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Writing Your Way To A Successful Podcast
Episode 636th January 2022 • Podcast Pontifications • Evo Terra
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Your podcast is more than just your audio file.

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And as podcasting matures, the not-just-audio parts of your show will

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become more important factors that influence your podcasting success.

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Hello, and welcome to another Podcast Pontifications with me, Evo Terra.

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It's a new year and maybe a new you, and maybe you're thinking

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about making a new or perhaps renewed commitment to your podcast.

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Excellent!

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I applaud you for doing that.

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If you haven't quite figured out where to start, might I suggest that you start in

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an often overlooked area of podcasting?

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And that is the copy that you write for your podcast's episodes.

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Why?

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Well, the simple answer is one of competition.

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There are more podcasts than ever before and having a more complete podcast gives

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you a leg up in the competition space.

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But the better answer is we need to grow up.

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Better stated, we collectively need to grow up our approach to podcasting

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and our podcast episodes themselves.

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We need to be less lazy and stop propagating the myth that all we have

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to do is get the audio right, and then everything else will take care of itself.

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Yes, you want to get the audio right, but everything else won't

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necessarily take care of itself.

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To help prove that, I want to go back and look at an episode of my

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show, this show, that I published literally the day before I went on

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break, the last episode that went out.

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When I look at the thirty-day download numbers, I'm seeing it's roughly about

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15% more people downloaded that episode than a typical episode of my show.

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Now, I attribute that mostly to the extra sharing that happened on that

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episode due to the topic of the episode.

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True.

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But also, we have to remember that about half, a little more than half,

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as a matter of fact, of the downloads on that episode were automated.

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That's downloads from Apple Podcasts and Overture, both of which

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automatically download stuff by default.

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But that's neither here nor there.

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So that episode was slightly better when looked at from a how many

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downloads did it get perspective.

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Now you see far too many podcasters stop there.

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Far too many podcasters have no web presence to speak of,

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not for their podcast at least.

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If anything, maybe it is one of those one-click sharing services like

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PodLink or Linktree or something else.

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And look, I understand, I mean, I really understand that it takes time and takes

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treasure as well as some talent to make a real web presence for your show.

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But it is so worth it.

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Here's the proof of that continuing.

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The webpage for the episode we're talking about right now got almost as many

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pageviews, unique pageviews, by the way, as unique downloads of the audio file.

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Think about that for a second because that's huge.

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That's just the webpage itself was viewed by people as many times as

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the episode was downloaded, almost.

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And yes, yes, I will agree with you that some of those webpage pageviews were from

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people who had listened to the episode.

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But here's an argument against that.

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The average time on page for that episode page I'm speaking

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of was four and a half minutes.

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That tells me people were doing more than just clicking through to find it.

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They were actually spending time because I wrote an article worth spending time with.

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Keep in mind that the webpages for my podcasts are a lot more than just a simple

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paragraph and maybe some bullet points.

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No, I write a fully developed article that is rewritten so that

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it can be read with your eyeballs.

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I'm not the only podcaster that does this.

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A lot of podcasters do.

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And far too many of them stop there.

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Far too many take the time to craft a great on-site episode detail

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page, along with a great podcast episode, yeah, and then hit publish.

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But there's an obvious, rather missed opportunity, I think.

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If you're doing the work - that means writing great copy, and formatting

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the page so it reads well - if you're doing the work to make a great reading

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experience, let your audience subscribe to that great reading experience.

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Now, I do that with a newsletter.

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In fact, the newsletter, the episode, the edition that I sent out for the episode

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we're talking about right now, it was opened and read by about half of the

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number of people who read the webpage.

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Hmm.

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And this time, by the way, I am confident that I can combine both

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my unique webpage viewers and the newsletter edition openers.

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I think that number is likely to be quite additive.

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That's why longtime listeners of this show have heard me say over and over

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again that my words are read by more people than are listened to by people.

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If you really think that the content, the fonts, the ideas, the stories, the

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concepts, if you think that, that you have to offer is more important than the

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container, that's an MP3 file, then you'll embrace the idea of writing better copy.

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But you can still do more with the copy that you have, the

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better copy that you have.

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Like, I take the article that I've written, spend all that

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time on, and then I condense it.

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No, not just to make an in-app episode details, which I do, and you probably

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call show notes, but to create social content that can be shared across the

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platforms I'm active on - Twitter, mostly, and those that I'm less

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active on - Facebook and LinkedIn.

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For Facebook and LinkedIn, I simply take that condensed version and share it.

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Simple copy, paste, schedule, done.

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For Twitter, I'm using a very nifty service called Chirr App.

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I'll put a link to it in the episode details.

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I use that Chirr App to make a Twitter thread.

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It's the same copy, but slight formatting tweaks for each one of these places.

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Again, how does it work?

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Well, the social reach for the episode in question here was in

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the thousands with engagement numbers in the hundreds, tripling

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the size that I reached previously.

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Now, some of the people that I reached through social media have really no idea

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who I am or what this show is about.

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But they do now.

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Some of the people reached in the social sharing decided to engage with

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those social shares and now better know who I am and what the show is about.

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And some, I'm sure, decided to listen for the very first time.

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Or maybe they decided to read that linked article, maybe even

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subscribe to the newsletter.

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So, what's the takeaway from all of that for the serious podcasters?

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Well, I'll tell you.

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Writing copy for podcast matters.

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For your podcast, it matters.

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Copywriting is a skill set that you can develop.

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Or you can hire out for, sure.

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But you or someone on your team needs to develop the skill, and you, the

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serious podcaster, need to allow for the time it takes to develop that

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copy and then share that copy in meaningful ways with your audience.

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If you want your podcast to be taken seriously, then get serious about the

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entirety of your podcast production.

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Writing great copy for your podcast and for your episodes

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is an integral part of that.

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And it's never going to be something that's not a part of that.

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And sure, perhaps AI is going to come along eventually and make that

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better and easier, but right now we are a long ways away from that.

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What I've seen from artificial intelligence and machine learning isn't

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too bad at generating marketing copy.

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Although, I would say that the output is actually significantly less than

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if you hired a talented copywriter.

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But it takes - there's a very uncanny valley that has a long way to go before

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it starts writing like a real person.

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So don't wait for that.

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Invest in better podcasting.

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Invest in better copywriting for your podcast today.

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I shall be back on Monday with yet another Podcast Pontifications.

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Cheers!

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Podcast Pontifications is written and narrated by Evo Terra.

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He's on a mission to make podcasting better.

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Links to everything mentioned in today's episode are in the notes

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section of your podcast listening app.

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A written-to-be-read article based on today's episode is available at

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podcastpontifications.com where you'll also find a video version and a corrected

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transcript, both created by Allie Press.

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Podcast Pontifications is a production of Simpler Media.