The popularity of podcasts is on the rise and according to Insider Intelligence, there is a year-over-year (YoY) growth of 6.1% in U.S. podcast listeners. This means that in 2022, the number of podcast listeners in the U.S. will grow to 125 million.
It’s clear that people enjoy podcasts for many different reasons. They are informative, engaging, and entertaining and you can learn a variety of useful hacks through podcasts. After all, there is a podcast for every topic under the sun and you can easily find something that meets your requirements.
If you are interested in starting a podcast, then there is no better time than now. However, before you start, you must understand how to make a successful podcast. These factors range from picking the right topics to using the right equipment.
Starting a podcast is exciting but it can be challenging and overwhelming to begin with. If you are unsure about ‘how to start a podcast’, follow these few simple steps.
Set goals and audience expectations
Before you start working on your podcast, you should set specific goals. This must cover the reasons for starting a podcast, the theme of the podcast and the specific audience you will be catering to.
Ask yourself, what do you plan to achieve from the podcast? You may be starting one simply out of interest or perhaps to gain recognition as an industry leader. It can focus on sharing some important messages or to simply connect with people. Only by defining a goal will you be able to achieve something from the podcast.
Along with realistic goals, you have to be specific about the theme of the podcast. Only pick a topic that interests you and that you understand. Also, add something unique to what you have to offer and stay consistent with it. You cannot start a podcast on mental health and then switch to fashion or finance after a few episodes. An established theme defines your podcast and sets expectations for your viewers. They need to know exactly what they will gain from listening to your podcast.
For example, American entrepreneur Alex Blumberg has achieved considerable success with his podcast- Startup. Alex and his co-host Lisa Chow focus on relevant information related to starting your own business in their documentary series. This includes covering success stories of various new ventures.
Pick a suitable name and format
The name should effectively convey the theme of your podcast and set the right expectations. Take ‘More Money’ for example, which is a podcast hosted by a millennial money expert, Jessica Moorhouse, or ‘The Secret Life of Canada’, a podcast that, as the name suggests, focuses on unique stories within the country.
Take time to come up with a suitable name for your podcast that matches its theme. Also, make sure you check the availability of the domain name and social account.
Next, work on a format that you are comfortable with and suits the podcast. Do you want to host the podcast by yourself or do you want to involve more people in it? You have various formats to choose from such as interview podcasts, scripted podcasts, educational podcasts and more.
As well as this, decide on the duration and schedule that is suitable for you. Ensure that the chosen duration is sufficient to cover the topic. You must keep the listener hooked for the designated time so they return for more episodes.
The right recording equipment
While starting a podcast, you should be cautious about picking the right equipment while staying within your set budget. You don’t have to overspend on the best audio equipment to get sufficient audio.
A podcast mic is the most important tool that every podcaster needs as it enhances the audio quality. Without clear audio, your podcast is doomed, therefore audio can make or break your podcast.
Generally, dynamic microphones are recommended for the process as they pick up lower frequencies. Being less sensitive than a condenser mic, they are well suited for spoken audio.
So, now you have your objectives in place and have finalized a theme and name for your podcast. You have also got the right equipment and are ready to record your first episode.
Before you begin, you must write an outline for your podcast. Here, you can either write a complete script or a framework with all the essential points and sub-points that will be discussed. This way you will stay on-topic and avoid any awkward, unwanted fillers. A good flow adds to the quality of a podcast.
Also, ensure that you record in a silent place that is free of any disturbances. Then comes the editing process where you will work on the intro and outro along with removing any unwanted background noise. Finally, you need to export your file in a format that is supported by the podcast host service provider. You can also add creative artwork to the final product to catch the attention of the audience.
Keen to kickstart a successful career by making industry standard podcasts? Check out the Micro-Credential Podcasting Production Introduction program offered by Trebas Institute at its Toronto campus.
This 10-week micro-credential program will give you an in-depth understanding of key elements needed to make a good audio podcast. This includes writing, production, distribution, limitations and more. Students will also get to attend an insightful workshop on Audacity, a popular open-source, multi-track audio editor. The program focuses on practical training to equip students with the technical process of audio production.
The program is taught by industry experts who integrate their experience into their teaching.
Click here to learn more!