Podcasting Tips

Q&A with Mur Lafferty of I Should Be Writing

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Mur Lafferty is a bit of a Renaissance woman of the web, working as a writer, podcast producer, gamer, and geek. Check her out at The Murverse and her popular podcast I Should Be Writing, plus peruse her multiple accomplishments in other disciplines and plan to be inspired.

Do you mind introducing yourself?

My name is Mur Lafferty, and I’m a podcaster, author, columnist, and editor. I live in Durham, NC.

Nice to meet you! How did you get into podcasting?

In October, 2004, a friend of mine mentioned that he was really interested in podcasting, and I asked what that was. I thought it sounded awesome. For some reason, internet radio seemed complicated, but podcasting seemed easy and awesome. I thought about what I wanted to do and just decided to create an audio-blog / essay show. Later, I decided to launch a writing podcast. That show, I Should Be Writing, will celebrate seven years going this August. After that, I started loving the medium and have done several shows solo or for companies since then.

Congratulations on the podcasting going for seven years! At Blog World this year, you’ll be talking about how to give a great interview. Can you give us some basic dos and donts of giving a podcast interview?

Most of the biggest problems with interviews are very basic. Remember that it’s not a friendly conversation, not a back and forth. It’s an interview, focused on your guest. Don’t focus too much on yourself. Don’t ask yes/no questions. Don’t throw your interviewee off with an unforseen request. (I’m going to send you a writing sample, we’re going to pause, and then you’re going to give me a critique, OK?) Remember to ask questions, period. Complimenting your subject is flattering and nice, but not good for interviews. If you must compliment, do a followup. “I loved your second book. Can you tell me what was your inspiration for the antagonist?” or “Your latest movie was amazing. What was it like filming on (location)?”

What are important tips to remember for podcasting in general?

Make sure the sound is loud enough, but don’t modify the sound too much unless you’re a pro. Normalize is your friend, remove noise is not. Try to keep the show under an hour. Engage your listeners and encourage them to write you.

Great technical points! How important social media to your podcast?

Vital. People engage me on Twitter and Facebook, spreading the word, asking questions, etc.

What are you looking forward to seeing at Blog World? Where do you hope podcasting is going?

I’m eager to meet my peers and learn what others are doing with podcasting. Where is it going? Well, I want to just make sure it keeps going. We need to focus on mobile support (I get a lot of people unsure of how to subscribe to my show on their phones). We need more authors to podcast their novels, bringing back the serialization of Dickens’ day.

Great ideas. Anything else you’d like to add?

Nothing comes to mind!

Thanks so much for the interview, Mur, it was a pleasure!

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