Welcome to the Podcast Showcase series. In each post, we’ll bring you one featured podcast, and give a short overview about the people behind the microphone, the process they use to podcast efficiently, share tips and recommended tools used for the podcasts and more. We’ll share images of their podcast equipment or setup, and links to their podcast websites and social media profiles. The Podcast Showcase series is brought to you by Podcastpage.io – The Podcast Website Builder.
This time, we have Tanner Campbell. Tanner is a podcaster, audio engineer, podcast producer and a 10+ years veteran in the industry. Tanner is running the Retold Myths and Stories podcast and the Podcasting Sucks podcast. Previously, Tanner produced the the Myths, Folklore, and Fairytales Podcast, and ran a brick and mortar recording studio in Portland, Maine called Portland Pod.
Tanner’s tips for podcasters
Tell us about your podcasting background/experience.
I started podcasting in 2010 with my girlfriend – it was a terrible program but it was fun to learn.
In 2013 I launched a podcast that got noticed by Ricky Gervais and so immediate garnered a lot of attention. I grew that podcast to an audience of 100K (though it might have been more like 30K-50K because, back then, analytics for podcasts were spectacularly unreliable).
That podcast grew into a business but it wound up not working out.
Then in 2016 I started a small home-based production company and I began creating another podcast, this one around mythology and whiskey – I grew this one to ~50K (analytics were more reliable by now!) and monetized it to the tune of $5K per month but the production had co-host issues (availability, not attitude) and it was hard to stay consistent.
In addition to that, my family and my girlfriend’s family both had members fighting cancer and life was kind of taking over. I stopped producing in early 2018 and closed the business.
Things got better with the family and my girlfriend and I moved to Maine where I took a job with the United Way as an IT Manager (my day job had always been IT) – but I didn’t like it. I had long been tired of IT and the non-profit world actually made it worse, not better like I had hoped.
A friend suggested I should open a podcast studio and do that for a living… so in February of 2019 I did exactly that. I’ve been full time editing podcasts for other (individuals, companies, and brands – and even a few actors!) and it eventually got me to a point in life where I could start producing again.
What podcasting tools are you using?
We host with Podcast.co, they’re a young hosting company but they have a good team and I like the simplicity of their platform. The one-touch publishing to all the podcasting directories was convenient as I run a recording and production studio in Maine and manage this process for my clients all time time – I really like EASY when it comes to my own work.
I use Studio One 4 to record and edit, and RX7 Advanced & Ozone 8 Advanced to engineer.
The microphones are Electrovoice RE20’s. Their Variable D technology is a huge benefit as I have a tendency to get very close to the mic and this mic isn’t susceptible to the woes of Proximity Effect.
Podcastpage.io is our website builder, we love them! Easy, lots of custom control (even more if you know CSS) and a support team that is quick to answer questions when we have them.
Any tips for fellow podcasters?
You’ve gotta do more than just create good content if you want to make a living in this space – you have to develop a media company from the ground up.
Start with audio, it’s the easiest thing to do and it has the fewest moving parts. When you get comfortable doing it, and you’ve fallen into a routine you know you can maintain, add a video element. And don’t forget, launch your podcast with a premium product offer right off the back (Supercast.com or Patreon.com).
If you’re gonna use ads, use them from the get go, even if they’re ads for your Dad’s muffin company – it’s important to set the expectation right off the bat that there are ads in this show and if you don’t like them, become a paying subscriber and you won’t hear them.
I personally don’t like ads. My approach is to create a weekly podcast that’s free and ad-free, and to create a daily version of that podcast for $X/month. It’s less aggressive. You’re not holding an ad-free version of the show hostage, you’re just saying “hey, there’s more of what you already love if you want to throw me a couple of bucks.” You won’t get any ad revenue that way but, honestly, ad revenue isn’t any good until you have an audience of 10K-50K anyway and you’re likely not launching with that.
Also, create a “setting expectations” episode. Make it your trailer. Let people know in no uncertain terms exactly what to expect from you. Then, and this is the important part: DELIVER ON THOSE EXPECTATIONS! People are giving you their time, you know how lucky you are? There are like a billion other things they could be doing and instead they’re listening to your podcast. Don’t disrespect that.
Anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
If you’re looking for free podcasting advice, and specifically details on how to grow your audience, check out my blog on Medium.
Also, our composer, Nico Vettese, who creates all the wonderful music for our stories, is a composer for hire and he is just absolutely terrific. If you need custom music for your podcast, he’s the dude. Check him out on his website.
Show us your podcasting gear & workspace!
Thank you Tanner for sharing these great insights with us, and until next time, happy podcasting!