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  • Writer's pictureScott Murray

Why You Should NOT Publish Your Very First Podcast Episode

A podcaster flies a plane while building it

Congratulations! You've recorded (and hopefully edited, optimized and normalized) your first podcast episode! You've put in the work, and now you're about to hit PUBLISH and share this exciting new show with the world!

I have just one more thing to say to you...

Akeem stops a cab in Coming to America

Stop everything. 🛑✋🏻

You're better off not sharing that with the world right now. Instead, make a few more, and don't release those either.

In fact, wait until maybe...Episode 6 before you release it to the public.

Your Episode 6 will be your audience's Episode 1.

It may sound like a pain, but I think you'll be happier in the long run.

In fact, I wish I had done this when I launched my first show in 2011. Instead:

  1. I uploaded my first episode.

  2. I uploaded my next five episodes.

  3. I deleted the first six.

  4. Then, I uploaded Episode 7.

I hated doing this.

My first six episodes had good interviews, too. It was a pop culture show, and I deleted episodes featuring interviews with Lar Park Lincoln (Friday the 13th Part 7), Brent Spiner (Star Trek: The Next Generation), James Hampton (Teen Wolf, Slingblade), Julie Newmar (Batman), James Tolkan (Top Gun, Back to the Future), and Efren Ramirez (Napoleon Dynamite).

It gutted me to delete those. 😩

So, why did I do it?

Well, it wasn't the interviews—although they were great—it was the rest of the show and the content I built around it

I wasn't as proud of it, and all future episodes wouldn't sound like that.

When I decided to create a pop culture podcast, I thought booking a celebrity guest would be awesome, but being so unknown, I thought that wouldn't happen much.

So, I created a show that wasn't structured for ongoing interviews. There were skits and commentaries.

The next thing I knew, I booked several celebrity guests in a row. I started building a reputation as a quality interviewer with a track record.

I suddenly wanted a totally different show.

My seventh episode sounded more like an interview show, featuring my conversation with Mayim Bialik about The Big Bang Theory.

I wanted THAT show to be the first episode for new listeners (and future publicists, agents and managers) to hear.

Here's what that all means for you...

The point is that your fourth, fifth, or sixth episodes might sound completely different as you develop the launch of your first show. You might be making so many changes and tweaks it might feel like the podcast version of flying the plane while building it.

And by the way - that's okay! It's a good thing 👍🏻👍🏻

You should listen to your episodes as a listener and ask questions like:

  1. Did I care?

  2. Did I zone out at all?

  3. Did I get anxious for the show to move on?

  4. Did I take anything away?

  5. What did I like about it?

  6. Why would I come back and listen again?

  7. Would I tell my friends about this show?

If you struggle to answer some of those questions or some answers aren't "good," you might need to make changes.

You could also have friends (especially those who are podcast listeners) give it a test listen and offer feedback.

I understand that this might feel like more work, but it's worth it.

Remember, if you're stressing about how much more work it will create for you - you're stressing about the wrong things.

Taking more time to optimize the show will benefit the listener in the short and long term. Plus, taking a few extra steps will make you feel a lot better about what you're offering them as you prepare to launch your first podcast.

If you'd like to learn more about how I can help your podcast stand out and connect with your audience, please take a look at my podcast coaching page.


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