While legacy publications rush to cover podcasts, independent publications have been documenting and celebrating its growth for years.

Image by the author

Podcasting started as a tiny satellite orbiting the binary stars of Radio and Internet, but over the years, it’s grown in size and influence. The increasing gravity of podcasts has pulled an impressive collection of media into a stable orbit, full of analysis, criticism, reporting, and conversation.

Consider this article your sky map for this collection of orbiting bodies that helps us collectively understand and process what is going on in podcasting.

Industry News and Analysis

A weekly newsletter for industry news and analysis. Dan Misener frequently has interesting data visualization projects up his sleeve as well.

PodMov Daily

Daily email from Brennan Tapp, the managing…


The Art of Visual Content

And what to do instead

A generic stock photo of a man on a rock with his arms outstretched.
A generic stock photo of a man on a rock with his arms outstretched.
World, here I come!
Welcome to The Art of Visual Content, an ongoing series about connecting to your audience using visual creativity. The goal is to provide inspiration and practical tips for anyone looking to add more imagery and design to their work.

Using bland, overused images will signal something about your writing, and it’s not the good kind of signal. Stock photos are just as capable of giving off bad vibes as a spammy headline.

I’m not here to say stock photography is inherently bad. It’s actually amazing how many unique images are easily and freely accessible across a myriad of sites.

What…


THE ART OF VISUAL CONTENT

Picking the brain of Bryan Ho from Startup Illustrated

Illustration by Bryan Ho
Welcome to The Art of Visual Content, an ongoing interview series with creators who connect with their audience using visual creativity. The goal is to provide inspiration and practical tips for anyone looking to add more imagery and design to their work.

Singapore-based artist and entrepreneur Bryan Ho has successfully built an audience using visuals three separate times now. First was an Instagram account he grew to over 22k followers by posting daily pen drawings like this:


The Art of Visual Content

A series exploring how visual creators connect with their audience

Drawing by Nate Kadlac
This is the first of an ongoing interview series with creators who connect with their audience using visual creativity. The goal is to provide inspiration and practical tips for anyone looking to add more imagery and design to their work.

To kick things off with style, I caught up with Nate Kadlac over email about the excellent newsletter he creates called Plan Your Next, which has delightful illustrations and fantastic thoughts about creativity.

Tell us about the creative work you do.

By day, I’m a product designer for a real estate startup. …


Twitter’s acquisition of Revue could change everything

Image created by the author

Substack has some serious new competition in the paid newsletter space with Revue announcing they were acquired by Twitter.

Revue has had some steady growth over the years, but this announcement has skyrocketed Revue’s placement within the calculus all writers have to make when deciding which newsletter path to go down.

The Newsletter Landscape

Since the newsletter boom started, there has been an overwhelming amount of choice around which email service provider to go with. There are literally hundreds of options, but Mailchimp, ConvertKit, and Substack tend to dominate the discussion among writers and solo creators.

Of course, there are additional options…


Celebrate the places where writing meets art

Image by author

If you pay attention, you’ll notice writers and indie creators using their own illustrations, drawings, or photoshopped images all over the place, and I am here for it. This intersection of writing and art is making the internet a much more interesting place.

If I had to guess, a general reason for this trend could be a combination of the below.

  1. More people are writing online and looking for a way to stand out.
  2. There is a natural desire to flex some creativity outside of the written word, possibly rekindling a childhood love for drawing.
  3. Boredom with stock photos. I…


I listen to podcasts for many different reasons, but a sizable piece of my queue is geared towards learning about the world. Thanks to podcasts from this year, an unknown quantity of tidbits of knowledge are forever lodged into my brain.

Below are just a few of these that I plan to unleash onto a unsuspecting person once social gatherings are a thing again.

1) The supplement industry is largely unregulated.


Meet the unsung hero of modern podcasting: the illustrator

Episode art left to right: “Olympic Destroyer”, “Mourning”, “The Lazarus Effect”, “Magecart

No matter how beautifully sound designed or researched a podcast is, a listener’s first impression nearly always begins with the art. And while every podcast these days has cover art, a growing number of podcasts are also investing in episode art. Episode art can be an effective way to set a show apart and give it more impact on social media, in audiograms, or in press kits. Most importantly though, images can add context and depth to the experience, and signal to the listener that a story does not merely exist in the earbuds. …


Our favorite illustrations tell a story about the power of art

Clockwise from top left, “Shadow Broker”, “Look Up”, “Sad Ass Songs”, “Black Voices in Healthcare”, “The Holdout

As part of my research for a recent story on episode art, I created a collection of my favorite examples of this kind of work. Consider this your invitation to appreciate pieces created by the unsung heroes of the podcast team: the illustrator.

I have been stopped in my tracks on many occasions by the work illustrators do for podcast episodes. “Look Up”, featured in the image above, even hangs on my wall.

I’ve come to appreciate the unique ability of art to extend the storytelling of audio. Your brain can form an immediate emotional response to an image and…


We are all starstuff

Image by Erik Jones

“The Cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be.”

That is the brilliant first line from Carl Sagan’s 1980 TV series, Cosmos, as well as the first line of his book of the same name. This series was a clear demarcation line in my life when I watched it a little over a decade ago. There was a before, and an after, where the after was marked by a much more intense desire to understand the world around me.

Sagan has a way of communicating the wonder of the universe and history of science in an…

Erik Jones

Writing about podcasts, science, and visuals. hurtyourbrain.com for podcast recommendations and thefeaturedimage.com for showcasing visual content.

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