I just love reading blog posts from well-intentioned (because they’re always well-intentioned, aren’t they?) “professional” dudes pontificating on “Why You Shouldn’t Start a Podcast” or claiming that you need to follow certain best practices to do it correctly (their way) if you’re going to be successful.
SCREW THAT! I’m tired of hearing all that nonsense. I’m here to tell you to start a sh*tty podcast right now.
Not only am I a podcast producer, I’m a musician. I’ve spent countless hours making sh*tty music and writing sh*tty songs to develop my skills. I’ve learned more useful real-world skills from picking up my guitar and actually playing in a band with real people than I did studying the “right” way in any of my college music courses. That’s not to say that those 4 semesters of music theory and history don’t come in handy sometimes (watching Jeopardy), but you know what is more helpful than knowing the difference between a French, German, and Italian augmented 6th chord ….knowing when NOT to play, so your lead singer doesn’t jump down your throat after a gig because you were stepping all over her vocals. Learn by doing.
As a podcaster, I’ve also made sh*tty podcasts. I’ve spent countless hours honing my craft. My first episodes of The Brassy Broadcast are pretty shaky. Hell, I still make some not-so-great episodes, but I show up and I do the work, and I learn something new every time I do it.
Have I ever been in New & Noteworthy on iTunes? Nope.
Do I care? Nope.
Is that why I podcast? Nope.
Do I get feedback from listeners telling me that they learned something from listening to my show, or were inspired to take some kind of action? Yep.
Ok. Cool. That’s a win in my book. I’ll make more.
Get Over Yourself
Here are some suggestions to help you get over yourself and start making your own sh*tty podcast. Are these the only way? Certainly not. These are some things that have worked for me on my podcasting journey.
Lose Your Attachment to the Outcome of Your Podcast
Done is better than good. I don’t remember where I first heard that, but it’s the truth. You need a baseline so you know what to fix. Do some practice runs. If you’re doing an interview-style show, start by interviewing your friends. If you think your friends are boring, maybe you need to ask better questions.
Listen to as many other podcasts as your ears can take.
What resonates with you? What drives you crazy? What ideas can you borrow and modify to fit your needs?
As a guitar player, I try to steal licks from the greats all the time and incorporate them into the music I make. You can do the same with your podcast. However, you need to be creative. Don’t get lazy and start asking the same questions the same way as another host, or using their same segment names. Be different. Be you.
Figure out what differentiates you from other hosts or producers and capitalize on it.
Do your homework. Make the best possible podcast that you possibly can with the knowledge and resources you have available to you. Here are a few resources to get you started.
- The Brass Tacks Pod-class (I made a free course)
- Jen’s podcast tutorials YouTube playlist
- How Sound Podcast
- She Podcasts
Do the Work
Doing the work is super unsexy most of the time, but this is where the magic truly happens. This is how you find your rhythm and your flow. You develop your instincts. You incrementally improve your process and speed up your workflow. You learn how to put out the fires caused by the technical difficulties that arise periodically. And you get better.
Remember – Nobody has to hear your sh*tty podcast, and you will feel better for at least having started.
Now grab your microphone, press record, and make a sh*tty podcast!
Share your favorite podcasting resources in the comments, and let me know what podcasting challenges are stopping you from starting your podcast. I would love to help.