Bryan Goodwin started his podcast, The Relaxed Male, as a magazine for men. He talked about different challenges and obstacles men face in today’s society.
He wanted a site that would help men, but it didn’t turn out that way. He felt like a grump telling people to get off his lawn.
That changed when he was on a camping trip and thought of his first pivot.
“Let’s help men, not just complain about problems. Let’s address the problems men have in their day-to-day lives and give them the tools to find their way, their path.”
That’s what Bryan does on every episode on his podcast. I asked him about how he creates these episodes and more about how the current direction of The Relaxed Male came to be.
Bryan’s Podcasting Philosophy
How (and why) did you start podcasting?
I started podcasting in 2010, did that for two years, and then dropped podcasting because I lost interest in that show’s topic. I tried a few other shows, but never really had the passion to keep it going.
When I started the site Relaxed Male, I had the thought of having a podcast, but didn't want to start it only to podfade after 35 or 40 episodes. I wanted this show to keep going. There was also a lot of fear too, but I knew if I wanted to draw more people into my passion I was going to have to get through that fear and get it done.
After two years of blogging related to the site, I had a friend who suggested I start the podcast. With his push, that’s what I did. I was able to cut through all the imposter syndrome and launch.
I already knew the basics of podcasting and set it up so that I couldn't just chump out. I made sure to invest in good hosting and made a plan that, if I could come up with a year’s worth of material, I would get started – I wouldn't have an excuse.
I came up with two years' worth of material in just a couple of hours. I knew I had something to say and the passion was there.
What makes a great podcaster?
A good podcaster is somebody who is able to keep at it. Someone who is willing to put in the time and have months of nobody listening, yet still be grateful for those times.
As their voices develop, they will start to win each new listener over to their side. A good podcaster is always in competition for the listener's attention. That attention could go to listening to the podcast, but it could as easily go to Spotify or a nap. A good podcaster knows this and presses on, even when there is silence on the other end. Eventually, good podcasters will hear a small voice say, “thank you.”
What makes a great podcast episode?
I have heard podcast episodes that are just there and others that just blow my hair back and the difference is the heart and passion being spoken by the podcaster. Yeah, sound quality is important and good sound quality helps, but if the message is strong enough, people will tolerate poor sound. On the contrary, if the message is uninspiring, your podcast can have the best audio quality in the world and people will still tune out.
What do you wish you'd known when you started podcasting? Why?
There are three lessons I wish I’d known when I started:
- The ratio of work-to-audio is 4:1. For every minute of audio you record, there is four minutes of work going into that file.
- Editing eventually gets pretty fast. You soon know what to look for and what you will tolerate.
- Your voice is what everybody hears and stays around for, so embrace the sound of your voice.
What do you love most about podcasting? Why?
Podcasting is the easiest media to consume. You can drive, do dishes, walk, or almost anything mindless and still listen to a podcast and learn something new.
What's the worst thing about podcasting? Why?
Too many people are focusing on interview-format podcasts. While some listeners like the information they get from interviews, many would like to hear your thoughts and insights.
What makes a great podcast interview?
Podcast interviews often have good information, but this can be few and far between. I like it when the interviewer can get guests to really open up and share deep information, maybe something they don't normally share unless they’re behind a paywall.
A great example of this is in Episode 364 of The Fizzle Show. Corbet Barr has a conversation with John Lee Dumas and, though John is always been transparent in his download and listener numbers, he shared details on his strategy for growing his show. I’ve saved this episode and I have listened to it several times.
What non-podcasting skills do you have that have helped you to be a better podcaster? How have they helped you?
I really like to write. Because of my experience blogging, I’ve found that I write better podcast episode notes if I write them before I record the episode.
Walk through the process you follow to create a podcast episode...
I have a 12-step process:
- I look through my list of possible podcast topics.
- I choose the topic I want to discuss.
- I open up a Google Doc and start outlining the key points I want to make.
- I flesh out the notes until I am happy.
- I start writing the episode notes.
- I create and add the needed featured-image.
- The following day, I record the episode.
- I edit the episode, which means I’m mostly taking out the visible “umms” and cutting out a lot of the silence, so it flows a little better.
- I add the ID3 tags.
- I upload the audio file to Libsyn.
- I transfer the episode notes to Libsyn and add the needed information (episode number, for example) for Apple to be happy.
- I schedule the episode to be released at 3am that Thursday.
Walk through the process you follow to market/promote a podcast episode...
I use Twitter and sometimes Instagram. I also use a lot of lower-tier social media platforms like Locals.com, Minds.com, Vero, a couple of different Mastodon Servers, Reddit (very very sparingly), MeWe (this one I just post and run), Empire.kred, and Okuna.
I utilize a lot of Facebook groups. These can be tricky and I do get banned a lot, but I have found several that are pretty receptive.
How do you find new topics/guests for your episodes? How do you do research/outreach?
Most of the time, I take inspiration from what other coaching podcasters say. Many times, it has nothing to do with the topics they’re talking about, but I’ll hear a phrase that sets my mind is off to the races.
I haven't had any guests on my podcast yet, but that is going to change soon. I have a “dream guest list” of people I would like to talk to. I find many of those from other podcasts.
What's the #1 thing you've found to be most effective for growing your podcast? How do you implement this?
I tell as many people as I can about my podcast. I get little bumps from time to time when I find a new channel that I have yet to explore, so that is always exciting. I try to be creative and look where others aren't posting.
Your biggest podcasting mistake...
My biggest podcasting mistake was not starting the podcast when I started the blog.
If you were to start your current podcast all over again, what would you do differently?
There isn’t much I would do differently. I’d maybe do some paid advertising. That’s the next thing I’m going to be doing.
What advice do you have for other podcasters? Why?
My advice for other podcasters is to stop listening to your fear.
My favorite saying right now is this, "Except in moments of mortal danger, use fear as a compass." I worried about my fear of success for a long time. I worried about what people would say. I had the whole fight with the “imposter” and all of that fighting is with yourself to keep yourself safe and comfortable.
We never grow unless we get out of the cave, brave the discomfort of the elements, and try something dangerous. If I had heard this saying back when I was starting my blog, I would have started my podcast right then.
If you’re afraid of starting your show, that fear will show up as any BS excuse you are telling yourself. Believe in the direction you should go and then keep pushing it.
Bryan’s Podcasting Equipment
iPhone 8 Plus - No mixers nor interfaces. Just my iPhone and iMac.
Audio Voice Recorder (AVR), Audacity