Launching A Podcast: Preparation Is Key
Unless you have been living under a rock for the past decade–which is possible given the increased interest in paleo living–it is likely that you have kicked the tires on launching a podcast. After all, if that person can get 20,000 subscribers, surely what you have to say is much more interesting and entertaining.
While the prospects of launching a podcast is undoubtedly exciting, too many aspiring creators put the cart before the horse and release a few episodes that–ahem, underwhelm–before deciding that they really aren’t the next big podcasting personality, after all.
We’re here to help you avoid this death spiral.
If you have an interest in starting your own podcast, consider these 5 pro tips–from mastering your podcast niche to installing acoustic wall panels–prior to launching a podcast!
Have A Defined Niche
A situation or activity specially suited to a person’s interests, abilities, or nature; a special area of demand for a product or service.
Too many creators fail to take this definition into consideration when planning their podcast. The operative word is special.
I want to make a sports podcast.
I love true crime and want to create a podcast.
There is nothing special about either of these topics. There are literally thousands of other podcasts that are already well-established that fall under these broad umbrellas.
I want to make a podcast chronicling the top MLB prospects since 2000 that didn’t pan out.
I want to make a podcast covering teenage abductions whose captors remain at large.
Now you’re getting somewhere. Now you have a niche.
Not only is the more specific content area more likely to pique the interest of listeners who have been searching for just such a podcast, but it will significantly thin out the competition and give your show a better chance of standing out.
Research the Competition
The good news about having a well-defined niche is that the competition should be much less intense.
However, as the saying goes, any great idea has already been tried before, so there is sure to be at least a handful of similar podcasts out there.
Watch episodes of podcasts in your niche and make note of what you like and what you don’t like. Generate a list of episode ideas that you would like to see.
And don’t underestimate the power of a good podcast name.
A successfully named podcast will be unique and pithy. It will serve as an introduction and snapshot of what to expect. It will entice listeners to click play on your episode over your more mundanely-titled adversaries.
It’s hard to come up with a good name, that will let new listeners know what your show is about right off the bat. It’s key to launching a podcast.
Try to Build a Network
You are under no compulsion to host an interview-style podcast.
Not at all.
In fact, there are countless successful podcasts that are just a person, their computer, and a microphone.
However, like anything in life, there is power in numbers. So as you’re planning your podcast, you will definitely want to make a list of some people you can lean on as resources as your episodes unfold.
For example, it is a great idea to have a subject-area expert to look over your scripts and make sure that everything you are talking about is on point. You will also want to keep a couple of fellow podcasters in mind in the event that you ever want to host a back-and-forth, banter-style episode.
Create a Professional Quality Recording Atmosphere
The appeal of hosting a podcast is that it is a relatively low cost means of distributing your art and expertise. You no longer need access to a professional recording studio to get your voice on the airwaves.
With that said, the democratization of recording has also led to a democratization in consumption, and listeners have unprecedented choice in content to fill their time.
Therefore, you really need to aim to achieve a professional sound when recording your episodes.
Fortunately, this does not mean that you have to completely alter a wing of your home to turn it into a recording studio. No, there are many simple ways to quickly spruce up a bedroom to create a professional sounding podcast. Some ideas include:
- Adhering sound insulation panels to the walls. The acoustic treatment for podcasting is typically a fiberglass core wrapped in decorative fabric. Covering a small section of your walls in these panels can reduce echo and unwanted noise transfer by up to 95% while providing an attractive aspect to the walls.
- Adding a desk and rolling chair to the space to house computer monitors, organize scripts, and put you in an overall more productive frame of mind (as opposed to trying to record on your bed!).
- Investing in a high-quality microphone and digital audio workstation to help you record and edit at the highest level.
Another really clever idea is replacing the regular bed in the room with a futon. This can allow you to quickly convert the space to sleeping quarters as necessary but use it as a place to seat podcast guests during the day.
When in doubt, you can check out our list of the best podcast equipment.
Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
No matter how excited you are about launching your podcast, there are sure to be some nerves present. As if getting behind a microphone and speaking isn’t enough to create some butterflies by itself, releasing a podcast is putting a part of yourself out there, making you vulnerable to criticism and scathing feedback.
While there may be no magic potion for eradicating these concerns, the best step you can take is to prepare to the fullest. Create professional, well-researched scripts so that you have 100% confidence in everything you say.
Do a practice run before you record so that you have a strong idea of how the episode will unfold. Have well-structured, time-bound episodes so that you’re not rambling on indefinitely on what could have been said in a fraction of the time.
Go the Extra Mile Before Launching A Podcast
Millions of people around the world host a podcast from the comfort of their own home. What separates the best from the rest is the manner of preparation prior to launch. Some points to consider in this regard are clearly defining your niche, researching the competition, building a network, creating a professional recording atmosphere, and preparing quality scripts.
If each of these steps is performed with precision, you are well on the way to having a successful podcast before it ever launches!
This article was written by Stephanie Rogers
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