Yesterday I told you how I'm launching which will feature one podcast promo a day. Today I am bringing you some tips for creating a compelling podcast promo.

15 Tips For Better Podcast Promos

1. Get a real domain. Seriously. Use my coupon code cooler3 at and get a .com domain name for $6.95 a YEAR (that's 2 cents a day). Make it EASY for your listeners to find you, and I'm sorry blah blah blah dot blogspot do "try and spell this" .com is not easy. If you're in the UK, obviously a "" domain (etc.) For heaven's sake. GET A REAL DOMAIN. This is your first impression.

2. Put On Your Marketing Hat
I have a piece of software (Instant Headline Generator) that helps people building websites create headlines. The first question this software asks you (and it walks you through creating a headline) is "What will your product help the customer do?" Let's put that into the Podosphere. "What will your Podcast help your listener/viewer do?" In her book "Podcasting for Profit" Leesa Barnes talks about how your podcast typically solves your listener’s problems.  Start to think about your target listener/viewer, and ask "what do they need?" and more importantly "how does your podcast fix this." How will the podcast make them feel? Let me give you an example. In Akron, Ohio you will not hear any Blues on any radio stations. It's just not going to happen. A podcast like The Roadhouse fixes my problem. Try to explain your podcast in benefits. People love to benefit.

3. What Is It?
While you want to explain how your listener will benefit, don't forget to explain what your podcast is about? I deal alot with musicians who send me bios about how Jim and Ernie met in their garage and for 10 years they've gone through 50 drummers – ENOUGH! What type of music do you play? Shifting gears back into podcast we need to ask, "Is this a marketing podcast? A comedy? A Travel podcast? “Please state the obvious.

4. Don't Get Too Cute
I've heard at least 3 promos starting with someone trying to do "that deep voice guy" and they start it off with "In a World where…" Here again they get so lost in their dramatization that they forget to say what their podcast is about, how long it is, how frequently it is published, what the podcast will do for the listener/viewer. Stay away from inside jokes between you and your co-host (if you have them) Content is king, and while you don't want your promo to be dull, if its all flash and mirrors, you won't be adding any subscribers. 

5. Make That First Sentence Count
You can only make one first impression. Get their attention! There are many ways to do this such as

A) Ask a question – Did you know that you have to burn 3500 calories to lose a lb?
B) State a fact –  One of the Side Effects of the new Weight Loss Drug Alli is Fecal Urgency
C) Be Witty – Fructose Corn Syrup, or as I call it "The Sweat of the Devil" is in all our food, and making us fat. 
D) Use Music to Set the Mood – Music can grab attention just as much as words. It helps set the tone. Typically a promo will be played in the middle of a podcast. By having music at the beginning and end, it puts "end caps" on the promo letting the listener know they topic has changed, and now is changing back. 
E) Use Sound Effects – Sound effects can grab attention and set the mood as well. Be careful. Too many sound effects and you end up sounding cheesy.

6. Repeat Your Podcast Name in a Natural Tone
This is all marketing. Ever hear those commercials where they repeat the phone number over and over? There is a reason. Repetition help people remember. So don't say "On the show we talk about… say "On the – insert podcast name – we talk about…”  On the flip side don't say every week on the (podcast name) we talk about the (podcast name)'s favorite topics. The (podcast name) is published one weekly basis and (podcast name) is never more than 5 minutes long. That sounds silly

8. Make It Sound Good
When you record your voice, make sure you are getting a solid recording level (almost to "0" but not quite). If your levels are low you will fill up your signal with noise (hissssss), and then it sounds like someone is frying bacon in the back of your promo. This is only good if it’s the "Frying bacon with Earl" show. Don't get too excited about hearing your own voice. Make sure it sounds full. Use a pop filter to block "Popping P's and B's" that just sound sooo amateur. Remember, you only get one chance to make a first impression.

9. Let Someone Else Hear It
I know you have no budget for creating a promo. However, when you try to do multiple voices (in a single take), its time to have some wine with the cheese. It's true the Simpson’s will not be calling you for voice over work. Likewise, the robot effect on your voice has been done. An outside opinion will tell you if it’s cheesy (unless it’s Mom). You might get a fellow podcaster to critique it.

10. Include a call to Action
In sales they call this "Asking for the sale." In a podcast promo it can be boiled down to "tell them your website." If we combine this with #6 we can say "Repeat your website."

11. The Last Impression Should Be Your Website
We just talked about the call to action? Make the last thing they hear be your website address. As a musician I know that people remember the first part of a song (or concert) and the last. So make a great first impression (to get their attention) and then leave them with your Podcast URL (with a real website address).

12. Save it in a Quality Format
No need taking the time to record a great sounding promo if you publish it at 64k (AM Radio quality). On the other hand, you can save your original recording as a wav file (or .aac on the Mac), but typically you should have the "public" version of your promo at 128 kbps (which is CD quality). Any podcaster will find that quality fine for their show. If they want a .wav file, you can send it to them with a service

13. Name The File So People Know What It Is
Don't name your podcast promo file "promo1.mp3". If someone downloads that file they don't know what it is by looking at it. Likewise don't name it "podcast promo show.mp3" You want to avoid spaces as this file will eventually be downloaded. If you want to use spaces use dashes or underscores on your keyboard. So it might be podcast_promo_show.mp3 or podcast-promo-show.mp3. You can also use capitalization PodcastPromoShow.mp3 may make the file easier to read. It also helps to put in the length of the promo. For my Podcast Promo Show the file name is podcastpromoshow_60s.mp3 (the 60 second promo for the podcast promo show).

14. Test Your Link
Alot of people seem to use to store their promo files which seems very slow in downloading the files(again web hosting is as cheap as a domain name). You can host your blog – and your promo – for $2 bucks a month). Here is how you can test your link. Open Windows Media player and hold down the CTRL key and the U key (this will open an "Open URL" box)  take the URL of your promo and type it (or better copy and paste it) into that box and click OK. If the link to your promo is good, the player should play. If it doesn't play, you have a bad link.

15. Post It On Your Blog
I'm guilty of this one. If you want a podcaster to approach you with a podcast exchange proposition, you have to let them know you have a promo. One way to do this is to put an obvious link to the promo on your website. Instead of writing a POST in WordPress, write a PAGE and put the link to your promo right there (along with your contact information so they can contact you about swapping promos). You can then add a link to your page on your sidebar, header, etc.

Dave Jackson