It’s no secret that I love podcasting. Not only did it land me on the iTunes Top 50 and lead to a large portion of my followers, but I also value it as a marketing opportunity for any writer.
Recently, we’ve been making our way through my five major types of platform content authors needs to create in the series of blog posts, and I hope you can check out any that you missed. Not just for my sake--I truly believe they can provide value to an author looking to grow.
Today, as we get to the podcast, I’m going to address a question I’ve heard several times over my career as an author/podcaster: what sort of podcasts should an author make if they’re trying to grow their platform?
There’s no right answer, but here are three different options to consider.
An Informative Podcast
If you’re a writer, odds are you’ve been asked for writing advice several times throughout your career. Maybe, even, more times than you can count.
If that’s the case, an informative podcast could be your way of helping other aspiring writers while also expanding your platform and followers.
With this type of show, every episode will be a chance to pick a new topic and drill down into the details. For example, you might host a podcast called, “Write this Way” (please don’t use that--I’m sure it’s taken) and episodes might be as follows:
How to create a great main character
Three plot tropes to avoid at all cost
Strategies for planning your next novel.
No matter what you decide to talk about, an informative podcast presents short episodes that require minimal scripting and editing (if you’re well prepared). Better yet, high-level content will attract a steady follow base as long as you’re consistent in your posting.
An Interview-Based Podcast
An interview-based podcast has the same general structure as the informative podcast, but in this version, you’re going to be the moderator more than the expert in the room.
If you choose to do this, you’ll use your writing connections to find exciting people from the literary world to bring to your show and interview them.
Structure-wise, you’d need to come prepared with a list of engaging questions to prompt an informative interview, but you’ll also need to be ready to share the spotlight with your guest. This show could include episodes such as:
John Smith on Navigating the Publishing Industry
Tamisha Andrews on How to Work with an Editor
Literary Agent Susan Smithers on How to Write a Great Query
These shows are easy to record and edit, but before you release your first episode you need to be sure you backlog several episodes. When you’re counting on other people for the recording, you need to be prepared for some delays.
An Audio Drama
Finally, an audio drama is my personal favorite because it’s another way to do exactly what you love: tell stories!
Audio dramas are usually scripted series that have the whole shebang of add-ons: sound effects, music, voice actors, etc. If done well, they’re like a movie for your ears.
That said, there’s a huge catch: there are a ton of studios making these now--much more than when The Others achieved iTunes success, and to get a top-quality podcast like that you’ll need to be able to sink a lot of time into it. The returns, at least financially, will most likely be small, so you need to be able to sink a lot of free time into it… quite literally.
But if you (and a small team) do achieve audio drama success, you’ll be flexing your skills as a writer to a whole new audience. When you do this, new readers will inevitably come.
Ready to Podcast?
If you’ve read this post and know what kind of show you want to create, be sure to download my podcasting guide. Then, when that’s finished, get to work! It’s a fun endeavor and best enjoyed with friends. Don’t forget to reach out on Twitter at @realjessehaynes with any questions. As always, I’m here to help.
Good luck and happy writing!