Good. What IS “good”?
“Good” is a weird word. Dontcha love the English language in it's glorious ambiguity? How are you? Good. How’s the weather? Good. What IS good. Philisophical question!
Rather than open THAT philosophical can 'o worms, what does “good” mean in our context of podcasting? What makes people want to subscribe, and listen to episode after episode? My hot take is below, and it's simpler than you think.
A good podcast holds your attention.
But how can we do that? Your first job, as we all know, is to find an interesting topic to discuss or story to tell, and then tell it well. Nobody likes a boring topic, nor a presenter with the personality of a wet, decomposing potato. Both of those things guarantee that your podcast will not be "good", and plenty of great articles have already been written (and re-written) to that effect. So rather than rehash, let’s take that as read, and concentrate on what else you can do.
Here's the golden rule: Audiences’ attention spans love change. They love small, bite-sized pieces of audio deliciousness that they can sample and binge like a hotel buffet breakfast. It's also why I break up my long and wordy blog posts with pictures!
A good podcast is easy to listen to.
Do you ever feel like a particular podcast is really hard work?
As a listener, you might not even know why- you just get to the end of the episode and feel exhausted. Sometimes it’s because of the subject matter (15 true crime podcast episodes straight will do that to you…). But often times, there’s simple things you can fix.
What makes a good podcast?
Those are my two non-negotiables for a “good” podcast. Now granted, a good podcast is very subjective. Whether you like true crime, sports, investigative journalism or audio drama, you’ll have different preferences to me. But I guarantee that this is a great place to start.
How about you? Put your suggestions in the comments. And if you need someone to help take your podcast from good to great, then head over to my podcasting page.
Chris Plumridge is a freelance audio producer, voiceover artist and writer from Leongatha in South Gippsland, Victoria, Australia.