Stop! Logo first. Audio comes second

Episode 3 – Full transcript

Click here to subscribe


  1. Some great book covers for inspiration
  2. Tips on book covers
  3. Interesting article from Podcast buddy
  4. A few interesting points here from Buzzsprout too
  5. One service offering designs but also a few tips
  6. Again loads of great examples which I drew lessons from. Just Google

Full transcript

There’s a lot of advice out there on how to make a hit podcast at home on your computer in the 2020s but does it still work? Can you and I still make a hit podcast, and if so, how? That’s what I’m trying to find out in this podcast.


[00:00:17] Hello, welcome back. So far we’ve looked at how to stop giving up before you’ve started a podcast.

[00:00:21] This is something that I was about to do when I started this project. I was about to pod fade, as I’ve mentioned before, and somehow I seem to have kept going this time using all those techniques that I talked about before, so I hope that’s going well for you too. We also talked about how to cut down production time and how to make podcasting far more manageable as well.

[00:00:41] This week I started to planned to start researching what topics to pick to make a hit podcast, but I got sidetracked and ended up going down a rabbit hole and I really want to share what I’ve found with you.

[00:00:51] I simply didn’t realize how important podcasts logos and images were, and although that sounds like a sort of step down the line, I think it’s actually something that I should’ve thought about long before I started making this podcast even because it helps to define the whole image of what you’re talking about and what you should be focused on.

[00:01:13] Anyway, I’m going to cover all that in this weeks show. By the way, if you want to catch up with all the other topics, make sure you subscribe to the podcast for the past two episodes and my social media feeds as well, where I do very short daily updates of what I’m learning, as I actually learn it during the week.

[00:01:27] And you can find that @hitpodcast2020 @hitpodcast2020 on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

[00:01:36] So one conclusion that I came to is that the podcast imagery, the logo is actually critical because it’s a bit like a book cover.

[00:01:43] If people aren’t attracted to that image and they can’t work out what your podcast is about from that image, they’re never even gonna listen. So in a way there is no point making a show unless you’d get the actual picture right. Does your podcast image then does the logo you pitch actually reflect what you are about?

[00:02:02]My previous project was called the Midson project and had a picture of my face and just the words. It didn’t even say what it was about. You didn’t know whether it was politics or whether it was science, it told people, nothing. So a podcast logo from all the research I’ve done this week needs to show in a glance, I mean literally in an instant what it is your podcast is about and the angle it’s about as well.

[00:02:24]If you look like everyone else, then why bother listening to your show? Why not listen to everyone else who’s already there?

[00:02:32]So even if you were doing athletics or sport or football coverage or soccer or whatever you want to call it, it’s still got to show in that image why you’re different? Because just showing a picture of a football. So what? How many other podcasts are there about soccer or football out there? If it needs to be a bit edgy, it needs to show that in the graphic.

[00:02:51] So I started off by searching for book covers because I figured book covers are actually a really good place to think about techniques for making something that looks attractive. Because at the end of the day, if you, you’re in a bookstore and you see a book cover.

[00:03:04] You know. What’s going to make you pick that up and even buy it? So I did a whole load of research around this. I found actually a really good acronym, which was, AIDA – attention, interest, desire, action. So I’ll put a link to some of this stuff on the website as well. So the first one is, how are you going to grab their attention?

[00:03:21] One of the popular techniques I saw was to use bold lettering. Clear lettering, so white on a dark color rather than a sort of blurred mixed image, which looks a bit abstract. Then the interest putting in that pictures are just said about what the topic is about, the desire, what is it they’re going to get from this?

[00:03:39] You know, is it quirky? Is it funny? Why is it different to every everyone else? And then the action is in terms of, well. What’s the delivery of it? What are you going to say with those other words on there? Now you’ve got their attention that is going to tell them what they will get by listening. So I thought that was a really good one.

[00:04:00] There’s loads of other stuff out there, and as I say, I put some links on the website too.

[00:04:04]Another thing that I saw was to keep the wording simple as well. Try not to add too many words, just a couple of keywords that send across the message. What they were saying as well is that additional words need to be used carefully. So for example, like there’s a podcast called Rebel Force Radio. So why does that grab your attention?

[00:04:21] Rebel force sounds like Star Wars, but “radio”, it kind of almost sounds like you’re listening to the rebel forces. Radio. It’s almost like you’re getting a inside listen to it. So a very careful choice of words of the name of your podcast as well can make a difference.

[00:04:37] Another technique I found when looking particularly at podcasts was to look at your podcast app.

[00:04:43] I did this too as well, and I shared it during the week on social media and to see what actually jumps out at you on your podcast app. Which are those images which attract you because if you are your target audience ultimately, the kinds of things that are going to appeal to you should be a fair bet of what your audience will be interested in.

[00:05:00]The ones I like, for example, had really clear writing. And what I posted on social media was like, there was one from LBC from a guy called Nick Ferrari. There was Recode Decode. All these had clear white letters. Very clear. Good fonts on a dark background.

[00:05:16]That’s what grabbed my attention. But then those were the words, and then it was the imagery. So there’s one, for example, like “App Masters” podcast with Steve Young, where you’ve got a picture of him looking like he’s being fun. So you know it’s going to be entertaining, or you’ve got Dan Snow’s history hit podcast where he looks serious.

[00:05:35] He looks like he’s outdoors, he’s standing by a cliff so you kind of feel like you’re going to get drawn out into the country by that.

[00:05:41] What else? Just looking through my podcast app now, I mean Masters of Scale. I love that podcast, but I do not find the podcast logo attractive. You’ve got this sort of black and white image of Reid Hoffman’s head or half his head and it all kind of becomes a bit blurred, but then you look at someone like Noah Kagan, Noah Kagan presents. He’s got his arms crossed, he’s wearing a tee shirt. So he’s showing these casual, he’s got a smile. It, it gets across his whole idea of a friendly, warm podcast,

[00:06:13]And let’s just put one more Recode Decode. There you’ve got a sort of dark, very dark background, very clear writing on there, and you’ve got someone wearing sunglasses with a bit of a smile. So it kind of seems professional, but it seems kind of devious behind the scenes as well. And also with that one, it’s got the name of the presenter in smaller letters.

[00:06:32]and one of the things about adding “with….” is it kind of implied, even if you’ve never heard of the person that you should know their name.

[00:06:40] so the other thing to think about is the exact wording as well. So with my one, when I did my logo originally, I put in. “Can I make a hit podcast?” and I emphasize the words a hit podcast because I figured that was the thing that would grab people’s attention.

[00:06:57]. Don’t use quirky or hard to read fonts, or I was just talking about that you want bold, clear fonts and it can be tempting to use quirky ones. And I think that’s where I’ve gone wrong with mine.

[00:07:07] And what about the technical side of things? Well, from a production point of view, one thing I found a lot of articles recommending was to use Canva, which is a free design piece of software that you can use. Just kind of look for that is C, a, N, V, a.

[00:07:20] And if you have a look at book covers, which I searched on during the week on social media, there’s some brilliant ideas, there’s also another great bit of free software called gimp, which is basically Photoshop for free. So there’s plenty of ways to create really good artwork, but Canva with all its preexisting designs is a real, real winner for that one.

[00:07:40]So there’s a few ideas on how to create your podcast artwork. First of all, the name really needs to grab people’s attention. It’s got to be bold and clear lettering. If you’re a personality, then put a picture of yourself on there, but make sure it’s a good picture of you on there with a smile or some kind of angle that shows what it is, what the quirk is about you. So if you’re a comedy podcast, are you smiling with a grin rather than just a natural smile? Have you got sunglasses on? Because what you’re doing is sort of secret and behind the scenes. What is it about that image that is going to say, the angle that you’re delivering in your podcast?

[00:08:14] And then also in terms of the software’s as I say, you can use like Canva for free. There’s also gimp. free as well, , making sure that your images at least 1400 by 1400.

[00:08:26] So next week as I say, my plan is to start talking about the topic, but if the same happens as happened this week, I’m going to end up getting stuck in some other topic but I will cover that because there’s so many things that I want to get right to try and make a successful hit podcast.

[00:08:40] I just want to very quickly touch on goals, cause we talked about this a week before, three month goals and two week goals. My two week goal was to keep up to date with all the updates and refine them based on what you’ve been saying or what I’m finding.

[00:08:51] I’ve been doing that. I’ve been putting out my social media every day. I want to have 50 regular listeners after three months. It sounds small, as I mentioned before, if you had the previous episode, but what I’ve found with podcasting is you always start off with a tiny audience and then it starts to build.

[00:09:05] So 50 regular listeners, it is gradually climbing up. I won’t tell you exactly how many at the moment. It’s just too embarrassing to say, but it is gradually climbing up, and that’s the key thing, because I know that once you hit a certain level, it starts to go up exponentially. So that’s it for this week.

[00:09:20] Don’t forget the account name is @hitpodcast2020 that’s @hitpodcast2020 which you can find on all the social media, the Twitter, the Instagram, and Facebook. So the key ones.

[00:09:32] There’s also a website it’s literally one word.

[00:09:38] Next week I shall continue with the mission to find out if it really is possible to make a Hit podcast in the 2020s because if the internet says it is possible it must be possible for you and me. I speak to you next week.

Published by Richard

25 years in the communications business. Former news editor, journalist, political public relations professional, social media content creator, and podcast host of

Leave a Reply