How To Start a Podcast


26 Aug
26Aug

Ever heard about podcasting?

It can help you take your brand to the next level, as these stats show:

  • 88 million people listen to podcasts every year in the US. Worldwide, this number could be a few hundred millions
  • 59% of podcast listeners said they spend more time listening to podcasts than on social media
  • 55.6% of podcast listeners said they bought an item after hearing it advertised on a podcast

In short, podcasting allows you to quickly grow your audience size, engage with them in a more meaningful way, and influence their purchase decision.

That said, even the best of the tools give results only when you use them intelligently.

To help you leverage this medium efficiently, we’ve prepared a step-by-step guide on how to podcast like a pro.

Step 1 – Podcast Branding

Podcast Topic and Title

You want your podcast to be focused on a specific niche or topic about which you have good knowledge and which is in high demand.

Try to narrow down the topic to something you can speak about for several episodes. However, at the same time, ensure it isn’t so broad that it doesn’t appeal to your potential listeners.

For instance, in place of having a “fitness” podcast, talk about yoga or something even more specific, like “yoga for back pain.” You can always broaden your topic later as you gain popularity.

Once you’ve zeroed in on the topic, it’s time to pick a suitable title. An ideal podcast title is one that:

  • makes abundantly clear what the podcast is all about
  • makes a clear promise to the audience about what they’ll get if they press the play button
  • is catchy yet comprehensive
  • includes keywords or key phrases relevant to the title

Show Format  

  • Length

Many “experts” claim podcasts should be of certain length, but there’s no such hard and fast rule.

You don’t have to create a 28-min podcast just because research shows that’s the average driving time. Nor do you need to wrap them under an hour because audience tends to lose attention after that.

When it comes to the length of your podcast, there’s only rule that you should follow: make it as long as it needs to be, not a minute more or less.

  • Style

Interviews shows are the most popular podcast formats out there currently. However, that doesn’t mean you have to use this format even if doesn’t suit your content. Some other popular styles worth considering are: 

  • Conversational
  • Educational
  • Solo-casts
  • Non-fiction storytelling
  • Fiction storytelling
  • Intros and Outros

Intros and outros can make or break the podcast experience.

While an awesome sounding intro helps pique viewers’ interest and builds anticipation, a well-thought-of outro give you the chance to recap the key takeaways and close with a call of action. 

Which begs the question: How can you create strong podcast intros and outros?

Here’re some tips that will keep you in good stead.

First off, try to keep your intros and outros 30-seconds and 75-words long. If the introduction or the final section is too long, you may lose the attention of your audience.

Two, use theme music to complement the voice-over portion of your intros and outros. However, make sure you don’t use copyrighted music. That’s a big no-no and can get you into trouble.

There are several music options that provide royalty-free music, so there’s no real reason to use someone else’s music without their permission. One good option for royalty-free music is PremiumBeat. It offers different styles and is easy to use. Plus, you get a full license.

Three, make sure you always introduce yourself in your intros and include a call of action in your outros.

Image Cover

Your image cover will be the first thing your audiences will see in a podcasting directory, so make sure it is a good one.

Here’re a few tips to keep in mind while designing an image cover:

  • There’re several platforms that offer free podcast cover images such as Placeit. Mind you, the choice on such websites is usually limited.
  • If you’ve a little budget, consider giving 99designs a try. It lets you pick the best designs from hundreds of drafts from different designers.
  • Compress the image files to optimize the images for mobile devices

Step 2 – Recording & Editing

Gear

To start a podcast, you require following equipment:

  • Microphone – Most important gear for the podcast is a microphone so you wanna make sure to pick a good one. If you are on a tighter budget Blue Yeti and ATR2100x-USB are good options to start with. If you want to have high audio quality you can go with Shure SM7B or Electro Voice RE20 Cardioid Microphone .
  • Audio Interface –  You can record a podcast without need of it using a USB mic, but if you want to deliver the better audio quality we recommend you buying one using an XLR mic. 
  • Computer – You can use any Mac or Windows system for recording, editing, and uploading your podcast.
  • Headphones – An absolute must-have, a pair of quality headphones help you listen to your recordings and iron out issues.

Software 

With the help of the right kind of podcast recording software, you can create and host a radio-esque talk show at will.

Here are some of the best podcast tools—both free and paid ones—that can help you launch your podcasting career in style.

  • Audacity – An open-source software project, Audacity does pretty much anything that you may need as a podcaster. Even though it is a bare-bones option, it is one of the best podcasting tools out there. It runs on Windows, Mac and Linux.
  • GarageBand – Part of the appeal of this software is that it comes inbuilt in Mac computers and is available for free download for all iOS devices. GarageBand includes many software synths, as well as royalty-free music loops, which you can use for composing your own music.
  • Pro Tools – Compatible with both Mac and Windows, the free version of Pro Tools can easily handle podcasts. Perks includes awesome mixing plugins (such as EQs), compressors, and other effects that can seriously boost your audio tracks.
  • Adobe Audition – Available as a paid stand-alone tool or free as part of Adobe CC, Audition boasts powerful editing and mixing tools.

Editing/Post Production

Hiring a professional podcast editor can prove to be a game changer. A professional editor can ensure your show is of high-quality, free from awkward pauses, unnecessary fillers, and background noises. He or she can also help you out with other key components, such as intro and outro music, and help your show stand out in the crowd.

Step 3 – Hosting & Distribution

Hosting Platform

If you want to start a podcast, you will need to sign up with a hosting company, which will store your files and provide access to your audience.

There are a number of hosting providers, and the subscription fee varies from one provider to the next, depending on the features it provides. If you want a web domain or unlimited storage, expect to pay more.

Some of the top-ranking podcasting hosting platforms are BuzzSprout ($12/month), Captivate ($17/month), PodBean ($9/month), and Castos ($19/month)

Social Media

You may have heard the saying: “Content may be king, but distribution is queen.” Well, that’s hundred percent correct. So don’t forget to leverage the power of social media to distribute your podcast episodes.

However, it’s important that you use the right type of social network sites to promote your podcasts.

Do you run business podcasts? Then LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook are ideal for you. Do you do comedy podcasts? You can leave out LinkedIn, but make sure you hit Instagram hard, along with Facebook and Twitter.

Marketing

Many people think a podcast is just about the audio, but we couldn’t disagree more. If you really want to successfully market your podcasts, you must also publish podcast show notes.

Podcast show notes are a written account of all that happened during a podcast episode and offer additional resources, like articles mentioned in the episode and appropriate calls-to-action.

So why podcast show notes is such an important thing?

One, they help with search engine optimization (SEO). Search engines like Google crawl and index your show notes, allowing your podcasts to appear in relevant searches.

Two, they show the value of your podcast to your viewers. It reassures them that listening to the podcast will be worth their while.

Three, and most importantly, they helps you grow your email list. Entice your audience to subscribe to your email list by offering podcast show notes as a content upgrade.

Final Words

Podcast can help you share the message about your brand or business and connect better with your audience. However, it requires serious commitment and consistent work if you want to make an impact with it.


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