When you think of Anchor, what comes to mind? For many podcasters, it’s that the platform is “too easy” or “amateur.”
Maybe they’re right, because the ease of getting a podcast online via Anchor has certainly caused a spike in new shows as well as episodes that haven’t been well organized or delivered.
But should we blame the ease of using a platform for what some could consider its abuse? What’s wrong with making podcasting easier and more accessible for people.
Nobody Cares About Your Podcast Media Hosting
The quality of a podcast and quality of a podcast media host are two completely different things.
Alexandre Leclerc hosts his podcast on Anchor. But he doesn’t simply pick up his smartphone, load up the Anchor app, and start talking, even though Anchor gives him that option. His podcasting process is more traditional – he schedules guests, records interviews via his studio pictured below, records intros for each episode, edits each episode, and then uploads the finished episodes to Anchor.
When people subscribe to your podcast, the only thing they care about is how quick and reliable downloads are. When they listen to your podcast, they care about the content.
Nobody cares which media host you use for your podcast...except other podcasters. We get tribal when it comes to the media hosts we use. Like a Southern truck driver does with Ford or Chevy, we pick a brand a never switch, even though new media hosting options are becoming available to us all the time.
Let’s stop that. If a media host can deliver content to the people who want it and that media host works for the podcaster, let it be.
Don’t be like the guy who shows up in this meme...
The Best Podcasting Mic
The “best” podcasting mic is the one you use. There’s a reason top radio hosts (and podcasters) use certain brands and models, so let’s acknowledge that, but the best mic in the world isn’t going to make you a top host on its own. Comparatively, “great podcasting equipment” is way down the list of what you need in order to have a great podcast.
The Best Podcasting Studio
This studio pictured above is where Alexandre records Cold Turkey, a discussion podcast focusing on the things that have provoked major (and positive) changes in people's lives.
What’s great about Alexandre’s studio? He has nice equipment and sound treatment, which is a plus, but the biggest asset to him getting great things on tape is his comfortable and friendly environment. This is a must if you want to consistently have great experiences with guests and one of the easiest “non-tech” fixes you can make to your studio to instantly create better podcast episodes.
The comfort level of a studio isn’t always obvious to hosts or others working on a podcast. For years, I worked out of a small radio studio crammed full of equipment and lit by fluorescent lighting. Having spent so much time in that room myself, I was comfortable there, but guests often found it to be intimidating, especially since I would often stand while recording to make more room for the producer and engineer.
The studio where you record your podcast, or the location where you choose to record, if you’re doing remote podcasts, should be comfortable for your guest, and part of that is you and the people you’re working with appearing comfortable. That sounds obvious, but I know from having worked in various studios over the years that we podcasters can often neglect looking at this from a guest perspective.
Thanks to Alexandre Leclerc for sharing photos of his podcasting studio with me. Details of the equipment he uses are below as well as his thoughts on podcasting and what makes a great episode.
Alexandre’s Podcasting Equipment
Adobe Audition, Squadcast
Alexandre’s Podcasting Philosophy
How (and why) did you start podcasting?
I wanted to talk with people who flipped their lives around. I’m bilingual and wanted a podcast that’s both available in both French and English.
What makes a great podcaster?
A great podcaster is a great listener.
What makes a great podcast episode?
Audio quality, an engaging subject, and an interactive guest.
What do you wish you'd known when you started podcasting? Why?
I did a lot of research before starting and feel I was pretty much ready when I started, but wish I’d spent more time learning audio production and editing.
What do you love most about podcasting? Why?
I like meeting new people and learning about them.
What's the worst thing about podcasting? Why?
Podcasting is quite time-consuming. It also requires that you work hard on balancing your personal life and work life.
What makes a great podcast interview?
Deep interaction between the podcast host(s) and guest(s).
What's the best thing that's happened to you because of your podcast?
I’ve met fantastic people and have kept great relations with most.
What's something you attempted to do on your podcast failed miserably?
I trusted an unreliable Internet connection for a remote recording. The result was that I ended up with multiple disconnections and atrocious audio. I finally decided not to air the episode.
Walk through the process you follow to market/promote a podcast episode...
I create a post on Instagram and share it to other platforms. Share the post to multiple Facebook groups with a subject related to my subject matter of the episode.
How do you find new topics/guests for your episodes? How do you do research/outreach?
Facebook Messenger, different guest-finding websites.
What's the #1 thing you've found to be most effective for growing your podcast? How do you implement this?
Facebook ads have helped. Social media sharing, word-of-mouth from guests.
What advice do you have for other podcasters? Why?
Do your research, study, and listen to other podcasts. Take notes, build your media toolkit (logo, intro and outro jingles, wallpapers, etc) beforehand.