The Digital Glue Podcast

EP: 28 - How To Untangle Your Podcast

May 25, 2021 Episode 28
The Digital Glue Podcast
EP: 28 - How To Untangle Your Podcast
Show Notes Transcript

“The medium of podcasting and the personal nature of it, the relationship you build with your listeners and the relationship they have with you – they could be just sitting there, chuckling and listening … There’s nothing like that!” – Marc Maron 


Welcome to Episode 28: How To “Untangle” Your Podcast

More people are listening to podcasts more than ever before!
Podcasts are a great way to build a genuine connection with your audience. So, instead of the fractured connection you make through the land of social, podcasts allow you to engage your audience with unique long-form content. And are way more convenient than blog posts because people can listen to them while driving, working out, chillin’ on the beach, or just doing chores around the house.
Here's what we will be untangling in this episode ...

  • VU’s weekly PER EPISODE project management checklist
  • A simplified 11 step checklist for creating your first episode
  • 5 DIY tips for creating the perfect cover artwork

 Are you ready?
Pop in your awesome earbuds and let's dive in!

More people are listening to podcasts than ever before.

According to Edison Research, the number of folks listening to at least one podcast each week has grown upwards of 120% over the past four years. And that means 90 million Canadians and Americans listen to a podcast every single month.

Podcasts are a great way to build a genuine connection with your audience. So, instead of the fractured connection you make through the land of social, podcasts allow you to engage your audience with unique long-form content. And are way more convenient than blog posts because people can listen to them while driving, working out, chillin’ on the beach, or just doing chores around the house.

And with those large totals we just mentioned … There is a lot of unexplored space in the podcasting industry! To put it into nerdy stats … there are 600+ million blogs, 23+ million YouTube channels, but only 800,000 podcasts on Apple Podcasts. (Keeping in mind there are a bazillion other channels to get the goods on.)

That means for every 1 podcast out there in the virtual world, there are 750 blogs and 29 YouTube channels. Imagine the incredible opportunity that’s right at your fingertips of where podcasting is at today.

Over the last couple of Digital Glue podcast episodes, we went over how to choose between blogging and podcasting (in Episode 26) then how to “untangle” your blog (in Episode 27). Which leads us to today’s exciting topic … how to “untangle” your podcast.

Through these digital glue adventures with us, you should now have all the ins and outs on both and be able to make a sound decision on which digital avenue best suits what you want to achieve, who you want to speak to and engage with, and which one tickles your fancy creatively. Choosing either path should be FUN for you, or not feel like work. So, ponder … and choose carefully!

If you have been following the Virtually Untangled train, you will know that we have been writing blogs consistently for the past few years now. Actually, we are just celebrated our 300th blog post last November. And after a bit of nudging from our VU fans and clients, we decided it was time to switch gears and venture off into the land of #AllThings digital with a brand-new branch of content …

And thus, this podcast was born!

When we launched The Digital Glue Podcast, we wanted to bring a unique perspective into the online space. So, every Tuesday morning, we drop NEW “untangling” episodes held together with a bit of digital glue as we truly do LOVE sharing our wealth of knowledge and expertise with you. We want you to explore the things we talk about so you can learn, adapt, grow and be resilient by thinking big and dreaming even bigger with your goals. This podcast is designed for anyone and everyone … business owners of all shapes, sizes, and ages as well as people considering leaving their “burnt out” 9-5 and starting out on their own. 

And now that you know our WHY, here’s how you too can start your very own podcast! And I want to share with you Virtually Untangled’s podcast management checklist (via Asana of course!). Then I will dive into things in a bit more detail.

Here’s our per episode to-do list …

  • Write the recording outline and content
  • Write the blurbs for social media (FB, LI, IG, TW)
  • Write the LinkedIn article blurb
  • Write the podcast and YouTube platform blurbs
  • Proof (and re-proof) all written content
  • Add the pre-written blurbs to our social media calendar (spreadsheet format)
  • Pre-schedule the social media posts (we like to use PromoRepublic)
  • Record the episode
  • Edit the recording (we’re quite fond of Adobe Audition)
  • Add the intro and outro -- with music
  • Save all the assets to the episode-specific folder (in GoogleDrive)
  • Create the episode artwork and social media graphics (we like to have a custom image PER episode and not just one generalized graphic for the entire podcast to keep things fresh – but of course all branded for consistency)
  • Upload the episode to the podcast release platform (we like to use BuzzSprout)
  • Pre-schedule the episode for the GO LIVE date (and time)
  • Add and clean the episode transcription (also in BuzzSprout)
  • Create the LinkedIn article image

Then upon release, for management and back-date referencing purposes …

  • Add the podcast episode URL to a “reference” spreadsheet
  • Publish the article on LinkedIn (which is basically the transcription with a different call-to-action and reference to the actual episode)
  • Share the LinkedIn article on social media
  • Then … #AllThings YouTube 

Now granted, being the crazy creative and organized individuals we are, we like to prep a lot of the goodies in bulk and in advance. Mainly when it comes to the per episode graphics. We choose a day every single month and bulk create all the graphics needed for the next 20-ish episodes. Then set ourselves a reminder for a few months down the road to do this again. 

This way we don’t have to be in creation mode per episode.

Some weeks are spent creating eye-catching topic-related imagery. Some weeks are spent prepping written content. Some weeks are spent prepping episodes pre-work in our release platform. And other weeks are spent prepping our idea bucket list.

Going about things in this way will save you so much time in the long run, instead of focusing on #AllTheThings needed per episode in one day or one week!

And with that being said, list and all, let me dive into a few of the most important steps a little bit more … and in short form for you!

Step #1: Identify your goals. Pick a theme or topic. Then name your podcast.
(But don’t create the cover artwork just yet!)

Step #2: Choose your format. Meaning are you going to host interviews, create a series of scripted non-fiction, create news recaps, teach people something, and so on.

Step #3: Decide upon length and publishing schedule. The optimal podcast length -- which is something not all the gurus share -- just so happens to be within 20 to 30 minutes. But in reality, your podcast should be as long as it needs to be, without being any longer.

Step #4: Acquire the right equipment. (And yes, this really does matter!) This includes a good mic and recording and editing software (we use Adobe Audition) and of course the host platform – which as we mentioned earlier, we use BuzzSprout!

Step #5: Record your first episode. This includes a hugely important step I mentioned earlier … writing your outline. Rambling just so happens to be one of the most common mistakes new podcasters make, and the best way to fight this tendency is by writing a podcast outline. Now keep in mind, you don't have to write out your podcast verbatim (but you can if you plan on using it elsewhere like as a LinkedIn article, a stand-alone blog post, or other fun virtual spaces) but even taking 10 to 15 minutes to jot down a list of the episodes main points will make a dramatic improvement in the flow of your episode. 

Personally, we like to write out a full outline as if we were writing an article. Then speak freely but use the written piece as articles in other social spaces.

This step also includes setting up your equipment and software AND choosing the most perfect as possible place to record. While you might enjoy the echoing sound you get singing away to yourself in the shower, recording in small spaces with hard, flat surfaces will almost always mean reverberant-sound when recording. And that is not truly great for your podcast audio. So if at all possible, record in a quiet, large room with plenty of space around you.

Step #6: Fine tune edit and upload your first episode. The editing process is where you segment your podcast, remove audible distractions like um’s n’ awe’s, and insert pre-recorded voiceover intros and outros – preferably with some copyright-free music.

As a fun time-saving tip, we used a place called, put out some scripted copy, held auditions (which you can do by placing a paying range – especially if your budget is tight) then worked one-on-one with our chosen voiceover guru. Sometimes they’ll even add the music into your intro and outro for you.

And side-by-side with the help of the right software and a few pointers, even the not-so-tech-savvy can create a quality, well-edited podcast. It's truly the “behind-the-scenes” process that requires some extra legwork, but don't let the process overwhelm you. Or if your budget allows for it, hire some help!

Step #7: Create your stunning artwork. You’re almost there! You’ve worked ever so hard and about to share your content with the world. It’s almost time for the listeners!!!! But now it’s time to make sure you’re putting your best foot forward in all aspects of your production. YES! I mean the artwork. And that’s not just because I have a keen eye for design. It’s important to look good everywhere your podcast goes …

  • In every directory
  • On social media
  • On your website
  • In e-news blasts

And so on, and so on …!

Your listeners should be able to figure out what your show is about and immediately take note of your brand in a recognizable way -- just by glancing at your artwork. And in our case -- we like to not only have a custom branded piece of cover artwork but co-branded cover art per episode.

Now, this isn’t a must but highly encouraged as will help grow your brand!

And here are a few pointers to make that happen (if you’re DIYing this sans designer) …

  • Your cover artwork should visually communicate the subject.
  • Design for a variety of places. This means the host site, social media promoting, and so on.
  • Limit word usage. Less is always more.
  • Avoid microphones, headsets, music notes, and other overused images. Cover art shouldn't show equipment -- unless your podcast is solely “about podcasting”.
  • Be consistent with your brand. Like you haven’t heard me talk about this enough! (LOL!)

If you’re a DIYer and not a Photoshop guru, use something like Canva.

And if you don’t want to DIY, don’t be afraid to ask for help and hire a professional. That’s why they’re the experts!

Step #8: Write a description for your podcast theme. A good description is essential for success. It is the space where you explain what your show idea is all about … in one simple short n’ sweet paragraph. Don’t be scared to get “fancy” and show your actual personality! You want it to entice and be entertaining. And most of all, encourage folks to subscribe.

Step #9: Get listed in #AllThePlaces. This is a crucial step for success and growth. This can include places like Amazon Music, Apple Podcast, Spotify (our favourite listening platform), Google Podcast, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, TuneIn + Alexa, and oh so many more!

Now in most similar cases, this is where you would LAUNCH your podcast. But being the organized and creative keeners we are, we like to do some additional prep work pre-launch then PER EPISODE release … And that’s where all those other steps we mentioned earlier come in.

When we first launched, we ensured we had some promo posts ready for social media, some copy ready for punching out to our email list, and of course word of mouth all a couple of months BEFORE our launch date. This not only helps keep you accountable for your newfound digital adventure goal but gets the buzz started. Then people will be extra excited when your first episode drops LIVE!

And that’s where steps 9 and 10 come in …

Step #9: Soft launch prep. This is where you start up the social hype by talking about your podcast with a release date to get people talking … Get the bee’s a buzzing!

Step #10: Grand opening and marketing. This is the OFFICAL launch! You have your first episode pre-scheduled -- or the first few if you’re a keener and don’t want to feel the pressure of doing an episode per week. You have everything connected to your website; however, you’d like to have it featured. Your promo social posts are written, designed, and pre-scheduled. Or at the very least ready to go, if not using a scheduler. And all is right in the world!

By this point, you've put it in some real effort, a heck of a lot of virtual heavy lifting and there may have even been some sweat n’ tears!

Even if you don't have many downloads yet, it's important to remember that even one download is one real person listening to your show. And that’s progress. It takes time to ramp up the ratings and engagement, so don’t get stuck on the spin cycle refreshing your analytics screen every 3 seconds waiting to see if your numbers have grown.

This is only going to make you crazy and feel discouraged to keep the podcast going.

This is now the time to find groups of people who should be interested in your podcast and then telling them all about it.

Remember when we’re doing this, we need to add value to the people and communities we engage with. They need to know WHY listening to your podcast is going to benefit them … make their lives better or easier … add some fun to their daily routine!

If you just send out a whack of spam links on social or to a bunch of random people, they are going to be just plain turned off and not bother listening. So, whatever you do, don’t be pitchy or shady in your actions. You want to honestly engage with the people and communities you want to engage and offer your podcast as a solution to their pain points -- not become one!

And last but not least …

Step #11: CELEBRATE! You’ve worked so dang hard! You’ve already made it this far and published your first episode! It’s time to take some YOU time -- or team time -- and celebrate your accomplishment.

And from everyone here at VU … CONGRATULATIONS on your newfound digital adventure!

Now, before we leave you with all the steps you need to get the ball rolling and get your audibles created and LIVE into the world … We just wanted to let you know that if this is the virtual space you choose to be in (and blogging is not your jam!) we would LOVE LOVE LOVE to hear all about it and listen to your first episode.

So, feel free to drop us a line with the details!

We love to “share the love” of other people’s hard work and accomplishments. So, if you do happen to send some goodies our way, we will 100% share them with our virtual communities! Consider that an extra motivator and some added work-free engagement.

Good luck on your podcasting adventure. We can’t wait to see what you create!