In case you have been living under a rock for the past couple of years, podcasting has been the fast growing digital media form. Podcasting originated around the early 2000s when iPods were the craze and people would download digital audio files to them and other mobile devices. In essence they are like internet radio shows on demand. Technology has made it both easy and cheap to start a podcast. As a result, everybody and their mother is making a podcast and the trend doesn’t seem to be fading anytime soon.
Check out these statistics:
o In 2016 – over 100 million people have listened to a podcast
o Over 50 million Americans listen to podcasts monthly
o 42 million Americans listen to podcasts weekly (that is five times more than who go to the movies!)
What’s Your Topic?
A governing body for podcasts doesn’t exist. That means that nobody determines if there are too many podcasts on how hip-hop culture for cats exists. Just a joke, but catch my drift? What you talk about and where you go with your show is almost limitless within the world of podcasting.
Once you have a topic in mind, you will need an actual name for your podcast. Be unique with the name you choose because the last thing you want is another podcaster accusing you of copyright or trademark infringement. Also, the shorter the name, the better. Like most memorable television shows or movies, keep the name to three or four words maximum. Once again, roam the podcast directories to ensure that your name is not taken.
Something as simple as a logo can can cause angst and procrastination. Obviously, your logo will be based on your preferences. Here’s some general tips. If you don’t have a pre-existing logo, then consider Fiverr (www.fiverr.com) or 99 Designs (99designs.com/). My recommendations pick a logo that is bold, simple, and easy to see via a smartphone. Keep your designs between 1400 x 1400 to 3000 x 3000 pixels.
Microphone: A good microphone can make or break the audio listening process. Stay away from using the standard microphone with your laptop or desktop. A fan favorite among podcasters is the Audio-Technica ATR2100 USB. It’s portable, it doesn’t pick up a lot of ambient noise, and it’s not too expensive.
Headphones: A good set of headphones will go a long way for both recording and editing your podcast. Headphones are very useful because they prevent feedback between your speakers and microphone, which can cause a poor listening experience for your audience.
Laptop or Desktop Computer: Gone are the days of needing a studio and a producer to create an audio experience that listeners will like. As long as you have a laptop, desktop, or even a cell phone–– you’re golden.
Editing Software: Editing a podcast is not rocket science. As a matter of fact, depending on what kind of computer you are using (Mac vs. PC), there are free software options available to you. For Mac users, Garage Band already comes pre-installed and is simple enough for most beginners. On the PC side, Audacity is a free downloadable software that has become the go-to for many podcasters, including me.
Think of hosting as a place where listeners can easily access your content 24/7/365. There is a difference between your website and podcast hosting. Believe it or not, your website cannot handle the traffic of continuous downloading of mp3 files. That experience would create a very slow-loading website, not only for you but also for other customers who have websites on the same servers as you.
Not only that, but you could incur a lot of fees for allowing users to download files from your website. To get around this, podcast hosting sites were created to store the audio files, while your website points users to the podcast hosting site for the actual downloading of the file.
Length: Is there a sweet spot for the length of the show? Nobody truly knows. BUT, in today’s world of shorter attention spans, shorter is always better! In my opinion, keeping the show to less than an hour is great. And if you keep the show to 30 minutes or less, you’re golden!
Intro: This is your chance to stand out. Claim your space in the podcasting world and be unique with your introduction. Whether it’s a catchy phrase, jingle, or rap––this is your chance to energize your audience and let them know what your show is all about. If you decide to use music in your intro, please make sure that the music is royalty free.
Main Segment: This is the meat and potatoes of the show. My advice is to think of your show like a television show that has diﬀerent segments.
Outro: Whew, you made it to the end of your show! Capitalize on this opportunity by creating a call to action. A call to action is something you want your listeners to do at the end of the show, for instance: subscribing to your show, sharing episodes with others, and sending in questions. A call to action is a powerful tool to help your show grow.
Performing an interview on a podcast is not like interviewing someone for a job. People often ask me, “What’s the best way to conduct an interview?” My answer is always, “Just think of all the things you want to learn from this person, but picture yourself having a pizza or coﬀee with them.” I prefer to keep things chill. More than likely, your guest has never been on a podcast before and they’ll look to you for guidance. So, if you’re nervous, guess what? They’re going to be nervous and stiﬀ, and ultimately the interview will come oﬀ to the audience as dull.
Guests can make or break your show. Always think about what will bring value to your listeners. If your show is about hip-hop for cats, inviting Tony Robbins to be a guest probably won’t go over well. But, if your show is about personal finance and investing, then yes, getting Tony Robbins would be a huge score. Not all guests are the same though. Some do well with written work or well-choreographed productions, so as a result they may come oﬀ as boring on a podcast.
One thing that I will stress in this book more than anything else is to be consistent. Whether you have five listeners or two hundred thousand, your listeners want to be confident that your show will consistently show up in their inboxes. Don’t worry too much about downloads and statistics yet. Be more concerned with having a reliable schedule because that helps to build anticipation for your show and ultimately leads to growth in listenership.
You made it! This is a bit to digest, but you’ve just take a huge jump towards developing the platform and brand authority you have always been looking for. Don’t let this be where your momentum stops, I’m here for you. Connect with me at www.drniidarko.com. If all you need is just inspiration, then check out my parting words for my audience on my podcast: “We only got one life, let’s make it count, and live outside the box!”