Podcasting Tips, Tools and Tech: Your Guide to Podcasting Perfection
If you were with me for last week’s blog post, you’ll already know something about podcasting; what a podcast is, and why you should be recording one (if not, catch up here).
Just to recap, 4.2 million people in the UK listen to podcasts each week according to the BBC, and there is a huge variety available to download, covering every subject from comedy to flower-arranging.
When you consider how easy it is to listen to podcasts – you can literally take them with you everywhere you go – the business opportunity is clear. You’ve got a captive audience, ready and waiting to hear more.
So don’t disappoint them!
How to Take Your First Podcasting Steps
Start simply, by getting some quality content together before you think about recording equipment and options.
Depending on what you think will interest your audience the most, decide if you’d like to record a series of episodes that cover the same topic, or whether you’d prefer to cover a different subject each time.
I like to think of a podcast episode as a spoken blog post – so if you write a business blog, you’ve already got plenty of interesting content to work with! Find your favourite, then think about padding it out with some industry-insider facts and conversation starting points that will get people thinking.
The most popular podcasts last anywhere between 20 – 40 minutes, so time your content for optimal recording length. My advice is not to read from a dedicated script, as this will sound too formal. Instead, have some prompts in front of you and talk around these.
The goal is to sound as though you’re having a friendly chat with your listeners, just like a radio DJ. In other words, let your personality shine!
Equipment for Podcasting: Recording and Editing
As I mentioned in my last post, I would always recommend beginning with the basics, then upgrading later on.
If you thought you’d need to build a dedicated recording studio for your podcasting, the good news is that all you need to start off with is a laptop, a microphone, and preferably some headphones. These all vary greatly in price, though your laptop’s built-in microphone should be fine to start off with.
Podcasting software is another area in which you can spend as little or as much as you choose. Audacity is a simple and free system that is loved by podcasters the world over, with very good reason. Use it to record and edit your podcast on both Windows or Mac operating systems.
For Mac owners, Garage Band is pre-installed on most Apple computers, and if you’re a musical type, you can even use it to play digital piano or guitar, and record your very own podcast theme!
Time to Get Hosting Your Podcast
You’ve recorded and edited your first podcast episode – well done! Now it’s time to host all that hard recording work on your website and social media pages.
Hosting tools such as Buzzsprout simplify the process nicely, with add-ons that include embeddable audio players, a free starter website and social media share integrations.
Free for your first 90 days (but be careful – if you don’t upgrade to the paid version afterwards then your podcasts will disappear!), you’ll also gain access to a host of lovely stats, from which you’ll be able to track where users are finding your podcast, and which episodes are the most popular.
Another popular hosting option is Libsyn, complete with a range of hosting options that start cheaply. Libsyn includes options to export your podcast to the iTunes store, and even turn it into a dedicated app if you’re in an ambitious mood.
Promote Your Podcast
You’ll need to think of a title for your podcast; one that listeners will be able to find easily and understand the content immediately.
Your own name, or your business name, may not be the most appropriate title if it doesn’t tell people exactly what your podcast is about. Check the iTunes podcast charts for examples and ideas.
Next, take snippets and quotes from your podcast to share as social media ‘teasers’, inviting people to download the full episode. Post creative images on Instagram that lead people back to your content, and use Twitter to upload 15-second clips via Soundcloud.
As you become more confident with podcasting, you could even experiment with recording an episode via Facebook Live, or releasing the content as a YouTube video on your own channel. The possibilities are almost endless!
I hope you found this podcasting guide useful – please post any questions or comments below.
I’ll be tackling Lead Magnets next week, so make sure you don’t miss out by signing up to my weekly newsletter.
Meanwhile, if you want to know more about Podcasting and listen to that great interview with Louise Brogan then get on over to my Facebook Group – The JFDI Club.
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