Hey Fire Nation! John Lee Dumas here, and I decided to hop onto the blog today to talk about Podcasting.
One of the most commonly asked questions I get from people who are interested in starting a podcast is “Where do I start?“
Right up there with this question comes a similar one: “What does it take to produce a podcast?“
I’m here to answer both of these questions to show you that podcasting is not some big, hairy monster that was created to scare you and take up all of your bandwidth.
Podcasting is doable – if you want to do it.
What type of podcaster are you?
I know several podcasters who use podcasting as a compliment to their already existing business – another medium to help them grow their audience and gain even more credibility and authority in their niche.
I also know some podcasters, like myself, whose podcast is the foundation of their business.
Whichever one of these situations applies to you, the steps to creating and launching your podcast are the same.
Let’s tackle where to start first, and then we’ll dive into the entire Podcast Workflow so you can see what it takes to produce a podcast from start to finish!
Where to start
First things first: I created Free Podcast Course to help you learn how to create, grow, and monetize your Podcast in just 15-days.
This is a free 15-day email and video series that walks you through each step – 1 by 1.
Alright, so before you can start recording your podcast, there are a few things that you’ll need to determine:
- What your podcast will be about, and
- What types of equipment and programs you’ll use to help create it.
If you are using a podcast as a compliment to your already existing business, then the first part will be quite simple.
Your website, the topic for your podcast, the name, and perhaps even your artwork are pretty well established based on what you’ve already created for your business in this case.
But there are other critical decisions you’ll still have to make.
Let’s break them all down.
What you need to know before you start a podcast
Establish your podcast topic, niche & avatar
In establishing your podcast topic, you’ll also be making some important decisions regarding your niche and your avatar.
Name your podcast
Naming your podcast can be difficult. Some people know it right away, and others have to do in-depth brainstorming to find it.
When choosing a name for your podcast, you should think about your niche and your avatar: what name not only communicates to your audience exactly what your podcast will be about, but also resonates with your avatar?
Focus on being clear – not clever.
It’s good to have your website URL match your podcast name, if possible, unless you’re going to go the personal branding route and will be using your name as your brand.
An example of this is Amy Porterfield, who can be found at AmyPorterfield.com, but who has a well-known podcast by the name of Online Marketing Made Easy.
Determine the format of your show
The format of your show includes a few things: the length, the consistency and whether or not you’ll be doing solo, co-host or interview-based episodes.
It doesn’t have to one of these things or nothing – if you want to mix up interviews with solo shows, then that’s great!
Just be sure that you’re consistent so your audience knows what to expect and when to expect it (this goes for the length of your show and when you publish it, too).
Create your artwork
This is probably the #1 thing I see holding podcasters back form launching.
Not a designer? Don’t know what your artwork should look like? For a very reasonable price you can have a professional help you with this step. We love 99Designs.com/fire, who is a sponsor of EOFire.
*Bonus: you can get a free $99 upgrade if you use our FIRE link :)
Don’t let your podcast artwork hold you back. It’s important to be noticed in iTunes and to start building your brand, but at the end of the day, your podcast artwork is something you can change at any point in time!
Purchase your equipment
On a tight budget? I have an entire page of equipment recommendations that start at just $26 and that will have you sounding amazing on air!
My #1 recommendation is the ATR-2100 for your microphone, and you can grab this on Amazon for less than $60.
Determine which software you’ll use to record/edit your podcast
Launch a website to help support your podcast
Once you’ve launched, you’ll want a “home base” where you can direct your audience.
Your website is where you should direct people who are interested in learning more about you, your podcast, accessing resources you have to share and engaging and interacting with other listeners.
Ideally, you’ll start building an email list day 1 with the help of your website, complete with an opt in offer (a free download, for example) and an email capture form. This opt in gives you the ONLY direct connection to your audience that you own.
See how easy it is to get started? :)
Now that we’ve covered how to start, let’s dive in to the entire podcasting workflow so you can see the steps laid out from start to finish.
The Podcast Workflow
Record your mp3
If you’re just doing a solo episode, then you should record directly into your editing software program for the best sound quality.
Be sure to record in mono instead of stereo – this will cut your mp3 file size in half, saving you money when it comes to hosting your audio files.
Edit mp3, add intros & outros
It’s up to you whether or not you want to edit your audio. I always go back and edit my podcast episodes, but I make it really easy on myself by using hotkeys in Audition to drop markers during the interview, which helps me quickly locate exactly where I need to go back and edit – pure efficiency at work!
If you don’t have an intro or outro yet, I recommend having someone else create this for you.
Having another voice introduce you gives you instant credibility and also breaks up the episode.
Export your mp3
Upload to your media host
If you’re looking for an all-in-one website and hosting solution, check out one of our latest joint projects here at EOFire: Podcast Websites: your all-in-one peace of mind.
If you do decide to go with Libsyn (which is the media host we use here at EOFire), make sure to use promo code fire to get the rest of this month AND next month free!
(Note: start at the highest hosting level if you use promo code fire, then downgrade after the free period; if you change your plan any time during the free period, you will no longer receive the promo.)
Submit your podcast to the major directories
You should consider the time it will take to get your show “approved” on each platform if you’re aiming for a specific launch date. For iTunes and Stitcher, the typical approval period ranges from 24-48 hours after you submit your RSS feed.
Just because you’ve set up your media host does not mean you’ll automatically appear on every platform, so again, be sure to consider the time it will take to submit your feed and get approved.
Embed your podcast on your site using Smart Podcast Player
Embedding your podcast on your WP site with Smart Podcast Player from Pat Flynn gives your listeners yet another option to easily listen to your podcast.
This is also a great way to enhance your show notes pages, giving your listeners the opportunity to press play while reading your notes.
Because you’re still using your RSS feed from your media host to embed your episodes on your site, your host will still be counting these listens as downloads.
You’ve gone through all these steps to create your podcast, and it’s finally live – now it’s time to promote it!
It’s a huge mistake to publish an episode and then expect people to just go out and find it; you have to let people know about it.
Here are a few ideas to get you started with promoting your podcast:
*If you’re doing an interview-based show, email your guest with a reminder the day of and ask if they’ll help share it with their audience;
*Create a show notes page that you can direct people to in order to increase traffic to your website (that’s where people can find out more about you and what else you have to offer);
*Get social: promote your episode on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram… choose the top 1 or 2 social platforms you know your listeners are on and use a scheduling tool like Hootsuite or MeetEdgar to start promoting your show;
*Take your audio and create a YouTube video so you can share on YouTube.
Repurposing your content when it comes to audio is not only simple, it can also be very beneficial since everyone likes to consume content in different ways and on different platforms.
Patience and consistency are key
Creating your own podcast definitely takes time, but if it’s something you really want in order to add to your already-existing business plan – or you want to create your business starting with a podcast – then it’s definitely doable.
The list above is in no way meant to be all-inclusive of every single step you need to take to create a successful podcast and platform, but it does include the framework necessary to get started.
Other things like creating a presence on social media and show notes for your audience are important for growing and nurturing your connection with your audience.
I hope this post has opened your eyes to the possibility of creating a podcast!
If you’re interested in learning even more about podcasting and what it can do for your business, we’d love it if you could join us on our next free, Live Podcast Workshop! Just click here to register :)
Ready to start your podcast today? Join Free Podcast Course, a free, 15-day email and video series that shares the most integral steps of creating, growing and monetizing your podcast!
Cheers to your podcasting success!