There are over 29 million podcast episodes out there as of April 2019. But many podcasts “podfade” (cease production) by their 7th episode.
So, what can you do to make sure that your podcast succeeds? Read on for the ultimate podcasting for beginners guide.
Plan Your Podcast
Before you record one single podcast, it’s vital that you plan your podcast. With so many podcasts out there, why would someone want to listen to yours?
What is that is going to get them to come back and listen to your episodes as they come out?
Figure out what the value you can provide to your niche is. You want to appeal to a very specific audience. Whether it’s new first-time moms or eco-friendly outdoor enthusiasts.
Once you have your target audience fleshed out, it’s time to brainstorm. Write down 10-15 potential topics that you could cover in a podcast episode.
Don’t rush this stage. Proper podcast set-up will make it more likely for your podcast to be successful. Make sure each of your potential episodes are on topics that your audience would love to hear about.
Choose A Podcast Name
Your podcast name is vital to helping people find you and listen to you. You can choose a descriptive name, an ironic name or a memorable, funny name.
Whichever angle you go for, make sure that your name makes sense for your content. But at the same time, you don’t want to peg yourself into a small topic that doesn’t have room for growth.
Does your target audience pertain to outdoor enthusiasts? Great, but don’t name your podcast the “Hiking Podcast” because then you won’t be able to talk about camping and survivalism.
You want to have the option to talk about all sorts of relevant stuff in your podcast.
So your new podcast for moms may be called something like “Baby Blahs: Adjusting to the less-than-glamorous life of newborns and beyond.”
That way, you leave yourself open to talk about toddlers and teen years in future episodes, if you want.
Come up with Episode Titles
You’ll need to title all your episodes before you even record your first one. Podcasting for beginners is all about prep work.
It’s important that your episode titles be descriptive and searchable. Naming episodes my number does not work!
If your listeners won’t have any idea what each episode is about, why would they hit that play button?
Your episode titles must give them an idea of what you’ll be talking about. You’ll want to make them want to listen.
“How To” and “Five Tips For” are popular episode titles because it sets the expectation right from the start. People know exactly what they can expect.
Also, a descriptive episode with the right keyword gives your podcast extra reach. If someone searches for “cooking” and your episode is called “Cooking like Nonna – 3 authentic Italian Recipes You Can Master,” there’s a chance that searcher will be interested.
Create Your Cover Art
The cover art on your podcast is your first impression. It acts as a virtual handshake or business card.
Think about how your cover photo will look side-by-side with hundreds of other covers. Unless you are a graphic designer by trade, it’s best to leave this design project to the experts.
That way, your cover art stands a fighting chance against the competition.
Are You Committed to Forever?
Part of starting your own podcast is knowing that you can commit to keeping it going. But it’s unrealistic to commit to forever.
So, what can you do? Record your podcast in seasons! This way, you aren’t committed to releasing a new podcast each week or month until the end of time.
A seasonal podcast can consist of 6-12 episodes. Then you get a break. You can then launch another season after a short hiatus (1-2 months break is reasonable).
You can set your seasons around a particular topic. That way you can expand your topics as you become interested in different aspects of your theme.
Sure, you can record a podcast from your smartphone. But it will sound like you recorded it from your smartphone.
The good news is you don’t have to invest big bucks in order to get high-quality sound. A good microphone makes all the difference for your sound quality.
A USB microphone can work well. And good ones like the Snowball by Blue Microphones start around $60.
Script Your Podcast Episode
Podcasting is different than giving a presentation at a conference or delivering a sermon. One of the golden rules for how to make a podcast is learning how to script your episodes.
You don’t want to write out what you’ll say word-for-word. That will bore your readers and make you sound robotic.
But, very few people can speak off-the-cuff and sound knowledgeable and intelligent.
Your best bet is to jot down bullet points that you want to cover in that episode.
You can practice it a few times before you hit record if you like.
The ideal length for your podcast is 22 minutes. That’s the time many people spend commuting.
You’ll notice TED talks are a max of 18-minutes long. So aim for around 20 minutes and you’re set.
Now you’re ready to record your first episode!
Publish Your Podcast
Once you have a few episodes recorded, edited and ready to go, it’s time to get your podcast out there.
You’ll need a podcast hosting account. These services store your audio content and let your listeners listen, download, or subscribe to your podcast.
Then it’s up to you to advertise and keep the good content flowing.
Final Word on Podcasting for Beginners
There you have it! Your step-by-step guide to podcasting for beginners.
Remember, just because you are a beginner doesn’t mean you have to make rookie mistakes.
At Dymic Digital, we specialize in podcast development. Whether you need recording and production or help with branding, we’ve got you covered.
Contact us today and let’s get started.