If you have been wondering for a while if you should start your own podcast, use this as a sign that you should!
You are in the right place at the right time now, to really make the best out of your next new venture. Starting a podcast is often perceived as something quite difficult for those on the outside however, it really isn’t at all. You just need to make sure to follow through on a few procedures, to ensure that you can start running particularly well and then get it launched. This guide will show you exactly what you need to do, in a step by step process, so that you can successfully make your podcast happen!
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Within this podcast guide, we will walk you through the following factors listed down below:
● Selecting your name and topic
● The episode formation you will go with
● The logo art and design
● Music integration within your show
● Equipment needed
● How to edit and record your audio
● Where to submit your episodes
● Marketing and promotional activity
With the pandemic affecting our everyday lives in the way it has, many people have decided to turn towards podcasts and blogging, as a form of entertainment, release and a project to be getting on with. While it may seem nerve wracking, in terms of the formalities that follow with making your show stand up on its feet, we are here to tell you not to worry at all, and if you follow this guide, you will see it manifested!
Plan it all out
This is probably one of the most important steps that you will take when creating your podcast. Planning the concept and theme of your podcast is imperative, to allow you to form a plan of action and move forward accordingly. Ask yourself, what is your mission statement, what do you hope to achieve, what guests are you planning on bringing on to your podcast?
All of these questions will allow you to develop a theme to your podcast. Get a whiteboard, and envision the stories that you are about to tell.
So, this ties in pretty well with the planning process, yet one thing we will mention that will help you along the way, is how to find an area where you can branch off of. By listening to other podcasts on the market out there i.e. The Daily Stoic, The Joe Rogan Experience, and many, many more. Ultimately you should have the inspiration to figure out what your topic should be about. Think about what gives you passion, and can you envision yourself moving forward with that for the foreseeable?
You will need to make sure that your topic is not so broad, and it has a niche that will appeal to many people out there waiting to listen. You have to make sure that it is not too small, so that you can make many, many episodes to branch off of this topic-be it seasonal etc.
However, try not to worry too much, as once you get the audience and the numbers, feel free to mould and evolve into further topics. You will hopefully have the loyal following by then, who will follow the footsteps of where you are trying to lead your audience.
Your podcast formatting
So, there is a lot to say, when talking about the format of your podcast. First and foremost, will you be requiring a co-host, in your series? This of course is optional, and not compulsory. You may find that if you do decide to have a co-host, it will add spark and flavour towards your podcast, with the reflecting characters representing the topic. You will naturally add engaging conversation, without the need of any guests on your episodes. In addition to this, you can split the responsibilities of managing a podcast far more easily, meaning you do not need to be drowning in editing work, each and every week. It can be a life saver!
The name will ultimately define your podcast, so you need to make sure that the name means something to you and is descriptive to what you are trying to achieve. By the way, it doesn’t always have to be relative to your topic, it can just be a name that means something to you and is easily distinguished to you and will easily stick to the audience in future. Your podcast name will be your identification within the podcast world, so make sure you pick it wisely!
Here is where you will need to figure out the length and style of episodes that you wish to create. While there is no rule to a certain length, when it comes to a podcast, viewers like consistency and they do not want to hear their episode go off topic massively, without linking to the episode's main topic and agenda. So, do be conscious about what is said, and if you go off topic you can always edit out the unnecessary parts quite easily anyway.
The style can differentiate, depending on what you want to achieve per episode. Some episodes you can choose to have a guest, where others you may wish to have a solo episode to talk about a topic that is meaningful to you, meaning you are happy to take the spotlight. There is a benefit to having co-hosts and guests however, if you happen to have strategically picked a guest/ co-host who has a high social media following for example, you will most definitely get exposure from that very easily. Call it easy promotion/marketing.
Last but not least, make sure you have through about the consistency of the episodes that you make. Usually they follow a format for each and every episode, so the audience will adjust to that. We would not advise that you keep changing up the format, as it can get pretty confusing to certain viewers. A great format could be as shown below:
● Introduction to episode (and guest if appropriate)
● Intro music
● Interview commencement
● Call to action towards social media, websites etc.
● Outro music
Each segment can differ slightly, but try to be welcoming so that old listeners and new, are able to feel welcomed, to ensure that they will most likely stay throughout the entire episode.
Logo and social merchandise
Your logo will be the first impression that people will make of you. When people browse through the podcast libraries such as Spotify and Apple, your podcast needs to make a great impact. You will also need to keep in mind that your art will need to be distinguished from a small icon scale view, so it is better not to be immensely detailed, otherwise you may find that some things will be missed out. So, the advice here is, ensure that your art is bold, simple and easily distinguished for itself.
Social merchandise is another thing you need to address, and that will be made known to you, further on down the line of your podcast launch, when you decide to use social media platforms to get exposure. If you have some great brand identity merchandise, you will come to find that these will be incredibly helpful, when getting your episodes and pilot episodes out there to the world. Your social merchandise will give your podcast flavour and character; it is most definitely needed and should be thought about.
Make sure to check out online freelancing sites like Fiverr, who have multiple graphic designers on hand and at your command, to create the brand identity that you wish to create and bring to life to your target market.
Intro and outro music
Creating an intro and outro to your episodes is key. Again, they add quirk and character to your episodes, and we suggest using the same intro and outro throughout each season, will make your episodes consistent, and seem more professionally done. You can alter them up per season though, that definitely could work. Do make sure that you get the license for the tracks used, as this is super important to make sure you do not bump into any legalities further down the line.
What microphone should you go for?
Picking the right microphone is super important, of course. And being that you probably have no idea on what brings out the best audio quality, you may be stuck for choices on this section. However, with technology today it actually does not need to cost a dramatically large amount, to buy a good podcast mic. There are so many out there that are available for good value, and will not break the bank. Make sure to read the reviews from any site that you buy from. Amazon has great mics at very affordable prices, the Tonor Q9 USB microphone is a great option and bestseller, having over 8k reviews and almost 5-star quality!
Recording and editing
Recording and editing may seem super scary at first, especially if you have never edited before, but once you get the hack of it, it actually is not bad at all! The technical parts just need a few YouTube tutorials, and then it will be of no problem for you whatsoever. The best software we would recommend is Audacity. This downloadable software will be an app that you have within your computer device, from then on, you will be able to record your podcast calls online from the software, and then edit the raw files from within the software too!
Audacity allows you to record intros separately, as well as insert music files that can overlap and merge within other audios. All the procedures occur in a step by step basis, and there is a help section within the software that explains how to exactly get the effect you want, or the editing tool you need.
Once you have finished editing, and have added all your files together, you can export the file as an MP3 to upload online. Just make sure you listen through your episode and each of the transitions. Some errors in editing are only picked up upon after a few listens, and other people listening too. So, make sure to get your close friend to listen to the episode and take notes on their feedback. It is better to be safe than sorry, as an editing mistake can look really unprofessional to your listeners, later on.
Get a podcast host and launch
A podcast host is the middle man/party between you and the audience you wish to reach. This creates something called an RSS feed, that uploads podcast episodes to your account.
You will also need to link your podcast via your website i.e. WordPress, and using your RSS feed link, you can then upload it to directories such as Apple and Spotify. Having a podcast host is significantly important, and you will need to understand that without the RSS feed, there would be no podcast access from your audience. It acts as a connection to your podcast, without the need to store the relatively large huge files within directories.
You will find that if you use a host such as WordPress, you will sync your episodes to your directory library, just by uploading the new episode in your WordPress. The RSS feed allows episodes to be instantly connected with very little trouble. To get the RSS feed, you simply need to get a podcast plugin that is suitable to your theme. Each theme will have its own relative instructions which will allow you to establish the hosting service, it is just a case of following the instructions that come along with your theme.
Your directory of episodes can be managed within the dashboard of your website, meaning everything is managed through your site, and you can also feature the analytics of your podcast too, within your plug-in. This breakdown of numbers will ultimately allow you to deliver all the features you need to know and build upon those analytics to make your podcast better.
Include show notes
For each episode, it will help if you include transcriptions of what is spoken about. Make sure it is brief with a simple summary of what is covered. This will allow listeners to make a judgement for themselves about which episode they wish to listen to first (if you have quite a few).
Make sure to use your embed code for each of the show notes, so they actually feature within your website/ host, to inform your listeners who may be directed from your landing page.
Spread the word
The last thing to mention here is, of course your promotional activity of how you actually get yourself out there! You need to think about the ways in which you can promote yourself and your podcast. The ways you can actually do that, include the following aspects:
● Social media pages
● Blog reviews
The more you get out there, the more chance that your podcast can go viral and you will get noticed. Especially when you decide to bring in podcast guests in the picture. Creating things such as social merchandise, that they can include within their social media, will get your guest’s followers to push that follow/listen button so much easier.