The more I keep doing this show (www.KirubaShow.com), the more I keep learning about podcasting in general.
Here are some of my experiences that you may find useful if you want to get into podcasting.
1) Transcription is Important
Search Engines can’t read audio or video. That’s why you have to make it easy for them to index your podcasts. How do you do that? Transcribe the entire conversation and present them as text.
I realized the power of transcription when I transcribed one of the episodes. My interview with Sam Sethi, CEO of BlogNation, suffered from very poor audio quality. I recorded it over telephone and it wasn’t good. Hence, I was forced to transcribe the entire conversation to make it easy for listeners to follow the conversation.
I was glad I did it. Because the search engine picked up this podcast more than any other podcasts that I did. A search for the CEO’s name in Google gets my podcasts in the top 20 results. For a long time, it was on the first page itself. And you know how valuable it is to be on the first page of Google.
2) Transcription Is Hard.
That one single transcription of a 15 minute podcast took me nearly 3 hours to get it done. Sure, it was because the audio was bad but nevertheless transcription is hard. Maybe if I had used special tools like voice recognition software, it might have been easier. That one single experience in transcription has increased my respect for transcripters.
3) Show Notes Are Important.
Show notes are brief description of what the conversation is about. Typically, you break it into timelines. For guys who don’t want to get into the rigmoral of transcription, show notes can be a substitute. This is something that I will start doing from now onwards, in addition to transcripts.
4) Left and Right Channel Recording Is Not Good.
Let me explain. When you listen to my podcasts using a headphone, you’ll hear me talk on the left ear and the interviewee on the right ear. While this help you mentally visualize two folks sitting in a room and talking, it doesn’t make for pleasant listening. Since, it is the interviewee who usually talks for most part of the podcast, it can be hard on the ear.
What’s the solution? It’s best to record the podcast as stereo with both the left and right channel mixed together.
5) Telephone Recording Quality Is Poor
I have almost given up on using the telephone to record. I earlier bought a telephone tapper, a small instrument that lets you directly record using your computer.
I then bought a telephone with a speaker phone but the quality was disastrous. Wasted my money.
6) Recording Via Gizmo Project and Skype Is Inconvenient.
This was what I was initially using for all my podcast recording. But invariably, everytime, I would have trouble connecting through. Sometimes, the constant wait and disconnections has pissed off a few CEOs.
I haven’t tried out SkypeOut yet. Its the paid option that lets you call landline phones from your computer.
7) Niche Is Good. It’s the Way to Go.
I’m glad I chose a niche area to focus on. My show is about conversations with CEOs of Indian tech industry. I don’t cover any other industry, even though it would have made it really easy for me. This kind of focus is beginning to pay off. The readership of the show has exceeded my expectation by many notches. Almost every day, I keep getting pitches from PR agencies to interview their clients. The biggest tip I can give to aspiring podcasters is focus on a very small area but go in deep.
8) Finally, Professional Podcasting is Hard.
I won’t sweet coat the truth. Its a lot harder than one would think. It’s a fairly time consuming business. I’m not talking about just recording the audio and hosting it. I’m talking about researching questions, editing, adding music, writing introductions, transcripting, writing show notes and finally promoting the show. It can be a full time work on its own.
I must thank a lot of readers who wrote back with their tips for improvement. If you have listened to any of my shows, I request you to let me know what you liked and what you didn’t. I’m especially all ears for stuff you did not like. You can be brutally honest. Either leave a comment or email me at Kiruba at Kiruba.com.
If you haven’t listened to any of my shows, here’s one that I’d recommend.
Interview with GB Prabhat, Ex-Director of Satyam Computers and now Founder & CEO of Anantara Solution. He recently closed funding of nearly Rs.26 crores. Whilst at Satyam, Prabhat helped net in around Rs.800 crores in annual revenues.