And how can I (an average guy) teach you to turn a podcast episode into a magnetic post?
You can find great material anywhere, but you might be overlooking one of the best pieces of source material out there — the podcast.
But truth be told, my favorite podcasts are from comics. Why? Well, the long-form format, combined with (extremely bleep bleep and double-bleep) casual conversation leads to some pretty compelling stuff. I rather like compelling and salty, but if you’re easily offended, please steer clear.
What about your list? Do you just listen? Or do you listen, repeat and take notes?
A veritable feast of available blog topics awaits, and within one show you might find a golden nugget that leads to “that” post. But simply listening one time doesn’t quite do the job.
So today I simply wanted to highlight some of my favorite podcasts …
Inside our beautiful blog bubble
In our on little blogging realm, there are two skilled interviewers that I particularly admire. And trust me, I’ve crafted more than a few posts based on their interviewing acumen.
An interesting guest (or topic) always deserves a second listen – this time with headphones and pen. The chicken scratch that results ain’t pretty, but it’s often the foundation of another post.
When I put down the headphones and start to edit said scratch, it often morphs into something completely different. So listening to one topic often results in a completely unrelated blog topic of my own. That’s the creative path, my friends.
I have Mitch and Srini to thank for more than a few sticky topics. I’ve listened to more than a few of Mitch’s shows 3-4 times, sometimes as I write. Now, please don’t commit plagiarism, but do write while you listen and see what develops.
Beyond our bubble
Beyond the thin walls of our bubble, there are two skilled interviewers I’ve been listening to for years. In fact, Marc Maron’s WTF is the only podcast I’ve listened to since its inception.
If you’re an aspiring podcaster and want to interview people, listen to Marc Maron, he’s good. But Terry Gross might just be the best interviewer on the planet. Focus on the nuance of each question. See how questioning becomes craft. And when they’re asking questions, think of your own.
If you don’t like F-bombs and can’t take a little salt, skip WTF (but I think you’ll be safe with Terry).
I’ve always been a fan of the late Carl Sagan. I’m certainly far from gifted and that’s why I’ve always loved him — his genius was that he could explain deep science to a rube like me. A gifted communicator, who popularized science and astronomy like no other. Until now …
The modern incarnation of Mr. Sagen is Neil deGrasse Tyson. Another super-smart, gifted communicator who’s also quite funny.
If you have an interest in science you will love his podcast. But it’s not just science, my friends.
His interviews are great: Alan Rickman, Anthony Bourdain, Morgan Freeman, etc.
Thing is – you can turn any of his shows into a topic all your own.
There’s a reason This American Life is always at the top of the iTunes charts. Ira Glass and crew somehow have the ability to turn the seemingly mundane into fairly captivating stories.
If you’re turned off my the almost too precious NPR-style voice and plodding narration, this might not be for you. I you have ADHD, it will be a hard trip indeed. It often is for me, but when I hear a good show, I listen again and write.
To be perfectly honest, I’ve almost given up on many shows five minutes in, but am always glad I stuck it out. Just look at this.
Other informative and helpful podcasters:
I’m also a big fan of Tim Conley’s The Foolish Adventure Show. For the budding online entrepreneur, there are few shows better at guiding and advising in a very entertaining fashion.
Ryan Hanley is simply killing it with his Content Warfare Podcast.
And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Bill Burr’s Monday Morning Podcast. I love Bill Burr, man. Just do.
Here are a few more that have helped inform and entertain. Check them out …
So, just listen and remember a few points …
1. Always use the shows as a starting point.
Trust the meandering path that will lead you to gold (or silver). If you have a central theme to your blog, work to bring that flavor out in your own way. Use the podcast as a catalyst.
2. Rework as you go.
Listen again. Write while you listen. Then put down the headphones, reorganize your thoughts, rearrange your words, and put your heart and soul into it. It’s a do-over that might just lead to something special. Listen to Mitch Joel and bang out a few posts, just make sure it’s your own copy.
3. Then own it.
Take possession of the topic you listened to. In other words: frame it from your perspective.
Don’t just write about what you’ve listened to. Work to make it fit your flavor. Craft something that resonates with your audience. And try and have some fun with it.
Listen. Write. Repeat. And please have some fun.
Craig McBreen is Principal of McBreen Design. A Puget Sound area branding and visual design firm which helps small companies bring their purpose to life with branding, graphic design, content marketing and web design services. Get in touch.