Did you know that the number of people listening to podcasts has almost doubled in the last year? Maybe that's something to do with the fact that so many of us around the world have been locked down, and we've had plenty of time to get inspiration and entertainment from listening to people on podcasts who have the same passions as we have!
Now, it doesn't matter what you're into, whether it's sport, cookery , health and fitness, any lifestyle subjects or even academic ones - there are even podcasts or maths and physics for goodness sake, just today my own national paper have got a big feature about podcasts - it really is a huge expanding industry. But the great thing is that anybody can make a podcast if they’ve got passion about a subject, and it doesn't
cost that much to record and edit.
But you've got to know what you're doing to get your podcasts available in the top directories of the world and for people to enjoy them. At voiceovermasterclass.com we’ve got a very comprehensive Podcast Masterclass course you’re welcome to
check out – the link is below, but for now, let me try to quickly inspire you - here are my Top 10 things you need for a successful podcast!
1 – THE IDEA
What exactly would entertain people who have the same passions as you? What would help answer any questions they may have? You need to select the all-important niche that your podcast has to settle comfortably into. So, listen to other podcasts who have a similar niche, and see what's missing there and try and flesh out exactly what you would do in each episode, ideally every week.
2 – SUSTAINABILITY
This is where you need to diary out at least 10 to 12 future episodes. You don't want to gain an audience over four or five podcasts, and then suddenly you run out of ideas do you? So try and think ahead, so you know you've always got things to talk about for future episodes. You don't want to experience the awful syndrome of “podfade” do you? Think not just of subjects, but of guests too that will bring that week’s topic alive, and be really relevant and a magnet for new listeners. Plus, and many people forget this, think of a completely non topical podcast topic, one that you would record and keep “on the shelf” for when you may be ill or unavailable and your regular listeners are expecting an episode. Your “emergency” podcast!
3- THE MICROPHONE
So you've got a good quality laptop or desktop computer, that's fine, but your computer microphone is not gonna be good enough quality to record a podcast. And definitely not good enough if you wanna do voice over work as well. So you need to get yourself a decent quality microphone, but they don't have to be that expensive. Something like any of these on screen now are good quality and are less than $150, and they are USB microphones, so they plug directly into your computer. Then you need a boom arm and a microphone cradle so you don’t pick up vibrations from the desk , and you need a pop filter to stop any nasty plosive sounds from your mouth being picked up by the microphone.
4 – EDITING SOFTWARE
If you're already a musician you may already have some recording software on your computer, like Cubase, Reaper, Pro Tools, and so on, but don't worry if you haven't. Adobe Audition really is the best audio editing software, but you do have to pay for it. So simply download the free programme called Audacity, which offers most of the features that you’ll need to create podcasts.
5 – PREPARE AND RECORD!
Make sure that your computer and your software are reading the new microphone you have bought, and not the internal one; do some technical checks, recording in a quiet area of your house, where you're surrounded by soft furnishings, so you don't get nasty echoes. If you're doing remote interviews with guests and experts, don't use zoom or FaceTime, but for far better quality, use a new system like Riverside, which cleverly records as if you were at your guests end. You can also record quality video as well, so you may want to think about having a video version of your podcast on YouTube! Click the link below to try the Riverside podcast recording system for free!
6 – CO HOSTS
Consider having a co-host with you, because it often is interesting to hear two people spark off each other. If you are physically together in the same studio, work out a hand system where you can tell the other person when you want to butt in with something, or even when you finish saying what you want to say. This silent signalling system will help get a nice smooth interchange between you, without you talking over each other!
7 – EDIT AND UPLOAD
Remember, a podcast is as long as it is long. You don't have to crush everything down into 29 minutes like a broadcast radio programme! So use your judgement whether you think that an item is running on too long, or you think it can sustain a bit longer. Once you have edited it all together maybe with intro and outro jingles, you need to get the audio levels right, export it and then upload to your host so you can offer your feed to the directories!
8 – GET THE METADATA RIGHT!
Metadata is the all-important extra information about your podcast that needs to be encoded with your exported mp3 audio file as ID 3 tags, and together with the forms you fill out for the host and directories, this metadata helps new listeners find you when they want to hear a podcast on a certain topic or subtopic.
9 – GROW YOUR LISTENERS
A really stunning and intriguing piece of square artwork will help to draw new listeners in if they’re scrolling through, don’t skimp here. If you can’t design well, find a freelancer on Fiverr or Envato Studio. Also don’t think that just using your social media will help grow your listeners, as your followers will probably already know about you; why preach to the converted? You need to find NEW people who are into your podcast niche or subject area. Offer to be a guest on other podcasts, answer questions on Reddit or Quora without blatantly just plugging your new podcast, and contribute to relevant webinars.
10 – GET REVIEWS
Good reviews are the lifeblood of a growing new podcast. And every single review counts. That's why you need to consider asking people to contact you via your website or any direct means of communication for ideas for future podcasts or to answer any specific questions they have. And then you would reply - send them individual personal messages, naming your listener, asking them to please give a review. This can be so powerful, especially if you send them a personalised voice or video message; they’d often be wowed to hear from you, and be pleased to give you a review and to spread the word about your podcast!
Look, what we've just gone through is just scratching the surface, and as I said at the start, you really need to know what you're doing when you're starting off podcasting, there are many pit holes you could fall through. You may be the world's biggest expert on a certain niche, or have a fantastic personality and a great presenter, but there are a lot of editorial and technical things that you need to get your head around as well.
So if you're interested in exploring the world of podcasts further, so you can enjoy creating your own regular “radio shows”
Click Here and checkout our Podcast Masterclass course which is aimed at total beginners to intermediate level and will walk you through everything you need to do step-by-step.
And before you leave don’t forget to grab your free podcasting checklist!
Thank you very much for listening, and I hope you found this helpful.
Good luck with your new podcasts!