Beginners Guide to Hosting a Podcast
The number of people listening to podcasts increases exponentially each year.
17:44 06 May 2020
Perhaps this is one of the reasons that inspired you to venture out on podcasting.
If you are keen on riding the tide, below is a comprehensive guide that will jumpstart your podcasting journey.
Choose a Niche and Topic
To be able to begin hosting a podcast, the first thing that you need to do is to choose a niche and topic that you are familiar with or that is in line with your expertise. It is best if you perform niche research to identify a certain problem that you can help your target audience to overcome. Thus, the demographic of your target audience will largely depend on the niche and topic that you choose. Ideally, it is best for you to choose a niche that is not very competitive because this will increase your chance of making it in podcasting.
Name your Podcast
Once you have decided on the niche and topic you want to pursue, the next thing for you to do is to create a podcast name. Make it simple, but memorable for an easier recall. Nevertheless, you can follow some of the most common naming conventions. You can use your personal name or come up with a creative or descriptive name. Use your personal name if you will be hosting the show yourself and eventually build your brand. On the other hand, use a creative name if you want your podcast to reflect your personality. On the other hand, a descriptive name can give you an edge in terms of targeting the audience in your niche. A tagline or a subtitle goes best with your podcast name because this will help users to understand who the podcast is intended for or why they should listen to it.
Make a Podcast Artwork
A podcast artwork appears as a thumbnail image along with your podcast. It should be a visual representation of your show. Make it eye-catching and attractive to spark the interest of podcast users. Select a color theme based on your target audience, keeping in mind that certain colors can impact emotions and behaviors. Aside from a channel cover art, you also need to consider an episode cover art later on.
Decide on the Music
Having an intro or outro music will add a distinct element in your podcast. Keep the music short, simple, but with a unique flavor that you can own. If you are not a music person, there are different services that you can leverage on to provide the most appropriate music for your show.
Equipment and Software
Choose a microphone with the flexibility that will allow you to record solo, with a guest, or even with a group. For this, you need to consider the design, directionality, as well as the bit depth of the microphone. There are microphones which are designed to sit on a desk or be suspended on a mic stand. The way that your microphone picks up sound, or its directionality, can significantly affect the clarity of the sound you record. The bit depth affects the loudness or softness of the sound you are able to record.
There are various recording software that you can use for podcasting. Some are suitable for solo recording, while others are appropriate to record guest interviews. There are also recording software that will help you measure the noise in the room, which will greatly aid you in modifying your recording set up as necessary. Other recording software features noise cancellation functionalities, as well as easy editing and voice levelling.
In order for your podcast to reach your audience and be heard, you need to utilize a hosting platform. A podcast hosting service will provide you with a uniform resource locator, or a URL that you can use to publish your content later on. With the numerous hosting platforms available nowadays, choosing the right one that will suit your needs may prove to be overwhelming.
There are free hosting solutions and there are also enterprise or premium subscriptions. While there are free hosting platforms that are reliable, there is a great chance that you will not have an ultimate control over your feed. For this reason, you may want to consider paying hosting platforms that offer more features, especially if you intend to be an expert in podcasting.
Nevertheless, there are also hosting platforms that are scalable, being able to adapt as the number of your audience grows. The important thing is to select a hosting platform that can cater to the podcasting content that you intend to create.
Recording your Episodes
Script and Outline
For every topic, you need to have a brief outline of your episode, as well as its main takeaway. It will help to begin with the end in mind, thinking about the purpose of your episode and the thought that you want to leave your listeners. In crafting up the script and the outline of the episode, list the stories, points, or case studies that you need to reference in order to support your main point or argument. After which, arrange the bullet points that you have listed in a chronological order. This will greatly aid you in organizing your thoughts and delivering what your audience likes to hear.
But, before you record any podcast episode, make sure that you have a couple of topics ready. This will ensure that when it is time for you to launch, you will have sufficient content for a continuous publishing. In line with this, decide on how often you will upload your podcast content. The frequency of your uploads is often a reflection of your desire for growth.
If you can, record a couple of podcast episodes in one sitting, but recording a single episode is just as fine. As much as possible, choose a recording room without hardwood floors or without windows to reduce the echo produced in your sound. Don’t fret if you don’t get it all done in one take after you hit the record button because there is always the next step, which is editing.
Editing is where the magic in your recorded sound happens. There are a couple of ways for you to edit your records and one is to record unceasingly before going back to cut out your mistakes such as the wrong things you have said, as well as long pauses. Another option is for you to stop recording after a certain mistake, edit your take and then continue on recording afterwards.
In any of these options, you don’t really need to start recording from the beginning, especially when you encounter errors in the middle or towards the end parts of your recording session. Also, bear in mind that you are bound to make more mistakes at the beginning, but with proper practice and more experience, you will eventually get good at podcasting.
After you edit your episodes, the next thing for you to do is to export them through your hosting platform. Just fill out the details about your podcast and choose all the episodes you wish to publish. In other instances, you need to find your RSS feed link for your podcast from your hosting platform. This is the link that you need to use to submit to different directories such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher among others.
No matter how great your content is, if nobody is aware that it exists, then it will not be consumed by users. This is where marketing your podcast comes into play to let your target audience know that your podcast is ready for them. If you already have existing social media channels, now is the perfect time to leverage on those accounts to announce your podcast. There is also the option for you to shell out some bucks to advertise your podcast content to the right audience. Don’t lose heart if you only have a few listeners on your first few episodes. As soon as you create more and more relevant content, the number of your listeners will eventually grow too.
Once you have established a podcast audience, the next step is for you to find sponsors to help you earn revenue from your shows. Just remember that the more listeners that you have, the easier it will be for you to acquire sponsors. Thus, it is best to wait until you build up a certain number of following, ideally in thousands, before reaching out to potential sponsors for your show.
Podcasting is consistently expanding as a broadcasting platform. To be able to get yourself in the game, make sure that you have an appropriate niche and topic suitable to the demographic you want to serve. Give your podcast a title and create an artwork that will go with it. When you are ready, get the proper equipment and hosting platform to be able to upload your content regularly and give your audience the content they want to hear.