You want to start a podcast, which is fantastic! But how do you make sure that your podcast is successful and stands out amongst the many other podcasts around. Here are a few top tips to get you started.
Make sure your podcast has an overall goal or aim. For example, if you’re making a podcast about animals in rescue shelters, your overall aim could be to encourage people to adopt animals from shelters. If you have a passion for your podcast and a goal to get to, your listeners will share your passion too. If you don't have a goal for your podcast, have a brainstorming session and see what you can come up with. Pick a goal or aim that best suits your podcast to give you something to aim for.
If you pitch your podcast as being uploaded twice every week, stick to that. People like consistency, so if you know you won’t be able to cope with two episodes a week, narrow it down to one a week. Don’t be afraid to do less episodes if it means they are more manageable and better quality. Some podcasts do end up switching their schedule from a couple of episodes a week, down to a couple of episodes a month so they can guarantee consistency and also produce better quality content. If you are going to switch schedules, or if you absolutely have to miss an episode, let your audience know. Don't just miss an episode and wait until the next episode to tell them why it was missing. Just post up on social media outlets and let them know. Your audience will appreciate it.
Get good interviewees that are relevant to your podcasts topic. This will attract listeners more than anything else. While these can be a little bit difficult to come by when you’re first starting up, it’s just a matter of networking in your chosen area of interest. Send emails, messages on social media, arrange meet ups with people. By being persistent and professional, you will be able to secure an interview, it just might take a little bit of time and a bit of work. Eventually, you'll be able to get bigger names on your podcast which will then draw their existing fans into listening to your podcast too, growing your listening numbers drastically.
Your audience is the most important thing to bear in mind during podcast production. They should always be your priority, because if they don’t approve, you lose the trust of your listeners and your listening figures will see a sharp decline. Make an hour or so each day to interact with your audience. Respond to tweets, comments and direct messages. Even if it’s just going through and liking comments, it still shows you’re looking and enjoying your audience’s responses. You could also put out a ‘call to action’ in your episodes, for instance, ask them to leave Facebook comments about their favourite movie. It gives them a way to talk to you and then you can go through them, and perhaps even read out a few of your favourites in the next episode.
While you don’t necessarily need to fork out loads of money for a super expensive microphone and advanced editing software, you do need to have some awareness of the quality of what you’re publishing. Make sure your audio is clear, so that you can hear your voice and exactly what you’re saying without any muffling or background noise running over the top of you. As for editing, you don’t need to know every aspect of the editing program you have, but at least know how to cut and move clips of audio. That way, you can cut any mistakes out easily, or things like coughs in interviews, making everything seem much more neat and clean.
The most important piece of advice, at risk of sounding a bit cheesy perhaps, is just to be yourself and enjoy making your podcast and putting your voice out there. If you enjoy what you’re creating, your listeners will sense that and they’ll get far more enjoyment after listening to your podcast. If you enjoy it, to your listeners it will always sound like they are listening to a friend with similar interests chatting to them.
Don't hesitate, places are filling up fast!