A successful podcast is really the sum of doing a lot of little things well. And while your expert niche knowledge, your mic set-up, and your natural podcasting talent is definitely important in your overall podcasting success, there are some other skills you can work on and develop which will make a huge difference to the quality of your show.
Are you ready to level up? Keep reading for the 10 podcasting skills to master in order to take your podcast to the next level.
We’ve divided the list in practical and “hidden” skills. Read through them all, or jump around to the ones that jump out at you!
1. Your Voice
Now this may be a really unexpected item to have on a list of podcasting skills to improve, but your voice is really just another tool you use to help craft a great show. But your voice is often overlooked for the part it plays in successful audio, and the influence it can actually have on your show’s success. Finding ways to improve the quality and sound of your voice can do so much to elevate your content and keep your listeners coming back for more time and time again.
Your voice box is essentially a muscle that requires a little warming up to get it operating at its optimum, so one easy way to improve the quality and strength of your voice is to do warm-up and breathing exercises. Singers and performers do it, so it follows that podcasters should do it too! You can also greatly improve the sound of your voice just by sitting correctly when you record. Your diaphragm and vocal cords will then be able to move freely, giving great tone to your voice and seriously improving the sound of your podcast.
Related read: How To Improve Your Podcasting Voice
2. Writing Skills
While your speaking skills are obviously important for a great podcast, it’s through your writing that your content and message really gets effectively delivered. Even if you don’t typically script your whole podcast episodes, developing your writing skills will mean that you’ll be better able to convey your content and share your thoughts more clearly. You could join an online writing community, follow writing prompts that are popular on sites like Pinterest or Tumblr, or even sign up for creative writing short courses. With just a little guidance and some dedicated practice, you’ll see a vast improvement in your writing skills.
Related read: How To Improve Your Podcast Writing Skills
3. Interviewing Skills
If your podcast follows the interview format, or even if you only occasionally feature guests on your show, honing your interview skills can really help elevate your podcast. An interview is more than just asking questions and waiting for a response. You need to be able to ask the right questions to allow your guest to shine and to get the best content for your audience. You also need to be able to really listen to your guest’s responses so that you can expertly guide the conversation.
Obviously, practice makes perfect, so the more you interview guests, the better you should become at doing it, but there are other things you can proactively do to enhance these skills. Taking courses or studying videos of some of the world’s greatest interviewers is one place to start, but you could also consider joining a debating society or club, or even signing up for Toastmasters, or a similar organization. These would give you great practical training in the art of speaking and responding, and will therefore greatly help your podcast!
4. Editing Skills
Much of what goes into creating an amazing podcast happens on the editing floor. Of course, the content has to be solid as well, but because podcasts are a predominantly auditory medium, how your podcast episodes sound is just as important as the content you are sharing.
There are some great online and short courses you can take to help you become a podcast editing wizard, but you could also start by looking at mastering your editing software. Just knowing all the tips and tricks of your chosen editing program can make a huge difference to editing skills. Do a little research to see if the software you favor offers courses, or try looking on YouTube or learning sites like Udemy to see all that is available to help you improve your editing skills.
5. Sound Quality
The sound quality you achieve on your podcast is largely dependent on the quality of your set-up, but there are elements that you have control over and that you can master. You can learn about environmental control to help give you a great raw recording, you can watch tutorials to figure out the sweet spot of your microphone, but you can also check out these editing tips from out talented sound engineers to help you get the best sound quality on your episodes with each and every recording.
Related read: 10 Editing Tips To Increase Your Podcast Sound Quality
Marketing is not something that comes naturally to everyone, particularly if you’re more of an introvert and prefer to be behind the mic. But marketing is essential to getting your podcast out there, and getting more ears on your standout content! And thankfully, it’s also a skill you can learn!
Check out this blog post which gives an overview of all the Social Media Marketing Options for Podcasts, but there are also a lot of resources out there that can help you master the platform (or platforms) that will work best for you and your audience.
The last four skills we’re focusing on may not be ones typically discussed when it comes to improving your podcast, but we think they are super important in achieving a highly-successful and long-lasting podcast.
7. Authority Building
The first “hidden” skill is that of building authority within your niche. The goal of building your authority is to get your audience to trust you by proving your knowledge and credibility. You will then become a respected voice in your niche, which can open up some incredible opportunities for you and your show. This could be anything from offers to speak at conferences or nominations for podcast awards, as well as landing those coveted guest spots on some top podcasts.
You can build authority in your niche by continually learning all there is to know about your topic, and making sure you’re always at the forefront of any new developments that take place in your subject area. Another effective way to build that authority is to diversify the ways you share your content. You could start a blog, offer courses, or run a YouTube channel along with your podcast as a way to get your name established as a leading source on your topic.
Related read: 8 Strategies to Build Authority in Your Podcast Niche
Creativity is a skill! Yip, that’s right! We don’t just get a dose of creativity and when it’s all dried up, our creative endeavours are over! (Thank goodness!) But rather, creativity is a skill we can cultivate and improve! It’s something we can practice and strengthen.
Much in the same way you follow a training regime to strengthen and improve your muscles in order to become better in a particular sport or discipline, so you can improve your creativity by applying the same principle. Setting aside regular times each week to practice your creativity will give you that extra boost every time you sit down to craft your next podcast episode. And there are so many creativity-boosting techniques! From following prompts, free-writing, or signing up for classes in another creative outlet like painting or pottery can help you flex your creative muscle and so help you keep creating standout content for your show.
Related read: 7 Tips For Creating Great Podcast Content
Another often-overlooked skill is productivity. And because it’s a skill, it means it can totally be enhanced and improved! Now, this is great news! Especially if you’re someone who is prone to the affliction that is procrastination…(sheepishly sticks up hand). Because armed with the knowledge that productivity is something you can learn and master, there’ll be no stopping you or your podcast!
And with all you’re looking to achieve with your podcast, it is of paramount importance that you keep your podcasting productivity in high gear! One of the best places to start is by making a list of all you want to accomplish, and then breaking those down into long, middle, and short term goals. You can then make an actionable plan of how to achieve those goals.
Another effective way to hone your productivity skill is through the use of time-management techniques. These are proven methods designed to get you consistently functioning at your optimum level of productivity.
Related read: How to Boost Your Podcasting Productivity
10. Community Building
Your podcast community is essentially the lifeblood of your show. Yes, writing knockout content and producing amazing sounding episodes is vital to your show’s ultimate success, but it is building a loyal podcast audience that will carry you on to that success. But a healthy, engaging podcast community doesn’t just happen! And that is why we view community building as a skill every podcaster should develop and grow.
The skill of building a thriving podcast community can involve a number of different elements. You need to create lines of communication between you and your listeners, create opportunities for them to connect with you, and you need to foster that sense of community between your listeners. And an easy way to do this is to get active on the plethora of social media platforms. You can use the “live” option many platforms offer to get candid with your audience, you can encourage your listeners to comment or DM their questions (just be sure to respond regularly!), and you can share a variety of different types of content that your audience finds valuable. This will all help build and strengthen your relationships with your audience, which then will allow your community to flourish.
Related read: How To Build A Strong Podcast Community
NOTE: You do not need to be active on ALL platforms. Pick the ones where your audience is most active, be consistent with sharing content and responding to your listener’s comments or DMs, and you’ll begin to see a healthy community develop around your show.
Relate read: Social Media Marketing Options for Podcasts
Improving your skill level in each of these areas will do amazing things for your podcast overall and help you keep taking your show from strength to strength. Whether it’s helping you get more done in a day so that you’re consistently hitting your podcasting goals, boosting your writing skills to take your content to the next level, or even improving your editing skills so that your episodes become little audio masterpieces, pushing your podcasting skillset in these areas will mean that your podcast’s star will continue to shine…and it will just keep getting brighter and brighter!