Podcasting was created in 2000 by podcast pioneer Adam Curry, who used podcasting to publish his podcast for the radio show. Podcasts are downloadable audio files released on a set schedule just like other media, such as videos or blog posts.
The word podcast comes from iPod and broadcasting. A podcast is simply an audio file that can be downloaded onto your computer or mobile device through iTunes or any podcasting app so you can listen to it at any time without being connected to the internet. The beauty of podcasts is their flexibility-you can listen while commuting, during your workout, at work, or even when you’re cooking dinner!
Why you may need to start a podcast
Podcasts are great because they appeal to all different types of interests, allowing podcasting to be an incredibly diverse media platform. You can podcast just about anything, from your favorite movie or TV show episode to your thoughts on current events. Podcasts are also great because they are usually free and readily accessible on iTunes or any podcasting app. But podcasting doesn’t have to be free! Many podcasters choose to charge for their podcast so if you hear of a podcast that interests you, consider donating or paying the podcaster to continue improving their content!
You may have heard podcasts called ‘on-demand radio,’ but this is confusing and incorrect. Radio shows are very different from podcasts-they’re more similar in structure to television shows. People tune in to their local radio station at a particular time of day to catch their favorite show, while podcasting is more of an on-demand format-it’s available whenever the listener wants to tune in. Podcasts are also different from AM/FM radio shows because podcast episodes are usually prerecorded. Even if you hear the same podcast being discussed on terrestrial radio, you can still download it on your podcast app.
Podcasting has grown exponentially over the past few years thanks to the marketing power of Apple and other podcast outlets such as Stitcher and TuneIn Radio. But don’t let this intimidate you! Once you’ve got a podcast idea and some essential audio equipment, podcasting is easy and fun – pretty much anyone can do it!
For those who want to learn how to podcast, podcasting platforms like podcast2social provide free tutorials to walk you through the process step-by-step. Another option for podcasting newbies is podcasting consultancy services such as Podcasts on Fire, which can give you personalized podcast training and guidance so you can produce your first podcast episode within hours!
You need a podcast hosting service or host a podcast yourself on your server to have a podcast. Many podcasts are recorded in the basement of the speaker’s home, but this isn’t required. Speaking into a microphone and speaking directly to a camera are two different skill sets. You should know how to start a podcast to understand what podcast needs and which podcast tools to use.
Here are some tips for you if you want to publish your podcast
1 . Decide whether to have a podcast with others or have a solo podcast only. This decision will affect other factors in starting a podcast since it will also determine who you know can help you make successful podcasts.
2 . Equipment List
To record your talk show (or other topics), you’ll need the following items:
Microphone Headphones Music or sound effects CD-R burner Computer with editing software Broadband Internet connection (to upload your finished podcasts) Software Programs You will need the right software to publish your dead podcasts, whether it is an MP3 file for downloading or streaming media used by many podcasters (such as Apple’s iPod format). Prepare your podcasting tools to choose software and equipment that you need to podcast.
3 . Plan your podcast contents, including writing out the podcast script, recording the audio file, editing the file if needed, and finally publishing it online or through the iTunes store for subscribed users to listen through their media players or smartphones.
4 . Tune Your Voice Before Recording – You might have a podcast host, but before anything else, it is essential to train your voice so that people will be drawn into your podcast and will keep them listening throughout. You can do some vocal exercises before podcasting to produce good-sounding agents. People tend to like podcasts more if they feel that the podcast host is talking directly to them instead of shouting or yelling, which makes it unpleasant to hear.
5 . Record Podcast Audio Files – There are several ways to record podcast files depending on your equipment or software installed on your computer. A typical podcast uses one file for each episode. Still, you also have the option to join several audio files together using different editing tools available on the software so you can focus on one topic per podcast session without worrying about file size limitations while recording multiple parts in just one take.
6 . Edit Your Podcast File – The podcast file you have recorded can be easily edited with podcasting software such as Audacity, Garageband, and Adobe Audition. This podcast software allows users to edit podcast audio files for easy listening. They can also optimize these podcast files not to occupy too much space when the podcast is published online or through the iTunes store.
7 . Publish Your Podcast – You can publish your podcast and upload your podcast audio files from your podcast host account. You need to select the correct settings to produce practical audio formats for media players or smartphones. You may also want to upload images along with your podcast contents so that listeners who subscribe to the iTunes store will see the album cover of your podcast while browsing on their iTunes menu bar.
8 . Promote Your podcast – Once you have successfully published the podcast, make sure to promote it on social media sites and through other podcast networks. If you want to attract more listeners, link a free podcast app such as Stitcher or Tunein with your podcast feed so people who use these apps can easily find them.
9 . Ask for Feedback – Once you have started your podcast, ask your listeners to give feedback on the show. This may come in the form of an email or if most of your dedicated listeners are online, you can use social media sites like Facebook or Twitter to interact with them. You can also create a link on your website asking for feedback about how people liked the show and what they think should be included in future episodes.
10 . Make Your Podcast Stand Out – Do not be afraid to experiment and try something new. View feedback as important but remember that you will gain more listeners if you make your podcast unique and let people know why they should keep on listening.
5 tips for editing a podcast episode
- Start With a Script – If you have time, write down what you want to say during your podcast episode. Even if the script is full of grammatical errors and has not been proofread thoroughly, that is still better than just recording spontaneously because it will give you an idea of what to say as well as how to phrase your sentences for easy understanding.
- Record Your Voice – If there’s no one who can help with this process, use online tools such as MP3 Skype recorder or Audacity to record yourself talking directly into a microphone or webcam connected to your computer. Once the file has been uploaded, you can now edit and cut parts that need further improvement like background noise and other sounds that may come from appliances in the background.
- Adjust the Volume Levels – It is best to minimize the use of normalization or amplification because it can distort your words from time to time which makes it difficult for listeners to understand what you say. Use this for special effects and other sounds rather than actual phrases.
- Practice How You Want Your Podcast To Sound Like – If you want a casual conversation as if you are having a personal chat with someone, then read the script in a more relaxed tone that sounds like you are simply talking to yourself. On the flip side, if it needs to be done in an interview format where you have questions and answers at certain points throughout, then stick to a stiffer delivery style instead of putting too many emotions on your words.
- Track Your Performance – You can listen to yourself on a regular basis as you record more episodes so it will be easier to identify what is wrong with the way you sound and how it might affect how listeners perceive you as well as your overall podcast branding. Even if there are small things that need improvement, those little improvements will still make a big difference in the long run compared to making everything seem perfect right from the start and then finding out that everything needs tweaking later on.
Things To Avoid:
1. Podcasting Too Often – You should try to write blog posts or news articles on a daily basis on your company website and send them out through email marketing campaigns so people will learn about what you offer and know more about your brand. If you start podcasting on the topic, however, it might be difficult for listeners to subscribe and listen on a weekly basis. Also, if you want to produce an audio show that is of high quality like Serial but cannot promise such consistency, avoid planning episodes every week. Give yourself some time before recording another episode of your podcast; otherwise, you can end up pushing back deadlines for important things such as client projects or research information gathering.
2 . Recording With Multiple People – It may sound difficult to start a podcast with other people at first because you have to consider different accents, speech speeds, and audio volume levels. Podcasts are usually recorded alone especially if the host is the one who will be doing most of the talking or interviewing guests from time to time. You can record your thoughts using an audio recorder but it would be better if you can combine them into one file that sounds like an interview instead of just having several files on each topic that runs for quite some time.
3 . Sound Quality – This is pretty obvious but still worth mentioning. People tend to listen more when they feel that the podcast host is talking directly to them instead of shouting or yelling, which makes it unpleasant to hear. Always remember this–if you are not proud of your own voice, then why would anyone else be?
4 . Not Having Clear Objectives – It is important to have plans for your podcast right from the start. What are the things that you want to share with your audience? Why are they listening to what you say and taking action on what you do? How can they benefit from it? All these aspects should come first before anything else when planning a podcast. If listeners think that there is no point in continuing to listen, they will unsubscribe or stop following your posts on social media sites. Oftentimes, people who ask random questions about the topic should realize that their inquiries might not be relevant to everyone so just engage them in casual conversation instead of making them feel alienated.
The above guide is meant to help you start a podcast and to build an audience that will be loyal and dedicated enough to listen. You can use these tips as your foundation and extend them into something more powerful and unique using your personal experiences and the research that you have done. Podcasting is not just about uploading audio files online but it is also about helping people learn new things as well as making them feel inspired or entertained no matter how long their commute or trip to work might be. As long as they do not lose interest, all those who listen will stay for quite some time because they will discover something new in each episode. So if you are planning on starting a podcast, know why you want to do it first before anything else happens after that.