Commentary

If You have a Podcast, Here’s the Right Way to Deal With Criticism

If you’re behind a microphone, in whatever capacity in whatever particular field of broadcasting, then there are two things you will not be able to escape.
The first of these is that your voice will not sound the same when you listen back to your work. This can make you cringe and a little self-conscious. But you’ll get used to it. It’s actually helpful to hear back what you’ve recorded.
The other thing you’ll face is criticism.

There are two types of criticism you can face. One of these is actually super helpful and you should bare it in mind to help you grow. The other can be harmful. So it’s important to know the difference, and then to train yourself to block the latter out.

1.) CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM

Constructive criticism is good. With this, people are listening to your podcast and giving you their honest opinions on how you can make it better for them.
Different people will have different opinions, so it’s good to get a wide variety of constructive criticism. It is designed to help push you and make you better. And to make your podcast better.

2.) NEGATIVE CRITICISM

Negative criticism shouldn’t be a thing, but unfortunately, it can happen. This is only designed to annoy you and bring you down.
HOW TO DEAL WITH CRITICISM
However, criticism of you can happen, be it constructive or negative. But when somebody ever criticizes me personally, then I have two options.

Ignore It
I can choose to ignore the criticism. Some people are only ever happy when they are unhappy. These people love to moan and might feel like they are an expert at everything. So they have opinions about how best to do the job you do. But they are not actually doing your job. And there is a reason for that.

So take solace in the fact that they are listening to you. And you’ve done enough for them to form an opinion of you or your show. That means you’ve had an impact!

Engage With It??

You can decide to actually engage with the criticism, but you should beware of what comes with that.
I have done this. I have called up a texter who has sent in criticism and I have replied to tweets and Facebook messages. I’ve opened a dialogue.
If you decide to engage, the key is to be professional at all times. Don’t lower yourself to their level, and plan your response. I normally find the people I have engaged with tend to stop criticizing.
If you engage and do it well, you can win them over. You can turn negative criticism into constructive criticism.

THEY ARE YOUR LISTENER, YOU’RE NOT THEIR LISTENER
No matter what kind of criticism you receive, and no matter how you react to it, it’s important to remember one thing. They are your listener, you’re not their listener.

I always have this thought in my mind when any criticism comes my way. You are talking about me, I am not talking about you. This is not me being arrogant, this is me merely pointing out the fact that I am behind a mic doing the job I love to do. And I have worked very hard to do this.
I’m having an impact, people are listening and forming an opinion about me which is exactly what I want. So to critics, I say, thank you for listening and talking about me, it shows I am doing something right.
So if you are behind a mic in whatever capacity and somebody criticizes you, deal with it and get on with the job. They are listening to you, not the other way round.
***READ MORE HERE: How To Deal With Criticism
This post appeared first on the website: The Podcast Host

15 Ways to Grow Your Podcasting Audience

There are a lot of us who, upon entering into the world of podcasting, we tell ourselves, “I’m just doing this for fun. It doesn’t matter if it brings me opportunities to add a revenue stream to my income.” But a podcast needs listeners. 
Let’s be frank, we don’t become podcasters in order to record our own voices and essentially, talk to ourselves. We can do that just fine in our own homes without spending the time, money, and effort it takes to produce a podcast. We all have an idea to share or a skill we want to teach others.

The simple fact is, the larger your audience, the faster your podcast will grow. And with that large, growing audience, you can generate opportunities to make some extra money on the side, in order to subsidize your podcast and keep it going.

15 simple steps to help you grow your audience

1.) PODCAST SHOW TITLE

Think of a great title to your podcast. This may seem like a no-brainer, but the title of your podcast should be easy to remember, easy to differentiate from other podcasts targeting a similar audience and tell potential listeners what it’s about. To grow your podcast you need a memorable name. Considering all that, it’s worth the time to take a moment to think about a title for your podcast.

2.) AUDIO EQUIPMENT

Invest in good equipment. Equipment plays an important role in podcasting. If the equipment is flawed, your audio might cut in and out, sound staticky or muffled. Regardless of how fascinating your topic might be, if your equipment is making your podcast hard to listen to, listeners will tune out! Even if your budget doesn’t allow for high-end stuff, you can find great podcasting tools for any budget.

3.) PODCAST HOSTING

Grab a good hosting company. Regardless if you’re new to podcasting or not, it’s vital to make sure your hosting company is up to snuff. Meaning, make sure they will help you troubleshoot any issues that may arise. Also, check to see if they cater to larger podcasts or smaller ones. A few great places to start investigating to see if they fit your needs would be WordPress, Lisbyn, and Simlecast.

4.) YOUTUBE CHANNEL

Consider utilizing YouTube. There will always be people who prefer to watch a video than listen to a podcast. As a result, some podcasters have opted to also incorporate YouTube into their podcasting toolbox. What they have done is, after recording an episode, they upload the audio to YouTube as an “audio-only” file. Others have used video to record themselves as they record their podcasts, creating a sort of video-podcast. And still, other podcasters will live-stream their podcasts on YouTube as they record their episodes.

5.) TARGET LISTENER

Consider your specific audience. What do you want to talk about? Again, this may seem like a no-brainer, but the more specific you are when considering your topics, the more specific you can be in regards to the audience you’re trying to reach. Knowing the specific audience you’re trying to reach will help you in reaching them more effectively.

6.) INTERACT 

Engage listeners by getting their input. Coming up with new episode topics that specifically caters to your listeners can eventually become an overwhelming prospect. So why not take some of that burden off your shoulders and ask your listeners what they want to hear? It’s also a great way to interact with your audience and make them feel part of the show.

7.) EVALUATE YOURSELF

Pay attention to which episodes are being downloaded the most. This will give you a good idea for future topics because it can show you the type of content your audience is interested in. However, just also be aware that sometimes, the number of downloads doesn’t always equal the number of times a specific episode has –actually- been listened to.

8.) NETWORK

It’s always a good idea to get out there and network with other people in the same field or with similar interests. The more people you meet with similar interests, the more chances you have to promote your podcast. Through networking, you’ll not only promote your podcast, but you can get ideas for shows and potential guests on those shows.

9.) GET SOCIAL

Experiment with social media. It should go without saying that we are in the age of social media. Social media is an awesome tool to utilize, especially for podcasters. Don’t back yourself into a corner by –only- using Facebook or Twitter. Think about where your audience is: are they on Pinterest? Or, Instagram? Or, Snapchat? Figure out your audience’s preferred platform and engage them there. Like and respond to their comments. Ask them questions and get them involved with your podcast.

10.) WEBSITE

Build a great website and blog. If you’re just starting out, something simple and clean should suffice. But, when you are able, maybe think about talking to a web designing professional who will help you create a fun, interactive website for your listeners. Also, consider writing a blog to go along with your show. I know, blogging may seem like “one more thing” to do. But, you don’t have to write long dissertations. Perhaps a blurb about your latest episode, or your thoughts on an interview or guest you had on, should suffice. The point is, more content for your audience (and potential audience) to engage with is never a bad thing.

11.) NOTES AND TIME-STAMPS

Consider time-stamped show notes. Once you’ve uploaded your show, you should at least give your episode a brief description for those who want to have an idea to know what it’s about and perhaps interest them in downloading it. Time-stamped show notes are a great way to engage listeners, especially those who don’t have a lot of time to listen to your whole podcast or, those who really just want to listen to a particular portion of your episode. Time-stamps allow them to skip the part they want to hear.

12.) INSTRUCT YOUR FANS 

Call-to-action. After your audience listens to your podcast, what do you want them to do? Follow you on Twitter? Visit your website? Buy your book? Give your audience a call-to-action, whatever that action is that you’d like for them to do.

13.) ESTABLISH A SCHEDULE

Upload regularly. It’s often hard to keep the momentum going on a new podcast. Thinking of new episodes every week or every two weeks might become daunting. However, it’s vital to figure out a schedule and stick to it. If you upload irregularly or, if you start uploading weekly then, walk away, your audience may start to walk away, too.

14.) GUEST HOSTING

Be on other podcasts, have other podcast hosts on yours. Guest hosting, or being a guest on others’ podcasts, as well as having other podcast hosts on yours, is a great way to branch out and grow your audience. Potentially, you can add more listeners to your podcast as the audience from other podcasts check you out.

15.) MARKETING

Don’t stop marketing yourself. When you start seeing your audience number grow, you may be tempted to rest on your laurels and stop marketing your podcast. DON’T! As any business owner will tell you, you should never stop promoting your business. And in this case, your business is your podcast! As the time goes by, your audience will grow and even change. Don’t assume that your listeners will be there for the long-haul.
Hopefully, these 15 tips will help you get started in growing your podcasting audience. Can you think of any more you would like to share? Comment below.
Next, read tips on how to keep your podcast running smoothly

Why you should get help editing your podcast?

Whether or not you’re new to podcasting, or if you’re a veteran, outsourcing the production of your podcast may be worth considering. Reasons for outsourcing the production of podcasts vary, but oftentimes it includes things like inexperience with audio production and editing, lack of knowledge with website publishing, and the knowledge that professional production and editing will give them the best chance for success. In addition, it can also allow podcasters more time on other activities that may require your attention as well as give their podcasts a professional feel and sound.
That said, if you’re one of those podcasters who is contemplating whether or not you should outsource the production of your podcast, you may be wondering if it’s worth investing in a professional service or, if you should simply find someone who will produce your podcast for less of an up-front investment
The truth is, it really depends on your budget and what you’re willing to invest into your podcast. If, for example, you’re simply podcasting for a hobby and you’re not truly dedicated to seeing it grow to become a bigger part of your life, then perhaps finding a budget service or even doing it yourself might be your best bet. However, if you’re interested in making your podcast grow, and potentially finding advertisers to make money off your podcast, then perhaps investing in a professional service is the right path to take.
Budget services can include (but aren’t limited to) places like Fiverr.com. Freelancers tend to offer their services on websites like Fiverr and sometimes, you can really find talented producers and audio editors on such websites. While at other times, some podcasters have reported getting the opposite results. The point is, using such services or “budget buys” for your production and audio needs can be a bit of “hit-or-miss”. The best bet, should you choose to use this method to outsource, is to check reviews or referrals. In that manner, you may find a person with good production skills.
Professional services may be a bit pricey, but they may end up being worth the investment in the long run, particularly if you intend to make money off of your podcast. First of all, you know you’re getting a service that employs people well versed in production and audio editing. Secondly, you may be hiring a team of people to help you. Meaning, your podcast won’t be put on hold if someone on the team goes on vacation or gets sick. And lastly, professionals usually come with a lot of experience and advice that they can give you in order to make sure that you and your podcast put your best foot forward.
When making a decision between a budget service or a professional one, just be sure to ask yourself a few questions: do you have the money to invest in a professional service? If your show doesn’t have the best production, how will that affect your goals for your podcast? If you can’t afford a professional service, would it be worth the risk of investing in a budget service?
Remember your goals for your podcast. Is this for fun or, is it to build a relationship with your audience and perhaps build a revenue stream down the line? If the answer is the latter, it is within your best interest to get professionals involved In order to make sure that your podcast is of the highest quality.

Why are so many podcasts doing LIVE shows?

You’ve probably seen it floating past your eyes in your social media feeds: the such-and-such podcast was going to be recording LIVE in this city or that city. Outlets like RadioLab, Crooked Media, Ricochet, and even NPR have all done this: recording a podcast in front of a live audience.
As a podcast host (or, potential podcast host) you might be thinking, “Is this a good idea for me?” The answer isn’t quite so simple. On the one hand, it’s a great opportunity to meet and connect with listeners and potential listeners, as well as gain access to additional revenue. However, putting on a live show requires a different skill set than simply recording in your studio or home studio (as the case may be.)
Also, it’s important to point out that not every podcast has a formula that can translate well to a “live show”. Now, to be clear, one need not have a background in theater or have a podcast about musicals in order to put on a great live show. Not at all. Political podcasts tend to do rather well, contrary to what most may think when conjuring up the idea of a “live show”, due to the attraction to strong personalities in podcast political punditry.
And that gets down to the point. Many things are personality-driven and live shows, even more so. In many respects, we have turned our favorite podcast hosts (regardless of the content) into a sort of celebrity. When we come together to see our favorite podcast live, we are able to mingle with other listeners or, fans.
All of that said, if you can pull off the logistics, manage the budget, and time that it takes to put on a live show, it may well be worth it. The biggest benefit again would have to be the physical connection to your audience. Podcasting is about building a relationship with your listeners and meeting them in a live setting is a great way to become acquainted with those who support you and get their input on what they would like to hear more of, or less of, for that matter. Secondly, it’s a good way to get an additional income stream (from ticket sales) to balance out ad revenue. Plus, if you have merchandise (books, t-shirts, mugs…etc.) sales from those items can also add to your bottom line. This additional income can help you to put on more shows in the future as well as simply continuing your podcast in general.
So, should you do a “live podcast show”? We would recommend taking stock of the content of your show and if you feel that the content wouldn’t translate well in front of a live audience, perhaps think of shaking up the old formula for that one special event. Again, if you can pull off the logistics and stay in budget, it may well be worth your time to go out and meet up with your listeners and have some fun.

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