In one of the most random developments of 2016, podcasts have made a massive come back.
I’ve decided it’s either because we can’t put down our phones, or because we’ve become too lazy to both look at moving images and listen at the same time.
Whatever the reason, podcasting can be a great way of positioning yourself as an expert in your chosen field and getting into people’s ears while they’re at work or commuting, and once you get going, they’re surprisingly easy to create.
Here are 11 things to do before launching your first podcast.
- Listen to other podcasts
If you’re interested in starting your own podcast you’ve probably been inspired by listening to other people’s; my favourites are Myleik Teele’s podcast, The Mattieologie Podcast and 3 Shots of Tequila.
Podcasts are all so different, some are two hours long, some are 15 minutes each, some are interviews and some just have one voice on them.
After listening to some different podcasts (there’s a massive list broken down by topic on iTunes) you can start to think about what kind of podcast you’d like to create.
- Choose your topic
The best podcasts I’ve listened to are very focused and follow the same theme and format every time. Make sure you’ve made decisions about your topic, guests and length before you start recording.
- Think of a name and hashtag
Don’t rush this bit!
Come up with a few options, it can be something as simple as ‘The Phoebe Parke podcast’, or you could go for something way more exciting such as ‘How to get richer in the next 15 minutes’.
I’d definitely encourage you to come up with a hashtag early on, in my experience the best hashtags are ones that can be written into sentences such as; Listen to #TheReceiptsPodcast on Soundcloud: http://bit.ly/2eCBCnj
Instead of: Listen to The Phoebe Parke Podcast on Soundcloud: *LINK* #PPPodcast
- Choose your team (wisely)
If you do want to have other people on the podcast with you, make sure you pick people who are used to public speaking, who have interesting stories or who already have a large following online.
That will make things so much easier when spreading the word. You also need people who are going to be available to record at the same times you are available, these don’t necessarily have to be your friends; some of the best podcasts I’ve listened to are conversations between mere acquaintances.
- Come up with a tagline
This is one sentence that answers the question; ‘What on earth is this podcast about?’ This is not only useful for the iTunes/Soundcloud description, but will also help you stay focused when recording and promoting the episodes later on when you’ve uploaded them.
- Find a studio or some recording equipment
If it’s just your voice you’re recording, it might be more cost effective to buy a microphone and record on your laptop.
But if there are more than two voices, using a studio could make more sense. As long as there are no screaming kids or loud-ass friends in the background, it doesn’t really matter where you record.
- Learn how to edit
Don’t run away, it’s not that hard (I promise.)
I use the free tool audacity to edit all of my audio and it’s so much easier than I thought it would be. The great thing about podcasts is that it’s OK if you have a few ‘erms’ and ‘ahhhs’ in there, it’s all part of the authenticity of the platform.
Here’s a guide to audacity for beginners.
- Get your artwork made
You’ll only have to get this done once and you can use it for every episode, so it’s definitely worth getting a graphic designer or arty friend to do this for you, if you’re not an artist yourself.
The artwork should also show people where to find the podcast online and the hashtag you decided on in step 3.
- Have a schedule
How often will you realistically be able to release an episode? There’s nothing worse than getting hooked on the first few episodes of a podcast and then not knowing when to expect the next one.
Even if you release a new episode once a month, make sure it’s consistent.
- Spam the timeline
Once you’ve published the first episode of your podcast, you better make sure people know about it.
Tweet 5, 10, 15 times a day if you want, and don’t forget to post that gorgeous artwork you had done in step 8 on Instagram and Facebook too.
RT and respond to everyone who uses your podcast hashtag, if you use tweetdeck you can create a column that will show you every tweet using a specific hashtag.
Also send it to your contacts on whatsapp, post it in your private Facebook groups and email to Obama; do what you need to do.
— Phoebe Parke (@PhoebeParke) October 25, 2016
- Send it to me
I am ALWAYS looking for ways to distract my ears while putting away laundry/avoiding sweaty armpits on the tube/running from my responsibilities.
Tweet me @PhoebeParke and I’ll have a listen.
Looking for some inspiration? Listen to unfiltered girl talk with me, Ghana’s Finest, Tolly T and Milena Sanchez on The Receipts Podcast.
Further reading (and listening)
How to make a great podcast – a beginner’s guide – The Guardian
How To Start A Podcast – The Mattieologie Podcast
Want to see something else I created? Take a look at my T-Shirts.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11