In this day and age, the podcast is probably the most unique form of content you can create, which says something considering all the advancements in technology.
That’s because when it comes down to it, there’s nothing that compares to the rawness of straight spoken word. Whether it’s pure facts or some hot takes, once you start to fall down the rabbit hole of listening to a pod you f*ck with, there’s no turning back.
And while it seems like something that’s pretty easy to do, there’s obviously much more than meets the eye. You won’t be able to just record that shit on your phone and you don’t just gain a following and start getting paid overnight.
There’s a process behind all of this, from ideation to creation, marketing, and distribution — it’s all about the execution. Once you get that clout, then you can start monetizing! If you’re like a lot of kids out there though, you probably have one question: how do I get started?
Well first off, make sure you have something to say and an audience to cater to. What can you contribute to the culture and what is your goal with the podcast?
Once you can answer that, you probably have a bunch more questions. For you beginners out there, we spoke to our homies at The Rec Podcast to get some of the most essential questions out of the way for you. Thank us later and peep below:
How do I come up with a unique angle? Where can I do research to see what other people are talking about?
A desire to make podcasts about a certain subject should come with a knowledge of the competition. There’s no getting around that and if that knowledge doesn’t exists, you should get on that.
Once you know what others are doing, plan to either do it differently or much better than they are. Try to come up with a gimmick to your podcast as well. Celebrities and well known media companies/members can attract listeners off the strength of their name.
You, most likely, cannot.
Consider constructing your show in a way that uses a consistent format that provides the same structure for each episode. At that point, the attraction is a fun format, not the name of the host.
Google “all fantasy everything podcast” for an example of how that works.
How do I make sure that I never run out of shit to talk about? Or be repetitive?
Consider changing the frequency of the podcast. If you have a daily podcast (like the New York Times has for politics) there should be enough going on in that world that provides daily content.
If you’re doing a weekly podcast, you won’t need something happening in the subject you’re covering everyday.
Beyond that, the prep process (covered below) usually ensures that you won’t end up getting repetitive.
How long should a podcast be (for advertising purposes)? Why?
Most podcasts are an hour, sometimes longer (Joe Rogan goes over two hours). Plenty of advertisers prefer to sponsor podcasts that last that long.
The question of how long your podcast should be will be best answered by analytics. Apple Podcasts (i.e. iTunes) has begun giving publishers more data about who consumes their podcasts and at what point listeners stop listening.
If people aren’t getting to the full hour of your show, for instance, it might be time to lower the recording time.
I’m popped (broke). What’s the bare minimum of software that I need to start a podcast? What do you recommend? How much?
The bare minimum required is an app like Anchor, which allows you to record podcasts using your phone. Or simply recording podcasts with your friends in your room can work as well.
BUT, if you want some semblance of quality, here’s what you can do at a low cost:
1. Have a quiet room in which you can record, with little echo.
2. Host your podcasts over Skype, (or GarageBand) and make use of a Skype recording program. There are many online and some offer free trials so you can see the difference in quality before making a decision to purchase.
3. Make it mandatory that each person is using headphones and also find a quiet room to record in.
The audio that results from this should be of much higher quality than otherwise.
I have a little more money, what kind of equipment can I get? How much does it cost?
Every starting host should consider ordering a Snowball USB mic. It (usually) cost around $60 on Amazon.
If you really want to keep the operation low cost, that investment should be enough, if you combine it with Skype calls and purchase a full Skype recording program.
Such an investment would be under $100 total but would make a huge difference.
If I can’t record a podcast with someone in the same room, how can we record it?
See Skype recording above. You can really do it all with Skype.
How do I storyboard what I’m about to talk about?
You should consider all the points you want to hit and when you want to him ’em.
Get your show topics, do the research, estimate the time you want to spend on each and prepare to make transitions during the recording in other to make sure you stick to a timeframe.
The host of a podcast is the quarterback of the show, as is the case for every QB, clock management is a must.
Sometimes you’ll have to audible, which is where studying the topics comes in, and that’s a point worth reiterating, because lots of people can be lured into thinking that they knows subjects “naturally,” which will lead to a lot of awkward pauses on a soundtrack and more time wasted.
How do I edit my podcast? Which programs should I use?
You can use any sophisticated sound editing program to edit your podcasts. If you have a PC, your best bet is to download a program called Audacity, it’s free. If you have a Mac, you already have a program called GarageBand installed on your computer.
Both allow you to do the most basic editing function, cutting sound and editing out awkward pauses and glitches.
Any advanced editing you need beyond that can be figured out by searching the specific function you’d like to perform (like boosting volume) for whichever platform, on YouTube (ex. “How to boost sound on Garageband“).
How do you upload your podcast to iTunes? Soundcloud?
Uploading a podcast requires an RSS feed. Long story short, you’ll end up having to pay money somehow someway.
Shop around and see which deal you’ll like.
Once you get an RSS feed, you’ll have to submit it to the Apple Podcast platform (which should be the first platform you want to be on).
Each other platform after that (TuneIn, Stitcher, Google Play) has a submission processes as well, which you’ll now be able to complete with an RSS feed.
What is your process? What steps do I need to take from ideating a podcast all the way to marketing it?
Once you have a solid idea for a podcast and decide to go with a hook or gimmick, be ready to promote the podcast based on the type of production you’re making.
For instance, if you want to produce podcasts centered around a certain show, be prepared to have promos for the show itself (i.e. not one specific episode) that you can post on all social platforms.
For marketing episodes, consider all the points each episode touches upon, and come up with a way to “market” each part of the podcast.
Example, an MMA podcast episode that reviewed each match on a certain card should be prepared to post the link multiple times a day on Facebook and Twitter with a different caption referring to different points that were made on the episode.
Learning how to edit video, sound, and graphics helps, too, so you can add media to your links.
What kind of branding do I need? Logo? Thumbnails?
Like any project (a YouTube channel, website, etc.) you’ll want a logo, one that can fit in a square ratio image.
You’re also going to need banners. If you have a Facebook page, Twitter page, or want to upload podcasts to YouTube, you’ll end up making a banner for each.
Key point to remember here is that each site has its own dimensions for images. But brand consistency is always a must.
How should I promote my podcast now that it’s done? Where should I promote it?
Wherever you can. Send it to friends directly and post on every platform you can. Your guests should do the same.
How can I get guests on my podcast?
A couple things can work, especially for podcasts that are just starting out.
First, you can try getting guests by using people that you know (that’s an obvious step).
Second (and a little less obvious), you should try reaching out to guests that work for reputable companies, but aren’t big names yet.
If you pitch to them well enough, and show that you’re organized, you can attract them to be guests. Most young professionals are likely to just be happy that they’re asked to be a guest (on-air) like the vets they idolize.
If you need help looking for lower level talent, try this method on social media. Think of a topic you want to talk about. Let’s try LeBron for example.
Search “LeBron filter:verified” in the Twitter search bar. You’ll get results from only verified people. Some big names will come up, but some lower level, younger people might show up, too.
Scout and choose, these people are more likely to respond to your request.
So now that you have all of this information at your disposal, what are you waiting for?
Start your movement and go after your lane. If you think you need a little more help, come holla at us at Kulture Hub and let’s get your podcast off the ground!