Why Start a Podcast?
Podcasts are a great way to get your message to people while they are on their way to work, on long train rides or while they’re relaxing at home. It’s a platform that is on the rise and can reach audiences in a different manner than text or visuals. Over the past few years, podcast listeners have been increasing each year.
In 2019, almost 70% of the US population has been in contact with podcasts, so there is definitely an awareness of this medium. This is about 197 million people! And 90 million people in the US listen to podcasts regularly on a monthly basis. If you want to promote your business via podcasting, then it’s a great opportunity to reach new audiences and potential customers.
It is getting easier to listen to podcasts today, especially because you can download a show and listen to it without streaming it on the internet. Creating a podcast is also quite simple especially due to user-friendly editing tools, like Audacity and Garageband.
If you’re new to podcasting and are interested in making your own show, you might have many questions on how to start. You can start a podcast directly relating to your business, or any passion! Discussing sales trends, food or your favourite sport are just some ideas. If it’s your first time, it might seem daunting, but we’ve created this quick, low-cost guide to help you out!
How Do Podcasts Work?
Before you start creating a podcast, it’s a good idea to find out how they work. Podcasts use RSS feeds where listeners subscribe to get updates on new podcast episodes. So, how can you create your podcast feed? There are many services that can create it for you. You simply upload your audio and these services create your feed for you, which you then submit to a podcast directory.
In our guide, we will use the Soundcloud hosting platform to create your feed. You can upload up to three hours of audio, or pay $15/month to get unlimited recording space and plus extra features that can help you monitor your podcast’s progress. Also, since iTunes is one of the most popular podcast directories, we will focus on getting your podcast listed there.
What gear do you need to create a podcast?
Luckily, there is some free audio editing software that you can use to edit your podcast. If you have an Apple computer, you can use Garageband to edit your audio, or you can record with Quicktime. On a PC, you can use Audacity for editing. All three options are free, but Quicktime doesn’t offer as many editing features as the other two.
You’ll need a microphone to be able to record your audio. If you don’t want to buy a new mic, you can use headphones with a built-in microphone, which you might already own. A USB headset is another low-cost alternative. If you want to spend some extra cash, there are various price-levels for better microphones that you can choose from.
If you are planning on interviewing guests remotely, you can use Skype. For $30 extra, you can even record your Skype calls, which is obviously helpful for podcasting recording.
This simple set up is perfect to get you started on making your podcast shows. Always remember to record in a quiet room and speak directly into the microphone to get clear audio. Now you are ready to record and get started!
What is my podcast about?
Once you have your equipment and editing software, it’s time to start thinking about what your show is about. Are you thinking of having guests on your show that you interview? Or will it just be you speaking about a certain topic? Whatever you choose, make sure to get ready for it ahead so that you can be prepared during your recording.
Maybe create an outline or write out the questions you want to ask if you’re interviewing someone. Research the person you are interviewing so that you can ask questions related to that person’s experience. Maybe look at their LinkedIn to get a better picture of what he or she has done in the past.
If you are creating a show on a given topic, maybe look at similar podcasts and see what they’re covering. You can gain a lot of inspiration by looking at your “competitors.”
GoViral Content Creation Tips
It might seem like a huge challenge to create your content from scratch. Start by answering these questions to get you on the right track to creating strong content for your new podcast.
- What are your mission and goal?
- Who is your target audience?
- Are there similar podcasts and topics? If so, what are they talking about?
- What will your listeners gain by listening to your podcast?
- Do I want to interview guest speakers? (It’s a good idea to create a list of questions for them)
These are just some questions to get you started. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter to look forward to more in-depth content planning ideas for your podcast. After all, this is just the intro.
Time to Edit Your Podcast
You don’t have to be an editing pro to create your podcast. If you are opting for something simple, then maybe add some music between transitions or in the intro. Make sure you have the legal rights to use certain music. You can even find some royalty-free music online.
Audio editing software usually has a quick guide to get you started. Or, of course, google it and check out youtube if you want to get familiar with what you’re using.
Activating Your Podcast Feed
We will use Soundcloud for creating your feed. Once you sign in, you will have to pass through some podcast training. This is pretty straightforward and all information about Soundcloud podcast training can be found on their site.
After being accepted, you can activate your RSS feed on your account. Once you have that done, you can submit that RSS feed to iTunes directory. Approval after submitting your podcast to the directory can take more than a day or two, so keep this in mind if you want to launch the podcast on a certain date.
When submitting your podcast feed to iTunes, you might want to consider the technical aspects required. You can find everything out on the iTunes podcast FAQ page. The cover image needs to be a certain size – no smaller than 1400 x 1400 pixels, and no larger than 2048 x 2038 pixels. You can use the Podcast Cover template on Canva if you don’t have Photoshop or any other photo editing software.
How to Upload Podcast Episodes
It’s quite simple to upload your episodes to Soundcloud. Simply click “Upload,” in the top bar menu and select your saved recording. Afterwards, add your podcast episode title, some tags and a short description. To finish, click “Save” and your new episode will be published!
Marketing Tips After Launching Your New Podcast
Once you launch, there is more work to be done. And that doesn’t include just recording new episodes. GoViral specialises in marketing, so we gathered some special tips and tricks to help you get your podcast noticed.
GoViral Marketing Tips
- Make sure your titles, tags and descriptions contain keywords that are relevant to your topic and audience. Get familiar with SEO keywords and research what will work best for your podcast to attract the right listeners.
- Create your own website to promote your podcast. You can write about each episode in a blog post and add written content to attract more people. You can also add a photo of guest speakers and highlight some key features of your podcast. The blog can be shared on social channels, or even by listeners, which helps promote your podcast show!
- Have a newsletter sign-up that can inform subscribers on new episodes or direct them to your blogs on your site. You can also give them exclusive previews of future episodes or send valuable content that adds on to released episodes. This can increase engagement and have your listeners coming back to you for more.
- Use social channels to post and promote your podcast. You can even share blogs or content from your dedicated website.
- If you happen to have any guests, encourage them to post your interview on their social channel or send it to their mailing list. This connects new audiences to your podcast show.
- Make sure to look at Reddit’s r/podcasts group. You can find plenty of new inspiration and tips to improve your show! You can even ask questions and Reddit users can answer through comments. It’s a great source to just browse through to find out something new about podcasts.
Measuring Your Podcast
You obviously want people listening to your podcast, and one way of finding out if this is true is by looking at the number of downloads. Unfortunately, iTunes doesn’t provide any download data, but Soundcloud does. You want to pay attention to the monthly downloads. Ideally, of course, you want this to increase on a month-to-month basis, but try to also monitor what activities you are doing that might be driving the downloads, analyse it and grow from it.
Another important measure to note is the average downloads per episode. You’ll get a better understanding of how many people are roughly subscribed to your feed.
We hope you enjoyed our intro guide to podcasting! There are many other articles to come that will dive into marketing, content creation and simple recording tips! Make sure to subscribe to our newsletter to get our latest updates.