How to Make a Mediocre Podcast

In celebration of the release of my podcast, Bensplaining, I’m sharing this highly clickable how-too-guide I wrote for another blog.

It’s 2017, so if you don’t have a podcast by now you’re nothing. How do you expect to be relevant and employable in the 21st century if your personal brand has no voice? Automation is coming for us, starting with the stragglers, and you’re still pottering around the house like Sarah Connor’s parents. Frankly, you’re fucked.

sarah koenig?

Now I don’t want to get your hopes up, but if you carefully follow these steps maybe, just maybe, you’ll still have a chance to jump on the podwagon before it leaves your cyborg-infested milieu forever. It’s time to throw Dad’s radio into incoming traffic: from this day forth, you are the radio.


All podcasts need intro music, but finding or creating something that actually fits your content is a waste of valuable time. You’re going need to spend every spare second you have self-promoting by grovelling to famous people on Twitter. So when it comes to picking a jingle, just use any old thing lying around. Podcast listeners absolutely love generic acoustic guitar loops, and thankfully there are like a dozen of them on GarageBand to choose from.

🔥HOT TIP🔥 Don’t spend too long picking. If this process takes more than twenty seconds, you’ve failed.


Just as the opening credits are everyone’s favourite part of TV shows, podcast listeners love listening to long-winded introductory monologues they’ve heard dozens of times before. Explain the premise of your podcast in excruciating detail, tell them how your week has been or plug your gerbil’s Instagram account. The goal is to make sure that even if your listeners skip three, five, or seven minutes ahead, they still won’t miss any actual content because you’re still blathering on.

If you’ve got a team working on your podcast, why not give them all a shot? Have someone record an introduction to your introduction to help set up your introduction of the introducer of the person who’ll be introducing the host whose job it is to introduce the podcast.

🔥HOT TIP🔥 Interminable intros reward loyal listeners marathoning your podcast by replicating the tedium and nausea of an actual marathon.


Be careful not to be to inclusive of your audience. If listeners understand what you’re talking about they’ll think you’re no cooler than they are and go off to find a more mysterious podcast. Ideally, the only people who should comprehend what’s going on are the people in the room with you. Make references to things that happened before you started recording, or edit out crucial pieces of information. (This is the only time when editing is justified, usually its a waste of self-promotion time.) Also make sure to include lots of visual gags, these are the lifeblood of audio mediums.

Dressing like these men will also help you get into the podcasting spirit


With the three pillars of your podcast in place, its time to monetise! The web is kind of like a modern day version of the gold-fields: evidence suggests that only a small proportion of the population can actually make a decent living there but we all to have a go anyway because political and technological conditions have shut down our other options and rendered vast swathes of the working class economically obsolete. So let’s make it rain, baby! Always find sponsors who are tailored to the demographics of your audience (like people who hate going to the post office) and make sure they’re exactly same ads that are on every single other podcast to infuriate your listeners into a spending frenzy. Then sit back, relax, and watch as the cents pour in!


Once you’ve recorded and released two or three episodes at irregular intervals its time to abandon this project forever. Podcasting’s dead, Grandpa. The real money’s in Vine, and if you’re not onto it already onto it you might as well be chugging a cup of embalming fluid as you read your paper newspaper. Still, if you carefully follow my instructions exactly there may be some hope…


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