In an earlier blog, I promised to revisit podcasting and discuss in more detail. The time has come to learn: podcasts how to start your own!
Podcasts have made a reappearance, first gaining traction in 2004 and then declining for a long stretch. It is only in the last couple of years that they are becoming popular again, in part due perhaps to consumers dissatisfaction with other traditional media forms. Television, for example, has become saturated with reality shows, while social media platforms are stuffed with superficiality. There now seems to be the dawn of a new era in which people are seeking more from their source of media, and podcasts are often a source of realism and truth. Podcasts, it seems is what we have been looking for all along. In this article, we look at some simple steps required to start your very own podcast.
First up – you are going to need some awesome equipment. Ok, even semi-functional equipment will do you, to begin with, but invest what you can in a microphone and a recorder. They don’t need to be top of the line but what you do spend is what you will be rewarded. The tools that you use after all will determine the end quality of your podcast and if it is muffled, crackly and hard to hear, say goodbye to your audience.
Know Your Niche
Podcasting is no longer a vice indulged in by a cult following; everyone and their grandma is consuming podcasts these days. While this is good on one hand as you have a large target market, you also need to take on board that competition is going to be tough. Make sure that you are creating a podcast that is unique, well researched, and is going to entice listeners. You may gain inspiration from other podcasts but don’t attempt to copy! The audience will see (or hear) through the inauthenticity.
Where Will You Record?
If you have a bit of money to spend, contact a studio that specialises in podcast production. There are many out there; one of my personal favourites is The Podcast Department, located in my native Ireland. Podcasting studios will look after your editing and upload to your chosen platform, so you only need to worry about nailing your content. If like some people, you cannot afford to use the service of a studio and are on your own in terms of production, you will need to look after editing and uploading yourself. There are many different podcasting platforms available, each with their own unique merits. Here is a snapshot of a couple of different ones, so you can make an informed choice when picking your host.
Soundcloud is easy for beginner podcasters. It has a phenomenal following, with over 175 million unique visitors each month and 12 hours of audio uploaded every 60 seconds. Podcasts that are uploaded to Soundcloud can be accessed anywhere on the net. There is usually a short free to use subscription at the start, giving you some time to figure out if Soundcloud is for you. If it is, you will start paying a monthly hosting fee. Don’t worry; there are many different plans available to suit different budgets.
Apple Podcast App
An immediately obvious downside to the Apple Podcasting application is that it is only available to Apple users. Don’t have an iPhone, iPad or iPod? Then you are not downloading this bad boy anytime soon. On the plus side, the app has an enormous user figure, with about 67 million people listening monthly. As a brand, Apple is hard to beat, and for this alone, consumers will turn to the app for trend alone.
Libysn is a lesser known but none the less popular option for amateur podcasters. This is an excellent choice for beginners on a budget.
These platforms are just a few fish in a large pond of hosting options available so make sure that you invest time in research to find the right one for you.
If you are recording at home, make sure that you have some quiet in which to achieve ultimate artistic flow. Noise can impede your creativity and can be heard in the background no matter how much you edit. Environment, let it be known is as important as equipment.
Next week we will dive in deeper into podcasting!