I know I Need a Podcast, but
WHERE DO I START?
By Larry Roberts
If you haven’t heard of podcasting yet, then I’m guessing you live on a mountain top or maybe on a deserted island. But, if you haven’t heard of them, that’s alright. They’re just the greatest, most versatile form of media available right now.
What else allows you take the host of your favorite show everywhere you go? What other form of media can you consume and be entertained, educated, motivated, inspired or intrigued whenever you want and quite literally wherever you want?
This versatility is exactly why you need a podcast to deliver your message!
But, you already know this. What you don’t know is how to create a podcast, record a podcast, edit a podcast, publish a podcast, promote a podcast or leverage a podcast either directly or indirectly.
Create a Podcast
Every podcast starts with an idea. An idea that if at all possible fits a niche, or has a focus on a particular subject matter.
The niche will help you find your audience. If you researching podcasting, then you may have heard an audience referred to as an avatar or an ideal listener. This is the one person that you really want to deliver your content to.
If you have a podcast about dogs and cats, who would your ideal audience be? I’d bet that pet owners would be perfect.
Why is knowing this important?
Well, for a few reasons, but for the purpose of this article, it will tell you what categories you will want to upload your podcast in. Apple Podcasts offers 19 different categories and numerous subcategories within each. You’ll want to make sure your podcast is in the most relevant categories as possible.
Record a Podcast
There are various formats that a podcast comes in. It can be a solo podcast, a co-hosted or round table type show, an interview show and several others. Before recording, you will need to decide on your format.
Once you have a topic figured out and a format determined, you will be ready to record your first episode.
A high quality recording, one that doesn’t hiss or crackle, one that doesn’t distort your voice, your co-host or guest and one that isn’t too loud in one section and difficult to hear in another isn’t as hard to achieve as you may think.
You actually only need a few things:
- A Microphone
It doesn’t have to be some high dollar, studio quality microphone either. A nice, inexpensive USB mic like the Samson q2u or Audio-techniqua ATR-2100 a perfect mics to get you started with a great sounding show!
Most of us have more headphones than we know what to do with from earpods, earbuds and even full sized headphones. However, when choosing the best headphones to use for recording your podcast, I can’t recommend enough a pair of full sized, over the ear canister headphones.
- Recording Device
This can be either a digital audio recorder, a laptop or your phone. With a USB mic, your options are much more versatile. A simple desktop recording/editing program like the free and open source Audacity eliminates the need for an expensive audio interface and high end software.
A digital audio recorder is also a nice option, plus is extremely mobile. If you want to record from a remote location, you have a number of recorder options available. Zoom tends to be the industry standard, but Roland and a host of others offer exceptional choices as well.
But, if you want to get down and dirty and record a live, immersive episode or even show, you can use your phone. If you go this route, you may want to invest in a lavalier microphone to make your audio sound much cleaner.
Now that you have an episode or two recorded, the last thing you need is somewhere to upload your podcast for distribution to all of the podcast directories. There are many different podcast hosts available with a variety of options to choose from, with pricing ranging from free to more than free depending on how much data or how many podcasts you upload each month. Considering your podcast host is essentially a data repository for your media or podcast, it makes sense to base their pricing on the amount of space your show takes up on their servers.
Get the Word Out
Now that you have your podcast, it’s time to promote and get the word out. A common question is how to promote your show, and the options are endless.
But, you should find one approach that works best for you and simply stick with it. Podcasts are not a form of media that creates overnight success, even in pre-established celebrity circles. It’s a product of attrition, so keep that in mind as you continue to scale and grow your show!