Congratulations, you have decided to create a podcast. No doubt you are excited to get started, dive right in, but have you done any planning? Who is your target audience? What platform are you using? Why do you want to make a podcast, and what will it be about? So many questions, so little time. Oh, there’s another one; how often will you post? What kind of time will you need to devote each week? Who’s going to do all the work of pre production, post production and all the stops in between? It’s now becoming a bit daunting. Don’t fret, and don’t give up, we are here to help you sort it all out.
Where Do You Begin?
The best place to begin is at the beginning, of course. And that is determining and defining your ‘why’. Why are you creating a podcast? There are a variety of reasons, but if you want your podcast to succeed, it has to be a sustainable reason. Sure, we all want our podcasts to be successful, to bring us fame and fortune, but if that’s all you’ve planned, you should stop now. Statistics show that there are over 2 million podcasts in creation. That’s a lot of competition. How is yours going to stand out? Why will your audience want to listen to what you have to say? Give your podcast direction by defining your ‘why’. This will be your jumping off point to any podcast, be it your first or your tenth.
What Is Your ‘Why’?
Your why is the reason you are producing a podcast. It is the information you deem to be important to an audience. It is your area of expertise. It is your personality, and it is the one item that you will use to build your brand from, so eventually you can attain that fame and fortune. If you have a knack for reading the stars and predicting the future, you certainly don’t want to produce a podcast on financial advice. It’s not going to be sustainable. You need to know your strengths and your message. What drives you? What are you passionate about? What do you want to be able to share with an audience? Do you want to educate people, make people laugh, or promote a message to the world? Determining this first item will open the gates to every aspect to follow, from naming your podcast, to recording it, and eventually to marketing it. Once you have a set pathway, you can then build upon that point to create a podcast that your listeners will be drawn to, return to, and before long help you monetize your passion.
What Determines a Good Why?
Once you have decided on a ‘why’ you’ll need to determine if it is a good ‘why’. Does your passion create enough material? If your ‘why’ can’t sustain more than a few episodes then your efforts may be wasted.
How will you build upon your ‘why’ so your podcast does not become stagnant? Is your passion for your ‘why’ evident to your listeners? If you don’t already have a social audience, you will want to build one, and for those that do have an audience you will want to add to that group. Your enthusiasm is a driving force. If you are excited about a topic, it is likely your listeners will be as well.
Will your ‘why’ give you alternate avenues for episodes? Your content may be your passion, but it can also be other people’s passion too. Use your ‘why’ to recruit guest speakers, conduct interviews, and call your audience to action. If you can use these few questions to develop your ‘why’, then you are headed in a good direction.
Where Does Your ‘Why” Fit?
With over 2 million podcasts out there, where will your podcast fit? Here is another avenue to travel when determining your ‘why’ and helping to make your podcast a success. Look around the directories to see if there are podcasts that are similar to your idea. Is there a plethora of the same topic? If so, what will make yours stand out from all the others?
Most listeners find new podcasts by searching these directories, be it on Apple, Google, Spotify or several others. Take time to do a little leg work, and research your ‘why’ and its subtopics. By informing yourself about what’s already available, you can fine tune your ‘why’ to draw in an audience that is already out there and interested in that topic. This fine tuning will make your podcast unique to you and what adds to the value of the information you are putting out there.
What happens if there is a vast amount of podcasts out there on the same topic? Don’t give up. Dig a little deeper. Look at the number of episodes these podcasts have. Of those 2 million podcasts out there, a percentage of them are not taking the steps you yourself are taking now. They may only have a handful of episodes. Look at when these were posted. How often were they posted? Did the creator stay on topic? You may very well be more successful, or have more material to sustain the topic and bring your podcast further along.
Is Your ‘Why’ Too Vast or Too Narrow?
Another consideration you will want to explore is the scope of your ‘why’. Having a broad topic is wonderful for material, but there is such a thing as too broad. You may be an expert at World War II planes and land vehicles, but not necessarily a virtuoso on World War II. You don’t want to have a podcast that sends the message that you know all aspects of WWII. Listeners are smart, they will be able to sense when you are struggling with your ‘why’.
That being said, you don’t want a topic so narrow that it only discusses the one bolt made for the Boeing B-29 Enola Gay. Yes interesting, but how many episodes will you be able to produce on that small topic? The clue is to find that perfect balance between too wide and too thin. By working through these pre production steps you are on your way to a great start.
Congratulations You Have a ‘Why’.
You’ve done it. You have determined a direction, and have entered the wide world of podcasting. You’re on your way. You’ve taken the first steps in your podcast journey. By determining your ‘why’, researching your topic, and ensuring it is a good fit with enough material, you can now continue with the pre production steps that will move you forward in your new podcasting endeavour. If you’re hungry for more information, ready to dive in and not simply dip your toes, take some time to read through The Four Pillars Of Podcasting. This ebook is a wonderful resource to get you on your way from your ‘why’, all the way to launching your way into the podcast world. Good luck and safe travels! We will be listening for you.