As a business owner, one of the ways to promote and expand your business is to start making a podcast. More than ever before, the number of people who listen to a podcast is increasing daily.
So, if you’re still thinking about whether to start a personal podcast or a business podcast, think no more. There’s no better time to start than now.
Interestingly, podcast production does not require technical expertise. In this article, you will learn step-by-step how to start a podcast.
What Exactly Is A Podcast?
This is probably the question running through your mind that brought you to this place in the first place. A podcast is a digital audio file uploaded on the internet. It can be downloaded on mobile phones, computer systems and comes in episodes and seasons. Each episode has its own topic.
In simple terms, you can say that a podcast is audio blogging. It works like blogging except that it’s not written but aired. It can either be streamed or downloaded from the podcast hosting site.
How Does Podcasting Work?
Basically, there are three stages involved. These three stages will be broken down to bits as I proceed.
The stages are:
- Record episodes on your phone or computer using some equipments
- Upload the recorded audio to podcasting websites
- Submit or share the podcast to directories where your listeners or prospective clients are likely to find them.
Why You Should Start A Podcast
- It allows you to connect with your audience in a great and different way. Statistically, there are over 600 million blogs on the internet, and more than 20million Youtube channels. Obviously, these spaces are saturated and your prospective clients have many brands to listen to and chances are, it may take a long time before anyone can read your blog post or view your youtube channel. The good news here is that there are only 800,000 podcasts in Apple Podcast which means that there are incredible space and opportunity for you to connect with your target audience
- It has more potentials because people can listen to it in their cars or while walking on the road. Hence, it’s a good idea for Nigerian entrepreneurs when you consider the fact that most Nigerians are always on the move.
- It is easy to monetize and can serve as a separate business where you can earn extra income.
- The podcast listening rate has been consistently growing by 10 to 20% per year.
Can You Produce A Podcast With Your Phone?
The simple answer is ‘yes’. If you are using an iPhone or Android phone, you can produce your podcast on them. Since both devices have microphones, you are good to go.
However, the audio quality may not be as clear or as professional as you’d want. But the good news is that there are several apps you can download on your phone that will help you produce better audio quality.
For example, Podbean and Soundcloud have in-app podcast recording abilities. By visiting the Google play store, you can download several podcast apps. The popular ones are Anchor, Spreaker, and iRig Recorder.
Also, you can buy a microphone that can be connected to your phone to facilitate better sound. It’s easier and more comfortable recording your podcast with a device that is always with you.
How To Start A Podcast
Step 1: Planning
This step is very important before you think of other steps. At this point, you should be able to convincingly answer these two questions:
i. What Is My Podcast About?
This is where you identify ‘your why’. Do you just want to produce a podcast because others are doing it or you have a game plan for it? Are you a marketer and you want to explore it as a new marketing channel?
Or you are skilled in a particular field and want a platform where you can teach your knowledge in episodes and series while making money at it? Are you a freelancer or business owner looking for a new way to connect with your audience?
Whatever your reason for starting a podcast is, you need to spell it out clearly. Identifying your ‘why’ will help you stay motivated even when you are tired or lazy to produce a new episode.
ii. Who Is My Podcast For?
It is vague to say that your podcast is for everybody because you cannot attend to everybody’s needs with one show. When you get your ‘who’ right, it’ll be easy for you to grow your audience because you’ll be channeling your energy and resources in the right direction and that will produce a faster result than being all over the place.
For example, if you are a business consultant who wants to make an entrepreneurship podcast, then your target audience might be people who are interested in starting or growing their own business, employees looking for a side hustle, companies looking to train their staffs, etc.
Once you identify your target audience, you need to give them a reason to listen to you. Why should they tune in to your podcast every Monday instead of listening to the news or music? This means that your content must be something that appeals to the interest of your audience. This is why you should take your time to plan your show because this is where many get it wrong.
Another important part of this step is to plan your episodes. Once you know why and who your podcast is for, then you need to plan how to dish out the content to them in the right way.
You need to decide how often you will release new episodes or seasons, the format, time frame, and topic for each episode, etc. Before concluding on a topic, visit iTunes or Stitcher, check the top 100 podcast covering the topic you want to talk about. If you can find only one or two, that’s a signal that there’s low demand on the topic and you may need to change it.
See Also: Four Ways To Go Into Entrepreneurship.
Step Two: Name Your Podcast
What will you like your podcast name to be? This is the time to think about that. It’s possible that you have a classy name in mind and you can’t wait to launch it. That’s okay but also consider your target audience when choosing a name. You want your audience to identify and understand the name.
Hence, it is advisable to pick a name that expresses what your show is about. You may ask, can’t I use my name? Well, you can if you are a celebrity or you’ve built a personal brand that everyone is familiar with.
Otherwise, it’s a no-no. You cannot use ‘The Miriam Walter Show’ when no one has heard about your name before. The implication is that your audience will wonder who Miriam Walter is and just stroll past your podcast.
Also bear in mind that there’s nothing more frustrating than having a great content that no one gets to see or listen to. So, if your desired name will hinder your audience from seeing your Podcast, now is the time to consider another name.
Step Three: Choose A Format
There are different formats you can choose from. Determine if you want to maintain a single format or you want to change your format every season or annually.
Here are the various types of podcast formats to use:
This is also known as the monologue. This means that you are doing the podcast alone. Once people listen in, they’ll only hear your voice. The benefit of the solo format is that you don’t need to rely on someone else to record your episodes. At the same time, you are building yourself as an authority in your podcast field.
Also, you wouldn’t need to share your profit with anyone once you start monetizing your podcast. However, the challenge with the solo podcast is getting over the feeling that you are talking to yourself and coming to terms with the fact that you are actually talking to an audience.
Unlike solo, interviews involve inviting an expert or a renowned personality to share their knowledge and experience on your episodes. Here, the podcaster is the interviewer while the guest is the interviewee.
Some of the people you can interview are your heroes, mentors, and leaders. This type of podcast gives you the privilege to chat with someone you’ve always looked up to. Apart from that, you will equally attract the audience of your guest and these audiences might end up listening to your subsequent episodes.
If you are considering this type of podcast, you will need to sharpen your interview skills because not everybody can successfully conduct an interview.
c. Multiple Or Co-Hosts
This is another format that involves hosting your podcast with one or two of your friends or colleagues. This format gives you the opportunity to bounce ideas off of people. Besides, it makes your listeners glued because they get to hear the views of different people.
The challenge with co-hosting is that when recording, the timing has to be suitable for everyone. This means that it’s possible for a co-host to be unavailable when you need to record an episode.
Alternatively, there are software specifically made for long-distance recordings. e.g Squadcast and Zoom. In addition, another challenge with co-hosting is the issue of ownership and profit-sharing. It’s important to sort this out from the beginning. Preferably, involve a lawyer to draft out a workable agreement between you and your co-hosts from the inception to avoid future challenges.
This is another format that presents topics and episodes in the form of storytelling. Everybody loves to hear a beautiful story and if you are a good storyteller, this may be the best format for you. Also, you can present the stories as case studies where your audience gets to input their opinions.
e. News Recap
This is a format that summarizes the news within a specific industry or sphere.
Step Five: Record Your Podcast
Once you’ve done your groundwork, the next thing is to go straight to recording.
Things To Do Before Recording Your Episodes
i. Write Out Your Outline
This will help you avoid rambling and making mistakes. You don’t have to write out your podcast verbatim, but take your time to jot down bullet points that will give you the needed flow. If you are working with co-hosts, share the outline with them so that you can be on the same page.
ii. Choose A Good Place To Record
You cannot record just anywhere. You need to choose a suitable place that will not echo or have background noise. If possible, record in a quiet, large room with plenty of space around you. But if what you have is a small space, ensure you have lots of materials around that can absorb the sound: furniture, carpeting, closet full of clothes, etc.
iii. Get Your Equipment Ready
A microphone can give great results if you choose the right mic. So, get a mic and connect it properly to your computer or recording device. Preferably, purchase a USB microphone unless you have experience with audio equipment.
Basically, different podcast set up is available for different formats. If you are going for solo shows, you could make do with a microphone for a start. As you progress, you can visit Amazon.com for the different podcast equipment available for your perusal.
In summary, the equipment you need to begin are:
- A good microphone
- Audio recording software
- Podcast equipment to improve sound quality
After putting the three things listed above in place, you will need some software to record and edit your audio. There are options to pick from and one of them come free.
Podcast Recording And Editing Software
Anchor makes it easy for a starter to make podcast in minutes. Everything you need to begin is inherent in anchor app and it’s absolutely free. The interesting part is that anchor allows you to create, distribute, and monetize
podcast right from your phone. With their easy to use tools, you can record, edit, and add clips from any device and you will sound great regardless of your skill level.
Unlike other software, Anchor does not only allow you to record your podcast, but it also doubles as a hosting site. The platform automatically distributes your podcast to iTunes, Google Podcast, Spotify, Radio Public, Stitcher, etc. You have access to all these features for free. No storage limits or trial period.
To get started with Anchor, download the app on Google play store, sign up, and start enjoying the features. It’s easy, professional, and effective. You can either record a new podcast or upload a recording from your phone, add background music, podcast description, episode, and season number. Afterward, you can either publish it immediately or schedule it to go live on a latter date.
Audacity is a free and open-source audio editor. On Audacity, you can make changes to the original code easily. You can easily customise your user experience, record your podcast, and make improvements where necessary. At first, you may find it difficult to navigate your way around Audacity but there are lots of video tutorials on how to go about it. This software caters to the needs of the majority.
c. Adobe Audition
Adobe Audition is available through paid subscription. It has a monthly fee of $20. If you are looking for a powerful and professional audio editing software, here it is. It might be more than what you’ll need but if you are using a mixer and high-end equipment, Adobe Audition might be the best option for you
This software comes with all MacBooks and it’s good enough to produce and edit your audio. GarageBand allows you to record the audio from your podcast microphone and save it as an MP3 file.
This is the easiest platform you can use for recording your podcast. It is easier than GarageBand or Audacity. Alitu is a podcast making tool that automates a lot of confusing technical jargon. You don’t need to download any software. You can access it once you have an internet-enabled computer. All you need to do is upload your recordings, utilise the editor to take out any major mistake.
f. Hindenburg Journalist
Hidenburg is another paid software with multiple audio editing tools. It’s the cheapest paid software appropriate for podcasters. A license costs $95 and is a one-time fee.
Step Six: Edit Your Podcast
After recording your podcast, the next thing is to edit it. Editing your podcast allows you to add your intro and outro, stabilize volume, and remove any mistake you made when recording.
Actually, any of the software recommended above (Anchor, Adobe Audition, Audacity, GarageBand, Alitu) should help you achieve this. If you are unable to do the editing yourself, you can hire someone to edit your episodes for you. Once you finish editing your audio, save it as an MP3 file.
Step Seven: Choose A Hosting Site
If you are using Anchor, you may not need to worry about having a podcast hosting site because Anchor handles both recording, hosting and distribution for you. But, if you prefer the other audio recording channels, you will need a hosting site.
Even if you have a website, it’s not advisable to host your MP3s on the same server. This is because shared web hosts don’t have the bandwidth or speed for the demand that downloading and streaming MP3 requires.
Basically, podcast hosting sites gives you the platform to have all your podcast in episodes or seasons and they help you handle the distribution to different podcast directories.
Here are some of the Hosting Websites
Step Eight: Publish Your First Episode
The good news about podcasting is that you can record several episodes and schedule them to go live at a set time and date. This will save you from inconsistency and production pressure.
Therefore, if your podcast is weekly, you can produce for a month at once, schedule them for the four weeks and you can take your time to produce for subsequent months. Once the scheduled time ticks, the podcast will automatically go live.
Step Nine: Promote Your Podcast
There are several ways to promote your podcast for your audience to see. Here are some of the ways to:
1. Submit It To Relevant Directories
If you are using a podcast hosting site, most of them automatically help you submit your podcast to popular podcast directories. But, if you are not
using any hosting site, perhaps because of the price, you can submit your podcast to the directories yourself.
These are some of the directories to consider:
a. Soundcloud: This is one of the best channel to list your podcast and reach your audience. For example, Playstation was able to build up to 5,000 subscribers for its Soundcloud podcast.
b. Apple Podcast: This is one of the largest podcast directories you should try as much as possible to get your podcast on. To learn how to upload to Apple Podcast, visit iTunes Connect’s Podcaster Support page to create an account and submit your podcast
c. Stitcher: This is the second largest podcast directory you should gun for. Head straight to Stitchers website, create an account and submit your podcast.
d. Spotify: Spotify is a new podcast directory but, it’s growing at a fast pace due to its popularity in music streaming and podcast recommendations. So, you don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to get your podcast on the platform. To get started, visit Spotify for Podcasters and follow the steps to submit your show.
e. Google Play Store: Another great way to reach potential listeners is Google Play Store. To start, visit the Google Play Podcasts portal. Then click add a podcast and paste your podcast’s RSS feed URL, then click submit RSS Feed. Afterwards, you’ll verify ownership of your podcast, review your information, publish your podcast and wait for approval.
2. Tell family and friends to listen in
Word of mouth is a very potent channel to get listeners. Tell your friends and families about it and also encourage them to tell others to listen in.
3. Share on social media
Most of your listeners are active social media users. So, ensure you utilise social media to create awareness for your podcast.
4. Join a community of Podcasters online
There are several communities of podcasters you can join. They are on Facebook, Instagram and the likes. In the community, you will learn what someone else is doing that you haven’t tried. Besides, you will always have firsthand information on how to grow your show.
How To Make Money With Podcast
At first, your focus should be to build yourself as an authority and gain the trust of your audience. Afterward, you can start thinking of monetisation. One of the common ways to monetize your podcast is to ask people to subscribe to it weekly, monthly, or annually.
Another way is to promote other people’s products or services during your podcast and get paid for it. Also, you can use your podcast to promote your product or service that complement your show at the beginning and end of your podcast. You can direct your audience to a link or website where they can get your offerings.
How To Post Your Podcast On Social Media Platforms
If you are active on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, etc, you might want to post on these platforms for your existing followers to see. This is actually a step in the right direction because you can easily convert your followers to listeners. Obviously, podcast is an audio file and most of this social media platforms don’t allow audio files unless you can convert them to videos.
The best way to promote your broadcast on your social media handles is to convert them to video. So, how do you do that? Just the way you create a normal video, you can create motion videos depicting your speech while your podcast plays in the background.
Alternatively, you can create a cover image to serve as your video background, then allow your podcast to play in the background. One of the sites that can help you achieve that is Voice2v.com and Wavve Video.
In conclusion, there’s no better time to start creating your podcast than now. Share this content with your friends, so we can all build together and if you get stuck along the way, you can always return. Also, drop any questions or concerns you have in the comment section.
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