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Posted On: Jun 15, 2022 Written by: Abe Udy
Have you thought about making and launching your own podcast?
Creating a great podcast and building a loyal audience might sound easy, but it’s not as simple as you might think. There’s more to it than just having a great idea and pressing record.
So before you start recording your podast, think about these points.
The growth in podcasts is exploding, with one survey from Acast suggesting 1 in 10 Brits plan to start a podcast in 2022. If they do, that's 8 million new shows! With so many podcasts competing for a finite audience, you should always start with the ‘why’. Why are you starting a podcast, and who is your target audience? Having clarity will help you plan and shape your content and style, and will help shape the overall direction of your show.
Most discussion and interview-based podcasts are recorded with participants in different locations. But even if you’re in the same physical location, it’s important to ensure the recorded audio is as high-quality as possible.
We recommend the Rode Podcaster, a good quality, easy-to-use USB microphone. Headset mics or built-in webcams should be avoided, as the sound quality is often sub-par. Your listeners can feel disengaged and potentially miss parts of the recording due to the lack of clarity. And if they're distracted, they're likely to lose interest.
Podcasts of a high audio standard will engage an audience better than those that aren’t. Why? Because audio quality is directly linked to the perception of content quality. Put simply, podcasts that have been recorded and produced to a high standard have more credibility.
While a dedicated, soundproof recording booth is the ideal recording environment, a mid-sized carpeted room with some soft furnishings can also work. Sound bounces off hard surfaces, so curtains and soft furniture around a room, including directly behind the microphone, can help deflect and absorb it. You'll be surprised at how big of a difference some basic soft furnishings around a room can make to the audio recording.
If your podcast participants are in the same physical space, the Rodecaster Pro 2 is a powerful mixing & production console you can’t go past. However, if your guests are in different locations, Zencastr or Riverside.fm are two recording tools you should check out.
Both apps separately record studio-quality audio & video tracks for every participant, giving you more control in post-production. They also record directly to the local users' computers and upload the files immediately after you’ve finished, meaning any internet dropouts or slowdown won’t affect the audio or video quality.
Avoid recording with Zoom or other similar communication apps if possible. These tools record all guests in a single file, making it challenging to balance and match the sound in post-production. They also rely on a stable internet connection - meaning your podcast will sound glitchy if a participant has internet issues. Again, audio quality is paramount - as poor audio quality can often be linked to poor content quality.
Don’t assume that longer is better. While a few podcasts have found great success with long-form episodes (i.e. the Joe Rogan Experience), it can be daunting for a new listeners to commit their time to a podcast they haven't heard. Hook them in within the first 60 seconds. Your listeners are likely to be time-poor, and if they don't feel engaged within the first minute, they’ll probably ‘podcast surf’.
Bite-sized, 15-minute episodes might have more traction than an hour-long eps. Think about the ‘why’, keep your target audience in mind when you’re recording, and keep episode lengths to a digestible size. And once you've built your audience, you can always increase episode lengths if they ask for more.
While online recording apps allow you to mix and create finished episodes, they don’t allow you to easily edit your content. Post-production is essential and is often the difference between an average and a great-sounding podcast.
A podcast production studio will remove background noise, fix audio issues, and remove talent stumbles. Based on your brief and the overall feel you’re after, they can move dialogue around where needed, tighten up gaps, and delete awkward ‘talkover’ moments. Post-production plays a big part in making your podcast sound professional.
The best podcasts are immersive, as the listener gets ‘lost’ in the content and feels like they’re a part of it. Anything that distracts them, including background noise and unbalanced volume levels, should be fixed.
If you’re planning on releasing a video version of your podcast, you’ll want to limit the amount of post-production editing. Video isn’t as easily editable (unlike audio), so if you’re after a natural conversation, it’s essential to think about this before recording.
An opener, segues, and an outro can be created by the podcast production studio and included to make your podcast sound even more professional. Additional music and sound effects can also work well to tie it all together.
If your podcast is monetised and will include commercials, consider where they should be placed. While you may not have control over the specific advertisement included (i.e. it’s being added dynamically by the publishing platform), you can control where it plays with markers.
To give your podcast room to breathe, markers should be placed where the conversation or content has a natural break. This will also help to keep your listeners hooked, as they’ll want to stay around for the next section. Don't let commercials simply 'crash' your podcast. This can sound very disruptive.
More info on dynamic ad insertion is here.
There are several options for publishing your podcast. Omny Studio and Acast are two of the most prominent players and can distribute to all the major platforms. Podserve.fm is a smaller platform that can distribute your podcast to all major platforms, including Apple and Spotify.
Repurposing and promoting your podcast content across social media should be part of your plan to find and reach an audience. If you’ve recorded a video, your content could be edited into short bites to share across your social networks and as paid ads. If you’ve only recorded audio, you should consider creating short videos using text quotes from the audio. Make as much noise as you can!
Like more info on planning, recording, editing and publishing your podcast? Talk to us.
We’re an experienced podcast production studio, and we’ll help you stand out with a podcast that your audience will love.