People used to laugh at the idea of downloading on demand radio shows. Now, however, such downloadable audio entertainment has become mainstream. In recent years, podcasts have begun to dominate the social media landscape because they offer an efficient way for listeners to absorb content while multitasking.
Audio recordings like podcasts can be a great medium for many different purposes. They can be used for marketing, branding, or simply as platforms for individuals to engage in public conversations with thoughtful people.
But, where - and how? - does one begin?
Podcasting Equipment and Software
Understandably, the most important factor for audio communication mediums is sound quality. In fact, even in videos, the audio behind a moving image is more important than the video itself. This is because people are more likely to click away from videos with fantastic visuals but poor sound quality than they are to click away from videos with great sound but poor visual quality. Research even tells us that scientific studies presented and discussed in radio format are taken more seriously when the quality of the audio is high.
Your Podcasting Microphone and Editing Software
Although one doesn’t need to spend a lot of money on advanced recording equipment, it’s a great investment to have a decent microphone to start.
Basic audio editing software can also make a huge difference in producing a more professional sound. It can be used to remove background noises and soften plosives (hard “p” sounds made when speaking).
Your DIY Podcasting Studio
If resources allow, those interested in starting a podcast can also create a DIY recording studio.
If that’s not possible, recordings can be made inside a car because it works as a “recording booth.” Although not totally soundproof, the openings are sealed and the tires will create insulation to prevent sound entering the “booth” through the ground. Lastly, the car seats fill the space and absorb the bouncing sound waves, which helps decrease the “echo chamber” effect when recording.
How to Create a Podcast Title and Introduction
Your Podcast Title
Choosing the title for the podcast is an important part of boosting that episode in search engine rankings. It’s crucial to make sure the wording of the title is a “searchable” phrase that would often be typed into Google. Also, it’s important to fill the description with key words (while making sure they fit the topic and don’t sound forced).
Your Podcast Trailer
When it comes to the introduction, it’s a fantastic idea to give your listeners an idea of what to look forward to in your podcast by making a trailer. This gives you an opportunity to captivate new listeners by presenting them with an overview of your content. In a brief minute, introduce yourself, your show, and a summary of your podcast. This is how you will begin to create and mold your public identity.
For help, try completing this sentence:
“When people think about _____, I want them to think of my podcast.”
Determine Your Goal - What Goal do You Want Your Podcast to Achieve?
It is important to define what a successful podcast is for you. For some, it may be acquiring a minimum number of downloads per week or per month. Others want to replace a nine-to-five job and therefore will focus on tailoring episodes to paid sponsorships as early on as possible. Still others just want an outlet to share their personal stories and ideas with people who will understand. Whatever that definition may be, it’s important never to forget to enjoy the process.
How to Develop Content for Your Podcast
Your Themed Podcast Content
The individual episodes of your podcast can technically be about anything that interests you. (However, remember that controversial topics will be harder to find advertisers for sponsorships and will garner fewer downloads due to the “explicit” rating you’re advised to attach).
When making a list of potential podcast episodes, choose an overall theme rather than a topic. This is to make sure you can commit to a wide array of related subjects and don’t niche down far enough to run out of ideas. In addition, it’s best to talk about things you have a wide range of knowledge on and are passionate about. This way, your voice will exude confidence and passion when you speak, and your listeners will exert more interest.
Your Podcast Content Consistency
To gain and keep an audience’s trust, it is important to be consistent both in the way you speak and in frequency of output. This means always being upfront about changed opinions and uploading episodes on a regular schedule. To help with consistency of output, you can create a content calendar to help organize your thoughts and ideas.
Knowing your long term goal and making a cohesive list of episode topics will help determine your target audience. This will create a sense of loyalty and inspire long term interest among fans. Those two things are essential because they will guide you in achieving your goal of content consistency. You’ll know what people will expect from you and feel responsible for staying true to your word.
When considering your audience, the more targeted your specific audience is, the more meaningful your podcast will be and the faster you’ll meet your long term goal. In other words, look for quality over quantity.
“When you seek to engage with everyone, you rarely delight anyone.”
- Seth Godin
Also, in the spirit of responsibility, it’s important to remember to pay attention to listeners’ comments and suggestions (while of course staying true to yourself and your ideals). This creates trust and lets your budding audience know you value their opinion.
Increase Podcast Visibility By Having Guests and Being a Guest
Inviting guests will, over time, help your podcast grow. Mixing things up by inviting guests sometimes and appearing on other shows at other times is a wonderful way to become more well known. It allows you and other podcasters to “cross pollinate” fans and provides a great way to gain new perspectives on the issues you discuss.
The important things to remember about having guests are:
- Allow guests to complete thoughts without constant interruption.
- Make sure guests are provided with a list of questions and discussion topics so they aren’t blindsided on recording day.
Utilizing TapeReal to Break Into Podcasting
When considering whether or not to embark on an as of yet untraveled path, many questions present themselves. The decision to journey into podcasting is no exception. A significant question is, of course:
“How do I know if I really want to give this a shot?”
After all, even if one takes the DIY route, traditional podcasting is a lot of effort. There’s a ton of hardware and software research to do, there’s podcasting hosting to consider, and there’s so much planning. However, there is an option to “test the water,” with TapeReal.
TapeReal is a social platform that boasts a simple user interface. It allows anyone to record a Tape alone or Together with a Connection. Connections with people are made based on common interests and willingness to converse.
Tapes can also be purely audio, or both audio and visual. Topics can be searched by hashtags for convenience so users can easily find subjects that interest them, and the platform was created for people who want to speak with their authentic voice: perfect for those excited to make their first foray into the world of podcasting.
TapeReal is a great no pressure platform to try public audio recordings on for size. You can dip your toe in the water of podcasting and see if it’s the right medium of communication for you to use to meet your long term goal.
What journeys will you embark on with TapeReal?