I stumbled into podcasting because I was involved in radio. I got involved with television and books because I was working in the music business and music was one of the first “old school” entertainment businesses to successfully transition online. When the technology to distribute video and books came along, people came to me asking for marketing help.
Many podcasters have a similar story – they’re here because they have “podcasting” talents that they’ve developed elsewhere and podcasting seems to be the next logical place to use those talents to spread their messages and grow their audiences.
Ruan Lotter of Cape Town, South Africa is one of those podcasters. His background in filmmaking and video tutorials lead him to YouTube and the skills he developed there were a great match for podcasting.
Ruan hosts The Cannabis Evolution, a podcast to educate people about the Cannabis plant, how to grow it, and about its medicinal properties.
Here’s where he records and produces his show:
I asked Ruan about his transition from YouTube to podcasting, the details of how he makes his podcast, and what he thinks makes a great podcast...
Ruan’s Podcasting Equipment
I use Logic Pro to record and process my audio and I use Premiere Pro to edit my podcast.
Ruan’s Transition From YouTube To Podcasting
How (and why) did you start podcasting?
I’ve been doing YouTube tutorials for about 10 years, focusing on filmmaking and visual effects tutorials. I also do quite a bit of online training in the filmmaking and editing space. I grow Cannabis as a hobby and wanted to share my experience to help others grow their own medicine.
What makes a great podcaster?
I think the main thing is to be real and to be yourself. Don’t try to sound perfect - speak to your audience and share your personality with them. That way they will start to feel like they are listening to a friend. That’s what I’m trying to do.
What makes a great podcast episode?
I think a great episode is all about what the listener will take away from the episode. Either they learn something new or are just entertained.
What do you love most about podcasting? Why?
I love sharing new things with people. I want everyone in the world to have access to information, anything that can make someone’s life or even day just a bit better. And talking into a mic in a dimly lit room is quite um therapeutic to me.
What makes a great podcast interview?
I think a great interview should be anyone talking about anything interesting - and interesting can be different for many people. If a listener finds it interesting then it was a good interview.
What's the best thing that's happened to you because of your podcast?
Having that one hour of alone studio time every week is great! Love it! I’ve also learned to make notes about interesting things I try - so it’s kind of like keeping a diary.
What non-podcasting skills do you have that have helped you to be a better podcaster? How have they helped you?
Coming from YouTube and a filmmaking background - editing podcasts and processing the audio is what I do every day - so that really helped me.
Walk through the process you follow to create a podcast episode...
Start with an idea, then research and make notes using Microsoft One Note. Then I start creating an episode outline using my template.
I read through the outline just to refresh my memory and then it’s recording time! I cut out the bad bits in Logic Pro, process and master the audio, then export to Premiere Pro. Then I add the music and all that (also using a template I created), so it’s quite a quick process - then while I upload my episode I quickly write the show notes and that’s basically that!
Walk through the process you follow to market/promote a podcast episode...
I usually post on Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest the same night I release my podcast. I don’t have an email database yet but planning on doing that so that I can send out some kind of newsletter.
How do you find new topics/guests for your episodes? How do you do research/outreach?
I spend a lot of time online and I’m extremely curious! If I hear about something interesting or just thinking, “Hmmm, this might be something interesting,” then I go on a research adventure. That’s how I find most of the topics I talk about.
What's the #1 thing you've found to be most effective for growing your podcast? How do you implement this?
Starting a conversation on social media about a topic usually works for me. I post the URL to my latest episode and then try to get people to discuss the idea. That usually works, especially if the topic is slightly controversial. :)
What advice do you have for other podcasters?
- Be yourself.
- Don’t try to be funny etc.
- Get a good dynamic mic.
- Stick to your show template.
- Be consistent with episode uploads.
- Speak directly to your listener as if you are talking to a friend.
- Give a call to action at the end of your episode.
- Don’t speak too fast.
- Include links to websites or info in your show notes, people don’t remember website addresses. :)