Co-Hosting a Podcast with Tara Claeys and Liam Dempsey

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In episode 6 of our podcast, we are chatting about podcasting and having a co-host. I do this myself with the Do the Woo podcast, but would rather have you listen to my two guests, Liam Dempsey and Tara Clays, co-hosts of the podcast, Hallway Chats

They have taken a unique approach with their guests and as a fan of their podcast, I wanted to dig deeper into running a podcast with a co-host. 

We begin by talking about how the idea of co-hosts was part of the strategy for starting their podcast. I also find out how they share the responsibilities and how they find their guests.

Both Liam and Tara have a great balance when it comes to putting on a show, and we learn whether that is pre-planned or just flows naturally. I also ask them whether there were any unique habits or idiosyncrasies either of them had to adjust to.

Of course, I couldn’t let them get away without sharing any plugins they have found particularly useful. And we end the show with their final tip for anyone wanting to start a podcast.

Bits and pieces about co-hosting a podcast.

Deciding on co-hosting

Thus was an opportunity for us to go slow. We weren’t in a hurry. Both of us have our own businesses and we like to do things right and thoroughly. We did not want to launch a podcast and then realize two weeks into it that we hate it and we never want to see each other again. So we took our time.

I think at that time there were a number of WordPress podcasts but not as many as there are now. And those were more sort of business- and tech- and news-focused. And so the idea really was to just share stories.

Splitting up the tasks

I recall a few things that sort of came naturally to us as web developers. Getting a domain name, setting up a website, doing some research on different platforms for podcasting. It just organically leveled out that the way that we’ve split up the different tasks and ongoing responsibilities.

Choosing guests

We have names of people that we ultimately decided not to invite onto the show. To be perfectly honest, it’s not a big list.

If we don’t know the individual directly, haven’t met them at a WordCamp, one of us will jump on a short, informal call beforehand and have a conversation with that person, just to make sure that there’s things to talk about and that we can string together a coherent conversation.

In terms of finding new people, it is promoting on social media. It is asking our existing or current guests to share with us who they think in their community and I don’t mean local community, but anyone that they know who might be a good fit for the show.

We spend a lot of time looking for guests. That’s a real challenge for us particularly since we’re not doing this full time. At the last minute, we may decide we should interview somebody this afternoon. Can you We’ve been up against that wall before and we still seem to come out with great content.

Pre-planning or going with the flow

We look at the guest before they come on, look at their website and social media, just to get a general idea of who they are. We speak to them for a few minutes, but in a lot of ways, it’s kind of about not being prepared.

Seeing and getting to chat with people, who-are-you kind of chit chat. Then we get into a conversation where they lead and we follow. Some of the things that have been shared with us, and the implications of what they’re sharing, what that means in their day-to-day life, it’s been eye opening and empowering in many ways.

Helpful WordPress plugins

A plugin that I appreciate having on our website is one that duplicates posts and pages (iTheme Sync Pro). Because we have a format that we use every week, it’s just a lot easier to duplicate the last one. That way, I make sure as long as I remember and check to make sure I replaced all of the correct content, which does not always happen 100% of the time. It gives me a template to use to fill in the transcript in the show notes and everything.

We use Blubrry for our podcasting hosting and I just love their plugin. It’s so simple. It’s so easy. Could it do more? Sure. Does it need to do more? No. It’s a great little tool.

Tips on starting a podcast

Think about focus. What’s interesting to you and are you interested in it for the long term? Not that every podcast needs to go on for 10 years or anything. If you’re going to get into launching a show, whether it’s weekly or biweekly or monthly, what would you want to talk about?

It’s like having a new project for a client. You’re going to start with your goals and then have strategy behind that. If your goal is to monetize a podcast and and use it to generate income for your business or yourself, then you’re going to approach it differently than if you’re doing it as a passion project. So set goals.

Where to find Tara and Liam

Hallway Chats Podcast

Hallway Chats on Twitter @HallwayChats

Tara’s website: Design TLC

Liam’s website: Lbdesign

Tara on Twitter @TaraClaeys

Liam on Twitter @liamdempsey

Resources / Plugins / Hosting Mentioned

Be a guest on Hallway Chats

Duplicate Post and Page (iThemes Sync Pro)

PowerPress Podcasting plugin by Blubrry

Liquid Web Managed Hosting