49: How to get to 50 episodes on your podcast

Half of all podcasts have fewer than 14 episodes. When we started Humans of Martech, we were determined not to become a statistic. As we near the end of our first season and approach our 50th episode, we wanted to give you a peek behind the curtain to see how we think about this show. For us, at least, the idea of hitting 50 episodes is a big milestone -- and anyone thinking of starting their own shows -- whether it’s a personal project or for your company -- needs to be prepared to put in some work.

Half of all podcasts have fewer than 14 episodes. When we started Humans of Martech, we were determined not to become a statistic.

As we near the end of our first season and approach our 50th episode, we wanted to give you a peek behind the curtain to see how we think about this show.

For us, at least, the idea of hitting 50 episodes is a big milestone -- and anyone thinking of starting their own shows -- whether it’s a personal project or for your company -- needs to be prepared to put in some work.

Let’s dive in!

  • Show thesis & mission
    • Why is your show worth your audience’s time
    • Why is it worth your time
    • You have to be motivated to do this week after week

  • Equipment
    • Quality is important; get a good set up
      • Mic; A cardioid (heart shaped) polar range eliminates unwanted background noise from behind and the sides, making this an affordable mic that's suited for podcasting
      • Audio-Technica 20 SERIES AT2005USB Cardioid Dynamic Microphone amazon link
      • I read a lot about mics and tested a few out, I don’t recommend the Blue Yeti mic despite so many podcast guides recommend it. You will suffer from something called proximity effect. The Blue Yeti is a Condenser Mic, not a dynamic mic. Condenser mics will pick up sounds a mile away, and there are indeed valid concerns around air conditioners running etc.
      • Get a pop filter, practice how to mindfully not blow air in the mic when you pronounce Ss and Ps and Ts.
    • Zoom — but also tried riverside. 
      • Riverside was amazing quality, but too amazing. We needed to clean up too much of the audio because it highlighted too many imperfections for my taste. 
      • Zoom gets the job done, make sure in your settings you boost audio input from everyone, you don’t reduce too much background noise and that you record separate audio files for each participant. 
    • Editing -- Garageband for the win. I usually clean up the audio files in Audacity, I have a few plugins that clean up some audio, especially when we have a guest that comes on recording from their laptop mic.  

  • Distribution
    • Transistor.fm to auto distribute and host everything for us
    • Anchor, soundcloud also options
      • Apple Podcasts
      • Spotify
      • Pocket Casts
      • Google Podcasts
      • A lot scrape Apple though
    • Apple isn’t a great service when publishing, any edits take a while to update the RSS, best to publish early

  • Style of show
    • We love having guests on but only about 40% of our episodes are run by a guest
    • We worked a lot on the show format
      • researching and writing episodes
      • one person as subject matter expert, one person as host

  • The lost episodes
    • 5 or 6 episodes that were recorded and on Phil’s computer
    • Took a while for us to get our groove. even the early episodes of this season we notice a big improvement

  • Promotion
    • The part of the show we invest the least amount into. 
    • Our mission is to help marketers be happy & successful — we believe in that mission and that over time the show will build an audience by providing value
    • We did experiment with a few things:
      • Mailchimp list
      • Twitter and LinkedIn posts weekly
      • Headliner and audiograms
      • Owler for translations
      • Individual episode artwork

Cohost vs solo: it’s really nice to have a cohost when interviewing guests — get a moment to think as you go; if there’s an awkward pause as you think of your next question the host comes in. 

Advice if you’re starting a podcast for your business or on your own:
- Develop a strong thesis -- it’s the beating heart of the show and will keep you motivated in the long run

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