Starting A Podcast – 5 Tips For A Successful Launch
With as many as 33% of people across the country listening to at least one podcast episode each month, there’s never been a better time to get into podcasting. But of course, there’s a difference between putting out a podcast that can attract an audience, and just going in blindly. Here are a few guidelines you’ll want to keep in mind as you work towards putting your dreams in motion.
Outline Your Goals
What exactly are your reasons for starting a podcast? Are you looking for a marketing outlet for your brand? Or maybe you just want an outlet to unleash your inner creativity? Will you be doing it for fun, or are you aiming at opening a new income stream?
Now, it’s certainly true that not every successful podcaster begun their journey with a clear roadmap. But having a concrete goal in mind gives you something to work towards; something to help you overcome the various challenges you’ll face along the way. Outlining your goals will also help you plan accordingly in terms of resources and budget.
Choose Your Topic(s)
Think about what you’ll be discussing in the course of your shows; do you want to concentrate on one particular topic, or around a set of connected themes? Emphasis on “connected” here — it’ll be hard to cultivate an audience if you cannot find a way to move seamlessly from one subject matter to the next.
On the same breath, no one wants to listen to a stranger spew gibberish on a topic they clearly know little about — or just aren’t bothered about enough to understand. Don’t just settle on whatever theme you think stands to capture a large audience; the hottest bandwagon of the day, in other words. Choose something that you’re both well-conversant and have a genuine interest in.
Beyond just picking topics, you want to be able to provide meaningful value to an audience. Ask yourself what a potential listener stands to gain from tuning in. To that end, it might help to look out for podcasts similar to what you have in mind and figure out how you could make yours stand out. It’s this unique angle that will help you come up with great content for each episode; a show that listeners will be keen to share with others with whom they share interests.
Pick a Suitable Format
Think of your podcast as a blog post; a piece of content that needs to have a clear direction. In that sense, you will need to figure out a way of introducing your shows, proceeding to the episode’s subject, and how you’ll sign off at the end.
Granted, it’s possible to put out a fantastic show without any kind of script. But that brings the danger of veering too much out of topic somewhere along the episode. It helps to have something that will bring you back on track in such moments.
Also consider whether you’ll be hosting your podcasts alone or alongside other co-hosts; these could be friends with whom you share interests, or invited guests. In the latter case, you will need to figure out the most suitable moment to slot them in.
Invest in The Right Gear
Not that you should burn a hole in your wallet for a state-of-the-art recording setup, but hey! A podcast with sub-par audio quality won’t have much of a chance. At the very least, you want to have a decent microphone, headset, and a capable sound editing platform. Pop filters will also come in handy in minimizing background noise — make sure to get them if your budget allows.
Prepare for the Launch
Now it’s time to choose the publishing schedule for your podcast; do you plan to put out a new episode each week, or once a month? Whatever the case, consider recording at least 5 prior to launch. This way, you’ll get the time to build buzz and promote your show without having to worry about when you’re going to record the next episode. Just be sure to have finalized hosting arrangements by the time you start putting word out.