Tips for Launching Your Podcast
So, you want to start a podcast, eh? Warning: Podcasts take a lot of work. Creating one may not be quite as complicated as producing a great video, but it’s close.
Podcasting requires a lot of preparation, strong writing and speaking skills, technical expertise, good equipment, and a commitment to producing high-quality content on a regular schedule.
And, most importantly, you need topics that people want to listen to!
Here are some thoughts from 10,000 feet on what you’ll need to get started:
A theme or niche
Who are the listeners you are trying to reach? Will your podcast be focused on your expertise in gardening? Politics? Health and wellness? Food? High school football? Personal finance? Perhaps the goal of your podcast is to connect with customers and potential customers of your business. You need to identify your audience and start building a content calendar full of topics of interest to them.
How long is each episode? Are you the talent, a one-person show? Will you have guests? Will there be interviews or just presentations?
A title, summary, and artwork
You need a name for your show, one that captures the essence of the podcast and also boosts your rank in search engines. Your summary will succinctly describe to listeners what great things await them when they listen to your podcast. And you need a strong podcast image that leaves an engaging first impression for people searching through the zillions of podcasts fighting for a listen. Feeling inspired? Find some theme music that captures the vibe of your production.
Shop around and get a good one. Analog microphones with XLR connectors will produce great sound. A USB mic will work to convert analog into digital without extra connectors, but the quality may be a bit lower. Do your research before you buy to narrow your choices down to the best products that fit your budget.
To record, edit and then upload your podcast, you’ll need a good Mac or Windows computer with the right ports for the mics you use. You can record right into the computer with USB mics. Or you can use an audio interface or portable recorder that converts analog-mic audio to digital.
Digital audio workstation
You need editing software. You can spend a lot of money (upwards of $1,000) for professional level software or start out conservatively with editing software for under $100 or open-source programs to help you launch your podcast.
These filters aren’t essential, but they help deaden the hard “t” and “b” and “k” sounds that can punctuate a conversation. You’ll get clearer audio with these filters in use.
A place to host your file
After you’ve tagged and exported your podcast, you need a hosting site so you can distribute your show to apps and podcast directories such as iTunes. There are many free services for you to try.
Experienced podcasters suggest that you might wait to submit your first podcast episode until you’ve got a few shows ready to go. When viewers discover your first podcast and find value in it, you want to hook them by having another episode ready and waiting for them.