Podcaster Interviews

Interview with Tiffany Arment of Make Do, Top Four & Somehow I Manage

Tiffany Arment is the host of three podcasts (which I mistakenly mentioned as two in the interview) including one I featured a while back in the newsletter called Make Do. She also happens to be the wife of Marco Arment, who is well known in podcast circles and is the developer of my favourite podcasting app, Overcast.

Tiffany is a fascinating podcaster. It’s clear both through her podcast body of work and throughout this interview that she podcasts, in large part, for the enjoyment of it. A lot of podcasters get caught up in the promotion, the podcasting gear, the editing, and the stress about monetization, but Tiff sees it as an opportunity to simply talk to her far-flung friends about interesting topics.

Here’s my interview with Tiff Arment:

I know you’re currently a part of producing two podcasts, Make Do with your co-host Julia Skott, and Top Four with your husband Marco Arment. What would you say makes each of these shows unique?

Tiff: Sorry to well-actually you, but I’m currently hosting three podcasts. The third is called Somehow I Manage on the Incomparable network. It’s a rewatch show of The Office. All of my shows are pretty different: Make Do is about the joys and anxieties of creating art, and Top Four is a fun comedy show I do with my husband where we rank our top four of anything. Really, my shows are just a bunch of different things I’m interested in, my hobbies, or just a way to have fun.

Why did you start Make Do and Top Four?

Tiff: We started Top Four because my husband and I have ridiculous road-trip banter and we thought it would make a good podcast. Make Do was the brainchild of my co-host, Julia Skott, and she asked me to host it with her.

From a personal standpoint, why do you do the shows? What do you get out of the process of podcasting?

Tiff: I love talking to my friends about topics that are interesting or funny, and podcasting makes me feel heard in a unique way. Simply, it feels good to be good at something. Podcasting came naturally to me, and it also allowed me to stay connected with my friends who live all over the world.

Do you ever think about the lasting impact of your shows and what you hope that impact on your listeners is?

Tiff: Make Do is the most impactful show I’m a part of. It always feels amazing to get listener feedback about something Julia and I discussed that resonated with and even helped someone else get through a difficult or frustrating creative experience. I’m proud of the guidance that the show can provide, and the comfort it gives to know that we aren’t the only ones struggling with the things we do.

Do you do any work to promote your shows? What have you found to be the most effective?

Tiff: I tweet and use Instagram as basic show promotion. Often, you just need to rely on word-of-mouth promotion, or hoping that a popular friend will give you a mention. It’s tough when there isn’t an advertising budget. I wish there were more options available for promoting shows.

What advice would you give to podcasters just starting out?

Tiff: First, if you are serious, get a decent setup so you sound good. Don’t podcast with your AirPods or your computer’s built-in mic. If you aren’t easy to listen to, you’re already in trouble because of the high quality of other shows out there now. (You don’t have to spend a ton of money to sound decent.) Second, don’t make a long podcast. Keep it tight, usually within a half-hour, and don’t be afraid to edit out something you think “might” be interesting. If you are questioning it, it isn’t. Cut it.

What do you think the future of podcasting holds? Are moving towards more walled gardens and paid subscriptions or will the open RSS format prevail?

Tiff: I hope the podcasting world stays as open as possible. Not just as a creator, but as a listener. I don’t want to sign up for multiple different services just to hear my favorite shows.

Aside from your show, give me 3 of your best / favourite podcast recommendations.

Tiff:

Do By Friday -a weekly challenge podcast with three friends who usually don’t actually complete the challenge.

Fun Fact– literally, fun facts.

Two Headed Girl – a gender identity show about transitions.

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