Why should you start a podcast?
Before delving into the question ‘Why should you start a podcast?’, first, let’s have a look at what a podcast is. A podcast, in its essence, is an episodic series of spoken words digital audio files that a user may listen to, either on the internet or by downloading it on their device. A podcast is a perfect outlet for content distribution over the internet or otherwise.
Starting a podcast is an excellent method to further your brand, both professional and personal. Audio medium works like a charm for the busy city life target audience who you can’t woo with the conventional methods.
Having an engaging and consistent podcast builds up a loyal and hooked audience, and having a consistent audience is what mass media is all about.
A steady audience has many benefits, such as the promotion of one’s brands or products or having outside advertisements to bring in a little extra cash on the side. Podcasts, at least on a fiscal level, are a big positive since they don’t cost much to start and can end up making you a relatively decent amount of money.
Apart from all the financial upsides to starting a podcast, there are intangible benefits as well. Getting your voice heard by thousands and thousands of people worldwide is an opportunity many people would kill for. It also gives a platform for those who have something to say but aren’t confident in front of a camera.
Having a podcast would give their content a personal touch, with their voice conveying their emotions and excitement. Finally, podcast, in its true essence, is a performing art. Engaging in any kind of performing art has massive benefits for your personality, as you become a more confident, composed version of yourself.
Choose a topic
Choosing a topic for the podcast is one of the most crucial steps in the whole process. The topic must be vast enough to encompass an entire podcast length and yet be rich enough to be engaging throughout the length of the podcast. Finding a good topic is akin to hitting gold on the internet community, as a lot of people are doing the same thing you’re doing, and your topic is a significant factor in setting you apart from the herd.
Knowing your audience and your niche
There are several questions that you might ask yourself before deciding on a topic for your podcast. Essentially, it boils down to four fundamental questions. Firstly, what is your target audience? Knowing your audience is a big part of the game, and there must be an overlap between what you want to speak and what your audience wants to hear.
Speaking of what you want to talk about, this is the second of the four questions. Your interests and your audience’s interests matter and this requires knowing thy audience. Knowing your audience means reaching out to them through various means, taking in their feedbacks and criticisms, and tweaking things to better suit the average Joe tuning into your podcast.
As for your interests, this one requires being well researched and informed about the general topics that interest you, to the point that you can talk confidently about the said topic for a length of time without making it a lecture or droning some pre-written script.
Make sure that you don’t go overboard with your enthusiasm for the topic, such as you alienate the audience.
What does the market demand?
The two other questions you might ask yourself are, ‘What makes my podcast different?’ and ‘Can I monetize this?’. The latter is only applicable if your eventual aim is to make money off the endeavor.
To make your podcast stand out from the usual drivel you hear on the internet, you might research enough to find some niche audience to whom nobody’s catering to as of now. For monetization, you have to leave room in the topic for some commercial plugs, or might even dedicate a whole episode for your sponsor, hence picking the topic for the same.
Decide your Podcast Name
Branding is everything in this modern world, and the name is part of the brand. The name of the podcast is what your audience will use to tell their friends about your content, so having a name that is memorable and yet rolls off the tongue is super important. Let’s look at a few pointers on how to pick a perfect name for your new podcast.
The first advice on how to pick an excellent podcast name is to make it short and sweet. Long names are often off-putting, and an average viewer is more likely to remember the name of your podcast if it’s not too long and uses simple words known to an average person.
Another piece of advice is to use a play on words, but it isn’t recommended if the resultant name seems forced or overfitted. Moving on, if your podcast is associated with a brand, make sure to incorporate that brand in the name of the podcast to benefit both the brand and the podcast.
Also, convey the tone of the podcast through your title. Use happy-sounding words for an upbeat podcast, grave sounding names for a serious podcast, and extrapolate for other moods. Finally, always keep an eye out for the searchability of your podcast.
If your podcast’s name contains commonly used search-terms, it’s more likely to show up on the feeds of people, hence expanding your reach and building a larger audience.
Write a great podcast description
A podcast description is like a teaser or a trailer to the actual content inside of it. Regardless of ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover,’ an average person generally reads the podcast description before diving in, and your description is off-putting or unappealing, the chances of people tuning in decrease substantially. Hence, here are some pointers on how to write a great description for your podcast.
Firstly, no matter how tempting it might be, don’t clickbait your audience. While releasing several episodes, you have to think in the long run, and the fact of the matter is an average viewer is highly unlikely to tune in again after being click baited into listening to your podcast.
Coming on to the actual description, there are two types of description you have to think of. One is the description of your podcast, the all-encompassing description of the grand project you’re undertaking. This is the content that gets people to tune in the first time and subscribe.
Second is the episode description, a short teaser of the content you’re about to deliver in the latest installment of your recurrent content. This is aimed at the returning listeners and, this makes them decide whether to continue being a part of your audience or not. Writing both of these requires some simple guidelines.
Firstly, keep the tone of the podcast the same as the description. If you’re talking about some serious issues, keep the description sensitive and personal, and likewise. Further, for the episodic descriptions, make sure to include the best bits of the podcast into the description.
Don’t give away the whole bit; just reveal enough that they have to tune in to find out. Finally, use questions, and lots of them. Especially on informative podcasts, use rhetorics such as ‘Did you know this’s often to hook an average listener.
How to create your amazing podcast script
Getting to the base of your podcast, your script is the make or break for your podcast. Any added flairs on the top fail to work if your script is weak. How to write a good podcast script is a question many people are trying to find the answer to, and it’s an art, not a science.
There is no definitive method, and while many people have their formulas, trying to replicate someone else’s formula is a recipe for disaster. Keeping this in mind, here are a few pointers on how to write a compelling, engaging podcast script.
Stick to a time limit
Considering that you have to adhere to a strict time slot, it’s best to first outline the script with time stamps. Fix slots for certain non-negotiable segments first, and then you can play around with other flexible things later. Must do stuff may include an intro, sponsorship plugs, guest appearances, etc.
Also, keep adequate time for the main topic of your episode. Moving on, the golden rule of any podcast is to make it a free-flowing conversational. Don’t let it get preachy or lecture-y for too long, or keep such moments at a minimum.
Leave room for improvisation
Also, if you’re using notes, never drone on or read from the paper. Enunciate as much as you can, and some emotions here and there help your audience connect with you better. Don’t hardbound yourself to a script, and allow breathing room in the script for some improvisation.
Improvisation tends to bring out some of the best moments of the podcast and have the potential to become your highlights of the episode.
Don’t gloss over details
Moving on, always keep in mind that you’re operating in an audio medium, so make sure to consistently describing the scene for your audience, no matter how trivial it might seem to you. Finally, always keep it moving along at a decent pace. Don’t get stuck at a particular point for too long, no matter how rich it might seem to you.
At the same time, don’t rush through the script just for the sake of covering all the points you had in mind. It’s okay to sacrifice one or two points if it’s overshooting the limit, provided that you’re not just rehashing the previously spoken points.
How long should every episode be?
Deciding the perfect length of the podcast is also a headache many people across the world go through. On the one hand, you have all these thoughts you’re itching to get out in the wild, while simultaneously if your podcast is too long, people would either think twice before tuning or will leave halfway through.
The length of the podcast is mostly dependent on your content. The amount of reliable content you have should be your ideal length, minus the fluff. However, there would be additional time added to your length because of some unforeseen factors, so you have to keep the margin of error before recording the podcast.
Never sacrifice great content for trimming the duration. As for common street knowledge such as ‘keep the podcast duration equal to the length of an average drive or a shower,’ while there is some rationale behind these thoughts, in this age of advancement, an average listener can quickly return to your podcast at the same timestamp he or she left off, so the main suggestion is to keep such advice on the back burner.
Finally, know your audiences and their attention spans. If you’re running an informative podcast for a niche audience, you might be liberal with the timings. However, in most cases, the audiences’ attention span is not that solid, so keep that in mind before deciding on a script.
How frequently should you release your episode?
This one requires a balance between two extremes. On the one hand, if you’re lazy and lethargic with your podcast releases, people might forget about your content and/or will move on to similar podcasts in the same genre.
While on the other hand, if you are releasing at a rapid frequency, it’s highly likely that the audience won’t get a chance to explore all of your content before your new content drops. In this case, many of your stuff goes unheard, which is problematic, especially if you’re trying to make a name for yourself in the community. Hence here are a few guidelines.
Firstly, give yourself enough time for research and preparation. A rush job is never anyone’s friend, and dropping a half-baked rush job is worse than releasing anything at all.
Moving on, there are some commonly accepted patterns on the frequency of your releases – weekly, bi-monthly, monthly, or some podcasters just outright refuse to adhere to a schedule. An excellent option is releasing a podcast every two weeks, due to certain reasons. It requires the same budget as releasing weekly.
Moreover, your podcasts are in the market for twice as long, yet not so long that you have to market the whole thing from scratch. Additionally, two weeks is generally enough time to think of a new episode topic, design a script, and record with multiple takes.
However, nothing is set in stone, and you’re always welcome to tweak around to find your perfect pattern.
Where to host your podcast?
Hosting a podcast means surrounding yourself in a quaint, quiet environment where you could get your creative juices flowing. A real buzzkill for everyone across the world who listens to podcasts is background noise, so it’s essential to keep that to a minimum.
Keeping that in mind, here are some tips and tricks for choosing the perfect environment for hosting your podcast.
First of all, you should be comfortable in the environment. Preferably home or a familiar recording studio. Recording at an uncomfortable place would reflect in your voice quality and content, so avoid it like plague.
Furthermore, have a room with two-way noise cancellation, so you’d be comfortable saying things without the hesitation of disturbing others. Finally, pick a room without external noises such as fans or vacuum cleaners, as it may disturb you in the process as well as add to the degradation of your voice quality in the podcast.
Choose episode format for your podcast
The episode format largely determines the flow of the podcast. For example: if you’re recording a podcast for some niche topic, you might want to record it in a single-person monologue. For a bit of light-hearted entertainment, you might want to co-host it with someone for a room for banter and improvisation.
There are several options for your episode format. Starting with some basic ones like interview format, single person monologue, or conversational co-hosted format. Interview format works great when you have some guest incoming who’d do most of the heavy-lifting, and you just have to steer the conversation.
Coming on to the solo monologue thing, it’s the way to go if you want to be self-reliant and are confident in speaking for a length of time without it getting dross.
As for the conversational co-hosted podcast thing, it works great if you have working chemistry with the opposite person, and when done correctly, it reduces your workload to half while simultaneously keeping the podcast engaging and fresh.
Even outside of these set formats, there are several formats you can try, or even try coming up with one on your own, because when it comes to content, there is no set script and whatever works becomes the new norm.
The first step in preparation for a podcast is building/buying a computer for recording and editing. There is no mandate to own a state-of-the-art computer for having an amazing podcast, and you can create just as good content with a standard, $400 computer or laptop. There are few mandates for your laptop though.
Your computer must have an audio-in jack port for your headphones to plug-in, and a USB/USB-C port for connecting a microphone to record. That’s pretty much it for the computer part, and you’re set to move on to the next part of podcast preparation.
Create cover art
Creating appealing cover art for your podcast is akin to writing a great description: it lures listeners in, it sends a subliminal message about the tone of the podcast, and it creates a great and positive environment for the listeners to listen in.
Get dimensions correct and stand out
The first guideline is getting your dimensions correct. Many podcast hosting services have strict demands for pixel count, especially premium services such as Apple podcast. Apple podcasts recommend artwork of a minimum of 1400×1400 pixels, with the recommended size being 3000×3000 pixels.
Its highly recommended that you create your artwork in JPG or PNG formats, as these are the most widely used image formats with the highest level of compatibility. Also, it won’t hurt to be mindful of those using the dark mode. The next piece of advice would be to use something that stands out from the competition.
A generic ad-lib podcast cover art would just repel listeners from listening to your podcast. Also, remember to pay heed to mobile device users and how your cover art would look on a small screen.
Applications you might use
As for creating cover art, there are several applications or websites you can use. Starting with an obvious one, Canva. Canva’s easy to use interface combined with the wide variety of features and options you can use make it a perfect platform for anyone to create unique cover art for their podcast.
If it’s too much trouble, you can always use external help. There are many people on Fiverr or otherwise who’d be happy to use their talents for your cover art for a reasonable price, and given the importance of your cover art in branding your podcast, it’s well worth it.
Some helping hands
As to what the actual content of the logo/artwork would be, 99designs suggests some tips for that. The artwork should reflect the mood of the podcast, so the image used, typography, margins, everything should go along with the theme of the podcast.
If it is an informative podcast, it wouldn’t be out-of-place to use a plain old photograph fitting to the theme of the podcast. The use of bright colors catches some eyes, so feel free to use that liberally. The use of unconventional fonts is also highly encouraged to make your cover art stand out.
Choose intro music
Straight off the bat, the intro music for the podcast sets the mood of the podcast. If it’s annoying, most listeners would just stop listening instead of sticking through. There are several options for your podcast intro music, so let’s explore them one by one.
A common choice is royalty-free music, the music which is available to you for unlimited use with a small, one-time payment. But remember, just because it’s free doesn’t mean it’s a good fit for your podcast. You might get have to scrap through thousands of samples before you find your fit, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth trying.
PremiumBeats is one such platform, and with a great collection of royalty-free music, you’re likely to get your intro music here. But PremiumBeats is not your only bet for such platforms though, with several options available such as StoryBlocks, Music Radio Creative, and Splice.
All of them have creators posting their jingles or intro pieces of music for use by podcasters such as you, and it’s up to you to find the one that goes with your podcast.
Finding a pre-existing piece of music is not your only bet though, with the option of creating your intro very much into play. There are many pieces of software such as GarageBand that can help you conjure up some rudimentary piece of music that can be used as the intro to your podcast.
Another simpler option has a voiceover intro. In this format, you just record your voice giving an introduction, and it’s an option used by many podcasters out there. It especially goes great with some of the more informative podcasts out there, with which flash music just won’t suit.
There are some pointers on having a perfect intro. The music shouldn’t feel out of place in your podcast and should be consistent with the theme of your podcast. It shouldn’t be too long and take up much of your timeslot. A 20-3 second intro is generally the convention, and it is so for a reason.
Finally, your introduction should be placed at an appropriate point in the podcast. Don’t put it at the absolute beginning. Try to give a cold open before starting the intro.
Buy a microphone and headphone for your podcast
While recording a podcast, a microphone and your headphones for a podcast is your best friend. Some quality pieces of equipment are necessary for high-quality audio, and only then your audience can catch every ebb and flow in your voice.
There are several quality pieces of instruments available in the market, and it can be a headache to pick the perfect ones suitable for your needs. Hence, here are some pointers on how to choose your perfect equipment for your podcast.
There are a couple of different types of headphones, like open and closed driver headphones. Due to the free flow design of the open driver headphones, they generally have a more natural and expansive sound. However, on a podcast, where you need the absolute focus on your voice, closed driver headphones are to be preferred due to less leakage of sound.
Coming on to our recommendations, there are three primary recommendations. The first one is Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB, a premium handheld mike specializing in podcasting due to its cardioid polar pattern, which reduces pickup of unnecessary noises.
The next one is Blue Yeti X USB Microphone, a stand-held microphone designed for professional podcast work. It’s more high-end than the previous option but with the much better sound quality and real-time voice adjustments.
Finally, we arrive at Sony MDR-7506, a premium on-ear professional headphones with a closed-ear design for reduction of external noise and a frequency pickup ranging from 10Hz to 20Hz. Its portability and comfortability also provide a plus for travel and commute.
These are not the only options, though, and you’re welcome to put your research into the decision as well. There are several YouTubers, bloggers, and techies who compare various microphones and headphones over the internet, and you may use any of them.
How to Speak into a Mic
Speaking into a microphone, while a seemingly effortless activity, renders many new podcasters confused. Having bad audio quality reflects poorly on your podcast content and is off-putting for most of the listeners. There are several guidelines on how to speak into a mic, and here we are looking at some of them.
Knowing your mike and its orientation
The first step to speaking into a microphone is knowing your mic. There are very different types of microphones, and you have to know about the position and orientation of the mic to get the perfect sound. Mics come in different shapes and sizes, like handheld, lapel mike, or podium mike.
With the handheld mike, keep the ball below your mouth and a few centimeters from your face and directed towards your face. With the lapel mike, don’t put it too close to your mouth, and you’re set, just talk as if you talk to a group of people, and don’t move your head too much.
As for the podium mike, keep the mike about two hands width away from your mouth, and speak across it, not into it. This last piece of advice applies to almost any kind of situation with any sort of mike, and by keeping the right distance and speaking at the proper orientation, you can make do with nearly every type of mike available.
Keep mute and standby handy and speak across
As for some additional tips, the first very essential tip is to find the on/off, mute, and standby button at the beginning so that you don’t mess up the recording by delaying with the button controls. Also, always do a soundcheck before starting the recording.
With a soundcheck, you still have the option to go back and do it over without any wastage of time or effort. Also, during recording, don’t blow into the mike as a soundcheck; instead, tap the head lightly or speak your first words and wait for the output. Some mikes take a few seconds to kick in, so before making any decisions wait for three seconds.
Do you need podcast guests?
Having guests on your podcast is a breath of fresh air for your listeners. Your listeners occasionally get tired of listening to the same voices over and over, and hence, bringing some guests on is an excellent way to break this monotonous routine. Having guests over also provides a new and fresh perspective on a particular subject matter which you or your co-hosts might not have thought about.
Having guests over who specialize in the subject matter you’re talking about also gives a higher level of credibility to your content. Hence keeping all this in mind, it’s a huge positive to have guests over on your podcast, either occasionally or regularly.
There are various methods to record a podcast with guests. You can physically have them over or go over to their place for the recording. However, all this is bound under the assumption that your guests live in an area that is easily accessible by you.
However, in most cases, it’s not possible for the podcasters to physically meet up with their guests for the episode. Nonetheless, in this day and age, everything is possible remotely, and podcasting is no different. So, let’s take a look at some of the platforms that allow you to record your podcast while sitting thousands of miles apart.
SquadCast is one of the best, if not the best platform out there for recording remote podcasts. It’s super reliable, and with its easy to use interface, you’ll be hardpressed to find a fault in this excellently built platform. Zencastr is also an excellent choice if you’re looking for some generous free plans.
However, it just trails SquadCast in terms of stability and reliability. Both of them have superb audio quality and beautiful UI, which just beckons you to start recording as soon as possible.
Recording and Editing your podcast
Recording and editing are two separate yet two equally crucial steps in the entire process, so here we would be looking at both the steps under the microscope, simultaneously learning about some of the technologies used for the said processes.
Recording (commonly used platforms)
For the recording part, the basic do’s and don’t have already been covered earlier in the article. All that’s left is to record your content, and there are plenty of apps for the same. Every mobile, tablet, or computer nowadays comes equipped with a standard recorder, which is more than capable of recording and doing the needful.
GarageBand is pretty useful software in this regard. It comes with every iOS product out there and is also available for external download for Windows users. For remote podcasts, if you’re using a platform such as the Skype, tools like Pamela are great for recording the calls and turning them into full-blow podcasts.
All in all, recording and making them into long, substantial audio files is the easy step. The next step is the challenging one.
Editing (tips, tricks, and helping hands)
As for Editing, once again, like so many other steps, there is no single correct way. However, there are good and bad practices, and there are some pointers which you’d like to follow. There’s a thing called DAW ‘Digital Audio Workstation’, which is like a whole recording studio on your computer.
It makes the process so much simpler because you can just record it and edit it straight away. For the use of DAW, the best platform is Audacity, which might intimidate some of the beginners, but is a potent tool for the whole process once you get the hang of it.
Adobe Audition is also a really powerful tool built along the lines of Audacity and is also a viable option. Moving on, if you wish to record your podcast without the need for DAW, there’s is this really powerful and easy-to-use app called Alitu, which practically builds your episode for you.
Everything from processing, editing, and publishing can be taken care of using Alitu without the need for a DAW. Alitu is also a top-rated application used by many pre-existing content makers in the podcast community. Editing without a DAW is a great option for people who don’t seem to get the hang of the technical stuff but still want to start with the process.
Finally, if you still can’t seem to do-it-yourself, you can always hire a producer. Platforms such as Music Radio Creative or Fiverr would connect you to people who’d be willing to offer their talents to polish your podcast for a very reasonable price.
Launch your Podcast
Podcast hosting is different from website hosting due to the large size of audio files, and hence almost no individual has the resources to host a podcast on his own.
What one can do, however, is to employ the services of many such hosting platforms that are available for alms to everyone for a nominal fee. Here’s a look at such hosting services and their pros and cons.
The best out of the bunch is, in fact, BuzzSprout. Being one of the easiest ones to use out of all the options, it certainly is a popular choice. A gorgeous interface, combined with ease of access, an active community, and reasonable rates make it the top choice for your podcast hosting needs.
The ability and adaptability of BuzzSprout to all platforms and devices also makes it an appealing option for up-and-coming podcasters. The process includes one-stop, upload the audio file, and the platform takes care of the rest.
Another very viable option is Transistor, which is also a brilliant option for both amateurs as well as professionals. The fact that they offer unlimited uploading services means that you can upload however much you like at a reasonable rate of 19$ per month.
The only downside is the fact that the charge is for a limited number of downloads, which means that you would have to upgrade your plan as your audience grows.
Upload your first episode
Most of the podcasts do have a lackluster beginning and only grow over time, so don’t get discouraged if your first content over the internet doesn’t set the world alight, it’s only natural, and you’ll only get better with time.
No branding is enough branding, so make sure to spread the word as much as you can because if people aren’t listening, there is no point putting so much effort in putting your thoughts over the internet in an audio format. No channel for branding is off-limits; make use of every possible friend, acquaintance, and relative for spreading the world.
Moving on from spreading the word, make sure that the first episode isn’t a niche topic or subject. Instead, keep the first episode as a general light-hearted conversation about what’s to come in a later episode of the podcast. The combination of engaging yet eluding ensures that the audience is entertained as well as retained for the later episodes.
Further, timing is a significant factor in the make-or-break of any podcast, so try to upload and inaugurate your podcast in a rather unique timing and date, such as to maximize your audience for the initialization. Lastly, your first description should be an engaging one, yet being the one that compels the listeners to tune in.
Refer to the aforementioned guidelines on writing descriptions for the podcast episodes for more details. In all, the publish date, branding, description, and title of the first episode would determine the fate of your podcast and don’t be discouraged if your first episode is not a viral hit because you’ll get plenty of more chances.
Submit to Directories
Podcast directories are online software where people look to find podcasts to listen to, and hence such submitting your podcasts to different directories for people to find them must be high on your priority list.
Directories are a way to promote your shows, and for your podcast to grow, a highly recommended method is to get your podcast to as many directories as possible to maximize the number of people discovering your content.
There are several podcast directories online where are a large community of people is active and is waiting for new content. One directory which should be the highest priority for you to submit is the Apple Podcasts. Many other directories source their content from Apple podcasts, so you must get your content to the vast market of iOS users.
Other popular podcast directories are Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Google Play Music. Some other lesser-known platforms are TuneIn, Stitcher, Pandora, and Pocket Casts.
The process of submitting your podcast is also quite simple, and the process for Apple Podcasts is given here as a sample. To submit your podcast for Apple Podcasts, simply log into iTunes Connect, enter the RSS Stream of your podcast.
After validating the RSS Stream of your podcast and entering a valid logo, description, and iTunes category, your podcast would be approved for listing within three to ten days. Also, make sure that there is no pre-existing podcast with the same name as yours, and the format for the podcast should be a popular audio medium such as mp3, mp4, etc.
Podcast transcription can be done using Google search engine. It is nothing but the audio speech converted into a written format so that it can be read online. There are a couple of choices regarding transcription as well; you can either Transcript it verbatim, i.e., write it down word-by-word, including the pauses, sound effects, and background noises, or you can convert the speech into a more cohesive, grammatically readable passage and then write it down.
Transcribing a podcast has many benefits, the least of which is it is more inclusive of people with hearing disabilities. Moreover, it allows you to reach a more multilingual language, which enables your podcast to flourish in more communities and countries. Finally, transcriptions help with SEO, which helps your podcast pop up in feeds of more and more people.
The good news is that you won’t have to manually listen and transcribe your podcast; there are software and applications for this job as well. A couple of well-known ones are BuzzSprout and Scribie, which employ automated systems to transcribe your script.
The automation is not without its flaws, so you’d have to put some effort into the final product. Another route is employing people for this job, and there are platforms such as Rev and Go Transcript, which would connect you to people who’d do this job for you.
Adding podcast chapters
The addition of chapters to your podcast implies segmentation of your podcast into chapters according to the topics or events. It makes it easier for you listeners to know in advance what all is covered in this episode, and if they have a particular section they want to listen to instantly, they can just use a link to skip ahead to that section.
The addition of chapters does not inculcate much effort; all you need to do is divide the script into segments, then use an application to segment the podcast on the hosting platform according to the timestamps.
There are a couple of applications you may use to add podcast chapters to your podcasts, such as Forecast or Auphonic. Let’s take a look at Forecast to understand the process. Simply fire up the app, import the audio file of your podcast in any of the convenient extension, and then you’re set to add chapters.
You can either add chapters by timestamps or by markers. Adding by markers is the preferable process, as when you export the audio file, the name and title of a chapter would show up at each marker, and you’d have an option to add links and images to each chapter, which adds a whole new dimension to the process.
Apart from this, you can also add podcast title, description, and image as well in Forecast only. Auphonic works similarly, as well.
Write show notes
Podcast notes are a marketing strategy that has been proved successful in the past and hence are deemed to be essential by pretty much any up-and-coming podcasters. In its essence, the show notes are nothing but a blog post with the podcast file attached to it.
They also serve to provide a summary of the podcast, offer links and resources mentioned in the blog, and attract new viewers through the search traffic. They’re different from the transcripts though, and the two should not be confused. Show notes primary purpose is to brand your podcast to the public through search traffic.
A well-versed format for the show notes is as follows. Start with a comprehensive summary of the episode, and then have an embedded player playing your episode. After that, put up a timecode list that mentions the segments of the podcast along with their timestamps.
Follow it up with a full topic guide on the topic at hand, and wrap it up with the additional resources mentioned in your podcast. Add a link to the transcription of your podcast at your convenience. The process of making show notes is also an easy one and is made even more comfortable with platforms such as BuzzSprout or Pro Podcast solutions.
With BuzzSprout, you get an inbuilt feature to add a blog post to your pre-existing podcast. With Pro Podcast Solutions, you get connected to the professionals who will take care of the process for you for a very nominal fee.
How much does it cost to start a podcast?
This is a very variable question with no real answer. We can, however, guesstimate a solution with some assumptions. There is money involved in equipment, recording, hosting, and editing, at the very least. Starting with the equipment, a reasonable computer can cost as low as $200, and you can go as high end as $2000.
A recording and editing software may come free, but a better one can have you shelling out as much as 200 bucks. The other pieces of equipment such as headphones and microphones, which you can buy at a bargain price of $50 each, or could go as high as $400.
There is a bunch of extra stuff as well, which a basic podcaster such as you may or may not buy, such as mixer, cables, windscreen, audio interface, shock mount, and monitor. All in all, having a basic setup without the extra stuff may cost you anywhere between $300-$3,000, depending upon how high-end you want to go with your setup.
If you decide to include the extra stuff as well, the lower bound of the Cost of podcast soars up to $700, while the upper bound of the setup now sits around the neighborhood of $4,500.
Coming on to the hosting services, you probably won’t be able to make do with the free version of the services, and hence, the services would set you $5-$100 back, depending on the amenities you purchase alongside the basic subscription.
There are some other costs as well, such as fees for cover art and intro music, which you may or may not have to pay. In all, most of the Cost of starting a podcast comes from the setup, which ranges from $700-$4,500, while the recurring costs range from $5-$100 on average.
How much money do you make from podcasts?
Money from podcasts solely depends on the possibility of having a large listener base. Only once you have a huge audience, you can start dreams of monetizing your content. Once again, it’s a highly variable number that depends on various factors and differs from podcast to podcast.
Podcasts make money from two primary sources, which are advertisements during the episode and affiliate sales. The first one, money from ads, highly depends on the podcaster’s ability to lure sponsors.
The advertisement rates are measured in Cost per hundred thousand listeners (CPM) and can range from $20 CPM to $100 CPM. Of course, having multiple advertisements in your podcast increases your income, so you’d have to factor that in as well.
The other source, affiliate sales, is also a variable number. Affiliate sales mean plugging some product or service in your content and providing a token on coupon for the said product/service. The amount of sale/subscription of the said product/service through your coupon or token determines your income.
The more the number of your listeners who’re persuaded to use the plugged product or service, the more your income would be. A guesstimated number would be if your podcast has about 10,000 downloads per episode, you can hope to make about $500-$900 from affiliated sales of that episode.
How to get sponsors for your podcast?
This question, like many other questions that we have tackled through the course of this article, has no fixed answer. There is no single way, and anyway through which you can gain sponsors is well and good.
However, for beginners, there might be few avenues that you might want to try before trying anything radical or unconventional.
The first step in getting sponsors for your podcast is knowing how sponsorships work in a podcast. There are two specific metrics through which your influence over the audience is judged by any sponsor. First is CPM or Cost per mile, which is a specific amount of money paid by the sponsor for 1,000 downloads, streams, or impressions of your podcast.
The other one is CPA or Cost per acquisition, in which you invite your listeners to avail of a service or buy a product through an exclusive coupon or token, and you get a small amount for every successful referral.
The first step in getting sponsors is finding sponsors. This would require some research on your part as you look for what brands are getting popular who’d fit your theme of the podcast quite nicely.
Once done, you have to create a presentation for the prospective sponsors, which includes your work, demographic, stream/download stats, and referrals or LoRs.
Once done, you have to email prospective sponsors the aforementioned presentation with a courteous pitch. Do follow up on every mail you send, and that’s it, that’s the whole process. It might take a while to be effective, but this is the generally accepted pattern in the market.