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PodSchool Podcast | Why you shouldn’t read on your podcast

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Why you need to put the paper down and present your podcast

Have you got a mountain of written content and you want to turn it into a podcast?

Repurposing existing content from a blog or from a book is a great idea.  But if you want to build an audience of highly-engaged podcast listeners (you do!), reading your content isn’t a good way to go about it.

A podcast is a show, not an audiobook so here’s what to do if you want to make your written content work as audio…

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Why reading on your podcast is a bad idea

Reading is one of the quickest ways, as a host, to disconnect from your audience.

When you’re trying to grow your podcast and encourage people to share your show you have to deliver high-quality, engaging content and there’s nothing engaging about listening to somebody read.

To capture people’s attention you need to be talking directly to them.

If you’re reading your content you’re talking to a page, not the people listening and that means you’ll likely sound disinterested, disengaged and disconnected.

If you sound that way you won’t be able to hold the attention of your podcast audience which means people won’t stick around.

Should you write a script for your podcast episodes?

Read

Why having a lot of written content can be a great thing for your podcast

One of the reasons most podcasts podfade into oblivion is they realise coming up with content every week is a lot of work.

If you’ve already done the hard yards and built a library of content on another platform and you know there’s an audience for it, this is a great position to be in.

But that doesn’t mean the hard work is over.

Just because your content worked on another platform doesn’t mean it’ll work in audio.

So if you want to get your content in front of people’s ears as well as their eyes you have to turn it into something that works for them.

How to avoid podfade

Read

How to turn written content into audio content

This can be as simple as going through your blog posts, lesson plans or book and transforming the content into a series of bullet points you can deliver to your audience naturally.

If your content is based on your expertise you don’t need to write things down word for word.  You just need a few short sentences to trigger your brain to present the content to your audience off the top of your head.

Having a structure in front of you, so you know where you’re going, is always a good idea but you don’t want to be reading.

A bullet point list of points to hit will give your brain everything it needs to present your content naturally so you can speak directly to your audience instead of speaking to what’s written in front of you.

You also don’t have to present the written content on your own.

Maybe the topics you touch on could be explored in an interview?  Or maybe there’s a case study you can explore that gives a real-world example of your written advice?

There are a million different ways to do it you just have to think about who you’re talking to because an audience reading content on a website is very different to an audience listening to content in their ears.

To really capture their attention and make your content work as a podcast you have to make sure you’re making the show for them, not just regurgitating content that was made for someone else.

Got any other great ideas for how to promote your show?  Write them in the comments below!

Want to start your own podcast but need a little help?  Download my “How To Start A Podcast” guide or sign up for my online podcasting course, PodSchool.

Got some time on your hands? Read the full episode transcript

Welcome to the show! Today’s episode is going to be very quick because I'm going to just focus on one very small but very important thing. I get a lot of emails from people wanting to repurpose content they already have on a blog or the other day I got an email from someone who had some lesson plans they wanted to transform into a podcast. And one of the interesting and slightly dangerous things I find a lot of people do is they are reading old content and putting it onto a podcast and then wondering why it sounds bad and doesn't work. So I wanted to dedicate an entire episode of the show to this piece of advice… please do not read on your podcast. Reading is one of the quickest ways to disconnect you from your audience. And when you are trying to grow an audience and bring more people into your show through word of mouth, the only way to do that is by connecting with them and delivering high quality, engaging content. And there is nothing engaging about listening to somebody read. When you are reading, you are focused on the page and not on your listener. So if you’ve got content on a website or you've got lesson plans you want to share with other people, that's fantastic. In fact, if you've got a bunch of content you could turn into audio, you should be singing and dancing because coming up with content is a huge reason why a lot of podcasters fade out and stop releasing episodes. If you've got content sitting there just waiting to be turned into a podcast, that’s a dream position to be in. But you want to make sure the content that works for you in another medium works well in audio. The only way to do that is to prepare and present it in a different way. That doesn't need to be super involved. If you've got a blog post and you’re sharing your expertise you have all of that knowledge in your head already. You just need to present it to people naturally. So turn that blog post into a bullet point list that reminds your brain what you want to cover so you can present it naturally. Don’t make the mistake of thinking a podcast is just an audio version of content that exists somewhere else. Reading is not engaging in a podcast, but you can turn written content into audio content with just a few tweaks. Do that and you’ll be more to grow an audience rather than someone tuning in and thinking “BORING!”
Hope that's helped you put that pen and paper away and not write yourself a script to read from. It's very important you think about the audience that you're talking to and try to capture their attention as best as you can.
If you haven’t checked out my online podcasting course, please check it out at PodSchool.com.au. It is a step by step, comprehensive, best practise guide to podcasting that's designed to not only help you get a show into people's ears but also set yourself up for success. Because what's the point of jumping in the deep end if you're not going to swim? Thanks so much for listening. I’ll see you next week and until then, happy podcasting.

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