By Catharine Bramkamp (@cbramkamp)
After two and half years and over 100 shows, my partner and I have learned a few things about podcasting. And we’ve made mistakes and solved challenges while recording. Here are a couple of common mistakes to avoid, thus freeing you up to create better and more interesting mistakes.
Tip #1: Respect the calendar and don’t double book.
One guest at a time is your best bet. If you run a half hour podcast, it’s your only option as more guests would be too confusing for the listener.
I was asked to be a guest on a show hosted by Blog Talk Radio http://www.blogtalkradio.com/. I called in and heard another guest already talking. I was never introduced or acknowledged. After five minutes I bailed. The host not only didn’t acknowledge that I called in, but did not admit there had been a booking error.
If you do double book by accident, apologize, apologize, apologize, and do it as quickly as you can. If the call doesn’t work, if there are technical difficulties— apologize as if it’s your fault. The faster you contact a guest (I contact even while we are recording the back up show), the better they will feel and the better your chances are to re-book them.
Tip#2: Know why you booked the guest
Have a clear idea of what you want to hear from the guest. If you have limited time, stick to one theme or subject. Write questions ahead of time, and try to mix them up. Don’t always ask the same questions to every guest during every podcast. Why is this guest different? Why do you care? Why should your listener?
Tip #3: Prep your guest
Make sure the guest is familiar with your system. Should they call in? If so, send them the correct call in number. (I was given the wrong number to call into Blog Talk Radio – twice). Let your guest know if they need to use Skype (www.skype.com/en/download-skype), a mic or headphones. For Newbie Writers Podcast we finally implemented a list of rules for our guests so they aren’t installing Skype five minutes before we’re ready to record (true story).
Tip #4: Follow up and thank the guest
Send a thank you email the day of or day after the podcast. Include a link to your site and/or the recording of the interview. Encourage them to use the recording in any way they like. Why? Because it helps everyone’s SEO, and it’s the generous thing to do.
Be as professional as you can, your guest is taking time out of their own busy schedule, treat them well, and you both will benefit from the experience!
About the Author
Catharine Bramkamp is the co-producer of Newbie Writers Podcast that focuses on newer writers and their concerns. She is a successful writing coach and author of a dozen books including the Real Estate Diva Mysteries series, Future Girls (Eternal Press) and the poetry chapbook Ammonia Sunrise (Finishing Line Press). She holds two degrees in English, and is an adjunct professor of writing for two Universities. Check out the free book offers this May – http://www.yourbookstartshere.com