5 Tips to Make Your Podcast Better, Fresher, Newer
So you’ve been podcasting for a few years now. You like your show but there has been something nagging in the back of your head saying things are getting a little stale. Your numbers have been stagnant for a while now and you want to push the audience a little more. But what do you do?
Well fear not! Today we’ll look at 5 things you can do to breathe some new life into that old podcast. It might just bring more listeners / viewers and make you excited about podcasting again.
1. Change the Name of the Podcast – Or at least Amend it with 2.0!
My flagship podcast – the Geekazine Weekly Podcast – was way too long and hard to promote. Two years ago I decided to make the change and shorten the name.
I went through many idea – searching the Internet to make sure others don’t have that same name. Geek Smack! was one of 20 names I had on a list – From Geek Rock! to Smack the Geek! Geek Smack! was short, had a URL I could attach to it and gave the podcast new life. I could add the tag line “Where we smack the geek out of ya”.
You might not want to change the name of your podcast. Consider putting an addendum to it. YourPodcast 2.0 or YourPodcast Reboot. A name change adds a level of freshness to a show. People that have passed off on your podcast might just come back to see what you’ve done different (So you better wow them).
2. Change Your Artwork
Actually, you should make a plan to change your artwork every 2 years. Partly because iTunes changes the rules. New artwork also is a lot like a name change – makes people feel they should catch up on the show.
When you create artwork, you should have the following banners created: 1400×1400 for iTunes, 600×600 for other podcatchers. 300×300, 250,250 and 144×144 for different sites. 1000×250 for a header banner, 125×125 for any ads or Facebook/Google+ cover art.
Most Important: have one 1280×720. This is for video covers and use on YouTube. If you have a featured image on your website, using the 720p resolution image will let you know you work in HD (even if you don’t do video).
3. Script Key Points
I hear too many people say a script is too much like work. Reality is, a script is familiarity to a listener. If you create scripts for key parts and practice them, people will notice.
I talked about this for Creating a Podcast Intro that People will Remember. You don’t have to script the whole show – just areas that you want to run solid. Like the first 2 minutes of your show.
Another reason to script – you keep the “Umm” out. There is no tripping over what to say because you already know what to say. Best part is you can add catchphrases which people might start associating with you.
4. Show Structure – Add Breaks to Your Podcast
If you run a 7 minute podcast, I wouldn’t worry about this too much. If you run an hour podcast then you might want to consider adding a break or two.
Geek Smack! is usually 40-45 minutes. I broke it up into 4 parts – Opening section, Part I (Tech Smack!), Part II (Geek Smack!) and an editorial at the end. Each section gets an intro and about 2-3 seconds before that intro starts.
There is a reason why television shows have their content 7 minutes at a time (OK, maybe two reasons). One is to sell product, but the other is to give your mind a mental break. You get a chance to soak up the information given to you so when you come back, you are ready for another 7 minutes of information.
It also gives you the chance to add the tease. “Coming up, Polar Bears dancing in Tutus and umbrellas!” Thats what they do on the news. Some TV shows start with the ending at the beginning, then rewind the situation. Or maybe it will be at the 35 minute mark and we are invested enough to want the climactic conclusion.
You might thing a break is dead-air. It’s actually a place to reset your audiences’ brains.
5. Refocus Your Show
When I started the Geekazine Weekly Podcast, the tech new centered around Mac vs. PC. Today its gone to Apple vs Android, Google vs Facebook, Google vs Bing and it seems that Microsoft is not to be found.
We also moved from desktops to mobile devices. At one point I didn’t talk about smartphones. Eventually that changed. I also talked more on IT in government, but as I moved farther away from that in my own life, it lost the spot in my show.
Back in March I wrote an article in a series called Create a Focus-List. I compared it to American Pickers’ Frank and Mike’s list they hand out to all the people they meet. If you watch the show, you know that Mike will geek out on bicycles and Frank will geek out on oil cans and old toys.
What do people associate your show with? If someone wants to find out tech news related to Apple, do they come to your show? If you do comedy, do people know you to be a slapstick comedian or a thought-provoking comedian?
You can veer off topic from time to time. Just don’t do it too much. Stick to your focus list and you might find equal-minded people start consuming your show more.
8 Other Ways to Make Your Podcast Better, Fresher, Newer
Some other suggestions to get re-invigorated include:
- Upgrade some equipment: Maybe a new microphone or software to record. Get a tablet or just a new chair
- Learn something new and share with your audience: If you are learning a new language, give people a word of the day
- Get the community involved: What do you think of this? Email me with your comments
- Improve show notes with full tagging
- Improve your grammar: Doesn’t hurt to get a couple speech classes or learn a few things about your voice
- Set Goals for the shows: Some people have a “Secret word” which they try to put in the show. A call to action is another goal to have
- Smile more: I’ve said it in Podcast Using Hand Gestures and I’ll say it again. People can hear your smile. So do it.
- Listen to your shows: The only way to learn is to know you did something right – wrong.
The bottom line is you have the opportunity to refocus, reboot and reinvigorate your show. Make your voice heard by working on it slowly. Nothing happens overnight. Beethoven wrote a lot of music before his Symphonies were heard and enjoyed by all. Shakespeare’s early works were probably pieces of crap. So work on your show and you’ll notice the people showing up.