The New Year Is the Time to Start Your Own Podcast
by Alek Sabin
We live in an era of almost unlimited content, and the reason for this is that there are so many mediums with barriers of entry that make it possible for anyone with a good story to tell to get themselves out there. One such popular medium, nowadays, is podcasts. Podcasts continue to rise in popularity as a form of entertainment, education, or both, together.
If you’ve ever thought about making a podcast, then now is the perfect time to do it. The internet has created a platform to get your message out to anyone, around the planet, and the only thing stopping you is yourself. Here are some tips on how to start your own podcast this year…
Good content is the most important thing
The number one thing that every podcast needs is a good topic. At the end of the day, people don’t tune into a podcast and listen for production values. They want to hear content that speaks to them and their interests.
Nowadays, the internet has gone down a path where it is primarily about the distribution of content, and using that content to attract the most attention. This is why content marketing has exploded, in recent years. That’s the first thing to figure out about any podcast: what is it about, and is it interesting? Is it a topic that can sustain itself across multiple episodes? And, most importantly, are you excited about this topic?
Go out of your way for good equipment
While people may not listen to a podcast for good production value, bad recording habits certainly have the capacity to force listeners to turn your podcast off, no matter how interesting the topic is.
For this reason, you should consider getting a decent microphone that is good at picking up the human voice and its many intonations. If you’re looking for an option that accomplishes this, but won’t break your bank, then something like the Electro-Voice ND46 is a good option, but you could even pick up something like a Bluebird mic from your local Guitar Center.
Consider who your audience is
When you are coming up with your topic, one question that you should constantly be asking yourself is who this podcast is for! Who is your primary audience? For far too many amateurs, the answer to this question is “everyone!” Well, it doesn’t really work that way. When you try to make content for everyone, all you are going to accomplish is making content that is for no one. Universality comes with specificity, not by appealing to the lowest common denominator.
If you want your podcast to thrive and survive, then you need to have a clear picture of who your audience is, and really consider what it is that they expect from your show.
Find a format that works for you
If you listen to successful podcasts, such as This American Life or Welcome to Night Vale, then you’ll begin to notice that all of these shows have a clear format that their episodes follow.
While this format may be stretched or vary, there is a clear structure that enables the audience to latch onto the narrative that the podcast is creating. Listen to a lot of podcasts and think about which ones have formats that you’d be interested in exploring, and then pick a format for your own podcast.
Make it an enjoyable listening experience
Very few podcasts work well and build an audience simply by having one person talk about something. Great podcasts will utilize multiple perspectives, characters, music, transitions, sound effects, and other auditory elements.
You should organize your podcast to take advantage of anything that you have at your disposal to create a more dynamic and enjoyable listening experience for your audience. While your topic might intrigue them, the execution of that topic helps bring them in even further.
Don’t forget about marketing
Lastly, you need to think about how you are going to get your podcast out there. While you shouldn’t make the mistake of overthinking your marketing before you have decent substance on your podcast, you should think about ways that you can potentially get your podcast out there. If you fail to do this, then you’re essentially relegating your podcast, no matter how great, to almost certain obscurity.
Luckily, there are tons of great outlets to get your podcasts out there, such as podcast hosting sites like Lisbyn, PodBean, or plenty of others. Also, don’t forget about the power of merchandising. By using merchandising, such as customized t-shirts or hats, you can create a strong local following that will grow, over time.