Podcast Pre-Production: Why You Should Plan Ahead

A podcast pre-production is the foundation for any good show - here's why you should plan ahead before launching your podcast.

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Podcasts are a very appealing medium for a lot of people. They’re easy to record, edit and upload, you can talk about something you love, you can even possibly make a profit from it! So, why is planning ahead so important? Let’s find out!

The Big Question: Why?

The biggest question you have to ask yourself is why? Why do you want to make this podcast? There are plenty of very good reasons to start a podcast. You might want to educate yourself as well as your listeners, or have an interesting story to share, or perhaps you just want to create a community around something you love. Once you have figured out what is motivating you to create your podcast, you can continue to starting your planning.

Research is Key

Really this title says it all! If you want to start a podcast, you will need to do your research on your chosen topic for your podcast. This is to make sure, that you know what you’re talking about, that you know what the other people interested in this topic want to hear in a podcast, and to immerse yourself in the community around the topic.

You will want to identify and reach out to your potential audience, asking them what they would like to hear from your podcast. This way, you can assure that your content will be appealing to your audience upon its release. You know that people are going to be searching for your chosen topic of interest and that, as a result, your podcast will gain attention from that.

Listening to other podcasts on this topic is a good idea too. That way, you can see how other people have created and formatted their podcasts about the same topic and what topics they have covered. You can take notes on what you like and don’t like about their podcasts, as well as content idea, but remember not to directly rip content from other podcasters! That’s definitely not cool!

Getting a Name and Design

Here’s the hard part; Naming and creating a design for your show. Most people have a difficult time coming up with an idea for a podcast name that’s precise, memorable and unique. While the final naming of your podcast is entirely up to you, we can give you a few pointers on how to make your podcasts name better:

One of a Kind: Make sure nobody else is using the name you’ve chosen. Have a search through iTunes and other large directories. Does nobody else have that podcast name yet? Claim it!

Simple Spelling: If people are going to be talking about your podcast, you need to make sure it’s easy to pronounce and spell. That way when people mention you, they can just say the name of your podcast instead of having to spell it out every time.

Linked to Podcast: The title of your podcast needs to tell the audience immediately what your podcast is all about. If people are confused about what to expect when they listen to your podcast, likelihood is they won’t give it a listen.

Pictures Speak Louder Than Words

Eye-catching artwork is often what draws a potential listeners attention. With some good artwork attached to your podcast, it will stand out from other podcasts around it in directories. When first starting out, you can create your own artwork on Photoshop, but when you really want to get started, (which may well be from the very beginning!), it’s recommended that you contact an actual graphic designer and getting a quote from them to create a great piece of artwork for your podcast.

Strong Structures

Structure is important to a good podcast and there are several things to think about when thinking about your podcasts structure.

You will need to consider:

  • Who: Decide who is going to host your podcast. Consider whether or not you will have guests or co-hosts.
  • What: Plan intros and outros ahead of time. These can be the same each time or have a vague structure that is followed each time.
  • When: Consider when you will post your episodes; Weekly, Fortnightly, Monthly etc.
  • Segments: What about different segments of the show? Will they come back?

Creating Your Metadata

Making sure you have your Metadata sorted will help you in the long run. This will help you to organise your show title, episode titles, episode descriptions, etc, so designing what your podcasts metadata will look like is pretty important. Make a template for your Metadata in a document on your computer and design it in there first. Consider what links you want to include too, because when your podcast is displayed in directories away from your website, you’ll want to make sure that everything gets linked back to you.

Record! Re-Record! Then, Record Again!

Now you have everything ready and planned thoroughly, what are you waiting for?! Go and record your first test episode! Record a few versions of your test episode and send them to a few trusted contacts for feedback. Remember that this first episode will be the first impression people will get of your podcast, so you want it to be AMAZING! Even if that takes some time to get there. A lot of listeners like to start listening to a new podcast from the very beginning, so your first episode is majorly important even after your podcast has been going for a few episodes.

Create a Home For Your Podcast

By this, we mean a website. This will improve your SEO and it makes you look properly setup and professional. Loads of podcasters use Wordpress to create their website due to the amount of really useful plugins it offers and the sheer customisation it gives the creator. Just make sure you have an about page, explaining your podcast and perhaps a little about the hosts, a page of episodes, so your listeners can easily pick up your podcast, and a contact page, so people can get in contact with you and tell you how much they love your show!

Ready? Set? GO!

After all that pre-production, it’s finally launch day! But before you get ahead of yourself, why not do a few more things just to really add excitement to your big launch? You could create a snazzy trailer, to give your listeners a taste of what’s to come. Get on your social media and leave little images, tasters, countdowns etc, to increase the excitement. Send your podcast to new podcast reviewers or newsletters, there are plenty of these around now. Create a designated hashtag to spread on social media, making it easy for people to share your content around, including the episode when you release it.

Finally, release that first episode into the wild and watch it grow! Now, you are the proud owner of a podcast.

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