I get it. When you get into podcasting, you're likely going to learn some things the hard way. I know I did. When I launched my first podcast in 2011, my mistakes included:
However, it's 2020, and podcasting is going more mainstream every day. With that, it's a lot easier to find good podcasting advice from reputable professionals. When I started, I found some random guy in Australia who produced a podcast about podcasting. Now you can find great experts like Cliff Ravenscraft, Daniel J. Lewis and Chris Brogan to help guide you.
While I think it's important to continue learning, there are some things I've heard podcasters say that made me instantly facepalm.
I asked them, "Is this what you're listeners want you to talk about?"
They answered, "It's what WE want to talk about."
Well, that's a fair answer if you don't care about your listeners. I know podcasters who aren't worried about downloads. They like talking and uploading it to the internet.
However, these podcasters wondered why their audience hadn't grown. One answer is universally simple -
If you promote an episode topic, then talk about it. If you veer off the subject too much, listeners are likely to bail.
Plus, listeners like to feel like their part of your conversation. In this case, if two people talking about their school lives together, the listener may feel like their eavesdropping on two people talking about something they were not present to experience with them.
I think the better option for Soundcloud is to showcase episode clips or previews with links and mentions to your podcast website.
Just because you can talk without limits, it doesn't mean you should. Remember, you're not only a podcast producer, but you're a consumer of content. Put yourself in the listener's shoes and try to measure when something is dragging on for too long or veering off course for an extended time.
In response, I've had people tell me, "Oh, but our listeners say they love our really long episodes, and they want more."
Really? How many of them told you that? Two percent?
Even if it's 80 percent, don't listen to them. Respect their time, and keep your shows at a reasonable length. I can promise you that your listeners will appreciate it.
You probably won't get a lot of emails saying, "Could you please talk about things for another hour?" Instead, if your episodes are too long, most people won't say anything.
Instead, they'll unsubscribe.
Not to mention, if you think 30 minutes isn't enough, you haven't listened to Mike Rowe's podcast.
As they said in Beverly Hills Cop - don't fall for the banana in the tailpipe.
As Daniel Lewis says - Don't fall for the podcasting myth of monthly downloads.
In 2020, podcasts are bigger and more popular than ever. That means there area lot more resources available for building a good show. Take advantage of it, and don't forget to keep learning along the way.