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Peter Wilds
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Artistic Chinese chess set taken at a street market in Taipei, #Taiwan .  Love those cannons!
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Halloween 2013
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Tips for podcasters from a #podcast junkie

I listen to a lot of podcasts. I probably listen for over 3 hours a day as I’m driving, exercising, doing housework, etc. Over the years, I’ve accumulated a few “podcast peeves”.  The following may seem like minor issues but I think if you take these suggestions on board you can raise the standard of your podcast that little bit higher and your listeners will appreciate it.

1. Please fill out the useful fields in iTunes so I can see the name of your podcast and, ideally, the title of individual shows (e.g., main topic, guest). Here’s an example of what not to do. The only information provided is the name: xKEilrW9gLci.128. Another one just shows “p310”.  I have no idea what these shows are so I’m much less likely to listen to them. Bear in mind, people may download your show but not get around to listening to it for a long time so you’re not doing yourself any favours by not telling them what your show is and what the episode is about. While you’re at it, include a few show notes, your website, and feed under “info”.  You’ve gone to all the effort of making a podcast but can’t be bothered to label it properly where it really matters. Would a publisher put out a book but not bother to put the title and author on the cover and spine of the book?

2. Remind me what I’m listening to either at the beginning or the end of show, including the link. I’m more likely to listen again.

3. Make your show available for direct download on your website and in feed readers. Websites that make themselves iTunes-only suck.  Maybe you think you’re maximizing your iTunes rating or something but really you’re excluding listeners who for whatever reason don’t use iTunes. By the way, is your feed link easy to find on your website? I have the patience to go hunting for it but not everyone does. [For converting iTunes links to RSS, I use picklemonkey.net ]

4. Give a brief show description in feed readers. New listeners more than likely won’t give you a try if they know nothing about your podcast or if they’ve listened before but want a sense of what the latest show is about.  You want more listeners, right? Well, don’t be coy; tell them about what they’ll be getting in the show. It only needs to be a few sentences to summarize the main themes of the episode. One more thing, as an editor, it drives me nuts to see typos. Even the BBC has typos in its podcast feed. 

5. Edit your show. Cut it down to size. Whittle the pauses, the ums, the boring bits. Make it tight. There’s a place for that home-made feel but by and large most podcasts could benefit from some brutal editing. Squash a 90-minute podcast down to 50-60 minutes. 

6. Not all your fans believe that more is better. It’s hard to keep up if you’re doing more than one show a week. Once a week is fine. In fact, if you’re a super high quality show, once or twice a month is the way to go! Plus, you’ll be less likely to succumb to podfade if you don’t commit to a weekly show.

What do podcasters think about my suggestions? Do podcast fans have anything they would add to my list, or perhaps you disagree with my opinions? Let me know what you think!  

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Hello errant Profile reader! This is my one and only public post, but I am posting fairly frequently to my Circles,....just so's yer know.
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