Podcasts are one of the oldest forms of syndicated content on the internet, and they continue to grow in popularity as videos help take it to another level. In the last year alone, the U.S. has seen an increase of over 20% of podcast listeners, bringing the total to over 55 million people. If you have a business that you’re interested in marketing, podcasting may be a great way to reach more potential clients. According to a recent survey, the majority of listeners are more willing to buy products and services if they’ve heard about it on a podcast.
Here we will go over tips that will get you started on creating your very own podcast. We’ll cover everything you need to know, including what equipment you’ll need, how to market your podcast and make money from your new endeavor.
Picking The Right Topic
The first thing you want to establish after deciding to create a podcast is the topic. You want to make sure you are truly passionate about the topic. It’s why you’re starting a podcast in the first place, right? Starting a podcast is a lot of work, and if you’re not passionate about the topic, then you’ll quickly lose interest and a lot of time.
One way to know if a topic is the right one is if it is something you know a great deal about, and are happy to talk about. What are you really passionate about? Can you talk for 30 to 60 minutes straight about that topic without needing notes? And if so, is it something that other people would be interested in hearing and talking about themselves?
Once you’ve got a topic, you’ll want to search iTunes to see if there are other podcasts in your niche. If there are already several podcasts covering the same topic, what will make your podcast different to theirs?
Once you’ve picked a topic, you create a brand as you would for any other product or service. You’ll want to choose a name that can easily be remembered, and which relates to the topic or audience you are targeting. Studies have shown that descriptive and direct names usually work better than overly creative or abstract names. Keep in mind that your podcast will most likely be discovered through Google search or iTunes, so if you can include a keyword in the name it will help boost its ranking in search engines. You’ll also need an attention-grabbing logo that stands out when searching on iTunes.
Format and Structure
Now you have to figure out if the format of your podcast is going to be video or audio. Most new podcasts have been shifting towards video, because it is more personal and tends to gain traction with audiences faster. If you do decide to go with video, make sure to offer an audio version as well for those who prefer to just listen.
When setting up the structure it is important that you stay consistent. Whether you choose to do your podcast once a week or once a month, your audience appreciates a regular schedule. They want to know that on this day and at this time, your podcast will be on, otherwise you will have a hard time building a following. Also keep in mind that the length of the show should be long enough to contain quality, comprehensive conversations while being short enough to listen to while commuting to work. A 30 to 45 minute podcast is usually ideal.
Have A Plan
No podcast can be successful if it doesn’t have quality content. In order for listeners to tune in and stay tuned in, you have to offer interesting topics, personality, a good conversation flow, and engagement with your audience.
Keep a running list of topic ideas and every time a great idea pops up, make sure to add it. Before each show, you want to make sure that you’ve researched your topic and made a list of talking points. Think about possible questions your audience may have so you’re prepared for them as well. It also helps to script out an introduction for each show to get off to a strong start, and present your topic properly.
Having All The Right Equipment
If you are serious about your podcast and plan on doing it right, you need to make sure you have all the proper equipment. You’ll want to invest in good quality microphones; it will make all the difference between a professional sounding show and an amateur one. Take the time to research the different recording and editing equipment before you make a purchase to make sure you get what best suits your podcast.
There is a wide variety of recording and editing software available, and some are much more complicated than others. You’ll probably want something simple that you can learn how to use yourself. Investing in decent podcast equipment can cost between $500 and $1000, so you don’t want something so complicated that you’ll need to hire someone just to run it.
Growing Your Audience
Now that you’ve created your first podcast, you have to find an audience. Promoting your podcast can be hard and sometimes frustrating work, especially after spending so much time creating it. There are a few tips that can help you along the way however. Build a website that supports and focuses on your podcast. Remember, the focus of the website is to get readers to listen or watch your podcast.
Another way is to build a community by encouraging your audience to participate in the conversations. Ask your listeners for feedback and to rate your podcast. By getting the audience more involved, they are more likely to talk about your podcast with others and bring in more listeners.
Like blogging, if you get enough followers, you can also make some money with your podcast. But before you start thinking about how much money you can make, you should be focused on the quality. If you’re not providing good quality work, then it will never grow.
Once you’ve started building an audience, there are several ways you can make money with your podcast. One way is to sell ad placements, as you would with a blog. This means you will need to have a decent sized audience if you want to make money. Another way is to promote your own products or services. With a podcast, you can use your personality and marketing techniques to reach a lot more people at once. Plus if they are already listening to your podcast that means that they may also already be interested in whatever you are offering, as long as it relates to the topic.
Building a podcast can be a lot of work, but the results can be very satisfying. It’s a great way to get your ideas across while building a community where other like-minded people can discuss a common topic. It’s also a great way to market your products or services, if that is the focus of your podcasts. In the end, the most important thing you need to do is have fun. If you are not enjoying yourself, it will be evident and your audience will be turned off.
If you have some experience with podcasts that you would like to share with fellow freelancers, please feel free to share.