You have good ideas, and you want to share them. Podcasting is a great way for creators to share their thoughts, opinions, ideas, and more with their listeners, and starting a podcast isn’t as hard as you think. If you’re looking to get into creating and producing your podcast, here are 6 important steps that you need to know.
Step 1: Choose a Name and Topic for Your Podcast
When it comes time to choose a name for your show, you may find yourself overwhelmed by all the possibilities. While it may seem like there are endless options of names for your podcast, you can trim these options down by considering several different factors. The name of your show should be thought-provoking as well as a descriptor of the podcast that you’re offering.
A thought-provoking title of your show is not only a reason for people to tune in but also allows you to communicate the originality of your podcast. When you’re just starting, the title of your show can be your biggest asset or liability. You want people to read your title and, at first glance, be intrigued as well as understand what your show will most likely be about. A title that is both descriptive and unique is also a bonus in terms of searchability. When the name of your show reflects its subject, it is more likely to come up as a result when a listener searches for a related term. Creating a unique title goes hand in hand with creating a descriptive one since an original title is more likely to come up as a search result and to stand out to listeners over a title that is unoriginal, overused, or bland.
When choosing a topic for your new podcast, be sure to think of the bigger picture. Many people who set out to start a podcast do so intending to cover a relatively niche topic that they have extensive knowledge of. While this is not necessarily a bad idea, it doesn’t have the makings of a long-term show. To make enough content for a longer-term podcast, choose a topic that is diverse enough to lend itself to upwards of 100 different episodes. If you’re partial to the original, narrower idea, try incorporating it into your broader topic as an episode or series of episodes.
Step 2: Choose Your Podcast and Episode Format
Once you have settled on the name and topic of your new podcast, give some thought to how your show and episodes will be formatted. Some things to think about when figuring out formatting issues are the number of hosts, how often episodes are released, and any recurring segments that will be included in each episode.
Choosing the Number of Hosts for Your Podcast
Choosing how many hosts your show will have is an important thing for creators to think about when starting a podcast. There are several formats that are commonly utilized, but the best format for your show will depend on the topic being discussed. Different formats of podcasts lend to different numbers of hosts and whether the podcast is scripted, unscripted, or somewhere in between.
Podcasts with a singular host, or solo podcasts, tend to be informative, geared toward storytelling, or based on the experiences of the host. This format does not lend itself to a natural-sounding conversation, so, for the most part, solo podcasts are scripted. Another popular style of podcasting with one host is to have a rotating roster of guests that will appear in episodes. Shows that utilize this format are generally geared toward, but are not limited to, interviewing guests. These types of shows are also primarily scripted by the host, with conversational aspects from interactions with the guest. Podcasts that have two or more co-hosts lend themselves naturally to a conversation and are largely unscripted. These types of shows tend to center around broad topics that can range from the hosts’ opinions on political happenings to pop culture phenomena.
Choosing When and How Often to Release Your Episodes
To effectively plan each of your episodes, you will need to know when and how often they will be released. A great way to find out when to release your episodes is to try and understand when your target audience will be interested in listening. For example, if your target audience is women from the ages of 25 to 40, it may be beneficial to release your podcast in the early hours of the morning to catch listeners who are commuting to work.
Choosing how often to release episodes is not as challenging as choosing when to release them, but it’s still an important decision to make. The most common interval of releasing podcast episodes is weekly, however, there are reasons why this may not be attainable for every show. Some shows may be seasonal or related to a specific event that is happening, such as a podcast that recaps games and updates listeners on the NHL’s Stanley Cup Playoffs each year. It wouldn’t make sense for this specific show to release episodes year-round, and the producers would be much better off releasing episodes once or twice per week during the duration of playoff season.
Planning Recurring Segments on Your Podcast
You may choose to incorporate specific segments into each episode of your new podcast, such as a specific intro, outro, or advertisement readings. If you are planning to include these segments, make sure that they are consistent across all your episodes, and that they flow seamlessly into the rest of your show.
Step 3: Purchase and Set Up Your Podcasting Equipment
Once you have solidified a plan for your podcast, you can start to acquire the equipment that you will need to produce it. For a podcaster just starting, you will only need a few items, namely a computer and a microphone, to record your very first episode.
In the 21st century, your computer pretty much makes up the bulk of your podcasting equipment, but there are a few other things that your show will need to be successful. You may be tempted to use your computer’s built-in microphone to record your show, but if you want good quality audio for your listeners, you should invest in a microphone that you can record with. There are two types of microphones, USB and XLR, and the type of microphone that is best for your show will depend on the number of hosts, background noise, and more. Whichever microphone you choose, make sure that it also has a headphone jack so that you can listen to yourself as you record your audio.
Step 4: Record and Edit Your Podcast
Finally, the time has come to share your thoughts with the world! The task of recording your podcast can be daunting, but it’s important to shake out your nerves and just get started. Remember to try and minimize any background noise before you begin recording. While investing in a microphone will help creators in this area, loud background noise such as traffic or air conditioning can be detrimental to the listener’s overall experience.
Once you’re done recording, you’ll want to begin editing your audio. There are many programs that you can use to edit your podcast audio, and you’ll want to choose the right one for you. For Mac users, GarageBand is a free DAW, or digital audio workstation, and will likely be the easiest way to edit your podcast when you’re just starting. Other programs include Logic Pro, Audacity, and Adobe Audition.
Step 5: Upload Your Podcast to Different Platforms
Now that you’ve created, recorded, and edited your podcast, you want people to tune in to hear what you have to say. The key to getting people to listen to your show is to upload your podcast anywhere they can see it, such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and more. The easiest way to achieve this is by utilizing a podcast hosting service, such as Buzzsprout, Captivate, or Transistor. A podcast hosting service creates an RSS feed link for your podcast, which is a file that communicates episode updates to directories such as Apple Podcasts. Once you have your RSS feed, you can submit your show to these podcast directories and wait for them to approve it. Once your show has gained the approval to be listed on their platform, your RSS feed will continually update new episodes for your listeners.
Step 6: Promote Your Podcast
While you may have cleared the massive hurdle of recording and uploading your podcast, the fancy microphone you recorded with won’t make a difference if people aren’t tuning in to hear what you have to say. To gain a listening base, you’ll want to do different promotional activities to generate some buzz about your new project. If you don’t have a website, you’ll want to create one so that people can learn more about you and your show and, hopefully, share it with their friends. Social media is also a valuable tool in promoting your podcast, so make sure that you are utilizing platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to communicate with your existing listeners and connect those who might tune into your show.
Start Your Podcast with Smarketing’s New Recording Studio in Knoxville, TN
Let’s face it, getting the ball rolling can be difficult if you don’t have access to a recording space or the necessary equipment. At Smarketing, our new Smedia Room is a multidimensional recording studio in Knoxville, TN that’s equipped with everything you need to make a perfect podcast every time. Skip the hassle and record your podcast effortlessly with professional-grade microphones, headphones, mixers, and more in the Smedia Room.
If you’re ready to share your thoughts with the world, contact us to rent hourly or monthly space by calling 865-963-0642.