Although podcasts have been around for a while, it is only with the advent of Serial and The Nerdist that everyone is looking for their own pod-space. But starting a podcast isn’t as easy as starting a blog; sure there are some similarities–you will have to plan ahead, become a social media wizard and create content that truly kicks butt, but there are differences too. Most notably, podcasts require equipment and a certain level of pizzazz that goes with acting or public speaking. But if you have the will, the commitment, and the persistence, you can become the next podcast great! Here is how to create a podcast in five easy steps.
1. Find Your Niche
This is the single most important piece to podcast success; if you don’t have something really great to say, no one will listen. Don’t get nervous, you DO have something great to say, even if you don’t know it yet. First things first, do some brainstorming and get some ideas down on paper. Even if you already have an area or a topic in mind, do some more work and expand on it. Then start narrowing it down. The more specific, the more niche your topic, the more likely it is that you will find a steady audience. In true marketing fashion, you are not trying to attract everyone–that’s impossible, you are trying to attract the right people. Who are the right people? They are the ones who get what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.
Do some elementary research–type “podcast” into Google’s search bar and see what kinds of search queries you get; listen to some highly rated podcasts and take notes on what they are doing right and what you might be able to do better. This will help you figure out your topic, sure, but also your format and style.
2. Find Your Equipment
Now that your podcast is taking shape, it’s time to get the materials to make it a reality. If you ask anyone about sound equipment you will definitely hear how expensive it is, but remember, you don’t need the most expensive tools to make something great. In fact, most of what you need is housed right in your laptop or PC. Aside from a computer, you will also need a good USB mic–your options are broad, but you might want to check out some recommendations. Once you have your mic, you will also need audio recording/editing software; some of the top quality software includes Reason or ProTools, but if you are looking for a reliable option that doesn’t burn a hole in your wallet, consider the open-source and free Audacity.
3. Find Your Host
Alright, you are on your way to planning and recording a kick-ass podcast debut, now where will you put it once it’s finished? For that, friend, you will need to find a host. With the popularity of podcasts flaring up, the choices are limitless so you may have to do some research to find the best options. Your free choices include SoundCloud and Podomatic and your kind of free options include Podbean and Amazon S3; with the kind of free options, you get some perks but not the full enchilada, so you will want to make sure that you are picking the hosting site that meets your needs. There is also the oldest and arguably greatest choice–Libsyn, which gives you all the services you could want for a no-frills cost of $5 a month.
4. Find Your Listing
This one is a no-brainer, you need to be listed in podcast directories in order to be found. While there are directories a-plenty and you should certainly get on Stitcher, Blubbry and Miro, your Holy Grail of directories is iTunes. You’re not surprised. Getting listed on iTunes isn’t difficult, you will just have to follow their guidelines on what to do and how to do it correctly.
5. Find Your People
Once you’ve thought out, created, and listed your first podcast, share it! Ask all your friends to listen and pass it on, post and re-post all over your social media accounts, maybe even create a website to give your podcast a home. You may also consider including information about your podcast in your email signature and, if possible, buy some not-too-expensive ads to promote yourself to the world. Once you find your people, your podcast is off to an amazing start.
Now that the first episode is done, get working on the second one! Still confused? Contact us, we can help!