Suddenly podcasts are white hot again thanks to the popularity of shows like Serial. Everybody these days seems to be starting their own podcast, but is launching a show right for you? Before you dive in, it’s important to consider your long-term commitment to podcasting – your show isn’t going to take off over night.
There are a few key components to focus on when you’re preparing to launch your own podcast. We’ve outlined some of our best tips below:
A little planning goes a long way
Before you embark on recording your first podcast, there are some important considerations to make. Starting with the branding of your podcast – if you want to grow an audience, you’re going to have to look professional and polished. Hire a graphic designer to create a brand for your show.
When planning your podcast’s content, choose topics you’re actually passionate about. Your authenticity will shine through and will create engagement with your audience. It’s also highly advised that you offer some level of thought leadership on your podcast – people are listening because they want a takeaway from your show.
Before you launch, search iTunes and Stitcher for similar podcasts – you want to make sure you’re standing out from the pack and are doing something different from the rest. Even if your topic is the same, try taking a different approach. Above all, always infuse as much personality into your broadcasts as possible.
Invest in the right tools
Before you hit record, it’s imperative that you have the right equipment. You’re going to need a professional-grade microphone and a website to help share your show with the world. For a beginner, here are a few recommendations for purchases you’ll want to make right out of the gate:
– Blue Spark Digital Microphone – This isn’t the best microphone on the market, but it’s a great starter. You’ll want to ensure that you’re recording in a space with minimal echo. If you plan to interview guests you should invest in multiple microphones.
– Sound absorbers – Trust me, you’ll want these to ensure that there is no echo when recording. Keep it cheap by purchasing a foam mattress topper and cutting it into squares. Place these on your walls when recording to turn any room into a studio.
– Soundcloud Professional – In addition to submitting your podcast to iTunes and Stitcher, you’ll get great traction and find new listeners by posting each episode on Soundcloud, as well.
– Squarespace website – If you don’t have the web space to host a podcast, Squarespace is the perfect tool for you. Squarespace is simple to set up and will make uploading your podcasts a snap. Encourage engagement from your listeners on your webpage by adding contact forms, social media links and information about upcoming shows.
– Skype Call Recorder – This plugin for Skype is a must if you plan on recording with guests in remote locations.
Plan your content
Think about it twice, say it once. Take the time before recording to map out your entire show. You don’t want dead air, so if you feel you’ve reached a dead end in your conversation, have prepared notes for transitioning to a new topic when you feel that you’re starting to freeze.
Edit your podcast
Make sure you’re optimizing audio levels properly. Did somebody laugh a bit too loud? Adjust the audio so your listeners aren’t startled by sudden loud noises. Make sure you’re putting a quality product out into the world. You’ll look back on your first episode in six month and laugh at how far you’ve come in terms of audio quality.
Consistency is king
Create a schedule for your program and stick to it. Is your show daily, weekly or bi-weekly? By being consistent, your audience will create time in their schedules to listen to your new episodes the day they go online.