by Ashley Grant, Podcasting Expert at RSS.com
With the number of podcasts only recently reaching one million, there’s quite a large opportunity for anyone interested in launching one of their own. After all, it’s better to be a fish in a small pond as early as possible. With that in mind, here’s how to get started with podcasting.
Choose your topic
If you’ve already been creating content on a specific topic, it may make sense to use that topic for your podcast. However, if you don’t yet have a large audience on your platform of choice, it may be a good idea to consider niching down even further to find your ideal listeners.
The reason for this is that podcasting is a little more intimate in that it’s just your voice in the listener’s ears. As a result, your listeners are going to be seeking a deeper dive into a topic – more than a general blog post or social media update can offer. These ideal listeners are the people that will be your most loyal brand advocates spreading the word about how amazing you are. Podcast and web entrepreneur genius Pat Flynn describes these people as your superfans, and you want more of them to help you build your following.
With Your Topic Chosen, The Episodes Ideas Should Easily Follow
Start by sitting down with a pen and paper or an open word processing document and brainstorming as many things that you can think of related to your topic. If you can’t think of enough subtopics to cover, you may have niched down a little too far, and it may be necessary to broaden your scope.
How many ideas do you need? If you plan to release an episode a week, you’ll need 52 ideas for the year. Consider every facet of your topic as you think about what a listener would want to hear about.
Decide On Your Hosting Style and the Format
As you determine the format and hosting style of your podcast you’ll want to consider things like:
If your show will be just you and a microphone or if you plan to have guests and co-hosts
Should you choose to have co-hosts, will they be as committed as you are to creating this show? And, who will be in charge of the production?
Will the show be fact or fiction? If it’s fact, will you present it from a storytelling perspective, conversational, or by interviewing experts and enthusiasts in your field?
This all may seem like overkill in terms of things to consider, but the more you can figure out before you launch your show, the more smoothly your operation will be once you begin recording, editing, and releasing episodes.
Invest in the Right Tools
Like building a house, you need to have a good foundation to build on. In podcasting, this means buying the right tools to have the best possible chance for success. At a minimum, you will need a decent microphone, a set of headphones, and a computer. While it’s tempting to save money on your setup and use items you already have such as your smartphone and your AirPods or a similar product, you may want to make the investment in better equipment for the sake of your audio quality.
The good news is that your recording and editing software can be free in the beginning. If you have a Mac, the free software GarageBand will work just fine when you’re just starting out. And, if you have a PC, Audacity is a great free option that also performs adequately. Later, you might want to upgrade to a paid software for more choices, control, and better audio, but for now, these free options are just fine.
One area you should never skimp on though, is with your podcast hosting company. Though there are free services out there, they do come with a price. Just know that “free” is seldom actually free.
Pick a Good Name For Your Show
You’ve figured out your topic, you’ve decided your hosting format and style, and you even have all the equipment. Isn’t it time to launch already? Almost! Now you have to make what many podcasters consider the toughest decision – picking a name for your show.
Again, if you already have a blog or social media handle that you’ve developed a large audience for, it might be a good idea to use your podcast as an extension of that. For example, if you have The Rockin Geo Blog and it’s got a large audience, creating The Rockin Geo Podcast makes perfect sense. For everyone else though, it might take a little more thought.
The most important things you need to consider when choosing a name are that it should be:
Descriptive of your show
Easy to spell
Finally, It’s Time to Record
Once you have all the pieces in place, you can finally start recording your podcast. From there, you’ll also need to create some podcast art, think about getting a website for your show (or creating a page on your current website), consider your promotion strategies, etc… After you’ve recorded a few episodes, you can begin loading them to your podcast host and launch your show for the world to hear. It may be messy at first, and it certainly will take some time to get the swing of things, but if you stick with it, you’ll be a seasoned pro before you know it.
While this was an incredibly condensed version of how to get started with podcasting, hopefully, it has given you some insights on what it takes to launch a show. If you want to dive even deeper into what it takes to start a successful show and grow an audience, we recommend checking out this free guide on how to start a podcast.
Ready to get Started?
RSS.com Podcasting has created a special promo for all BlogHer readers. You can get started and take advantage of three free months of podcast hosting by clicking here.