I’m not a podcaster. But I’m becoming an avid listener.
If you’re a podcaster looking for an audience, I’m the kind of person you’re looking for. Someone who wants great content and will come back for more once I find it.
So what makes a great podcast – one that’s worth subscribing and listening to regularly?
I’m not concerned with many of the things podcasters worry about. Podcasts can be short or long, interview or solo, serious or funny. None of those characteristics are what make a great podcast.
Here are 8 characteristics that matter to a lot of listeners like me:
(This is a follow-up to my last post, 8 Reasons I’ve Started Listening to Church Leadership Podcasts Lately.)
1. Know your subject
What do you well? Make your podcast about that.
Unless you’re an extraordinary interviewer with top-of-the-line guests, I’m not interested in hearing you talk about subjects you have no expertise in. No matter how strong your opinions may be.
If you’re a pastor who’s planted several successful churches, don’t talk about politics, talk about planting churches. Know church admin? Talk about that. Yes, someone is interested in that – but only if they can get it from someone who knows what they’re talking about.
2. Keep a narrow focus
If you’re running a comedy podcast, be funny.
Cooking? Stay in the kitchen.
Politics? …you get the idea.
If you’re running a church leadership podcast, everything you talk about should relate to church leadership in some way. And only church leadership.
I don’t just listen to church leadership podcasts. I also love history, comedy and more. But I’ll only stick with you if you stick with your advertised subject.
I won’t subscribe to a podcast that’s all over the place, subject-wise. A podcast title like My Musings or Random Thoughts is off the list of most listeners.
You’re less likely to lose people by staying narrow than by going broad.
Is it ever okay to talk about a subject outside your field of study? Sure. As long as you tell us how it impacts your field of study.
Find out what you’re good at, name your podcast something that reflects it, then stick with it.
3. Write clear, accurate episode titles
It takes less than two seconds to decide to play, save or delete a podcast episode.
What makes the difference? The title.