How To Make Podcasts And Increase Your Audience

Introduction
Podcasts are audio or video files in the format of a TV or radio program, but they are tailored to the web. Learn more about podcasts and how to use it to boost your business, products, websites or brand awareness.
Last Updated
February 20, 2020

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What is Podcast and Basic Insights

What is Podcast and Basic Insights

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Let's clarify a little what exactly is a podcast.

Podcast – a series of audio recordings, united by one topic, idea. As a rule, recordings are released regularly and distributed on any platforms, including individual podcast services.

Videos can also occur, but most often it is just a visualization, an image, and the whole essence is concentrated in the audio track. The format can be almost anything from a 1-person narration to short digests, team podcasts, and interviews with different people.


Why do I need podcasts

They first appeared and were trending when Apple introduced the first iPod. But this trend did not reach us then, and in the West, it did not become mass: the Internet was still slow, and not everyone has an iPod.

Now the situation has changed, listening online or downloading podcasts to your smartphone is a couple of taps on the screen. An additional incentive is information overload: articles and blogs, social networks, messengers, and videos need to be consumed consciously. A podcast is a great and so far the only alternative when you are busy with something or on the move: gym, running, driving (even home-to-work, from work).

    A podcast is a way to attract an audience when other content is difficult to get.

An additional bonus: you can use podcasts to attract your audience to other projects, the same blog or business.

If we talk about goals and motives, the podcast is useful for:

  • promotion of expertise and personal brand;

  • creating a more emotional and "live" connection with the audience, forming a community;

  • attracting the audience to your projects and solutions;

  • promotion of products, services, websites, and businesses;

  • monetization – if a podcast is viewed as a business, a form of audio blogging.

 

According to Podcast Insight, the popularity of podcasts in the world has increased by 25% over the past year. Most notably, 80% of listeners remain loyal to the podcast-they start listening to each issue. Edison Research confirmed that over 90 million Americans listen to a podcast every month. And podcast business has grown with 30% each year.

In this article, we will tell you what it is, how to make podcasts, and what benefits you can get for yourself, your business, and your personal brand.

Find out from the image above how the podcast listeners increased in 2020 and where they from.

 

Why podcasts go popular?

They're an authoritative source. Mostly presenting information from a person went famous in a particular niche. People listen to podcasts in their daily routine activities - when they driving, working out or doing regular stuff.

 

Where you can upload podcasts?

We recommend you BuzzSprout. Their affordable hosting company helped thousands to store, promote and track podcasts. Also, as a newbie, you can start with FREE Trial Plan For 3 months. It's pretty enough time to do research on the market and to see how podcasts work.

Their regular prices start at just $12 per month. It concludes detailed statistics, unlimited storage, storing free podcasts.

In fact, we're using a paid plan for a long time and we're super satisfied.

Go to BuzzSprout

use the link above and you'll receive a $20 Amazon Gift Card when upgrading to a paid plan.


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How to make podcasts: step-by-step instructions


Step 1. Preparing the podcast concept

First, got inspired by something to start your own podcast, and are itching to grab a microphone and record something. Now, stop! First, you need to prepare carefully. And in General, in podcasts, it takes a lot of time not to write at all, but more on that later.

Choose a topic or direction – a global niche or a specific idea around which the entire podcast will be formed. We need a concept for the future podcast, a short and understandable wording for the audience.

Examples:

  • a podcast about landscape design;

  • podcast show "Interviews with young artists";

  • audio blog about psychology to better understand yourself and others.

  • interviews with online entrepreneurs;

  • Italian language learning podcast;

  • presentation of your brand new website;

  • analysis of song trends or movie genre;

In addition to the topic, the direction, you need to understand why you need all this. What is the purpose?

This is only your internal question, answer it as honestly as possible, so it will be easier to form a strategy and act. It is desirable that this goal has been driving you for more than one month so that you do not get bored after 2-3 issues.


Popular destinations and goals:

  • get additional traffic for other sites and projects;

  • create an image of an expert, strengthen your authority, and upgrade your personal brand;

  • increase the loyalty of the existing audience and community;

  • increase sales of your services, products, and attract customers.

 

Step 2. Exploration and inspiration

You have come up with a topic, defined goals. Before creating a podcast, see what others are already doing.
Look at the top, popular podcasts globally-listen to a few episodes, look at the design itself, feed, tips.
Find colleagues who already produce podcasts like yours. You may not find a podcast on your topic in English, but you can find something similar in English.

Write out separately any techniques, approaches, ideas that will be visited.


Step 3. Global plan

Think about general ideas, notes, and topics that you can and will cover. To be as useful as possible to listeners, you need to clearly understand who this podcast is for.

    Describe these people, what they read, what concerns they have, what difficulties they have.
    What topics they are interested in, what will be most useful for them.
    If you have your own platforms, social networks, just conduct a survey with the wording like: "If I launch a podcast, what topics would you like to hear audio recordings on?".

Gather all possible information to form a plan for 2-3 months. What to consider:
 

  • How often will the podcast be released: 1-2 times a week, 2 times a month, etc.

  • What podcasts will be in length-short 2-5 minutes (take-and-do tips), medium 10-20 minutes (mini-lecture + tips), or large 1-1. 5 hours (interviews, lectures, discussions).

  • This will be solely your content or you will invite other people to record.


When you decide on these points, you need to make the first content plan for the next 2-3 months. You can do this in Excel Tables: specify the topic, date, any nuances, speaker, if you are not yourself.

Then you need to prepare the structure of each individual podcast: introduction, main part, conclusion. If this is an interview, make a list of questions in advance.

 

Step 4. A platform for podcasts

You can distribute podcasts in any convenient way: on websites, on social networks, and on special podcast platforms.

Most popular options:

  • SoundCloud is one of the most famous foreign services. the free version has a time limit of 3 hours of recordings and unlimited access costs about 100 euros per year.



You can use several or at least all services at once, but it is better to focus on 1 site to track statistics and development dynamics. For example, SoundCloud + iTunes is often used.

But the key point is that this platform should be convenient for the audience. If your CA doesn't use the service or can't launch a podcast by simply clicking the Play button on your site, it's unlikely that someone will specifically install the app or register with the service.

 

Step 5. Working with a podcast

You have a content plan, a specific idea, and a structure for 1 episode. What you need to do:

  • Write down the opening and closing parts. They can be standard for all issues, you can add a brief description of yourself and the essence of the podcast here. In conclusion – any call: subscribe, go to the site, leave a comment.

  • Prepare the main part. If you are recording yourself, then prepare the entire text and remember that 1 the episode is a solution to 1 problem, useful information on 1 specific issue. If you communicate with someone, take an interview, carefully study the person and their projects to make interesting questions.

  • Don't worry if something failed in the recording. Some fragments can be mounted, unnecessary ones can be cut, etc.

  • Decide on the technical part-record at home or in the Studio.



If you decide to record and edit podcasts yourself-at home or in the office - you will need equipment and an audio editor. Now we will deal with them in more detail.


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How to record a podcast: details and equipment


The most carefree option is to record in the Studio. Under certain conditions, you can arrange for everything to be set up, recorded, edited, and balanced on the spot. You will get a ready-made file that you can publish or edit further.

It costs about $20-$30 for 1.5-2 hours. It's enough to record an interview, a conversation, or an entire lecture.

If you are serious about long-term work, then you can make podcasts of normal quality on your own. Just 1 time to deal with the equipment, practice, and everything will turn out fine. The main thing – do not try to record podcasts on the built-in microphone of your laptop, the result will not please your audience.

 

What equipment do I need to record podcasts

The main tool of the podcaster is the microphone. The first one will not work, so you need to understand a little.

Conventionally, microphones are divided into:

 

  • dynamic-great for suppressing noise and echoes;

  • capacitor – less noise suppression, but when recording in complete silence, the sound will be normal.



By connection type, they can be:

  • USB-connected as a flash drive, and everything is OK, you can find decent models within $100;

  • HLR-need a separate interface, for which you need to pay from $100. And the microphones themselves are of decent quality and cost from $350.

To start a podcast career, a USB microphone is enough, the main thing is the normal quality of the brand and good recording conditions (silence, mostly).

What microphones can be considered for podcasts:

 

  • Samson Go Mic USB condenser, a USB connection, the cost is $75.

  • Shure Motiv MV5 – capacitor, a USB connection, a cost of $140.

  • Blue Microphones Yeti Nano — capacitor, a USB connection, a cost of $140.

  • Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ - condenser, USB connection, cost $220.



Almost all models come complete with all the necessary adapters, cords, adapters, and even a table stand.

 
You need a good, convenient audio editor to record, edit, cut out unnecessary fragments, and put funny melodies on the background.

Programs and editors for recording podcasts:
 

  • Audacity is a free, intuitive the editor that has all the basic features. If you want to start with something simple, that's it.

  • GarageBand is a more complex, direct music software for Mac, where you can do much more, up to creating your own melodies and sound effects.

  • Adobe Audition CC is a professional software from Adobe that is used in recording studios. There are separate effects and lessons for podcasters. Of course, it costs money, separately the Audition costs $20 / month.


These editors have enough analogs. But it is clearly worth starting with free ones, you will definitely have enough of them to start with. Over time, you can look in the direction of Audition, GarageBand, or the same Sound Forge that professionals use.



A few technical details:

  • the audio file is saved in MP3 format;

  • optimal bitrate-128kbps;

  • when saving in the editor, you should write ID3 tags – the name of the podcast, episode, information about you, etc.


When the podcast is ready, you upload it to the selected site and announce it to your audience.


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Promote the podcast


What the promotion stage might look like:
 

  • Uploaded the podcast to iTunes and SoundCloud.

  • Instagram or Facebook pages, and Stories with a video announcement and a call to go to the profile where the link is specified.

  • In addition, we made an article in the blog, attached the podcast there and the transcript, with the text.

  • Launched a newsletter on your email database, if available.

  • We made an announcement in the Telegram channel, our own community, and a group.

  • Additionally, we launched targeted ads based on our subscribers and similar audience.

We are sure that podcasts are a cool additional channel of communication with the audience. It will be useful for reputation purposes, for business promotion, and for building expertise at the very beginning of the journey.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the optimal length of a podcast?

Your podcast should be as long as it needs to be, without being any longer.

Mostly, a podcast is 20-30 minutes length average but you can find even 2 hours long.

Community - Q&A