Podcasting Experiments

Podcasting Experiments is all about experimenting with your podcast. We explore ways you can implement and test different ideas to improve your podcast by looking at different strategies and ideas from other podcasters.
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Jul 5, 2016

CS4.5 – Recording Your Narrative Podcast


Special guests:

  • Corey Coates
  • Jessica Rhodes
  • Dave Jackson
  • Daniel J. Lewis
  • Geoff Woods



Welcome to the Creative Studio, where we conduct experiments with podcasting. We are in the middle of our fourth season, where we are talking about narrative podcasting. If you’re new to the show, I’d recommend going back to the first episode of this season because each episode builds on the previous one – at least to some extent.

We’ve already looked at:

  • What a narrative podcast is and whether you should do this format or not
  • The overall workflow or roadmap of a narrative podcast
  • The planning and preparation that needs to go into a successful narrative

In this episode, we will be looking specifically at the recording aspect. Jessica Rhodes and Corey Coates are the hosts of The Podcast Producers podcast. They are conducting interviews for their second season (which is almost over), but for the first season, they did a narrative or documentary style.

4 – Guests are the spotlight

1 – Looking for sound bites

6 – Interviews not meant to be raw and uncut

2 – Doesn’t have to be perfect questions

7 – Let the guest talk

5 – Allow the guest to tell the story

3 – Shut up after asking the question

8 – Best stuff after 15-20 minutes

Jessica Rhodes is also the founder of Interview Connections, a service that connects podcasters with guests. She also provides a lot of great information and resources for interviewing. One resource is a video series called Rock the Podcast from Both Sides of the Mic. This can help you with being both a host and a guest. Check it out at


Besides having interview skills and techniques to get the content you need, an important aspect of interviewing is having a way to record the content. There are several ways that you can record.

One popular way is using Skype with a Skype-recorder. You just speak with the guest and the software can record the conversation for you, usually splitting your side from theirs. This makes it easier for editing later. This is how I did most of the interviews for this series.

I also used my cell phone with Corey Coates. I had my phone hooked up to my mixer so that both sides of the conversation could be recorded into my digital recorder. If your guest has the right equipment, you could speak over the phone and each of you can record on your own side separately. This is called a double-ender.

Another method that you use is in person interviews. For this a portable digital recorder is really helpful. Dave Jackson even uses his iPhone’s recording software.

9 – Digital recorder ready

Daniel J. Lewis also talks about using a digital recorder, but he emphasizes the importance of getting good quality audio – at least quality that is good enough. He has some great tips.

10 – Clear spoken word

11 – Microphone techniques

12 – Contrast in audio

Geoff Woods records a lot of audio for his podcast, The Mentee. It started as a personal mission to build passive income after his income got slashed by 40%. He sought out people that were already doing the things he wanted and had conversations with them.

13 – Record everything you can

14 – You won’t use everything

So when it comes to creating a narrative podcast, you need to do the preparation beforehand, like we mentioned in the previous episodes. When you’re prepared, you’ll have a better idea of where you’re heading.

In “Out on the Wire,” Jessica Abel interviewed a lot of people. One of the people was Ira Glass from This American Life. They obviously create a lot of narrative and journalistic audio. In talking about pre-planning the story, he said:

“An if you want to make things that rare really special, sometimes you invent like a fiction writer, and then see if reality conforms to what you made up. And when it doesn’t, obviously you report what’s actually real.”

In other words, you try to think of what the story is and what people may say. You line it up before you conduct your interviews so you have an idea of what you need and where you’re going. When you are talking with people, that will guide you. But you’ll also find out the specific details and information. You’ll find out the parts where you guessed wrong. You’ll then adapt your prewritten story to what you actually get. It’s like working with a template – it won’t be perfect, but it makes it easier to adjust and put the story together later.

I wish I read this before I started this project – it would have made it easier. Although, I did do some of this in the pre-planning stage. I had an outline of 10 main topics I thought I wanted to cover. After doing the first few interviews, I realized that a couple of the topics were too close to be separated. I also discovered a couple other ideas I wanted to delve into more. So I adjusted my outline and continued with the other interviews. After the interviews, I went through all the audio and cut the pieces out and categorized them. Since I was mainly following the outline, it was fairly easy to separate them. But sometimes the conversation shifted or we jumped out of order. But at least there was a plan to start with.

In the next episode, we’ll be taking the next step, which is probably the most tedious part – the editing. If you remember back to episode 2 when we covered the roadmap, there are many edits involved in a well-produced narrative.

If you haven’t already, I’d appreciate it if you took a moment to subscribe in iTunes and leave an honest rating and review of this podcast. Also, if you found this helpful, it would be great if you could help others by sharing this with them. The show notes page can be found at CreativeStudio.Acacemy/405.

Thank you very much, and I’ll talk to you soon. God bless!


Jun 26, 2015

This is a bonus episode for our series on how to podcast.

Brad Clayton from the Entrepreneur Uncovered podcast comes on to share some of the struggles that he's had over the past couple months getting started with his first podcast.


The post Beginner podcaster shares his struggles (3-14) appeared first on Creative Studio Academy.

Jun 5, 2015

There are a TON of resources for podcasters to help them take their podcast to the next level. I'm going to be listing just a few of them here.

To start off, here are some of the podcasts about podcasting I listen to regularly:

School of Podcasting
The Audacity to Podcast
Podcast Answer Man
Ask the Podcast Coach
Podcast Review Show
The Podcasters’ Studio
Podcasters’ Roundtable
Podcast Talent Coach
The Podcast Report
The Podcast Producers

There are many other podcasts and blogs about podcasting, and you can find a great list at, which is a resource put together by Daniel J. Lewis of The Audacity to Podcast.
iTunes Reviews
Every week, I get all of my iTunes reviews from around the world sent to my inbox via (another awesome service from Daniel J. Lewis). If you were to manually check on these, you would need to go through a long process of check each country's store in iTunes.
WordPress Plugins

Blubrry Powerpress
Pretty Link Lite
Social Subscribe and Follow

E-mail Newsletters

Hot Pod
Pod to Pod

Podcaster's Library
Phillip Swindall (Show Notes Guy) created a library of resources for podcasters. This library includes tons of information on the following aspects of podcasting to prepare you to launch, or even to re-launch your podcast to a more successful future:

Email Marketing
Social Marketing, and
Mobile Marketing

For a limited time, you may be able to get this great resource for $49 (normally $299).
Podcast Production Services
As I've mentioned before, I am helping podcasters to take their podcasts to the next level and recover their time. I started doing this in February 2015 through If you use the discount code "CSA", you can receive 20% off the first month of whichever package you choose. Plus, the first episode is always free.

One of my clients, Scott Barlow, created this video, sharing his comments about us working together.

The post Resources for Podcasters (3-13) appeared first on Creative Studio Academy.

May 29, 2015

Shawn Manaher is the host of the Author Hangout and the Sidepreneurs podcasts, and comes on today to share his tips about podcasting and podcast promotion. In episode 101 of the Sidepreneurs podcast, Shawn shared 101 tips that he has learned regarding podcasting.

Shawn start by sharing his best podcasting tips:
[Tweet "Absolutely everything will take long, be harder, and won't matter as much as you think. - @ShawnManaher #podcasting"]

[Tweet "Create templates for everything. Systematize everything as much as possible. - @ShawnManaher #podcasting"]
Follow your routine!
What is the greatest tip that Shawn has been able to gather from the many interviews he's done?

On his podcast, Shawn asks his guest what the number one thing that contributes to their ongoing success. A common answer among high-level performers is to have and follow a routine. This helps to get them in the flow and maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of what they do.
Shawn's promotion tips

New and Noteworthy in iTunes
Strategic tweeting 20+ times per day to connect with influencers
Create systems and utilize virtual assistants
Strategic posting on social media
Create Quote posts for each episode
Include an image with social media posts
Be consistent with your promotion

Bonus session next week
I originally planned on having this session conclude this series, but I feel compelled to bring one more. There are a lot of resources available to podcasters. I'm going to share some of those next week.
Semester 4
Over the summer, we'll be having our Semester 4. These sessions will be scaled back some between June and August. I am working on getting back to the original intent of this site and podcast, which is to create resources that are easy for people to get and consume.

One of the resources will be some tutorials/courses about podcasting. I'll be using some of the content from the podcast episodes that we have done in Semester 3, but there will be much more content as well. I will be creating several levels of accessibility to these: some will be completely free and available, some will be for those subscribed to the newsletter, and some may be used in a paid/premium course.
I am doing some podcast production, and I'd love to help you with your podcast. As a listener of this podcast, I will give you a discount if you use the code 'CSA' when you inquire about one of the three packages on

The post Podcast Promotion and Tips with Shawn Manaher (3-12) appeared first on Creative Studio Academy.

May 22, 2015

Darrell Darnell is the founder of Pro Podcast Solutions, taking care of podcasters by handling their audio editing, show notes, and many other aspects of their podcast. Darrell has helped many people start podcasts and has a great podcast launch strategy to maximize their efforts. We also talk about the different podcast directories that we should consider having our podcasts in.

Darrell has

The post Podcast Directories and Launch Strategy with Darrell Darnell (3-11) appeared first on Creative Studio Academy.

May 17, 2015

Jeff Brown from the Read to Lead Podcast joins us to talk about his post production and editing philosophy and workflow. He was also on the School of Podcasting sharing some of his podcasting experience and tips.

The post Podcasting Workflow: Post Production and Editing with Jeff Brown (3-10) appeared first on Creative Studio Academy.

May 10, 2015

You would like to get a better recording. And you don't want it to take forever.

One thing you can do is learn to make improvements while you are recording. Last week, we talked about some things we can do before we record (preparation part of podcasting workflow). I have 15 tips to help during the recording process.

This week we also have Bill Conrad from New Media Gold. He has recorded in many different environment and experimented with a bunch of different things. He shares some great insights and tips for podcasters.

Tips for better recording

Drink water
Use chap stick/lip balm
Breathe in through your nose
Speak over your mic
Use a pop filter and windscreen
Get close to the microphone
Turn up the gain only as much as needed
Room with soft features
Try to get children and pets away from your recording room
Gently instruct them on being quieter
Turn phone and notifications off
Mute computer sounds if possible
Have microphone on a different surface than computer
Get comfortable with silence
Make note of spots to make corrections

The post Podcasting Workflow: Recording with Bill Conrad (3-9) appeared first on Creative Studio Academy.

May 2, 2015

Today, Dave Jackson from the School of Podcasting joins us to share some an experiment he's been working on: How to Podcast for free. He shares his experience after podcasting for 10 years, as well as insights from being the Director of the Podcasting Track for New Media Expo.

The post Podcasting Workflow: Preparation and Dave Jackson (3-8) appeared first on Creative Studio Academy.