Here comes my rant on things that I’ve heard in podcast episodes (yes I’m guilty too but I’m working on them), bad habits for your podcast website, and how you can fix them. Let’s get started.
Problem #1: Unwanted sounds in your podcast recording. When I first started my podcast, I took my handheld recorder around town with me because my first guests were all local. It was easier to meet them face to face than spin up on Skype. The problem was that my Zoom H5 is very sensitive, which is actually a good thing. It’s a great recorder. And being the great recorder that it is, it picks up every little sound. Especially the ones you don’t want it to record.
I would always brief my guest on what not to do. Don’t tap your fingers on the table where the recorder is. Most of us talk with our hands and if you were to tie our hands behind our backs, it would get pretty quiet very quickly. There was also the possibility of crossing one knee over the other and hitting the bottom of the table which of course, the Zoom would pick up.
When I listen to other podcasts, I’m amazed at how some podcasters have a TON of extra “bad” sounds in their recording and either don’t care (quality sound is very important) or don’t mention it. In my podcast episode #4 with Renee Bailey, we were using my Zoom and unfortunately sitting right underneath a window air conditioning unit. After all, it was July in the Arizona desert.
The sound wasn’t optimum with the buzzing of the unit, and I was just starting out as a podcaster. But at least I mentioned the air conditioner sound early in the recording so that people would have the choice of listening or not.
Solution: There’s a lot you can clean up in post-production when editing an episode, and there are things that you can’t. But you should at least try. Or apologize. Or be humble. Or re-record. Or throw the episode out.
Problem #2: Hitting the microphone with a body part
Solution: Back up the truck, er I mean your face. Stay a safe distance away. If you’ve got a good microphone it will still be able to pick up your melodious voice
Problem #3: Popping your p’s
Solution: Get a spongy cover for your mic. You know the ones I’m talking about. Or better yet, do what I do – line your cheek up to the mic, from a safe distance of course. Think of how they line up the x-ray machine with your teeth at the dentist’s office. They never do it right in front of your mouth. At least they don’t at my dentist. If you don’t know what I’m talking about because you haven’t been to the dentist in years, one word – ewwwww!
Problem #4: Not listening to your episode to see if the sound recording is good or not.
Solution: I don’t know the percentage of podcasters who edit their own episodes as opposed to those who pay someone else to do it. I’ve listened to some podcasts lately where I got the impression that the podcaster didn’t give a _____________ (fill in your own expletive) about the recording. They went along their merry way with popping and thudding and feedback. Seriously? Are you pleased that you put out sub-quality episodes? I’d be embarrassed. Especially if you’re trying to build and promote your business. All that says to me is sloppy. Podcasters are first and foremost content providers. Let’s make the quality of our audio as good as the content itself. Or don’t put it out there.
Problem #5: When you ask your guest for a bio and headshot ahead of the interview and they send you to their website to get it because they’re too lazy to send it to you personally.
Solution: Get off your butt and send it to them. Include your social media links at the same time just in case they want to help you promote your business beside the promotion you’re already getting by being on their podcast.
I can honestly say that since I’ve only been a guest one time so far on someone else’s podcast, (Thanks Rob Lawrence). I sent my bio and picture via email. My picture was in jpg format and Rob wanted a higher quality picture which I didn’t have. So I found an app that converted the jpg to png format and hopefully that was better quality for his website. I probably forgot my social media links though. But in the future, I’ll be including them. In fact, in the future I’ll also be including my one sheet.
What’s a one sheet? That’s what I was asking when I first heard the term one sheet. It’s a marketing tool, in many cases for public speakers, to present themselves to a potential audience, speaker booker, podcaster, etc. You don’t have to be a public speaker to use one. You can find great examples of one sheets on Pinterest.
||Problem #6: Broken links on your podcast and/or business website.
Solution: Check your links and fix them.
Being a software engineer and web developer, I always “kick the tires” on my guest’s website as I work on my show notes. I click all of their links, get bio information (if they’re too lazy to send it to me) and check out their social media. WordPress, which many people use, makes it so easy to include these links but folks, WordPress will not put YOUR social media links in for you automatically. You have to do it yourself. Or have your web person do it. Or remove the icons.
You’d be amazed at the number of bad or broken links I find. Again, this screams sloppy; that you don’t care enough to make sure everything is accurate. Once a website is up you should revisit it periodically to make sure it’s up to snuff. Google also likes you to add or change your content regularly. And who doesn’t want Google brownie points or higher SEO ranking?
Problem #7: Not having a professional email address (e.g., using gmail, Hotmail, aol, etc.). Nothing smacks amateur as much as email@example.com.
Solution: If you have a domain for your website, set up an email address using that domain for your podcast or business. You can forward those emails to your smartphone or email app on your computer for convenience.
I have a gmail account that I use for my personal email. I also have a few domain-related email accounts for my podcast and my original business concept which has been mothballed. I forward them to my iPhone, my iPad, and the Thunderbird app on my PC. It’s very convenient.
I know I’ve sounded preachy and nagging. Sorry about that. But think about this – it’s your brand, your business. Don’t you want it to be successful and grow? Scale up to the next level? If so, attention to the small details is essential.