how-to-start-a-podcast

How To Start A Podcast

Podcasting uses audio files to share information to a target audience through digital devices, from mp3 players to iPods, Smartphones, and computers. Podcasting, on its own, is an enterprise to share information for the sole purpose of profit-making. Like YouTube channels, Video blogs (Vlogs) and podcasts are also created for audience followership when the host delivers quality content.

Why start a podcast today?

Businesses, especially E-commerce businesses, can also use podcasts to share information about their products and services, their company, and generally as a form of advertising on the digital space. Digital marketing with content creation is becoming a saturated space, and unless you are doing extra or something special, it will be more difficult for you to get noticed.

Podcasting as of 2020 is a relatively smarter approach to go into the digital marketing space because it isn’t too saturated; it gives you a chance to stand out without having to do too much work and risk harming other vital parts of your business. Considering the growth of podcasts in the last decade, there is a possibility that podcasting will become less exciting in the future. Still, for now, as a business owner, you can get the best possible leverage from it and boost your business.

Audio files make it possible for you as a podcaster to relay information and your ideas to listeners with a tone that shows originality, laying proper emphasis where necessary, which is sometimes not achievable via written words. Your enthusiasm and your authoritative words as a podcaster can be convincing enough to make a listener purchase a product from you, or at the very least, check out your website. Listeners are prospective customers, and showing them how well you understand your niche boosts their confidence and earns you their trust, even without seeing you. 

As a podcaster, your audio will be streamed or listened to by individuals. So it feels like a one-on-one discussion where you are talking, and the other person is listening. They become accustomed to your voice, and you no longer feel like a stranger to them, thus creating a connection.

Do you listen to the radio? Do you have a favorite show? If you do, then you’ll understand how much you can get accustomed to the voice of a presenter without having any idea what they look like. This connection is better than whatever you can create with blog posts and other written content. The connection makes them regular listeners, thereby keeping your company in their minds, as long as you give quality and accurate information and useful ideas.

A podcast from the listeners’ perspective is fantastic because, unlike reading written articles and blog posts, listeners are more flexible with how they choose to listen to your pod. With their headphones and Smartphones, they can listen while taking a walk. Or they can multi-task, and even without full concentration, they can get a grasp of the critical details of the information you want to relay.  

As previously mentioned, a podcast is relatively easy to produce. Yes, as you progress, you can get more sophisticated with your equipment to improve audio quality. Basically, all you need is a computer (which you probably already have) and a USB microphone to pick up the audio. You will have to install a software program on your computer to help edit audio files, cut out unnecessary parts and mistakes without having to start over upon every instance of an error.

Podcasting is also cheap; you can do it yourself, or if you feel you aren’t comfortable speaking (although you do not need to start as a world-class speaker – you will improve over time with practice); you can get one of your employees to handle the task of podcasting for you.

As much as podcasting is easy, like other techniques to content creation, it will likely be rough at the start; you probably have to create the first few episodes before you start getting into your groove. But you must begin; if you do not start, you won’t improve.

Podcasting as a Digital Marketing Medium

Digital marketing uses the internet and other online-based digital technologies, mainly computers, mobile phones, and other digital media platforms, to promote products and services for better reach. 

Digital marketing entirely utilizes technology to trump traditional advertising, Television adverts, Radio adverts are now out of vogue. You most likely have gotten major news updates from the internet than a newspaper; you will most likely spend more time on social media than on television. So digital marketing is the latest platform for advertisement in this century, and the great news? It is generally cheaper and more effective than a traditional ad. 

Podcasting can be categorized as a digital marketing strategy because it uses a computer, a computer plug-in, and the internet to reach its audience. As a business owner, analytical tools help you monitor your audience by providing information on the pods that have been listened to the most, the most engaged ones. With such tools, you can tell what your audience wants.

In business, customer satisfaction is the most important thing; therefore, you need to know what your listeners want before creating them. Hence you will know what to develop and not take shots in the dark.

Benefits of Podcasting

  • Podcasting is cheaper than other pay per click or paid social media advertisement, although you will need promotions to get your pods to a broader audience, as well as a few recording items.
  • Podcasting helps you broaden your horizon as a business owner. As a new set of potential customers look you up, check out the products and services you have to offer, they become aware of your business and can go on to place their order. 
  • We value our privacy a lot. A podcast with the outlook of a one-on-one discussion appears like a sincere conversation between you and your audience (this is why originality is advised in podcasting; trying to put on a new personality can get easily picked out by people, and you’ll be a turn off). This perceived interpersonal honest relationship will earn you real engagements, unlike when people see promotional posts and adverts and probably just scroll past it because it seems to invade their space or privacy.
  • The idea of broadcasting exposes your brand for exposure cheaply. Any topic you discuss accurately will earn you new followers per episode, willing to share your brand and business with friends. You could even become a guest on other podcasts on shows, making your brand even more significant than it already is.
  • Although you will need to put in substantial effort to ensure the success of any digital marketing system, you do not need any expertise in sound engineering and no special certificates in public speaking to make a good episode. Creating a podcast is relatively easier than other digital marketing media. 
  • Podcasts help you produce your content in multi-medium, your target audience has their preferred way of getting information, some prefer to read, others to watch a video, some others just want to listen. So podcasts can help you reproduce your written content into an audio format, to the pleasure of your audience. 
  • Apart from promoting your business via your pod, you can have sponsors, advertisements, and other deals that will fetch you some more income. It is, however, only advisable to do this when you have a very high number of listeners. Ads ruining the pod at a beginner level will turn away the audience.

How To Integrate A Podcast With Your Business Model

Podcasting is a potential marketing channel. At the same time, it can also be used as a freemium if you run either a consulting or product business. Indeed, podcasting can be a great way to show your niche and vertical competence, thus attracting a potential customer base while also amplifying the corporate brand. That is how you can build a solid business model by leveraging podcasting.

Creating Your First Podcast

Like I have said before, and I’ll say again. Podcasting is relatively easy to venture into, but you should not be afraid of making mistakes. You will get it wrong before you get it right. Disasters sometimes come before people become masters. You might probably think, “I’ll keep practicing and get comfortable before starting out,” but in reality, learning has no limit, and as you keep publishing, you keep getting better. If you want to feel very good about your first publication, you may never have one, So the very first thing to do is to be ready to begin.

To begin, you need to plan. You can have a role model and somebody whose style you like. But remember that originality is key for your audience. You need to create your own style because if you are a beta version of someone else, you lose the unique touch. This is very important in nailing down your audience. Incorporate your business experiences, get your groove and your own vibe, be natural yet classy. In no time, your audience will grow.

Satisfying your audience and telling them what is pleasing to their ears is essential in business and digital marketing. Being enjoying what you do is also important, because a podcast isn’t what you just do once and drop it. While thinking of your first episode, you should consider the long run. Can you do it again? You have to keep going, as it isn’t a sprint, but a marathon. Assuming you release an episode weekly, is the gas enough for 52 weeks? Those are important questions to ask yourself in the planning stage.

Now that you know what you want to do, we must highlight some information you need before publishing the first episode of your Podcast. Sit tight.

The Value You Offer

The value of your Podcast is simply what your content is. You need to ask yourself what you will do differently that makes your Podcast worth listening, and not feel like a waste of time. This will guide you in selecting a topic to stick with. In your line of business, you need to know the information that you can exclusively offer the topic. When people see that they are gaining valuable knowledge without a charge, they will hold you in esteem. You should understand your target audience (as it is a business you already know the nooks and crannies). You should understand what curiosities the public has and that your Podcast will answer their many questions. 

Your Show Title

Your show title is an equivalent of a door to a building. Before your Podcast is listened to, the listener will see the title. Even if the content is exactly what they wanted, if the title doesn’t come across as captivating, they will probably listen to something else. If you wanted to rent an apartment and the entrance is awful, you may not even take a step before moving on to other apartments. That is the same effect your title has; your show title must be simple, appealing, and as natural as possible.

I will talk about search engine optimization, keywords, and Podcasts in chapter three, but before then, it is essential to know that your title shouldn’t be excessively stuffed with keywords as your pod may be removed.

Your Podcast Description

The next thing on the list in your podcast description is to write an attractive Podcast Description; this will further influence the prospective listener on whether or not the Podcast is worth his time. Here you can use more words; unlike the title, which is limited to 50 or 60 characters, the description has about 150 to 160 characters to make sure you can elaborate on your topic while maintaining simplicity. Here it is wise to add a few keywords, as some listeners will locate you via search engines, and appropriate keywords will help your podcast rank high enough in search engine results.

As much as you want to add keywords, however, you should create a description easy to read and understand. People need to understand your description content. As much as you want your Podcast to be seen in search engine results, it must be understandable for humans, robots will locate your keywords and do not need understanding, but humans do.

The first line of your description should be something that highlights a benefit for the listener because there is usually a preview available before the prospective listener clicks to view the remaining part. If your audience loses interest from the first line, they might as well just close the entire thing.

It’s also all right to sell yourself properly, but don’t oversell or short sell yourself. You only need to make your audience feel you are worth their time. And from your description, your Podcast should tell exactly what you do. “I am listening to a new podcast on poultry farming; it really sheds light on the reason the mortality rate is higher in the United States.” This statement is a sample statement I will tell a friend who asks what I am watching or listening to. And as short as that message is, it passes all necessary information; that is precisely how your podcast description should function. 

Go Solo At The Start

If you listen to podcasts, you will agree with me that many pods have guests coming on the show, almost on every episode. This is very good as listening to just your voice can get cliché, and no matter how well your opinions are, someone bringing things to light from a different angle sometimes is the difference you need to make. But it is good to start alone, you’re a new podcaster with little or no experience, and you need to understand your show’s rudiments before calling other people. Organizing yourself first is essential; else, everything will seem like nonsense. When you go solo at the beginning, you let out authority and build goodwill with your first set of audience, keeping them somewhat attached and anticipating more episodes. It might feel crazy talking to yourself for 30 minutes or whatever the length of your pod, but with time, you’ll get in your groove. I think intuition will let you know when you are comfortable enough to allow guests on your show.

Short Length or Longer Length Broadcasts

There is no general rule of thumb for this. However, your Podcast should provide quality content for people to come back for another episode or even listen to the end. Some podcasts will do well in longer broadcasts than short ones because of the amount of information you need to let out at a time, but it is essential to note your audience; you don’t just want to talk; you want people to listen.

Breaking your pods and serving a reduced length is good as it enables you to have an easy next episode, hence making your job easier. Although, when breaking your pods, you must ensure that every single one of your Podcasts holds practical information, no matter how short it is. If listeners feel that they have wasted their time, they will never come back, and they may even give you bad reviews, so make their sacrifice of time worth it.

From experience, no matter how attractive a topic is, people get bored of routine, so you need to keep out extraneous information, allow your Podcast to hold more of the necessary information; this will enable you to save time and keep your episodes from being too long. The bottom line is keeping your episode optimal, long enough to contain vital information, and not too long to bore the listeners.

Consistency is key

When you create a podcast, you create an identity, and you need your audience to know who you are. If you are going to do short length pods, you need to maintain it that way; the same thing if you decide to go long. The intervals between subsequent releases also need to be consistent. Once a week for 52 weeks in a year, fortnightly for 26 times a year, daily, for 365 days in a year. Whatever your choice is, you need to be consistent. However, for a beginner, I recommend that you adequately space your pods to have ample time to sort out other things in your business while preparing a quality podcast. If you are inviting guests too, you’ll need some time to look for the perfect fit for your episode and know the person’s availability. If you know the person won’t be available for that episode, you should have enough time to contact a substitute (who you must have already listed).

Keep it consistent, but remember that the lesser the interval, the more broadcast you have to create. You don’t want to get burned out, do you?

Sort All Work Of Graphics

Graphic design works are the aesthetic value you add to your Podcast to show a touch of class and to depict some sort of distinctiveness. Your artwork and your logo, just like the title of your name, will make a huge first impression, albeit an aesthetical impression; make sure that the resolution of your cover art is 1400 × 1400 pixels, in JPG or PNG format for better image processing.

A podcast logo is equally important; it can help your regular listeners easily identify your Podcast, amongst many others. Make it unique, distinct, and classy. If you already have a designer in your team, that’s perfect, but if you don’t, you don’t need to employ someone; there are many good freelance designers you can patronize; just check out their portfolio and make a choice. Your logo and artwork should be your face; make sure you look beautiful.

Setup Recording Equipment and Software

As I mentioned earlier, you don’t need to be a disc jockey or a sound engineer to produce the best audio quality. The most important thing for the start is to make sure you can record clearly, with little background noise. If your audience can hear you properly, your audio system is fine. As you get bigger, you can use more sophisticated recording equipment, but I really advise modesty in this, as you aren’t about to open a radio station; you only want to amplify your business. Hence, I really recommend that you buy something good enough to give clear sound quality, not necessarily expensive. Be sure that your recording equipment doesn’t need mixers and amplifiers. Something simple and not complicated to use, with a good output. If you are buying online, please take the time to check reviews, so you will be sure to get the exact thing you need. 

Write

That’s right, I know you want to record, speak, and not write, but you must have a script of your episode to ensure that you don’t get lost in the middle or skip important points. When writing, though, you don’t need to write everything you want to say and start reading. You’re making a podcast, not reading the news. Note your introduction, your key points, and your conclusion in the exact order you want them to be. It will also help reduce the nervousness and anxiety in your voice; it’s only normal to feel nervous; you’re not a robot. But with time and consistency, it gets better.

Record and Edit

Now that you have all the basic information, you need to know to create your first Podcast. The next step is to record; it may feel terribly weird at first, you alone at your office space, or your house, speaking to a microphone, giggling at some point. It is perfectly normal, but if you need help, you can call one of your staff to pose as your audience, giving gestures to make you feel like you are seeing your audience. Or just imagine that you have a couple of people talking to you and responding, either way, it is important to maintain your composure till the end of the Podcast. You will make some mistakes during the process of recording, and you definitely do not want to start over upon every mistake; this is where the quality of your software comes to play; you must be able to cut out certain parts and merge with other parts, to reduce the error count in your release.

Remember To Be Distinct

You’re in the recording phase, so It is important to note that for you to gain ground and make an impact, your content needs to be unique. Talk about new things, or talk about old things in new ways. You may also decide to use the textbook trick of being controversial, make strong unpopular opinions with facts and figures to back it up, your critics will watch out for you, and your fans will love you dearly because you seem to air their controversial opinions in ways they cannot. The bottom line, be distinct but do not force a personality that is alien on yourself; your audience will pick it very easily. Be original.

Publish Your Podcast

Yes, you want the whole world to listen to you, but it has to leave your computer for you to achieve that. To publish your podcasts, you need a host where you upload your pod. It requires you to fill in details about your Podcast, and it creates a unique podcast feed for you from which you can submit your Podcast to streaming platforms like Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, Stitcher, and many more. You can’t upload your Podcast to Google; however, as Google likes to search for it, but in further chapters, we will discuss how you can optimize your content to be easily discovered by Google.

After you upload to your host, you need to locate your RSS Feed Link on your host’s website, copy and submit to any streaming platform(s) of your choice.

Always Appreciate Everybody

After you release your first episode, thank every person who makes a comment on your Podcast, note all the criticisms no matter how harsh, and promise to return with better content. When you start having guests, too, appreciate them for accepting, and after the successful interview, appreciate them again. They are providing you a great help, and you must be on good terms.

Make Requests Kindly

Always politely ask your listeners to take time to rate and review you; for you to serve them better, make it about them, and they will be happy to do it. However, provide them high-quality content to ensure more positive reviews, as too many negative reviews will turn away prospective fresh listeners. Even if your audience is small initially, the engagement from reviews will be a reference point for other new listeners to make their judgment. Higher-ranking reviews also increase your ranking on streaming platforms, making it easier to locate you. As you cannot do this all by yourself, it is important to always ask for reviews, politely, of course. Also, provide content worth 5-star reviews; the higher the frequency of good ratings, the better your Podcast’s discoverability. 

Inviting Guests to Your Podcast

Having guests on your show can be really appealing to your listeners because it brings some sort of dynamism, it takes a diversion from the regular voice that may start sounding boring to them, it also helps you relay knowledge and information you don’t have to your listeners, as well as stories and experiences peculiar to your guest. Because you are a beginner, you don’t have a lot of people reaching out to you, telling you how they’d love to be a part of your show, but either way, you need to land your first guess, So what to do?

The most important thing now is your professional network. You must have made a couple of contacts since you began your business; this is the first place to look for a guest. If you have anyone from your personal relationship that has ample knowledge about the subject matter, it is totally fine to bring them on as well. Being a loner never works as a business owner; you need a good professional network to learn new approaches, gain knowledge, and see things differently. When trying to land a fellow professional in your business line, if the person has no personal relationship with you, you can identify similar interests that you have, use it as a basis for your discussion, and easily get in bed with your guest. 

Your guest is your benefactor; he’s offering you a lot by agreeing to come to your low-populated show, as it offers little value for them, especially considering that you won’t be paying them. You need to make it easy for them by putting the following things into consideration.

Work with Their Time

It is a good idea to research your guest, to know their schedule as everybody is busy with one thing or the other; take time out to know their timing details; this will help you fix your session in a time that will be convenient for them.

Get To Know Them

Although your first set of guests are people most likely known to you, you need to know more about them and what to expect so you can select a proper approach for the interview. Listen to public speeches they have delivered, podcasts they have been on, books they have written, and even their social media to get a feel of their general outlook and personality. This will aid in your interaction with them and in the interview, as you now know deeper details about them. If there is anything you want to know about that you can’t find out on your own, ask nicely. 

Identify What Specific Thing They Can Offer

Before selecting a guest to be on your show, despite their wealth of experience and knowledge in your business line, you need to know specifically what you want your listeners to gain from them, and you need to be sure that the guest in question can give them the exact value they hope to add. It helps the guest not waste their time, go straight to specifics, and it becomes a win for all three parties; you, your listeners, and the guest.

It is very important to always back up your interview sessions and recordings to a drive or cloud storage facility; in the eventuality that your computer gets damaged or missing, you can access your files easily. Telling your guest you lost the recording isn’t proper, and it’ll take a lot of sacrifices to recreate time for you.

Your guests are not only an avenue to increase the number of listeners you can get, but they can also be useful in publicizing your show with their own networks, hence increasing your reach.

Be sure to stay in touch with your guests, showing your gratitude at every point in time. After the interview session, send an appreciation email; a few days before it goes live, send another email reminding them of the release date and politely ask them to promote for you across their channels because they have probably done a good job and promoting your show is mutually beneficial to them, they will most likely oblige your request. On the d-day, when it goes live, send another reminder email with streaming links and humbly remind them to promote your show. This also indicates a great deal of courtesy as it shows that you value their effort, and they will be willing to return another day or even share other useful contacts with you.

As your Podcast gets bigger, better, and more popular, more guests will continue to knock on your door, offering many things, and you begin to have several ideas (even different from your original plan) for your next set of episodes. At this point, you need coordination. You may need more members on your team to help out with editing, uploading, and handling your blog and social media, leaving you to focus on your potential guests, reviewing background information on them, and selecting the right episode and subject to talk about for each guest.

Coordinate your staff by assigning specific duties with incentives and deadlines so that you will always submit before your release time. Coordination will help you maintain your standard and not alter quality because you don’t have time to filter out many things. Manage it properly.

Coordinating and managing yourself has a lot to do with scheduling and planning. Using an organizing software like Calendly will help you be better organized, sorting episodes and episodes to come just the way you want, on their supposed release date. Organizing your already preplanned episode titles can be strenuous if you don’t even know what you want to do next. You need to plan so your releases are orderly; you don’t want to talk about “A,” then “Z” before coming back to talk about “B.” It makes sense to move progressively rather than talk about one thing and then totally move to something different before coming back to talk about the related topic. Organizing with a good software will save you the stress of brainstorming, and reduce the task of creating a new episode, keep you mentally fresh and allow you to produce output in other parts of your business.

Conclusions

In conclusion, as a business owner, the main focus of making money from your Podcast is by making sure your content aligns with your products and services. As a podcaster, you are the chief advertiser of yourself, and while you can make money advertising for others, your business should be your priority. It is also important that your content is qualitative, as every other thing you hope to achieve with your Podcast is hinged on that.

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