At this point, everyone has a favorite podcast. Do you know why? It’s because people love to listen to podcasts while they commute, work out or cook. (You can’t read this blog while doing any of that, now, can you?) Podcasting is one of those creative contents that can be actively consumed without any distraction, just pure audio (or video) content for awareness or entertainment or both!
Podcasting used to be only popular in a niche community who loved this ‘audio blogging’, but it has become much more mainstream with millions of active listeners now. Of course, many people prefer video podcasts as well, but the most popular form remains the audio podcasts.
Do you like to talk, but hate that you’ll have to face many people? Then podcasting is for you! You don’t have to travel, select a venue, or be afraid of stage fright kicking in. Just record your message in your pretty (it can be gruff, don’t worry) voice, and you’re set! The only question is how to start. No worries; this article has you covered on that front as well.
Are you Ready?
First of all, let’s get past those initial misconceptions that people have about podcasting. Is it technical? A little, but if you successfully handle a Facebook account, you can easily start a podcast. Do you need a lot of money? No! You could even start with your phone. But if quality matters to you, you should at least consider getting a microphone. Can you make money? Yes, you can. You may use your podcast for marketing a brand’s product (do a read for ad copy), or maybe your podcast is all about your own services. Either way, you can monetize your podcasts. If your listeners love your show, they would also be willing to support your show.
How does it work? You come up with a suitable concept, some artwork, and description, then record and edit your audio files. After this, you find a host for your podcast, and then syndicate them into an RSS feed for distribution. Then consumers stream or download it.
This is what you plan to talk about in your podcast. It is essential to have a focused topic, especially if you’re just starting out. It should be something you have sufficient knowledge of because then you’d be able to comfortably talk about it. Also, don’t consider the topic of one podcast; consider a concept you can produce enough content on for a series.
Start listing your subtopics to be used as an episode in your series. Then, give your podcast a creative, catchy name. As you define your niche, your audience will automatically be defined as well.
You’ll need to select a style:
- Interview: it is one of the most popular styles in podcasts. A host interviews a guest, simple! You need to select guests carefully, plan your questions and discuss them with your guests before recording the podcast.
- Co-hosting: two or more hosts will talk about their experiences. Again, plan ahead. Especially if it is an audio podcast; then decide who talks about what, and make sure there is no overlap with a lot of conversation.
- Monologue: only talk about your expertise. Write up a script, or maybe listed topics, and keep it in front of you so that you don’t get too confused.
- Panel: you may call more than one guest and moderate their conversation around a topic. Remember to stay on topic and keep a list of questions for them with you.
- Storytelling: are you a good storyteller? In podcasting, you can make it your style! You can tell fictional or non-fictional stories, like narrating true crime. You could even add sound effects or some audio from real life (like in TikTok). You can even hire writers to create stories for your podcast and voice actors to narrate the stories to make them more interesting.
Do You Need Equipment?
Yes, podcasting can be done with just a phone. But for better quality, you’ll need some equipment. For beginners, a good microphone and noise-canceling professional headphones are more than enough. Just be sure to know what is compatible with your laptop or mobile.
Many beginners opt for home studios. But you can start with any place that isn’t noisy, such as a closet or wardrobe. Yes, really! A closet is actually great because it holds back the echoes. Whatever place you chose, always test it by recording 30 to 40 seconds of silence, then test a few lines from your script. Keep a five-finger distance from the microphone, keeping it at a 45-angle for best audio quality.
Do you Need Software?
Definitely! The software lets you record and edit in the same space. There is a lot of free software available for recording and editing audio, like Audacity. Editing the audio is not that complicated and, nowadays, they are quite user-friendly, guiding you from the first step.
While editing, it is important to remember that transitions must seem natural and that there aren’t many silent pauses with no audio. You can add music wherever you like. For example, use appropriate music for the intro and outro. Finally, export your file in mp3 format at 320 kbps. For video podcasts, you’ll need a video editor and export in mp4 format.
Publish your Podcast
You can’t upload directly to Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or Google Play Music. It goes like this: your podcast>Podcast host>podcast directories>your audience. Basically, the directories will receive the RSS feed generated by your podcast host. This is why it is important to choose a podcast host which is suitable for you. Start with the free ones, but at one point, you’ll realize the importance of paid hosting sites. Even then, there are coupons available for paid hosting sites. According to the information found at Podbean, there are reliable platforms available that allow you to experiment with podcasting for free or using a coupon to enjoy all the perks. Consider paid hosting if you plan to promote your business through it and are serious about your podcasting. Now, you can submit it to the directories.
Now spread the word! Use creative artwork and teasers to attract your listeners. You could even use a completely separate custom podcast to use as an advertisement. For beginners, social media is an excellent platform for promotion. For example, start using Google Ads, affiliate marketing from blogs or your website, or sponsorships to market the podcasts.
Podcasting is a great stage for anyone with good speaking skills. Not everyone has the capacity to face a crowd, and this gives these people the perfect opportunity to express and teach. So, now that you’re equipped with the right knowledge, use this stage and go start your podcast!