E199 – Podcasting Lessons

After 198 episodes over the past 4 years we thought we should do something of a roundup on what we have learned about having guests, sound, tools, format, style, and also a few things that we would have done differently.

Past Podcasting Resource Episodes:

Full Transcript

Mat Siltala: Welcome to another exciting episode of the business of digital podcast, featuring your host, Matt and Dave roar. Hey guys, excited to have you join us another one of these business of digital podcasts. And today we decided it would be good to just jump into some podcasting lessons lessons a day when I’ve learned over the.
[00:00:25] Dave Rohrer: literally years years
[00:00:27] Mat Siltala: now. Yeah, we were talking about it four to five years now. But, um, the thing that you said that surprised me was the last time we did, this was episode 43. If you guys wanted to check that out, but this is episode 1 99. So it’s been a while, Dave
[00:00:43] Dave Rohrer: it’s. Yeah. Uh, we did it to look back on our first 42 episodes kind of, I think it was like the end of the first full year we’d been doing.
Yeah, it was like a plus or minus. But it was after our first year. So we kind of talked about the format guests, first note, guests, frequency, podcast gear, set up recording tools that we kind of used. Um, and I still think that’s the biggest question is always, um, and I saw someone say that there’s, there’s still 300 million podcasts out there looking for you.
On any given day, um,
[00:01:16] Mat Siltala: just think of the amount of spam that you and I get on the daily. What are they wanting? Yeah,
[00:01:21] Dave Rohrer: well, yeah. Number of people that applied to be guests on the show, um, the number of people that were emailing us and pinging us with horrible pitches and we’ve, there’s a w w uh, speaking of, um, episode 85, we did how to get booked on podcasts and basically talked about all of the bad.
And the horrible outreach examples we have. Uh, and that was, and that was what in the two years. So we still had another two or three years of examples probably right now, if I was to go digging in emails. Um, yeah. So I think if you have never, I think my first lesson would be. We sat down and talked through what we wanted to do.
And we actually basically were like, well, we, we chit chat about kind of this stuff anyway, why don’t we just record it? So I think for us, it was a little easier. Um, we’ve never really had a crazy format. We’ve never, um, I know there’s people that have, um, scripts for their podcasts and literally just read the script.
[00:02:27] Mat Siltala: But what you’re touching on. I think that’s the most important thing. And I’ll let you finish your thought, but like, I think the, the thing that, uh, stands out the most is figuring out what works best for you specifically. And for us, that’s what worked well between us, because you and I could have amazing conversations all the time.
And again, like you said, that’s why we decided, Hey, let’s just start recording this stuff. But I think. If we tried to do it any other way, like it might not have been as well. Like this is the style and this is the method that worked for us. And I think that’s what people have to figure
[00:03:02] Dave Rohrer: out. And I think it also depends on what you’re, how you’re approaching it.
So ours was to be a conversational discussion, deep dive into one topic per episode. Now, if you were to listen to marketing, no clock, their format is completely different. They have to have some sort of basic outline. Research, you know, with a list of resources that they always kind of talk about type of thing.
[00:03:28] Mat Siltala: and don’t get me wrong. That’s totally fine. I’m not saying
[00:03:30] Dave Rohrer: no. And that’s just, yeah. And that’s just the format of guests first knows guests, but also the format of discussion conversation. Yeah. Yeah, they do. They cover the weekly news. So I mean their format, their setup, their approach is going to be different than what we do for.
Because that’s not what we do exactly. And it might not be what you do, or maybe you do decide to do that. And that’s what you need to, you know, think through is, you know, how do I capture this throughout the week? How do I capture it throughout the month? Um, you know, in my industry, do I set up feeds? Do I do this?
You know, um, Whatever, whatever makes sense for you. And I think that’s every time people when we’ve talked and given talks, even like Pubcon and other places about podcasting that’s then one of the questions is what should I talk about? I don’t know your industry, like your data, your, your product, your, you know, how people can use your product.
Maybe that’s what makes sense. Well,
[00:04:38] Mat Siltala: well, one for me, what I was going to say is, is. I love that, that the, both of us like, you know, we know, or we recognize that we have a lot to contribute to this industry because I mean, we’ve been doing this for almost two decades now of over two decades, at least myself.
And so I think recognizing that, Hey, you know, we want to share, but we don’t necessarily like, you know, we’ve had the whole, we, the reason we podcast is because we hate blogging or we hate writing. And, you know, we even have shirts made of that. That really was what it came down to for me. Like, I knew that I had, I had a lot that I wanted to share and a lot of years went by when I didn’t share anything because I just hated writing.
And I hated that I had to take that step and put it down in this format, made it so much more easier for me. And so there may be a lot of people out there that have really good information and they have a brain that needs to be picked so to speak, but they necessarily don’t want to like put it out in a content form.
And so like, this is the perfect venue for that. So, and again, I appreciate that you felt the same way and that we could do this.
[00:05:47] Dave Rohrer: Yeah. Cause I mean, that said, Matt, you did write a really long, um, uh, Post on some rush about, you know, everything. Yeah. And that was the
[00:05:57] Mat Siltala: only one in like five years.
[00:06:01] Dave Rohrer: And it was, it was, you know, the deck that I did that, then you also kind of tweaked and we updated.
And we used for, when we gave a talk at pub,
[00:06:09] Mat Siltala: plus Melissa had been bugging me forever. So, you know, yeah. Got to take care of the friends.
[00:06:16] Dave Rohrer: I love how my kid, whatever, um, left my door open so the cats can come in and out. Has decided it now is the time where he’s going to practice. He just wants to know he’s practicing his drumming.
Now he’s got his, he’s got his little drumming pad practice pad, and now he’s, uh, he’s out there doing, you know,
[00:06:33] Mat Siltala: if it makes you feel better, I don’t really hear anything. So we’re getting
[00:06:36] Dave Rohrer: now, I’m just hearing them in the background. I’m like, I’m probably have to edit that out. Or maybe I
[00:06:42] Mat Siltala: won’t, again, podcasting lessons decide what you want.
Like this. Script and it’s proof that you and I just don’t script anything out. It’s just a conversation. This is a real conversation.
[00:06:55] Dave Rohrer: I’m trying to think. Um, oh, the other thing, when we, and I, I went round and round and me I’m on episode 94, kind of talked about the whole podcast, hosting questions, um, and just podcast hosting and your site hosting, like I specifically wanted WordPress for our.
I wanted to, um, and we’ve never gotten big enough for better or worse, um, for us to not piss off our hosting company. Um, yeah. I remember the times where I’ve checked the site and resources were down cause we were getting hammered. Um, but in general, um, on a monthly basis, it hasn’t been all the time. So.
For a little while, got to the point where we almost were going to have to. I was looking at using AWS and SoundCloud and, and other solutions. Um, and of last year I kind of starting to really look at that stuff. But, um, for your hosting, you really just need to decide what type of site makes sense for you.
Are you hosting it with your current site and then figure out where the files are and how big they’re going to be. And it ends up being about a minute, a one Meg.
And for whatever the file is, um, so that you can get into maybe a little bit more than that, but if you want to be in, um, iTunes, it’s not a big deal, but actually Spotify had the highest bit rate requirements. So I think at one time I had our bit rate a little bit lower just to make it easier for people to download and save bandwidth at least.
And then I think I had to move it up to 1 28 or 1 56. I forget what it’s set out when I, when I produced the, uh, file, but like weird things like that, that I didn’t know. And I actually had to go back and tweak some old audio files at one point. Yeah.
[00:08:47] Mat Siltala: Well, and as I was thinking about that, I don’t think a lot of, I mean, other than little things like that, that we’ve learned.
As far as like the core of what it is as far as like best practices. I don’t think a lot of it has really changed since, uh, you know, we’ve put that stuff out there. So, you know, we’ll definitely make sure for everyone that’s listening, we’ll, we’ll put those links in the writeup and, uh, you guys can have access to, to be able to download that guide and any other, you know, listen to the other ones where we talk about, uh, some of, some of that stuff.
[00:09:16] Dave Rohrer: So, and what were some of the other ones? 1 72, where we did, what is the best transcriptions. Early. I was interested in each person.
[00:09:24] Mat Siltala: And did you ever, did you ever feel that you found anything better than what we use?
[00:09:29] Dave Rohrer: No. Um, they did make an update the other day and, uh, sorry. Yeah, descript. Um, they made a change, so I couldn’t figure out how to, um, how was it to, for multiple speakers since there’s two of us, it was.
I didn’t know how to set it and make the little change that it would like not just set everything to those single speaker in the transcript. And it took me like five minutes and I had to go to their website and watch this like animated image. And it was like, oh, you select this. And then you select that.
And I was like, that makes no sense. Um, but otherwise the service is still pretty good. Like from a cost perspective, I was gonna say very affordable. Yeah. From a cost yeah. Perspective. And from a usability perspective, the, the software is really easy. So I can’t really can’t really complain about that. Um, I think the only lesson we’ve probably learned definitely, uh, 43 episode 43 is, um, and I, I was kind of bad about this.
Well, no, I’ll, I’ll say this one first, uh, redundancy. So episode 1 92, which we just did recently, where. Did run into problems and we are recording right now and try cast, but we did run into a problem where try crest try cast was of course down during the time we were going to record. Yeah. So we went back to, and
[00:10:56] Mat Siltala: it worked out perfect.
If you think about it,
[00:10:58] Dave Rohrer: I know it was weird. Odd timing. Yeah. It was. It’s like, we’re doing an episode about redundancy and we’re using our backups. So recording solution, uh, That was a bit too much. Uh, but it worked, but we also have redundant, you know, I have, you know, if, if, um, the script had, you know, continued to really annoy me, I had another solution for the transcript I would have used, you know, if, if TriCast is down, we have another solution.
So we have redundancy with our things, especially if we were to have a guest that we really wanted to get on. And, you know, sometimes Matt and I have had to shuffle schedules. And make it so that, you know, we could get people on during weird times of the day, or I had to move meetings. You know, if, if you’re moving meetings to get someone on and you don’t have multiple solutions or, you know, something goes wrong, technically, which it will from time to time, you’re screwed and you’re going to lose that guest.
Yeah. Especially some of the guests that we had on that, you know, I didn’t expect it for us to get in the last couple of years. Had we had a technical issue without redundancy. We could have lost that interview completely.
[00:12:11] Mat Siltala: And sometimes it’s weird today because, um, I remember it was with Dwayne Forester when we were recording with him, you know, he sounded fine to us.
Like there was, you know, when we’re, we’re recording and having the conversation, like you literally could not hear anything wrong with, uh, with his audio, but then you, you took it and, you know, talked about how low that it had recorded and you had to do some finagling to it. I think. Um, that would probably be the only other thing that I would say that, and maybe I would, this would be more of the, at the forefront of my thought, if we were a guest based, uh, or a guest driven type podcast, if you will, but since we’re not, um, it wasn’t really like always on the, for, you know, on my, on my mind, but maybe doing something to work with, uh, the guests that we had a little bit more on, you know, what kind of a set up do you have, like are using an independent mic?
Don’t don’t use like. You know, one of those built-in one headsets or I don’t know, there’s just things that we’ve learned over the years, that what sounds better and what’s not, but also be prepared for a backup and, you know, make sure your speakers are, are, you know, your volumes up, things like that. But I don’t know, we never really put together a guide for new guests, but we did have a few issues like that.
Uh, again, maybe if we were a guest driven type show, we might’ve had something like that. Uh, but, uh, I do know that that’s one lesson that we learned. You probably learned a whole lot more figuring out how to tweak audio.
[00:13:35] Dave Rohrer: Well, and that’s the, that’s the one thing, if I was to, if we were to start over or if I was to go all the way back, that would be one of the things that I would say for every guest, you need to send them this.
Like I shouldn’t. And I always said I was going to do it. And now I’m like, but we have like one guest a month and pulling like, yeah, out of almost 200 episodes, we’ve had 40 guests. And it’s happened like four or five times where the audio was just, yeah, so it’s like, the audio is just trashed because of, um, because of their like feedback and stuff.
If I used all three audio files and that’s the other thing I think that I quickly learned is when we, I think when we recorded initially on Skype right out of the box, I only looked at solutions that gave me individual auto audio files. Like I was not deep at all or knowledgeable at all when we started four or five years ago.
Yeah. So, but Skype did do individual audio files. I remember it was that, that was why I did say yes, we can at least use this to begin with. Um, and zoom. I know you can use, I know there’s there’s bad audio. But with zoom or we recorded a couple with it just to try it. Um, didn’t love it. Yeah. Um, but with zoom, you can, I think we did that when we had more than one of their guests with, and we didn’t want to try to use Skype or something maybe initially.
Um, but yeah, the having whatever solution you’re using, having those individual audio files for me is the most important thing. Otherwise, you can’t edit anything. Like I can’t edit a squeaky chair. I can’t edit a small charge coming into my office. I can’t edit well, construction noise going on in the background, construction noise.
Or if Matt is closer to his microphone and I am further away right now, I can tweak it the levels a little bit to get us a little bit closer. What are you talking about, Dave? Yeah. Yeah. Um, but. With this single file you can’t like there is, you have to, that’s what it is, especially when it’s coming in from voice type solutions.
Um, we’re not in the same room, so yeah, problems.
[00:16:07] Mat Siltala: Luckily, neither one of us have ever had really any issues with, uh, you know, like every once in a while the kids would just start screaming because of the Internet’s gone down during like a raid or something, you know, that they’re getting. Uh, luckily that’s never happened when we’ve been recording.
[00:16:23] Dave Rohrer: gotten pretty lucky about like, not losing them and not having to redo shows very often.
[00:16:30] Mat Siltala: And I think we only lost like one show. Was it the one I think was it with Melissa? We had to rerecord her.
[00:16:39] Dave Rohrer: I think it wasn’t. I forget why. Yeah. I think that was the only time.
[00:16:43] Mat Siltala: Yeah. Yeah. Like something with the recording.
Didn’t work. But not bad. Uh, you know, a track record of, uh, where we’re at one
[00:16:52] Dave Rohrer: out of 200, you know, it’s not bad. Yeah. Well, not one, sorry, 1 99, 198, assuming this one’s not bad. One out of 199.
[00:17:03] Mat Siltala: Yeah. That’s
[00:17:03] Dave Rohrer: funny. So, yeah, I think that’s the biggest thing is, uh, you know, if from the lesson is, think through what you think is going to work and if it doesn’t then trash it and start over, um, But I think for us, it’s gone pretty well.
Um, and our S you know, I think with the not being guest driven, I think that’s made our life a little bit easier for as far as scheduling and having to worry about that. Yeah.
[00:17:32] Mat Siltala: We have been pretty lucky with the scheduling. We tend to not do the same schedule every week, but it seems to work out so.
[00:17:40] Dave Rohrer: Yeah, because what we know we recorded last week on a Thursday, we were recording this week on a Thursday, but that’s just because that’s how it worked out.
It worked out Darlene, who knows when we record. Um, so, and I think that’s the other thing. The good thing is, um, probably the other lesson that we quickly learned. Um, and we treated the podcast as almost like a content plan is we have a content plan. We have a schedule. Um, we adjusted all the time. Yeah.
And we always, almost always have, uh, episodes in the bank for the most part. Yeah. Lately we haven’t just because of travel and everything. But, um, normally we have at least one or two or three, and then we schedule and we’re like, look at our schedule and we schedule out and like, oh, you know, in two weeks we’re done.
We should probably start looking at, you know, oh, well I’m traveling. Oh, well I’m traveling. Oh, okay. Well then let’s figure out when we can do it before, you know, we will start trying. We both have been pretty
[00:18:39] Mat Siltala: good about, you know, communicating with each other with that schedule too.
[00:18:43] Dave Rohrer: Yeah. If you were going to go out and you’re like, Hey, how many episodes do we still have in the bank?
Cause I’m going to be out for 10 days between you and the kids doing something or, you know, some family thing or, and that’d be like, oh yeah, well I’m gonna be out for a couple of days too. So yeah, we really need to record this week, by the way, like, okay. Um, but I think just having that plan and having our, our list of topics.
And keeping stuff in the bank has, has helped us, you know, freak out ever and not have content when we thought we should. Yeah. So I think that’s it.
[00:19:17] Mat Siltala: There you go. And, uh, again, you know, if there’s any other questions that you guys have just, you know, definitely let us know. We’re, we’re an open book with this kind of stuff.
Um, like I said, links will be dropped and, uh, thank you again. Uh, for listening obviously. And so for Dave Roth, north side metrics, I met Sophia with avalanche media. And thank you guys for listening to this episode. Bye-bye