With podcasting becoming increasingly more popular, there’s really no better time to start your podcast than now.
It’s a known fact that in 2019 people loved listening to podcasts. With this continuing trend, we could be looking at another media revolution similar to the way YouTube revolutionized user-generated video content. Podcasts are shaping out to be the next mass-reaching medium where everyday creatives can produce content for interested audiences that find value in listening.
You may have thought about starting a podcast in the past, but you just didn’t know where to start. That’s ok. Getting started with your podcast is actually an easy process—it just takes a few steps.
At Bullhorn, we encourage creatives to share their voice using podcasts as a primary medium for reaching their audience.
We’ve come up with a handy guide on how to start a podcast in 2020.
The first step to starting your podcast is conception. You want to start off with a brainstorming session with your team, whether that’s just you or a small group of podcast producers, where you’re nailing down ideas you want to discuss on your podcast. After jotting down a few topics, determine your podcast’s niche.
A niche will be especially important for your podcast if you want to maintain a consistent, loyal following. Your audience will depend on your podcast to produce content that’s relevant to your podcast’s niche, deviating only in its presentation style. We’ll get to defining your style in a later section.
After you know what you’ll be talking about, you’ll want to think of a quiet location we’re you’ll have enough time to record your podcasts without interruption. The quieter your location, the better.
Make sure to take into account the acoustics of your location, since that may affect the listener’s experience enjoying your podcast. A podcast that can produce audio that’s both crisp and free from distraction has a much better chance of getting a positive response from audiences.
Equipment, Recording and Publishing
After you’ve decided that your idea for a podcast is genius, you might be ready to jump in the studio right then and there. However, you may have a hard time recording and publishing your audio without the right equipment.
At the most basic level, you need something to record your conversations and a software that can edit your audio. Whether you choose to use your smartphone, laptop or desktop to mix down your audio is entirely up to you.
If you have any capital to invest into your podcast, you want to first buy a good mic and a decent mixer. A mic will allow you to record your audio in higher quality. When compared to a voice recorder app on your phone, a mic can make you sound like a complete professional even when you’re recording your first episode. Having clear, easy-to-hear audio is crucial to creating a good all-audio experience.
A mixer allows you to instantly adjust the volume of your voice, the background noise or any other aspect of your audio recording.
Next, you’ll need to choose a platform that can host your podcast. Platforms like PodBean, BuzzSprout and Simplecast work well for publishing podcasts and generating your RSS feed. You can then easily submit your podcasts to podcast-listening platforms like Apple Podcast, Spotify and Bullhorn.
Style, Title and Topics
This step can really be done before or after you get your equipment, but generally after you’ve had your first brainstorming session.
After you’ve nailed down a niche, it’s time to decide on your podcast title, develop your brand and come up with an editorial calendar.
1. Choosing Your Title
You want to come up with a name that speaks directly to your audience. If you’re a true crime podcast, you don’t want a title that will confuse listeners into thinking your podcast talks about productivity. Keep it simple and stick to something that tells your listeners exactly who you are.
Having a straight-forward title will also help with your podcast’s SEO down the road when you get to the marketing phase of your campaign. Having a name that listeners can easily search for will put your podcast at the top of search engine results pages.
2. Branding Your Podcast
After you choose a title for your podcast, you want to start branding. Get a logo for your podcast in difference sizes that you can submit to your podcast host.
Having a visual representation of your podcast is extremely important in setting your brand apart from all the rest.
Also, the way you format your podcast and deliver your podcast to listeners will greater define your brand. While there are dozens of podcasts about sports, the podcasts that can stand out are more likely to attract a larger audience.
3. Planning your Topics
Before recording, you’ll want to come up with enough ideas to last a least a quarter of a year. Depending on the nature of your podcast, you may need more or less, but we’ve found that planning for at least three months of content works well for most content creators.
Marketing and Promotion
No one podcasts in a vacuum. Each podcaster creates content for an audience. A podcast with no audience is like a car without fuel—you could be looking at fastest, fanciest car in the lot, but without gas it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.
An engaging, active audience is the best thing a podcast can have. That shows that your podcast does two things: 1. reaches your audience and 2. provides your audience with value.
To maximize your podcast’s reach online, you want to launch a website and claim your social media handles.
Launching your website gives your audience a place to find everything related to your podcast. On your website, you can list episodes, offer a short description about your podcast and provide audiences with additional resources to supplement your podcast episode. You’ll find dozens of resources on YouTube and all over the internet on how to easily launch a website that’s both cheap and easy to maintain.
Next, you want to be sure to claim all your social media handles so you’re engaging with your audience online. In 2020, social media marketing is one of the primary ways of reaching a larger audience, interacting with your current audience and reaching a larger audience by retweets and reposts, the word-of-mouth of today’s digital age.
Start with Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram—you won’t necessarily have to monitor and manage all your social media platforms, but you will need to experiment with what works best for you, your podcast and your audience.
Launch Your Podcast!
After this last and final step, you’ve got your podcast recorded, published and ready for distribution! Make sure your podcast is available on all platforms so your audience can listen anyway they choose.
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