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What Makes a Good Podcast – Pro Tips for Stellar Content

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Podcast Tips How to make a good podcast

Navigating the vast seas of podcasting, where countless voices vie for attention, the question arises: what sets a compelling podcast apart?

Marc Maron, a podcasting virtuoso, once highlighted the ease of starting a podcast contrasted with the arduous journey of garnering listenership. This pivotal challenge begs for insights from those who’ve mastered the craft.

Gleaning wisdom from podcasting experts, we’ve distilled essential strategies that converge on a singular truth: a standout podcast is more than talk; it’s an artful blend of engagement, insight, and resonance.

For those embarking on or refining their podcasting journey, these condensed tips illuminate the path to captivating an audience.

What Makes a Good Podcast Great?

These industry veterans have carved a path for themselves in digital audio production and entertainment.

What makes a good podcast great Wired Clip

Now, they’re sharing all their insider knowledge in this article to help beginner podcasters get the best chance at success.

If you want to launch a successful podcast and attract listeners, keep reading. This article is full of tips from other popular podcasters like Joe Rogan and Pat Flynn, who will give you the knowledge you need to create and host a successful podcast that audiences love.

Key Takeaways for Success

The podcasting medium has risen in popularity over the past decade. This intimate art form deconstructs a story into its basic parts in audio. It is popular for a few reasons, including:

  1. 📻 In a hectic world, it has become the new “talk radio” of commuters during the week. It is perfect for hearing stories while driving, exercising, or running errands as an alternative to music.
  2. 🧠 It allows people to hear great bite-sized information for self-improvement or education. This makes it an interesting medium for many creators with skills they want to share and information to spread.
  3. 🤝 Podcasts allow people to connect with creators more personally. They also give the host more room to breathe than an average interview or even a usual lecture or performance.

12 Pro Tips for Success When Starting a Podcast

1. The Podcast Idea

What makes a good podcast

The subject matter of your podcast is important for several reasons. It determines whether someone will test out your show.

To create the most engaging podcast, your topic should be something that you are knowledgeable and passionate about.

The creator and host of the podcast, “With Special Guest Lauren Lapkus” came up with the idea for her completely improvised podcast with guests because she is an avid improviser.

She enjoys it and is good at it. She has access to other popular comedians she can invite as guests and is experienced enough to hold her own as a host.

podcasting topics ideas 42 Podcast Topics Ideas: Top Niches that Resonate

Producing a podcast is hard work. Choosing a podcast name or topic you think will be popular that you have little interest in will make it even more difficult. If you wouldn’t listen to it, you shouldn’t make it.

The podcast you go with should be specific and appealing to a wide audience. For instance, if you choose the topic of cooking, you may have thousands of other podcasts to compete with.

If you choose more specifically vegan cooking, you will narrow down the podcasts you compete with. While your audience shrinks, you can target the right listeners more appropriately and find devoted listeners who are excited that their niche is being explored.

Keep a consistent structure and stay on topic so listeners always get the type of content they expect. A content mismatch can lead to low ratings from people who tuned in expecting something different.

First of all ask yourself should I start a podcast? Without this simple question being answered, you will really hit a wall.

2. The Podcast Host

What makes a good podcast host is the ability to both engage with the audience and entertain them.

A good host has to have the energy to sustain this media form on audio alone while remaining authentic and trustworthy to the audience. The key features that are essential for hosting are:

  • Enthusiasm and passion
  • Being a compelling storyteller
  • A unique style or tone
  • A new perspective or voice regarding topics discussed
  • Authenticity
  • Consistency of values and vision
importance of a good host podcast

If the format is centered on interviews, which many podcasts are, the host should also be good with people. They should have insightful questions that speak to what the audience would want to ask if they could.

If you have never hosted before, practice is essential to deliver compelling conversation without getting tongue-tied.

Diction and focus are crucial to being a great host. Many people tend to speed up their speech when they get nervous, so remember to breathe and slow down if you get frustrated or tongue-tied while recording.

➡️ How Long Should a Podcast Be?

3. The Schedule

If you want people listening to your podcast, they need to know when and where they can find it. This is where a publishing schedule comes into play. Many podcasting experts create a set day that they release each episode.

The consistency of a schedule builds anticipation for each new guest or new topic and also makes it easier for people to keep up to date with your world.

schedule importance podcast

Decide how often your will publish your podcast, whether your show will be released weekly, bi-weekly, or even monthly. Be sure to leave yourself enough time between episodes to interview or record, edit, and advertise the next podcast episode.

You don’t need to sacrifice your life and free time to churn out content. Your audience will appreciate the work you do on your timeline.

Along with a planned schedule comes the ability to advertise consistently on social platforms. You can always plug that a new episode comes out every Monday, or every other Tuesday, or whatever you choose.

Be sure to have your publishing schedule viewable on your website or where your podcast is found, and even announce it on the episode. Think of this information like posting your business hours.

4. Production Quality

Just like any other piece of media, production quality will inevitably affect success in one way or another. With podcasts, in particular, the sound is of special importance.

Poor audio clarity can make the listener work harder to hear you talk when they want to relax and enjoy. This can even overshadow otherwise interesting stories and guest appearances.

Equip your team with the right tools to drive listenership and set your episodes up for success from the start. Unfortunately, the built-in laptop mic won’t quite cut it for recording.

Product NameEnhanced Description
🎧 Sennheiser HD 280 Pro HeadphonesCrystal-clear studio sound
🔊 Behringer HA8000 V2 AmplifierHigh-capacity, versatile amp
🎤 Shure SM7dB MicrophoneStudio-grade, legendary mic
🎥 Tascam DR-100mkIII RecorderSuperior fidelity field recorder

If you want to create an engaging listening experience, pick up a recording kit and editing software. From production to post-production, having the right tools ensures that focus isn’t removed from the compelling content by faulty or poor audio quality.

In addition to sound, adding video to your podcast can instantly improve its production value. While buying or renting the extra equipment to record video can be expensive, it also opens another monetary possibility.

Your team will decide whether it is a wide release and available for free or only accessible to those who pay or subscribe.

5. Engagement With Your Audience

audience podcast engagement

Whether you’re recording an interview show or just talking frankly to the person listening, engagement tends to feel more personal than other mediums.

Because of this, many podcasters choose to engage further with their audiences by asking for a comment, question, or even call-in. This builds a back-and-forth that keeps listeners interested and keeps the conversation relevant.

Like Marc Maron said, “Engaging people to watch can be difficult, but is essential. It doesn’t matter if you have the most interesting show on the planet if nobody is listening to it.” Some of the most unique ways that pro podcasters engage with their audience include:

  • 🎁 Giveaways
  • 📣 Shoutouts
  • 🌟 Fan/listener spotlights
  • 📖 A personal story or comment submission on a theme or general
  • 🎨 Fanart competitions or submissions
  • 💬 Advice segments or Q & A requests

One of the best ways to accept these submissions and garner community is by asking for them to be submitted publicly on social media.

This can be done through the use of a hashtag. This serves as free publicity for your podcast while also serving a valuable creative purpose for your listeners.

6. Planning For the Future of a Successful Podcast

Good foundational planning for whatever course you may take as a podcaster can set you up for a great launch. While this phase is essential, it can be intimidating to know how to start.

There are many ways to improve your show’s popularity and viewership. If you feel like you’re getting lost in terms of what you should focus on, these are the primary features that must be determined to get started with planning your content:

  • 💡 Topic or idea
  • 📝 Title and episode title conventions
  • 🛠️ Tools, software, and equipment to film and edit
  • 📅 Content release or a publishing schedule
  • 🎬 Length and structure of the show

You’ll want to consider your target audience and their lifestyle to determine many of these features.

target audience succesful podcast

Thinking about who you want to be listening to your show can help you choose relevant guests for interview segments and the most optimal podcast schedule and length.

If you think that many of your audience are people commuting to and from work, you can plan to post longer episodes that last thirty minutes to an hour.

If you think your show is more popular with fast-paced learners who want to glean data from your talk show, then fast, quick, bite-sized talk segments might garner more success.

Pete Holmes, comedian and host of the popular podcast “You Made It Weird,” once spoke about gradually loosening his understanding of the rules of podcasting.

He said he was left feeling unfulfilled when he restricted his early episodes of this medium to a shorter length. He felt happier with the results once he opened them up to fit his content and his audience. 

7. Monetizing Your Podcast: Striking the Balance between Profit and Listener Experience

Podcasting, for many, starts as a passion project. However, as listenership grows, the possibility of turning this passion into profit becomes ever more tempting and feasible.

If done correctly, monetization can sustain the podcast’s production costs, reward the creator’s hard work, and even become a primary income source. Here’s a closer look at striking the right balance:

Relevant Advertisements

Ads can be a significant revenue stream for podcasters. However, to ensure a seamless listener experience, these ads should resonate with the audience’s interests.

For instance, a tech-focused podcast could benefit from ads about software tools, gadgets, or tech events. This would make the advertisement more engaging and increase the likelihood of listeners considering the product or service.

Additionally, ensuring ads are not overly frequent or lengthy can prevent listeners from feeling bombarded and possibly turning away.


Sponsorships are a step beyond traditional advertisements. Brands or companies can sponsor specific episodes or even a series. The key to successful sponsorships is alignment.

The brand values and products should align with the podcast’s content and ethos. For instance, a health and wellness podcast might partner with fitness equipment brands or health food companies.

Moreover, integrating the sponsored content creatively, perhaps through storytelling or interviews with the brand’s representatives, can make the sponsorship feel less like an ad and more like valuable content.

monetizing podcasts

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing can be an unobtrusive way to monetize, especially if the podcaster naturally recommends products or services.

Podcasters earn a commission for every sale made through their referral by sharing affiliate links or codes.

The trick is authenticity. Only recommend products or services you genuinely believe in or have tried yourself. This ensures the trust you’ve built with your audience remains intact.

Listener Donations or Crowdfunding

Platforms like Patreon or Buy Me a Coffee allow dedicated listeners to support their favorite podcasts directly.

This approach can be particularly effective for niche podcasts where the community feels a close bond with the podcaster. Regular shout-outs, exclusive content, or special merchandise can be offered as incentives for these supporters.

8. SEO for Podcasts: A Must for Visibility

Even in the audio realm, SEO holds significant sway. For podcasts, it’s about captivating content and ensuring potential listeners can find it.

Podcasters can improve their visibility on platforms and search engines by integrating relevant keywords into episode titles, descriptions, and show notes.

podcasting seo courses Best Podcast SEO Course

Transcribing episodes can further amplify this reach, making content accessible to search crawlers.

With the rising popularity of voice searches, a well-optimized podcast isn’t just a luxury—it’s essential for reaching a broader audience and scaling growth.

9. Editing: The Unsung Hero of Podcast Quality

Editing is key to making a podcast sound clean and professional. It means removing mistakes, adding music or sounds when needed, and ensuring the podcast flows smoothly.

Good editing allows listeners to enjoy the podcast without any jarring pauses or errors. It’s a step that can’t be skipped if you want your podcast to be the best it can be.

10. Collaborations: Collaborating With Other Podcasters or Influencers in Your Niche

podcast collaboration

One key factor in achieving podcasting success is the art of collaboration. Engaging with other podcast hosts or popular figures in your niche can not only bring fresh and engaging content to your podcast episodes. Still, it can also be a strategic move to broaden your audience.

Additionally, such collaborations can lead to cross-promotion opportunities, significantly amplifying your reach and introducing your podcast to diverse listener groups.

11. Metrics and Analytics in Podcasting

In the podcasting realm, it’s not just about producing engaging content; it’s equally important to know how that content is being received. This is where metrics and analytics come into play. A successful podcast host regularly delves into analytics to gain insights.

By understanding which podcast episodes resonate most with listeners or identifying where most listeners are tuning in, podcasters can tailor their content more effectively.

measure podcast success How to Measure Podcast Success

Moreover, these metrics can reveal critical points in episodes where listeners might drop off, signaling areas for improvement.

Whether you’re listed on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or other platforms, tapping into these metrics can be a decisive factor in ensuring your podcast’s growth and maintaining an engaged audience.

Making data-driven decisions is the hallmark of a podcast that aims for continuous improvement and audience growth.

12. Mastering the Art of Listener Interaction

In the ever-evolving landscape of podcasting, where content saturation is a real challenge, the key to standing out might lie in how well you engage with your audience beyond the airwaves.

Interactivity—transforming passive listeners into an active community—can significantly elevate your podcast’s appeal.

  • 📝 Integrate listener-generated content, like questions or stories, into your episodes.
  • 📱 Use social media for live Q&As and behind-the-scenes insights.
  • 🌐 Host virtual meetups to strengthen community bonds.

Conclusion – What Do Experts Say Makes A Great Podcast?

With passion and practice, anyone can create a podcast they are proud of. But, if you want high viewership and a dynamic web presence, you can do a few more things to improve your chances.

Quality, consistency, and passion perfectly balance a popular program. Passion and energy from the idea to the host and presentation to audience engagement drive results. Consistency in scheduling and planning keeps things professional and makes it easy for fans to find you.

Use this guide and these expert tips to help you improve your production from the moment you turn on the mic to the week of release.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Still have questions left unanswered? The following may help!

How do you make a unique podcast?

How do you avoid the pitfall of generating and producing an idea that has been done before? To ensure that your idea and structure are unique, specificity is key. Draw from your worldview and personal experiences to create something that no one else could make.

In a sea of podcasts, how will yours be different? Another way to make a unique experience is by creating great features like:

  • Live streaming events with a chat feature
  • Videos along with sound for the podcast
  • Merchandise and extra content

How do I make my podcast stand out?

You can start making your show stand out to others with the title.

When you post a podcast to the internet, the only way that a stranger will click on it without seeing a piece of your advertising is because of the title. Your title should hook the listener. It should be engaging and descriptive in a few words, with a twist that conveys your genre or tone.

A comedic podcast could have a joke as the title. Your audience should immediately know the genre from the title, whether it is true crime, comedy, advice, or some other subject.

Shows starring celebrities should have their name or the name of the celebrity guest in the title. You want to put the thing that will grab the viewers’ attention upfront. Use descriptive words highlighting each episode’s theme to hook potential listeners and get them interested in your show.

You can make your show stand out in other ways, including:

How can you expand a unique podcast’s audience?

Have you tried implementing several of these tips already? If so, you can expand your audience by expanding your platform.

Not all podcasters use many other digital platforms to engage with their audience. These include:

  • Blogs
  • Show websites
  • Live show tours
  • YouTube content
  • Guest appearances on other podcasts

Each of these is an investment with different financial and time commitments. Be sure to weigh the strategic gains you want to make against the level of investment that video or live show performances require.

Also, think about the way that you could monetize these extra features by putting them behind a paywall or offering them as benefits to those who subscribe or support the show.

What is considered a successful podcast?

A successful podcast achieves its intended goals, whether those are related to audience reach, listener engagement, monetization, or content quality.

What makes a successful podcast?

Consistent quality content, effective promotion, audience engagement, and a clear niche or theme.

What makes a podcast unique?

A podcast’s unique voice, perspective, content focus, and presentation style differentiate it from others.

What makes an amazing podcast?

An amazing podcast offers compelling content, excellent audio quality, engaging hosts, and a deep connection with its audience.

What makes a podcast stand out?

A podcast stands out due to its unique content, distinctive voice, high production quality, and strong audience engagement.


Brett Robinson

Head of content and marketing over at Wired Clip HQ. I'm an Audio enthusiast and have been interested in anything from microphones to speakers. I am the lead guitarist for a small band and my main passion is editing our tracks.

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