Podcasters May 8, 2020

Are you thinking about making a podcast?

Justin Jackson @mijustin

If you’re thinking about making a podcast, I’d love to help get you started.

Feel free to reply here if you need mic recommendations, help with the concept of your show, or have other questions. ✌️

(Quick bio for those that don't know me: I'm the co-founder of Transistor.fm a podcast hosting and analytics platform. We host nearly 8,000 podcasts, so I've seen a lot behind the scenes about what works and what doesn't).

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    What do you think of a Podcast in Words?

    My project, https://toddmoses.com/rewind, is "A Podcast In Words On Profiting From Big Mistakes"

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      Is the idea that you're never going to do it in audio? You're just going to write them as blog posts?

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        Never as audio. An interview-style story in the printed text.

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          I read your personal story, and it moved me! I've been there too. 👍

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    I'm thinking about doing a podcast that goes through the first year of law school. I'll lecture on tort law, contracts, Constitutional law, etc. (I'll try my best to make it somewhat entertaining...)

    Do you know a good mic that works with iPhone? The only way I'm gonna get this done is by recording little snippets here and there and that ends up being a lot easier doing it from my phone.

    Edit: Actually one other random question. When you make private podcasts on transistor.fm, I understand that you send out unique feed urls to your users. But are the episode guids the same across those feeds? (I'm building a podcast app and am sort of relying on guids being constant).

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      Nice! I imagine that a lot of law students might be interested in having a podcast that reviews the material they need to know. 👍

      Yup! Any USB mic will usually work with your iPhone. For example, the AT2005 paired with a USB to lightning adapter would work great.

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    Thank you @mijustin for this!
    I actually have been thinking about starting a podcast lately. I think I need a little push to start and try. I love the indie hackers movement, starting a business and entrepreneurship. I'm not an expert myself but I feel these topics are not getting the fair amount of attentions in the middle east (i'm originally from Jerusalem). So I was thinking to start a podcast around these subjects in Arabic.
    Would love to hear your thoughts about this and if there are any Pros & Cons I should be aware of. And of course where I should start.


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      One format that's worked for me: chronicle your personal journey. That's what Jon and I did while we built Transistor. People loved the show because they got to see us start from zero, and build month-by-month.

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    Hi Justin! Thank you for this very helpful post! Do you have a suggestion for how to create a 'sound booth' studio effect on the cheap? I'm looking for a way to cut out background noise without breaking the bank.

    Also, your recommendation for the AT2005 for iPhone... Is this the same mic you'd recommend for a MacBook? Thank you for this very helpful post!

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      Yup, any of the mics I recommend here will be good with a Macbook. 👍

      For a DIY sound booth, the best thing I've found is couch cushions and pillows. Put a bunch of those in the corners of your room, and up against the walls. Rugs on the floor and blankets on the wall also help a lot. (Even better than professional sound panels often!)

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        @mijustin Thanks! I had no idea about the couch cushions but that makes total sense ha ha. Interesting! Thank you for the great tips

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    What do you think is better? Consistent schedule or publishing less frequently / only when you've produced something really worth publishing & refine it?

    Thanks in advance,


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      It really depends on the audience and topic of the show, but early-on, consistency helps a lot. When people know they can expect a new episode every week, they're more likely to give you a shot.

      Also, your first podcast likely won't be your best. So it helps to practice as much as you can!

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        That's definitely a valid point, the trends show that consistency helps a lot. Like you said, I suppose it's all about coming to terms with the fact that it's going to take 20+ episodes for people to get the hang of it and start enjoying the process/ find it easier...

        That being said, in terms of growth – I feel like podcasting isn't the right move for most people unless they already have a pre-existing audience of people (email list) where they're able to grow from those people enjoying the content & sharing it.

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    I want to do podcast but more like recorded talk over "hangouts". It should be zero costs. Any recommendation for apps to.use?

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      Use Skype (they have built-in call recording now).

      There are a few other recommendations here:

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    I've been thinking of starting a podcast for the last few months to talk about - responsible travel, social enterprises, and continuous learning but not able to decide on a focused niche.

    Is it important to have one main concept or I can start, do a few episodes on each topic and then decide which one gets more traction?

    Secondly, how important is it to have a unique name for the podcast than just using your name? For ex. The Ayush Jain Podcast/Show

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      I like the idea of doing your first 3-4 episodes on a different topic, and see which topics get the most traction! I would even name it simply "Responsible travel," "Social enterprise," "Continuous learning."

      Keywords are important, but for search results, but also to help people quickly decide if they want to list.

      Increasingly, I think the name for your show should also be SEO focused. Someone looking for the best podcasts about farming will search "best farming podcasts."

      If your podcast is called "The Farming Podcast," you're more likely to get found, as opposed to calling your show: "Steve Smith – the modern agrarian."

      Ideally, you'll want to include your target keywords in the title of your show. Many podcast apps will only index the names of the podcasts themselves (not the descriptions).

      I talk more about this here: https://transistor.fm/ideas-promote-podcast

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        Thanks Justin. Great advice, and the article was insightful too.


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    Hey @mijustin, I have thought about it, and I have two questions.
    1 - what is the minimum set of equipment you would buy to start a podcast, see if it works, and not break the bank in something that might not be for you?
    2 - what would trigger you to start a podcast today, and what would make you stop?

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      1. A good dynamic microphone (like the Samson Q2U, or the ATR2100) with a USB connection that you can plug into your computer or phone or tablet. (About $65 USD)

      2. I get triggered to start new podcasts all the time! 😅 The same rules that apply to business ideas also apply to podcasts.

      Good podcast ideas are observations paired with hunches.

      Observation: "This is what people are doing. This is what people want. This is where the market is headed."

      Hunch: "Here's a way we could help people to get the result they want (and do it better than what's currently available)."

      The results of your execution hinge on the strength of your original idea. How clear was your initial observation? How correct was your hunch?

      Here's a post on that: https://justinjackson.ca/good-ideas

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    I'm probably a little late to the party, but still going to try my luck.

    I've recorder three interviews for my podcast @ builtwithdjango.com (not launched yet) and am now at the editing stage (+ taking notes). This process is killing me. I am planning also planning to go a podcast with my friend and just can't imagine doing all the editing ourselves. It requires a lot of time, even for the super light editing.


    • How do you feel about hiring an editor / producer?
    • Do you have any advice on finding one?

    Thanks a ton in advance.

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      @rasulkireev when we hired @iChris to do our editing it was a game-changer. His company is called Lemon Productions and he's great.

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        Thanks for the recommendation @mijustin! If anyone has any questions about how it works to have a podcast editor involved in your project I'm happy to answer any here.

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        Thanks for sharing this Justin!

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    This comment was deleted 3 months ago.

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      1. It doesn't have to be! I do a podcast for MegaMaker members that I regularly record in the parking lot after grocery shopping. I record it on my iPhone (in voice memos) and upload it directly to Transistor.fm.

      For most folks, the most time-consuming part is the editing. Jon and I hire Chris Enns to do our editing now.

      1. The first time you submit to Apple Podcasts it can take up to 5-8 days for them to manually review it. Here's my recommendation: record a short trailer episode and submit it right away.

      2. Your show has to be entertaining. It has to keep listeners engaged. It can still be a "share your journey" type podcast, but keep the flow going. It really helps to write out an outline (especially when you're getting started). Aim for shorter podcasts if you're starting a new one.

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