So, You Want to Start a Podcast
Updated: Sep 18, 2020
Podcasting has become the hot new trend in the marketplace. A place for us nerds to become influencers. Everyone these days seems to be launching their latest self-aggrandizing platform to share with the world the vast wisdom and insight they feel they have to offer. And just like these celebrities and showoffs are jumping on the bandwagon, you and I are doing the same thing. Trying to take advantage of a platform to share our opinions with the world. And what an amazing time in history where anyone with a computer or cell phone can create content to share around the world. Instantaneously.
But just because we have this amazing technology does mean we have any clue what to say with it. Now you may have either already started a podcast or are thinking of doing so. So, you probably already have an idea about what you want to say. Many of you may think that’s the one part you have figured out and locked down. You may be more hung up in the actual logistics of launching a podcast. Or maybe just nervous about what people will think. Maybe you are worried about being judged for those thoughts and opinions. Well as a fellow podcaster I can tell you not to worry, nobody is listening anyway.
As we begin, we are going to take a completely different approach from what you might expect from a platform where all we do, is talk. The first thing we do is shut up. And pick up a notebook and pen. This is the most important part of creating a podcast. Nothing else matters at this point. With that pen and notebook ask yourself the following questions. Write down each answer. Take your time.
What is the purpose/point of this podcast?
What is it that you feel called to do? What message do you feel called to share?
Why will other people want to listen to what your opinion is on that given topics? Why would they care what You think?
What’s in it for them? What does the listener get out of it? What’s the value they get for their time?
Why would they want to come back and listen again?
Once you have answered these questions you will at least have a direction. A concept that resonates with both you and your audience. As you have been thinking of a podcast, you have probably come up with the first 10 episodes or interviews you want to do. Most podcasts only make it that far, very few podcasts last longer than 20 or 30 episodes. But statistic after statistic shows that virtually all podcasts begin to ramp up exponentially after 18 months (usually around 60 -70 episodes). So, what does your 50th episode sound like? What will your 100th episode be about? If you are an interview-based show, who are your 100 guests? Where will you find them? Why will they take the time to be on your podcast? If your podcast deals with a specific topic or issue, how deep can you go in that area?
Take the time now to write out the first 50 - 100 episodes today. How close can you get? This is the only step I would complete before launching. Everything else can be done along the way, improved upon as you go, but knowing where you are going to take the show is critical.
Once you have a list of the content you want to create, now you are ready to begin. As you start recording, and you will hate the sound of your own voice. It’s to be expected. But when you begin editing you will learn tips and tricks and will naturally improve over time. Like anything else in life, the more you do something the better you will get at it. The point is to start. Start Ugly. Start by yourself, learn the process along the way, once you become more successful and busier then you can farm out the work. Learning that work; in the beginning, will guide your choices in hiring help later.
You can go to a variety of places to learn the process of recording, editing, and publishing your RSS feed. So, I will skip over all that. www.patflynn.com is a great resource. But I will tell you the products and services that I personally use to do these things. They do not endorse me. I just happen to like them. There are a variety of free and comparable products out there as well, and if you go to www.8keys2great.net/extraordinary-resources you can find a link to a variety of tools to accomplish each task.
I use Libsyn to create and host my RSS feed. I use a Zoom h4n Pro as an audio interface and in-person recording, audio technical atx2100 mics, and Hindenburg Pro for editing and post-production. I use Headliner.app to create snippets and sound bites for social media. I am on all social media platforms.
Before you launch you will need a few other things like cover art and earbuds but again all that will come in short order and will inevitably evolve over time. The only other vital aspect of having a successful podcast is CONSISTENCY. Consistency in all things, but first and foremost consistently publish the same time, the same day, no matter what. Treat your podcast like your favorite T.V. show. We are all creatures of habit and when you consistently show up for subscribers and listeners week after week month after month, they will come to depend and rely on your show. You will get the listens. You will grow. You have to commit if you expect the listener to.
The #1 best way to be consistent is to have a backlog. A safety net you can rely on when times are tough. And make no mistakes times will be tough. Things will go wrong. You must be prepared to deal with any challenge or adversity that comes your way. The chaos is coming.
Continuing consistently in other areas of the show will also help you grow naturally, organically. Graphics, hashtags, filters, SEO, and content all require consistency. The more consistent you are, the more you will understand your audience, the more they will seek out your content. You will become known for what you do. Your style, your message, your purpose will become clearer. More defined. More refined.
If you will do these two things. Take the time to know your first 50 - 100 episodes, and be prepared enough to consistently publish the same day and time. Week after week, month after month, year after year, everything else will fall into place along the way and you will realize your dream of being a professional PAID Podcaster.
Good luck and happy podcasting!