Today I'm going to share three things your podcast needs to be successful, I'm also going to share some podcasting news, and a product review on a replacement

Blubrry Launches Advertising Partner Plan

If you are looking for an advertiser for your show, Blubrry was one of the first companies to try to pool a bunch of smaller shows together to attract sponsors. They recently launched a partner plan. Here are a couple of things about the plan

It's for someone who is serious about getting a sponsor

It's for someone who check's their email and values communication

In the past Todd and crew would setup an advertising campaign only to have podcasters pull out at the last minute, or they forgot to let Todd known they had already sold their own spots.

For more information go to

Ask the Podcast Coach Moves to a New Platform

After waved it's middle finger at podcasters, this week we waved back (after last week it just stopped working). The platform I am using is which has the same functionality (give or take) as blab, and its free. You don't get the audio file (just the video). You can always “rip” the audio out of the video file. So far I like it, and will continue to use it going forward.

Because of His Podcast Michael O'Connell Got a Book Deal.

I was interviewed for a future episode of It's All Journalism by Michael O'Connell and he shared that due to his podcast he now has a book deal about podcasting.

The Messengers Documentary Team will be in Akron Ohio on August 2oth

The Messengers Documentary team (doing a film on podcasting) will be in Akron Ohio (Cuyahoga Falls to be exact) on August 20th to film me, and to share some video and film the Northeast Ohio Podcasters Meetup (normally the third Monday of the month, but moved to Saturday this month). The exact location and time will be announced later (more than likely 2-5ish in Cuyahoga Falls – location to be determined very soon). For more information go to to check out Dave's podcast about the project go to

Podcast Rewind

The Biz Chix Podcast episode 26 had a super frank talk about sex after children. Gentlemen if you want to know what women think and feel about sex, now is your chance it starts at the 27 minute mark.

Another new show I've been listening to is the Rhoades to Success Podcast with Jessica Rhoades who has great tips on getting and being interviewed.

The Three Things Your Podcast Needs That Have Nothing to Do With Microphones, Downloads, or Hosting

Today I want to talk about podcast success and the things you need to achieve. Here is the fun part I’m not talking about microphones, downloads, or hosting. While those are ingredients that you need to podcast, without these you are doomed. They are attitude, health, and support.

The first thing is your expectations and/or attitude.

I have people contact me weekly with dreams of getting into Apple’s New and Noteworthy and “making it big” (whatever that means). Per Rob Walch of Libsyn, fifty percent of podcasters get less than 160 downloads, and fifty percent get above. I feel this is mainly due to the thousand plus podcasts launching every week. They are just starting to build their audience.

I come from a training background where if I had twenty students in my class, my hands were going to be full. When you have 160 listeners, that would equal eight classrooms. In the last building I worked in, that would be an entire floor of classrooms filled with people who want to listen to you. People who could consume AM, FM, CD, Sirius, Local and Cable channels, HBO, Netflix, Hulu, Audible, etc. They choose to listen to you.

So how do you get your attitude straight?

You have to be able to answer the question, “Why are you starting a podcast?” For me, I love to help people. That’s what I worked in training departments for 20+ years. Now, let’s not fool ourselves. I like making money as well. However, when I have someone come to me too scared to launch a podcast, and I later I hear them cry over the phone as they see their podcast in iTunes, it is hard to put a price on that. The other reason you need to know you “Why” is so you can create content that fits in with your goal. If the purpose of your podcast is to position yourself as a leader in your field, then maybe you should use a Q&A format.

What if you’re in just to make money. You’re in it to boost sales. Remember when you first start out you don’t have an audience, so if the goal is to convert your audience to sales, the first thing you need to do is focus on getting an audience, and second how to convert them. The length of time it takes to achieve this is why Podcasting is often said to have a slow burn. You have to have an audience before you can sell to your audience.

Also, you better be willing to podcast for free, because when you start out, you are. In fact, you’re losing around $30 a month in expenses.

The second thing is your health.

Certain gurus love to tell you to stay up until three in the morning, get up at 6 and go to work. If you really want it, you will do this. If you don’t do this, well then (LOSER) you don’t really want it right? You just need to dig down deeper. After all, it’s not going to come to you; you have to HUSSLE DOWN and GO GET IT TIGER! No for the record, you do have to do the work, but killing yourself to live is not a great option.

I did this for a while. Here is what it produced.

A crappy attitude because I constantly felt “behind.” That I wasn’t working hard enough, and that what I was doing wasn’t good enough, and that I need to sacrifice more.

A crappy product. I make enough typos when I’m awake, let alone when I’m sleep deprived. I was struggling with energy, and creativity because my body wanted something. It was called sleep. I recently lost 30 lbs. You know one of the key ingredients? Sleep. I now get at least 6, typically 7 hours of sleep a night. WHAT? THAT IS INSANE. No, what it is, is a strategy to be more productive because you’re not doing rookie mistakes because you can’t keep your eyes open. I can focus. You have the attention span of a puppy hopped up on red bull.
The other thing it did was mess up my back. Countless time I would wake up at my desk with my head pointing down in some weird position as my body was in some strange position sleeping in a chair. Great, my hustle would now slow me down cause I can’t stand up straight.
I gained weight. Why? Because I was BUSY, I had THINGS TO DO, so I would go get some “fast food” and slam my Double Mystery Meat, Fries, and a Coke. Never realizing by the time I drove to the Burger Hut, waited in the drive through, and got home to eat my luke-warm home slop, I could’ve cooked something much more healthy at home. Eating fast food is like pouring the cheapest gas you can find in your car. It doesn’t burn well, and it leaves a residue in your engine. Well, in this case, your body doesn’t know what to do with strange chemistry abortion called fast food that tricks your mind into thinking it’s not full so it can dump enough sugar down you face to light you up like a Christmas tree. You will notice on ingredient labels they don’t put the percentage of sugar contained in that Starbucks (because your morning Late probably has your over your daily limit already).
Poor nutrition leads to you getting sick, and tired. Which eventually leads you to be sick and tired of being sick and tired. Now instead of being upbeat, creative, and inspired you are tired, unmotivated, potentially cranky, and/or depressed.

Now because you’re tired and cranky (and maybe depressed), you will probably notice your family and friends don’t want to be around you.

Being tired, sick, and cranky leads to:

The third thing you need to have a successful podcast: Support.

When your friends and family (going forward let’s just say family) don’t support your podcasting efforts, it will suck whatever energy you have left in your body. It is often the final nail in the coffin. You can’t demand support. Demanding support often can lead to resentment on the person waiting in the wings. When you FORCE someone to support you, they aren’t supporting you because they believe in you, or they want to. They are supporting you because they HAVE to. If someone puts a gun to my head forces me to say “Soundcloud is the best podcasting platform on the planet” I would do it because I like breathing, but would that really be support?

When your family is complaining about the time, money and effort you are putting into your show it creates stress. Stress is not a great fertilizer for creativity. Some people strive under pressure, but many have a hard time concentrating. They can’t “be in the now” because they are too busy waiting for the shoe to drop.

So those are the problems. How do you solve them?

For Health Do the Following:

Batch cook food. For me, I buy a family pack of chicken thighs and dump them into a pressure cooker. I then package them up and put them in the refrigerator. When I need a quick snack, I throw them into the microwave, and while I’m eating the chicken I microwave a vegetable, and I’m done in 10 minutes. It’s true fast food. The pressure cooker requires no overseeing.

For me, I look at what time I’m getting up in the morning. For me, that is 7:30 AM as I have to be at work by 8:30. If I want seven hours sleep, I have to be in bed by 12:30.

I know I need to exercise for at least 30 minutes that means takes me back to 12:00.

Now Let’s Take This Thought into the Support Area

I need to eat and spend some time with my family. Let’s call that two hours. That would be 10 PM. If I arrive home at 6 PM, I would have FOUR FREE HOURS. Now my family isn’t going to want to eat at 10 PM. So from 6-8PM I enjoy my family. I then spend 30 minutes exercising. It’s now 8:30. I have three hours and thirty minutes to work on my podcast, 30 minutes to brush my teeth and say goodnight.

Realize something in this scenario. Your family gets 2.5 hours; your podcast got three hours and thirty minutes. If you did this every day, your family is going to feel short-changed.

Setting a schedule is also where you need to go back and set expectations with your family. Can you pull this plan off two times a week (giving you potentially 6 hours of podcasting time)? Are they willing to support this? If not, what ar they willing to support? It may turn out that you might want to consider doing a shorter show instead of an hour long show.

In the event you make some money with your podcast, give some to your spouse to do whatever they want. Now not only are you benefiting from your podcast but so are they.

Make family time just that. Turn your phone off and concentrate.
What happens if you run out of time? For me, I have found (unless it’s a deadline of a customer) most items in podcasting don’t have a time limit. The research you wanted to do tonight, can probably wait until tomorrow. That new tool you wanted to play with, can probably wait until tomorrow. 99.9% of whatever you wanted to do will still be there in the morning. I didn’t believe it, but I now can say 100% it is true.

Quit the following actions to boost your attitude:
Quit looking at other podcasters income and downloads. Much like golf or bowling, in podcasting, you compare yourself to your last game.
Realize the gear you have will probably do just fine. Microphone envy leads to people spending money on things they don’t need which leads to spouses resentment. Avoiding resentment leads to people sneaking things into the house. You are developing bad habits.
Obsessing over stats. Looking at them does not make them grow.
Reach out and network with similar podcasts. They know exactly how you feel. Having someone “In the trenches” with you can help.

Here are some tips to help with productivity

Used web-based services like Evernote, Onenote, Google Docs, etc. This way if you find yourself trapped somewhere, you can do that research on your phone or tablet. You can spend your lunch hour doing research instead of reading the outdated magazines in the break room.

I love for keeping track of things with deadlines, and you can easily make items directly from websites (thanks to a browser extension) and from within Gmail.

So set your expectations for your podcast, and set the expectations of your family.

Protect your health by getting enough sleep, eating the right things, and exercising.

Protect your family by giving them the time they need.

If you have lots of energy and support, but your attitude is crap, it will hurt you creatively, and you may lose your motivation.

If you are motivated but are sick all the time, then don’t have the energy to get behind the mic – even if your family supports you.

If you have a great attitude, feel great, but have to deal with an upset family, your podcast may be okay, but your life is spiraling down the drain.

Attitude, Health, and Support. Simple, but not easy.

Mentioned in this Episode

Planning Your Podcast Course

The Podcast Producers Podcast

Blubrry Advertiser Partner Program

Biz Chix

Biz Women Rock

Rhoades to Success

It's All Journalism

The Messengers Documentary

The Messengers Podcast

Daily Podcast Tips

Daily Podcast Tips! Put Your Inbox to Work

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.
2 comments on “The Three Things Your Podcast Needs That Have Nothing to Do With Microphones, Downloads, or Hosting
  1. Dave,

    Thanks for sharing all this great content! I love that you bring to the surface the real things that keep podcasters going. I have bee experiencing the effects of poor health (between lack of sleep, almost no exercising, and eating too much).

    I also agree about Jessica’s podcast, Rhodes to Success. I started listening to her podcast over a year ago and have been able to hear her growth and shift in how she podcasts.

    Thanks again for all the great help you bring to the podcasting community.

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