If you have been contemplating doing a podcast perhaps this is the year to finally get it started.
Podcasts are the thing to do these days for everyone from young to old, business people, kids, students, and even moms.
Before you hit the airwaves there are a few things that you should think about before beginning a podcast.
There are two big questions to ask yourself: Who is your audience? and What do you want the podcast to be about?
What's Your Podcast For?
Podcasting can be a great way to build authority and give customers and target audiences valuable and entertaining content especially if you are doing one for business. This means you need to know what you are doing a podcast for and about.
For example, maybe you are a hobbyist wanting to do a podcast you might think about creating a show in your spare time. Make sure the subject is something you're passionate about.
In either case, you need to identify the “why” you are doing a podcast. This is important and will keep you motivated, even when you're finding it hard to get a show on the air.
Next, it’s about the “who.”
Who is Your Podcast For?
It is key to identify and know who you are making this podcast for.
Because if you don’t know who you’re making your show for, and why you’re doing it, there will be little chance of growing an audience.
If you're hoping to create a show from a business aspect and you're, for example, a fitness guru who wants to make a health and fitness podcast, your target audience might be people interested in healthy eating, weight loss, exercise, etc.
So, once you know who you want to reach, how do you reach them? Well, you need to give people a reason to listen. This means creating content that they will get something out of when they tune in. You also might be asking do I need an audience to start a podcast?
Yes and no. Some people already have some sort of audience when they begin a podcast. This could be anything from a business or brand, athlete, or author.
If you already have an audience built around something other than your podcast, it's a nice chance to set up the foundations of the show's audience.
Take a Survey
While you are planning the show consider surveying your audience. You can ask questions like “what's your biggest goal for the year?” and “what is the biggest issue you are having now.” These types of survey questions may help shape your content, going forward.
Why not find out more about your audience by asking other survey questions including their demographics and location and maybe what other podcasts they tune in to.
What If I Have No Audience?
You are not alone as most who are just starting don’t have an audience. But if you do things correctly and are ready before going live you will slowly but surely gain an audience,
Give a Reason to Listen
Whether you're providing information to help a listener lose weight or interviewing someone in your city, you're providing value for your listener.
Not only have you given them a reason to listen, but you will also hopefully give them a reason to return. It's important to figure this out when you are in the planning stages. Try writing down 10-15 ideas for episodes your target audience might find helpful and entertaining,
Naming Your Podcast
Come up with a clever name and one that people will be able to find when they’re searching for information about the topic. Avoid getting too long and wordy and bear in mind you’ll need to say the podcast name often when recording episodes. Hence, make sure it is easy but colorful and memorable.
After figuring out the type of content you will be putting out it’s time to think about the episodes. Next, determine the podcast length and how long it will take to get the message out. Shorter episodes tend to be about 15 minutes, longer pesticides no more than an hour. When you start getting data about who is watching, keep a good ‘average’ so your listeners know what to expect.
How Often Should I Put Up A New Episode?
The best schedule is usually the most frequent one you can stay with regularly.
If you can only manage once a month, that’s fine. If you can manage every 2 weeks, even better. If you can manage weekly, great.
Choosing a Podcast Format
The format you choose is personal and depends on who’s involved. If it’s simply you, you might be comfortable with a certain format and keep doing that, or you might prefer a ‘mixed bag’ approach. It’s totally up to you. Some types include solo, co-host, interviews.
Recording Your Podcast
Once you’ve done the groundwork and planned out your show, it’s time to get to work recording your first episode.
The bare minimum you need to record a podcast is a computer with a USB microphone and access to the Internet. As a rule, though, the more limited and lower cost of your setup and equipment, the more limited the sound quality of your show will be.
Simple USB microphone setups can give good results if you choose the right mic. Plus, you are much better to get started and see whether you enjoy it before spending tons of money on audio equipment.
Recording & Editing Software
When you plug your USB microphone into your computer, you will need some software to record and edit the audio.
Some options: Audacity: a good quality, free-of-charge audio editing application. For many people, it offers all podcasting needs.
Alitu: The Podcast Maker: the easiest experience. This is a web app that can automate audio cleanup, adding music, and publishing to your host. It also offers great editing and episode building tools.
Choosing Podcast Hosting
When it comes to getting your podcast out, you’ll need a podcast hosting account, often called a media host. Media or Podcast hosts are services that store your audio and let listeners listen, download, and subscribe to your podcast.
You need to sign up with a media hosting service to host your audio files, and you can either have a website set up on their site to deliver them or place them on your existing website.
Simply record your show with these tips and off you go!
More tips to come soon and happy podcasting.