Podcasts have become increasingly popular in recent years, as more bloggers have begun to switch to this medium.  It is relatively simple to start a podcast, and is a great way to get your message out.  Podcasts are easily accessible by the public, and is a fast way to consume information.  Whether you’re driving to work or just walking down the street, a podcast can be listened to anywhere, making them an ideal for people always on the go.  Here’s some tips on how to get a podcast started!

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Getting Started

What Are You Going to Talk About?

Before you start recording, you have to determine what you will be talking about.  Whether it’s about your business ventures, or giving advice to other entrepreneurs, figure out what your podcast is going to cover.  Writing out what you’re going to say beforehand will ensure that you don’t forget any important details, will add structure to your talk, and help organize your thoughts.  Making an outline before hand will also keep you on task, and lower the chance of getting off topic or wasting time.  Of course you can always edit unnecessary items out, but this can become time consuming.

What Do You Need to Record a Podcast?

Here is the three basic equipment needs that will allow you to start podcasting (click on the links for software suggestions):

  • Computer (PC or Mac)
  • Microphone
  • Audio editing software (Most computers come with an audio software already installed, but depending on how professional you want to sound, it may be a good idea to download better software)

Even though smartphone applications are growing in quality, it is still better to use a computer’s audio software because they will always be of higher quality. Once you have all your equipment, you are ready to start recording a podcast!

Creating a Podcast

Preparing Your Content

As mentioned before, creating an outline ahead of time will save you precious time and make your podcast sound more organized.  Be sure to put your thoughts in order so you aren’t pausing and taking the time to search for your notes.  Practicing beforehand could also be beneficial so you can hear how your thoughts on paper translate out loud.

Recording the Podcast

Always remember to check your equipment and make sure everything is working.  Dealing with technical difficulties halfway through your podcast will distract from your content.  Once you are ready to go, be sure to talk consistently and be energetic.  No one wants to listen to someone with a monotone voice that doesn’t sound excited about their own podcast.

Uploading Your Podcast

Once you’ve recorded and edited your podcast, save the audio file in MP3 format and then label it.  Be sure the name and date of the podcast is clear.  Then add an image that is original and eye-catching for the cover.  After you’ve finished this, you need to find a place to upload your podcast.

According to this Lifehacker article, “Getting your podcast hosted is essential so you can start distributing your show to podcast directories and apps via RSS feed”.  Here are some great website options for beginners (suggested by the same article):

  • SoundCloud: SoundCloud offers free podcast hosting (in addition to two competitive paid options for when you get a little more serious), and lets you distribute your podcast via RSS. Your podcasts can also instantly publish to SoundCloud itself, which makes it really easy to share your podcast on social media, blogs, and other web sites.
  • Podbean: Podbean provides multiple tiers of hosting, including a free option (though the free hosting is fairly limited). The service has its own iOS and Android app for listening, as well as analytic tools, though you’ll need to pay to get most of their best features.
  • Podomatic: Super user friendly and offers free hosting with enough bandwidth and storage for podcast beginners. There’s also a pro option that allows for more bandwidth if you find that you like it.
  • Libsyn: Libsyn is one of the oldest dedicated podcast hosting sites and considered to be one of the best. Their lowest price plan is $5 a month with unlimited bandwidth, and there’s no free option, but you get what you pay for.
  • Amazon S3: Amazon’s hosting service offers a free plan, but limits your storage among other things. The paid service only charges you for the storage and bandwidth you actually use, meaning the cost can go up as your podcast grows in popularity.

Once you’ve chosen the site that you prefer here are some things you should be aware of before uploading your podcast (via Lifehacker):

“Each host listed here will provide you with easy to follow instructions for how to upload your podcast audio file, but there are some basic steps to follow regardless of which service you choose”:

  1. When you sign up for the service, use the name of your podcast (or the closest thing to it).
  2. Upload a cover art image that is at least 1400 x 1400 pixels.
  3. Fill out all sections of your profile, especially your show’s description.
  4. Upload your MP3 file. Most hosting services let you listen to your podcast right within the site, so give it a listen to make sure everything sounds good.
  5. The file’s metadata that you created before should fill in a lot of the necessary information. However, if something doesn’t look right, now is the chance to make changes and fix it before you submit your RSS feed to any directories.

Now that your podcast is online you have a couple of options of how you want to market your podcast.  On your blog or website, be sure to make a post announcing that you have just created a podcast, along with show notes, a brief description, and the audio file link at the bottom.  Depending how much you promote this post on social media or other mediums will determine how popular your podcast becomes.

Many podcasters recommend submitting your podcast to iTunes, as it will be reach a bigger audience.  Check out their website to learn how you can upload your content.

Obtaining Guests for Your Podcast

Having someone else’s input in your podcast is a great way to diversify your content and garner more viewers.  Having guests on your show opens up a variety of options about what you could talk about, and bring a whole new audience to your podcast.  Finding these guests though is the first step, one that takes some time and planning before you receive results.

Using your existing network of friends, family members, school colleagues, etc., is great place to start.  Since you already have past relationships with these people, it will be easier to ask them for interviews.  With social media, it makes it even easier to make connections outside of your network.  Reach out to your Facebook friends, Twitter followers, or other social media connections.  Look for people who have been successful in their field, or have created interesting or new products.

If you want guests on your show, it comes down to taking initiative and simply asking people.  Getting the word out on your social media pages is not enough to attract potential guests.  You need to put yourself out there and go after the people you want to interview.  Even if you first ten guests are practically unknown, you will gain experience and learn from your mistakes so that in the future, with possibly more high-profile guests, you will be prepared.

How to Market Your Podcast

In order for you podcast to gain an audience, you need to start sharing your content.  Social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are great places to start.  Depending on the demographic your marketing towards, these sites will be the most effective way to obtain more viewers.

Constantly putting out your content on social media is also important.  You can’t just advertise each episode once, as many people could never see your post and therefore be unaware of new content.  Consistently posting about your show is how you will gain viewers, especially if your followers or friends share your posts.  Once you obtain guests for you show, you can also ask them to share their episode, that will reach their social media following as well.

 

What are some of your favorite Podcasts? Comment below.

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