Podcasting is finally getting its day in the spotlight. Nowadays, you can feed your ears with tons of podcasts, with topics that range from health and wellness, personal grooming, and career counseling to spirituality – and the list goes on.
Over 60 million people listen to podcasts either at home or while commuting to and from work. Apple Podcasts features 500,000 active podcasts in over 100 languages, and that’s just on Apple’s platform. With many podcasters turning it into a legit profession and a means of income, more and more people are thinking about starting their own podcasts.
If you’re like the scores of people who are new to the world of podcasting, finding the right podcast hosting service might be your biggest concern. However, after reading this article, it’ll be the least of your worries. Here are some of the things to keep in mind when you decide to start a podcast.
Choosing a Niche
To make sure your podcast is interesting, you’ll need to focus on the topic or subject you want to talk about. As a rule of thumb, it should be something that you’re interested in, and preferably have vast knowledge on. The best way to find your niche is by thinking about a subject that you can talk about for hours.
The best way to gain listeners is to be really specific in your niche. For instance, if you love the outdoors, what do you really love about it? Do you prefer to go on hikes, camping, fishing, hunting or white-water rafting? There’s so much that falls under that umbrella that you can’t be vague with your podcast niche, or even the title of your podcast. Sure, you can expand your topic of interest later on, but when you’re just starting a podcast, it’s best to stick to a subject that you know a lot about and broaden that circle with time.
Do You Need a Co-Host?
This is an important question that often gets overlooked. Do you need a co-host who can help you move the podcast along, or are you comfortable enough to drive the conversation alone? Having a co-host can help you whether you’re going to be interviewing guests or just speaking to your listeners.
While podcasters generally fall into two camps when it comes to having a co-host or flying solo with their podcasts, it usually helps to have someone who can keep you on track during the podcast. If you do have someone in mind who you’d like to have as a co-host for your podcast, make sure they’re committed to the cause. Once you start with a particular lineup, you need to be consistent.
The intro is a big part of any podcast; therefore, it’s important to keep the intro to your podcast professional. Since you’re trying out podcasting for the first time, it’s not likely that you already have a massive following, so you need to make sure that your listeners are hooked from the get-go.
After all, that’s going to be your introduction to your audience. Best practices include choosing the right royalty-free music, graphics and/or voiceover, and try to be as creative as possible with your intro. There’s a lot of royalty-free music available online, and you can either piece the intro yourself or go with a professional to create a solid intro for you.
SURPRISE! You’re going to need to invest in some podcast equipment before you can kick off your podcasting career. You’ll need to have a good microphone, a podcast mixer, and editing and recording software. “But, I already have an iPhone?” Good for you, but the last thing you want to do is set your iPhone down to record your podcast. Your phone might be good for voice notes and reminders, but if you’re recording a full-fledged podcast, the quality of the recording is going to be terrible, and you’ll have no one to blame but yourself.
Even at the most basic level (without all the bells and whistles), you’re going to need to invest in a decent microphone and mixing software to manage your podcast during the initial stages. Later on, when you have the money for it, you can go all professional and get an even better microphone, portable microphones (if you’re going to be having guests on), a microphone arm, headphones, a headphone amplifier, mixer, digital audio recorder, audio interface, video production software, table and chairs, and a podcast hosting service if you’re going to have on guests or want your video podcast to look professional.
Choosing a Podcast Hosting Service
This can be a tricky one since you’ll want to have the best podcast hosting service to improve the video and sound quality of your product and to reach out to a larger audience. The good news is, there are multiple options available, and quite a few of these podcast hosting services are free.
So, what is a podcast hosting service? These services upload your audio files and tell the hosting platform to show your podcast’s details, and will generate your feed. Basically, that last part means that a podcast hosting service makes it easier for applications, directories, and websites to receive information about your podcast.
Why Do You Need Podcast Hosting?
A podcast is made up of a series of files that are bundled together into a single file. As a result, they require a lot of space and bandwidth, which is not possible with personal website servers. Podcast hosting services offer podcasters the space they need to store the files for their podcast so their audience can easily download them. Once you upload the mp3 file to the server, you’ll be sent a link that will point directly to your content.
Tagging the File
Whenever a user signs up for your podcast, it is the podcast hosting service that sends the right audio files along with all the necessary media to the platforms. For this, you’ll need to tag your podcast files correctly. For instance, if you’ve recorded your first episode and have the “1podcast.mp3” file on your desktop, you’ll need to provide some information on the audio file, which is basically editing the ID3 tags.
This additional information will let media players understand and display the correct name, title, and episode number of your podcast, along with any artwork.
While it is true that anybody can start a podcast, it is important to note that podcast listeners normally look for good podcasts (duh!). This means that podcasts that have intelligent, relatable, and well-spoken hosts that have interesting guests on or have a passion for a particular subject are more likely to be successful.
While you can’t expect to become the next Tim Ferris or Joe Rogan overnight, if you use these tips and keep on bettering yourself, you should be able to build your cadence and rapport with your audience. As far as length goes, there isn’t any golden rule for podcasts, so you can have a short 30-minute podcast or keep talking for 6 hours; that’s all up to you.
podcast microphone – DepositPhotos