Updated: Nov 12
Podcasting Before It Was Cool
Erik Fisher has been podcasting longer than anyone we know. So, when it was time to teach a podcasting masterclass, we knew he was the right person for the job. And let me tell you, Erik did NOT disappoint! This masterclass is chock-full of podcasting gold that will help current and future podcasters take their podcasting game to the next level.
The Importance of a Good Microphone
Erik shares many tips in this masterclass but kicks off our discussion by discussing the benefits of having a good microphone for podcasting. He raves about the Heil PR 40 microphone, well-known for its exceptional audio performance. However, he makes it clear that starting a podcast doesn't have to break the bank.
“You don't have to have a three to four-hundred-dollar microphone to start.”
He suggests the ATR 2100 microphone as a budget-friendly alternative, typically priced between $60 and $100. This option offers decent audio quality without straining your finances. Regardless of your choice, Erik emphasizes that having a microphone is crucial for achieving professional audio quality in your podcasts.
Furthermore, Erik underscores the importance of using a microphone and good-quality headphones for real-time audio monitoring during recording. This practice helps catch potential issues like disconnects or audio problems before they affect the podcast. He learned this lesson from experience and strongly recommends that listeners use headphones during recording to avoid similar problems.
Exploring Microphone Options
Below are Erik’s recommendations tailored to different budgets and podcasting requirements:
Heil PR 40: Renowned for its exceptional audio quality, the Heil PR 40 is a microphone favored by many podcasters. Keep in mind that it does come with a higher price tag.
ATR 2100: If you're looking to keep costs in check or just starting out, the ATR 2100 is a dependable choice. It's priced at approximately $60 to $100, offering respectable audio quality without breaking the bank.
Consider Other Options: A wide range of microphones are available beyond the Heil PR 40 and ATR 2100. Explore these options to find one that fits your budget and recording needs.
Remember, the key is to begin with a microphone that aligns with your current situation. As your podcast progresses, you could consider upgrading your equipment for even better audio quality.
Recording Equipment Essentials
Erik also offers valuable advice on podcast recording equipment for beginners and experienced podcasters. He emphasizes the importance of a reliable recording method, as it significantly influences the reliability of your podcast. While software options can be effective, he suggests exploring hardware-based alternatives for added security and dependability.
“Software can crash… then you're done. You've got to start all over. You don't know where the files are, et cetera.”
Additionally, Erik mentions a versatile hardware recorder that serves as an audio interface and offers backup recording to an SD card, ensuring your podcast remains secure in the face of unexpected technical issues. He briefly touches on software solutions for transcription, audio editing, and audio enhancement, underlining the significance of dependable equipment and adaptability to various podcasting scenarios.
Recording Hardware and Software Options
Erik discusses several hardware and software options for podcast recording. These hardware and software options offer podcasters a range of choices to ensure reliable and high-quality recordings, focusing on ease of use.
Riverside: a dependable software solution for remote podcast recording, known for its reliability and robust features. It provides a platform for high-quality recordings, making it a popular choice among podcasters.
Squadcast: another effective software option for remote podcast recording, offering a reliable platform for capturing podcast episodes. It's designed to ensure high-quality audio recordings, making it a valuable tool for podcasters.
Descript: a versatile software solution combining transcription and advanced audio editing capabilities. It allows podcasters to edit audio by directly editing the text, streamlining post-production processes, and enhancing overall audio quality.
Skype: a widely-used communication platform for making audio and video calls. It's commonly employed for podcast interviews and conversations, providing a convenient way to connect with guests and record conversations.
Ecamm: a software solution that offers recording capabilities, making it a useful tool for capturing podcast episodes. It records separate audio and video tracks, providing flexibility in post-production.
Adobe Creative Cloud: encompasses various creative tools, including Adobe Audition, a popular choice for audio editing. Podcasters can leverage Creative Cloud's free tools to enhance audio quality before the editing stage.
Rodecaster Series: includes versatile hardware recorders that also function as audio interfaces. They are known for their reliability and provide a safeguard with backup recording options to ensure secure podcast recording.
iPhone: can be equipped with external accessories for high-quality mobile podcast recording. They offer flexibility for podcasters on the go, making them suitable for various recording scenarios.
Handheld Recorders: portable devices ideal for recording podcasts in various settings. They offer reliability and convenience, making them suitable for mobile and stationary podcasting.
Project Management and Planning
Organizing and planning ahead is key to making a great podcast. Erik outlines several software choices for managing podcast projects, including electronic substitutes for traditional whiteboards with moveable cards.
“The great thing is you can set these up to work like that digital board where you move it from left to right. And it's different stages, and you add in notes, and different people have different access.”
These tools help podcasters track episodes, guest bookings, recording schedules, and release dates, facilitating efficient project management and progress visualization.
Podcast Project Management Options
Below are some of the applications mentioned:
Trello: Visual project management tool for tracking podcast episode progress, guest bookings, and schedules.
monday.com: Collaborative platform for organizing and monitoring podcast-related tasks and activities.
ClickUp: Customizable workspace to track podcast episode progress, collaborations, and schedules.
Asana: Simplified project management with digital boards for efficient podcast planning and execution.
Finding and Hiring Editors
Editors are essential for polishing content and making it audience-ready. Erik highlights the factors affecting the cost of hiring an editor and underscores the importance of trust in such partnerships. Starting prices for episodes may be anywhere from $50 and $100. However, this can vary widely depending on who you hire.
He suggests platforms like PodPros to find reputable editors recommended by peers. Additionally, he notes that some editors favor direct, private engagement over public recognition.
Podcast communities are rich resources for creators seeking collaboration and knowledge. Erik emphasizes the benefits of a podcasters-only Discord server as an alternative to more general platforms like Facebook groups. In these spaces, members can connect, exchange insights, and ask questions. He also recommends communities that offer opportunities like review swaps and guest-hosting exchanges.
Podcast Communities Mentioned
PodPros: a community that facilitates collaboration through various activities.
PodMatch: a platform designed for podcasters seeking compatible guests.
PodLottery: a community that enables rating and review swaps.
PodTalks: an educational podcast summit.
PodScore: a tool that evaluates a podcaster's strengths and offers personalized growth strategies and monetization recommendations.
Podcast Hosting Services
Choosing the right podcast hosting platform is one of the crucial decisions for any budding podcaster. It's where your podcast files are stored, distributed, and made available for your audience to listen to. Erik shared insights into various podcast hosting options to help you get started on the right foot.
Erik also discusses the benefits of Spotify for podcasters, especially its free hosting option, which is advantageous for newcomers.
“That's a quick, easy way to not have a minimum… $10 to $20 a month charge for hosting, which for some people is kind of hard, especially when you're trying to get your practice in public.”
Erik’s Top Hosting Services:
Exploring Podcast Advertising Strategies
In podcasting, making money from your show can be a game-changer, whether you're funding your passion project or turning it into a business. Erik shares his insights on effective advertising strategies to boost your podcast's income potential.
Erik’s Advertising Strategies:
Dynamic Ad Insertion (DAI): DAI is a game-changer, allowing you to insert ads into your episodes even after they've gone live. Erik underscores the immense potential for monetization through strategically placed ads using DAI.
Strategic Collaboration with Ad Agencies: Erik emphasizes the advantages of partnering with ad agencies like True Native Media to streamline dynamic ad insertion. Such collaborations can substantially boost your podcast's ability to generate revenue.
Strategic Planning for Ad Insertion: Erik recommends early preparation to maximize advertising opportunities. Start by identifying key ad insertion points within your episodes. He also suggests creating a well-organized spreadsheet to track episode details and ad placements meticulously.
Leveraging the Spotify Audience Network (SPAN): Erik discusses the Spotify Audience Network, which provides podcasters access to a wide range of advertising options. This network covers various ad categories, empowering podcasters to choose relevant sponsors and diversify their income sources.
Maximizing Podcast Growth: Tips and Strategies
In the masterclass, Erik shares a wealth of valuable insights and strategies to foster podcast growth. Below are some of his tips and strategies essential for growing your podcast audience and building a thriving community of listeners.
“Best tip for growth is consistently releasing a show.”
Stick to a Consistent Schedule: Make sure you release episodes regularly to keep your audience engaged and growing.
Get Involved in Podcasting Communities: Join groups where podcasters support each other and share your show to reach new listeners.
Connect Through Platforms like Pod Pros and Pod Match: Use these platforms to network with other podcasters, find potential guests, and introduce your show to wider audiences.
Feature Interesting Guests: Hosting compelling guests can pique the interest of new listeners who want to hear their insights.
Appear as a Guest: Expand your reach by appearing on other podcasts and introducing your show to their audience.
Use Social Media Wisely: Promote your episodes and interact with your audience on social media. Consider creating eye-catching content like audiograms to attract more attention.
The benefits of podcast monetization not only include potential revenue but also enhanced audience growth. Erik stresses that creators shouldn't be discouraged by their current audience size. He goes on to discuss various strategies for making money from your podcast:
Create Your Own Products: Consider lending credibility to your courses or products through the quality of your podcast content.
Dynamic Ad Insertion: Explore the flexibility of incorporating ads dynamically or embedding them within your episodes.
Micro-Purchases: Introduce small, affordable purchases to familiarize your audience with the concept of supporting your podcast.
Programmatic Ads: Explore programmatic ad options and brand deals to monetize your show further.
Promo Swaps: Collaborate with other podcasters to promote your shows.
Feed Drops: Investigate services like Podroll.fm to extend your podcast's reach through snippet promotions on other podcasts.
Exploring Blinkist and Shortcast
Blinkist is a platform that Erik collaborates with, offering summarized versions of best-selling nonfiction books. It enables users to grasp core concepts in just 15 minutes. Recently, Blinkist has expanded to include Shortcasts, catering to audiences seeking short, informative content. Erik's productivity guide, which provides insights on effective time management, is a notable feature on the platform.
On the other hand, Shortcasts present concise versions of select podcasts, such as those by Erik. These bite-sized episodes, typically ranging between seven to ten minutes, provide listeners with a distilled essence of the original content.
For those contemplating a foray into podcasting or seeking condensed knowledge, both Blinkist and Shortcasts are great options to consider.
Eriks Best Tips for Growing Your Podcast
Erik shares his invaluable insights and tips on how to grow your podcast effectively. Whether you're just starting or looking to take your podcast to the next level, these strategies will help you build a larger and more engaged audience:
Consistency is Key: Release your podcast episodes on a consistent schedule. This reliability helps build trust with your audience and keeps them coming back for more.
Persevere Through Low Numbers: Don't be discouraged if your listener count is initially low. Keep in mind that every successful podcaster starts with a small audience. Trust in your content, and remember that you have something valuable to offer.
Set Achievable Milestones: Instead of fixating on massive listener numbers, set achievable milestones. Aim for 100 listeners, then 200, and so on. Gradual growth is still progress.
Stick to Your Release Schedule: Once you've chosen a release schedule, stick to it religiously. Consistency in your podcast's delivery is vital for retaining and growing your audience.
Avoid Burnout: Don't overexert yourself. Choose a podcasting plan that aligns with your capacity and maintains consistency without burning out.
Engage with Podcasting Communities: Be active in podcasting communities to connect with fellow podcasters and potential listeners. Networking within these communities can be a valuable resource for growth.
Leverage Podmatch: Explore platforms like Podmatch to get your podcast in front of new and diverse audiences. This can significantly expand your reach and introduce your show to potential fans.
Prioritize Consistency and Quality: Consistency and delivering high-quality content are the foundations of a successful podcast. Focus on these two aspects to foster listener loyalty and attract new followers.
Build a Strong Community: Encourage your audience to feel like they are part of your community. Engage with them, respond to their feedback, and make them feel like an integral part of your podcast's journey.
Feature Great Guests: Invite compelling and relevant guests to your show. Their unique perspectives and expertise can attract their audience to your podcast.
Guest Appearances: Don't hesitate to offer your expertise as a guest on other podcasts. This cross-promotion can introduce your podcast to a broader audience.
…And That’s a Wrap!
Huge thanks again to Erik for coming on and sharing so much podcast GOLD!
These tips will serve as your roadmap to growing your podcast effectively and cultivating a dedicated listenership. Whether you're new to podcasting or a seasoned pro, these strategies are sure to elevate your show's success.
To learn more about or connect with Erik you can find him at BeyondTheToDoList.com
As you take these steps towards podcasting success, be sure to check out our FREE BUSINESS COURSE to unlock the knowledge and resources to fuel your entrepreneurial journey. And for more podcasting awesomeness, tune in to “Episode 33: This Couple Has Grown a Successful Business By Talking About Dinosaurs! How to Start, Grow, and Monetize a Podcast - With Garret Kruger of The I Know Dino Podcast.”