Summer Do’s and Don’ts…For Podcasters

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by Hilda Labrada Gore

In summertime, you see all kinds of do’s and don’ts around town and while on vacation. The white sock/sandal combo? A perpetual don’t. The relaxed romper for an evening out, after being on the beach all day? A definite do. If only podcasting guidelines for were as clear-cut as fashion rules! But, then again, since most indie podcasters are rebels and trailblazers, maybe it’s better that there’s no big book of podcasting rules. We would just toss it in the trash and make our own way, right?

So, in light of the above, this is not a list of rules, but rather a gentle summer guide of podcasting do’s and don’ts. Whether you have an interview-style show, or whether you’re flying solo, there will certainly be some tips below that will apply to you!

Don’t

Go on vacation…w/o telling your listeners! Taking a break has been dubbed “pod-pausing. “ I get it. Life happens and your schedule may get thrown off. Just warn your listeners about your hiatus (with a definite timeline, e.g. “I’ll be off the grid for 2 weeks”) and/or keep things going by re-posting old episodes (e.g.: “I’m getting some awesome new episodes ready for you. In the meantime, here is episode #13 from the archives….”) Your audience is your family. Don’t leave them hanging.

Get tied down by your script. If you have an interview-style show, it’s fine to have notes as a starting-off point. But you should not be so tied to your questions that you actually miss what your guest is saying. A guest (on someone else’s show) told me recently that the show host pivoted so much, she felt dizzy and ignored. There were no follow-up questions to her replies; there were just unrelated queries that had been pre-planned. No bueno.

Not listen. Okay, I know it’s a double negative, but this is bad. Don’t be that person who spaces out and goes on auto-pilot. A friend on another show said that the host would exclaim, “That’s incredible.” after. every. comment. she. made.. My friend knew that she was not that profound. What strained credulity was the host’s mindless mantra.

Not follow through. Another double negative. I know. But this is a no-no. I got invited to be a guest on a podcast, but I thought a well-known author would be a better, bigger “get” for the podcaster. I spoke to the author (who had been on my own show) and she agreed to be interviewed on this other show. The podcaster sounded thrilled when I told her about it and promised to email me to follow up (for a virtual introduction). She never did. It’s a miss for her and you can bet that I won’t be recommending any more guests for her in the near future.

Do

Your homework! Yes, it’s summer, but there is still work to be done in June, July, and August. Remember the scene from “The Devil Wears Prada” where the assistants to the head of the fashion magazine would whisper names and occupations in her ear as people approached? To make a good impression, and to nail the interview, you need to know a thing or two about your guest beforehand. I ask mine to send me some links so I can learn more about them and their latest projects.

Show the love. Podcasting is a very relational business. After the mic is disconnected, stay connected to your guests and your audience! Make sure to send your guest a thank you for coming on the show. Re-tweet or comment on their tweets. Be responsive to your audience when they comment on episodes or on your FB page. Make sure the love flows and that communication remains a two-way street.

Play with your style. Summer is a laid-back time, so feel free to experiment. If your podcast format is feeling a little stale, switch it up! No one in the podcast world takes themselves too seriously in the first place. We are not NPR (and even they like to have a little fun). So don’t be afraid to experiment. Try something new. You can add more sound effects, shorten or lengthen the intro banter, etc. I added a bonus episode for fun in June. And an added bonus for me was that it upped my downloads for the month!

Put yourself out there. You wouldn’t even be podcasting if you didn’t have a message you wanted to bring to the world. Don’t forget that this is the goal. When you hand out your podcast business card or tweet or post, it’s not you just trying to expand your “empire.” You are taking steps to get an important word out. So don’t shrink back, vocally, or in other ways. Invite a big name guest. Line up a speaking engagement. Get on one more social media platform. Go to DC Podfest 2016!  Like an iphone docked on your beach blanket, don’t be afraid to TURN IT UP!

These “summer” guidelines are actually always in season. Apply them, and your audience will thank you year round.

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Hilda Labrada Gore lives in Adams Morgan with her daughters and husband, and her cat Mia (which means “mine” in Spanish). She recently returned from Kenya and Zimbabwe where she was speaking and interviewing folks for her nutrition podcast! The show is called Wise Traditions and can be found on iTunes, Stitcher, and at westonaprice.org.

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DC PodFest 2016 Kick-Off!

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Meet the gloriousness that is our DC PodFest 2016 Team!  This passionate group of podcasters promises to bring you an amazing podcast event Nov. 4th & 5th at The Wonderbread Factory Event Space in Washington, DC. We are busy putting together programming, and will be sharing more with you soon. Tickets will go on sale in July at Early Bird Prices. Until then, feel free to email us with any questions at dcpodfest@gmail.com.

 

Podcasts Represented Above:

The Law Entrepreneur

The D.C. Entrepreneur

Sugar Cane Cinema

Stuck In The Waiting Room

Pilot Waves

Wise Traditions

Geek 30 Happy Hour

Her Money Matters

The JellyVision Show Podcast

15 DC Podcasts To Travel With Over Thanksgiving

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As you prepare to travel this Thanksgiving, consider adding some local podcasts to your travel playlist.  If you are new to podcasts, think of them as Netflix for online radio. Podcasts are on-demand audio content available through iTunes, Stitcher, or any number of podcast player apps. If you have a newer iphone, the podcast player comes conveniently installed on your home screen. 

There are podcasts for everyone. Need some laughs? Choose a comedy podcast. Crazy about The Walking Dead? There are podcasts that will satisfy your insatiable need to talk to someone about whether or not Glen is dead. You can be entertained and educated while you drive, wait for a plane, sit on a train, or walk off some Thanksgiving calories. There are podcasts on science, history, business, stamp collecting, human rights, music, true crime, movies, finance. writing, pop culture, fashion, comics, art, fitness, health, motherhood, fatherhood, Disney, any sport..–you get the idea. Start by searching for topics you are interested in, and go from there.

 

We are happy to get you started with these 15 podcasts produced in the DC area:

Brookings Cafeteria Podcast: Hosted by Fred Dews, this award winning podcast from The Brookings Institute,  is about ideas and the experts who have them.

Pop Fashion: Hosted by fashion consultant, Kaarin Vembar and Lisa Rowan of Beltway Vintage, this podcast will educate you on every fun thing you need to know in the fashion industry.

Women of Uncertain Age: Karen Yankosky and Philippa Hughes are two forty somethings who invite you to eavesdrop on their candid conversations about relationships and all their dilemmas.

Where’s My Forty Acres: Broadly focused reflections on Hip-Hop, but infused with comedy, heated debates, infamous roasts and guest appearances from artists, comedians, twitter prodigies, and respected figures of the 40 Acres Community.

Digression Sessions: A comedy podcast based out of Baltimore and hosted by comedians Josh Kuderna and Mike Moran and features lively interviews with various talents.

Hometown Sounds: A podcast dedicated to playing the music from DC.  They will play music made by bands that started in DC and moved on, but only the music they made before leaving. Hosted by Paul Vodra and Tony Porreco.

Revivalism: In its first season, and part of the Goat Rodeo Network, this podcast covers a cross country trip interviewing buskers around the country.

Across The Pond: An English Premier League soccer podcast hosted by four insanely obsessed American supporters.

It’s All Journalism: This podcast brings together the experiences of working journalists as they explore this continuously evolving field to prove that journalism is not dying, it’s changing. Hosted by Michael O’Connell.

Her Money Matters: Hosted by money coach, Jen Hemphill, she tackles subjects around women and and their unique issues surrounding money and finances.

Spiral Marketing: Hosted by marketing and branding strategist, Karl Boehm who interviews thought leaders and successful entrepreneurs about successful marketing tools and strategies.

The Nerdpocalypse: Focusing on all things nerdy from movies, science, technology, comics to the strange and bizarre stories from around the internet.

FuseBox Radio Broadcast: the syndicated show has a strong focus on bringing a diverse mixture of Hip-Hop/Rap, R&B/Soul, Jazz, Reggae, Rock, Dance, House, EDM, Funk & other forms of Black Music from all over the world along with relevant guest interviews, news, and commentary.

Carolyn and Joe Show: With over are 300 episodes, cartoonist Carolyn Belefski and filmmaker, Joe Carabeo invite you into their conversation every week on a variety of topics and interesting guests.

Pilot Waves: Discovering, nurturing, and unleashing artists and creative minds of character into the world through profitable and philanthropic efforts that highlight struggle, and stir debate. Hosted by Alex Vidales.

 

The Listening Room

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A Co-Listening Experience

The listening room is a quiet space at DC PodFest where podcasters volunteer to host a listening session of their podcast. Anyone can join you for your listening session where you introduce yourself and tell them what episode you want to share. Then, everyone dons their headphones and listens and reacts together for 20 minutes or so. Afterwards, everyone discusses the show. Listening room sessions give listeners a chance to discover a new show, and ask questions. It gives podcasters a chance to get and receive feedback and meet new fans.

Just look for the Sign Up Sheet in the Listening Room and sign up for a time. This is a bit of an experiment, and we hope it works! Remember, all the podcasts you listen to and the podcasters you meet at DC PodFest will be on the ballot and up for a potential DCPF Independent Podcast Award on Sunday!

Congratulations to Ice and The Face for being the first podcast to sign up for The Listening Room!

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Introducing Podcast Websites!

DC PodFest is happy to welcome Podcast Websites as an official sponsor! Podcast Websites is the only all-in-one WordPress service exclusively for podcasters. Featuring the best podcast WordPress themes, integrated podcast hosting & download stats, complete security & backups and the best, most personal support in the industry, Podcast Websites saves you time, money and let’s you be a podcaster again.

As a DC PodFest ticket holder, you can win a 3 month subscription in our raffle!

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