When you’re in the car driving to work, what are you listening to? Maybe you’re throwing on the radio, maybe you’re starting up that audiobook you’ve been meaning to get to, or maybe you’re pressing play on the next episode of your favorite podcast. According to a 2021 study published by The Infinite Dial, 63% of Americans aged 12 and up have at least one podcast that they’ve listened to, which is up from 57% last year. As the podcasting industry continues to grow, now is a great time to produce your own and expand your audience.
The Benefits of Producing a Podcast:
You can connect with listeners on a more intimate level, speaking directly to them in a way that is conversational and real.
The podcasting space, though growing larger every day, is still not nearly as crowded as the blogging space. You can find a way to stand out and reach a new cross section of your target audience.
People can listen to podcasts on the go, making it easier to build an audience that keeps coming back for more. Your listeners can simply throw on your podcast while on their way to work or while at the gym.
All you need is a microphone and a strong, relatable theme!
Below are four tips to help you get started as you begin producing your own podcast and putting it out into the world:
Choose Your Theme:
The advantage of having a podcast is that you can speak directly to your audience, letting your personality shine through the work itself, and engaging with your listeners on a deeper level. This naturally begs the question… “What topics would you like to explore with your listeners?” Great podcasts will run for multiple seasons, and you want to choose a theme/topic that you will still be passionate discussing for (hopefully) years to come. Write a list of your top five podcast ideas and then briefly outline around twenty-five episode ideas. These brief outlines should include episode topics, as well as a list of potential guests you could reach out to. The important thing is making sure you have enough content to fuel material for (again, hopefully) years to come. During this brainstorming session, make sure you’re outlining episode breakdowns. What are recurring segments? Is there a specific closing section that ends each episode? Will you be the sole podcast host or will you have a co-host? Consider what kinds of podcast formats you’re most excited by and how you can tailor that to your ideas.
Invest In The Right Equipment:
I wrote a previous article about how to turn your office into a professional home studio, which talks a bit about microphones you can purchase. When starting out, all you mainly need is a microphone. The most affordable and easiest to set up option is a USB microphone like the Blue Yeti that plugs directly into your laptop. Then, you’ll want to make sure you have a quiet space in which to record. In my apartment, I’ve converted my closet into a mini recording studio by clearing out some space and putting up acoustic foam panels. However, you can also record at your desk as long as the room is relatively quiet. If you’re not sure, try making a test recording in your space that you can then compare to the sound quality of your other favorite podcasts.
Editing, Music, Oh My?:
In addition to equipment, you’ll want to download audio recording software that allows you to edit your work. There are free services like Audacity or Garageband, professional paid subscriptions like Adobe Audition, and apps tailored to podcasters like Alitu. If the idea of editing your podcast on your own makes you nervous (and make no mistake, editing can be very time consuming!), then you might consider hiring a professional editor to help you out! Check out this list for suggestions of production services that cater to every budget. Make sure to factor in sound design and a podcast theme when you’re considering hiring an editor. You also might want to hire a graphic designer to create a simple yet eye-catching logo to help your podcast attract attention on places like iTunes or Spotify. Again, check out some popular podcasts and take notes on their use of transitional music/sound effects, as well as their cover art. This will help inspire you as you’re brainstorming your own podcast ideas.
Marketing Your Podcast:
So you chose your theme, outlined your season, and recorded a couple that are “in the can” and ready to be put out into the world. Congratulations! Now is the time to market your podcast! Create social media channels for your podcast and spend a few weeks generating buzz. Make a simple website for people to learn more about your podcast, subscribe to a mailing list, and find out how they can listen to it. Launch two or three episodes for the premiere to get people hooked for the season to come. Submit and upload your podcast to places like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and more. And remember to hire Assistants4Hire to help get your podcast listed in every directory and promoted to your target audience and beyond!
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Written by Jessie Cannizzaro