Podcasts are a great way of sharing ideas and establishing you know what you’re talking about. Launching a podcast, however, involves a bit more than just creating an account on iTunes. What is your best advice for someone preparing to launch, or for someone who is in the early days of starting out?
1. Invest in Quality
There’s no substitute for a high-quality microphone and recording equipment to produce excellent, professional audio. Recording in a soundproof space and asking call-in guests to call from a quiet area, improves audio clarity. Above all that, if you want to attract listeners, have access to and willingness to reach out to engaging guests who have something compelling to say. This is key.
2. Create a Week-Long Launch Plan
Detail out a launch plan to implement seven days before the podcast goes live. For us this includes a dedicated landing page where people can opt in to hear when the show goes live. We email our list throughout this week, run some Facebook ads and do a Facebook Live video announcing it. Launch with 10 episodes so people can binge through it right away instead of having to wait.
3. Make Sure You Have a Legit Email List
When you start with a podcast, make sure you have a legitimate email list. This will help you promote your podcast when you are ready to launch. If you do not have an email list, make sure you have partners who are ready to promote your list when you want to launch. The email list will help ensure that there are going to be listeners and they will refer the podcast to their friends as well.
4. Plan and Plan Some More
Running a podcast becomes considerably simple when you stay on top of what you plan to do. Start by determining how many episodes you wish to release each month. Make note of ideas for show topics as and when you get them, so you have a good databank to fall back upon. With a set of ideas already in place, you can create shows in logical order. At times, breaking down content into sections helps.
5. Create a Distribution Schedule
Anyone preparing to launch a podcast should create a distribution schedule to ensure consistent traffic. For example, the day after you publish a podcast, announce on a social media channel that your podcast was published. If you have a list of subscribers, let them know a couple of days after your podcast is published. Finally, run promotions throughout the week to help keep traffic consistent.
– Shu Saito, Fact Retriever
6. Focus on Good Editing
One of the hallmarks of successful audio content is good editing. Long run-on conversations, silence, or otherwise low-quality airtime is a huge turnoff to listeners. The best content is snappy, well-edited and is quickly paced. This can only be achieved with masterful editing. Editing can be time-consuming and difficult to do well, so be sure to invest effort in finding a good editor!
7. Offer Real Value
When creating content for your podcast, it’s important to offer something different, that your listeners have not heard before. You can do this by connecting different dots for them or telling them about a new tool that will make their lives easier. If you focus on providing quality content you will come across as someone that values your listeners’ time, and they’ll keep coming back for more.
8. Line Up Guests and Content
It’s fairly simple to start a podcast today. You need a quality mic of course. You can record podcasts using software such as Audacity or Skype. You also need a host such as Buzzsprout or Blubrry. The real challenge is to come up with a niche and compelling topics to cover. It helps if you can interview interesting guests as well. Map out a content strategy and schedule for your podcasts.
9. Pre-Record Before Launching
The key to a successful podcast is consistency. Instead of trying to record each week, pre-record a set amount of episodes (say, 30), so that way you have 30 weeks of content ready to go when you launch. This will ensure that you have great content that can come out consistently, and it will avoid the burden of having to record and create weekly. – Ally Lozano, Ally Lozano LLC
10. Focus on Your Podcast Strategy
The most important thing is your focus on the topic and strategy before starting a new podcast. It helps making connections with people in your niche and also building an audience with similar interests. Once you have like-minded individuals in your circle, you can easily build your podcast as a reliable resource.
11. Be Serious
Becoming a podcaster is a big goal. To increase your chances of success, it’s good to set bold goals. To do this you have to take yourself seriously. If you want a podcast to become a big part of your life, or career, then you need to be thinking like a serious podcaster. At the beginning you should dream big and take yourself seriously: plan, write, record, edit and craft your product.
12. Have an Agenda
When I listen to podcasts and the hosts ramble on with no clear agenda, I am out. Have a game plan going in. Know how your podcast will develop, not only in that particular episode but across the season. Even if you are an informational podcast, tell the story. It will force your listeners to be engaged.
13. Have Good Audio
Quality audio makes all the difference in the world. If you don’t sound professional on your podcast, your listeners will go elsewhere. That doesn’t mean you have to drop a lot of money. There are microphones for as cheap as a hundred dollars that will do the trick. But test the quality of your recordings before you record. Sound professional and listeners will take you as a professional.
14. Practice First
Podcasting is not as simple as sitting in front of a microphone and talking, although there are apps like Anchor that aim to make much podcasting easier. It takes time to find the right tone, format, and mix of technology, so be prepared for your first couple of episodes to be duds that belong on the cutting room floor.
15. Understand the Commitment
Podcasts can be an incredible means of exposure, meetings new people and learning, but they also take time. If you are thinking of starting a podcast, understand that in addition to recording time, you need to plan your episodes, book guests and obtain listeners. It’s a more involved process than most give credit for.