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Introduction to Podcasting
As a popular cultural phenomenon, podcasting is on the rise where it is primarily responsible for connecting listeners to audio content created by professionals, radio stations, and amateur hobbyists.
Thanks to the marketing power of Apple’s digital platforms (Apple Podcast Library) & hardware such as iPods and iPhones, there has been a increased visibility of podcasts over the past decade or so.
Other major tech companies such as Google and Spotify have also recently integrated podcasting into their own existing music services, further expanding the potential reach of the medium.
What is a Podcast?
A podcast can be defined as an episodic series,consisting of spoken works in the form of digital audio files, subscribed to and downloaded through web syndication or streamed online to a computer or mobile device.
It consists of content mostly produced by traditional editors such as radio, publishing houses, journalists as well as content created by independent radio producers, artists, and radio amateurs.
The portmanteau Podcast a combination of iPod and broadcast coined by the journalist Ben Hammersley,suggests that podcasts rode in on the coattails of the digital-music revolution.
It can be fairly said that the public radio has been one of the obvious progenitor of podcasts. Unlike radio, there has never been a need to convince an editor to green lit a show for a podcast. All you have to do is buy a mic, install a recording program on your laptop, and start talking.
A few benefits of starting a podcast
Due to it’s availability to a an audience worldwide, its barrier to listen is very low.
It provides you with an opportunity to create authority and credibility in your niche.
With podcasts giving you the opportunity to create an intimate relationship with your audience, it helps in your development of self confidence.
For those of you who aren’t mad about being on camera,podcasts offer the opportunity to reveal your personality without being seen but only heard.
How to start a podcast
Idea for a podcast :
Podcasting takes some work, so you're going to want to make sure you spend adequate time upfront to make sure you choose a topic that excites you and something that will keep you going for the long run. This is the foundation of your podcast and a critical first step.
Instead of choosing something that is ready in front of you, aim for a topic that will be the reason for you to podcast for year from now.
Tip : If you simply copy what many people are already doing, it will be harder for you to build an audience. If there are a few podcasts about your topic, you can reach a wider audience with much ease.
Title of you podcast :
Before people even listen to to a single word of your show, this is the first thing they will see.
The significance of choosing the right tittle is that it will defines your branding, the thoughts you want to express, the art work and the way you would want to share it with your peers.
Podcast Description :
It’s important to take your time with this step because it's the first opportunity to attract an audience. Who is hosting your podcast, what is it about and why it should interest someone are the key questions need to be addressed while writing a description to capture the audience’s attention. You will have 4000 characters to work with, so you have a lot of room.
In addition to writing show description, your show notes regarding each episode also go a long way in keeping your audience engaged. Think of these like the summary you find on the back of a book.
Tip: Identify certain keywords which are specific to your podcast. Keywords should be phrases your audience would realistically type into a search engine and which your podcast can answer.
Podcast Format :
You will also need to decide on the format for your show.
What should be the duration of each episode?
Are you going to invite guests or will it be just me ?
How often should I publish my podcast?
Also, keep in mind to take into consideration your target audience while answering the above questions.
Podcast Artwork :
This is one of the first things people will pay attention to before listening to a single spoken word and before reading the description regarding you show. The artwork is your podcast’s first impression. It is what people see on their mobile devices, media players and computers while listening to your podcast. It's an important element for reinforcing your brand identity to your followers.
Recording Equipment :
You don’t require to spend a fortune as you might think to get your show up and running.
The device which is most important to your podcast recording setup is the microphone. You might have the best content in the world but if you are not up to a certain standard of audio quality, you could have people leave and find something that sounds better. Companies now-a-days have started manufacturing USB microphones which deliver good audio quality at a budget price and also by-passes the need for having to spend extra money on an audio Interface.
NT USB mini by Rode
Lyra by AKG
Yeti Studio by Blue
C-1 U by Behringer
As with what to record, it’s also important to reference how you sound while recording. Hence headphones also are a key part of the recording setup.
Coming across a good pair of headphones is difficult as the market is flooded with mediocre devices, which not only serve up poor sound quality but also rarely last beyond a month of active use.Comfort, closed back design, durability and sound quality are some of the most important things to consider when picking out the best pair of headphones for your budget.
HD 206 by Sennheiser ATH M20X by Audio Technica HD7 by PreSonus
Recording Software :
As far as software to record into, we recommend going simple, and with what you might already have access to. Again, you don't need to spend money on anything fancy.
Mac computers come pre loaded with a copy of Garageband.
If you are a windows user, then we recommend using Audacity. Both are free
Publishing Podcasts :
After recording, editing and mixing you will need to upload your podcasts to directories through a podcast hosting website. They are the best way to host, promote and track your podcasts. Think of them as a distributor sending your podcast to services like : Apple Podcasts
If you haven’t signed up with a host yet, now would be a time to do it. We recommend using buzzsprout.
Once you have published you podcast it now time to let the world know about your new show.
Now is the time to ask your friends, family, community, audience, colleagues anyone in your network to help support you and your show. Don't be afraid to ask and hopefully you will get lots of support.
Make use of your social channels, your email list, groups you are involved with.