Today, podcasts are in demand, and it’s no secret. If you rewind a little, podcasts have always been recognized when done right. However, with the technology evolving day by day, it has presented us, a common man, with a platform to take it further if we have an idea. But why do you think podcasts are such a hit? It is because we humans are storytelling animals. We love narrating and listening to tales that hold the power to capture our attention. So, if you think you have it in you but don’t know where to begin, take a look at our beginner’s guide on how you can start your own podcast.
Plan It Well
Maybe you are in your dim-lit room listening to a podcast, where the host is narrating something worthwhile in his or her soothing voice. As you listen, you suddenly find yourself with an idea brewing inside of you. And, the next thing you know, you are all pumped up to start your own podcast. Now, here’s the thing, one of the initial and significant steps one must take before they begin is planning it well and planning it right.
This step requires your attention and time. You can make use of a notebook or maybe whip out your whiteboard and start making notes. Now, there are various stages of planning, keep reading to know more.
Choose The Right Topic
So now you are ready to plan and get your idea on the road. Where do you begin? Pick the topic of your choice. Focus on something that you are good at. Don’t simply pick a topic because it looks good. Find something that entices you, something that you are passionate about but also brings you an audience. Not as easy as it sounds, we know. But, what you can do is, make a list of topics you like and then conduct market research related to those particular subjects. And, choose the one that you think will ensure a wider audience. Also, you can always expand your topic horizon later so that you don’t limit yourself.
Do You Need A Co-Host?
If you are hesitant to try to on your own in the beginning, you can always ask a friend or a colleague or maybe even your family member to co-host it with you. It also gets more comfortable if you have other commitments like a full-time job because then you can split tasks like promoting and editing, which will not only help save time, but you can also get more things done in a short period. However, there are no rules here. You can continue a solo act after a few episodes or vice versa.
A Perfect Name
The name is significant. Now, when you are choosing a name, you don’t want it to stay constrained to a particular subject. For instance, say I am starting a podcast talking about mountain adventures, and that’s what I name the show. It is great for a while, but it won’t allow me to speak about other subjects. Therefore, you need a catchy name, but also something that resonates with your personality and also a wide range of things you want to talk about.
Format Of Your Show
There are some who say that 30 minutes is the right time or some who ask you to do it for an hour. But, that’s where we go wrong. There are no rules here. You choose the length that you are comfortable with. It can be for 6 minutes or 60, you decide. However, the point is, stick to the topic. Please don’t make it unnecessarily long or go off-topic.
Today, interview-style podcasts are popular. But, that doesn’t mean you must follow the exact format. Stick to a style that suits you. Explore a few before on your own and then finalize the type that you are comfortable with.
Format Of Your Show
For example, the format of the show can include;
- The intro section
- Welcome your viewers
- Talk about a subject for 15 minutes
- Then start the interview
- End music
This is how a raw format looks like. Now, you can tweak it the way you want but remember, during every episode, both new and old users tune in to listen. Therefore, make sure you keep the format engaging and straightforward.
How To Prepare For It?
Now, when you are out to buy a music album, if you see something with an exciting cover, you tend to delve deep and check it out. So, it would help if you had a cover art that will entice your audience. You can either use free apps, such as Canva, to get the job done or hire a professional designer. Your cover should match your name and must intrigue the audience.
Premium Beat is excellent for the podcast music. But, there are other options out there. It would help if you had something where you get the full-license and have a plethora of options to choose from. Sometimes, you only need a song or two. It totally depends on your format.
You Will Need A Microphone
You are starting a podcast, so your microphone is the most critical aspect, emphasis on important. You need something with good audio quality and don’t worry, it doesn’t cost a lot. Today, one of the most popular ones out there is Audio-Technica ATR2100x-USB. It comes with both a USB microphone and an XLR connection.
A Guest List
If you are doing an interview-style show, you need to finalize a guest list right before you begin. Have at least ten people in the buffer so that you can just concentrate on your show and not have to worry about getting people. Now, if you want to record an interview with a person who isn’t face to face, you can Squadcast. Make sure you have a questionnaire beforehand, and you can also send one to the person you are interviewing. This will help you both prepare better.
How Do You Record And Edit?
Alitu is one of the most accessible software out there. If you have something better that’s great, otherwise, you can give this a try because most software is filled with jargon, which non-tech people find it difficult to understand or use. With Alitu, it opens on your browser, and you don’t have to download any massive file. You can easily clean up the audio, add music, and even directly publish your episode. But it is paid. However, they do offer a 7-day trial, which might help you decide if it is the right route for you.
If you are a Mac person, use GarageBand or Audacity, which works on both Mac and PC. Now, other podcast software generally comes with advanced features, which you actually don’t need at a beginners stage. So, this should get you going for at least one season.
Create A Template
Create a reusable temple. What does it mean? Have an intro and outro music, along with the segment that would appear in every episode. Also, it means having a spot for your ads so that you know when and where they appear and you can create your episode accordingly.
Record An Episode For Yourself
So, before you jump in full-fledged, you must record a “trial” episode. This way, you will know what the changes you are supposed to make in your original episode are, and you can enhance yourself before you release.
Editing Your Episode
Once you are done with your trail episode, it’s time to edit. Use the software you have finalized and try it out. See what changes you can make and try all the features. Opt for the ones that are absolutely perfect. Play around the settings since it’s just the trial version.
Launch Your Podcast
You Will Need A Host
There is Buzzsprout podcast hosting, which is one of the most popular platforms. However, it is a paid version. But, the point is, if you are trying to make a career, ensure that you get the best of the best and the free versions will only get you somewhere to an extent. So, check out what works for you.
Upload Your First Episode
The websites or hosting platforms you use, make sure they are easy and are able to upload your episodes easily. For instance, if you use Buzzsprout, all you need to do is click the upload button, and then use a tad bit of magic while loading your Mp3 file. Then, just like a youtube video, fill in the description, summary, and publish date, along with the episode number and you are all done.
Spread It To Various Platforms
Right from Apple to Spotify, you have a plethora of options to get your podcast going. So, check out which one works for you and take it from there.
Finally, it is time to spread the word. You can either ensure you use social media to the fullest or you can ensure that you curate a website of your own. See which works best for you. And advertise as positively as you can.
All the best!