We’re only a few days into a brand new year. It’s a good time to look ahead and make plans for the next twelve months. With that, I’d like to propose some new rules we as podcasters should stick to in 2015.
1.) Turn off autoplay. Setting your media files to autoplay artificially inflates your download statistics. It also creates a lousy experience for your website visitors because no one likes to get a surprise blast of audio when a new site loads. Just stop with the autoplay.
2.) No more shady iTunes review swaps. You know who should be leaving iTunes reviews? People who have chosen to listen to your podcast. Stop trying to game the system by taking part in review swaps. Ask your actual audience for reviews and take them to heart when they come, good or bad.
3.) Stop publishing bad shownotes. I saw some “shownotes” today that were a gobbledygook of topical keywords followed by a list of broken hyperlinks. We all know that shownotes are fairly tedious and boring. But if you’re gonna bother to do them at all, at least try and make them moderately useful. Your listeners will appreciate the effort and you’ll feel good for doing it.
4.) Stop linking only to iTunes. It’s well known that iTunes is still the 800-pound gorilla of podcasting directories. But it’s not the only podcast subscription option. Be sure to post links to any and all services where your podcast is distributed. And be sure to have a direct link to your podcast RSS feed. Many podcast clients don’t rely on built-in directories and will need your RSS feed URL in order to subscribe.
5.) Stop spamming. Before promoting your podcast, take a moment and ask yourself if it’s really relevant to the place where you’re about to drop that link. Because if you really do have to think about it, it’s spam.
6.) Stop Twitter bombing. This one goes hand-in-hand with the spamming, and also ties in with autoplay. Twitter bombing is nothing more than a badly veiled attempt to inflate download numbers. It’s not helping anyone, least of all the podcasters who are doing it.
7.) Stop wasting your listeners’ time. If you’re producing say, a 30-minute long podcast focused on one topic, don’t spend the first fifteen minutes talking about your kid’s piano recital or the shows you watched on TV last night. Unless of course, you have creative and valuable ways to work those things into your show’s primary topic. Otherwise, you’re just wasting your audience’s time and giving them a good reason to hit the skip button.
8.) Stop humble-bragging about stats. Over the last year, I’ve witnessed this trend of podcasters posting charts and graphs of their download stats. It’s natural and even good to want to celebrate your successes. But keep the party confined to the channels that serve your audience. Bringing these posts to other forums is at best tacky and at worst spammy. Please, stop.
Got any more new podcasting rules for 2015? Leave them in the comments!