What is the Cardinal Rule of Podcasting?

There are a number of ways I could go to answer that question, but I’m going to cut right to the chase.

What is the cardinal rule of podcasting? It’s All About The Listener.

With every episode you produce, you have to be thinking about the experience the listener will have consuming your content.

This encapsulates many items:

  • Is your audio quality up to par?
  • Are you recording in a quiet environment?
  • Are guests and hosts talking over one another?
  • Is the direction of the conversation staying on point?
  • If your podcast is PG, is there too much swearing?
  • Is there distracting background noise like music or a dog barking?

Your listeners will come to expect a certain quality from you. And if your quality is not up to snuff, the likelihood of the listener coming back for another episode is not very good.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: 3 Things That Will Keep You Going When Your Podcast Has No Listeners

Here’s an example that I lived myself. Back in the day, I did an episode of my podcast with 11 others. That’s right, 11 others. And we had been drinking for most of the day, too. You can imagine how that unfolded.

Things were out of control from the start. Side conversations, people talking over one another, and at one point, a fart gun made its way onto the show (in my defense, this is while I took a break to use the restroom, but still…). But while we had a blast recording it, the final product was tough to absorb.

Editing that episode, I asked myself – if I’m not enjoying listening to this, why would anyone else?

No matter what the content of your podcast may be, always, ALWAYS keep your audience in mind. 

Ask yourself – is this something I’d want to listen to? If the answer is no, chances are, your audience will feel the same way. And if an episode below your standards is the first one someone listens to, they’re probably not coming back for more. 

It’s All About The Listener. Write that down.


I covered this in Episode 7 of Pod Theory. You can listen below and subscribe to the show wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2 thoughts on “What is the Cardinal Rule of Podcasting?”