What Makes a Good Podcast?

I see this question in different places. My show is getting X amount of downloads is that good?

What Makes a Good Podcast?

When I did some research and looked at all the content I consume they all did one of the following:

  1. It made me laugh
  2. It made me cry
  3. It made me think
  4. It made me groan
  5. It educated me
  6. It entertained me

If you can combine two or more of those in a way that stirs people's emotions, you are on to something.

Never Compare Your Numbers To Others

When you are in a corporate setting, if you check the HR handbook I'm sure there is a paragraph about sharing payroll knowledge. Why? Because it breeds resentment. The same is true for podcasting. I had a client once that was overjoyed that they were getting 150 downloads per episode. Then another podcaster in a Facebook group announced that they had just gone of over 100,000 downloads. They were instantly defeated and wanted to quit.

There is Always Someone Better

As a guitar player growing up, I could hold my own. Then one day I saw a new guitarist in concert named Yngwie Malmsteen. He is amazing, and no matter how much I practice I feel I'll never be that good. Did I still love playing guitar? Yes. Did I still love playing in front of people? Yes. That is why I kept playing the guitar. I also had to keep in mind that Yngwie has been practicing much longer than I had, and had years of experience.

You may be listening to someone with prior experience, a prior following, and even if they started after you did, they will have a larger audience. Don't focus on them, focus on servicing your audience.

Apples To Oranges

If someone says they have 150 downloads of a podcast about pigmy ponies, that's a great number (depending on how many people are into Pigmy Ponies). If someone had 150 downloads per episode and they were doing a weight loss show (in a country where 70% of us need to lose weight) that might be seen as under-performing.

They Chose To Listen to You

Try to never use the word “only,” as in “I only have 200 downloads per episode.” My background is in education and a big class was 20 people so 200 downloads per episode is 10 classrooms. That was a full hallway (and then some) in the building where I use to teach.

In a world of TV, Netflix, Hulu, HBO, YouTube, Am/FM, Xbox and more they CHOSE to listen to you. If they don't want to listen there is nothing stopping them from deleting your show.

Mentioned in This Episode

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About the Author
Dave Jackson has been podcasting since 2005. In 2018 he was inducted into the Academy of Podcasters Hall of Fame. He has over 2 Million Downloads. Has helped thousands of podcasters plan, launch and grow their audience. He is part of the Libsyn.com Tech Support Team. He is a Featured and Keynote speaker at events. He is the author of the Book More Podcast Money

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