Griffin McElroy on Why the McElroy Brothers Wrote ‘Everybody Has a Podcast (Except You)’
Justin McElroy, Travis McElroy, and Griffin McElroy rose to fame with their podcast My Brother, My Brother and Me. Since creating My Brother, My Brother and Me in 2010, the McElroy brothers have been able to make podcasting their full-time job, and they have learned a lot about podcasting in the process.
On Jan. 26, the McElroy brothers released Everybody Has a Podcast (Except You): A How-To Guide from the First Family of Podcasting. The step-by-step guide differs from other how-to books by focusing on podcasting from a hobbyist’s perspective.
After the book was released, Showbiz Cheat Sheet caught up with Griffin to discuss how the McElroy brothers created Everybody Has a Podcast (Except You).
Why the McElroy brothers wrote ‘Everybody Has a Podcast (Except You)’
Since creating My Brother, My Brother and Me, the McElroy brothers have launched multiple podcasts, including the podcast The Adventure Zone with their father, Clint McElroy. In a phone call, Griffin explained that the brothers considered writing a book for quite some time.
“It was something we had been talking about for a long time, and I mean, to be honest, we have been interested in kind of trying new things and stretching our creative muscles a bit and seeing what it’s like to make things in different kinds of mediums,” Griffin said.
The McElroy brothers first started recording My Brother, My Brother and Me as a way to keep in touch with one another. While they are professional podcasters now, their careers began as a family hobby.
“We realized that we had accumulated a certain amount of knowledge on how to make a podcast in sort of a scrappy way in a non-studio environment without professionals with years of training and stuff like that,” said Griffin. “And we thought that there would be a good opportunity for us to try and write all of that knowledge, mostly hard-earned through making many, many mistakes over the course of the last 10 years.”
With the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the McElroy brothers knew many would be looking to begin new hobbies. Everybody Has a Podcast (Except You) was created to give guidance to those looking to start podcasting for fun.
“… given how cloistered everybody has kind of had to be the last year, we know that there’s a lot of people sort of experimenting with the hobby for the first time now,” he said. “And that’s kind of where we were at when we started doing podcasting.”
The creative process behind ‘Everybody Has a Podcast (Except You)’
In Everybody Has a Podcast (Except You), each chapter is written by one of the McElroy brothers. To make the book as beneficial to readers as possible, the brothers wrote about the aspects of podcasting they knew best.
“When it came time to divide up the book, we just more or less wrote about the stuff that we had focused on doing,” Griffin told Showbiz Cheat Sheet over the phone. “So a lot of the post-production stuff I wrote, a lot of the promotional stuff and person-to-person stuff, Travis wrote, and Justin wrote a lot of the more big picture stuff because those were sort of our areas of expertise before we grew our business a bit.”
While each chapter of the book is written by one brother, the other two brothers chime in with funny anecdotes, contradictory advice, or additional support for the chapter.
“Of course, inevitably, we do have very strong opinions about everything, even if it wasn’t our focus,” Griffin said.
What readers should expect from the book
Everybody Has a Podcast (Except You) helps readers with everything from deciding what to name their podcast to how they should pick a co-host. The book also provides technical details about microphones and editing software.
In an effort to be as upfront as possible about the world of podcasting, the book does give readers guidance on monetizing a podcast, but according to Griffin that is not the focus of the book.
“We provide all the information that we have that is relevant right now for how to make money podcasting… But I mean, none of that matters unless you make the show first. So that was by far our bigger focus,” he said.
Griffin shared that while writing his chapters, he tried to encourage readers to not let fear hold them back.
“You just make the thing and if it’s not good, that’s fine. And you can not release it or you can polish it to try and make it better. But don’t let your fear of imperfection kind of stop you from doing the thing in the first place,” he said. “Because there is a low barrier of entry for podcasting. But I find that the biggest barrier is just people’s fear that they’re not going to make a good thing, which is fine. We didn’t make a good thing when we got started, but we stuck with it.”
Everybody Has a Podcast (Except You): A How-To Guide from the First Family of Podcasting can be purchased wherever books are sold.