Podcasting is a great medium to get information and entertainment. Many see it as a way to repurpose content across social media. Or, as a different format for their blogs. At first, podcasting seems daunting and the management of audio seems overwhelming. What mic do I buy? How do I go about making it monetize-able?
Keep reading to find out the basics of podcasting and make starting your own podcast a piece of cake.
What is a podcast?
Before I can give you the basics of podcasting, you must know what a podcast is. Podcasts are digital recordings. Podcasts are uploaded to the internet and the public is able to download and listen to those audio files. Simply put, you record yourself (or others) put it somewhere on the internet, and then people can listen to it.
Work out what your content will be
Before you can fire up the equipment you must first work out what you will talk about. There’s no point going to speak into the microphone and stumble, because you don’t know what your topic of discussion will be.
First, think about the topic. Will you be someone that talks about ghost hunting or; will you talk about the representation of women in romance novels, or you decide to talk about rap music. No matter what you must know the general subject of what you will talk about in your podcast.
You can go a step further and not just know what the general topic will be, but start to think of specifics. For example, if you were to talk about Rap music take that general idea and be more specific. Will it be: the history of rap music, how women changed the genre.
The more specific it is the easier it is to work out the content of each episode, and what areas will be covered. This also enables you to start thinking of the other important areas when it comes to podcasting, such as: Branding, the intro; the way you deliver content within your podcast, and ways to monetize your content.
This is also the time to work out whether you will be working on the podcast solo. Or whether you will invite other people on for a conversation or as an interview format. It’s easier to present a podcast with other people. It stops you from being awkward talking-wise and gives you someone to bounce off of. That being said, if you want to try it solo go for it!
The next important (in fact the most important bit besides what your content will include) is the equipment. Considering podcasts are an audio-based format it is essential your audio is the best it can be. You don’t want a viewer going away because the background noise was distracting, or they can’t hear you, the presenter, and any guests you might have on.
Get yourself a good USB Microphone or Recorder. Search around on Youtube to listen to what other podcasters have to say. Get the right one that fits with your budget and computer.
I also recommend if you do get a USB Microphone, to also get a swing arm for it. It attaches to a table or desk. The USB Microphone sits inside and allows you to move the Microphone around without it jolting the equipment and messing up your audio.
It is also vital you get a good audio recorder and editor. which, will record the audio you will upload after editing. And the editor can fix sound levels, add a jingle, and generally cut parts of audio you don’t need. This also ensures good audio quality and stops your audio from having weird moments where you say ‘Er... Umm’ etc.
Many people I know have recommended Audacity as a recorder and editor. As it is free and works on many devices.
Finding the right service for you
Next, you have to find a service that you can publish the podcast on. There are many services for streaming podcasts out there from Buzzsprout to YouTube. Many streaming services offer a free version.
However, that usually comes with some sort of restriction. Either in the number of files, you can upload per month (i.e. two uploads per month) or, in how long the audio file has to be. For example, some services if you go for the free offer will be files that are up to 45 minutes long.
This means looking at the different options available to you. And, looking at what they provide in terms of how many file uploads are allowed, where they can publish the podcast (for example Spotify) how long they can be, and figuring out which one can fit around your upload schedule and how long you want your podcast to be.
I usually recommend sticking with a free option. Especially in the beginning as it takes a while for content to become monetize-able and generate income. once you’ve got to a stage to go for the unlimited or premium package then go for it!
When uploading stuff to the internet it is always good to have a schedule. I.e. upload once a week every Tuesday or the first Wednesday of every month.
It is good to work out when you need to do stuff. so, you as a person can organize the different things needed for a podcast such as: when you and your other presenters can get together and record; when you put the content on your hosting and streaming services.
Schedules are also useful as you can signal to the audience when you will upload. With this information, they will know when to check out your podcast.
However, I will point out once you have a publishing/upload schedule it is good to stick to it! This stops you from becoming disorganized, stops your audience from getting confused; and enables the algorithm to see you as a good content creator. Uploading often and, at the same time helps the site push your content every now and then. Plus it gives you a good reputation in terms of content creation.
Marketing and branding
The next thing to work out is marketing and branding. which, is ultimately: How people find out about your podcast and what the name and logo/name of the podcast is.
It’s good to have branding so people can distinguish you from the multitudes of podcasts out there. It will help your audience easily recognize you with an image or slogan.
Plus the logo and podcast name will go on your social media such as Instagram, Spotify, Twitter. You name it, it will be there.
Marketing is also great as it enables more people to find out and engage with your content. One of the easiest ways to market a podcast is through social media. It’s free and everyone uses it! Plus it will be available to you more easily at the start of your content creation journey.
You can have sponsorships and physical products to sell. However, the sponsorships will happen once you get a good reputation and a good amount of listeners. It’ll be easier starting off with physical content. such as an E-book or something simpler to create and sell, before jumping into the big leagues of products. Especially if you're having to work a second job whilst working ‘part-time’ on your podcast.
I hope this helps make starting a podcast easier and reduces the bumps in the road.
Thank you for reading Podcasting 101: Simple tips and tricks to podcasting success
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