Getting a podcast together can be pretty magical—it’s a combination of nerves, inspiration, creativity, freedom, excitement, connection.
And that’s just for starters.
However, it’s not all magic.
Getting it all together can be daunting especially if you’re still trying to find your way around.
To help you out, we’ve prepared a list of podcasting basics you need to cover to get your efforts off to a great start.
Before you jump into podcasting head first, you need to be very clear about one thing—your WHY. Not everyone may be aware of it but podcasting will entail time, effort, and resources. If you don’t know your why, sustaining your podcast can become very difficult especially when you encounter difficulties and setbacks along the way.
Also, as your podcast evolves, your why can come in very handy. Let’s face it, podcasting can be a roller-coaster ride—you’ll experience shifts between periods of deep clarity and moments of second-guessing. However, when you have a clear why, you’ll have something solid you can hold on to when the going gets tough.
Do you have a clear idea and understanding of the people you would like to target? Do you know what their needs are and how your podcast can serve those needs? Remember, the more you know the people you are targeting, the more you can be of service.
If you want to create an accurate profile of your target listener, you need to cover more than just the basics. In other words, aside from knowing their hobbies, career, likes / dislikes, age, marital status, etc., you also need to know the following essentials:
Be as thorough as possible. The more specific you are, the easier it will be for you to create content that’s tailored to their needs.
What kind of show do you have in mind? Will you be hosting solo? Considering doing it with a friend? Do you want to invite interesting guests over? Do you want it to be story-tell or panel format? If truth be told, your imagination is your only limit.
How often should you release new episodes? Daily? Once a week? Twice a week? Once each month? Decide on a schedule you can be consistent with. Once you have an audience hooked, they’d be looking forward to your releases.
Do you have a blog, website, or brand? If so, using your website, brand, or blog’s existing name followed by “radio,” “podcast series,” or “podcast” would be ideal. This strategy will help ensure you are congruent across all formats and your branding is consistent.
If using your blog, website, or brand name does not appeal to you, go for one that’s engaging and interesting. You might also want a name that’s enthralling enough to capture people’s interest.
In iTunes, the podcast description will be situated just above the list of episodes. People will turn to your description to get some insight in terms of what you’ll be offering. Keep it short and sweet—let them know what your podcast is all about and what value you can offer in exchange for their time.
The importance of creating a fetching podcast cover art cannot be overemphasized. For starters, your podcast artwork will be the first thing people see when they check podcast directories like iTunes. In addition, you’ll also be using it to promote your show across other platforms such as your website, newsletter, and across social media.
If you are not confident about your designing capabilities, consider it best to leave the task to the able hands of experts. In addition, make sure your artwork adheres to the specifications recommended by iTunes.
In podcasting, you don’t need to spend a fortune to start. If anything, the biggest investment you make might be on your microphone. However, you don’t have to splurge in an expensive microphone if you can’t afford it just yet.
If you want to do host-only episodes, you’ll do well with just one piece of recording software—Audacity. However, if you want to interview guests, you’re going to need interview recording software like Skype or Zoom.
When choosing interview recording software, go for one that will allow you to record your voice on one track and your guest’s voice on another track. This option can save you a lot of time when the time to edit the episode comes.
If you want to feature interesting people on your show, you need to pick suitable guests and book interview sessions. Create powerful invitation emails your prospective guests can’t say no to.
Also, when booking interviews, an automated scheduling system might be helpful. It will not only save you and your guests plenty of time, it can also make those annoying time zone conversions a tad more tolerable.
Get ready for the fun stuff—this is where you create amazing, powerful, and vibe-aligned content for your listeners. To ensure you are able to deliver something of value, list down questions and main discussion points you want to cover.
Unleash your creative genius and think of ways you can engage with your listeners and integrate your style and personality in the mix at the same time. Only then will you be able to deliver something that is uniquely you.
Editing can be fun if you know what you’re doing. However, it can still take up plenty of time you can use for other things that need more of your attention. In line with this, consider delegating the task to seasoned experts like Podcast Engineers. They can polish your episode to perfection while ensuring your message is heard loud and crystal clear.
Your podcast host is like this big storage area created to hold and distribute podcast files. While there are a lot of podcasting hosts you can pick from, Libsyn would be ideal for beginners since it’s not only more intuitive, it also comes with a lot of helpful features and functionalities.
For newbies, publishing an episode can be daunting since there are several bits and pieces you need to take care of. Fortunately, you can make things a lot easy by preparing a checklist so you don’t miss anything. You’ll get quicker as you go along and eventually, you won’t be needing your checklist anymore.
Word on the street is that a whopping 60 to 80 percent of podcast downloads come from iTunes and the iOS podcast app. It would be safe to assume iTunes is like the Facebook of podcasting in terms of clout and popularity. That being said, you need to make sure your podcast has been approved by iTunes prior to launching. Approval can take up to two weeks so ensure there’s plenty of time from submission to launch date.
Getting a podcast out there can seem pretty straightforward. While that’s true in some sense, what many don’t see is there’s plenty of planning involved. There’s launching a podcast and there’s launching a podcast right. Always aim for the latter if want to achieve sustainable and lasting podcasting success.
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