In the event you’ve consumed any on-line fly fishing media, likelihood is you’ve learn one thing from Domenick Swentosky, over at Troutbitten. His weblog is likely one of the most well-respected, in-depth locations to study concerning the nuances of this sport. Two years in the past, he launched a podcast for Troutbitten, and he only recently introduced that he’s crossed the a million obtain mark. To get a million downloads in two years is unbelievable, so I requested Dom if he’d be keen to speak with the readers right here at MidCurrent concerning the podcast, and about Troutbitten typically. He was form sufficient to ship over some solutions that provide a ton of perception into how he was in a position to obtain this, and a few new objectives he has for Troutbitten in 2024.
MidCurrent (MC): 1 million downloads – that’s unbelievable! The podcast recreation is de facto aggressive as of late (everybody appears to have one). What, particularly, has helped Troutbitten stand out within the fly fishing area of interest?
Dom: Thanks, Spencer.
Sure, the Troutbitten Podcast took off straight away, and it has develop into a rewarding a part of this complete mission. I like seeing the connections that anglers must Troutbitten and the way a lot they connect a part of their fishing lives to one thing that I created.
Success for the Troutbitten Podcast, similar to the web site and the movies, has come from three issues: consistency, high quality and authenticity.
Once I began the web site in 2014, there have been loads of different fishing blogs and web sites on the market. However I observed a development. Folks wrote for some time after which tapered off. I promised myself I’d not do this. So I dedicated to a full yr of writing each week. Then it turned twice per week. And by 2017, I used to be dedicated to publishing thrice per week. I’ve been doing that ever since.
I noticed that mannequin of consistency work with the web site, so I needed to do the identical with the podcast. Listeners know that I publish the Troutbitten Podcast on Sunday evenings at 6:30 EST. That by no means adjustments. It’s constant. However as a result of I knew publishing each week can be unsustainable over the lengthy haul, I made a decision to construct breaks into the Troutbitten Podcast timeline. We’re now on Season Ten, with a couple of month-long break in between every season.
That type of consistency, the place listeners know what to anticipate, even comes right down to a few of the repeated parts of the podcasts themselves. We created intro, and we’ve caught with it. We run two completely different codecs for the podcast seasons. One among them is a Abilities Collection, the place we handle a single matter for a full season of episodes. Once more, listeners know what to anticipate; they belief that the content material will likely be there, so that they make investments themselves in it.
High quality has been one other key factor for each department of Troutbitten. With the podcast, I made a decision to do issues otherwise. We don’t observe the usual format of interviewing friends. As an alternative, I’ve relied on my good fishing mates to carry conversations which are fascinating, entertaining and informative. And since we don’t have somebody new as a visitor each week, we are able to spend extra time digging into the small print of what listeners care about most — the fishing!
I additionally don’t go right into a podcast blind. We now have a plan. I write a structure or a top level view (relying on the subject) simply to assist hold us on monitor. Nobody wants to listen to six guys rambling and spinning inside jokes. The banter is enjoyable although, and as time goes by, I go away extra of it in there, as a result of individuals know us by now. It’s enjoyable.
I additionally spend time modifying every podcast. I do know that the majority podcasters don’t edit a lot, saying they like a pure dialog. I do too. However nobody wants to listen to me coughing, chairs squeaking, my canine barking, too many “ums” and “ahs,” or only a line of thought that doesn’t tie in or would possibly confuse individuals. I used my expertise with modifying software program from my many years as a musician, placing these abilities again to work. That polished sound of edit helps set the podcast aside too. I’m certain of it.
The Troutbitten Podcast requires eight to 12 hours from me each week. From the structure, to the recording, the modifying, the companion article, publishing and promotion, it’s an enormous mission. So the assist and the advert income from a few of the finest firms within the trade have made it doable for me to dedicate that point. Troutbitten is my profession. And if it wasn’t, I’m certain I couldn’t produce this type of work constantly.
Authenticity is the final half. I imagine listeners join with us as a result of they hear that we’re actual anglers simply speaking about fishing. We now have sturdy opinions, however we’re open minded. We love fishing laborious, however we like having enjoyable. Troutbitten is an impartial multi-media firm. And there’s nothing else on the market like Troutbitten, doing what we do whereas sustaining that independence. I’ve no editor to reply to and no mum or dad firm dictating what I ought to or shouldn’t write, what I ought to file or movie. Due to this fact, we don’t go down the identical paths or cater to the identical viewers that the remainder of the trade does. That’s not a acutely aware choice as a lot as simply following our hearts. I like creating issues and understanding that folks join with it. And when creation comes with out a lot consideration for search engine marketing, for clicks or income, authenticity stays on the core, and good issues observe.
MidCurrent:What have you ever realized as an angler from doing the podcast? I’ve discovered the extra I write and discuss fly fishing myself, I continue learning.
Dom: I’ve realized from my mates by way of the conversations you hear. I realized from Trevor about wool layers, and I gave wool one other likelihood. Now, I put on wool virtually each day, for about eight months of the yr. I’ve realized extra about when, why and the right way to pause streamers from listening to Invoice’s stunning solutions to questions in one among our streamer episodes. These are only a couple examples of how I’ve realized by way of the conversations themselves.
Listening to feedback and receiving questions from listeners can also be a seamless schooling. I get nice concepts from individuals who have one thing discovered that I don’t. And when a number of individuals ask the identical observe up query, I do know that we left one thing on the desk and we missed one thing. By means of all of that suggestions, I hold getting higher as a author, podcast host, educator and communicator of fishing experiences.
MidCurrent: I do know your focus has all the time been on serving to different anglers. Why did you resolve a podcast was the fitting option to broaden your skill to assist different anglers?
Dom: I didn’t resolve it that method, actually. With Troutbitten, my technique has been to simply hold my head down and attempt to create good issues. I’ve had no overarching marketing strategy or perhaps a path to observe. In order the following alternative or concept has come up, I’ve determined to observe by way of with it or put it on maintain. I assumed I’d write and publish books earlier than the podcast, however life labored out otherwise. The timing of the podcast launch simply felt proper. It was intuition and want greater than anything.
And sure, I all the time knew that the podcast platform would permit me to speak concepts and ideas in ways in which phrases in articles couldn’t. Identical with video too. All media varieties have their strengths. And I get pleasure from reaching individuals by way of completely different strategies of creation.
MidCurrent: What thrilling issues do you bear in mind for Troutbitten in 2024?
Dom: In 2024 we’re launching reside Troutbitten podcasts on YouTube. Many of those reside occasions will function common friends, the place the viewers can take part to ask questions of the friends or the Troutbitten crew.
We’re all enthusiastic about this addition to our podcast lineup, and I’m engaged on getting the software program and the abilities collectively to make these reside occasions a slick manufacturing. The reside factor will likely be an fascinating problem. And it’ll be rewarding to observe the interplay between our viewers and a few of their favourite personalities in fly fishing.
Thanks on your questions, Spencer. And because of everybody on the market who helps the Troutbitten Venture.