AskPat 732 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey, what's up everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 732 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. As always I'm here to help you by answering your online business questions, five days a week. Now here's today's question from Z.
Z: Hi Pat. My name is Z, and I'm a couple weeks away from the launch of my new podcast called, “The Art of Manufacturing”, which is at ArtofMfg.com. I've been interviewing some fascinating entrepreneurs taking risks and reimagining how things are made and sold. Some are well known, but most are undiscovered, and it's meant mostly to be inspirational, but I end up with three takeaways from each discussion. I need your advice on episode titles.
First, I notice you always start with episode numbers, which I like for some reason, but I worry that they take up precious characters at the start of a name. So I'm wondering what are the pros and cons of using them at the beginning, or maybe at the end of the titles.
Also, what should I keep in mind as I craft the titles? Obviously I want them to be compelling and easy to keep track of, and I think the three most useful pieces of information are; the name of the guest, who they are, their company or claim to fame if necessary, and a short teaser about what the listener might learn.
So Pat, what information should come first? Should I worry about consistency across episodes, and I'm wondering if I can go back and change the titles later if I change my mind. Thanks so much for your help.
Pat Flynn: Hey Z, thanks so much for the question. Congrats on the new podcast, hope it's going well so far since this is recorded a little bit after when your show came out, but it sounds awesome. I think it's a great topic and I love that you're interviewing people who are kind of not well known. I think those are the episodes that have always worked best for me, for my other show, Smart Passive Income.
Okay, so let's talk about the titles to your podcast episodes. First of all the episode number, should they be included? I included them in my show, for both AskPat and also for Smart Passive Income, because I wanted it to be easy for myself and for others to keep track. The one thing that the numbers do is it helps you remember which episodes that you like, or if you want to reference an episode. For example, for Smart Passive Income Episode 78, that's my first episode with Clay Collins, or 51, that was my favorite one with Tim Ferris that I did, or episode 122, with Shane and Jocelyn Sams, which was one of my most popular episodes.
Those are very easy for me to share, and instead of having to share a link I can just mention the episode number and people can go into iTunes and find them. That makes it really easy to do, and all I have to do is say episode 122, and that's it, as opposed to you know that one episode with Shane and Jocelyn Sams, it was on May 25, 2014, so if you go back and you look at the dates that's when you'll be able to check it out. It's a lot more difficult.
Now you're right, it does take up a lot more space in the title and there's a lot of debate about this. I know a few people who are very against using numbers, because it's just wasted space. But I don't feel it's wasted because for me I'm building a relationship with my audience, I want to create memorable episodes, and I want those numbers to be very significant, just like how episode 732 is your episode, see, for AskPat. And that gives it some solidarity I think, instead of just, oh you know the episode with that women Z, who asked that question about the thing.
So episode numbers, I feel, are very important and that's my stance, but if you feel like having room for more things, three extra characters or whatever, then that's up to you. But it's your show, and guess what? You can always change the titles later, so that was to your last question. Yes, you can always change the titles later. For me if I had to do it all over again, I probably would remove the SPI and just put 122: and then the name of the episode for example, just to save a little bit more room. But you know, I like that it's there and yeah, so that's no biggie.
Now, they would be even more important, I think, to have that acronym in there if I was, for example, I had different types of episodes. So if I had a Q&A Friday it would be Q&A episode whatever and then normal episode would be SPI. So if you have different kinds of episodes, but all in the same feed, all in the same show, then it might be useful to add a little bit more of a marker in front of an episode title. Where you're sharing the name of the person, and maybe a keyword or some relevant topic, and then also the website name that they have. You know all that stuff's really important.
The most important thing is you just want it to be useful. You want it to be something humans will read. I think that's where a lot of people hear, oh you got to put the keywords in the title. They get mixed up because then they start keyword stuffing, meaning the just put keyword after keyword, and it doesn't even sound right anymore. Because they know that, well you put the keywords in there so you have a chance of being found both in Google and on iTunes. Which is true, but if you are found in the search results and people read the title and it just doesn't make sense, well they're not going to click through anyway.
So what I want you to do is keep it natural, and it doesn't have to follow a strict kind of order every single time. But it's your show, Z, it's your show, that's the cool thing about podcasting, there are absolutely no rules, you can do whatever you want. And if you want to be different and do something completely out of left field, go ahead and do that. But if you want to have a structure so it's easier for you, and or whoever is editing your show, just to make it easy, you can do that as well.
I feel that there should be some sort of keyword in addition to the person's name and the website. I have seen shows before where it's just literally the person's name, colon or dash, and then the website and that's it. To me that just sounds kind of like you weren't even trying. You know I think it's useful information, but you want to start to treat these things like blog post titles, where not only are they rich in keywords, but they make sense to a human being and it would make a person want to click and listen through.
So for example I'm looking at my, lets go to episode 78 right now, so that's SmartPassiveIncome.com/session78, the title to that one is “Rapid Audience Building for Accelerated Hypergrowth, Landing Pages and Conversion Optimization.” So that one doesn't even mention the guest's name. He's obviously mentioned in the intro in the audio, but you can include the guest's name if you want. Again, Z, it's totally up to you, it's your show and I hope that helps you out. And yes, you can always change it later.
So yeah, thank you so much for the question Z. I'm want to send you an AskPat t-shirt for having your question featured here on the show and again good luck on your podcast. For those of you listening if you have question that you'd like potentially featured here on the show, just head on over to AskPat.com and you can ask right there on that page.
Thank you so much I appreciate you and here's a quote to finish off the day by Liz Strauss, she says, “No matter the stress, the unkindness, the joy, the boredom, the hurry, one look at the sky and life again has perspective and meaning.”
In other words, you know sometimes you got to slow down. It's crazy every day, right? But we live in this amazing world, look outside, and hopefully it's not raining or storming right now, but even if it is, it's awesome. We're so fortunate to be living in this world at this time and I just hope you take that in for a moment and get motivation to keep crushing it as you do. Thanks guys, take care, and I'll see you the next episode of AskPat.