So you've been thinking of starting a podcast..? You’re in luck as this week; Rumbi and Leo provided some hints and tips to make the start process that much easier!
To listen to this episode, click here.
Over the last 5 years the podcast industry has been quietly booming. In 2018 a survey showed that 6.8 million people of the UK population and 32% of Americans listened to podcasts (that's over 105 million people)! In 2019 there were only 750,000 active podcasts compared to 850,000 in 2020 whilst businesses are spending on average $497 million on podcast advertising! Now compare this to the active 31 million YouTube channels!! How insane is that?!
Businesses are willing to invest because right now, there are more listeners than podcasts. The market and demand is over the roof, there's no better time than now to start podcasting and get a share of this huge pie!
So to help you get started, here are 7 helpful tips and guides:
1. Find your Why
Carry out research into the type and genre of podcast you would like to do. What is the purpose of the podcast and WHY you want to do it. What benefit or value will it give to your audience? What do you enjoy talking about or are most passionate about?
The best thing to do is make it unique. Look at similar podcasts to your idea. What do they do, that you could do differently?
Consider how you will structure your podcast; will it be conversational, or will it be scripted? Will it be an interview based podcast or will it be structured? How long will each episode be?
2. Identify your Target Audience
Consider who your target audience will be. On average, most podcast listeners are between the ages of 24 and 35 and they mostly listen to podcasts whilst multitasking like commuting to work, cooking, having a bath or exercising!
We recommend that you create a metaphorical avatar or profile of your ideal listener give them a name, what do they do, their hobbies, favourite TV shows, music taste and favourite artists, are they religious, what stage in their career are they, what do they enjoy doing? Where would they shop, are they into designer or fashion labels etc?
This exercise will help you think of episode content for your tailored/desired audience. It'll also help you in narrowing down the audience for your marketing. This will mean you avoid making your mum listen to an episode about friends with benefits!
Most importantly, remember; it’s not what you like but what your target audience will enjoy. So when identifying your target audience avoid the temptation to design a profile that is based too much on yourself so you are not limiting your potential! You can aim for a wide range of people and gain very little, or you can be really specific about who you want and gain a lot.
3. Podcast Hosting Platforms
Most platforms you find podcasts on will have a separate login for podcasters to allow you to upload your content directly with them for free. For example Spotify for Podcasters, or iTunes Connect. You can directly upload to each platform but that can be time consuming. So you're better off using a hosting platform that can disseminate your podcast to all the major platforms without you having to do all the leg work.
You can try out any of these free hosting platforms:
You want to think of what your pages and your artwork for your podcast will look like but most importantly, what vibe and message your logo will be saying to anyone who visits your page.
To create a podcast art cover; you can make this on Canva, Pixlr or other similar editing software or you can commission someone to design your artwork for you on Fiverr for example.
If you're struggling for colour palette choices check out the Instagram pages of @Mr.Pugo and @colours.cafe who provide complimentary colours including the hex codes. Try researching colour psychology and seeing what each colour range makes people feel, you'll find the perfect colours that align with your overall tone and message.
One of the most daunting and major setbacks of starting a podcast is the cost of equipment. We're here to tell you, you can get started with almost nothing. If you can't afford any microphones, we recommend you use your phone earphones with a microphone. Pick your surroundings carefully and ensure the room you're in has noise cancelling aspects for better sound quality.
Pick a room like a bedroom/box room, with windows and curtains closed. Carpeted floor or throw a blanket or cushions over a hard floor surface so that sound can't bounce off those surfaces. Better yet, even a wardrobe/closet with all the clothes inside! This sounds a little crazy but for your listeners, bad sound quality is like a fuzzy YouTube video - and think of how we're now only used to HD and will click off anything that's not crystal clear.
But If you have a budget we would recommend getting the following:
We use Neweer Microphones click here to see the set we got. In total we spent about £80 for 2 microphones which included stands, pop filters and phantom power. You may have to get a USB/XLR Cable so you can connect directly to your laptop.
If you'd like higher end microphones you can have a look at the Yeti Microphones or Rode Microphones. We think these are some of the best microphones on the market. The sound quality is phenomenal and worth investing. But if you can't afford the cheaper alternatives are available and will still do the job.
It's always good to have headphones for each speaker so you can monitor, how you're sounding. Pretty much any headphones will do, just make sure they don't have a microphone on the cord as your recording system might pick up that microphone as well which is an absolute nightmare. Click here for our favourite pick; simple, affordable and good value for money. If you have more than one guest/host, you might think of getting a headphone splitter this allows you to plug in as many headphones to the splitter so you can all hear how your counterparts are sounding.
If you still have the problem of an echo in your room or you want to use a better looking room for your guests instead of your closet, you could get sound proofing foam pads which you can stick to the wall and will do the trick. Don't forget the double sided tape to mount them!
Recorders & Mixers
We saved the best for last. We recently acquired a ZOOM H6 Recorder and we aren't disappointed. The recorder can also be used as a microphone and you can record directly into it, you can even plug in all your microphones into the recorder and it will act as a mixer for all your sounds. This piece of equipment is pricey but it is worth the investment as the sound quality is also exceptional and makes editing so much better.
If you would like something a lot more heavy duty, you can have a look at the Rode Rodecaster Pro Podcast Production Studio which will provide a similar production experience but with more features and specifications.
As with any audio or video recording, the final sound needs to be edited and finalised before publishing. We use a free software called Audacity which can be downloaded online for Mac or Windows.
We have also been recommended Reaper which has a one-off fee of $60 and is reportedly better for editing than Audacity.
If you're on an IOS device, you can try using Garage Band to edit and finalise the finished product.
For remote recordings especially in this time of Covid; you may not always be able to meet up with your guests so you can consider using cloud based platforms like Zoom and Skype. However, if the internet speed is slow leading to lag time between your guests and doesn't make for good listening.
We found Zencastr and Riverside.fm quite great for online remote recordings. Zencastr in particular offers post production and cleans up your audio for your whilst modifying your guests' voices to make sure they are all level. Quite ingenious if you ask us!
7. How to monetize your podcast
If only the joy of making a podcast was enough!
You can make money from your podcast by doing some of the following:
You can pitch your podcast to local and international businesses for them to sponsor your show for a set number of podcast episodes in return for advertising on your episode. A good tip is to align your podcast with like-minded businesses or products and services you know your viewers will be interested in. Disclaimer - some sponsors will only consider plugging in their adverts once you hit a certain number of downloads per episode which may be starting in the 1,000's mark.
Spotify, Apple, BBC Sounds are known for giving exclusive deals to certain podcasters to host their podcasts exclusively on their platforms. This could be you! You may want to attach yourself to a production company/agent who can work with you on likely style and podcasts sought by these platforms and they will help you pitch your podcast or podcast idea.
You can also sign yourself to companies and affiliate networks where you can get personalised links to provide to your listeners. This is particularly hard if you are only available to your audience via the podcast. This may work exceptionally well if you have a website and a blog... like this one! Hint hint.
Some podcasters have taken the bold move of removing their podcasts from the major platforms and offering a subscription service of their own on their websites, offering exclusive episodes and material as well as gifts!
One thing we wished we did was to create a launch plan. Advertise before launching the podcast and preparing maybe 5 episodes that the audience could binge listen the first day. Another tip is to host a review party, Apple Podcasts' algorithm will see that you've had so many listens and reviews in the first couple of days and assume your show is a hit and push it to the front! Look out over the next coming weeks for The Tea Lady's version of a Podcaster's Journal!
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