Can I Make
a HIT podcast?
Former disillusioned podcaster (and journalist) now trying to make a hit show that will rival the best podcast companies in the world
“Is it still possible to make a hit podcast at home in your spare time
in the 2020s? I’m trying to find out.”
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- Can you grow podcast listeners with paid ads?
Can you grow your podcast listenership with paid adverts?
I’ve seen a lot of opinions saying adverts don’t work but I’ve also seen opinions saying adverts do work.
I wanted to know the truth. What were the facts?
So I conducted a experiment live on YouTube and this is what happened.
- Editing a hit show (part 1)
There are 5 hours of audio sitting on my computer which needs editing into a hit show.
The prospect is daunting.
I can’t just edit out the ums and errs, I need to edit it in such a way that it becomes a chemically addictive show for the audience.
So how do you do that without spending months on it and burning yourself out through over work?
In this week’s episode I look for the shortcuts and hacks that will make editing easier.
- Gimlet Academy
- Jay Acunzo’s great article on narrative podcast editing.
- Simon Edward John’s Instagram account
- Serial Podcast
- Fixing the show (podcast)
I’m diving even deeper into the topic of podcast “topics” this week.
I’m shredding up my own podcast ideas once again as I attempt to emulate the success of the big podcast companies.
This episode takes me even deeper into one of the topics I touched on last week.
Plus, this episode might feel different!
The reason is that I have spent quite a bit of time changing this show based on what I learned last time.
So the question is, does it “feel” better? Can you tell the difference? Do Gimlet’s techniques actually work? Let me know if you can feel the difference.
Full transcript and links here
- Making a podcast unmissable
Can you make a podcast show that is so appealing to people that they simply can’t help but click play on it? Is it possible?
I’ve been wondering about the progress of this show “Can I Make A Hit Podcast”. It doesn’t seem to be delivering quite what it originally promised. So can you “repair” a show or start one for the first time that is so addictive people will have to listen?
In this episode, I look at the techniques from some of the big podcast names to see what they do to make an unmissable show.
- Nailing podcast guest interviews
Guest interviews are a bit like flying an aeroplane. It’s too late to fix them when you are up in the air. It’s all in the preparation.
This week I set a task to do 4 hours of interviews but I soon began to realise that there was a lot more pressure on me in these interviews than I first thought.
- The final push for “landmark” podcast guests
If you want “landmark” guests, not “good” or “any” podcast guest then it’s going to take time but time is not something we have as independent podcasters with full-time jobs.
So can we make the process much more efficient so that it puts the best quality guests within our reach? Can WE get them?
As usual, not everything went to plan as I put techniques to the test but with 4 guests now booked, a lot of lessons were still learnt.
In this episode find out what went wrong and how to use those mistakes to your advantage.
- Case Study: How a 110 episode podcaster did it
There is a lot of advice out there on how to create a hit podcast but how much of it is actually true? How much of it is based on real world experience?
Mike Winter has been making Wisecrackin’ with Winter for 110 episodes now. In this special episode of Can I Make a Hit Podcast, he shares what has kept him going and what advice he has for others trying to do the same.
It’s brutally honest, funny at times and practical.
Episode Link : To hear the episode of Mike’s show where this was recorded use the following link. Please note, only part of that show was about podcasting.
- Finding the time to make a hit podcast
There is no getting away from it, without good time management the chances of making a hit show is looking unlikely.
But as usual with this show, instead of saying it’s all too much, it’s time to look for solutions and I think I’ve found some.
In this episode I try out techniques from Ari Meisel’s book “The Art of Less Doing” and the results are really quite impressive.
Can you use time management techniques for podcasting? Well take a listen.
- Which is best? The easy or the hard method of getting guests?
I have 3 exceptional guests already…. I need 3 more.
Gimlet Academy said that getting podcast guests is about hitting the phones and reaching out to people but can it be done more easily?
This week I try the “easy” and the “hard” approach to getting guests to see which produces the most results.
The answer isn’t as simple as you might think but the lessons which come from this week were really useful.
- How to get “good” podcast guests Part 2
14 people want to appear on the new show but will any of them be able to deliver what is needed to make this a “hit” show?
In this week’s roundup podcast, I fight with myself to stop trying to do what “feels right” and focus on what others say actually works instead.
I vet the guests and even “audition” one of them but did this help or cause problems?
So do we have any guests onboard yet and will their stories inspire and captivate the listeners of the new show enough to make it a hit show.
It’s been another week with some very valuable lessons on how to make a hit podcast.
Each episode documents in detail what happened since the last show in a real time effort to create a new “Hit” show.
- How to get “good” podcast guests Part 1
How can I find “good” podcast guests? Picking someone at random just won’t do.
The only way I can get my listeners to engage with the new show and come away feeling great is if the guests “electrify” them with their stories.
I’ve already spent enough time defining what I need, so now it’s time to find the people who can deliver that but just how hard is this going to be?
In part 1 of this process, I discovered a whole load of problems but also some good things too.
So, have I got any potential guests yet?
Each episode documents in detail what happened since the last show in a real time effort to create a new “Hit” podcast.
- Ep11 – I was about to make a big guest booking error
It’s easy to book a guest for a podcast right? Pick up the phone, join a guesting group or send out a tweet perhaps and it’s done right? That’s what I thought.
But then I realised that getting the wrong guests could be a huge waste of time and turn what could have been a hit show into an “also ran” show.
So what is the “right” guest?
In this episode I look at why I spent two weeks working on this issue before even approaching a single person.
Hope it helps you too.
- Ep10 – How I’ll do podcast interviews with remote guests
So I need high quality interviews with my guests but I can’t visit them! Hmmm. How to overcome this? In this episode I go in search of an answer. I try out a couple of systems and come to a decision on the technology I am going to use.
Plus, the pitfalls of going down a rabbit hole when reading about podcasting and the endless battle to stop yourself coming up with new show ideas.
- Ep9 – Podcasting and social media
Does podcast “social media” engage you? Does it make you want to listen? I need to find out what works if I’m to make a hit podcast and market it succesfully.
Some of the stuff I see out there is great but some leaves me having no reason to press play and listen. I’ve been thinking a lot about this recently and I want to take a week out to focus on it.
- Ep8 – The challenges of making a good story
If having a good story is essential in a podcast how do you actually do that? It’s not as easy as it sounds. Episode 8 is all about the story. Is there a chance that by focusing too much on a good story you could lose all your spontaneity too?
- Ep7 – How to find the time for all this
It’s all well and good Gimlet Academy telling us how to make a hit show but when are we ever going to find the time to do what they suggest?
In this episode, I look at the problems and a tool to help to solve one of these straight away.
- Ep6 – Can Gimlet Academy help me crack the hit podcast secret code?
One of the world’s big podcast production companies has revealed their secrets in a podcast series on Spotify. I’ve listened to the entire series. In this episode, I review some of the key lessons which also transforms my approach.
Plus how influencers are turning the rules of broadcasting on its head and what we can learn from them. I’ve found a way to repair mistakes automatically when you mess up your podcast voice recording. And what do you think of my show idea I’ve come up with using Gimlet’s techniques? Will it be a hit? Would you listen to it?
- Ep5 – How to grab people’s attention from the first word?
How do you grab people’s attention from the first word and can I keep you listening to this episode.
How do podcasters hook you into listening to their episode. The principle is much like a sales pitch. So how do they do it and what are their techniques. In this episode I take a look.
- Ep4 – Don’t listen to what they say, look at what they do
Don’t listen to what I say, look at what I do. It’s a mantra that we should all pay attention to. Instead of reading advice, analyse what others are doing. That’s what I did to try and find out the type of podcasts which would become hits by analysing what other big production companies were making.
- Ep3 – Get the logo right before recording anything
Stop stop. Don’t record anything until you’ve listened to this because I’ve realised this week that a podcast logo is almost more important than the audio.
The thing is if people don’t get attracted to your podcast by the artwork they may never even play your episode.
So how do you make sure they do? What lessons can we learn this week?
Full transcript here
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