In today’s world, it is not difficult to get your voice spread to the other end of the world. In fact, with a single podcast, you can attain an audience that lives on the other side of the globe. However, for that, you need to follow the right procedure which leads us to the major and basic question, ‘what is a podcast’?
Knowing exactly what is a podcast before you step into this field will help you understand what you need to do to get your voice heard. In addition to that, there are other factors as well that play a significant role such as using the best podcast apps and knowing the right procedure of how to start a podcast. Do not fret, I have shared all of this information in layman’s terms in this article.
A podcast is a digital series of different audio or video files that are available on multiple platforms for the users of the platform to listen to. The simple podcast definition is an audio or video file which is available on different streaming websites. The users can listen to and watch the podcast on that website and they can also download it onto their computers and gadgets such as iPad. Most of the podcasts are available in audio files, but there are video podcasts available too.
How Do Podcasts Work?
The process of podcasting involves preparing the audio and video files and distributing them across the internet on different websites and platforms. A podcast is distributed using an RSS feed, which stands for Really Simple Syndication. When a podcast is uploaded, it goes to an RSS feed, which then distributes it across different websites and platforms. The users of the website can either stream the podcast online or download it onto their gadgets and watch it and listen to it later.
How To Make Podcasts?
If you are interested in making your podcast then there is a proper procedure that you need to follow, to make sure that you accurately create a podcast. If you want to learn how to make a podcast, I have shared the entire process in great detail below.
Pick A Topic
Making a podcast is a process that starts with picking a topic. Before you start purchasing heavy and expensive podcast gear for yourself, you need to know what the podcast will be about. Picking a topic is a critical part as it is the base of the entire process of making a podcast. If you do not even know what the topic of your podcast will be, then there is no way for you to make a podcast in a smooth process.
You need to pick an interesting topic and something that people might want to know about. In addition to that, you also need to make sure that the topic you pick is of your interest as well. If you pick something that does not interest you, how will you make the podcast interesting for your audience? Furthermore, you need to pick a topic for the podcast that you can stick to in the longer run, not something that will only have your attention for a couple of weeks.
Explore Around Your Topic
After picking a topic, your major job is not done. Once you have selected a topic for your podcast that you want to talk about, you need to conduct proper research on that topic. You need to obtain every piece of information regarding that topic, to bring information and authenticity to your podcast.
Most importantly, you need to listen to other podcasts on that topic or a topic that is somewhat related to it, to understand which areas the competition has targeted. Listening to other podcasts on your selected topic will also help you understand which areas you need to tackle in your podcast. This is a critical step, so no matter how long it takes, you need to make sure that you do it with patience and keen attention to detail.
Pick A Name
After you have selected a topic and conducted your research and listened to other podcasts on that topic, it is time to pick a name for your podcast. The name of a podcast is just as important, as any other step of the entire process of creating a podcast. If the name of the podcast is not captivating, and attention-grabbing, there will be fewer chances of your podcast catching the attention of the audience.
In addition to that, another important thing that you need to keep in mind is that the name of the podcast should be self-explanatory, and clear. If the name of the podcast indicates what the podcast is about, there is a high chance you will earn long-term followers for your podcast instead of strays who casually stumbled upon your podcast. The name should indicate what the podcast is in regards.
Write The Description For Your Podcast
Every podcast comes with an enthralling description that describes what the podcast is about. Make sure that the description of the podcast that you add indicates what the show will be about. This is the real part where you have an opportunity to find loyal followers for your podcast. You have the freedom to play with words and write an attention-grabbing paragraph that will urge people to listen to the podcast.
A major key to writing a captivating description is knowing who your target audience is and what their wants and needs are. Understanding the wants, and needs of the audience will help you add words into your description that target their curiosity and make them stick around and be a permanent subscriber of your podcast.
Before a user clicks on your podcast and sees the whole description, there is a small part of it that is displayed right under the title of the podcast. Make sure that the first few lines of the description are captivating enough that the user gets urged to read the whole thing. In addition to that, you need to make sure that the description of your podcast has one thing that sets it apart from the rest of the competition, any new information regarding the topic that other podcasts have not covered.
Create A Format For Your Podcast
Having a format for your podcast will help you stay on track, and keep you focused on how to do things in a proper method. Many things come under the umbrella of a format, the number of episodes, the time limit of each episode, and the style of the podcast.
Number Of Episodes
Knowing the number of episodes seems like a small detail that many people do not even consider at the time when they are planning their podcast. However, this is a critical detail that can not be ignored if you want to have a successful podcast that is famous amongst the audience.
Planning the number of episodes for your podcast will help you stay on top of things. You can plan the number of episodes according to the demands of your topic. Whether the topic demands 40 to 50 episodes or 15 to 20 episodes, you need to plan it.
Timespan Of Each Episode
Determining the timespan of each episode before you start recording the podcast and uploading it online is a small detail that will greatly help you in the long run. Knowing the period of every episode of your show will help you plan content for every episode. This will also help you remove the extra stuff from the episodes before you even start recording them.
Moreover, determining the timespan of the episode before you even start recording them will help you stay on top of the content that you need to cover in each episode. This will come in handy in saving time in the future and also eliminate any extra and irrelevant stuff from every episode.
Frequency Of Publishing
Another important thing that comes under the umbrella of the format of the podcast is knowing and fixing the frequency of publishing for your podcast. You need to determine beforehand whether the podcast will be published once a week, twice a week, or once a month. This helps in making sure that your audience knows when to expect the next episode of your podcast. Having a consistent publishing routine will help you stay on track and gain a loyal following.
Style Of Podcast
Determining the style of the podcast is another important thing that you should always plan before you start recording every episode. There are two styles of podcasts, the first is the interview style which involves you, as a host, and another guest speaker that you interview. The second style of the podcast is a solo show, which only involves you, you will be the only person speaking and presenting on the video of the podcast.
This is an important detail that you should always go over before you start recording the podcasts, as the style of the podcasts has a great effect on the outline, timespan, and talking points. If you are doing an interview-style podcast, then you will have to let the guests speak during the podcast too, which means either you will have to remove some of your talking points or prolong the timespan of the podcast.
Create The Artwork
Once the format of the podcast has been set, and you have a captivating title and description for your podcast, what you need now is attention-grabbing artwork for the podcast. Two things come under artwork for a podcast and those are the cover image of the podcast and the music for the podcast.
Creating The Cover
Similar to the title and description of the podcast, the cover of the podcast is another factor that an audience will see before they even click on your podcast, and start listening to it. The cover of the podcast is always a squared image, but you can even add a circular design with vivid graphics that fits the size of that squared image. Make sure that the picture that you add as a cover should have a vivid and attention-capturing design.
Selecting The Music
The second part of the artwork is the music of the podcast. You need to make sure that you select proper and befitting music for your podcast. However, this step is highly dependent upon the personal preference of each individual. You can either add a 10-second musical clip to the beginning of each episode, add a clip at the ending of the episode, or remove music from the episodes altogether, and add a voice-over in its place. This is a personal choice, but you need to make sure that you pick the right one that fits the nature of your podcast perfectly.
Get The Podcast Equipment
Now that you have everything planned and ready for your podcast, it is time for you to start hunting for suitable podcast equipment for yourself. Podcast equipment comes at different price ranges, you can find something that will cost you less than $50, and you can also find equipment online that will punch a hole through your wallet. As a beginner, I would suggest you take things slow and start looking at affordable options.
The most important equipment that you need is a microphone, and software for recording the podcast. Make sure that you select the right microphone and software that records your voice, without any cracking, so that the audience can hear what you are saying clearly without tolerating any static.
Picking A Podcast Hosting Service
Once you have picked ou the gear, you also need to pick a podcast hosting service. There are multiple podcast hosting services that allow users to upload mp3 versions of their audio podcasts, and video versions of their video podcasts onto their company. A couple of hosting services include BuzzSprout, Podbean, and Transistor.
After you have picked a hosting service, then you can select which platform you would like your podcast to be presented on such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, etc. You can connect those platforms to your hosting service, and every time you upload a podcast onto the hosting service, it will automatically go up onto those selected and connected platforms.
Outline The Talking Points
Before you start recording your episode, you need to outline all the important talking points that you need to go over in the episode. This will keep you focused on the talking points, instead of getting your attention and the narrative of the episode redirected.
Recording The Episodes
Once the script and the talking points are prepared, it is time for you to take the step and start recording your episodes. Make sure that you speak clearly during the recording, and avoid mumbling or speaking quietly. Try to go over all the talking points in the selected period of the episode. In case of any problems, do not fret, you can always delete the recording, and start all over again.
Edit The Episodes
You should always try to record your episodes in the best possible way, and give your 100% effort to every episode. However, in case of any problem, there is nothing a little editing can not fix. After recording the entire episode, make sure to go over it a couple of times to check if it requires any editing.
Share The Episodes Online
Once you have recorded and edited your podcast episodes, it is time for you to publish them and share them with the world. There is a high chance that you will hate everything that you record or have doubts at the time of publishing. However, you have to keep sharing your episodes online. For sharing the episode, you need to convert the recorded file into an mp3 version, if it is an audio podcast, and upload it to your hosting service. From there, the podcast will be posted on Apple Podcasts and Spotify, etc.
Market The Podcast
After you have published the podcast online, your job is not finished there. Creating and publishing is only half of the job, the other half consists of marketing. You need to market your podcast and share it on different social media platforms to get all the attention. You do not have to market on large scale in the beginning, if you do not have the budget for it. You can start by sharing the link of your podcast’s episode with your friends, and family and asking them to share it forward.
How To Listen To A Podcast?
If you want to listen to podcasts online, then you will need to go to social media and podcast streaming platforms such as Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Podcast Addict, and Google Podcasts. These platforms are some of the most popular podcast streaming platforms, where you can find podcasts published from around the globe on various topics and niches.
Whichever platform you select, you will have to download it and make an account on it to get access to the media that is shared on that said platform. Once that is done, you can easily find any podcast that you want to listen to or watch, and either watch it at that time or download it for later.
What Is The Purpose Of a Podcast?
Despite what everyone thinks, podcasts are not all about a person sharing their life experiences, or a motivational speaker trying his utmost to motivate his audience. There are many other purposes of why a person would like to record and share a podcast.
Some podcasters even publish their podcasts for entertainment purposes, while some have their podcasts revolving around real-life events that they discuss in every episode. There are many purposes of a podcast, it can be used to impart wisdom to the listening audience, it can also be a means of informing people of different news, or the latest celebrity gossip.
Different Types Of Podcasts
Despite common opinion, not every podcast present out there is the same. There are a couple of different types of podcasts. The major four types of podcasts include Conversational Podcasts, Narrative Nonfiction, Scripted Fiction, and Repurposed Content. All of these four types of podcasts are different from one another.
What is the purpose of a podcast?
There is no single purpose of a podcast. A podcast is recorded for several purposes, depending upon the podcaster. Some record podcasts to impart knowledge and wisdom about a topic or an event to their listeners and audience, while many others only record podcasts as a means of entertainment.
Are podcasts for free?
Yes, most of the podcasts that are available on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcast, and many other podcasts streaming platforms are free. However, there are a couple of podcasts out there that require the user to pay a small amount for streaming, but the number of such podcasts is very small. Most of them are available for free.
How do podcasts make money?
One way for podcasters to make money from their podcasts is via sponsorships. There are many sponsors out there who sponsor podcasters. In return, the podcasters have to promote those sponsors during their show, and they make money from that. Another way for podcasters to make money from podcasts is by adding a small streaming fee to every episode of their podcast show.
Podcasting is a great way to get your voice spread across the globe. What makes it more appealing is that this is also a great way to earn some decent money. However, for that, you need to know exactly what is a podcast, so that you can follow the proper procedure that will get you the right audience. I have shared information in this article that will enlighten you on what is a podcast and how you can make a podcast yourself.