How to Start a Podcast That Gets Heard
Podcasting is a great way to get your voice out there, and it's easier than you think. In fact, anyone with a microphone can start recording their own podcast, but it takes some work to make sure that people are going to want to listen.
Now that you're ready to share your knowledge with the world, build your brand and audience and start a passive income stream...let's talk about your WHY.
Why do you want to start a podcast? What's your purpose? Who is your audience? Why are you doing this? And what are the specific results you're looking for from your podcasting efforts in the first place?
Once you have a clear vision of what your podcast is meant to do and why, then it's much easier to figure out how.
Now for the other stuff...
Know what your podcast is going to be about.
Now that you've decided to start a podcast, it's time to make sure you're going into this with a clear idea of what your show will be about. You'll want to know:
What is the topic?
Who is your target audience?
How will you present the topic? (e.g., audio or video format)
How long should each episode be? (e.g., 1 hour vs 20 min)
It's also important to consider how many people listen on different platforms and how they all interact with content in different ways. If most people listen while walking around town, then maybe an audio-only format would work better than video.
You can also think about monetization strategies like sponsorships and advertising opportunities as well as where listeners might buy merchandise related to the podcast if applicable (for example, if there were books based off the content).
Envision your audience.
Whoever you want to listen to your podcast, it's important that you keep their interests in mind. Think about the kind of people who would like your podcast and what they would like to hear about.
Are they interested in a certain topic?
Do they have an interest in learning more about something?
Or do they just enjoy listening to other people talk?
Another way to think about this is by asking yourself: "Who is my target audience?" Knowing who you're targeting will help narrow down what topics are best for starting off with as well as give you ideas on how often (and when) to publish episodes.
Once you've figured out what your podcast is about, it's time to start recording episodes.
Decide on a title and description.
The title of your podcast is a great opportunity to show the world what you're all about. You probably have a great name in mind that rolls off the tongue, but if your title is too long or doesn't stand out from other podcasts, it might not be as effective. Think about how many people will see this on their podcast app of choice—it could be hundreds or thousands!
Here are some tips for writing an attention-grabbing title:
Keep it short and sweet. It's okay if they have to click "More" on Apple Podcasts or Google Play to get a detailed description of what your podcast is all about, but try not to make them read more than one line in order to find out what makes it unique (and worth listening).
Pick keywords that will help people find you (or at least get them curious enough to start listening). If you're starting off with no listeners yet and trying desperately for traction, consider using generic keywords like "podcast" and "radio" along with any relevant topics from within your niche that might attract those kinds of listeners (like "virtual reality headsets"). The more specific your target audience becomes here, though, the better chance you'll have at building up an actual following who specifically want what you're offering.
Get a microphone and recorder.
The first step to creating a podcast is to get the right equipment. You'll need a microphone, of course, but also a digital recorder that can record your voice and then transfer it into audio files.
The best kind of microphone for podcasting is called a condenser mic, which picks up sound in greater detail than dynamic mics do.
Dynamic mics are more affordable and easy to use, but they don't capture as much ambient noise or sound quality as condenser microphones do—and no matter how good an interviewee's voice sounds over ambient noise (like traffic), listeners won't keep listening if their ears are bombarded by loud noises from outside the room where you're recording your podcast!
Figure out your audio quality needs.
Set yourself up for success by determining what your audience expects from your sound quality.
If you’re doing a podcast about sports, or one about technology or politics, chances are that your listeners will be more interested in hearing what you have to say than how it sounds. But if you’re doing a podcast about cooking or music, then audio quality becomes much more important.
The good news is that there are plenty of good options available for recording high-quality audio on the cheap (or even free).
If your budget allows it, I recommend starting with an XLR mic and mixer combo that has at least one input each for a microphone and a guitar/keyboard/other instrument (or second voice). You can then use free apps like Audacity or GarageBand to record and edit your podcast.
Now that we've covered all the basics of setting up your equipment and software, let's take a look at how we can begin building our own home studio!
Start recording, editing and publishing podcasts.
Once you've decided on a topic and determined the format of your podcast, it's time to start recording. The first thing to understand is that the best way to record a podcast is with an external microphone connected directly into an audio interface or mixer. This will give you the best quality audio possible, though it's not necessary—you can get by with just using your computer’s internal mic (though this won't be great).
Once you've got everything set up and ready to go, try practicing by recording several different episodes of your podcast so that you can get used to how long each one takes and how much editing work might be required later on. You should also record at least two episodes in its entirety before releasing anything publicly so that there are backups if something goes wrong during publishing or other issues arise later down the road.
It's important not only for creating backups but also for giving yourself some extra content beyond what listeners would normally hear from other podcasts in their category; otherwise, they may think they're getting less than they actually paid for!
Find a podcast host.
Now that you've decided to take the plunge and start a podcast, it's time to find a host. There are many hosts out there, so it's important to choose one that can handle the type of podcast you want to do.
Hosts offer different features and cost different amounts. Some may offer free trials, so try them out before committing!
If you have an existing website or blog where people can subscribe, there are many plug-ins available for WordPress and other platforms that allow users to listen directly from their website. These systems usually require some technical knowledge on behalf of both yourself and your web developer (or if working independently).
There are also many 'turnkey' solutions available which provide everything needed including hosting space in addition to access through iTunes Store or Spotify app stores - so long as these meet your needs then this could be another option worth looking into.
Promote your podcast to other audiences and platforms.
Once you've got your podcast up and running, it's time to start promoting it. This can be done through a variety of different avenues: social media, email marketing, using your existing audience of fans as a way to promote yourself and what you're doing.
You could even look into getting sponsorships if there's something in particular that you'd like to promote on your show or have them sponsor an entire episode!
You'll also want to create a website specifically for the podcast itself so that people will know exactly where they can find everything related to what's going on with the show. There are many sites out there which make it easy for anyone looking for this type of information - check out Podcast Websites!
If all else fails then maybe just ask around online (or offline) until someone agrees with what they think might work best before trying anything else?
In the end, podcasting is a great way to get your voice out there. It's also a great way to connect with other people who share your interests.
If you're ready to start your own podcast and want some help doing so, go ahead and schedule a free consult with me!