Podcasting is an excellent opportunity to reach a new audience. There is no one-click solution for starting a podcast. This chapter will go through the process of setting up a podcast.
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Create an email account for podcast
The RSS Feed is the key to any podcast. An RSS Feed is available to the public for viewing. When a host creates an RSS Feed, their email is visible to everyone. Anyone who wants to send a podcast host spam can find the email address in the RSS Feed. The more popular a podcast gets, the more spam a host will receive. The solution to prevent spam is to create an email only for the podcast.
Use voice memos and start talking about anything. Then, listen to the recording. When listening look for several factors:
- The volume of the voice: too difficult to hear or too loud?
- The speed of the voice: speaking too fast?
- Clarity: Any glitches or sound problems?
- Background noise: is there anything in the background distracting from the audio?
Pick a style
Once there's been enough practice, the next step is to pick a style. There are styles for a podcast. Solo, interview, round-table discussion, to name a few. In the case of an interview podcast, it is best to start reaching out to people as soon as possible. For a solo podcast, start looking for material to discuss.
To record a podcast, a host needs a microphone, headphones, and recording software. The microphone will need a pop filter as well. Any pop filter that fits the microphone will be fine.
Use headphones during recording to hear how a podcast will sound. Any pair of headphones will work. Headphones prevent sound echoes. When not wearing headphones, the sound will echo back after a host talks. Not only is the echo annoying and distracting, but the mic may also pick the sound up and will record the echoes.
Pick a name and cover art
Every podcast needs a name. The name of a podcast should give people who find it a basic idea of what the podcast is about. The "Alex Edmonds Show" does not tell anyone about the podcast. The only people that can get away with putting their name in the show are people who are already famous. My podcast's name is Building an Indie Business. Anyone who stumbles onto my podcast knows right away that my podcast is a business podcast.
There is no need to have the word "podcast" in the title, it is redundant. Take some time to think of a title, sleep on it. My first instinct was to name my podcast, "supremerumham makes a website." I speak from experience when I say, "sleep on it!"
After choosing a name, designing cover art is the next step. Cover art should be a bright color, such as red, blue, or green. Having the cover art be a bright color will help a podcast stand out from others. When someone is scrolling through a list of podcasts, the bright cover is more likely to catch their eye. They may take a look at the podcast for that reason.
Adding a picture of a host's face might increase the chances of someone listening to the podcast. Seeing a smiling face builds trust.
Record a podcast trailer
iTunes, Google, and Spotify only accept RSS Feeds that have episodes. Recording a podcast trailer prevents problems for the podcast's launch. The potential listeners can get a preview of the podcast with a trailer. The trailer should not be long, no more than 2 minutes. A host can give a brief overview of the content a listener will hear on the podcast. If the podcast is an interview podcast snippets of a few interviews would give listeners a preview. For a solo podcast, a host can go over the roadmap for the podcast.
Upload audio to preferred podcast host
At this point, the podcast has a name, cover art, a trailer, and an actual episode. It is time to create a podcast with a podcast hosting website.
A host gets an RSS Feed when they upload the audio to a podcast hosting company. The RSS Feed is how iTunes and other podcast directories will gain access to the podcast.
Add podcast to podcast players
Now, people need to be able to find the podcast. The most popular players are Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Each player has a different method for uploading. There should be no problems if the RSS Feed is set up right. In case there are any problems, these videos can help, Apple's and Spotify's process.
Some podcast hosts will offer to upload a podcast for their customers. Decline the offer. If a podcast hosting website adds a podcast to the player, they own the podcast. What does this mean? The podcast hosting company can add anything to an RSS Feed. They can make changes without permission.
To fix problems, a host has to ask the podcast hosting company to fix it. If a host makes a spelling error and wants to refresh the RSS Feed, they must tell the podcast host to do it. A fix that would take a host two minutes if they uploaded the podcast themselves.
After submitting a podcast to the players, there is a waiting period of at least 3 or 4 days before showing up. Then, another 3 or 4 days before the podcast shows up in other apps that use those directories.
While waiting, a host should join some relevant communities. There are several communities for podcasting where a new host can learn. One great one is Open Podcast.
Keep a consistent schedule
Now that the podcast is live, a host has to keep a consistent schedule. People have added the podcast to their listening schedule. If the podcast is not there, they will replace it with another and that change might stick.
Consistent minutes for podcast
Keep every episode the same amount of time. Increase minutes episode by episode. Don't go from 10 minutes to 40 minutes. People have a routine and do not like change. Going back and forth between long and short episodes might make them stop listening.
After this, the podcast should be live. A host may have started to collect email addresses for the podcast. If so, an email should let the subscribers know the podcast is live. The email should contain links to the biggest podcast players. After, it is time to grow the current audience.
This post is an excerpt from the Open Podcast Community book. The book is available for purchase here.