It’s no secret we love podcasts at We Edit Podcasts. And between our amazing team, we listen to a lot. Like, A LOT!
But let’s be honest. While some podcasts are amazing in every way, some are good. And some put the “meh” in meh-diocre. (Does that work? I dunno. Just go with it, okay!)
Back to those amazing podcasts…
Like I said, we listen to a lot of podcasts. And we’ve discovered a few things…
We’ve come up with a list of things that take podcasts from “meh” to aMEHzing! (We may need to workshop that a bit more? But for now, it works, right?)
And we’re going to fill you in today!
Here are our top tips for taking your podcast from good to great.
Related read: A Collection of the Best Podcasts of 2022
1. Know Your Equipment
Quality audio gear is an absolute necessity in the podcasting realm. Good podcasts sound okay…great podcasts sound amazing! And that amazing audio quality starts with quality equipment. (You can check out our top tips for your podcast equipment here.)
But as with almost everything in life, it’s all about knowing how to work with what you’ve got. High-quality audio equipment, of course, will do most of the heavy lifting for you. But there is still plenty of nuances involved in knowing how to use your equipment to its fullest potential.
Know where the sweet spot is on your more budget-friendly mic, for instance, and you’ll be amazed at the improvement in your overall sound quality! This is a really simple way to take your podcast from good to great.
And this couldn’t be easier to do! Just do a quick Google search of your mic, and I’ll bet there are tons of tutorials and how-to videos showing how to get the best out of your equipment.
2. Lean Into Your Strengths
Knowing your strengths and leaning into them is one of the absolute best things you can do for your podcast.
What do I mean by this? Well, basically, just be your authentic self. Don’t try and be someone you’re not, or do things with your podcast “because that’s what all the popular shows are doing”. Sure, you can learn from them, and implement strategies in your context.
But don’t try to do or be something you’re not. If you’re not controversial, or confrontational by nature. That’s totally okay! You don’t have to be cutting-edge or scandalous for your show to be a success. If you’re happy-go-lucky and eternally optimistic, lean into that! You’ll find your tribe, you’ll build your podcast community, and your show will be a success.
The key to a successful podcast is authenticity. And you can’t be authentic if you’re trying too hard to be someone else. So be you, lean into your strengths, and you’ll take your show from good to amazing!
3. Know Your Audience
Without a doubt, the podcasts that we think are great are the ones where the host really knows their audience. And then consistently serves up quality content that caters perfectly to their audience’s needs.
It’s one thing to be an expert in your niche. And we will always be proponents of that! But it’s another thing entirely to be an expert in your niche and know how to deliver that expert knowledge in a way that resonates with your target audience.
That’s what takes a podcast from good to great!
But how do you do this?
You get to know your audience. What are their general demographics? What are their likes and dislikes? What motivates them? What problems are they looking to solve?
Find the answers to these, and you can then position your podcast in the exact right place to be exactly what your audience is looking for.
4. Appreciate the Edit
Another thing that is common to all great podcasts is a great understanding of the edit.
Cutting out awkward pauses, those filler “uhs” and “ums” and just adding in some appropriate music and doing some vocal balancing can make for an enhanced listening experience. This is an important step if you want your podcast to be counted among the greats. Remember, first and foremost, podcasts have to sound really good!
But there is something else that all great podcasts do. They consistently deliver episodes that are jam-packed with value from the moment you hit “play” until the final seconds run out.
But we’re going to let you in on a little secret. It’s not because every single conversation they have or interview they conduct is flawless from start to finish. (We wish, but in reality, that’s not the case.) I’m willing to bet there were questions asked that didn’t yield mind-blowing answers and everything the host or guests shared was likely not all incredibly profound.
So, how do they keep delivering these value-packed episodes? They understand the power of editing! Great podcast conversations are often made on the editing floor. Yes, you as the host have to be thoroughly prepared. You have to do your research, craft great questions, and share thoughtful insights. That can’t be added in later.
But sometimes knowing what to leave in, and what to cut, is the difference between good and great.
Yes, you told a hilarious joke in this segment. But if the segment itself is a little “meh” then does it really belong in the final cut?
Probably not. But you have to know that you should edit those out, and be willing to do so, in order to make each episode as value-dense as possible.
5. Build a Community
And finally, point number 5. The last commonality of all the podcasts we consider ‘great’ is the fact that they have built a community around their show.
Their podcast has become more than just a one-way conversation. Great podcasts are the ones that foster engagement and interaction between its host and their listeners. This sense of community around a podcast gives life to the show outside of it’s publishing schedule.
Yes, the loyal listeners are tuning in and downloading as soon as the next episode drops. And from a stats point of view, that’s amazing! It’s what all podcast hosts dream of, right?!! But building a community means that you have something that sustains the buzz around your show between episodes.
Unfortunately, building a community around a podcast is not something with a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. Sure, there are tips we can definitely give you, (and you can check out the post we wrote on the topic here) but at the end of the day, building a community around your podcast is reliant on you figuring out how you can best serve your particular audience. (Another compelling reason why it’s so important you know your audience!) What are you doing to engage with them? How are you establishing more of a two-way conversation? How are you going to effectively use social media to your advantage?
But whatever strategies you choose to use to build your podcast community, here’s one tip that will work for literally all types of podcasts, and all types of hosts…be consistent. Take deliberate effort to meet the needs of your audience, build some great buzz around your podcast, and you’ll start to see a thriving podcast community start to take shape.
There are plenty of good podcasts out there. But it’s the great ones we remember. They’re the ones we tell our friends about. And the ones by which we judge any other show we listen to.
But greatness doesn’t just happen. It’s built.
Ultimately, all great podcasts are the result of hard work and careful attention to detail. And by really honing in on the five areas we believe are the pillars of a great podcast, your podcast, too, will be destined for greatness.
What are some of the podcasts you consider to be great? What makes them stand out from the rest? Leave a comment and let us know!