You're thinking about starting a podcast?
YESSSSS!! Go for it!
Podcasts are amazing! Ever since they become popular back in 2009, the styles, formats, and numbers of podcasts have quite literally exploded! Today there are more than 1,750,000 podcast shows and nearly 45 million episodes available for download. With genres as broad as Self-Development or News and Politics to extremely niche topics like Backyard Gardening there's a podcast for everyone! This being said, only the really good and great podcasts make it.
In this article we are going to present 5 important things you should know so that your podcast stands out from the rest!
1. Sound quality
Testing.... I, 2, 3.... is this thing on?
"You only miss the sun when it starts to snow..." (Let Her Go - Song by Passenger).
Most people don't realize the value of good quality audio until they record themselves or hear someone else with terrible quality audio.
When we sit down and watch a video on YouTube, the focus of the content production is on the quality of video. This is probably something you've noticed before. A video in 1080p is significantly more enjoyable to watch than a video shot on an old flip phone with pixels and color blowouts all over the place.
An audio-only podcast, or any audio project, needs to have proper sound quality too. This is imperative. Aside from the quality of your content (what your podcast is about), you really want to do everything you can to make your podcasts fun and enjoyable for your listeners.
Can you get by recording your podcast with your iPhone or Android? Kinda…. We wouldn't recommend it and most veteran/experienced podcasters wouldn't either.
A basic USB microphone can easily plug straight into your computer and can create a nice sound for you voice with very little effort. This small investment in an external microphone can really go a long way. To see our which USB microphones we recommend, CLICK HERE.
The space you record in also plays a big part in the quality of your sound.
The hands-down, very best place to record a podcast is in your closet! No joke!
The small space and clothing make for a great sound dampener and block out unnecessary ambient room noise. If this impractical (which it probably is) try to avoid rooms near the street and definitely turn off the air conditioner or space heater. Trust me, we can hear it! It's not that your podcast will sound terrible, but its definitely noticeable and can be quite distracting. Just like the blown out pixels on a flip phone recorded video are distracting.
CLICK HERE to read about more tips and tricks for enhancing your audio without any editing.
2. Episode Length
Its funny, today, we have devices, all shapes and sizes to help us "get more done" and to "make life easier". Yet, we seem to be busier than ever. Not more than 100 years ago, when the sun set people went to sleep. It was that simple.
Today, we cant seem to get enough out of our time; squeezing every last drop out of the day. With social settings, education, religion, fitness, entertainment, recreational activities, social media, etc. there's so much pulling us in every direction.
That being said, our general attention span for most things (including entertainment) is slowly but gradually decreasing. According to a recent study by Microsoft, the average human attention span actually decreased 12 percent since the year 2000. Consequently, the majority of people won't ever bother listening to a podcast or watch a video that's time stamped for longer than 45 minutes. (If they do, they'll probably skip around.)
Information like this can be utilized. Try and plan your podcast in advance to practice your speaking skills so that you can discuss the points you want spoken about without rambling on endlessly.
The recommended length of time for a podcast episode is 30 minutes.
The sweet spot seems to be under 30 minutes, but 30 minutes is a good mark to shoot for.
Need help organizing your ideas to maintain a balanced time frame? CLICK HERE and let us help!
3. Making Money
You can (and should) make money from your podcast!
Once you've got a couple episodes under your belt and you've built an audience, reach out to local businesses and causes that share the same interest as you, your podcast, and your listeners. Present them with some basic analytics (average amount of listeners, number of episodes, release rate, etc.) and see if they're interested in sponsoring your podcast! You'd be surprised how many people would love to promote themselves or their business on a quality, popular, and like-minded podcast show.
If your podcast really takes off you can ask sponsors and partners anywhere from $100-$800 a spot!
4. Getting Heard
Post it on social media, email it to family and friends, pass out flyers, shout it from the rooftops! Do whatever you have to but spread the word about your show! Promote the heck out of your podcast!!!
I cannot express it any more clearly than that.
We live in a time where you can literally advertise your podcast without paying a penny. Exercise your resources, take advantage of social media. Little posts every day or even once a week can really go a long way in getting your podcast heard.
If you have a budget to work with, I strongly encourage you to use traditional marketing techniques; local paper ads, marketing materials, flyers, signage, etc. Whatever you can do to get heard, do it and don't be afraid to put yourself out there.
5. Have fun!
The last and definitely not least of the 5 things everyone should know before starting a podcast, is have fun! Don't try and be someone else when working on your idea. Use other people for ideas and creativity, but at the end of the day, just be yourself!
I hope this information is helpful! If you'd like to learn more about this topic or if you'd like to request an article on a specific podcast related topic, CLICK HERE!
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All the best and happy podcasting!
-Producer at the Maverick Podcasting Network