If you have dreamed of sharing your knowledge about things you’re passionate about with a niche of people, and you have excellent communication skills, podcasting might be perfect for you. There are a lot of topics you can talk about, like comedy, leadership, health, lifestyle, news, stories, business, education, self-help, culture, sports, entertainment, finance, etc. It is essential to understand and consider that you have to be unique and different, so people feel they have a reason to pay attention to your podcast, and learn to be heard above others. In this helpful guide, and with these tips, you can know how to begin to do your podcast at home.
According to Statista, 57% of the USA population has listened to at least one podcast in 2021. The trends for creating and listening to podcasts are multiplying, so maybe it could be an excellent opportunity to use your voice and share your essence.
What is a podcast
Let’s talk about what a podcast is, in case you are not familiar with the term. A podcast is auditive digital content that contains information on any topic you can think of. A typical podcast has multiple episodes that you can access anytime from platforms like Apple Podcasts, Google Play, SoundCloud, Spotify, Stitcher, etc.
Types of podcast
Along with the topic you choose, you have to consider the type of podcast you will be creating. There are different types of podcasts; examples of the most common ones are Interview, conversational, monologue, non-fiction narrative storytelling, fiction narrative storytelling, and hybrid podcast.
How to create a podcast step by step
Talking from the depth of your passions and backing it up with your expertise could inspire the development of unique creative ideas, so speak with your heart, and people will find your podcast is a unique and honest voice.
1. Land your idea
Before starting your podcast, you should complete this stage because it will help people distinguish you from your competitors and increase the number of devoted listeners you attract. As the results, such as the brand value or the logo, are intangibles, these processes may initially be challenging to measure but worthy in the long run.
- Define the theme: If you don’t know what to talk about, you could write on a piece all of your ideas, list them, and the one that you like the most could be your theme.
- Investigate your competition: Once you define your idea, you need to ask yourself if podcasters are already talking about what you want to converse about. It is essential to identify them and do your research to solve the following questions. Brand yourself. What are your competitors talking about? To whom are they talking? What makes them unique? How do they attract listeners to hear their podcast? This information will clarify if your idea is unique or if you need to make adjustments. You could also see some already existing podcasts to inspire!
- Select your audience: Identify the niche group that will be interested in your podcast. Define their demographic and psychological characteristics. Here is an example of a construction of an audience:
Podcast for educational subjects for children: Mothers between the ages of 26 to 36 years old, that are looking for the well-being of themselves and their families with an interest in learning more about the education of their children, present in digital media.
- Choose a name: Naming your podcast is how people will identify your content and differentiate it from others. The name has to transmit the personality of the podcast, so make it easy and catchy, so your audience remembers you. It is important to note that it is a great idea to verify your social media accounts to protect your unique name. Here is an excellent guide to how to get verified on Facebook.
- Duration of the podcast: Some experts say they should last between 25 to 30 minutes. To confirm the length of your shows, you have to know your audience. What time of day would they listen to your podcast? Do they lead a busy life? Also, it depends on the topics; make sure your decision is substantiated.
2. Develop the structure of your podcast
- Storytelling: You can make your podcast memorable if you focus on the details. The story is significant to engage with your audience. This way, they might listen until the end and recommend it to their friends. Storytelling helps to transform a basic message into a more exciting story.
- Choose your content pillars: Structure your ideas and give them order considering the message you want to transmit. If you talk about many topics that have nothing to do with each other, your audience might become confused.
- Prepare your chapters: To have the right rhythm and fluency for your podcast, it is important to research the topics you will be talking about. Prepare a script to help guide you as you record.
- Data visualization: Another strategy you can use to attract and keep an audience is to implement data visualization videos in your podcasts when the information is complicated. It can help keep information engaging and can help you provide effective visuals. Nowadays, data science as a career path is in great demand because companies have access to a lot of data but they find it hard to gather actionable insights from it. hence, data science usage and visualization is a great topic to aim for.
3. Consider the format of your podcast
Every episode should have a similar structure in how the story is told. The topic needs to have an introduction, development, and conclusion.
- The beginning: Listeners will decide if they want to stay in the first minutes, so keep in mind that you have seconds to explain what the podcast will be about, the tone, focus, and theme, and make your introduction enjoyable.
- The middle: It is the part in which the content of your episode is developed, so it is usually the longest part.
- The end: It will help those listeners who stayed until the end to connect with you, take advantage of this space to invite them to be part of your community on social networks or to listen to the next chapter, subscribe to your blog, etc.
4. Publication schedule
It will help you create a following by being constant and organized in the days of the publication of a new episode so that your audience is always present and aware of your content.
5. Visual identity
Create your mood board for the color palette representing your podcast. You will need one for the cover of the podcast, the logo of the name, and other additional things you want to add like social media, and mailing. Experts recommend that everything needs to have matching colors, typography, and tone. You would be surprised but it is a good idea to look into fonts that you plan to use for your podcast. You want to use a font that is easy to read but at the same time, it is appealing to the eye.
Your audio studio at home
Let’s talk about your studio. The equipment you will use to record your podcast can be the most sophisticated equipment or the most simple equipment you already have at home so you could start your podcast without money. There are a lot of podcasters that started with the basics. Little by little, they were acquiring new equipment to improve the quality of the audio. Here are some tips to consider when setting up your studio.
- Choose the right space: Rooms that have soft furnishings and carpeted floors are the ones that will isolate the sound the most since empty rooms generate an echo. Make sure the room is not on the opposite side of the street or near areas like the kitchen, where is typically a lot of noise. If you do not have room to record, some beginners use small places like the closet, so the space shouldn’t be an issue to start recording.
- Sound treatment: Once you select the room, you need to consider that the voice of the microphone usually bounces with the walls and floor, this makes external sounds that can affect your audio recordings. There are some options to add to your room. A cheap way to do it is by hanging blankets on the walls and attaching pillows to the room’s corners. If you want to look more professional, you could use foam tiles or acoustic panels on the walls. You can use a microphone isolation shield for your microphone. Be aware that every space is different so you could always consider complete acoustic treatment to ensure the best audio quality possible by an acoustic treatment specialist. Here’s a great article from Resonics on acoustic treatment in podcast studios.
- Microphone and recording equipment: You need to have a microphone to have a quality voice in your episodes. There are two typical options, dynamic and condenser microphones. Dynamic microphones are the cheaper of the two; they can be charged by a USB outlet so you can connect them to your computer. Condenser microphones usually need an external power source like a console. They are more sensitive to ambient noise and offer better audio quality.
- Microphone interface: Is a microphone interface required for a home studio? If you wish to attach microphones to your computer, you’ll need an audio interface. The mics’ output is via XLR and is not in digital format, so you’ll need an audio interface to make your computer understand the signal. You won’t need an audio interface because your keyboard is midi.
- Microphone preamp: What is the purpose of a microphone preamp you might wonder? A mic preamp, at its most basic, takes a microphone’s low output and amplifies it to a higher line level. Most audio interfaces have built-in mic preamps that can achieve this.
- Headphones: They are used to cancel the external noises and keep track of the audio quality. So it is a vital element to take into account.
- Programs to record: You could use the console to record your voice, or there are other programs like Quick time from Apple, voice recorder from Microsoft, Squadcast, Streamyard, and Zencastr that will help you with this step.
- Chapter editing: Editing your recording is personal. There are many people who uploaded their episodes as they recorded by only adding the introduction and the outro. If you wish to avoid mistakes, add music to the podcast, special effects, or commercials, here are some tips: To edit the errors on the recording, like coughing, background noises, or other mistakes, hear the episode with your headphones and write notes of the minute where you found the errors. When you start editing, you will know where to make the edits.
How to publish your podcast
So after some creative investment of time, you should have ready the style themes, the name, the logo, the cover, and any marketing ideas you will focus on. Of course, don’t forget about the social media marketing ideas you want to start with. So by then, you should also have a few edited content topics ready for your podcast. Now that you are ready to upload your work to an audio platform so your audience can listen to you, you first need to create a podcast hosting site where you will store all your content. This could be tricky if you don’t have experience with making a website. A better option would be to go with a podcast hosting company like Podbean.com or Buzzsprout. You can read great articles about them. I recommend having a better idea of why you might want to go with a podcast host company.
- Open an account at a hosting site: There are several options for hosting podcast companies, some of them offer a free trial like RSS.com, and others you need to pay, so choose the one that best suits you.
- Upload your episodes: If you go with a podcast host company this will make the work easier. They automatically generate an RSS (or “Really Simple Syndication”) feed on your behalf. This RSS feed is distributed out to the services like Google podcasts. This is necessary because the platforms will ask for the RSS, which is a link that you will copy and paste. Those services don’t host material 99 percent of the time, and podcasters don’t upload their content there. They upload to their podcast episodes at the host/storage location, and then, once they’ve established that initial link via their feed, additional episodes are distributed automatically.
- Choose the platform: Going with a podcast hosting company will make this step easier as mentioned earlier. You can go with the service platform you like the most or the one your audience is most interested in. Maybe you could upload to all of them to see which have more listeners. If you choose Apple and Spotify, you must make a separate account. If you ever decide to take it to the next level make sure to do your research and prepare properly.
The Crucial Role of Internet Connection in Launching a Successful Podcast
In the digital age, podcasts have emerged as a powerful medium for communication, education, and entertainment. With millions of podcast episodes available at our fingertips, starting a podcast has become increasingly popular. While content creation and presentation skills are essential, one often overlooked aspect that significantly impacts the success of a podcast is the quality of the internet connection. In this article, we delve into the importance of a stable and reliable internet connection for launching a podcast.
Seamless Recording and Streaming:
A stable internet connection is the backbone of uninterrupted recording and streaming sessions. Whether you’re conducting interviews with guests, co-hosting with someone remotely, or live streaming your podcast, a reliable connection ensures that your audio remains crystal clear without any dropouts or lag. It enables real-time communication, fostering engaging and dynamic conversations.
Uploading and Distributing Episodes:
Once you have recorded and edited your podcast episode, the next step is to upload and distribute it to podcast platforms and streaming services. This process requires a robust internet connection to handle the large file sizes efficiently. A high-speed connection ensures that your episodes are uploaded quickly, allowing your audience to access them in a timely manner. It also allows you to respond promptly to listener feedback and make necessary adjustments to your podcasting strategy.
The beauty of podcasting lies in its ability to connect people across geographical boundaries. Collaborating with co-hosts, guests, or remote interviewees adds depth and variety to your podcast. However, such collaborations heavily rely on a strong internet connection. By utilizing video conferencing or VoIP platforms, a stable connection enables seamless communication, eliminating the frustrations of distorted audio or dropped calls. It opens up endless possibilities for networking and engaging in meaningful conversations with experts and influencers from around the world.
Audience Engagement and Interaction:
An active and engaged audience is the lifeblood of any successful podcast. Through the power of the internet, you can connect with your listeners, build a community, and receive feedback in real-time. Social media, email, live chats, and interactive platforms allow you to foster a deeper connection with your audience. However, to fully utilize these avenues, a dependable internet connection is crucial. It ensures that you can participate in online discussions, respond to comments, and engage with your audience promptly, enhancing the overall podcast experience.
Backup and Contingency Plans:
Despite having a reliable internet connection, occasional outages can still occur. It’s essential to have backup plans in place to minimize disruptions and maintain your podcast’s consistency. This may involve having a backup internet connection, pre-recording episodes, or establishing a contingency strategy for such situations. By planning ahead, you can ensure that your podcast continues to thrive even during unforeseen circumstances.
How to make a community
It takes a lot of dedicated effort and time to create a podcast, but remember that if you do it with passion the time will pass quickly. Before you know it, you will have your podcast on the platforms so anyone can listen to your content. A critical point to consider is that these platforms do not make advertisements or strategies to attract people to listen to your podcast. A more recent idea is to convert your podcast to video content so you can share it on social me as well. Here are tips that might help you to have more listeners little by little until you create a community.
- Friends and family: As a beginner, you can start by inviting your friends and family to listen to your podcast and ask them to recommend it to their friends and family. Word of mouth is a potent tool.
- Social networks: Based on your topics and audience is something to consider when deciding what social network you should use to start a following. It might be better if you don’t use all of them at the beginning, especially if you don’t have the time to give them proper management. A good idea is to start with a social media platform like TikTok or Instagram. It is a good idea to review statistics like TikTok statistics before you choose where you will focus your energies. Once you select the social media, create interesting content for your audience and invite them to listen to your podcast. Take into consideration that depending on the social media you choose is the kind of content you will make.
- Blog: Making a blog and inviting your audience to subscribe will be an excellent way to make a community. You could share unique content, recommendations, or whatever detail that you think your audience will be interested in. Editor-in-Chief Hanah Alexander of todaytesting.com has some sound advice about some additional strategies to help you create a community for your blog. She said the following, “And make sure you don’t just write blog posts, but you capture leads. That means including email signup forms, maybe even a pop-up for higher conversion, to invite readers to sign up for your mailing list. Once you capture those emails, you have a captive audience you can send out updates to, which will increase the odds they keep coming back to listen to more podcasts. Services like Constant Contact, Infusionsoft, and others can help you manage your lists.”
- Get feedback from your community: Once you start attracting followers, subscribers and listeners, ask them what they would like to listen to. They might feel important because you are taking their recommendations for your next episodes. If you have a difficult time attracting a following. You can work with companies that help build a following. There are some that are strategic to help you gain Instagram comments which are known to pique interest and get a more organic following. This will help you since you can connect your social media accounts to your podcast.
- Feedback insight: But since your podcast is entirely new and if your listeners don’t seem to provide feedback at all after a few weeks? Here’s how to get more podcast reviews. The key is not to forget to remind your audience that their feedback is essential to you. Tell them to leave a review during your podcast intro or outro, or even promise them to give something in return.
- Always reply: Always seek to respond to the messages you receive from your audience to get to know them and make them feel part of the community. If you have a website, you could add chatbots so you reply quicker to frequently asked questions. This way, your community feels heard.
- Inspiration: Look for inspiration in other communities. Get inspired by a podcast you admire or lifestylers and influencers to motivate you to create your podcast. You can filter from the top influencers who have more Instagram followers in order to get frequent inspiration.
How to make money Podcasting?
If you want to money by podcasting the first thing to recommend is patience. The key to earning money is to have a big loyal community. If you have valuable and helpful content and you are making and using marketing strategies to attract listeners, then monetization will come along much easier than you expected it would be. Here are some tips and ideas you cant implement as strategies that could help you make money.
Attract advertisers or sponsors to your podcast
Allowing space for advertising on your episodes is one of the most common and easy ways to monetize your podcast since you don’t need the required amount of downloads. This could definitely be a good option if you are starting your podcast. A good recommendation or standard practice is to add all advertisements or sponsorships at the beginning which is also known as (pre-roll), the middle of the episode (mid-roll), or/ and in the end (post-roll). Another great idea is to create a list of companies that you want to approach and make sure to take into consideration the companies that share the same values as you.
Next, you want to prepare your pitch by brainstorming and asking yourself why the companies would be interested in buying space in your episodes. What are your differentiators? What is your promotional plan? Some companies help you sell spaces in your episode for a percentage of the sale but your podcast needs to have around 15 thousand downloads.
Take a chance and go ahead, create your podcast! Do not let fear stop you. The first step is to start. You don’t need to create a whole season to begin. Create a pilot episode, do your research, talk with your heart, and trust in your work.
*This article has been updated.