Every business owner or individual interested in producing quality content, building a sustaining brand image, selling their product, service or idea and growing their business should know or learn how to start a Podcast. Podcasts help you to grow your listenership and improve your brand power.
According to Edison Research, Podcast listenership is continuing to grow each year, with 40% of Americans above the age 12 have had listened to a podcast in 2017 and around 25% have listened to one until May 2018.
To start a Podcast you don’t need to be a technical person or have a lot of money. All you need is a few tricks and a great deal of common sense. Today, we will walk you through a step-by-step guide on how to launch your podcast at a reduced cost.
What is a Podcast – Just for the Newbies
Podcast is free to download audio shows and programs distributed over the internet. You can download them as you please and also create a radio station with your favorite topics. It is more like a personalized radio station that you can carry with you anywhere on your smartphone.
Also, Know Why Start a Podcast and How Do They Work?
If you know the value of content (such as Blogs), then you will know what value a podcast can bring to your business. Podcast helps you to reach a completely new set of audience, target people who prefer content in audio format, who may not read your blogs.
You can build an audience community from scratch and be an authority in your industry, even without prior knowledge of blogging and content creating.
Podcasts, like blogs and backlinks, also drive traffic back to your website.
According to Edison Research, an impressive 30% of online audio listening sources go to Podcasts, as opposed to FM radio (21%) and personal music (23%).
Podcasts have a balanced demographic, have dozens of categories and sub-categories and is the only place where listeners actively search new audio content.
Podcasting Works in One of Two Ways
You can either stream or download a podcast from an RSS feed on the blog or website itself or in a feed reader where the podcast is embedded or hosted.
The other way is to use a player, such as iTunes. You have to load the RSS feed into the iTunes Player and play episodes on a device of your choice.
Podcasts are Popular Content Platform
They are easy to consume, yes. And they are completely free to create and free to listen to. You can listen to a Podcast while walking, lying down, on the go while driving, at your gym and even while at work.
Podcasts don’t call for all of your attention, unlike blog posts or video contents. They can be listened to on any device and your audience can listen to what they want and when they want, which is essentially not possible with radio stations.
It gives you an opportunity to bond personally with your audience through your voice. It’s like you are directly talking to them, one to one. It creates a deeper level of audience engagement, so much so that around 61% of listeners purchase a product after hearing an ad on Podcast.
How to Start Your Podcast – Launching It
Decide on Your Theme and Episode
You have to start by identifying your theme or the premise. Your episodes should be relevant to it. You have to be an expert or have a passion for your theme.
However, you need to be creative, especially if your niche or industry is very specific. Something like sipper bottles, you may not be able to start a podcast exclusively on sipper bottles. But if your customers are travelers and gym-lovers, then you should start a travel or gym based theme.
Before you decide on a Theme, check if you will be able to obtain enough content to talk about. You should at least target 10 – 15 episodes.
Look at other Podcasts with a similar theme; check their popularity, such as reviews, number of followers etc.
You should also plan on how your podcast should structure and look like, likeGo Solo, Narrative, Storytelling, Chat Show with more than two hosts, Interview format, Documentary, Roundtable or Hybrid Combination of the above.
You should also decide on the length of each episode. Make sure your episode lengths are consistent. A 20 -25 minutes long episode is a good figure.
Creating Your Podcast – What Are the Things You Require
Here’s list everything you need to launch a great podcast.
1. Podcast Listing Information
Name: Your Podcast name should be your brand name, which can easily connect with your audience. Listeners should know what it is all about from the name. So, keep its description informative if the name is short and sweet. Example, Grub Podcast – All about healthy eating and helping you cook better”
Cover Art: It should look professional, minimum 1400×1400 pixels and maximum 2048×2048 pixels. Use clear words and images that are legible at almost any size. If you can invest, hire a professional graphic designer for the work. Or you can create cover art on platforms like Canva.
Categories: Choose one that best defines your themes. You can check other podcasts on iTunes to get an Idea.
Description: Use as many relevant keywords as possible for SEO of your podcast listings.
Podcast Rating: You can adjust the rating for each episode. The rating tells for which group of listeners the content is suitable for.
2. Equipment and Software for Your Podcasts
The minimum you need to start your own podcast is a computer with great processer. It should have a built-in microphone and internet access.
However, if you limit on your equipment quality, your sound quality will also be limited.
What interesting are you can start your Podcast with just an iPhone? You can download apps to convert your smartphone into a podcast audio recorder. SoundCloud app has inbuilt podcast recording capabilities. You can also try Anchor, Spreaker and iRig Recorder for both Android and iOS phones.
Microphone: You should choose to invest in a good microphone, such as Senheisser PC8. You can also go with Rode Procaster, Zoom H5 and Yamaha MG10 for upgradations.
If you want more information on Podcast Equipment, click on the following links:
- Best Call Recording Software
- Best Podcast Microphones
- Mixers for Podcast
- Best Digital Audio Recording Software
Producing Your Podcast
Don’t make your scripts sound like a sermon. Reading is way different than having a conversation. So, instead of developing an A-Z script, just highlight the key points you are going to talk about in bullets. You will become better and this will seem easier eventually as you mature in your podcasts creation.
Talking into the Mic
Start talking about yourself. It may seem little tricky in the beginning but you will get a hang of it soon. Your ‘First Episode’ should be about letting everyone know what your podcast is all about and where it will go.
Speak naturally as if you are conversing with someone. You don’t have to be a news reader or professional radio jockey or have a baritone voice like Amitabh Bachchan. If you feel your voice is shaky and nervous, always remember you can clean up and edit after you are done. You can also edit gaps and mistakes later, especially if you ever lose your spot and forget your next point.
Just don’t go silent, take a deep breath and continue after a pause.
Also, get an Intro and Outro on your podcasts. They are sometimes called ‘bumpers’, which basically are short voiceovers with music that introduce a podcast, and episode number, tagline or ‘hook’ of the podcast.
Listen to other podcasts to understand what exactly getting an intro and outro means.
Editing Your Podcasts
Audacity is the perfect platform for recording and producing podcasts. Editing podcasts will include adding intro and outro, volume stabilizing, removing gaps and dead pauses, and rectifying many errors you have made while recording.
Look for automatic volume stabilizers in your audio editor and also eliminate background noises and pops.
You can hire freelancers on Fiverr and Upwork who can edit your podcasts for you if you simply cannot understand the process.
Normalize the volume of each episode to produce a consistent result.
Save your podcast episode in an.MP3 format with a 128kbps bitrate and 44.1Mhz sample rate.
Hosting and Publishing
Web host or a website will not be of much help when hosting audio files. You will need a media host to host your.MP3s and that allows listeners to listen and download, and subscribe. Shared web hosts do not have the bandwidth or speed required for podcasts.
You have to also learn to submit your podcasts to the right channels or directories for wider reach, where listeners can discover and listen.
Growing your podcast audience is similar to growing your blog viewers by using several techniques and outreach methods. However, primary factors include staying consistent, being funny, informative, encouraging and interactive.
Starting and building a podcast is a superb way to reach target audiences that do not read. Don’t wait for exclusive gadgets and software, start your podcast today with your smartphone. Please feel free to ask any doubts in the comments.