Welcome to the exciting world of Podcasting!
Podcasting as a content format has a huge potential to grow your business.
The best part is that you do not require a lot of money to start a podcast. So, as a business owner, it would be a wise decision to start a podcast.
If you are new to the world of Podcasting and want to get started with podcasting, here is a perfect resource for you wherein I will show you How to start a Podcast.
It is a step by step guide which goes on to illustrate the technical as well as the abstract podcasting concepts in detail.
What is Podcasting?
Well, Podcasting is online audio content which is delivered through RSS feed. It is an “on demand” audio file which you can stream or download from the Web.
Podcasting is popularly termed as “radio on demand.”
However, podcasting provides much more than radio does.
It provides freedom to listeners to determine what they want to listen. Listeners can even retain audio archives so that they can listen to podcasts at their preferred and convenient time.
Mostly, podcasting is used for broadcasting informational content, promotional clips and interviews, news coverage and commentaries, and storytelling.
Podcast content can be listened to using a reader or aggregator that supports podcasting.
You can also listen to a podcast on an iPod or similar device. Nowadays, Podcasts are displayed on websites which have clickable links to audio files.
Many RSS readers support audio enclosures. The audio file is contained in the ‘enclosure’ tag. It is similar to an email attachment.
Why should you start a Podcast?
Podcasting has a great potential.
Already, the technical crowd has endorsed podcasting as a powerful communication medium.
It provides the recipients the control and freedom as to what information they want to see or hear.
It allows you to reach brand new audience who prefer the portable audio format. According to Edison Research, as much as 30% time is spent listening to podcasts audio sources.
So, Podcasting is huge.
Moreover, to start a podcast, you don’t need to be an established content creator.
Nor do you require Big Money.
It even allows you to drive traffic back to your website.
Podcasting provides lots of opportunity for various niches. There are many categories where listeners want new content. So your podcast is highly targeted.
It provides balanced demographics with an equal number of male and female listeners in the age group of 18-44.
Podcast enables you to become an authority on your topic. Thereby increasing the chances of selling a product or service as you are recognized as a credible source and can influence customers for purchasing your offers.
So, Podcasts work and work well.
Why Podcasting Works?
They are easy to consume and does not demand your complete attention like a blog post or a video.
Podcasts can be listened on the go, while you are in your car or even when you are working.
Moreover, they can be listened to on any device. You can use your Smartphone, Tablet or even your Desktop.
They are “on demand,” so your listeners can get the freedom to listen what they want and when they want it.
Plus, it allows you to establish an intimate relationship with your audience. With Podcasts, your target audience is listening to you, one on one. So, it imparts a high level of engagement.
Research shows that 63% of listeners bought a product or service once they heard it advertised on a podcast.
So, you get a big opportunity to promote your business using Podcasts.
Getting Started with Podcasting
You first need to ascertain the topic of your podcast.
The topic should be creative enough to draw the attention of your audience.
You should talk on a topic on which you hold your expertise or choose a topic you are passionate about.
Secondly, you should check whether you can talk enough on the topic. You should prepare a list of 10-15 episodes on the topic.
Next, you have to determine the episode format. It ascertains the structure of the content.
Here are some good ideas for you:
- More than one Host
Lastly, you have to decide on the length of your episodes.
As a general rule, you should have a consistent episode length so that your listeners are aware what to expect and it becomes easy for them to time there listening.
What You will Need to Start Podcast
- Podcast Artwork – You first need to come up with a beautiful podcast artwork. Apple and iTunes only list professional looking artwork.
So, don’t neglect this aspect of your podcast. You can even hire a graphic designer for doing your podcast artwork.
- Podcast Name – Your podcast name should enable the listeners to ascertain what the podcast is all about.
You can have a descriptive name. It increases the searchability of your podcast on platforms like iTunes.
- Podcast category/subcategory – Choose the category that best fits your podcast’s topic.
If you are in doubt, search similar podcasts on iTunes to ascertain which category or subcategory they are using.
- Podcast Description – Use keywords and phrases that best describe your podcast. You can even include topics of your most popular episodes.
It is important from SEO point of view and helps you to list your podcast on sites such as iTunes.
- Podcast rating – Episode rating is important as you like to be consistent with it.
Equipment and Software
USB Microphone – Most of the popular podcasts today use USB microphones. It renders a good audio quality. They can be easily plugged into every desktop and laptop computer.
You should use a decent microphone if you want to come up with a nice podcast with quality audio.
Audio Recording Software – It will enable you to record and edit the audio from your microphone. It will allow you to save your audio as an MP3 file.
Examples: Audacity (Free), Adobe Audition, GarageBand (Free).
Skype Recording Software – It will allow you to record Skype calls. It is used when you are conducting interviews for your podcast. Examples: Pamela, Ecamm Call Recorder.
Recording Your Podcast
Here, I will illustrate a simple method for recording a podcast. You will need a microphone plugged into your computer. It should be on.
Secondly, you have to install and open your Recording Software. Make sure that your recording software is using the microphone as the default input device.
You are required to click on the record button in your recording software. Then, you can begin your talk.
There is no need for you to pause or stop the recording if you make mistakes. You can always edit the recording once you have finished recording, using the same software.
When you are done with the recording, you should save your recording in MP3 format. MP3 files compress well and can be played on most devices.
You should use a fixed bit rate for saving your MP3 file. 128kbps is considered to be a good bit rate.
It’s Time to Record your First Episode
Now you know how to record a podcast episode, it’s time to begin recording your first episode.
In the first episode, you should introduce yourself to the world. Talk about where you see your podcast going.
It’s natural to feel nervous.
After all, it’s your first podcast episode.
If you are making mistakes or if there are gaps in your talk, just ignore and continue your talk.
You can always edit it later once the recording is over.
You should speak naturally. It will require practice to improve your talking style.
You should not read a script. People like to listen to dynamic conversions. So, be natural in your discussions.
Intro and Outro for your Episodes
Adding an Intro and Outro for each of your podcast episodes provides flair of personality to your episodes.
They are short voiceovers with music which go on to introduce the podcast, give episode number, tell about the host(s), and talk about the tagline of the podcast.
You can either record this yourself or hire someone with a good voice to do the Intro and Outro for you. For inspiration, you can even listen to other podcasts in your niche.
Podcast editing enables you to remove any mistakes during recording. It also allows you to stabilize the volume.
It even enables you to add your intro and Outro to the episode. You can use the Audio Recording Software for editing your podcasts.
Some Editing Tips:
Explore the settings in your audio editor to stabilize the volume automatically. It is done to remove any background noise, pops, or spikes of high volume.
If you are finding the editing process difficult, you can hire a freelancer to do the editing for you.
You can take the help of post-production services for (like Auphonic) leveling, volume normalization, etc. You should make sure that the volume of each episode is the same.
Once the editing is completed, you should save the file in MP3 format. The bitrate should be 128kbps and sample rate should be 44.1 MHz
Once the MP3 file is saved, edit the ID3 tags of the file. It will help MP3 players display track information.
Hosting Your Podcast
Once your Podcast is ready, you need to host your audio files. I would recommend that you should use a separate host for your audio files.
Shared web hosts don’t have the speed or bandwidth needed for downloading and streaming MP3 files. So, you should not host your MP3s on the same server where you have hosted your websites.
Thankfully, media hosts do not cost much. You should also figure out the number of episodes you would be publishing per month.
You should then choose a plan that provides a little more space than you need.
RSS Feed for your Podcast
Once you have uploaded your episode, you would be provided with an RSS feed by your media host. You need to submit this RSS feed to podcast directories like iTunes.
The feed is automatically updated on podcast directories (where you have submitted your podcast) when you upload a new podcast episode to your media host.
Submitting Your Podcast
You should submit your podcast to as many channels as you can. They are places from where you will get the audience your podcast.
You can use different podcast directories for submitting your podcast. iTunes is the biggest podcast directory. You can also put your podcast on Stitcher, SoundCloud, and YouTube.
Launch your Podcast
Launching your Podcast is important as it enables you to get an immediate audience and listens to your podcast. iTunes has a “New and Noteworthy” section where it features new podcast for eight weeks.
So, you have an opportunity to be featured in this section of iTunes. You should create a landing page for your podcast and build an email list.
You can ask them to subscribe to your podcast and leave a review after listening to your podcast. All these little efforts will help you to get featured on iTunes.
Some Tips for the Growth of Your Podcast
There are some incredible ways by which you can start growing your podcast audience.
Have a Podcasting website and send your listeners there. It has all the valuable tips, resources, and tactics that your Podcast is sharing. Let your audience know where they can find your podcasts.
Create a landing page for building an email list. Customize the pages so that it suits your brand.
Contact hosts of other podcasts in your niche and suggest an interview swap.
It leads to commingle audiences and increases traction and awareness for your podcast.
You can ask your listeners to leave a review on iTunes.
Ask your listeners to subscribe to your podcast.
Leave a call to action at the end of every episode urging your listeners to leave a review and subscribe.
Promote the podcast on your website and social media.
Reward your listeners that leave reviews. It will encourage listeners to leave a review as they have an opportunity for receiving something for free.
Be consistent in your podcast release.
Build a mailing list. Encourage your listeners to subscribe to your mailing list. It will help you to promote your next podcast or an offer.
Come with a question and answer shows where you answer questions from your listeners. When your audience knows that you care about them, they become even more loyal.
Wrapping it up
So, you see that starting a podcast is easy.
However, you need to be consistent in your podcast release. Submitting to popular podcast directories is important. Plus, you should adopt a specific strategy for the growth of your podcast so that you can go on to monetize your podcast.
I sincerely hope that you enjoyed the presentation on How to Start a Blog. If it has helped you in any way, do let me know in the comments section below. You can also share this Podcast tutorial using the social media buttons at the top of the post.