There are many available resources that can assist you with setting up and creating a podcast. Those resources will help you define your topic, choose your ideal audience and select the correct equipment if self-production is your choice.
It’s imperative that as a podcaster you have the right microphone and computer to support the production of your show. Then you must choose a hosting platform, an audio post-production service, and request access to various podcasting platforms, such as Apple Podcasts, etc.
Next, you must go through the steps of choosing a logo, purchasing a domain for your podcast website, recording your Intro and Outro, and creating any necessary social media accounts for marketing.
Keep in mind that “pre-pandemic” you could actually rent podcasting studio time instead of incurring costs of purchasing equipment and services for self-production.
To help you get started you can check out courses on Skillshare and YouTube or paid courses from some top Podcasters as well as free downloadables from some of these same Podcasters. I can attest to this because I’ve done them all.
How I Created My Podcast
In 2019, after listening to various podcasts and falling in love with the invaluable information I received; everything from entrepreneurship and leveraging social media to generate leads to creating systems in my business, I made the decision to become a podcaster myself. I know I had some things to share in my industry. Plus, I knew enough people who would be willing to share their expertise as well.
I enrolled in an online course, rented podcast studio space, and downloaded some PDFs that would help me organize my episodes, invite future guests, market my episodes and write the show notes for my website. So, if creating a podcast is your goal OR if you’ve already established a podcast, here are some questions to consider.
4 Questions to Ask When Creating a Podcast
What is your topic?
And who do you want your audience to be? Just like a business, you need a target audience who’s interested in the topic you’ve chosen. If you’re already podcasting, is your topic-specific enough? If you’re not getting the followers or interest, perhaps you need to refine your topic and/or revamp your audience.
Do you want to invest in renting a podcast studio or do you want to self-record?
Renting a podcast studio means that all the equipment – microphones, recorders, etc. – is already there. And if it’s anything like the one I used, they also will perform the necessary pre-production audio work, upload the audio files on a hosting site and BOOM, the episode is live across all platforms. This means you’re able to outsource your pre and post-production so you basically don’t have to do anything. However, keep in mind that if you want to include any extras, i.e. sponsorship and affiliate codes, you may be limited or charged additional fees at a podcast studio. Whereas, self-production is the exact opposite. It’s all about what works best for you.
What resources can you invest in to help you get started?
For those of you already podcasting, what do you need help with? Whether that’s taking an online course, reading a book or getting a coach who’s well-versed in podcasting, there are a plethora of resources available if you’re willing to commit the time and/or money.
What’s your goal in creating a podcast? Are you in podcasting for the long term?
Your goals will also determine your plan. Maybe you just want this to be a short-term experience, so you’re just planning to record a few episodes or maybe you’re interested in attracting a few sponsors to generate some passive income? To do that, sponsors will require your podcast to reach a certain number of downloads and a certain number of listeners/subscribers.
Maintaining (and Growing) a Podcast
I won’t provide a long narrative on this; the subtitle says it all. Here are some things to consider once you’ve created your podcast and you want to not only build an effective workflow for your podcast, but also increase your followers and the popularity of your podcast.
How often will you release new content?
Ask yourself this: how often do you want to release new content? Monthly? Bi-weekly? Weekly? As always, consistency is key! You want your audience to know how often they can expect a new episode. This depends on how often you’re recording, especially if you’re renting space. If you’re self-producing, you have more flexibility. Here’s a tip: Consider “batch recording!” You can record numerous episodes – interviews and narratives – in one sitting and then schedule them based on how often you want to release episodes.
How will your market your podcast episodes?
Do you have a website and/or a social media account dedicated to the podcast? You will need to advertise so your audience knows the podcast exists. And, again, remember: consistency is key. The Rising Tide and HoneyBook community is a great place to share and promote your podcast. Here’s a tip: Choose the same day(s) every week to release new episodes and create a unique hashtag for it. I’m fond of #WeddingWednesday since my market is the wedding planning industry. Plus, a little alliteration never hurts; it’s catchy and memorable!
Are you conducting interviews or recording narratives?
This is dependent on your content and expertise in the subject area that you’re covering. Think about what the best way to present that information would be. Through interviews or your own unique voice? Maybe it’s a combination. How are you going to find guests to interview? One way is posting an opportunity to collaborate in a community that you’re a part of, like the HoneyBook community. You’d be surprised how receptive individuals are to being interviewed, especially if it’s within their industry and promotes their services and products. Make a list of potential guests for three months worth of content. Likewise, if you’re recording narratives, brainstorm a list of topics for the next three months. Here’s a tip: Record a guest interview and one narrative and then get your listeners’ feedback.
From my two years experience in podcasting, this is what I’ve found that’s helped me to reach more listeners and avoid redundancy.
How to Stay Relevant When Creating a Podcast as a Host
- Do your research – find topics that your audience wants and needs to hear. Conduct polls in your Instagram Stories, ask listeners to share their reviews and utilize your email marketing to request listener feedback.
- Switch it up – if you’re constantly doing guest interviews, consider recording a few narrative episodes – sometimes your audience wants to hear from YOU versus just hearing you ask the questions. I received this suggestion from one of my listeners who wrote, “you’re an industry expert…sometimes we want to hear what you have to say.”
- Plan, Plan, Plan – “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” You must plan your content and episode schedule. This is not something you can do as you go. Setting up an episode schedule as simple as this:
Creating a Podcast for the Longterm
You can customize the headings that fit your show, but this also helps you outline your show notes. Plus, if you’re batch recording (I hope you are), you have the flexibility to organize and release your episodes in whatever order you choose. Don’t forget to review your analytics on social media, your website and your hosting platform. Did you know you can re-release those episodes that had the most downloads? When you need to take a break to either batch record episodes or if you’re transitioning to a new season, plan those breaks and use those breaks to replay those episodes. There’s nothing wrong with reruns – I watch reruns of my favorite sitcoms all the time!
Get a mentor.
I started listening to podcasts during long drives and the more I listened, the more I was intrigued about doing my own podcast. Unbeknownst to those podcast hosts, they became my mentors. Their delivery, their interview style, their background music, intros and outros became templates for creating mine. So, getting a mentor doesn’t mean going out and finding one (unless you already know a successful podcaster) your mentor can be a virtual one. Once you have one, or two, pay close attention to their interview style, what marketing tools they use and what characteristics make their podcast so popular. Take notes, duplicate and promote your podcast accordingly.
Podcasting is fun! If you watch news shows, it makes you feel like you’re channeling Oprah Winfrey or Jerry Springer vibes. You are in control of what you ask, how you ask, and the overall flow of the show, so have fun with it. However, also keep in mind to always leave your listeners with some inspiration or takeaways.
My Final Tip on Creating a Podcast
My Business Coach once told me (numerous times, actually), “done is better than perfect.” Just the fact you’re feeling compelled to share with the world your experience and your knowledge is enough. Just like with any business, you have to gather your resources, educate yourself, plan your system and content and establish an organizational system to master the process.
Once you have a consistent operation, it will work like clockwork, but you do have to do the pre-work and be flexible with changes. I’ve changed my podcast name and I’ve changed my logo three times. And, just this past December, I rebranded my podcast colors to attract more ideal listeners. When creating a podcast that best fits your audience, change is ok! And remember: there are enough listeners for us all to succeed in the podcast world!
Best of Luck! I’m rooting for you!