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dkookypunk43

I Feel Like Quitting Sometimes

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I've been doing my show consistently for about two years now to varying degrees of success and I feel like quitting because I'm trying to find an audience, trying to prepare each week, I draw no live listeners, and it's become exhausting. I'm looking for advice to making a podcast successful. I know it really isn't about the numbers but when you had them and they have gone to almost nothing, it's really stressing me out.

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The wrestling podcast genre is really over saturated in my view. You have to come up with something that makes yours totally unique to stand out. Doing reviews of current shows or even just doing a show about current wrestling in general seems like something that would make it very hard to stand out from the very large crowd of people doing the same thing.

 

It's also I thing where I would say if it really doesn't bring you any joy and stresses you out, consider why are you really doing it? If you no longer enjoy it then maybe just take a break and start back at it later once you're feeling refreshed.

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Yeah, it's hard to stand out. One of the reasons the Super Show has taken a long break this year just to give a break and to make sure the quality is there when we return.

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Yeah, it's hard to stand out. One of the reasons the Super Show has taken a long break this year just to give a break and to make sure the quality is there when we return.

 

 

That insinuates that there was quality to begin with....

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Yeah, it's hard to stand out. One of the reasons the Super Show has taken a long break this year just to give a break and to make sure the quality is there when we return.

 

 

That insinuates that there was quality to begin with....

 

Nothing says quality like Earthquake match of the week!!

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Yeah, it's hard to stand out. One of the reasons the Super Show has taken a long break this year just to give a break and to make sure the quality is there when we return.

 

 

That insinuates that there was quality to begin with....

 

Nothing says quality like Earthquake match of the week!!

 

 

Fair point.

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My advice remains exactly the same as it was a year ago:

 

 

 

I have some pointers here, at least ones I've always held to myself. These aren't directed at anyone in particular, just things I'd recommend to anyone looking to make a podcast more successful.

 

1. USP. What is your unique selling point? When I started WTBBP, for example, I knew that the WWF PPVs chronologically had been done already -- by Scott and Justin on the Place to Be podcast -- but WCW PPVs had not been done. And that is still the only podcast on the net to start at Starrcade 83 and move forward. So there has to be a novel hook in and of itself around the show concept -- just "talking about wrestling" won't cut it, because well, Meltzer, Austin and so on are right there. Need to have something to make someone tune in, in the first place. In wrestling, modern WWE is going to be the most saturated area, and so to carve out a unique niche might be difficult.

 

2. Focus. So you've got them to actually listen through the USP, but then you have to actually get them to keep listening. I think a lot of people on homebrew shows spend too much time shooting the shit at the top -- I try to get down to business no later than 3 minutes in. Most people don't tune in to hear guys shooting the shit, they want actual content. So stick to the topic and stay focused on that topic. People have downloaded primiarily because of that USP, not because they want to hear your political views, how funny you are, or anything else.

 

3. Get the stuff over, not yourself over. Again, content is king, and that is the focus, your personality will come through naturally via discussion of that, but it is never the selling point of the show. Remember hardcore fans turned off Jim Cornette podcasts in their droves because he didn't understand this and point 2, and he's Jim Cornette. None of us are Jim Cornette.

 

4. Maintain good production values / audio quality. If you record in an actual radio studio, this won't be an issue, but as annoying as technical complaints are for podcast producers, if you can't spend the time trying to ensure the audio quality is as good as possible, then you can't expect people to spend their time listening.

 

5. Be consistent, keep going and don't obsess over listening numbers. The drive for doing a show should not be to grab listeners, it should first and foremost be because you enjoy doing it. If there is something worth listening to, it will find its audience. I have honestly maintained that I don't care at all how many people do and don't listen. Shows will find their natural audience. The one listener who actually cares about what you are discussing is probably worth more than 10 complete randoms. WTBBP has more than twice the listenership of All Japan Excite Series, for example, I don't care. I am having fun exploring 90s AJPW and those people who listen to that show de facto share that interest. Titans of Wrestling discusses an era and promotion that 90%+ of fans, hardcore or otherwise, do not give a shit about. It has still found an audience. But it's just plugging away.

 

-------------

 

I think advice out there tends to focus on marketing, visibility, social media and so on -- none of these things have ever been a core focus for PWO-PTBN Podcast Network, I mean there's a bit, but the core focus is on content and quality. I maintain that there's no point concentrating on marketing if the core product isn't worth listening to.

 

Anyway, just my two cents. People have different philosphies, but that's mine. "Success" is also relative. I'd rather have 10 dedicated listeners to 100 I never hear from. You aren't ever going to draw numbers like a Steve Austin.

 

 

Then again, those Lapsed Fan Guys read that out on air, and spent almost twenty minutes shitting all over it, and they break every single one of those guidelines and seem to be pretty over with big numbers, so maybe disregard all that and do whatever it is they do.

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Doing a podcast for me is all about fun. The numbers are interesting to look at, but at the end of the day this is a creative outlet for me. At the end-of-the-day if the podcast is not fun-- why do it? Finding a gimmick is very important. It was mentioned earlier in the thread that the wrestling podcast landscape is populated and because of this its important to find and create your purple cow. My recommendation would be to take a step back and review key elements outside of fame, fortune, and followers and really break down into what you would like to do.

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My advice remains exactly the same as it was a year ago:

 

 

 

I have some pointers here, at least ones I've always held to myself. These aren't directed at anyone in particular, just things I'd recommend to anyone looking to make a podcast more successful.

 

1. USP. What is your unique selling point? When I started WTBBP, for example, I knew that the WWF PPVs chronologically had been done already -- by Scott and Justin on the Place to Be podcast -- but WCW PPVs had not been done. And that is still the only podcast on the net to start at Starrcade 83 and move forward. So there has to be a novel hook in and of itself around the show concept -- just "talking about wrestling" won't cut it, because well, Meltzer, Austin and so on are right there. Need to have something to make someone tune in, in the first place. In wrestling, modern WWE is going to be the most saturated area, and so to carve out a unique niche might be difficult.

 

2. Focus. So you've got them to actually listen through the USP, but then you have to actually get them to keep listening. I think a lot of people on homebrew shows spend too much time shooting the shit at the top -- I try to get down to business no later than 3 minutes in. Most people don't tune in to hear guys shooting the shit, they want actual content. So stick to the topic and stay focused on that topic. People have downloaded primiarily because of that USP, not because they want to hear your political views, how funny you are, or anything else.

 

3. Get the stuff over, not yourself over. Again, content is king, and that is the focus, your personality will come through naturally via discussion of that, but it is never the selling point of the show. Remember hardcore fans turned off Jim Cornette podcasts in their droves because he didn't understand this and point 2, and he's Jim Cornette. None of us are Jim Cornette.

 

4. Maintain good production values / audio quality. If you record in an actual radio studio, this won't be an issue, but as annoying as technical complaints are for podcast producers, if you can't spend the time trying to ensure the audio quality is as good as possible, then you can't expect people to spend their time listening.

 

5. Be consistent, keep going and don't obsess over listening numbers. The drive for doing a show should not be to grab listeners, it should first and foremost be because you enjoy doing it. If there is something worth listening to, it will find its audience. I have honestly maintained that I don't care at all how many people do and don't listen. Shows will find their natural audience. The one listener who actually cares about what you are discussing is probably worth more than 10 complete randoms. WTBBP has more than twice the listenership of All Japan Excite Series, for example, I don't care. I am having fun exploring 90s AJPW and those people who listen to that show de facto share that interest. Titans of Wrestling discusses an era and promotion that 90%+ of fans, hardcore or otherwise, do not give a shit about. It has still found an audience. But it's just plugging away.

 

-------------

 

I think advice out there tends to focus on marketing, visibility, social media and so on -- none of these things have ever been a core focus for PWO-PTBN Podcast Network, I mean there's a bit, but the core focus is on content and quality. I maintain that there's no point concentrating on marketing if the core product isn't worth listening to.

 

Anyway, just my two cents. People have different philosphies, but that's mine. "Success" is also relative. I'd rather have 10 dedicated listeners to 100 I never hear from. You aren't ever going to draw numbers like a Steve Austin.

 

 

Then again, those Lapsed Fan Guys read that out on air, and spent almost twenty minutes shitting all over it, and they break every single one of those guidelines and seem to be pretty over with big numbers, so maybe disregard all that and do whatever it is they do.

 

 

They break some of what you said, not other things. It made for an entertaining segment. I think they deliver both content and presentation quality. Presentation quality and the whole performance aspect to the podcast medium is the biggest weakness overall in the current wrestling podcast landscape. It's not as huge as it was a year ago or so, since a number of podcasts have imrpoved and some new ones have popped up from what I've heard, but it's still one where I'd put Jack and JP far above the rest of the class. Their USPs, in your terminology, are plentiful. Plus, they have found their audience and it's a bigger audience than people wanted to initially give them credit for having. But they've not compromised their individual voices. You could listen to episode 20 or episode 100 and you'd not feel a dramatic shift. I don't want to dwell too much on them in particular, but they've got much more depth and variety to their appeal than almost every pod. And for as much as every non-listener bitches about the length, there's no pod that consistently goes as long, but is as consistently top-notch and strong in quality, episode in and out.

 

 

As a listener, one thing I'd recommend for most pods now is timestamps, if they apply. That always makes it more inviting for people to drop in and maybe go back to check out the rest of the episode or keep listening.

 

Another thing is developing the right format for your particular voice. I'd generally say doing something that fits within a broad structure but also reflects how you like to talk about wrestling within your impassioned fandom, particularly with other fans, is a good format.If you're reviewing a PPV or whatever, obviously you're a bit of a slave to having to go through all the matches in order because it's the most natural thing, but you've got some freedom in terms of where you want to insert some thoughts (e.g. about the product direction, about the quality of the show overall, where to give appropriate context/background, where to put offbeat tangents, etc.) and you still decide the ultimate structure of your show.

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It's a show I completely can't get into Brian and I thought the segment in question was an embarrassment, and painfully unfunny, but listeners of theirs like you seem to love em so more power to them. Seems to be one of those things you either get or you don't. Just at base they aren't my kinda fans or even my kinda people -- which goes to show there are all sorts of reasons people do and don't listen to shows.

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re: drawing no live listeners

 

This is a very challenging task. I've seen very successful shows do live versions and only have a handful of people in an online chat. I don't know when your show runs but I'd imagine the most ideal time would be right after an event or sometime later in the evening.

 

Podcasting is an on-demand service. We've even had some serialized series drop all at once (Fair to Flair) so they can be consumed at the listeners leisure, versus waiting week to week. Otherwise, sticking to a schedule and building a routine (Wednesday night at 11:30pm for example) will help.

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Having been running a wrestling based review site for 3ish years now, I have the same thought pretty regularly. The only thing that seems to matter is content, and there's only so much wrestling you can watch and write about per week/month/year. You can't take time off. You have to consistently get more content out. It's a constant grind and when you start having hosting and domain bills that eat a hole in your pocket because you aren't getting the traffic to pay, or the traffic coming is using ad blockers....giving up on it is always in the back of my head.

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Yeah I was just mentally out of it yesterday,

I feel like I have to change some elements of my show. I like doing the "This Week In Wrestling" model but that's not working. Maybe that live watch thing we have been doing would be something cool to do.

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Study people who are successful in radio/podcasting. And not wrestling radio/podcasting.

 

I've got a group of hosts I study on a weekly basis. Most of them are millionaires but they all have distinctive styles and do things differently. I pay attention to the little things they do to keep listeners engaged and to get their personalities across.

 

I agree with some of what Parv said but disagree with Parv about not "getting yourself over". I believe that personal connection is vital. People can listen to wrestling talk anywhere. What nobody else can bring to the table is listening to Joe Lanza talk wrestling. The best and most successful radio shows have compelling, charismatic hosts and an overall vibe where the listener feels like they are part of a conversation among a close group of friends. I want the listener to feel like i'm talking directly to them, like they know who I am (or at least a reasonable facsimile of who I am, with some things turned up to ten, and others turned down to zero). Let them in on your life, be as honest about who you are as you are reasonably comfortable with. You are performing whether you like it or not. So perform. Entertain.

 

Energy, energy, energy. It isn't a visual media, people will zone out if you don't keep them engaged. When you make a key point, change your tone. Slow down and be deliberate. Raise your voice. Repeat yourself. Whatever type of emphasis the situation calls for. Bad content rarely drives me away from a podcast, it's a lack of energy, it's weak opinions, it's no emoting. Energy. Personality. Passion. People know when you're faking or forcing it. Talk about things your're passionate about, positive or negative. Have I mentioned energy? Be the most compelling version of yourself that you can possibly be.

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Good points. I would say that I think "getting yourself over" in the sense Parv meant it is more directed at those who are constantly bragging and hyping how great they are throughout a given show, and not just about being charismatic and engaging.

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I think it's very important to ask yourself why you're doing this too. That's not something I've seen mentioned yet. What is the metric for success. Why?

 

Are you doing it to try to make some extra money? On some far-fetched (but I suppose not impossible) dream of making a living in wrestling this way? Are you just trying to give back to the small subsection community that you're a part of with entertainment? Are you trying to get a specific point of view across? Are you trying to teach people something? Are you just doing it for yourself and for fun? Do you feel unfulfilled in your life and need to have thousands of hits to feel important? Are you looking for interaction and feedback? Even if you're trying to fill a niche, why does that niche need to be filled?

 

I think we did the Parejas Increibles limited run because people requested it, but we were aimed at the people we knew at PWO, primarily, not to have a wide appeal. It was a way to get our lists out and to talk to each other and have a back and forth on what we loved about wrestling because we thought it'd be interesting, to ourselves most of all.

 

I started writing at Segunda Caida because I had a hole in my life at that point. There was a gap. Something was missing and an outlet would help. Moreover, I kind of liked the idea to be part of that as I always enjoyed the site. And it'd give me a reason to dive into lucha. Apparently, we're doing well on hits but we never hear a lot about what we do.

 

When I started writing those smaller columns to go along with WTBBP, it was because I knew I couldn't fit in a regular podcast, but I felt like I was being a little bit left behind within the community. Everyone else was, and I thought a written piece could mesh well with what Parv and Chad were doing. Both work (which has increased hugely over the last few years) and SC picked up and I ran out of time. But I think I just wanted to be part of the wave any way I could.

 

So I do think you need to figure out what you want specifically and why. Success is a relative term with this sort of thing. Maybe you can change your style, have a much larger reach, but ultimately compromise what you were trying to do in the first place.

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Good points. I would say that I think "getting yourself over" in the sense Parv meant it is more directed at those who are constantly bragging and hyping how great they are throughout a given show, and not just about being charismatic and engaging.

Yeah something like that. I think what I really had in mind was authenticity. Like he said, people know if you are being fake. I don't do any gimmicks, I mean I really do think Jesse Ventura is the best colour man or Bob Backlund doesn't sell enough (or whatever it is) and things flow naturally from that point. And it has to come from a real place. I guess at some level I think that if you are *trying* to perform or get yourself over, it will end up actually being a hindrance. It's that Stanislavski / method acting thing of things coming from somewhere that is true rather than somewhere that isn't.

 

"Energy" is an interesting one. I’d ask what kind of energy is what? Marty who co-hosts Tag Teams Back Again has great up-tempo energy. I think he's probably an energetic guy in real life, and I sometimes wonder if he's on coke. But then Johnny has a completely different vibe and energy, he's funny, he does voices, and jokes I've heard a 100 (a 1000?) times now. But I can't do up-tempo energy or funny voices, it just isn't me y'know, and if I tried to do a show trying to ape either Marty or Johnny it would be a disaster. I just think things like personality and so on come out over the course of talking about things you are passionate about. Like having got to know Chad basically in real tim on-air over the past four years, I don't every think he was necessarily thinking about getting himself over or "performing", but I can still remember his legitimate bewilderment at Sting and that fucking magic act during Black Scorpion angle, or his completely beautiful love letter to Misawa / Kobashi from the GWE show. That's just who he is y'know. I guess I just have some faith that good things will naturally follow from good things. And worrying about “getting over” will have the opposite effect.

 

Having listened a few times to Danny’s show, the two things I wonder about are whether he’d benefit from a co-host with whom he can build up chemistry over time (can be tough doing shows with people you’ve just met), and also whether he’d benefit from a tighter focus than whatever is going on right now – I mean there you are literally competing with Meltzer and a 1000 other shows, including just in our circle, Pete’s This Week in Wrestling on PWO feed and the PTBN’s Clotheslines and Headlines show as well as Main Event, and all of those are presented by guys who largely “got over” initially on other shows. I can see from your recent shows just going on YouTube plays that the one talking Hall of Fame with Joe Gagne got more than ten times the numbers the other ones did, why do you think that is? It’s not just that Joe is a legend (although that helps), it’s also cos not many HoF shows have even been done this year. Sometimes it’s not what everyone is talking about, it’s what no one is talking about but should be. I mean ... I've made a show recently that largely relies on talking about Virgil circa 1993 and people have listened to it, and not just one or two, but quite a few. I do think that filling unexpected niches has a track record of bringing people in, at least within our extended bubble.

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As someone who listens to a lot of podcasts can I co-sign the comments about authenticity. I like hearing people being themselves, I have trouble listening to people acting up as presenters or "personalities".

 

I would add that there is a real art to being a podcast host. Truly great podcast hosts don't actually say much - they are there to facilitate conversations and get the most out of their guests. That means doing a lot of research, asking open questions and listening, listening, listening, so you can capitalise on a particularly interesting train of thought from your guest. It also means holding back sometimes, far better to get your guest to say the interesting fact than to trample all over them in an attempt to show you know what you're talking about. With multiple guests, there is also the job of refereeing - reigning in those who are talking too much and bring in those who are more shy or slow to make a point.

 

Definitely listen to other podcasts from other genres - listen to how Melvyn Bragg on In Your Time manages really smart people, isn't afraid to act dumb, but also brings people into line when they veer off the subject.

 

Finally, avoid in-jokes. You never know when someone will start listening to a show. It is good to be inclusive.

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I study who I think are great at doing a wrestling podcast (Like a Kris Zellner or you Joe Lanza) and I have good energy to the show. I don't know what I can change to take that next step, is it scaling back and doing a 1 hour show or is it the different concepts I try to keep people engaged. I am always experimenting with the show format and what I want to get done. Also I should be more active in the writing scene to get my podcast over.

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People like consistency & pattern a problem might be that you are switch stuff up too much try to stick to a rhythm for awhile but make sure it's a format you wouldn't mind doing for the rest of your life if people listen or not

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But then Johnny has a completely different vibe and energy, he's funny, he does voices, and jokes I've heard a 100 (a 1000?) times now.

That's the first time Parv has admitted that I'm funny. I read that and was touched. And he follows with a hacky line about my hackiness. 😄 But the thing truly is, create the show you enjoy doing. Cause if you're having fun that carries over to anyone who listens. And don't worry about how many people are listening. If you have a small number of people who dig what you're doing then that's awesome. Don't give a fuck about numbers. You're not getting paid. Just groove on. The fact that there are people out there who dig what you do is far cooler than numbers of listeners.

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