The 3 Boring Parts of Podcasting
You weren’t prepared for these, were you?
Do a podcast! It’s great! You’ll love it! It’s exciting!
Doing a podcast can be great fun. Doing a podcast can be inspiring. There are a lot of things to love about creating episodes.
But then there are the boring parts.
Research. Guest preparation. Editing.
This is another case in life where money will buy you convenience. There are services out there that will do a lot of the grunt work for you, but there are many things you still have to do for yourself that remain tedious.
For example, researching.
Do you remember how boring it was to research a topic in school? Yeah, it’s like that. I bet you wish right now that you had paid attention when someone tried to teach you how to do it correctly.
To be fair, no one is going to grade your research, but this is definitely one of those areas you don’t want to do halfway. I’m not saying you need to know every single thing about a topic, but wouldn’t it be nice if you knew enough to talk about it intelligently?
If you’re researching a guest, wouldn’t it be nice to know enough to ask intelligent questions? Wouldn’t it be nice to know enough to ask your guest more than the routine questions, the ones they get asked over and over?
This means take the time and do the work.
Yes, I’m asking you to do research on research.
Even what you might consider fun niches require some research, though it might be as boring. Maybe you talk about Rom-Coms. This means you have to watch or read (Gasp!) Rom-Coms. Tough, right? But it still has to be done to keep you current, and that’s where the tedious feelings might kick in.
What if the movie you’re watching sucks? Chances are you’ll have to keep watching the whole thing so you have context when talking about it.
How many times have you heard someone criticize something when it’s apparent that person hasn’t seen it? Do you want that to be you?
I once interviewed movie critic Leonard Maltin, and he said one of the hardest parts of his job was having to watch horrible movies all the way through.
Ask anyone the most tedious part of podcasting and I bet they say editing.
Like I mentioned earlier, there are options to have people do this part for you if you can afford it. There are some good reasons to do so. It saves you time, obviously, but it also enables fresh ears to hear your content. This can lead to a stronger show because an outside source might be able to recognize the least interesting parts and make suggestions on what to cut.
An outside editor can also help with sound quality issues.
Too many podcasters still don’t recognize when the audio quality of their show is horrible, and again, a fresh set of ears can help with that. By the way, there are some audio issues that can’t be solved, like distortion. Don’t expect your editor to do miracles. Instead, ask them how you can do better next time.
But what if you can’t afford someone to do the editing for you?
Welcome to the land of boring, my friend. Editing means you’ll have to listen to the whole episode, often multiple times, to figure out what to fix.
Fixing can mean removing umm and aahs. It can mean cutting out the stops and starts you made while recording. It can mean listening with a discerning ear and determining what content isn’t working, then cutting it. It can mean assembling different pieces if you record segments at different times.
What does all of this take? Time.
Maybe your workaround is streaming your show live, then posting the recording afterwards. You love the momentum of a live show.
That’s great, but you had better be good, meaning you know how to control the structure of an episode on the fly. Not everyone can do this well. Most people can’t do it at all.
It requires a good sense of timing and an innate sense of what’s interesting, and it’s knowing when it’s time to shift gears. Guess what else this requires? Research. And now we’re back to the boring part.
Bottom line, there are things you have to do for your show you’re not going to enjoy.
It’s part of the deal. But if your podcast topic is something you’re passionate about, or is something you find fascinating, doing this work will ensure your audience will enjoy it as well.