The Art of Producing Great Podcasts

Interview with a Pro Podcast Producer: Corey Coates from Podfly


Tell us how you got into podcasting and the Podfly origin story.

I was a professional musician, playing guitar for various rock bands. I realized it was time to make a transition in life and set up a small project recording studio. I learned audio engineering from the ground up. I saw the future business opportunities but also wanted to try something different. So, I packed up and moved to Costa Rica where I had a successful career in teaching and managing language schools.

In 2004 I had started an independent music podcast with a friend which I continued doing during this time, along with a little bit of audio editing on the side. I was approached by the Overseas Radio Network to do a weekly call in show, “This Week in Costa Rica”, which eventually led to a program director position. More people were asking for help producing podcasts and I realized how much I missed this work, so it was the right time to start Podfly. And, here we are 3 ½ years later with a staff of 25 people providing a range of services to many podcasters and organizations.

What advice would you give to someone considering starting a podcast?

  1. Ask yourself: why me? What do you think you can offer that’s different? Be able to state clearly “I’m doing this podcast because _____”.
  2. Niche down in content. Don’t be broad. Be something special.
  3. Manage expectations. What will success look like to you? What is your objective? The way you approach the process needs to match your expectations and goals.

What are the biggest mistakes you see podcasters make?

Setting initial expectations too high can be problematic because you don’t allow time to grow through the mistakes. Allow yourself space to make mistakes early on if you’re new to this. Don’t shoot to release 10 perfect episodes immediately or book “A list” guests when you’re just getting started. Be realistic; give yourself room to learn from mistakes and get better.

What should a podcaster think about when considering outsourcing production?

Decide whether you need an engineer or a producer. An engineer takes what you make and simply sweetens it by making it sound better. A producer, on the other hand, helps you craft the show.

What’s in store for Podfly in the coming year?

We’ve expanded out into full podcast production, which ranges from podcast set-up (equipment, show format, hosting) to audio engineering and post-production support such as copywriting for show notes. We’re working with more organizations, including broadcast media networks who want to move into podcasting. We see future growth in helping people with promotion so we plan on creating marketing tools and kits for podcasters in 2017. There should be many exciting things coming in the years ahead!

Corey Coates is the founder of Podfly Productions, a boutique podcast production company. Podfly offers a full range of services from podcast planning to post production (audio engineering, copywriting and feed management)…they do all the heavy lifting and technical work so you can focus on creating great content and growing your audience.

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