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Q&A with Griffin Cork: How Community and Passion Are Key Drivers in Podcasting

Last updated on: 
June 24, 2022

1. Tell us about both of your podcasts! Why did you start them? What’re they about? 

I’d love to! So, The Breakfast Dish is an arts-focused, interview-style podcast hosted by myself and my mom, Karen Johnson-Diamond. We started it in June of 2020, and the original purpose of the show was to highlight all of the online, digital, and eventually socially distanced offerings that people who were previously working in the live event industry were cooking up. We thought The Breakfast Dish would be helpful in both giving the artists a promotional platform and creating a catalog for patrons to go to if they got tired of Netflix or Disney+.

The Die As Cast is a lot simpler and a lot dorkier. It’s a Dungeons and Dragons 5E actual-play podcast with a cast of actors and improvisers. This one was started by myself and my dad, Kevin Cork. We were playing around with a few different forms of storytelling surrounding D&D and eventually settled on a podcast. We were also forming such a great relationship with the team over at Kobold Press, so it only made sense to place it in their setting of Midgard. 

2. What motivates you the most to continue podcasting?

It’s a few different things for me. Because I started two shows with my family, it’s honestly nice to just have a check-in with both my parents every week. With The Die As Cast, we’re also just playing D&D with our buddies (although there is a certain performative energy to it) and it lets me flex some musical/scoring muscles that I’m still working on.

With The Breakfast Dish, I think the most motivating thing is the constant realization that our arts community is both so vast and so tiny. There hasn’t been any ego from anybody about being “too good” to chat with a mother and her son about bacon and theatre. But at the same time, there are a whole bunch of awesome folks creating in different mediums and communities that I had no idea about! That sense of a growing, thriving community is definitely something that keeps me going.

3. What has been your greatest challenge with podcasting? 

That would be the marketing, without a doubt. A lot of the marketing knowledge I have surrounds film and theatre, but you are usually well-equipped in those industries with a cornucopia of trailers and images that capture an audience and keep them interested. But how do you advertise an audio-only podcast? Some podcasters have started adding a video element to their recordings, but is that beneficial enough to double your editing/recording load? What makes a great podcast trailer? How much does “high profile guests” matter? What is marketable about a podcast? These are the things I am still slowly learning (and CoHost is actually helping quite a bit with that). 

4. What’s your primary goal with your podcasts? 

I think people like to toss the “everybody has a podcast” phrase around, and I don’t know how accurate that is. I think it’s more right to say “everybody has STARTED a podcast” - but the more you dive into it, the more you see folks trail off with their episodes after a little while. And this could be for a lot of reasons; maybe they just got bored with the show, or they don’t have the capacity to keep the show going. So, I think my primary goal is to stay in love with podcasting. If I have to bring new segments to my shows, I’ll do that. If one of my shows needs to drastically change the format, we can make that happen. Ideally, I’d love to reach a place where the shows are self-sustaining, and a tour wouldn’t be so bad either. ;)

5. What’s one piece of advice you’d give to other creators? 

Trust what you are doing, and make sure you are doing it consistently. It’s really hard right at the beginning when each of your episodes is only getting 5-10 downloads from your family and co-workers. I know every podcast expert says that consistency is the most important thing, and I didn’t really believe them at first. But if you love what you’re doing, people will find you and your show. And there will be some people who like it SO much that they expect you to stick to the release schedule that you promised at the beginning. Do your best to not let them down!

6. What’s your top podcast marketing tactic? 

Oh, this is a great one that was passed on to me by the folks at Kobold Press. I am working on making a Headliner Video for every episode of The Die As Cast. Find the most hilarious or interesting section of your show, and Headliner will help you design a captioned video that draws the eye and showcases your podcast really well. This has been my best marketing weapon to date because these videos work fantastic on TikTok, Instagram Reels and Youtube Shorts (and of course, Facebook and Twitter).

7. What’s one podcasting tool/platform you can’t live without? 

We really enjoy using Riverside.FM for our remote recordings. I remember the days that I had everybody clap at the same time on our Zoom call so that I would know where to line up the individual Audacity tracks that were recording on each of our individual computers. Riverside fixes literally all of those problems, so we don’t have to give our guests so much tech homework. You just invite them to the Riverside call, press record, chat, and then Riverside will give you individual, synced WAV tracks for everybody on the call. AND it records video! I certainly recommend Riverside.

8. What’s your favorite CoHost feature? 

Oooh, that’s a tough one. There are a lot of good features on CoHost. The SEO Customization built right into the platform is crazy useful. The fact that CoHost offers built-in transcription is amazing, and I wish more hosting platforms had that. But I think, hands down, my favorite CoHost feature is the differentiation of Total Show Downloads and Unique Show Listeners. That’s a feature that I can’t find anywhere else, and it’s a fantastic metric to bring to networks and sponsors. Sure, your show gets 500 downloads a week; but is it the same 500 people every week? Or does that fluctuate? That kind of information is currency in the podcasting game.   

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