Effective podcasting can be hard work. When hard things come, you may feel like giving up. Here are the hardest things you may face, and some tips for overcoming them.
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Yes, starting is one of the hardest parts of podcasting. There are plenty of decisions to make about your technology. But as I show with The Audacity to Podcast, there's much more to discuss in podcasting than merely the tech. Nonetheless, the technology can be a hurdle for many people.
When you're starting out, get what will accomplish your basic needs and consider hiring someone to help with the rest. Don't obsess over your microphone, recorder, website design, and such. If you never start, your technology choices won't matter. If you need a starter microphone, get the ATR2100-USB (USA) or Samson Q2U (usually cheaper outside the USA). Microphone? Done. Move on.
The plan for your podcast is the more important hurdle you'll face when starting. What will you talk about? What's the purpose of your podcast? What helpful or entertaining value will you provide with your first episode? If you're going to obsess over anything, make it your content and goals—key parts of your plan!
My biggest two tips for starting a podcast are:
- Don't strive for perfection; jump in!
- Have a plan.
No matter how well you communicate or what you talk about, you'll receive negative feedback. The negative feedback usually affects us most. We could have a hundred pieces of positive feedback, but be tormented by the one piece of negative feedback.
Here's what I previously shared about dealing with negative feedback toward your podcast:
- Don’t get depressed from negative feedback
- Don’t feed the trolls
- Prepare (pray, get the facts, seek godly counsel, develop options)
- Affirm relationships (show genuine concern and respect for others)
- Understand interests (identify others’ concerns, desires, needs, limitations, or fears)
- Search for creative solutions (prayerful brainstorming)
- Evaluate options objectively and reasonably (evaluate, don’t argue)
- Look for what you can learn and improve from criticism
- Keep and revisit a “praise” folder of positive feedback
- Remember your focus
- Go uplift someone else
- Respond respectfully
- Remove the negative feedback if truly necessary
- Or just ignore the negative feedback
Every podcast has the potential to hit controversial issues. It could be big issues—such as religion, politics, or morality—or smaller but passionately held opinions (for example, Playstation vs. Xbox, Android vs. iOS, or Windows vs. MacOS). No matter how “politically correct” you may try to be, you'll still offend someone on divisive issues.
There are times to avoid controversy and times to speak out. Here are my previous tips for addressing controversy in your podcast (remember “LAURA”):
I have faced an extremely controversial issue in one of my other podcasts. The first time I faced it, I chose respectful silence and received a firestorm of hate. The second time, I chose to address it as respectfully and lovingly as I believed I could, but without compromising. Although I still receive hate for my position, I'm also receiving far more respect and even support.
This showed me that it was better for me to speak out and be hated or loved for being authentic, than remaining silent and confusing nearly everyone.
Whether you speak out or remain silent, you'll probably need the previous tips on dealing with negative feedback.
Sometimes, we can tire of the hard work it takes to make an effective podcast. For every podcast I've hosted, I have felt like quitting at some point and for various reasons.
Continuing means more hard work; it means something might have to change (either you or the situation); it means something might not be working; it means something might not be meeting your expectations.
But if we stop whenever something gets hard, we would never grow stronger! I believe this applies to every area of life! Looking at my own still-young marriage, there was the “honeymoon phase,” then the tough years. But if I had given up then, I would never have gotten to enjoy the stronger, beautiful years now.
The struggle in continuing could come from confrontation (even outside your podcast), burnout, complications, and more.
Listen to these three episodes (or read the show notes) for inspiration to keep going:
- 5 steps to an UNSTOPPABLE vision for your blog or podcast
- How to prevent podfading and podcasting burnout
- 7 ways to make podcasting fun
- 7 free and easy ways to give your podcast new life
- 5 reasons your podcast audience isn’t growing
It's easy to fall into a pattern of doing the same thing over and over. Sometimes, we even expect different results!
I think we should always be improving everything we do. Yes, there are the times of “rest.” But if we rest too long, we'll grow stagnate.
I talk frequently about the five cornerstones of a podcast:
- Content—the message you share
- Presentation—how you communicate your message
- Production—the technical quality of your presentation (everywhere!)
- Promotion—how you grow your audience and promote calls to action within your podcast
- Profit—what you want to gain, why you're podcasting, and what you want your audience to gain
Improving is the main focus of Podcasters' Society. Whether you're a hobbyist or a professional, I want to help you improve what you do and increase the “profit” of your podcast.
Instead of changing things merely for the sake of changing, look first at what seems to not be working well in your podcast cornerstones.
Maybe your content isn't very good and you need to improve the message you share.
Maybe your chosen presentation method isn't working for your content and you need to change formats, lengths, or something else.
Maybe you need to upgrade your podcasting tools to get better production.
Maybe you need to learn effective and ethical marketing techniques to improve your promotion.
Maybe you need to refocus on your goals and build your podcast around a plan to reach your goals in order to give or receive profit.
No matter how good we are, there's always room for improvement!
Closing your podcast could be hard for many reasons—even the emotional attachment you may have despite your desire to quit.
If you run out of content or passion, your podcast may become a zombie—not alive, not dead, but “undead.” I hear some podcasters reach this point, and that's when they start to podfade.
It's hard to say goodbye, to end something you have invested your time, passion, money and more into. Listen to “When and How Should You End a Podcast?” for some ideas.
Thank you for the podcast reviews!
- 5 stars in iTunes USA by Dbensonnj: “Professional informative. I found you through the great Ray Ortega at the podcasters studio. I am glad you guys are so caring of the community that you cross share your expertise! Daniel is an intelligent kind teacher who makes learning a snap! Excellent professional production and detailed notes on website and itunes show notes. Thank you so much for assisting me on my journey!”
- 5 stars in iTunes USA by Mike Mahoney (“Wordsmif”), from Orange County Copywriters: “Extremely well done! Polished, professional, informative! … I've been searching high and low for a truly valuable, informative, no-nonsense podcasting resource, and have finally found it with The Audacity to Podcast. I listened to my first episode recently and felt like I was getting a one-to-one consultation. In fact, every episode has felt that way. I appreciate the excellent production quality and the fact that there are no ums, uhs, or rambling grabs at expressing your thoughts. I'm a veteran business communicator, whose goals include developing my own series, and use what I learn to monetize the knowledge through workshops or consulting. I'm a long way from part 2 but feel so much closer after discovering TAP!! Thanks for all that you're doing and keep up the outstanding work!”
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- I'm back from speaking at Social Media Marketing World and recording interviews at NAB Show. I came back with a new mic (Electro-Voice RE320) and seven videos I'll be publishing soon on my video podcast in iTunes and on my YouTube channel.
- Google Play Music Podcasts finally launched,
Need personalized podcasting help?
I no longer offer one-on-one consulting outside of Podcasters' Society, but request a consultant here and I'll connect you with someone I trust to help you launch or improve your podcast.
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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.
Thank you Daniel for doing this episode. I was writing the script for the first episode of my podcast and I wrote something to the effect that what differentiates me from my peers is that they say to rush in, I do not. (I will need to revise this because you did this show today.) The funny thing is that I almost released the podcast today. The only reason why I didn’t publish it was because I need to pay for Blubrry. I am glad that I put it off.
I went on to say, To serve you the best I need to give you a note of caution first. If you believe that a career in social media will make you happy, then this is not the time for you to begin creating content online. It is time for you to socialize with your friends online but don’t rush into creating content without a strategy. You must first learn how to be satisfied with yourself and be comfortable in the actions that you take in your life. Build your confidence in your skills and come to a point where you are happy before creating your content. This step is imperative because getting into social media is similar to public speaking. You probably will encounter mean people who will say negative things about what you have created. You need to grow a thick skin to be able to handle that, but you need to be open to criticism by increasing the size of your heart for your audience. Your content needs to come from a place of love for your audience, given away freely, and when you release a book or have an academy, you can charge for that.
You made me proud brother.
As one getting close to launching a podcast, this was a great episode Daniel! Thanks for sharing from your experiences!
[…] Many of you- my fellow Skincare professionals– have approached me on several occasions wanting me to “teach” you to podcast. My fellow colleague, I can only share my journey in Podcasting. I have searched for a Podcasting expert and I feel secure in recommending him: The Audacity To Podcast with Daniel J Lewis. I have included the link for you below. https://theaudacitytopodcast.com/the-hardest-things-you-may-face-in-podcasting-tap266 […]
Dan…Though it’s been 2 years since you created this post, it’s still relevant & VERY resourceful information that I can start applying immediately. I have launched and re-launched a couple of times based on all that you mention here. Not wanting to address certain issues, not wanting to offend others, etc.etc…I now get that you cant please everyone or anyone but you also cant be silent about the mission & the adventure. Momentum is key. Consistency is key. And jumping in head first is supreme!! Thanks again dude—much gratitude!!!