When we launched our first podcast together in 2015, we were a former newspaper reporter and a video producer with a lot of enthusiasm but not much experience in making audio stories. Since then, we've launched an entirely new podcast and learned some things about making a show that attracts listeners and represents a point of view—and is enjoyable to produce.

We often describe our podcast as an unconventional business-advice show. In that spirit, here's some advice for making your own podcast.

1. Know your audience—and what it wants from you

Apple Podcasts and podcast apps tend to organize shows into categories: technology, comedy, business, news, pop culture, and so on. Those broad types are a start, but they don't always reflect the reasons listeners tune into certain shows:

  • Do they want to go on an emotional journey?
  • Do they want direct, actionable advice?
  • Do they want to be informed about current events?

Even within a single category, such as "business," shows can vary dramatically in tone and style and the experience they provide. There are narrative shows, such as Gimlet Media's "StartUp"; practical and niche shows, such as Pat Flynn's "Smart Passive Income Podcast"; and newsy ones, like NPR's "Planet Money."

Figure out what type of audio experience your audience wants from you, and let that guide how you structure your show. We say "from you," because although a large segment of your audience members might enjoy, say, comedy podcasts, they might not be looking for your show to be funny.

Figure out the intersection between your strengths and what your listeners want, and then take it from there.

2. Be about something

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image of Shaun Hildner

Shaun Hildner is a co-producer and co-host of Basecamp's Rework podcast and a veteran video and podcast producer.

Twitter: @shildner

LinkedIn: Shaun Hildner


image of Wailin Wong

Wailin Wong is a co-producer and co-host of Basecamp's Rework podcast. She has a decade-plus of business-journalism experience covering small business, entrepreneurship, startups, LatAm economies, and financial markets.

Twitter: @VelocityWong

LinkedIn: Wailin Wong