Q&A with Chris Marquardt of Tips from the Top Floor

Chris Marquardt successfully brings visual to audio with his podcast Photography Tips from the Top Floor. Check out our little chat on reaching a global audience:

Can you introduce yourself?

My name is Chris Marquardt and I’ve been podcasting with Tips from the Top Floor since May 2005.

How did you start broadcasting?

I had a topic to talk about as well as the audio and internet skills, and just decided to go for it. Instead of turning to local radio stations to be heard by a only a few hundred people, I chose podcasting in hope of reaching a bigger audience. At the time the medium was so new, and I expected to do only ten episodes or so, but now I’ve aired around 500!

How does one talk about visual art via audio? Why not choose video podcasting?

My own preference is to listen to something, mainly because listening allows you to focus on more than one thing at a time, for example listening to a podcast while commuting. Video is much harder to produce and takes longer to do, and audio just seemed to fit with my style of “edutainment.” It really allows the podcaster the freedom to paint images in peoples’ minds.

Can you tell us what you’ll be talking about at Blog World Expo, on How To Effectively Podcast To A Global Audience?

Seeing as I’ll be a part of a panel, what we’ll talk about will pretty much play out on stage, though it’ll mainly focus on how to reach that global audience and how to keep it. My own approach to podcasting to a global audience was producing content in English right from the start (Chris is German), though this is also due to the fact that in 2005, there really was no podcasting audience in Germany.

So does an English speaking podcaster have a different approach than a European one, in terms of reaching people?

A podcast in English definitely reaches a lot of people, and not just in the US. If it’s in English, just putting your podcast out there can be enough.

I also produce a German podcast about photography, and though expats living abroad as well as say, Austrians and some Swiss, do tune in, it primarily reaches Germans.

What are common mistakes podcasters make?

I think I’ve made them all! One mistake I still make is not broadcasting regularly. Although the German show is up pretty much every Thursday morning, and the audience has come to depend upon it, the English show isn’t always so consistent due to time restraints and whatnot.

Another mistake is to apologize for your sound quality. Audio quality is important, but not as important as your content. ┬áPeople typically won’t mind, and probably wouldn’t have noticed it if you hadn’t pointed it out.

Excellent point. What advice to you have for new podcasters?

Have something to talk about and make it interesting, and the more niche you go, the better. People try to find an audience by cramming lots of different topics into one podcast, but it’s really a way to lose focus and have people lose interest. Even if you’re dealing with a super niche topic, you will find an audience because there are always people out there looking just for that.

Thanks a million Chris!

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