The A-Z guide to starting a podcast

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The A-Z guide to starting a podcast

There are many reasons why podcasts are a fantastic avenue to explore. It enables you to be able to quickly deliver content on a regular basis while also making it easier for your audience to absorb. Podcasting allows you to expand your brand or identity beyond traditional text and image posts. It allows you to create a true identity and personality for your business that just isn’t possible with other methods. And you can deliver your message in context.

One of the best things about podcasts is that your audience is able to listen to what you have to say no matter what they are doing. There were many situations where it’s not possible to read written content. Whether it is driving, going to lunch or even relaxing at night, a podcast lets you get your message across in the most convenient way possible. They can be downloaded onto mobile phones and listened to on the go. It allows you to show your expertise on the subject and educate at the same time.

And here’s the best bit. You most likely already have all of the content that you need to begin making podcasts. It is a fantastic way to repurpose content on your website or blog effectively creating two different audiences for one piece of information. So, what exactly do you need to do to start your own podcast?

 

Before you begin

Before you begin producing your first episode, take a moment to think about how you want to come across. Speaking in a monotone voice will only turn your audience off. This is where listening to other podcasts in a similar genre comes in handy. It allows you to listen to the ways that other presenters speak, allowing you to perfect your enthusiasm and vocal animation.

You definitely want to try and have guests appearing on your podcasts. They bring credibility and fresh ideas. But if you’re a little shy of the mic, it might be best to start producing a solo show. This allows you to become comfortable with the recording process and focus on engaging your audience. Understanding the types of questions that you want to ask and answer for your listeners and learning not to interrupt any guest speakers are two important things to know.

In fact, there are eight basic steps to take into consideration before you even begin recording podcasts. These will help you build structure and flow and allow you to come across as naturally as possible.

 

Things to think about

  1. How many episodes will you put out each week?
  2. What category will you fall under?
  3. What will you name your podcast?
  4. What type of listener will you target?
  5. What topics and subjects will you cover?
  6. Where will your script come from, or will it be off the cuff?
  7. Will you be promoting anything?
  8. Will you have guest speakers appearing?

 

Things you will need

Okay, so you now know why podcasts are a fantastic option and you have asked yourself the most important questions. Now it’s time to look at the things you are going to need to create your podcasts. The actual equipment that you are going to need will depend on whether you intended on mixing yourself or outsourcing the project. The most important thing about podcasts is the audio quality. After all, podcasts are all about the audio. Which takes us nicely on to the first piece of equipment.

 

Audio equipment

Finding the right audio equipment for your podcast is possibly the most important step to take. You don’t need to invest in anything too expensive or fancy. In fact, a basic noise-cancelling microphone will do the job nicely. Naturally, the type of microphone that you decide to purchase is entirely up to you. As long as it can capture clear audio, it will serve its purpose.

All too often, people rush out and buy the most expensive microphone that they can find. But here’s the thing. The quality of your audio primarily depends on the location where you do your recordings. As an example, if you try to record your podcast in the bathroom, the microphone is going to pick up on the echoes. Reverberation is not your friend, so find a room that is nice and quiet. Carpeted floors and furniture help prevent echoes, so a bedroom or living room is a good choice.

 

Editing software

Editing software is important if you want to create a professional sounding podcast. Again, the majority of audio editing software offer exactly the same types of features. One of the best audio editors perfect for podcasts is Udemy. It is a fantastic choice for those new to the world of podcasts, and the user interface will guide you through the process.

If you don’t feel like you have the time or knowledge to mix your own podcasts, you can outsource this to be done on your behalf. The pros of this are that it saves you time, effort and the need to learn about audio mixing. However, it will also add on to the cost of producing podcasts and you may not get exactly what you envisioned. Ultimately, it all comes down to personal choice and outsourcing is definitely a viable option when first starting out.

 

The script

You can have the most expensive microphone on the market and a comprehensive audio editor. But if you don’t have a script, or at least an idea of what you’re going to talk about, these are both useless. The script is your content. It is what you will talk about, and what will attract your audience. You don’t need to put together a script that Broadway would be proud of. You simply need a beginning, a middle and a conclusion to prevent waffling.

You can also try to repurpose content on your website or blog or have somebody write the script for you. If you are lucky enough to have plenty of great content on your website, then take a closer look at the analytics and see which posts are performing the best. These are the ones that you can easily turn into podcasts. You already know that there is audience engagement, and a podcast can take it to the next level.

At the end of the day, if you want people to take you seriously, then you have to know what it is that you’re talking about. There is nothing worse than listening to someone stuttering their way through a podcast. Having a script is like having a map that guides you through the entire recording. It allows you to have all of the important information to hand and helps you answer what it is that you are discussing. A script doesn’t just help you prepare; it helps you prepare for success.

As a side note, one of the best ways to find out exactly what it is that your audience is searching for is to look at their comments. These allow you to gain a better understanding of what it is that they are searching for. From here, you can begin to develop a series of podcasts that you know your audience is going to love.

 

Ready to launch

Once you have recorded, edited and mixed your very first podcast, you will be ready to launch. If you were smart, you would drop hints to your audience on your website or blog about the upcoming podcasts. If you haven’t been promoting your podcast, then it’s never too late to start. A simple call to action is all that is required.

Knowing where you will publish your podcast is also important. Are you going to self-host it on your own website? Or will you publish it to iTunes? There are also various podcast hosting companies that will publish on your behalf. Just as an example, some of these include Buzzsprout, SoundCloud, PodOmatic, Spreaker and BlogTalkRadio.

Another great platform that you can use to publish your podcasts is YouTube. While YouTube is definitely more geared toward video content, there is nothing stopping you from uploading your podcast there using a basic image still for the video. Publishing on YouTube will also allow you to monetize the video if you are part of the YouTube Partner program. With a little creativity; slotting relevant images in at the right time can be a simple and effective solution.

 

Growing your audience

As soon as you have published your first couple of podcasts, you can start to look at the analytics. The first thing you want to keep on top of is the number of downloads of each podcast. This helps you see which podcasts your audience is most receptive to and allows you to tailor your content further toward their needs. Another great way to grow your audience is to take on sponsors.

You definitely want to include social media share buttons. One of the easiest and quickest ways of building an audience is on social media. Of course, you have to create content that people love enough to share. But we’re pretty sure that you can do that. If you don’t already have a Facebook page, then now is the time to set one up. A Facebook page allows you to build a community, which can further boost your podcast efforts.

Lastly, one of the greatest ways of developing your audience is by featuring guests on your podcast. Snaring just one or two well-known internet personalities can help your podcasts fly. Keep your guests relevant to your niche. As an example, if you have a health and lifestyle company, then it would be pointless featuring a guest big in the world of construction. Try to satisfy your audience’s hunger and feed them with all of the knowledge that they desire.

 

Final thoughts

While it may feel intimidating to start producing podcasts when you have little to no knowledge, it is definitely a fantastic way to improve your reach. It may surprise you just how easy it is once you have learned the basics. Not only do podcasts allow you to give your content character and identity, but they also provide another source of traffic to your website or blog.

Many of the leading podcasts creators started off small. A mobile phone, a basic script and an understanding of what their audience wants. This doesn’t mean that you need to start recording on your phone. It’s simply to highlight that you don’t need to break the bank or be an expert to enter the world of podcasts.

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