Step-by-step Guide to Podcasting
Podcasting is a rapidly growing source for content that millions of people are jumping on to listen. Thirty two percent of Americans listened to a podcast last month, 22% are weekly listeners and 16 million people are “avid podcast fans.” All of these numbers are up from last year. (Nielsen)
All that to say: if you are wanting to reach people, podcasting is where you need to be. Whether you're trying to reach new clients, boost your sales, spread your business name or somewhere in between, data supports if you put your voice out there you will be heard.
So you want to start a podcast? But what goes into making a podcast and how do you start? This comprehensive guide will help give you a basic understanding of podcasting and where to begin.
Creating a successful podcast can be broken down into four different steps: Plan, Record, Produce and Distribute.
Step one: Plan
It is important that you sit down and spend time planning before you even think about recording.
Planning your podcast can sometimes be the most difficult part, but thinking about these questions is a good way to get that content flowing:
What is your podcast about? Create a one-sentence summary of your show.
What is your show objective? Are you doing this to promote your business or other work? Create art? Share knowledge? Grow your connections in a community?
Who is it for? Describe your target listener. This will help you plan content in the future as well.
Who is your Competition? What’s out there that’s similar? What do you like and dislike? What are they missing?
It is important that you answer these questions for your podcast. You want to maintain the same goals and values throughout all your episodes. Having this foundation to build off will only make creating more content easier.
After you’ve answered those questions, you can move on to planning the meat of the podcast.
Create your show title.
Write your show description. This is for someone who just discovered your show and wants to know what it’s about. Use about 300 words.
Format your show.
Monologue/dialogue, interviews, panel discussion, journalistic storytelling, and multi-segment journal are common formats.
Create your show art. Your image should be 3000x3000 pixels. Canva is a great app for creating art.
Creating your first episode
Think about your participants. You need to decide who you want to be the voice of your podcast. Will it just be you or will you have a co-host or interviewees?
Plan your main content. It is important that you spend time outlining your show. You do not need to write out all the content, but write down some themes, questions or other ideas to help guide you once you begin recording.
Build your show. Once you have decided the ideas for your main content, you want to build an arrangement for the way the segments will go.
A common arrangement looks like this:
Select your music. You need royalty-free music or purchase the rights to any copyrighted music. Check out Auxbus’ bank of royalty-free music here.
Step two: Record
Now that you have a plan for your show it is time to start recording.
To start, you need: recording software on your computer, mobile device or a portable recorder. You will also need one microphone and set of headphones per person and a connection from your microphone to your computer or device.
If you are the only one speaking, an easy way to get started is with a USB microphone, which plugs directly into your computer.
With a traditional microphone that doesn’t have USB, you’ll need an interface or mixer to connect to the computer. If more than one person is recording, you can only connect one USB mic at a time, so interfaces are a better choice.
The most important element of recording is getting close to the mic. A $50 microphone properly positioned will likely sound better than a badly positioned $1000 mic. Get between a finger and a fist away from the mic and set it to point slightly to the side of your mouth. Staying close and off-center are key to sounding good.
To set up your recording space, you want to have a quiet room with as many soft things as possible such as couches or rugs. Turn your computer and phone to Do Not Disturb mode, close the windows and doors and remove any other distractions.
If you have a guest or co-host that isn’t in the room with you, you can use additional software to connect and record. It can be tricky, but here are the best ways to do it: Squadcast, Zencastr and Cleanfeed are apps that help you connect to remote participants and record in your browser. Anchor is another app great for getting started with podcasting on your phone and includes the ability to bring in a remote participant Skype or Zoom + Soundflower, Audio Hijack or Piezo are additional resources that many podcasters use.
It is important to make sure your guest wears headphones. Even if they don’t have a mic and are using the one built into their computer, they need to wear headphones to avoid picking up your voice in their speakers, creating echo and feedback. Remind your guest or cohost to get close and stay close to their mic.
Step Three: Produce
There are a lot of steps involved in the post-recording production of a podcast. Some of these steps can get pretty technical and require a deeper level of understanding of audio software. If production is beyond your understanding or not something you have time for, hiring a producer or editor or using a production software like Auxbus are the way to go.
Here are some basic steps for taking your raw recording and turning it into a finished podcast:
Listen through your recording and make notes about what happened
Compare what you’ve recorded to the chapter plan you created in Step 1
Determine if anything was left out and still needs to be recorded
Note any moments that could be enhanced with music
Edit out any sounds or talking you don’t like
Trim the beginning and ending silences from each recording
Assemble all the parts into the final order of the episode
Adjust levels, compress, and EQ your speech recordings
Fade music in and out
Master to -16LUFS and output to MP3, including ID3 tags in your file
Write episode notes so your episode is searchable by keywords in its content Link to episode note blog
Step Four: Distribute
After you have planned, recorded and produced your show, the last step is getting it out for the world to hear.
The hosting site or company is where your podcast will live on the internet, and where you’ll upload and publish new episodes. There are lots of hosting companies and they all basically do the same thing so you just need to find on that works for you.
Syndication Listeners discover and listen to your podcast on apps like Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify. To get your podcast from your hosting company to those sites, you’ll need to submit your show to each one. Some apps have syndication and hosting features built into their software, making it easy to do both.
If it is important to you that the podcast you created can be found by others, you need to have various ways people can find you and learn more about your show. Social media is a great place to start so register social media handles if you don’t already have them.
Another way to be found is to create a website for your show, it should include a description of your show, brief biographies of the show’s hosts, high resolution show art, and any press clippings that mention your show. Some podcast apps include a website for your show and an embeddable player.
Create transcripts of your episodes. These can be used for newsletters, blog posts or can be turned into chapters of a book. Some apps include transcription services to handle this for you.
Consider how many episodes you’ll release on Launch Day. Will you launch just your pilot episode or will you launch several episodes at once to give your early listeners more content to explore? Data shows that podcasts that launch with a batch of content (10 episodes) perform the best and are more likely to keep going past the first few efforts. You want to create a flood impact, not just a raindrop.
Decide on which day to publish. Consistency and frequency are key. The best podcasts release at least an episode a week, at the same time, on the same day. Data shows Tuesday morning is a great time to release new episodes.
There are a lot of steps involved in podcasting and at first it can seem very daunting. If you follow this step by step guide, you’ll be on your way to creating all-star content. Auxbus offers you a way to create a podcast and bypass almost all these steps. With our podcast creating software, you plan your content, hit the record button and we help you do the rest. The software will walk you through building your show, provide a library for music, produce, host and distribute your show. Learn more about it here.
This post was written by Auxbus, the first end-to-end audio platform designed to eliminate the obstacles that stand in the way of creating a podcast. Auxbus makes audio creation fast, easy and fun. Learn more and try it for yourself by visiting Auxbus.com