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Host AMAsAMA with Evo Terra, Founder of Simpler Media Productions
AMAs >  Evo Terra

Evo Terra

organization Simpler Media Productions
When November 14 2019 @ 11:30AM (EST)

My first podcast episode dropped on October 14, 2004. According to Podcast Alley (this was way before iTunes listed podcasts), the show I was co-hosting was the 40th podcast ever. That show (no longer produced) lead to the creation of a network of podcasts in a similar vein. It also afforded me the opportunity to write Podcasting for Dummies (1st and 2nd edition) and Expert Podcasting Practices for Dummies (wors book title ever.)

I started my first “business” in podcasting in 2005, helping independent authors create their own audiobooks that we delivered in serialized podcast form. (This was way before Amazon sold ebooks). At the height, that company had over 700 audiobooks, each as their own show/podcast/feed, pulling down some 2 million episodes each month collectively

In 2015, my wife and I had a shared midlife crisis, selling off all of our worldly possessions (not kidding) so we could travel the world and see where we’d wind up. That place was Bangkok, where we lived for nearly three years. It was in Thailand when I started my current company, Simpler Media Productions, a podcast-specific agency that works with brands and professional service providers all around the globe, taking care of the behind-the-scenes stuff and other challenges to podcasting. We moved back to America when we found out we’d soon be grandparents. Today we live in Phoenix AZ and I’m the host of Podcast Pontifications, a daily podcast that focuses on podcasting’s future and offers ways we can make podcasting better, not just easier.

Twitter | Personal Website | Company Website

Questions now closed.

6 Questions
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Tom Slack Staff asked this question 5 months ago

Hi Evo, thanks so much for joining us. I’d love to hear your insights on what you believe makes a successful podcast?

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Evo Terra replied 5 months ago

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Suc·cess /səkˈses/, noun: “the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.” I start my answer with a definition because of the importance of the question. It’s one of the first questions I ask my clients. And then I’m relentless when it comes to helping them set that goal. Because answers like “have it pay for itself” or “get as many listeners as I can” aren’t really actionable.

Without understanding the end-goal — the business-outcome, personal fulfillment objectives, or whatever – you have no baseline to measure against. And often, the measurement of success has little to do with download numbers, subscribers, or even revenues.

Kate Mackay Staff asked this question 5 months ago

Hi Evo, with the brands you work with to manage their podcast, what are those main challenges they face that you referred to?

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Evo Terra replied 5 months ago

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We podcasters make it look so easy. But when businesses start digging into the process, they find it’s anything but.

There are a whole host of skill-sets that businesses just don’t have in their current employee roster. And I don’t just mean audio engineering. Businesses who have businesses to run find that learning all the vagaries of ID3 tagging, copywriting, distribution, file management, and just about every other step of the process beyond their ken. It’s not that they *can’t* learn how to do it. It’s that they don’t want to and would rather work with a professional team to make sure they hit all the marks the right way, without making bad decisions or straying too far away from podcasting best practices, (Which change often, btw…)

Bree McCartin Staff asked this question 5 months ago

Where do you get your news/info to keep up with the changes and updates in the podcasting industry? 

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Evo Terra replied 5 months ago

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Having been in the game since the beginning helps, because I’m connected with many of the key players in the industry. Like any network of insiders, we’re often talking about changes and updates before they break the scene.

But that’s not a helpful answer for you unless you own a time machine, I know. James Cridland’s Podnews is an excellent daily roundup newsletter. Then there’s Podcast Business Journal, Skye Pillsbury’s Inside Podcasting, and more than a dozen other newsletters and ~50 PAPs (Podcasts About Podcasting) I subscribe to.

Georgia Vale Staff asked this question 5 months ago

Any podcast branding tips? 

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Evo Terra replied 5 months ago

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I’d start with “pay attention to your podcasts brand” and continue with “that means more than your show artwork”.

Branding isn’t just the colors, images, fonts, sounds of your show. It’s what people think of you/your company/your show as they listen to your content. So if you’ve decided that the new MacBook Pro mic is sufficient for your audio quality, that’s a reflection of your brand. If you decide to half-ass your in-app show notes, that’s a reflection of your brand.

But if you decide to relentlessly focus on making sure that every listener, reader, and skimmer out there has an excellent experience with your show/episode/other content, that’s also a reflection of your brand.

Tash Kiely Staff asked this question 5 months ago

Hey Evo, thanks for joining us. Which podcasts or genres do you like to listen to? 🙂

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Evo Terra replied 5 months ago

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Several! I’ve developed quite the “daily news and insight” habit, subscribing to six different daily podcasts (not counting my own). I have a “Smarts” playlist with 14 different shows ranging from science, design, and critical thinking. And the weekend is dedicated to “Storytelling”, where fiction podcasts tend to rule. When my wife and I are in the car together, we listen to narrative podcasts with ongoing seasons.

Cassie Houston Staff asked this question 5 months ago

How long did it take you to write those first editions of Podcasting for Dummies? And how long do you reckon it would take now, given all the devleopments?

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Evo Terra replied 5 months ago

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Wiley, the company that owns the “For Dummies” franchise, has some incredibly aggressive timelines. Luckily, they also have incredibly detailed processes, which makes it a little easier. But still, the four months (yes, four months) of writing those books was a lot of work.

Podcasting for Dummies is now in its 3rd edition. I didn’t pen a single word (though I bet Tee and Chuck stole some of my funny parts from the first edition and didn’t give me credit, jerks) of that book, but it still took them four months, I think.

But I think the spirit of your question has more do with the vast changes that have happened from 2005 to now. And you’re correct. But really, the fundamental processes of making a podcast for a first-timer haven’t changed all that much. Sure, there are more options now and plenty of rabbit-trails one can follow. But the principals still hold true.

Evo Terra replied 5 months ago

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“Principles”, not principals. Oops!

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