In this episode of The Podcast Reporter, we discuss my own lessons learned and experiences of value gained from podcasting for the last 15 years, when I became a podcaster — with having been within the podosphere as a listener for the prior 2 years (and with listening to over 100 podcast shows per week, as there were not as many shows as there are now).
In a recent edition of the podnews.net newsletter, we had an article that spoke about what experiences and benefits were learned by someone who had just celebrated seven years in podcasting (you can find it at Bruce Wawrzyniak, the host of Now Hear This who celebrated his 7th anniversary of the show with 367 episodes). Well, as a podcaster with over double the time in the podosphere as an active podcaster, and with over 1000 episodes and 2 million downloads, I wanted to also give you some perspective of an old-timer podcaster.
Now, by old-timer, I don’t mean to state that I was one of the original podcasters when the podosphere started. By no means. There were folks like Gary Leland, Todd Cochrane, CC Chapman, Paul Colligan, Rob Walch and Dave Jackson (among others) that already had podcast shows — and some for almost 2 years since 2004. Among them, I seemed to be a newcomer. And my podcast show that I promoted at the time of the early Podcast and Portable Media conference seemed pale in comparison to the work of those earlier maestros.
But now, after 15 years of podcasting, my current flagship podcast show of PodcastReporter.com has between 500 and 600 episodes; my other show of TheStrugglingBiz.com has over 100 episodes; and my other podcast show of 2030podcast.com has over 50 episodes — and the latter is done with a co-host, Matt Cox (a podcaster with over 12 years of his show, Brunch with the Brits.net).
So the question is: what experiences have I learned from podcasting in 15 years? and what is the suggestion that I deliver to new and aspiring podcasters (even though these will never be posted in the podnews.net newsletter)?
- I have learned that technical skills are important, but that they are not the most important — what is of greatest importance is the value that your show and its episodes will provide to your audience;
- I have learned that your communication with your audience is critical — and that goes for any planned or unplanned absences (remember — even great podcasters like Daniel J Lewis of The Audacity to Podcast show disappeared for almost six months without leaving word to his audience of any planned or unplanned absence. But he later made up for it by publishing an episode explaining his forced absence, and then proceeded to return to the podosphere in many formats. And he keeps being a subject matter expert in his own right);
- I have received value in the faith and commitment of my audience in staying with me, providing me with feedback and commentary, as well as giving word-of-mouth promotion to others in the podosphere;
- I have received value in seeing the number of downloads increasing for each show (in fact, both The Struggling Entrepreneur podcast show — which has podfaded — and this show have had over 1 million downloads each, and still growing), as well as the popularity of my shows increasing;
- I have received value when our 2030podcast.com show received promotion on an international live stream — they played episodes from this show to their audiences; they stated that this was a “quality show” to the audience; and they praised the quality of the audio, as well, to their audience and live stream. And they did this WITHOUT any requests from me or any paid promotion or marketing or sales. This occurred because they found value in the show; and as of the date of this episode, it still continues to be published with various episodes and still continues to receive admiration from listeners who found value in the content of this show, even though none of the serendipity results were planned;
- I found value in other podcasters whom I have met in person or on the web — either a conferences or in remote interviews which I conducted for many of my 16 concurrent podcast shows that I had in 2010, and which I had to whittle down due to health and personal family issues with which I had to deal in 2016 to 2018;
- and finally, I learned that the VALUE FOR VALUE model applies to podcasters who deliver good content to listeners. I learned this when the value was “treasure” (i.e., monetization), as well as “tech” (i.e., learning valuable technical skills and models), as well as “frienship” value (i.e., starting great relationships with the pundits of podcasting and other podcasters).
And these are just a few of the lessons learned from this podcaster in my 15 years as a podcaster and 17 years within the podosphere.
So, if you think that seven years is a lot of time to learn about value in podcasting, try learning from the podcasters who have spent more than double that time within their craft. This will help deliver lessons learned to the new and aspiring podcasters, so that they can improve their skills and become better deliverers of value to their audiences.
Thank you for your attention.
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