Podcasts are THE THING right now, especially for entrepreneurs, and for good reason! A podcast can serve as entertainment, education, or self-improvement for its audience.
So with all the activity of searches for good content on how to create your own Podcast, I had to turn to my dear friend Tyrella for the five steps to launching a successful podcast.
Thank you for trusting me to talk to your friends about podcasting, Magan!
My love for podcasts started when I realized there was TONS of great information available to me for free – in podcasts! I worked for a cosmetic surgery practice and wanted to learn all I could about marketing, and I had over an hour-long commute.
Enter the world of podcasting.
I lived for shows like Online Marketing Made Easy by Amy Porterfield. After a while, I discovered that I could also feed my love of True Crime with podcasts. There were tons to listen to and it became a world that I could get sucked into to unwind or help to propel my career.
But in listening to Amy, I also learned that you can make money with podcasting. There are so many different ways to do it, and for many online business owners, you can capture an audience you would not have otherwise been able to reach.
Here’s the thing though – if you think that you can just record yourself speaking off the cuff about a subject (even if you’re comfortable with speaking) and put it into the world, I’m here to tell you to think again.
Podcasting is fun and rewarding. But it’s also hard work. It’s time consuming. But if you have a plan in place, you can launch your podcast and set it up to be successful from the very first episode.
This seems like a no-brainer, but you need to know what your show will be all about. If you’re a photographer, will you focus on content for your brides? For your families? For other photographers?
Don’t stop at “for my brides.” How will you provide value to them? Maybe your podcast will feature interviews with companies in the wedding industry with tips on wedding planning to help your brides have a smoother wedding planning process. This will give you a very specific starting point.
Once you’ve determined this, start brainstorming episode ideas; make a list 15-20 to start with.
Once you’ve nailed down your topic and who you will be providing value for, you need to decide how your podcast will be hosted.
Will this be a single host podcast where you are the teacher? You can always invite guests on, but the main recording and publishing schedule will be dependent on just you.
Will you have a co-host? If you decide to have a co-host (maybe a colleague or friend you feel more comfortable recording with), be sure to get realistic with each other and how much time you can commit to the show. Planning around 2 schedules is harder than a single hosted podcast – it’s something to keep in mind.
My show is a co-host discussion based show. My sister and I are present for every single recording and we have run into snags with vacations, when one of us has gotten sick, changes in work schedules, when I had a baby… you can see all the things that contribute to recording schedule issues there. It can absolutely be done, but just make sure you are both open and honest about how you will handle these types of issues, etc.
Now that you know the what and the who, it’s time to decide on the when.
There is no right answer here. You will have to decide realistically how often you can publish episodes.
The only right answer is to BE CONSISTENT.
From day one.
If you say you’re going to release weekly, release weekly. If you can’t commit to that in the beginning, release bi-weekly or monthly.
Whatever you decide, know that you can always increase how much you publish. As you begin to build an audience, they get used to how often you publish- down to the time of day.
If you normally release episodes on Tuesday mornings, and one Tuesday you’re behind and you don’t publish until that evening, you may lose some subscribers.
This is not to say that you can’t be flexible with emergencies or special situations, but consistency is absolutely KEY.
You can learn from my mistake here. When I started our show, I wanted to release weekly because all my favorite shows did. A lot of these shows had graduated to full time podcasting and had a full work week to dedicate, but I didn’t realize that. I was working full time with a young child and one on the way. There were weeks I didn’t publish. There were weeks I didn’t publish on the same day each week. Eventually, we moved to bi-weekly for a while (we did notify our listeners).
But the whole time our downloads suffered. Our growth was so slow it felt like we were crawling.
Then I decided to get serious and post each week on Saturdays in the mornings. And since we have been doing this consistently, we have hit our goal of over 1 million downloads!
I really can’t stress enough the importance of consistency.
I feel like I’ve said every step is key. This is key.
When we started, we recorded each episode the week of its release. Wanna know why? Because I was under the impression that we would just talk and I’d publish that.
“We don’t need to do a lot of editing, we’re just having a conversation. It’s not even scripted!”
Famous last words.
No matter how laid back your show is, you will always edit. Take into account how long each episode will take you to research/write, record, schedule a guest interview (if that applies), create any freebies that go with the episode, etc. All this takes time.
If you are realistic and have several episodes under your belt before you ever publish episode 1, you will have a very good idea about your time commitment per episode, have the opportunity to work out some of the snags, and give yourself some breathing time between episodes. Not to mention you can build in buffer time for life’s emergencies.
I recommend recording 4-6 episodes before you release so that you have a month to 6 weeks (if you publish weekly) of content complete and you can spend your time working on future episodes. No last minute editing or creating a freebie. The level of stress knowing that you’re behind and there are people waiting on your episode is high!
If you have gotten ahead, you can have a sick day. You can take a vacation and know that your episode will still release when it is scheduled to.
This also gives you time to announce your show to your audience and begin to establish relationships with other shows that could cross-promote your show. Building the audience before launch goes a long way to the initial success of your show.
The 2 major pieces of equipment you will need are your microphone (with stand, pop filter and windscreen) and your computer/editing software. I have listed the equipment that I use below with links to purchase (some are affiliate links).
Microphone: I see the ATR 2100 USB microphone most-recommended on all the podcasting leader lists. It was recommended to me by an audio engineer. This mic is a plug and play mic that uses your USB port to connect to your computer. It’s incredibly easy to use and produces studio-quality sound.
This particular version comes with the Boom Arm (to connect to your desk and sit directly in front of you while recording), a Pop Filter (to reduce harsh “p” sounds called plosives), and the Shock Mount (to reduce noise from vibrations). It is extremely affordable for the quality of audio it produces and comes with all the equipment you need to start recording audio! You can also grab a windscreen to protect your microphone from saliva.
GarageBand: If you are using a Mac, you can record and edit with GarageBand. It comes free with the computer and has some basic mastering and editing capabilities that produce great finished audio. This is the system I started my show with.
Audacity: If you are on a PC or do not prefer GarageBand, you can use Audacity. It is an open source software that is free to use. It is more robust than GarageBand. If you have Windows software or have a Mac and need more capabilities than GarageBand can offer, Audacity is a great choice for you.
Adobe Audition: I imagine many readers here are familiar with Adobe Creative Cloud because of Photoshop. If you are already paying for Creative Cloud, Adobe Audition comes with your monthly subscription. It is available on Mac and PC and is the system that I use. The great thing about Adobe products is that if you know how to use one, the user interface is similar across the brand and a new program is a little easier to navigate. If you’re not already paying for Creative Cloud, one of the other free softwares may be the best way to go starting out.
I hope this post has been helpful and gives you a starting point for your show. My goal is that you learn from my mistakes and save yourself wasted time and energy. Just remember to be realistic, be consistent, and above all, provide value to your listener. Putting your listener first will help all the rest fall into place.
Goodness sakes, that was FULL of amazing info! I hope you find it helpful to start your own podcast, or found tips to improve your current podcast! I have been telling Tyrella to get busy creating a course on podcasting, so if you agree that she should, leave her a comment below!
Here are ways to find out more about Tyrella, Tori, and their awesome True Crime Podcast, Killer Queens:
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Five Steps to Launching a Successful Podcast