This post was written by Auxbus, and formatted by EOFire.
You want to start a podcast. You have a blank canvas just waiting for your ideas, but where do you start? Or maybe you have ideas but don’t have any organization for them.
Creating a podcast is an art, but it is not as out of reach as it may seem. And by planning your podcast in advance you can save yourself a lot of time and questions that will come up later in the podcasting process.
Planning your podcast content
Spend some time thinking about these questions to begin creating a framework for your podcast as a whole. Planning your podcast in advance will lead to more clarity and efficiency as you continue on your podcasting journey.
1. Who are you trying to reach with your show?
Understand that your audience helps guide the content you’re producing. Think about what the people you are trying to reach want to hear.
- Do this: describe your ideal listener
2. What is the objective of your show?
Do you want to increase sales, provide more relevance or connection to your business, reach people within your company, share a message, or?
Creating goals for your podcast gives you something to go back to every time you want to create a new episode.
- Do this: define your show’s objective.
3. Who might be competition for you?
If there are other businesses in your industry already producing a podcast, what unique angle can you bring to the table to stand out from the rest?
- Do this: market research! Go to Apple Podcasts and Google and search for already-existing content in your industry / niche. If you find other podcasts, what are they doing right? What could they be doing better? And most importantly, how will you make sure what you’re creating is unique?
4. Think about the length of your episodes
The length of your podcast is up to you, and it’s important to consider – realistically – what you’re able to commit to.
The average commute is 30 minutes, but while some people want a quick and easy episode to listen to, others may want longer episodes for things like road trips.
- Do this: jot down what you think you want your episode length to be. Will every episode be the same? Will there be different types of episodes?
5. Your show’s playbook
Having a framework for your podcast as a whole makes it easier to create and sustain new topics for each episode.
How to come up with specific episode topics
To generate topics for episodes, think about this:
- What are your strengths?
- What matters to you?
- What are you passionate about?
- What do your listeners want to hear?
- Who are people within your industry that you can bring on your podcast to hep provide even more value?
- Is there relevant news you can discuss?
- How is your company growing?
- What new products does your company have that can help your audience?
Also, think about industry related topics that you can tie back to your business or line of work.
For example: A company that specializes in baby care products could create a podcast where they talk to moms and share their stories. This makes the company relatable to their consumers but also provides an opportunity to market new products.
Enlist the help of others within your company or team to generate ideas.
You can even ask friends or family for topics they would want to hear. Once your podcast is up and running, you can ask your listeners for feedback on topics they would like covered.
Create a document or brainstorming board where you can make a big list of any content ideas that come to mind.
Don’t discount any topics. Even if you do not have the full idea worked out yet, write them all down.
You can go back to this “drawing board” every time you want to create a new episode and see what ideas you can take from it, or even add new ones.
The top reasons people listen to podcasts are to learn something new and to be entertained. When coming up with ideas, think about what knowledge and insight you have that could teach or entertain others. (Edison Research)
Use your brainstorming time to decide what topics you want to cover in your first batch of episodes before you even record your first one.
You want to leave yourself room to grow. Don’t release all your content in your first episode and then be lost as to where to go next.
Organizing your podcast content
When sitting down to record your first episode, it can feel like there’s a lot of pressure to present perfection. This pressure can create unnecessary difficulty in production, so just relax!
It’s important to realize people listen to podcasts because it is a medium in which you can really understand someone’s message – because they are using their own voice.
A good podcast will leave a lasting impression on its audience. By utilizing your voice to personalize your brand, you build a reputation people can trust.
You obviously want to your podcast to sound clean and professional, but people enjoy the natural, conversational style that podcasts provide, so your script does not have to be flawless. Listeners want to connect with a human on the other side of the podcast, not a robot.
Be flexible, be creative
Allow yourself flexibility and creativity. You need to ensure that the information contained within the script is accurate and informative, but you need to create a piece of audio that people will enjoy listening to.
You want to write how you speak, so if you’re reading a script it still comes across as natural. Having a good format to follow will make creating your ideal episode easier.
Organize your podcast in 1 of 3 ways
Here are a few different ways you can organize the content for your show.
1. Scripts: Write out and record your content verbatim
Scripting may be a good option for someone who is not yet comfortable talking into a microphone or is not the most natural speaker. It may also be a good idea to script a podcast, or parts of your podcast, if you are sharing a lot of data or information that may not be accurately conveyed if not read directly.
The downside to scripting a podcast is that you often lose the quality of presentation because it is extremely difficult to sound natural while reading a script.
Producing a scripted podcast also takes significantly more time due to the fact you are trying to produce perfection.
2. Ad Lib: Speaking freely without any guidance
This is definitely the most natural sounding way to record a podcast and will really allow your personality to show through.
For someone who is very comfortable speaking and able to keep their rabbit trails in check, this may be a good option.
However, podcasts that are fully ad libbed can sometimes be difficult for a listener to follow or stay engaged, and often result in more long-winded content than necessary.
3. Outline: Creating a basic list for the content to follow
Outlining is a great middle ground between the two above formats.
Having an outline gives you guidance without having to script the whole thing. Your outline may be only a few points, but at least helps steer your content and gives you a roadmap to stay on track.
Some items in your outline may include your biggest points for that episode with a few notes under each. Or it may include questions you will ask your guest.
Think about questions that will generate conversation versus just a single response – or worse, a yes or no answer.
If you’re creating a “how to” or a list type of podcast episode, your outline could contain the different steps or items in the list.
An outline is a great way to jot down some notes of things you do not want to forget to discuss.
Organizing your podcast with a combo approach
One of the best ways to prepare is to combine all three of these methods.
Create an outline with headings and subheadings, script things that must be accurate like quotes, statistics, etc., and ad lib as you feel necessary.
Writing content for a podcast is possibly the most difficult part of creating a podcast.
It takes a level of creativity and uniqueness that you cannot just learn overnight.
However, if you spend time thinking about what you really want from your podcast, your audience, your personal strengths, and then create a framework into which you can plug new ideas, it will be a lot easier to get those creative juices flowing.
This post was written by Auxbus, the first end-to-end audio platform designed to eliminate the obstacles that stand in the way of creating a podcast. Auxbus makes audio creation fast, easy and fun. Learn more and try it for yourself by visiting Auxbus.com.