How Do I Create My Own Podcast?
One of the best things to come out of the internet revolution is the podcast. These free audio programs are a smorgasbord of mini radio shows through which millions of people around the world invite experts, comedians, commentators and, well, everyday people to share their thoughts. It seems like a contradiction, but a podcast really is broadcasting to the narrowest audiences of all: individuals.
Because podcast production can be simple, quick and low-cost, it’s easy for solo producers with something to say or share to find people who have been looking for exactly their information, their message or their story. Indeed, your podcast can be the best way to find and talk to ‘your people’ – whomever they are!
Let’s look at what you need in order to start (or improve) your podcast.
What is your podcast niche?
Like starting a blog, starting a podcast is relatively easy. Also like blogging, if you just start podcasting without prep or plan, you’re going to be speaking to an empty hall. The first part of launching your podcast is precisely define what you will and won’t talk about. Sure, you might have a general topic in mind – it could be accounting, high fashion, renewable energy, the Oscars, geopolitical analysis, whatever – but it’s what you do within your segment that matters.
Simply, you need to answer this question as perfectly as you can:
What will my audience rely on me for?
Just because you own the podcast doesn’t mean you can rabbit on about anything you like – at least not if you want to get, build and keep a listenership. Which you do.
Who are your competitors, peers and friends?
There are already millions of podcasts out there. In your intended field there will be people putting out stuff that largely matches your message (e.g. all Doctor Who fancasts are going to be largely pro-Doctor Who) while others will be diametrically opposed. For example, a podcast about hedge fund management may talk about the same current events as a podcast on socialist politics, but may well come to rather different conclusions.
In formulating your answers to ‘What will my audience rely on me for?’ it is vital to listen to other podcasts that are already in your field. As well as getting stacks of ideas, you’ll also soon see:
● Who is already out there
● What they’re doing
● How well they’re doing it
● What they’re not doing.
You’ll also pick up a lot of advice. Most podcasters do a bit of housekeeping chat about how their channel is going at either the start or end of each episode. Pay attention to this!
Where are you going to host your podcasts?
It’s all well and good to know what you’re going to talk about and how to record it, but distributing your podcast is perhaps even more important. Literally, how are people going to find and get your content?
Sure, a direct download from your own site or via email is one way, but your reach is going to be pretty small. That’s why getting your podcast properly hosted somewhere means you can begin distributing it to its maximum audience.
There are various free ways to host a podcast; however, as with all things online, it generally goes that the more professional you want to be the more features you’ll have to pay for. Here are some great platforms:
● Listen Notes offers a widest variety of podcast topics
● Stitcher offers some of the best search features and hosts some of the world’s most popular podcasts
● SoundCloud offers free and paid hosting options and lets you distribute your podcast via RSS. Easy to link to on social media too
● Podbean offers various levels, starting from a limited free option on up to paying for maximum features.
● Podomatic is easy to use and suits beginners but can give enough functionality for heavy users
● Whooshkaa is a great platform if you want to monetize your podcast
● iTunes is the most popular and has the largest reach though can be tricky to use
How will you actually make your podcasts?
The big gap in this article so far has been the recording, editing and production of your podcasts. You can do this all yourself. Many of the small podcasts get acceptable result from the grassroots approach.
However, if yours is to be a podcast that needs or deserves the professional touch, then your best bet is to seek the tailored advice of a company like PipeWolf Media. We will be able to advise you on every aspect of professional podcast production.
Make your podcast stand out, professionally
No, not all podcasts are created equal. Because it is easy to make a slap-up podcast there is a lot of ‘noise’ at the low end. The people who don’t put much into their podcasts and don’t get much out greatly outnumber those who do things ‘right’. Yet, almost as a complementary rule, the audience figures of those who do things ‘right’ greatly exceed the figures of the ad hoc podcasters.
If you are still reading this article, chances are you are interested in doing things right. So, get in contact with a professional digital media production company to find out what you don’t know. Once you’re armed with knowledge, you’ll know how to separate your podcast from the pack.