For the past few years, the podcast craze had literally bogged us down.
While every broadcaster with a voice recording app is eager to create their own podcasts, creating an actual podcast is no mean task.
Here are some tips and steps that you can follow while attempting to create your first podcast successfully.
That is, in this article, we are going to provide you a complete walkthrough from the initial stages of launching your show, to the final stages of publishing your show online.
When you are through, you would have probably known the secrets of making a podcast and hopefully be inspired to create one as soon as possible.
First, let us begin with the basics.
What is a podcast basically?
A podcast is a piece of any digital audio content that is available for download or for streaming purposes.
What do I need to do if I have to begin a podcast?
Well, you must become mentally committed if you want to become a podcast maker.
Without proper commitment and dedication, it is impossible to make your podcast a grand success.
Here, are some tips for you to decide whether podcasting works for you or not.
Tips for Starting a Podcast:
1. Get ready to commit yourselves:
Before you begin publishing a podcast, keep in mind that publishing podcasts need consistent effort to get going.
Podcasts are not merely the records of people talking, having meaningful conversations and so on.
Allan from LifeHacker says that you need to treat making podcasts like any other business (say, like writing blogs, creating websites) and should nurture it with utmost passion.
There is a myth that podcasts are easy to make since they only involve audio. Don’t get fooled by these myths. Podcasts can take up a chunk of time, especially, if you are a newbie in this field.
So, if you want to earnestly increase your listener base, then you must consistently publish podcasts (of various topics or as a series, that’s up to you!!) at frequent time intervals.
It may be fun work, but, nevertheless it is work and should be treated as such.
2. Podcasting will not make you rich within a few days:
Yes, Podcasting is a good source of passive income and you can earn a substantial amount from it.
But, that does not mean that you will become rich as soon as you have started a podcast.
If you want to get rich through podcasting, then you must have a lot of advertisements and partnerships. This can only be possible if you had developed a considerable listener base.
Your listenership should be worthwhile for both the advertisers as well as investors. If you are going to start a podcast only for the fun of broadcasting your own voice, then you might not get much out of it.
So, before beginning a podcast business try to understand that your podcast will not experience exponential growth in the few days of its inception.
Developing a podcast business is more like watering a plant and make it grow into a huge tree.
The initial progress will be slow but steady. But, once your podcast has gained substantial listener base, then earning from your podcast will be a cakewalk.
3. Try answering the questions what, why, how and who to define your target audience:
First, try to answer the following questions honestly:
- What is your podcast all about?
- What are the elements that will be included in your podcasts?
- How many episodes will be there in your one podcast series?
- Does your podcast speak about individual topics or are you going to consider a single topic and do it in a series of episodes?
- Why do you want to publish a podcast now? Does your topic have considerable significance?
- Who are your target audiences? What is the age range of your target audience?
- Why do you think they should listen to your podcast without fail? Will your podcast educate or enlighten them in any way?
Providing an honest answer to the above-mentioned questions will help you to get a real idea about the podcasts that you are going to make.
It will also help you to determine a specific range of target audiences so that you can market your product accordingly for greater reach.
4. Name your podcast cleverly and clearly:
You should cleverly think of a name that would both suit your business as well as serve an anchor for you to reach your audience base.
Remember, people should be able to locate your podcast without any difficulty if they are searching for information pertaining to your topic.
If you think, you have a catchy title for your show, then please remember to add a succinct description for your title because there is no point in doing a podcast business if there is no one to find and listen to your casts.
One of the most used yet most successful ideas of naming your podcasts is incorporating your genre in your title.
For instance, if your niche is about fitness, then you may name your podcast as ‘The Great Fitness show’ or ‘How to be fit, burn fat and live better’ so that people can instantly recognize what your audio shows are all about. This technique, in a way, will also aid you to increase your listener base.
So, have you learned the basic steps you need to take before venturing into this business?
Is podcasting best for you? Then move further.
Types of equipment you need for beginning a podcast?
When it boils down to podcasting business, all you REALLY NEED are your mobile phone or laptop with good audio connection, a reliable high-speed internet connection, and of course something worthwhile to talk about (your niche).
The workflow you will follow while making a podcast is: ideate, create, edit and upload your audio.
- Once you decide the niche for your shows, narrow down your niche to a particular topic.
For example, if your niche is fitness, then you can talk about mental fitness like fighting depression or anxiety or physical fitness, say, the benefits of doing cardio workouts, etc.
- After deciding the topic of discussion, decide whether you want to include them as an individual topic or whether you need to discuss it in episodes.
Suppose, if you are talking about fighting depression, then you can introduce the topic of depression and how it kills the inner self in one episode and you can move on explaining the ways to combat depression in your subsequent episodes.
Doing audio programs in the form of episodes and series is one of the ways to increase your audience base.
- Though you can record all your audios in your mobiles, the higher audio quality will imply lesser noise and more voice clarity.
So, if you are serious about the podcasting business, then you can try audio streaming kits that are available online at cost-effective prices.
Suppose, if you are recording audio via your laptops, then you can record audios in your computer through interfaces like Zoom H4n and Focusrite.
Using Audio Technica mics while recording will ensure that all the background noises are filtered, and your audio content is recorded perfectly.
- There are many free audio recording and editing software available online.
Software like these will reduce your work by half and help you to focus on the marketing part of your podcasting business.
While Audacity remains as the most preferred and widely recognized software for podcasting, many people using Mac prefer GarageBand.
Audacity is compatible with both iOS and Windows. Set up these applications and record your first podcast.
After recording, edit your audio and filter the remaining external noises. Export your edited files as audio-feasible formats like Mp3, which will be easier for uploading.
How will I decide the recording pattern of my podcast?
In this section, we shall discuss the recording pattern and time scale needed for recording your podcast.
- Decide the minutes of your podcast. Plan your episodes and jot down the points that you need to emphasize, cover and discuss in your episodes.
Based on the depth of your content, decide how long should your episode be.
Do not try to cut down the content or the depth owing to time insufficiency. If you feel that your topic is lengthy and needs to be discussed in detail, break it into numerous episodes and discuss them.
- People always tend to plan both their weekdays and weekends. So, decide the busiest days and relax days for your target audience and plan accordingly.
For instance, if your target audience is people in the age group of 18 to 22, then they will most probably be college students and hence, their busiest days may be Monday and Friday whereas they will be more relaxed on Saturdays and Sundays. So, you can plan a weekly podcast (say every Sunday or every Saturday podcast).
- Many podcasts do fortnightly or monthly shows also. But, if you are going to opt for a monthly show, then you can have a longer time frame (say, 1-hour show).
If it is a fortnightly show, then you need to have a variety of contents to be included in the show.
Lessening the time frame, in this case, would do more good since shows that appear often with greater time frames can bore the listeners easily.
- As your listener base increases, you can also try a variety of seasonal courses (podcasts).
Make sure that each season of yours is laced with a particular theme. After every period, the themes of your podcasts will vary.
By this way, you can make sure that you are streaming a variety of contents that are suited to your audience’s liking.
- Decide the nature of your podcast.
Do you want your show to be a solo show or a co-hosted show?
If you want it to be more like a co-hosted show, whom do you want to compere with? Your friend or colleague?
Do you want your show to proceed like an interview? Or should it be more like a conversation?
How will I market/distribute my podcast?
Okay, we are now moving to the business part (i.e.) the marketing part of our article.
Our contents will not become famous if there are no good listeners. If your casts could not attract proper audiences, then eventually you will also feel bogged down to create a podcast.
So, before you publish your podcasts online, make sure that you have recorded at least 5 to 6 episodes in your niche.
This will not only attract the readers but will also engage them fairly, making them anticipate for your next episode.
Remember, anticipation is the key. You should make your listeners crave for your next episode, which will guarantee your success and make your podcasts, a household thing!!
Figure out the best distribution and hosting services for your podcasts. Some of the best and widely-known services include
- Anchor – A perfect all-in-one solution for all your distribution and hosting needs.
- Libsyn – Many people also prefer Libsyn (the famous Gary’s Podcast use Libsyn for their distribution process)
- Pippa.io – A relatively new broadcasting and marketing service for podcasts
- Simplecast – A low-cost alternative for your distribution needs.
- Shoutengine – This is an excellent solution for distribution woes (especially, if you are a beginner).
- iTunes – The most popular, widely recognized yet a bit expensive solution.
- Spotify – This is also one of the most recognized distribution solutions
Other than these, Stitcher and Soundcloud are also some of the options that can be used for all your distribution needs.
After all your distribution processes, start promoting your content in all the famous social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter.
Create separate Facebook pages, Twitter threads, and Instagram Hashtags to make your topic a trending one.
So, Podcasts remains as one of the most important white pages to build your business or your digital presence.
Though starting a little podcast virtually costs you nothing, you need to be more concise after you had learned the basics. This will ensure that your casts garner a huge audience base.