There’s a lot of great information and resources available online that cover how to get started on your podcast. So instead of recreating the wheel, we compiled 8 of the top podcast 101 articles, all in one place, to help you focus on planning, creating, recording and publishing your podcast.
Here’s the roundup:
- Do research to help you choose your topic.
- Prepare these 5 things before you start.
- Define yourself – and your brand.
- Decide on your podcast format.
- Start planning your content schedule.
- Ensure you have quality sound.
- Edit your file.
- Promote, promote, promote.
Corey Farreira, a content marketer at Spotify, suggests that your podcast topic come down to what you are an expert on or what you are passionate about. After narrowing in on a topic and theme, don’t neglect to do research on the marketplace:
Before committing to a topic, check to see if there’s enough for you to talk about. The first test I would recommend is coming up with a list of at least 10-15 episodes. I would then look for similar podcasts on iTunes and look at their popularity, such as number of reviews and number of followers on social media. Competition is a good thing! It can tell you whether or not the topic is viable. (Source.)
Pat Flynn of the popular blog, Smart Passive Income, says that once you’ve committed to doing a podcast, you need to consider 5 things: your title, the subtitle, your host/talent name, a podcast summary or description, and what you’ll be using for artwork. While you may think you know what your host name will be, do a bit of research and be strategic. Flynn says:
[Your host name], of course, your name, but you can add a little bit more to help your show rank higher for certain keywords in iTunes. Just as with your podcast’s title, don’t go crazy with it. But, at the same time, don’t be afraid to help people (and the iTunes search algorithm) understand who you are.
My host / talent name, for example, is:
Pat Flynn: Online Entrepreneur, Business Strategist and Blogger
Look up the word “blogger” in iTunes and scroll down to the podcasts section – you’ll see what I’m talking about. (Source.)
In the Definitive Guide to Podcast Promotion, Jason Zook and Matt Giovanisci share that you want to “create a podcast for yourself and find like-minded people who enjoy what you enjoy.”
To help build your personality and define yourself, they recommend making a list of shows that you are “obsessed with,” so you can see what works and what doesn’t. They also recommend the following tips:
- Write down ten major qualities about yourself (and anyone else involved in your podcast). Find the commonalities that will become your “avatar.”
- Don’t copy; emulate. Just because everyone hires a former used car commercial announcer on Fiverr to create their intro, doesn’t mean you have to. Try writing your own music. Try no intro music at all!
- Ignore the fads. I noticed an influx of narrative-style podcasts after the success of Serial and Startup. I’m not saying you shouldn’t start a narrative style podcast, but instead, do the show you would want to listen to and not because it’s a trend. (Source.)
While content is king, the format of your podcast, and keeping consistent with your chosen format, is also important. Will it consistently be a one-man show, will it feature storytelling/narrative, will you be interviewing guests, or will you have a cohost for all your shows?
Joe Donovan, writing for Digital Trends, shares some of the top tips to create a compelling format. “Choose a topic that you’re passionate about, preferably one that focuses on a niche that hasn’t been covered or is relatively devoid of content,” he says. “…Generally, podcasts have a host who invites guests to have a conversation on a specific topic chosen in advance, but structure does vary greatly depending on the selected content and how you wish to go about it.”
Also, don’t forget to get consent for any songs or videos you play during your podcast, he says:
Though obtaining the rights can be an uphill battle, contacting the content creator for direct consent is often relatively easy for smaller artists given it mean increased exposure. You can also use media files that have been specifically licensed for use, many of which you can obtain through either Creative Commons Search or Freesound.org, the latter source of which offers licensed sound effects and field recordings. (Source.)
Besides the format of the show, you’ll want to consider frequency and your schedule. If you’re unsure of how to align your content calendar with a production schedule, Buffer has a guide for “the ideal everything for podcasts” that can help you start.
Best day to post a podcast: Tuesday
…Sixty percent of podcasts with a regular schedule posted early in the week, before Wednesday. The most common single day was Tuesday (which just so happens to be the day when new music hits the iTunes store, presumably meaning more visitors who also might see a new podcast).
Best frequency to post a podcast: Weekly
Forty percent of the Top 25 podcasts with a regular posting schedule publish once per week. The next most common frequency is twice per week. Of the Top 25, only three podcasts did not have a discernible schedule to their posting. It seems that some publishing rhythm is preferred over no rhythm.…” (Source.)
Any podcast host or listener knows just how important sound quality is to your show – and no “podcasting for dummies” list would be complete without mention of sound. While using RINGR is encouraged for your audio recording software, a mic holds the largest impact on the quality of your podcasting recordings because it captures your voice and translates it from physical sound waves into digital bits and bytes.
At RINGR, we have found success with the diaphragm Neumann mic from the studio with the iRig Pre. The Neumann mic tends to be higher end but capture simply amazing sound (crazy sensitive and crystal clear audio). We used the TLM 193 in studio (the $1.5k non-switchable pattern baby brother of the $3k+ version of this mic). As for mid to lower end brands, some of the Røde mics are good. (Read more here.) When possible, try out equipment before buying. Then you’re all set to record!
Now that you have your raw content, you are ready to edit your podcast. Editing your podcast helps ensure quality and it allows you add an intro and outro. “Every audio editing program has a learning curve, but I found Logic Pro X is nearly perfect for podcast editing,” says the Podcast Dude, Sean McCabe, whose podcast is called seanwes podcast.
“Most podcasts I edit have some kind of intro and outro music, often added after the show has been recorded. The amount of time between the start of the music and where the talking starts is totally up to you…” Generally speaking, approach editing with the mindset of saving as much time as possible for future podcasts, says McCabe:
After you create all your tracks and set up plugin settings, delete the unnecessary audio files and save the project as a template to use next time. You can also do this with channel strip or track settings in Logic (but not in Garageband). If you are using Garageband, you can save the project as a template by saving the project file and then using it next time you need to record or edit a podcast. You won’t have to set up all the tracks and plugins from scratch which is a huge time saver. (Source.)
As far as what to edit, McCabe cuts mistakes or anything that distracts the listener. “Most of the time, that’s coughs of other noise in the background of a recording, any false starts or do-overs, or anytime a guest or host stumbles over words before finding what they meant to say,” he says.
Buzzsprout’s illustrated guide on how to create a podcast captures why, as the host of your show, you’ll want to promote your podcast once you’ve created it. To start, they have a general directory for all types of podcasts, but they advise not to list your podcast in every single directory:
Be timely when providing any supplemental materials the directories may ask for. Keep your emails and messages concise, polite, and informative. Have a personality, but one that other people want to see more of, not one they flee from. And most importantly – be polite. Directories are doing you a favor, not working for you. (Source.)
Know where you’re going to publish and share before you start. Besides sharing using social media, some of the most popular places to publish include iTunes, Stitcher or embedding your podcast on your website. Buzzsprout says:
Nobody likes wasting time hunting for content. Enter Stitcher – the podcast listener’s dream, and a great opportunity for you.
Stitcher helps listeners discover podcasts and radio shows by streaming them directly to smart devices. Talk about instant gratification…
Listeners don’t need to know who you are to find you – the app recommends programs based on a listener’s interests. You get better visibility and a wider audience, listeners get content they’ll love… (Source.)
Have something we missed? Let us know on Twitter @ringr_us. Record high quality interviews from anywhere on ANY DEVICE – walking the dog, sitting on the beach or in your home office or professional studio! Download RINGR now to give it a try.