If you want to know the basics about creating a podcast, read on to find out how to do podcasting. Podcasting offers a great way of sharing your story or ideas, so check out this complete tutorial on starting a podcast.
If you are already a blogger, podcasting will allow you to reach a wider audience, as there are many people who listen to podcasts rather than read a blog or you might need a startup podcast.
A recent report states that 33% of Americans have heard at least one podcast with an increase of 120% over the past 4 years with 90 million Americans listening to a podcast per month.
- Podcasting offers a great way of bringing more traffic and more readers to your blog to increase your business. How much does it cost to start a podcast? You can start a podcast with almost no money.
- The benefits of having a podcast is that you can connect to your potential clients/customers/visitors on a greater personal level. The key difference between blogging and podcasting is that the former involves reading whereas the latter involves listening.
How to Start a Podcast – Podcasting 101 for Beginners
#1. Selecting a Theme for Podcasting
Before starting your show, you need to figure out podcast topics as part of steps of starting a podcast.
- Detail your ideal listener or niche audience to select a topic.
Tip: Start by listening to your favorite podcasts, so that you can understand the passion, enthusiasm and how to touch people emotionally.
- Address the needs/problems of your ideal audience.
Remember: You can join FB groups in your niche and learn about their problems and interests.
- Is it difficult to start a podcast? Not really. Offer something unique and something that you’re personally interested in.
- It would help if your podcast can be monetized. For instance, if you talk about sophisticated machines, you can become a tool manufacturer’s affiliate and promote their products.
- Select a topic for promoting your business or just for sharing a message.
#2. Selecting Name/Format/Length of Podcast
- The podcast title should be clear, unique, specific and attractive reflecting the content.
- It should also be optimized with keywords for search so that it displays in major podcast apps.
Tip: 75% of podcast titles consist of 29 characters or less.
Select your podcast format:
- Educational podcasts
- Solo cast
- Fiction/Nonfiction storytelling
- Length of your podcast and how often should you publish a podcast are important questions. Keep your podcasts short in the beginning. However, it depends on your audience. If it is for retired people, the podcast can be longer even an hour. Otherwise, it should be less than 30 minutes. Increase the number of episodes instead. How long should podcasts be? Podcasts can last from 30 seconds to 2 hours, from several times a day to once a month.
#3. Podcast Content Calendar
Create a content calendar in order to post episodes consistently and in a logical sequence. Add at least one new topic for every episode.
- The best way to start a podcast is to produce podcast episodes on a regular schedule. Without proper planning, you could miss a deadline.
Warning: If you missed or are late, offer an explanation in the next episode. It will humanize you and help you connect better with your audience.
- Make a podcast editorial calendar and production schedule.
#4. Equipment Needed for a Podcast
The podcast kit covers several items for recording and some software.
Remember: You can record directly into the computer, so there is no necessity of a mixer or a recorder. Alternatively, you can go the complete studio route.
- Microphone. There are USB microphones, which are simple and plugs into the computer. It is suitable for beginners. Other alternatives are XLR mics that go into mixers or digital recorders. They offer a more premium sound quality and more flexibility.
- Digital Recorders. You can directly record into these or just plug the mic into them. It is both flexible and portable.
- Storage Device. You need a device like a smartphone, computer or a dedicated digital recorder for capturing and storing the audio.
- Mixers. You might need one if you want to use multiple mics or record live in real time.
- Headphones. It helps in hearing the audio that is being captured. It helps you fix issues immediately. It is also useful for online interview shows, listening to recordings, editing audio etc.
#5. Record a Podcast
It may not be easy to do an entire episode in one stroke. You may have to resay many things and even pause in between.
- Hit record and let it just run as you speak, even though you have made mistakes.
- Go back and edit the mistakes, any long pauses, awkward moments etc.
Remember: Hit record, stop, cut the mistake, then hit record again, so you do not need to start all over again if you make a mistake. Remember, you will improve with time. You will have to go through several episodes before you feel comfortable and get into the rhythm.
#6. Podcast Editing and Production
Once you have finished recording the podcast show, you have to move to editing and production before learning how to publish a podcast.
- It means cutting up the recording and putting it together as an episode. You could add music, eliminate mistakes, combine 2 or more recordings etc.
- Production involves improving the audio or mastering it, by changing volume levels, eliminating outside noise, addition of compression etc.
- There are software tools, podcast makers or podcast apps that can automate podcast production, handle conversion, compression, noise reduction and edit the recording. Some apps also come with episode builders, where you can create the episode through the drag and drop interface.
#7. Cover Image/Music for a Podcast
Though the focus of a podcast is on the audio, the cover art and music are areas that are equally important, as it is the first thing listeners will view.
- Before creating a cover image, consider the product or topic, whether it is funny, factual, educational and also the audience, their age, gender etc.
Tip: Take into account the format requirements by podcast directories, the minimum size, file extensions etc.
- You can use photographs, art work, drawings, anything that grabs attention as your podcast logo.
Tip: Include a podcasting iconography in the design, such as a microphone or headphones.
Remember: Cover art is an important criteria for becoming a featured podcast on iTunes.
- Focus on the line, shapes, texture, frame and color for defining your cover design.
Warning: Don’t make the shape too abstract or it will not convey the idea.
- You can get free music for podcasts, making the podcast livelier and more professional. You can use free music from public domains, buy it cheaply or even commission original music for your podcast. You can also add some free sound effects during the episode.
#8. Marketing Your Podcast
- Optimize Content for Search. Check out Podcast SEO to optimize your podcast for search engines. Create a generically keyword rich title, but take care that it is representative of your show topic.
- Promote your podcast on iTunes, as it is responsible for 70% of podcast downloads.
- Promote it on social media by sharing videos, images and teasers.
- Convert the podcast into a YouTube video as well and add it to your YouTube video channel.
- Submit the podcast to directories, podcatchers and aggregators.
- Offer a transcribed version of the entire show or selected excerpts.
#9. Launch Your Podcast
- Define the style of your podcast, whether interview, location based, storytelling, teaching, case studies, etc.
- You can take help from a Podcast host. Fill out information about the podcast name, description, categories, summary, publish date, episode number and so on and upload the mp3 file using Buzzsprout or something similar. You can also use its social sharing feature for spreading the word and sending out teaser videos.
- You can also submit your podcast to iTunes, one of the biggest podcast hosting platforms. Go to the podcast and download the first 3 episodes or pillar episodes. Subscribe and leave a review. This will help you move up the charts.
- Create a buzz or momentum with a contest, as it will help you get more downloads, subscriptions and ratings.
Warning: Get it right the first time.
You can launch a podcast only once. If iTunes approves of it, you get 8 weeks to make an impression in the coveted New and Noteworthy section of the store directory, so that you gain greater visibility with millions of users for 8 weeks.
Wrap Up – How to do Podcasting
Podcasts are a totally auditory experience, where you can create a personal connection with your target audience by talking to them on a scheduled basis.
Is starting a podcast worth it?
You can start it to promote your own brand or blog, for your company or for sharing a message. The focus should be on the audio quality. It is not difficult to start a podcast but you need to follow the above steps to launch it successfully. Podcasting is a less crowded space as compared to blogging, so you have less competition.
Are you ready for your first podcast? Practice podcasting. What’s stopping you?