Pods Up North Team

10 things I’ve just learned about Podcasting at Pods Up North

Steve Blears Blog, Podcasting


Did you attend Pods Up North? An event that put the region squarely at the forefront for creativity and best thinking when it comes to Podcasting.

Pods Up North are audio geeks and podcast / radio experts, Vic Turnbull (MIC), Kate Cocker (The Presenter Coach) and Ant McGinley (On The Left Side).

If you missed the event here are my highlights. If you need help I’d recommend connecting with the Pods Up North team.


Pods Up North Team

Pods Up North Team


About the Author / Director

Steve Blears

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Steve is a shooting producer director with TV credits for Channel 4, BBC & Sky. He's based in NW UK. New podcasts coming in 2020.


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1 – Why do you need a Podcast?

When you mention podcasting one of the first things people say is I need one of those. If you are considering making one the question should be Why? What do I need to say? What am I trying to achieve? What is it for? Who is my audience and how can I help them?

2 – Podcasts are not radio or TV

Will your podcast offer something your audience can’t get elsewhere? John Gibbons from the hugely successful The Anfield Wrap podcast made this point. His post match football podcast features the voices of authentic, unfiltered Liverpool fans. If his audience wanted the usual opinions of pundits and players they could just listen to Radio 5 or watch Sky Sports.

3 – Authenticity is the No.1 currency

Almost all the speakers made this point. Podcasts are the ideal platform to be the unique you. They can offer the one thing that other media can’t. Unrestricted, unfiltered authenticity.

4 – What is your Podcast strategy?

Branded Podcast producer Lilly Ames from Chalk and Blade admitted that in terms of businesses looking to get into podcasting the current climate is like “the wild west”. Businesses don’t usually embark on a marketing exercise without a clear strategy. When it comes to podcasting you need to plan how it fits into your existing marketing mix.

5 – It’s loyal, quality listeners not download numbers that count

Don’t judge your success from the numbers of downloads. Kieran McKeefery from Rebel Base Media illustrated how your content should be judged on the value it brings to an audience. Building a fan base that knows, likes and trusts you is the priority.

6 – Do it for love first, not the money

Craig Parkinson from the successful Two Shot podcast explained how he started because he felt he had something new and useful to say. Many of the event speakers echoed this. While they’ve gone on to earn income from their shows, it’s not why they started doing it.

7 – Don’t assume people can find you

Consider your podcast as the starting point for a raft of repurposed content. Content marketing expert Amy Woods explained how podcasts can be sliced and diced to provide a raft of audio and video content across your all social media platforms. The advantage being it helps you build your brand and audience in an efficient way.

8 – Podcasting is the new Punk Rock

This popped up in an audience response to a presentation by the BBC’s head of Sounds, Jonathon Wall. The BBC’s podcasting boss claimed that to work with the corporation podcasters should “professionalise” and effectively form small indy production groups before being considered for BBC commissions. From the floor her was told “Podcasting is the new Punk Rock”, there are no rules, no barriers to entry, no need to court official validation from traditional broadcasters.

9 – Podcasting is the perfect platform for diversity and inclusion

This came up in conversation with a BAME audience member. “I emailed Spotify about making a podcast, a week later they gave me £10k.” It’s was great to hear from Spotify’s Alexandra Adey at the event and the efforts they are making to bring diverse voices and stories to Podcasting. She runs an annual round of support for diverse projects.

10 – Podcasts can make money

Mike Newman from Audioboom explained how your podcast will be considered by advertisers once you’ve reached 10k monthly downloads. However, for many a subscription based model or voluntary contributions via Patreon are a better fit for podcasts with a loyal following.