1 unofficial podcast for ABC's hit drama Once Upon a Time, have also been nominated for multiple awards. Daniel and his son live near Cincinnati.
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11 years ago

Hey Daniel,
Do you have a template setup to add all the links regarding episodes or do you type the bottom part out every time you publish? I am refering to the Please connect with me section and feedback sections

Clay Dugger
Clay Dugger
11 years ago

A “newer” computer may or may not enhance your podcast, but better equipment definitely will. A computer with a better sound card actually might improve things. An $80 USB mixer and a $50 mic will drastically improve a cast.

Sam Tana
Sam Tana
11 years ago

Buy a Mac and you get Garageband for free – and that’s a much better audio editing suite than Audacity. Better tools DO make for better product, if you can be bothered to learn to use them.

Sam Tana
Sam Tana
11 years ago

A good tool enhances the experience for the listener by making the podcast sound better. A badly edited podcast can be hard work to listen to – and people won’t listen at all if they find it hard work. If your podcast is simply talk it’s not a a big issue but if you’re mixing music, talk, sound effects, jingles and other audio then having something that does so easily and flexibly is what you need. Garageband is basically a stripped down version of Logic Pro, which is a professional product used by many studios.

11 years ago

I find that a prep sheet make it easier to have a good/better show. In my show I have a co-host, and having the show notes set up in advance makes it easier to record and cover topics, instead of just doing a “skin of your teeth” show. Failure to plan is a plan to fail. I like just having bullet points to toss out and try to hit. This make it very easy to just plow on if one topic is very short or boring to me or my co-host and does not spark a conversation. It also keeps us from having to guess where the other person is going.

However I do like that I have “forced” my self to put out a podcast every week so that I have a bit of pressure to do something, as other wise I might just put it off and not get it done at all.

Thanks for the Inspiration and direction.

9 years ago

I’ve played around with Audacity, but I’m really enjoying Reaper. It may not improve sound quality directly (although judicious use of good plugins can really help), but the speed and ease of editing can be a real benefit. (Ripple editing, to pick just one example, is brilliant.) And at $60 for most use cases plus a very generous demo policy, it’s an amazing value.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x

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