True Voices, True Journey – Podcast Challenges and Advice

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Podcasting is super popular nowadays. People love sharing stories and knowledge through podcasts. But making a podcast isn’t always easy. It can be full of problems and successes.

In this blog post, we’ll look at a chat between Erin, John, and me, Niall about their podcasting journey as well as podcast challenges. Whether you’re new to podcasting or a pro, you’ll find some great tips from this blog.

Erin and John, the hosts of Connect-Empower are on a mission to make a movement about proactive aging. They, like many beginners, fell into the trap of thinking podcasting was simply hitting record. Little did they know that the editing, uploading, and promoting aspects would bring their initial excitement crashing down.

Niall Mackay, The Podcast Guy

Podcast Equipment

Erin and John have some pretty impressive tools in their arsenal. We’re talking microphone stands, boom arms, Samson Q2U microphones, a PodTrak P4 recorder, and the ultimate podcaster’s secret weapon – a teleprompter! Let me show you more details about each piece of equipment:

Microphone

A high-quality microphone is an indispensable tool for any podcaster, playing a crucial role in delivering professional-grade audio content to listeners. 

Investing in a high-quality microphone is not just a sound decision; it’s a fundamental aspect of producing engaging, professional-grade podcasts. Here are my recommendations:

To know more, read my blog about choosing the most suitable podcast microphones for all budgets.

Headphones

One of the biggest mistakes I’ve made is not using headphones while recording and I keep reminding my audience and clients about this. 

High-quality headphones provide accurate sound reproduction, allowing podcasters to hear their recordings with exceptional clarity and detail. Premium podcast headphones offer superior noise isolation, minimizing external distractions and allowing podcasters to focus entirely on the audio they’re monitoring. This is especially important in recording environments where background noise can interfere with the clarity of the recording.

  • Audio-Technica ATH-M20x
  • Sony WH-1000XM4
  • Audio-Technica ATH-M50x

Recorder

Modern audio recorders are compact and portable, allowing podcasters to record interviews, discussions, or on-location segments wherever they go. Whether conducting interviews in a coffee shop, recording a live event, or capturing ambient sounds for immersive storytelling, a portable recorder ensures flexibility and freedom of movement.

  • Zoom: Zoom H4n Pro, Zoom H5, and Zoom H6
  • Tascam:Tascam DR-40X, Tascam DR-100MKIII, and Tascam DR-05X
  • Sony: Sony PCM-D10, Sony PCM-A10, and Sony PCM-D100

Mic Stand/Boom arm

These are not compulsory but they are an essential accessory for podcasters and content creators who use external microphones. A mic stand or boom arm gives adjustability and stability to your microphone, ensuring consistent microphone positioning and avoiding disruptions during recording sessions.

Teleprompter

I was so surprised when they mentioned a teleprompter. I didn’t have this before and I thought it would be much better to have one. While a teleprompter is not essential for every podcasting setup, it can be a valuable tool for certain podcasters, particularly those who rely on scripted content or need assistance with delivering speeches, interviews, or monologues.

With advancements in teleprompter technology, modern teleprompter systems are user-friendly and easy to set up and operate. 

If you’re looking for a top-notch podcast studio in downtown Saigon, Seven Million Bikes podcast studio is here to help.

Say goodbye to the hassle and step into our professional studio – the solution to all your problems. Whether you lack the right equipment, face noise challenges, or simply seek a dedicated space for meaningful conversations, our podcast studio is the key to opening a seamless and professional podcasting experience.

My studio Setup

Editing – The Frustrating Podcast Challenge 

The editing process is one of a the podcast challenges faced by many of my clients, including Erin and John. It can be a time-consuming and frustrating task, particularly for those who are new to the process or unfamiliar with the software.

For Erin and John, the frustration is how to get used to using the editing software. 

Here are some reasons why the editing process is always a pain in the ass:

  • Technical Complexity: 

Editing software often comes with a wide range of features and tools, which can be overwhelming for beginners. Learning how to use these tools effectively and efficiently requires time and practice. Additionally, editing involves tasks such as removing background noise, adjusting volume levels, and adding music or sound effects, all of which require technical expertise.

  • Time-Consuming: 

Editing a podcast episode can be a time-consuming task, especially for longer episodes or those with multiple audio tracks. Each segment of the episode needs to be carefully reviewed, edited, and polished to ensure a seamless listening experience. This meticulous attention to detail can take hours, depending on the complexity of the episode.

  • Maintaining Consistency: 

Achieving consistent audio quality throughout an episode can be challenging, especially when dealing with issues such as volume fluctuations, background noise, or varying audio levels between speakers. Ensuring a consistent and professional-sounding podcast requires careful editing and fine-tuning of audio elements.

  • Learning Curve: 

For podcasters who are new to editing, there is often a steep learning curve associated with mastering editing software and techniques. Understanding how to use editing tools effectively, applying audio effects, and navigating the editing interface can take time and practice.

  • Technical Issues: 

Editing software may encounter technical glitches or compatibility issues, leading to unexpected errors or crashes. Dealing with these technical challenges can be frustrating and may disrupt the editing workflow.

Podcast Challenges

Save Frustration, and Time with Niall

If you’re struggling with the editing process like Erin and John, I’m here to help.

From recording, editing to publishing, my team will give you a polished episode with outstanding quality.

We go beyond simple editing, offering a range of services including coaching, music composition, in-person recording, and more. Our goal is to help your podcast stand out and reach its full potential. Contact me now

Podcast Mistakes

There are certain mistakes that most podcasters make in the beginning. 

Forget to hit the record button

For John, and even myself, that is forgetting to hit the record button. Let’s see the reasons why:

  • Distraction: 

During the setup process or in the midst of preparing for a podcast episode, podcasters may become distracted by other tasks or conversations, leading them to overlook pressing the record button.

  • Assumption of Recording: 

When podcasters see that their recording equipment is powered on and their microphones are connected, they may assume that recording has already begun. This assumption can lead to a false sense of security, causing podcasters to neglect pressing the record button.

When I start speaking and hear my own voice in the headphones, I always assume that I’ve hit “record” already without double-checking. 

  • Technical Complexity:

Recording equipment and software can be complex, especially for beginners or those using new tools. With multiple settings to adjust and buttons to press, it’s easy for podcasters to overlook one crucial step in the recording process.

That’s why I need to create a podcast checklist before recording. Moreover, relying solely on audio cues can be risky. Make sure the recording software’s interface has a clear visual indicator (like a red light) that confirms the recording is in progress.

Lastly, practice makes perfect. The more comfortable you become with the recording process, the less likely you are to forget crucial steps.

Hitting Record Button

Jump on when the other is talking in a conversation

The second mistake that we mentioned was talking over each other. 

This is a common mistake, especially in a conversational podcast. In the flow of conversation, especially when passionate about the topic, it’s easy to get over-excited and jump in before the other person finishes their thought. Besides, in face-to-face conversations, brief overlaps and interruptions are normal. 

While a conversation might feel natural to the hosts who are physically present, over-talking can have a significant impact on the listener’s experience. For listeners using headphones, multiple voices competing for attention can be distracting and difficult to follow. It can disrupt the flow of the conversation and make it challenging for listeners to engage with the content.

So how can we improve?

  • Communication Strategies: Implement communication strategies such as hand signals or verbal cues to indicate when one person should speak and when the other should listen. This helps maintain a more balanced conversation and prevents interruptions.
  • Active Listening: Practice active listening skills, such as waiting for the other person to finish speaking before responding. Allow each speaker to express their thoughts fully without interruption.
  • Turn-taking: Establish a turn-taking system where each participant has designated opportunities to speak. This ensures that everyone has an equal chance to contribute to the conversation without talking over each other.

Tips for New Podcasters

As experienced podcasters, we have certain tips and advice that we have learned through the podcasting journey. 

Quality Over Everything

Invest in decent equipment (a good microphone is key!), learn basic editing techniques, and strive for a professional sound. Remember, your listeners are bombarded with content, so a clear and pleasant listening experience is crucial. Whether recording in a studio or on the go, prioritizing quality equipment ensures that every episode maintains a high standard of audio excellence, captivating listeners and enhancing engagement.

Consistency is King

Just like your favorite TV show, listeners crave consistency from their podcasts. Decide on a publishing schedule you can realistically maintain, whether it’s weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. Then, stick to it! This builds trust and keeps listeners coming back for more. 

Tips: Content Calendar is Your Best Friend

Invest in a content calendar, whether it’s a physical planner, a digital spreadsheet, or a project management tool. This will be your roadmap for upcoming episodes. Block out recording dates well in advance and use the calendar to brainstorm and schedule corresponding topics.

Content that Stands the Test of Time

Evergreen content is the holy grail of podcasting. It’s content that remains relevant and valuable long after it’s published. Focus on topics that won’t become outdated in a week. Interviews with timeless experts, discussions on fundamental life skills, or deep dives into evergreen trends are all great examples.

My podcast, A Vietnam Podcast, still has new downloads from the very old episodes! Unlike current events or news, the topics discussed – Vietnam tourism and timeless insights –  hold value for listeners regardless of when they were recorded. Someone listening to a 2019 episode wouldn’t feel like they’re missing out on anything because the information is still relevant. 

Conclusion – Podcast Challenges and Advice

The story and journey of the guest highlight the challenges and joys of creating quality content. From equipment setup to editing struggles, beginners have experienced the realities of podcasting firsthand. However, the commitment to providing valuable information and building a movement keeps them motivated.

In the end, podcasting is not just about hitting record; it is about connecting with an audience, sharing valuable insights, and making a positive impact. Erin and John’s story serves as an inspiration for aspiring podcasters, reminding them that with dedication and perseverance, they can overcome challenges and create a podcast that truly empowers and connects with their audience.

Don’t hesitate to book a free consultation if you have podcast challenges in your podcasting journey!

Connect-Empower

Niall: [00:00:00] Welcome to another episode of Smarter Podcasting with me, Niall Mackay. I started my first podcast in 2019 as just a hobby for some fun and it has now developed into a full time business and a full time podcast about podcasting. No, I do have to give a quick disclaimer, before this episode start. If you’re watching, you’re going to be able to see John and Aaron and see what equipment they have and they have amazing equipment and amazing studio. An amazing set up. I couldn’t give any better recommendations. The interview sounded great, but for some reason I have no idea why the audio is a bit sub-par, there’s a bit of a crackling noise. And I’ve not been able to fix it or remove it. So just be aware that this episode is great and we are talking a lot about quality content. And for some reason, I have no idea why [00:01:00] the audio is a little bit crackly, but please forgive them.

Please forgive me and enjoy the episode. Now in this episode I’m talking to my favorite podcasting couple all the way from, I say this wrong every time, Boise, Idaho, did I say that right?

Erin: You were close.

Niall: I was close.

Boise, all the way from Boise, Idaho. I don’t know why that’s so difficult. These guys, I’ve been working with them for a while now. They make an incredible podcast about aging adults, which as someone who’s turning 42 this year, it’s going to be applying to me soon. So I’ve been learning so much from them making their podcast, and they’ve hopefully been learning so much from me as well.

So my guests today are Erin and John from The Connect. Net Empower Podcast. Thank you for coming on.

Erin: Thank you. Yeah, thank you for having us.

Niall: tell me why did you start a podcast and why was that important to [00:02:00] support what you do and tell us what you do.

John: I’m going to let Aaron handle this one because I was terrified. I was against podcasting because I didn’t know that much about podcasting. And, I just, I love her so much. I said, okay, I, I believe that this is something you want. Let’s do it.

Erin: He has been very supportive and something that seemed so easy to me.

It should be like, just press record or put play and. It’s done.

John: And it’s not easy. That’s why we had to hire Niall, everyone.

Erin: No, really why we started it is we’re out to make a movement. We’re out to make a movement to get people to be proactive in their life, instead of reactive in time of need as we age.

And John and I, it was really hard for, both of us to hear and see people and families go through the tragedies that they were going through, and we’re like, there’s a better way, you guys. We can help you, and we know there’s so many people out there, so let’s gather the information from all the experts and put it out there. We want people to know, don’t be embarrassed, [00:03:00] don’t have anxiety. There are people that have answers for you, and we want to be the place where people could go and really find those answers.

Niall: you’ve said something really interesting there about you thought it would be easy and you thought you would just hit record. And this is something that I face all the time. I see it in Facebook groups, even when working with people like yourself, they come to me because it’s exactly that. So before you made the decision to start a podcast, what were you expecting?

What did you think?

Erin: Literally, I was gonna take my cell phone, put a mic on, and we were gonna sit in the closet, and be like, boom, done. I don’t know where we’re gonna upload it. Why do I have to edit it? don’t we sound amazing? What’s volume control, and what is that knob down there that’s What is it called down there? The

John: Game Nall. Yeah, what is that?

Niall: Yeah,

it’s amazing because

so many people, , and that is how podcasting started and that’s the beauty of it. I started with just a single Blue Yeti condenser [00:04:00] microphone in a big empty room. And this week I’ve just launched my own podcast studio. So it gets addictive and I’ve just been building up more and more equipment.

So it’s amazing that that’s how people start and that’s, it does, it can be that easy. at its most basic as you just recalled on your phone. But if anyone’s watching this on YouTube, they’ll be able to see, if you’re listening, you won’t be able to see the equipment that you have in front of you. You definitely don’t have a phone anymore, if you ever were planning to do that.

So how did you go from, we’re just going to record on a phone, to you pretty much as sitting in a very nice home studio with a beautiful sign behind you?

Erin: John being very supportive as he is says, if we’re going to do this, we’re going to do it right. I’m not putting crappy quality. I don’t want things to sound bad. We’re going to make ourselves be the professionals. And I’m so glad he did. Cause I’m like, why are we spending money? But as you know, you know, you’re in a [00:05:00] room, things echo, you have to have lighting.

If you’re going to do video and you don’t want that,

John: right? Well, if I could just add. You haven’t seen our closet. Erin is a lover of clothes, and she has a lot of clothes, and two of us don’t fit in that closet with microphones.

Niall: And that is, did you read that? Cause that is something that is recommended, , you can record in a closet or under a bed, under a duvet or comforter, as you guys would call it. there’s, there’s ways to do it, but you guys have awesome equipment. So tell me what, what equipment do you have now?

Erin: I’m gonna turn that over to you.

John: Oh gosh, we have a lot of equipment. We have lights, we have,

Erin: um, yeah, we have mic stands, or what do you call these? We did the arms. We

Niall: Boom arm, boom

arms. Yeah. What microphone is it you’re using?

John: Oh, it’s the Sam son.

Niall: Q2U.

John: Yes, exactly. I haven’t looked in a bit. We have a PodTrak [00:06:00] P4.

Niall: Yeah.

John: we

Erin: have, uh. We actually have, and I’m going to tell on ourselves. Teleprompter? To help people. Yes!

Niall: You have what?

Erin: a teleprompter.

John: we’re going big over

Niall: Whoa. That’s what I need next.

John: yeah, we got some, uh, we got some really expensive furniture,

Erin: lights. I mean, our sign, right?

Niall: Your sign.

Erin: plants

John: we had to soundproof this place, that was a nightmare.

 I didn’t know you were gonna grill us. If we would have had a, you know, we would have had a list on our teleprompter

Niall: You should have,

yeah. I mean I’m a big equipment nerd and like I said I started with just one blue Yeti condenser microphone that broke after about Nine months and I still have it in a closet, and every now and again I bring it out and plug it in, just hoping that it’s gonna come back to life. I wouldn’t even use it if it came back to life, but I’m just hoping and praying that one day it will magically work, but it, I don’t think that’s gonna happen.

But yeah, and then I’ve just built up equipment over time and not like you guys, where you just got it [00:07:00] all at once. I would get like one thing here, one thing there. And then now, like I said, we’ve just opened up our podcast studio, which is exciting.and seeing all the equipment come together in one place, it’s quite nice.

Erin: you, you know what’s funny is out in the living room because with the script, you know that you can record on it too. And so we have this box with the foam and we put the Yeti inside it. So when we’re adding our intros or outros or like the little things people are saying. That’s how we’ve started

John: doing it.

Yeah, and all of our stuff is portable, so we’ve done, we’ve done podcasts in hotel rooms, when we’ve been traveling. yeah. Anything is possible. We’re making this girl’s dream come alive.

Erin: He

is.

Niall: so

what has been, obviously, I was going to say, what’s been the biggest kind of surprises in this whole process? Obviously going from just a cell phone in a closet to having a full on studio. But what’s some of the things along the way that you’ve been like, Oh.

Erin: This is no joke. It literally is [00:08:00] no joke. You have to figure out. Where you’re going to edit it, where you’re going to host it. Do you want it on Spotify? Do you want it on Apple, Amazon Music? Are you going to do YouTube shorts? What do you want for social media? Little wave clips? Oh wait, it gets better. Are you going to do a blog with it? And don’t forget the description. That’s got to go in with all the things. And

John: all the social media posts you’ve got to put up leading into your podcast and after it. So yeah.

Erin: And then, my favorite part. The analytics.

John: Yeah,

Erin: Tracy analytics.

John: There’s a lot to it. So so we’re both retired. We’re multi millionaires.

We’re doing this for free everyone. So tune

Erin: in.

Niall: So I, a few years ago, actually somebody asked me, how long does it take you to make a podcast? And so I broke it all down and it was like, you know, setting up the interview, doing the interview, then it was editing it, then it was doing the artwork, the show notes, the title, uh, all of that [00:09:00] stuff that you’ve just mentioned, right before you even get to promotion, sharing it on Facebook groups.

And it easily came out to eight to 10 hours. And that is probably not even doing it as much as you can, like you can, it’s one of those ones you can just keep going and do more and more and more and more. And so it is, it does start off, I started off as well just thinking, I’m just, I literally just bought a microphone, I’m gonna have some fun.

And then it would be like Sunday night and I was up till two in the morning editing. And I had so much fun doing it, it was great in the beginning, I wouldn’t do up to two in the morning now editing. But. Uh, you guys maybe have done the same, when you just, you’re like, I have to get this done, you’re doing the website or the blog and, um, Yeah, it, you realise that 8 to 10 hours is a full day at work, so if you’re gonna undertake this hobby and have a full time job, which most people start off, most people do, you’re adding another day to your week, and most of us only get two days off, so that means you’ve got one day off, if you’re lucky.

Erin: That is so true, but I tell you [00:10:00] it’s worth it because like I said, we’re out to make that movement and we want people to have this information and to know. I think if we were just doing this for fun, we probably wouldn’t put in as much work. Like you say, you, we have to search and find the guests and we’ve got to pre interview and talk to the guests to make sure you’re a right fit. We got to come up with questions and possible questions that ask them and research that topic.

Like these are things we haven’t talked about, right? And then we’re going to send them the list of questions. Hope they agree if they don’t have some of their own. And then when you show up, you may not even ask half of them. You know?

John: I’m just excited if I remember to turn on the pop track before and hit the record button because, uh, We’ve done that.

Yeah, there can be some moments where you’re like, whoops, I didn’t push. so, um, I think that a lot of people, this is not for the faint of heart, and there’s a reason why people don’t make it past like like four or five podcasts, because there’s a lot of, you gotta put in a [00:11:00] lot of your heart, and I will say, thank you to Niall, and Aaron, um, we’re fortunate that Aaron, um, works from home most of the time, and so Aaron has the flexibility to really dive in deep with the support of you, Niall. and and really, really build this thing because I also work outside of the home and so I can’t help assist as I like, but

Erin: Yeah, your YouTube video that you posted up there when you were recording one of our podcasts, I literally, every time I do a podcast and I practice, I go through all the steps.

Niall: Which YouTube video is that?

Erin: It’s

connect-empower_1_03-14-2024_192121: the

Erin: very first one you made. I can’t remember what it is. It’s the one that you did of ours. You took one of our podcasts and you posted it up on YouTube.

Niall: Oh, the audit.

Is it that one?

Erin: one. I can’t remember, but I will be like, okay, what was that again? What did he say? Yeah, I gotta go back and check the video and see what I’m

Niall: Uh,

well, so it’s funny something you mentioned there about pressing record. And I think I saw you [00:12:00] give me a annoying nod there, John, because you’re referencing one of the podcasts and blogs and that I put out with my common mistakes. Is that what you’re referencing?

John: No, no, no, I wasn’t referencing that. I just know it’s happened to us before. Yeah, we’ve done it. Where we’ve done it a few times where we were like, oh, just a minute. We’re gonna have to restart because I didn’t hit record.

Erin: By the time you do the intro and you’re in the second question and they’ve already explained the whole story.

Niall: Well, so I put out, uh, I did a podcast and like you said, made a YouTube video, made a blog, uh, about my eight biggest mistakes that I’ve made since I started podcasting. And the number one was not hitting recall, which I’ve done several times and it’s a nightmare. Actually, that blog got shared by somebody that I don’t know on LinkedIn.

So that was kind of like, Oh, that’s exciting. Like somebody read it and then shared it on LinkedIn. But then at the same time, it’s so embarrassing. It’s like, Oh my God, now all these people are [00:13:00] reading my biggest mistakes. And this is my job. I’m a professional and my biggest mistake. And it is really, really easy to do.

And one of the reasons why I’ve, why I make that mistake. And I don’t know if you find the same because you’re wearing headphones when you’re recording. You’re plugged into the pod track so you can hear yourself and the mistake I make is I just assume it’s recording because you just you think it’s turned on because the machine is on you’re hearing your voice from the microphone in your headphones so I’m just like all right we’re on now and then you’re like I’ve done it I’ve done it before like somebody hired me to record I wasn’t even hosting it or being interviewed they hired me for my equipment To recall them doing a podcast and they did it for an hour, and when I went over I could see that the red light wasn’t on, and I was like, guys, it’s not recorded.

I didn’t say I didn’t hit record, I was just like, it’s not recorded. You gotta use the passive, [00:14:00] right? You gotta use, blame the inanimate object. It’s not recorded. And um, but they were really great. They, they did it again. And they even said that the second time was better, which I’ve found that I’ve not done it many times over the years.

I’ve been doing this for quite a few years now. It’s only been a handful of times where I’ve not hit record. And generally the second time is better. That’s the saving grace. If you have a guest that’s magnanimous enough to do it again, which most people are. I’ve never had a problem where somebody got angry about it.

But the second time is generally better.

Erin: That is so true, especially if they’re first time podcasters and they’re not used to it, their nerves are like, what do we do? But once they get in it, they’re like, Oh, it’s like having a conversation, literally. So when you do restart it, they’re like, Oh, I’m an expert now. I got this.

Niall: And you start to, on the second time, you are more succinct, I find. And you take out maybe some of the fluff that you’ve talked about in the first time. So it all works out in the end.

[00:15:00]

Niall: So what has been the biggest challenge, apart from working with a Scotsman, that you’ve faced when making your podcast?

Erin: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the editing. It really has been the editing has been my biggest challenge. And sometimes it’s certain parts, right? I’ll, I’ll master this part and get to learn this. And then like, gosh dang it, something changed in it, or I don’t remember what this is, or biggest thing is the volume. I know you and I have talked about it, you, you’ve shared it, and I’m like, I feel like I’m just a blonde in that moment. I don’t know.

John: Well, you watch, you watch videos and stuff and it talks about the gain level and where you should put your gain level and so forth. And so you follow everything to the T, and then it doesn’t come out that way, right?

Or, we’re trying to use Squadcast, and so we invite a guest, we send out the invite to the guest, we get it all lined up, and then Squadcast [00:16:00] fails, and we can’t get it to work, right? And so, for me, um, I’m a little bit more of a quitter than Erin is. She just keeps going after it, and I’m like, Yeah, I can’t do this.

You just figure it out, And she usually does, but,So it is, it’s, it’s a learning curve. you don’t just go and, I’m sure some people do, but.

Erin: There’s a reason why people pay people to do podcasts. Because it is, it doesn’t matter, it takes a certain skill, a special skill for someone to really have the patience to do this.

Niall: Well, let’s explain what is our relationship, because we haven’t even explained that. So we worked together for, we’ve been working together now for what, six months? Is it as long as that? How did we end up working together and why, why do we work together?

Erin: my job is. Originally, the marketing and social media and John’s with the podcasting. Oh my gosh, bless his heart. This is when the time of just script was changing a lot and then squad cast and everyone was coming and [00:17:00] things were just, it’s like he would learn something and then they would change it.

And it was like frustrating because I just learned this and I know where this button is and now it changed. And he was like, every time I take a step forward, I’m taking two steps back. after a little bit, I could see his frustration, like, alright, let me figure this out. I’m like, what would people do, right?

You search for someone to help you. And Descript had a Facebook group, and in that group I think I had posted something, we’re having trouble with this, and somebody had recommended you, and then you had also popped in. And so that’s how we ended up connecting, like, hey, we need help with this! And you’re like, I got you. Here’s what we can do. You

John: know, mind, mind you, I almost have a full-time job already, aside from this podcast and stuff. Mm-Hmm. . And so it is, you know, when you, when you’re already tired from working your other job and you come in and you’re trying to edit, you want it as simple as possible. And when you’re first starting out, it is not simple.

Oh. And um, it’s a foreign language, so Yeah. So you’re trying to learn things, you’re trying to pick it up and it just. It wasn’t locking in. [00:18:00] And so, um, I kind of handed it off to Erin and of course you, Niall. She found you and you guys have been working together, you know, making this happen. So,

Niall: So we started off with a coaching call, right? And we did a talk to you, talk to you through. So it’s so interesting because the script is for me really easy to use, but it is a massive learning curve, uh, especially in the beginning. And I do use it literally all day, every day. Like I’m working on anywhere from 25 to 30 podcasts at a time.

So. So all the little quirks that come up and sometimes it has a bug or sometimes it changes something and if you’re only making your own podcast and you’re only diving into the script once a week and then suddenly something’s changed it’s like oh my god what’s changed how do I do this how do I fix this and you see that frustration come through on the Facebook groups for me when something doesn’t work it’s just like okay just restart it or okay it’s changed now like there’s normally like a really simple solution so that that’s where I like to try and [00:19:00] help people because It is a really difficult program to use in the beginning, and it does change, like they do an update like nearly every week, and sometimes those changes can be quite dramatic.

I remember when they first made some really big changes, I literally couldn’t find half of the functions that I’d used before, and that is incredibly frustrating. So, yeah, being able to use the editing software is the number one thing, and that’s why I love to be able to help people with that as well.

And then I still do the editing for you. I’ve taught you so much, um, but you still, uh, I still help you do the final edit to make sure it’s right. And it’s interesting what you’re saying about the volume as well. and The Gain. There’s so much to take in. And I literally don’t know what you guys do, but you send me a different volume every time you send a, you send a podcast.

I’ll message you, because I, like, it’s so strange now, I can literally, like, see audio. It’s so weird. And you, I’ll see the track, and I’ll be like, why is it so small? Because, [00:20:00] I guess you’ve turned The Gain down on this occasion. So, it’s like really quiet. But then, John, I keep meaning to tell you this, I don’t know what you do, but at some point, I think you just yell into the microphone because your volume will spike to like red, then go back down.

So I’m like, okay, I gotta, I gotta cut like one word of you and turn the volume down for one word because it just spikes into the red. I think you get excited, which is kind of cool.

John: I’ll try not to do that. But

Erin: those are the things that people need to consider and think about, right? And I think, too, people get lost when you’re first doing a podcast. Like, oh, I don’t want to be myself. And I think that’s the most special part, right? Especially if you’re doing it solo and as a duo as we are. But then we’ve learned a lot about ourselves, and I am speaking for us because we’ve had these conversations. How not to over talk each other. Because before we’d be like, blah blah blah, blah blah blah, because you’re so excited, right? Yeah, and then

John: Niall would say, You guys [00:21:00] gotta give each other some space.

Don’t talk. So then we’re doing these hand signs like, Hey, my turn. You know, and we’re trying to, we’re trying to abide by all these rules. Yeah.

Niall: Well, I’ve noticed a big, big difference. So that’s one of the things I look out for the most when I’m auditing a podcast or listening to a podcast, because what I explain to people is, and I’ve explained to you guys, it’s really natural when we’re having a conversation one on one that you’re going to jump on top of the person, be like, Oh yeah, yeah, I think the same, you know, you want to get your point across.

But I was explaining this to somebody recently and they were like, I’ve never thought about it like that. And what I was explaining was, you have to remember that a listener has headphones on, they’re in the gym or, you know, they might be in the car so they don’t have headphones on, but they’re in the gym or they’re doing the dishes.

Most people listen to podcasts with headphones on. And so when you have this attack of the voices and you have all these competing noises in your ears, it’s really like harsh on the listener. And she’s like, I’ve never actually thought about the listener, like what they hear. You know, she’s like, I just do [00:22:00] like, Oh, it’s a natural conversation.

We’re having a talk. It’s fine. But I was thinking about it from my perspective and not what the listener hears. And so that was something I did coach you guys on in the beginning, because you’re both very excitable, which is so lovely. And Aaron would be saying something and then John would just jump in like, Yeah, blah, blah, blah.

And I’m like, no, mute, mute, John, shut up. And then vice versa as well, sometimes as well. It would often be that Aaron can’t wait for John to finish. So Aaron’s already adding what she wants to add before John’s even finished speaking. So again, I’m like, mute, or it can be challenging sometimes. So these are the things as an editor.

They can often be fixed when you’re, when you’re editing, but not always.

John: Story of our life. I mean, every conversation we have is like that. I’m talking and she’s talking and

Erin: That’s my hand signal. It’s my turn. So I’m over talking to him because if you know John, he does have a lot of [00:23:00] amazing things to say, but at some point I do like to be heard too, you know?

Niall: Now we’ve all gone silent. Who’s going to talk first? So tell me, what is next for your podcast? Have you been enjoying the process? It seems so, and you’ve, you’ve overcome pod fade by a mile. You’re up to what? We’ve, you’ve recorded, I think, 30 episodes or?

Erin: I think we’re right about there. We were just recently talking about this, you know, that we were originally starting off with doing one once a month, but there’s so much information that we’re like, well, we could actually do like two or three a week.

Niall: Yeah.

Erin: we settled for once a week, but I think we’re just trying to always stay ahead. I think we’re like three or four months ahead right now, and I don’t know, we don’t know really what we’re going to do.

John: I know what we’re going to do. We are going to do some other things besides just podcasting, because our company does have a lot of different facets to it, even though [00:24:00] podcasting is very enriching and we have a lot of great information. To get out there. I do not see us increasing the amount of podcasts that we’re doing.

Niall: Not two to three a week.

John: no, I see us mastering the whole process of doing a podcast well, editing ourselves And getting it dialed in so that we’re really good at it And consistent with it. And, uh, and then working on some other things with our business as well.

Erin: Well, what I was going to say is, I think that’s important too, is to pivot where we were really rushing and had our schedule free as much as possible while people are available, but you do need to set boundaries. We’ve just recently said, Hey, let’s pick a Friday and a Saturday that people can do it once a month instead of a Monday through a Saturday, anytime you need it. Because then, of course, John is still working, we’re still doing other stuff, and it’s, we started, it started to become overwhelming, because we’re so excited to learn all this and get it out to people, but we have to remember we have [00:25:00] lives, too. We still need to work out, we still need to have our time, right? It’s important for us to have our time, and not be so consumed by the podcasting world.

Niall: Well, Well, You guys have come so far, but I love the the equipment that you have I’m a bit of an equipment now, so I love that because it it’s a it shows a commitment to good quality audio which as you guys know and I just want to produce good quality audio and so sometimes I’ll be working with somebody and it’s generally the guest will be like in a wind tunnel on the laptop microphone and I’m like, this just sounds so bad and it’s nice when you can take that bad audio and make it sound good and I’ll often get comments from somebody being like, how did you turn that? 

How does that sound so good? And I’m like, yeah, it takes a bit of work, but we got it. Um, yeah. So it’s really exciting to see, and the biggest thing is consistency is key, which you guys are super consistent, you’re way ahead of schedule, which is, um, means you can take a breather for a couple of weeks if you want to, because you know that you’ve already got episodes there, and the biggest [00:26:00] thing I would say though is, you’ve just got to keep on going, so with my first podcast, which I started in 2019, It’s absolutely incredible. 

So I stopped making new episodes of that podcast about two years ago to focus full time making podcasts for other people because I literally had no time to do my own podcast anymore. I now do this one smartly. Part of it was I’m going to make a podcast about podcasting, which this is, this is what’s come of it.

And so I stopped a Vietnam podcast and I would do some, what I call pod swap, so I would take other shows that I make, so I make another podcast about Vietnam tourism, I would post episodes of them, if I was a, if I was a guest on another podcast, I would ask for permission from them and I would take the audio from that and post it with, you know, a new introduction, like, hey, this is whatever podcast, check it out, I was a guest, blah, blah, blah, My point is, that podcast is now getting more downloads than I’ve ever had when I was actually making [00:27:00] weekly episodes.

The downloads are now through the roof and you can see the chart because it’s evergreen content, similar to yours, it’s not current events, it’s not news. So people are finding it however they find podcasts and they can go back and listen to the very first episode from 2019 and you wouldn’t know if it was recorded yesterday or five years ago because the content is timeless evergreen content.

And so for me, that was a big learning curve as well. After five years of, after five years of starting my first podcast, just watching the numbers. The graph just go up and up, and now each episode, when I post one of these pod swaps, so they’re not even a new episode, they’re getting like the most downloads I’ve ever had, and so my biggest fan is my wife, and she’s always on at me to start up new episodes for this show, like start recording new episodes, and it’s on my to do list, But I still don’t have the time to do it yet, but it’s coming.

But so that would be my biggest piece of advice is you guys [00:28:00] are only two or three months into it and in the beginning it can be rough and the numbers can be not what you expect them to be. As I always say to people, imagine if every week those amount of people were in a room listening to what you have to say.

They showed up because they want to hear exactly what you want to hear. It’s not about appealing to the masses. It’s definitely not about being Joe Rogan. It’s about connecting with your audience, and if you just imagine those people in a room coming to you to hear what you have to say, I personally would be like, wow, all of these people are here to hear what I have to say.

And then you just keep going, and the numbers just keep getting bigger and bigger, so just keep on going, and um, that’s my biggest piece of advice.

Erin: You know

we’ve messed around in the thought process, too, of, you know, and so I’m kind of curious to turn around on you. What do you think of weekly versus doing seasonal?

Niall: I did Seasons on my, the podcast I was just talking about, a Vietnam podcast, because it is too much work, so I realized early on. So I would just do 10 week seasons, [00:29:00] just because I didn’t have enough time. And I was pretty bad with that. I wasn’t really consistent. I’d do like 10 weeks of episodes. Take a break for two or three months.

One time I took a break for six months, I think. Then I started again. The pandemic was in the middle of it. I did record a season while I was in government lockdown here in Vietnam. So I, I did do that one on my phone, actually. So we were in lockdown for ended up being 17 days. It was meant to be 14 days and I was like, well, I’m going to recall the podcast.

So if anyone wants to go back, we’ll check season three of a Vietnam podcast. I recorded it from Our jail cell, I mean our government quarantine, um, room with my wife and our other prisoner, I mean cellmate, I mean, sorry, roommate. And, I mean I mean, uh, right, like you get addicted to podcasting. I’m like, right, I’m going to make a podcast.

So I was quite inconsistent, but as I said, five years later, the numbers now are through the roof. But seasons, yes, if it helps you. podcast for longer into the future. Do what you [00:30:00] have to do. I mean, that’s the beauty of podcasting. You’re not working for a big I mean, corporation. You’re not working for a media company.

You’re your own boss. So just do what you want.

Erin: I like it

Niall: Guys, thank you so much for joining me on this episode of Smarter Podcasting. I’m excited to see where your podcast goes and continue working with you guys and helping you. So Erin and John, thank you very much.

Erin: Thank you. Yeah, thank you.

Niall: If you enjoyed this episode of Smarter Podcasting, make sure to follow on all the social media things. Go to 7 million Bikes Podcast on Instagram and Facebook. Make sure you subscribe to the podcast as well. And do me a favor. If you enjoyed this episode, please share it with other podcasters so that they can get all this valuable information as well.

Aaron, John, thank you very much. [00:31:00]