Tips for Starting a Podcast

It seems like everyone has a podcast these days, so why not you as well? At best, you can support yourself, launch a new career and even make a lot of money. At worst, you’ll probably still have a lot of fun and connect with some likeminded people. There’s no single formula for podcast success. Some people have attracted listeners by simply reading what is essentially a prepared lecture for each episode while others are notable for their charismatic hosts or star-studded parade of guests. What you will need to be successful is a solid mix of creativity, technical skill and marketing smarts. The tips below can help you get started.

Why, What and Who?

The first answer you supply to the above queries might not be why but what. If you have a burning passion to talk about Roman history, movies, sailing or current events, the what of your podcast might be obvious. However, if you simply think that podcasting sounds like it could be a good fit for you but you aren’t yet sure yet what you want to talk about, asking yourself why could help guide you to the what. For example, are you a freelancer or entrepreneur hoping to get more customers or clients? Are you trying to establish yourself as an authority in a certain field? Or are you a hobbyist who thinks it would be fun to chatter about trains to other people who love trains too? Once you have figured out the why and the what, you should also think about who your audience is. A film podcast aimed at industry insiders will be very different from one created for a more general audience.

Get the Basics Down

What kind of format will you have? How often will you release episodes? Approximately how long will each episode be? Podcasts that are only sporadically updated may struggle to gain a loyal audience. You might also want to think about how far in advance you want to record. You can frontload a lot of episodes if your topic is not especially timely, but for a show more geared to current events or culture, you’ll need to be able to record episodes and get them up quickly.

Get the Right Equipment

You don’t need much to start—basically, internet access and a USB microphone—and it’s not a good idea to fork out a lot of money for equipment before you know if you’re going to enjoy what you’re doing and keep it up. However, poor sound quality can also drive away listeners, so you may want to do some research and get an affordable USB microphone setup. A fairly simple setup can make the podcast easy to record in those early days, and you can add more sophisticated equipment over time.

Put Up a Transcript of Your Podcast

You want people to listen to you, so why would you want to give them the option to read? A transcription allows search engines to index your podcast. It also makes it more accessible for those folks who can’t listen. To save time, use a transcription service that can turn around your audio or even video in seconds.

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