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Posted On: Sep 15, 2022 Written by: Abe Udy
Creating a podcast might sound daunting, but once you have a clear plan it’s easier than you might think.
However, launching a successful podcast takes more than just having an idea and purchasing a microphone.
Here are five steps you should follow to take your podcast from concept to completion.
Plan your podcast before you press record. (Start with the ‘why’.)
Record. You’ll need a quality microphone, headphones and a recording app.
Produce the episode, remove outtakes and add music to keep listeners engaged. Or, create an immersive soundscape to tell your story.
Publish the show for distribution to major podcasting apps, including Apple & Spotify.
Promote your podcast on social media with snackable audiograms.
Before You Press Record
With thousands of podcasts competing for an audience, clear planning and starting with the ‘why’ will ensure yours stands out.
Why are you starting a podcast? Is the purpose to entertain? Inform? Generate business? Tell a story?
Who is your target audience?
Why should they listen (and subscribe) to your podcast?
What will the episode duration be?
Having clarity around these points will help you plan and shape your content and podcast style. It will also help you know what NOT to include.
It’s all about great content, and the best podcasts get to that content quickly. So whether you’re creating a simple interview podcast or telling a more complex story with multiple voices, your content should hook the listener within the first 60 seconds.
Episode duration is also important; don’t assume that longer is better. While a few podcasts have found great success with long-form episodes, it can be daunting for new listeners to commit to a lengthy podcast they haven't heard.
Podcast Host agrees, saying ‘if your episode contains a solid 20 minutes of good content that delivers on its title and serves your audience, then 20 minutes is the perfect podcast episode length.
However, if any podcast is running over one and a half to two hours, there needs to be a very good reason for it.’
Podcasts of a high audio standard will engage audiences better than those that aren’t because audio quality is directly linked to a perception of content quality.
The good news is that you don't have to spend thousands of dollars to get high-quality audio. Your podcast can sound amazing with some basic knowledge and the right equipment.
Here’s the gear you’ll need to create your podcast.
Most conversation/interview-based podcasts are recorded with participants in different locations. But even if you’re in the same space, ensuring you are using quality microphones is vital.
If your guests are recording remotely in separate locations, we recommend the Rode Podcaster, a good quality USB microphone. It plugs directly into a computer’s USB port, so you won't need an audio mixer or interface.
You’ll also need a boom stand to hold the mic in position. When using a microphone, ensure you’re about 10-15 centimetres away and speak directly into it.
All participants should wear headphones to stop any ‘feedback’ or echo cancellation that will degrade audio quality. If your guest has to use a webcam or laptop mic, asking them to use headphones will help the audio producer improve the sound as much as possible in post-production. Ensure that you switch off any echo cancellation in the recording app.
We recommend Riverside.fm - a browser-based app that records audio (& video) separately for every participant, giving you premium quality and more control in post-production. It also records directly to each participant's computer and uploads the audio files as you’re recording, so any internet issues won’t affect the audio quality.
It’s vital to ensure your microphone levels are set correctly. Too quiet, and you’ll record a low level that will include hiss and noise. Too loud, and the audio will distort. For example, using Riverside, your microphone level should stay in the green and orange zones, as shown.
For more on how to record a podcast with Riverside, click here.
While it could be argued that publishing your podcast as a video makes it accessible to a broader audience, an equally strong argument is that podcasting is a ‘lean-back’ audio-first medium.
Running, driving, doing housework, gardening; listeners can do other tasks while consuming your content.
With that in mind, a webcam is not essential when recording in multiple locations, but it will help to better communicate and connect with others when you’re recording.
Once you've recorded the episode, you’ll move to the editing and audio production stage.
Partnering with a professional who provides podcast production services will help you stand out from the crowd.
Engaging an experienced, professional audio editor to produce your podcast gives you access to a range of specialist audio tools and resources that will make your podcast sound polished.
When we produce interview and discussion podcasts, we remove background noise, fix audio issues, and remove talent stumbles.
While apps like Riverside provide basic editing software, they don't allow you to easily edit content in greater detail or do more complex sound design.
Adding an intro, segues and an outro to a conversation/interview-based podcast will make it sound even better.
We can record and produce all the elements you need using professional voiceover talent.
Sound design is essential for more complex story-based podcasts because you want the listener to get ‘lost’ in the content and feel like they’re a part of the story.
The right music and sound effects are critical to weaving an immersive narrative around the dialogue.
When the podcast is ready to go live, you’ll need to publish it to a hosting platform that will distribute it to the major podcast apps.
We recommend acast.com - they offer a range of free and paid plans and several tools to help you grow your audience.
If you’re looking to monetise your podcast, think about ad placement.
While you may not have control over the specific ads included (they’re added by the platform), you can control where they play with markers.
To help your podcast flow well, markers should be placed where the conversation/content has a natural break.
Repurposing and promoting your podcast across social media should be part of the plan to promote and grow your podcast.
One of the best ways to do this is with an audiogram that turns audio into engaging social video.
Using highlights from your podcast, you should create audiograms that are on-brand and that direct people to subscribe to your podcast to hear more.
Transcribing your podcast could be helpful, particularly if you have an established email list and plan to send a link to the podcast ep and the transcription.
You can also use the transcription as a blog post on your website which will help build SEO credibility.
The bottom line? We're a podcast production company with the experience to help you create a successful podcast.
Talk to us about how we can help produce, publish and promote your show.