You want to start a podcast, but you have an inkling of the amount of work it takes. Also, let’s face it, it would be nice to have a conversation with someone instead of having to riff every episode.
There are a few things to consider while hunting for a co-host, and they are all important. Here are my best tips on how to find a podcast co-host because there’s more to it than just great conversational chemistry.
Should it Be a Friend?
This is the trickiest question, which is why I placed it at the top of the list. A good friend likely shares similar interests as you, enjoys your company and can support you emotionally.
All the reasons you can list why your friend should be your co-host are the same reasons you should steer clear of your friend filling the role of your co-host.
Owning and operating a podcast is challenging and will test your relationship in ways you would never have dreamed. My co-host is my best friend, and at this point, our relationship is akin to my marriage. We’ve been through every fight and have had to find ways to treat each other kindly to keep the podcast going and our relationship in good standing.
Find Someone Capable that You Respect
You should be looking for a co-host who you can look up to. You are both going to need to do a lot to ensure the continued success of the podcast, and that means being able to:
- Build and alter websites
- Record and edit audio
- Troubleshoot technical difficulties
- Find creative and fun ways of approaching subjects
- Brainstorm concepts and bits
- Build a budget for marketing and growth
- Manage audience interactions
- So much more…
If they are good at figuring things out and providing solutions to problems, they are worth their weight in gold.
Find Someone Willing to Work
A common misconception of podcasting is that it takes no effort; it’s just a couple of friends sitting down, drinking, and shooting the shit. If you podcast with consistency for a few months, you will realize that it’s a ton of work.
You will want to find a co-host who is willing to work, whether it be doing social media promotion or research on subjects for upcoming episodes. Every podcast splits the division of labor their own way, but in my opinion, if it isn’t split equally, someone will end up feeling like they got the short end of the stick.
Find Someone You Have Chemistry With
If your co-host doesn’t compliment your thoughts with their interesting thoughts, or vice versa, they might not be the right fit for your podcast.
This is one of the easier traits to test reliably. If you enjoy discussing tough or interesting topics at length with this person, you probably have good conversation chemistry.
If they struggle to keep up their end of the conversation, there’s not a lot that you can do to force chemistry.
Choose a Co-Host Who is Ready for Anything
This is half me telling you that you need someone who will show up on time reliably and half me telling you that they should be open-minded.
A regular release schedule is paramount to succeed in podcasting, and if they have a problem showing up on time or at all, that’s a big red flag.
The other side of being ready for anything can be boiled down to the old improv adage, “Yes, and…”. Podcasting is about rolling with the punches, seeing what works, and pivoting to meet this new and unforeseen challenge.
You need to choose a co-host who is open to saying yes, even if it’s out of the blue and scary. It’s hard to know what will work for your podcast, so when you see an opportunity, it’s important that you have someone by your side who is happy to take on the new challenge.
There’s a lot to consider while choosing a podcast co-host, so make sure you choose them carefully. Wondering if you need a co-host at all? Check out our blog on making that podcast decision.
David Day is the co-founder and co-host of Horror Movie Talk Podcast. When he isn’t watching horror movies he is focused on growing the podcast. Listen to his show Horror Movie Talk here.