Expand your audience and reach your community in a more intimate way with well-produced audio shows
A podcast can be a fantastic way to expand the potential audience for your work or to explore topics that you are passionate about with other creatives and friends.
Creating one is easy, and there are hundreds of apps that will help you do it. However, with almost a million podcasts available today, getting the potential audience to find yours can be hard. These 10 tips will help you create one that stands out from the very first episode.
1. Plan, plan, plan. Then, plan again.
It is not enough to have a good idea for an episode or two, a podcast is a long-term commitment and requires constant planning of future episodes. This is harder than it seems, so you should devote some time to figuring out what topics to include and which guests to invite.
2. Create a content calendar and stick to it
The best way for a podcast to lose listeners is by lacking consistency. Unless you are certain that you can maintain a continuous weekly or biweekly rhythm, it is better to think of seasons with a closed number of episodes. Write down the publication dates of each episode on a calendar and commit to them.
3. Make a script and follow it
Even if you want to make a very free-flowing and personal podcast, a script is necessary to maintain a consistent structure in the final audio. You don't have to follow it closely, but keep it in mind while recording.
4. Be brief
There are very good podcasts with two- or three-hour episodes, but most listeners do not have so much free time to enjoy the content. Think of 20- or 30-minute episodes that fit better into the daily commute to work or class, because that’s when more people will listen to you.
5. Design a good cover
A podcast is obviously an audio product but a good cover will help you stand out in the directories and transmit the energy and tone of the show. If it's a very personal podcast, don't be afraid to use your own image.
6. Get a good microphone
You may have limited resources, but don’t cut corners when choosing a microphone. A poor quality microphone will force you to edit more and it will make the podcast sound worse, driving the audience away. In most cases, a good dynamic cardioid microphone will be enough. There are some very good ones for less than $100.
7. Learn some editing
You don't have to be a master, but get to know how editing programs work and what can be done with them (or what not). There are several free sound editing programs that are very powerful, like Audacity or GarageBand. If you are going to use music and sounds, make sure you have the rights to use them.
8. Choose a good hosting and sign up for the directories
Your podcast, like a website, needs to be hosted somewhere so it can be downloaded. There are some free hosting services but most will charge a small amount per month. In addition to hosting it, you will have to register your podcast in some directories. The most important one is Apple Podcasts (many other directories use it as a reference). Another important one is Spotify. They'll ask for the RSS address for the podcast, which your hosting service will provide.
9. Promote yourself
Don't forget to say who you are and why you do the podcast. Mention the name of your business or page several times during the program and add it to the podcast notes. The audience will listen to you while exercising, driving or walking and many times they will not be able to visit your page as soon as they hear it.
10. Request feedback
Ask your listeners to leave ratings and comments in the various directories and podcast applications. It is the best way to get the podcast to get more listeners and stand out above the rest. Don't be discouraged if your numbers seem low at first. They will grow as you upload new episodes.