I started planning a podcast in May. It was going to review other podcasts, and I (along with my wife) would explain if we liked it and why. I got the domain, I built the theme, I created an “episode 0” to get the podcast into iTunes.

I then went and started recording test shows. I wanted to use a set criteria to make it fair for all the podcasts I reviewed. I spent a large amount of time setting up the criteria, and it seemed that “bad” podcasts were still getting “Decent” reviews. I also ran into the problem of shows that were produced well, but the topic didn't tickle my fancy.

I did some test reviews and sent them to the podcaster, and got my first batch of hate mail. The idea was to promote me as a coach to podcasters, and instead I was turning people against me.

I also found listening to podcasts that I didn't choose to listen to made for some very long podcasts (as I would have to listen to a show to give it a fair shake).

In the end, creating these shows were not easy, were not fun, and I have officially “paused” this idea. If I had done the test shows first, I could've saved some of the time I spent designing the website, etc.

How Many Commercials are Too Many? is something I blogged about last week.

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About the Author
Owner of the School of Podcasting. Also produces the "Ask the Podcast Coach." He is also the author of the book "More Podcast Money" and is a regular speaker at podcasting and media conventions.
4 comments on “The Importance of Test Shows
  1. Michael says:

    Interesting episode Dave. I remember you talking about starting a new podcast in which you would review other podcasts. I thought it was a great idea, but I can understand now some reasons why the idea just wouldn’t work. Excellent advice regarding how it’s good t try a few episodes out first to see if the idea really pans out. Appreciate the honesty about your experience.

    Agree with you about how you need to find the right amount of commercials in an episode. I recently unsubscribed to a podcast which generally had good content, but contained way too many commercials. As a podcaster myself I have no problem with commercials, but as you say, you have to find that balance. 5% sounds like a good guideline.

    Great show. Keep up the good work.


  2. Allan says:


    Thank you for saying that my Andy Griffith Show was well produced. Even though you aren’t a Mayberry fan you were kind in saying if folks were that it would be a good podcast.

    Two Chairs No Waiting Mayberry Podcast.

  3. Dave Jackson says:

    Yeah, I will say there is a lot of people who WANT a review podcast (as I have a list of people to review and I never kicked it off the ground). I may still do it. I’ve got a couple of ideas. So it’s not dead, but its probably a “first thing next year” project. I have a couple of different ideas that I like more. Thanks for listening.


  4. Dave Jackson says:

    THAT WAS IT. Yeah, I loved watching the show growing up, and the episode I listened to was for the fanatic (which I’m not), but it was well done. Now how do I say that without making you feel bad?

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