Brilliant Miller's Blog

4 Podcasting Lessons from 100 Author Interviews over 2½ Years

You learn to swim by swimming. You learn to create by creating. You learn to give by giving.

Below are four lessons I’ve learned about podcasting over the last two and a half years as I’ve created more than 100 episodes by interviewing authors.

Many of these lessons apply to almost any creative endeavor.

This is a list of things I wish I’d known when I’d started out. 

If you are starting—or thinking about starting—a podcast or another creative project of your own, I hope these lessons help you to increase your enjoyment, shorten your learning curve, reduce your cost, and ultimately create something you’re proud of that helps others.

Here are the four lessons:

  • Make Something that Makes You Happy (Even If No One Else Ever Listens)

It’s natural to hope that many others receive the fruits of our creative labor, but I can’t stress enough how important it is to enjoy the process and not to think of it as a means to an end.

Enjoying what you do is its own reward.

Besides, your enjoyment comes through in your creation.

And without enjoyment, you likely won’t find the motivation to persist.

  • Know Your Why

I have a deep desire to learn and grow, connect, contribute and have fun.

My podcast gives me the opportunity to check every one of those boxes.

  • Start by Writing a Creative Brief

A creative brief is a relatively simple document you write to clarify and organize your thoughts and plans.

Writing one before I began my podcast helped me to realize what I didn’t know (but needed to)—and where, exactly, I would need help—before I started creating podcasts.

For my creative brief, I wrote as clearly and succinctly as I could, something under the following section headings: Background / Objectives / Audience / Key Message / Execution Tactics / Creative Considerations / Mechanical & Logistical Considerations / Measurement / Next Steps.

I managed to do all this in a couple of pages. It helped me to not only clarify my thinking, but to share it with others and get their feedback.

It’s amazing what you think you know—but don’t really—until you go to write it.

You’ll notice that there’s nothing here about revenue or expense. You might want to include those things, but my view is that once you do that, you’re really no longer dealing with a creative brief but instead have got yourself a business plan. 

4) Learn from People Who’ve Done What You Want to Do

For just about anything you want to create, acquire or become, someone has done it before you.

I learned so much from blogs, articles and videos I found online. I kept a folder in Evernote where I collected my insights.

One person I found to be particularly generous and helpful is Tim Ferriss.

I found his article “How I Built a #1-Ranked Podcast With 60M+ Downloads” particularly helpful. (He now has more than 400 million downloads.)

And he shares his podcast setup in this video, and outlines it in writing here.

I hope you get the same benefit and enjoyment from your own podcast or creative endeavor that I have from mine.

Brilliant Miller

I help achievers learn & grow, connect, contribute and have fun.

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