24 Lessons Learned In A Year of Podcasting (to 10,000+ Listeners, FS052)

On our 52nd episode, we share the 24 things we learned in a year of podcasting, what we wish we would have known before we started, and how to slap yourself into gear (because, like us, you probably deserve it too).

Thanks for an incredible first year of the Fizzle Show. From making us the #1 business podcast, to the Pejorative Mexican™, all the way through Muppets and goats… you’ve been amazing to make things for. Here’s to the next year.

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24 lessons learned in a year of podcasting (to 10,000+ listeners)
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The 24 Lessons

  1. Holy shit, get started: Listen to this part in the show for the caveat.
  2. Make something valuable and fun. It takes time to find the balance between “what I want to make” and “what they want to listen to.”
  3. Don’t listen to the loud minority. Be they positive or negative.
  4. Keep going.
  5. Podcasting is more immersive and engaging, though less accessible than blogs/websites/social media/etc.
  6. Screw states. They go down, they go up, who knows why. Get too excited about them and you’ll be sad either way. (But you do kind of have to be aware.)
  7. Create episode arcs. Also, multi-episode arcs (like our monthly themes).
  8. Interviews can be lots of work. But they can perform really well. (Like this stuff.)
  9. Have someone else do the technical stuff. (thx, a-holes.)
  10. Listening to the podcast connects you more to the show than just recording it.
  11. Audio quality matters. We explain some caveats on this one.
  12. Try both pre-batching a bunch of episodes and doing things in real time. It can connect you to feedback and audience responses better (without burning you out).
  13. The ROI isn’t clear, but doing a podcast is worth it for a lot of different reasons.
  14. Podcasting is getting crowded. You’ll be better off having started now.
  15. Podcasting is fun when you have partners.
  16. Don’t underestimate the value of inside jokes. People like them.
  17. Be consistent. There’s two angles to this one.
  18. If doing interviews, find people who aren’t interviewed elsewhere or at least ask them different questions. (I recommend listening to this guy for some ideas.)
  19. Make a headline before you record. It’s real hard to derive a headline from an hour long, earnest, exploratory conversation.
  20. Podcasting may or may NOT be for you. Be the judge for yourself.
  21. The real art is learning how to be yourself on this mic. Fuck expectations, be yourself.
  22. Serving a GREAT audience really helps. I’d have burned out long ago if it wasn’t so clear our audience is full of earnest, good, brave people.
  23. Stand instead of sit. Helps energy wise
  24. Figure out what time of day you sound the best. Energy, etc.

Our most popular episodes (in order)

The Fizzle Song (Levi Whalen Remix)

This is the killer song I’m using in the intro/outro (with a little lyrics at the beginning added). SO love this.

Show Notes

Blue Yeti USB Microphone If you’re on the fence just do this one. Done and done. Even the Wirecutter agrees.

Shure SM57 & Blue Icicle This is what I use right now. It’s fine. If I was doing it over, i’d get this one.

Steven Pressfield: The 10,000 Hour Rule “But what exactly are we learning when we’re beating our brains out all those years?”

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  • CommandYourBusiness

    Great tip on standing up while recording. I will have to try that one. After hearing Chase’s British accent again, I am still 100% convinced Chase = “Tom Southern” from episode 51. Keep up the good work



  • http://www.DavidJBradley.com/ David J. Bradley

    My favorite tip is the simple “stand, don’t sit”. Such a minor change can have a huge impact on how you sound! Same goes for finding your best time for energy during the day.

  • http://thestrategicmama.com/ Vanita Cyril

    Record standing up? Ok, totally gotta try that one. You guys are awesome and podcasting with partners is the best tip EV-ER! Five months ago, you guys inspired me to turn to my best blogging gal pals and say “hey, why don’t we start a podcast”. It was (and still is) an extreme amount of work but the Blogging Betties Podcast is 9 episodes in and we’re extremely happy we took the leap and did it together. Thanks so much for a great year of advice. Again, love you guys and looking forward to more years.

  • Preston Lee

    Guys, congrats on all the huge success over the las year! I’ve been following the show since day one and have seriously loved every second of it. Here’s to another successful year and many many more to come! Best in all, guys.

    • Corbett Barr

      Thanks Preston! Glad to hear we’re keepin’ ya entertained mon :)

      • Preston Lee

        Ha ha. Totally keeping me entertained. And not just that, my business keeps growing every time I do what you guys recommend. Imagine that. :)

        • Corbett Barr

          Even better!

          • Tom Ross

            Haha that was my favourite bit too, so many weird looks at work listening to you guys cracking up out loud. Congrats on the milestone guys, you’ve earned it :).

  • FellowHQ

    I note everyone is picking up on No 23, stand don’t sit. Which is interesting, as I’m finding that’s the best way to work anyway. I made myself a stand-up work station and everything has improved. I wrote about it here (and yes, I wrote it standing up): http://www.fellowhq.com/?p=1780

  • http://gilmichelini.com/ Gil Michelini

    Anyone using Soundcloud for podcast?

    On the stand/sit issue, I switch to standing for the whole work day in December 2013 because I could not never sit correctly and I hurt so much at the end of the day. I enjoy standing and I find I do have more energy.

    The advantage of standing while podcasting is that you can breath better and–this is important for this Italian–gesticulation is easier.

    • http://lifestoked.com Deacon Bradley

      I’m not using SoundCloud, but I know Jared Easley (@jaredeasley) just did a webinar yesterday about SoundCloud for podcasters. Hit him up on twitter, he’s super helpful!

    • Chase Reeves

      We’re planning on moving everything over to soundcloud. I’m sure we’ll be vocal about how it is.

    • Podcastcoach

      I just did a whole episode on Soundcloud, Libsyn, Blubrry (including video of each one’s stats) .Soundcloud is NOT ready yet to be the number one host. Why would you leave Libsyn? My episode is at schoolofpodcasting.com/410

      Right now you have to dig into the RSS to find the RSS. Not exactly convenient. And you’re what saving $5 a month? If you use the blubrry powerpress plugin for your player you can turn on an embed code. Not quite as versatile as the soundcloud player, but its close.

      Keep in mind Soundcloud has received over 160 million and their podcast system has been in beta for three years. THREE YEARS!. Again, just not ready to play with the big boys in my opinion. They are a music service with a minor in poor podcasting practices.

    • Chase Reeves

      @Podcastcoach:disqus, you make some good points. The thing that excites me about Soundcloud is this: We don’t know what “listening to podcasts” will look like in 10 years… and I see Soundcloud as one of the only companies with smart enough people on the product and strategy side to explore the potentialities…

      You mention RSS in your comment. I think the point is: the mass of podcast listeners in 10 years won’t ever have to know what “RSS” means. It’s already likely the case… if you use an app like Downcast, apple’s podcasts app, etc., you never have to think about an RSS feed. You search, subscribe, listen all within the app.

      just interesting things to think about.

  • http://lifestoked.com Deacon Bradley

    I’m afraid I couldn’t both stand AND talk if Chase were on the other mic. I’d be doubled over laughing… or in shock… one of the two.

    Thanks for the tips guys! I’m launching my show at the end of May so this is timely for me :).

    • Corbett Barr

      I find myself in both of those situations in every episode. Somehow Caleb and I manage :)

  • VeloNomad

    With the music, did you ask permission to use?

    Also do you have a gear list for the audio/mics etc, and workflow?

    • Chase Reeves

      Woops, forgot those links. Just added them at the bottom of the post @VeloNomad:disqus. Yes, did get permission from Levi to use the song :)

  • Care Mycue

    Hey Guys! Thanks for the LOL at 35min. :) For what it’s worth, I’ve listened to every episode, 42 of them twice, episode 27 at least 5 times, and I, too, would listen if you did a knitting podcast. :) Oh, and longer episodes are always better for me. Congrats on the milestone: looking forward to the next 52!

  • http://kimanziconstable.com/ kimanzi constable

    I saw a stat that said there are 900 million websites, 250 million blogs and 175,000 blogs being added everyday. As of right now there are 140,000 podcasts. Podcasting is far less crowded right now and you’re right, now is the time to jump in and build an audience.

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  • http://samuelfigueroa.com/ Sam Figueroa

    Don’t change a thing love this shit.

  • Marianne Manthey

    So i finally got caught up on all the podcasts just this week (started listening to #1 way late) and it just so happens to be a year already! congrats guys, i love the podcast and always recommend it to my readers. it’s actually the ONLY podcast i listen to… seriously.

  • http://www.successwithfocus.com/about/ Jeff Jones

    Still catching up-LOL! Totally enjoyed the show and the list. Thanks for all you guys do! Chase is a rock star!

Up Next:

This Not That, How to Choose What to Work On Right Now (FS053)

How could you know what is the MOST IMPORTANT thing to work on right now? Through this episode you’ll learn how to navigate this question, where the potholes are and about 9 specific tips you can apply right now. (I’m very explicit about the one I think is most important).

The Sparkline — a blog for independent creatives and entrepreneurs building matterful things.

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