Perhaps you’ve listened to a podcast before and thought, “Hey, I could do this!” Or you have no idea what a podcast is, in which case it’s even more critical that you find out now.
By the end of this blog you will have a basic overview of:
- What a podcast is,
- How to Podcast
- And how take a Podcast further to generate either business leads, or revenue
What is a Podcast?
Think of a podcast like a regular radio show that people can download and listen to on their phones, or tune into online. It might not be every day, but the point is that you’re putting out consistent talks and discussions on a variety of topics that people are interested in listening in on.
Podcasting is not a new form of media, but it has seen rapid increase in popularity in the past few years. And what surprises many people is just how lucrative podcasts really are, either as a standalone business or as an effective arm in your marketing arsenal.
And in these times where you might find yourself stuck at home in quarantine, well, now might just be the best time to start. The big appeal for podcasts is that they can be very informal if you’re not so big on blogging or creating traditional marketing content, and just want your authentic voice out there talking about relevant and current subjects.
How do I Start a Podcast?
Getting started with Podcasting always sounds like it should be complicated when on closer inspection it’s not. At the end of the day, all you really need is some equipment to record yourself, a computer, a podcasting host to serve as your platform, and then you need to submit your episodes to directories to actually reach listeners. This video will get you started with the basic knowledge you need to conduct your own research into what fits best with your budget and objectives.
So let’s start off with the equipment. Naturally, the number one most important piece of equipment is your microphone. This is something that you definitely should understand that you get what you pay for. Cheaper microphones will have a natural compression on your voice, or is more likely to pick up unwanted background noise.
In general, you’ll find two kinds of microphones out for purchase: USB and Analog. Both are useable and feature their pros and cons. But in general, for a more budget-conscious setup, you should go USB because it can easily be inserted in your computer. Analog microphones usually market themselves as having richer audio quality, but they tend to be a bit more expensive, and some may even require an additional audio interface (separately purchased) which may add a bit more to your budget.
A microphone that we see commonly used for businesses is the Blue Yeti USB Microphone. This is a decent choice for a first-time podcaster.
These next additional items for purchase are technically optional, but we highly recommend the investment if you’re looking to be podcasting long-term.
Pop filters take out some of the “popping p’s” when you speak, and to some extent also increases your mic’s lifespan by reducing any saliva moisture entering the device.
Good headphones will also give you a more authentic listen to your content, so you know how much background noise is actually being picked up that you should be conscious of.
Now how do you record your podcast to your computer? There are actually quite a few options. Audacity is a very popular – and free – audio editor. You can record directly on the software and edit it to remove the unwanted audio at the start and end, or any hiccups in between.
Audacity is a software for PC, but if you want to pursue a free software on Mac then Garageband is also an option. If you already have Adobe Creative Suite, there’s also Adobe Audition.
However, one last option we would suggest is not an audio editing software, but a video editing software like Premiere Pro or the more consumer-grade Premiere Rush. Video software naturally comes with the ability to record and piece together audio, though Pro will have slightly more options for advanced audio editing. Why we mention video is because if you video record your podcast content and take just the best snippets, those are prime content to put on your YouTube channel, Facebook or LinkedIn to further grow your voice and reach. Outreach, and audience is how you can be in a better place to potentially be sponsored and make podcasting a sustained business. If you have video on your mind, either now or in the future, consider it the better long-term plan to pick up a video software so you can be comfortable creating both audio and video content early.
Identify and Define Your Brand
Now those are the technical factors that you need to make a podcast, but always remember that the most important thing is assessing your content itself.
You’ll want to not only identify your content niche, but also be aware if there’s actual demand for your intended content. Do this by researching what similar creators are doing, and most importantly planning how you will be generating different content than them to stand out.
Other factors to think about:
- Choosing a Podcast Name that’s catchy but instantly identifies what you’ll be talking about
- Commissioning a Cover Art for your Podcast
- Creating an attention-grabbing description that teases your content and gives audiences a reason to click in.
- Picking the right theme music that will serve long-term for your podcast
Select a Hosting Provider
And lastly, you need to pick your podcast hosting provider. This is where you’ll be uploading your videos for people to find online. Why should this be considered as opposed to just hosting it on your site? Here’s why:
- Because providers allow a more comfortable environment to download or stream a podcast, compared to an independent website which can be seen as “shady,” and
- To ensure the quality of downloads, and the streaming quality for listeners that don’t want to save the file but listen to the content. The service these platforms provide is for your content to be hosted on their media servers, which are maintained and optimized to keep high quality files. Personal sites on smaller servers are more prone to accidents, small issues and overall “down time.”
When it comes to a provider, you’re mostly looking at: Cost, Ease of Use, RSS Feed Support (confirm), Embeddable players, and potentially a site builder that lets you build a whole website with your episode integration.
These are the top 5 providers currently for podcasting:
Go and Record!
From there, it’s just a matter of recording the content. You can record it on your own, locally with other experts that you bring in, or with multiple people in different locations using SKYPE or ZOOM (ideal for current circumstances with COVID-19). The main rule to keep in mind is to be authentic, lively, and genuinely interested in your content. Listeners should have a reason to listen to your podcast over someone else’s.
Release Your Podcast Online
So let’s say you’ve gone and recorded your first episode, and edited it, added a theme song, and everything else. Congrats! Now it’s time to get that it into people’s devices?
To publish your episode, first upload it to your host provider based on their instructions. Now it’s time to get listeners. What you’ll need is your podcast’s RSS feed, which you can get from your hosting provider.
The task here is to start by listing your podcast in popular directories that people search for when they’re on the lookout for podcasts. When listeners browse directories like iTunes or Stitcher, they only see podcasts that have been added to the directory. Not doing so cuts out a large potential audience from accessing your content.
You only have to add your show to a directory once. From there, your RSS feed will update as you add episodes, and the directories will update as well.
The main directories to consider are:
But other directories include:
Be Proactive and PROMOTE!
Like with any content out online nowadays, it’s a million to one chance that the right person chances on your content organically. You need to push that content up as much as possible. Encourage people to leave reviews, join communities that match your niche and promote your content there; there’s many creative ways to go about this and it’s really a matter of your perseverance and trust in the quality and value of your content.
Our biggest tip for podcast beginners is this: plan for the long-term. You won’t be a beginner forever. One of the main appeals for podcasts to audiences is the incentive of regular, valuable content, that’s current with the latest trends and coloured by your unique perspective. Podcasts are meant to be slowly built up, cultivated and honed and polished over time.
Convert Podcast Relationships to Business Opportunities
Inviting someone to be on your podcast is a chance to show that you value their insight. Not only that, but podcasts are a fantastic way to additionally have a chance to share advice or otherwise show the value your own insight provides on their business, which can generate conversion leads now or sometime in the future.
There’s a lot more information on starting a podcast but this video shares the basics. For more information, there’s a great resource on https://blogging.com/podcasting that also shows how to import and export projects on Audacity and get those projects onto hosting platforms.
Do you already have a podcast, and are interested in video capture for additional online content? Contact us to share your podcast needs!