I started podcasting late on in 2016 and whilst I don’t claim to be a professional, I thought I would share my top tips on what I have learnt so far. If you have ever listened to our show, you will know that I love some research!!!! When Nate and I first started discussing our own show, I never realised how complex this crazy world of podcasting actually is. I couldn’t believe the sheer volume of independent shows out there, and with that, the amount of information available to someone wanting to start their own.
If you are anything like me, then you are asking yourself a million different questions. What podcast streaming tool shall I use? How do you get onto iTunes? How do you build content? How do you gain listeners? The list is endless…………. What this blog will do is give you what we feel are the Top 5 Tips to running your own Podcast. Please feel free to drop us a comment below to let us know your thoughts and anything that you think we have missed off!
- What’s The Big Idea
The first thing you need to decide is what your show is going to be about. Sounds simple right!!! However this is the biggest decision you will ever make. At this point I wouldn’t necessarily be concentrating on who your listening base is but more on what are you passionate about. Of course people will check out their favoured genre or topic, however what makes someone listen is the presenter’s ability to engage a listener. If you are picking something that you are most passionate about then that is when you become most natural on the mic and conversation flows a lot easier. When we first started I would always write a script for the first part of the show and then any specific points I wanted to make would also be written out. When I listen back to our first ones and compare to now you can ultimately see a huge difference in quality of content. Whereas now we really have a clear show identity with what we are about and the conversation is just so natural that sometimes we are recording for over 2 hours!
- Brand it up baby!!!
The topic is chosen and now it’s time to be creative! You need a show name and logo that is catchy and is going to stand out from the 1,000’s of other podcasts in your genre. You can look at this two ways. The first way is to pick a show title specifically about your topic or genre – if you are a Walking Dead Podcast it could be as simple as Nate & Rus Talk Walking Dead (obviously a bit more creative than that!!!) It’s simple but effective and instantly a potential listener knows what they are getting into. We went with the second way, which is to have an eye catching name that the listener would be so intrigued about that they would want to click play to find out more. We brainstormed a number of ideas and ultimately got some feedback from friends and family around what they thought was the best and boom Aussie & The Pom Show was born. The next part is the logo – we were very fortunate that Nate is actually a graphic designer by trade and so feel free to get in contact with him on Twitter @Apples_23 or on www.applebycreativestudio.com for further help/advice/design. The only advice from me is it needs to be relevant to the show title and content and eye catching enough for a potential listener to find out more.
- Can I get a Mic check, 1, 2, 1, 2
If I used one of my many working time machines and travelled back to the start, the one thing that I would do differently is get our sound quality spot on before we launched! To begin with I was recording with just my iPhone headphone as a microphone and we recorded through a basic Skype recorder. I would always get most frustrated about our sound quality when I compared them to some other existing shows. A listener wants great content, however they also want a clear crisp sound with no interference. If someone is listening to a podcast they are ultimately 9/10 choosing the podcast over a professional radio show. It wasn’t until about 5 episodes in I purchased a proper mic and about 9 episodes in when we finally worked out the best way to record over Skype. I personally use Audacity to record my side of the content and as we start recording I just clap to make a large sound. That way in the editing process, The Aussie, just needs to line up the volume spikes and away we go. There is also plenty of professional microphones which you can use that don’t cost the world. I purchased a ProSound Microphone for £39.95 and it meets all my podcasting needs.
- Social Media is your friend
As much as it is your friend it is also your worst enemy at the same time! So many places to choose from, what will work best? How do you keep on top of it? A huge category so let’s break it down stage by stage.
First thing is what podcast provider are you going to use? It actually doesn’t really make a difference as at the end of the day if you market correctly then they will come (totally ripping off Field of Dreams there). It is true though as if you get the word out and give your listeners the platform to listen through then it doesn’t matter what provider you use. We went for Soundcloud as the stats page on that is very clear and we can easily keep track of who listens, what city they are from and also what means they have used to listen such as iTunes, Facebook or Twitter etc.
Getting onto iTunes is very very easy as you just need your RSS feed and you submit that to iTunes and away you go! I did research about other podcasting providers and found out that being on podbean and stitcher etc didn’t actually boost audiences. You just need to pick one and promote from there.
Next onto the promotion – we found Facebook is great for friends and family but we haven’t had great interaction past that at the moment. The good thing about Facebook is that you can schedule your posts which is an easy way to stay on top of things during the week. Have a spare 30 minutes, you can knock out a whole weeks worth of posts and then you don’t have to worry about it. I would personally say Twitter is the better social media platform as it is easier to engage with listeners and fellow podcasters as well as the promotion is a lot easier. We are part of the #PodernFamily on Twitter but there are also #Podmosphere and #PodsInColor which we use who offer automatic retweets through the day if you include their hashtag. We have built up a solid base of followers on Twitter but remember the key rule 70% OF YOUR POSTS NEED TO BE NORMAL EVERYDAY TWEETS AND ONLY 30% SHOULD BE YOU PROMOTING YOURSELF
- Have Fun
This is so key to remember as you can get bogged down with recording, editing, promoting and obsessing about listening figures. The best thing about podcasting is that I was able to reconnect with a very good friend of mine who I have known for over 10 years. Living over 10,000 miles from each other meant that we both didn’t catch up with each other as much as we should. Now I am having pretty much daily contact with Nate and it isn’t just about the podcast it’s just normal everyday banter. I have also been able to connect with Dave, who is also on the show, and even though we haven’t met I would still class him as a good friend. We have had an absolute blast doing this and that’s why we are so passionate about each episode. We have even done what we call Raw podcasts where we have no topic and we just hit record and have an normal catch up over Skype. What has also been really cool is that we have interacted with some amazing people from the UK but also in USA. I remember when we had our first guest from the USA come onto our show and I was straight onto the phone to Mrs Pom acting as if I was some sort of professional as we had guests on from different countries. The podcasting community are some of the nicest people you will come across. Everyone interacts and is on hand to answer questions, give advice but also have banter with. At the end of the day that’s what it is all about. Concentrate on having fun with it and your content will just flow and your listening base will naturally grow alongside that. Listeners will buy into presenters and personality and if they can feel the fun and the laughs through the airwaves then they are more likely to carry on listening and recommend to others.
I had to finish on a nice cheesy upbeat message!!! Seriously though please feel free to leave your comments and thoughts below as look I am still learning myself and everyday is a school day. Thanks for reading and I hope you found it useful. Get in touch on Twitter or on Facebook if you want anymore details or any questions or just to check out some of the work we do to grow our brand!