How to start your own podcast
7.1 million people in the UK now listen to podcasts each week
Are you someone who enjoys watching/listening to podcasts? The popularity of the podcast has grown significantly over the last few years. According to www.ofcom.org.uk, roughly ‘7.1 million people in the UK now listen to podcasts each week’. This equates to 1 in every 8 people.
Many of us feel like this year has had its fair share of challenges, and we’ve sought out different methods of escapism. Some of us turned to film and television whilst others chose yoga and meditation, for example. Podcasts have become another way to escape the world’s chatter. Whilst many of us listen to podcasts for entertainment value, there are as many who tune into podcasts to access information…and it’s this huge audience you need to be tapping into.
The great thing about podcasts is that they can be accessed and enjoyed virtually any time, any place. Many people listen to podcasts on their commute to work, or whilst in the bath…or even as they exercise.
You may believe that you don’t see any of your competitors hosting podcasts, and, therefore, is it really worth it for you. The short answer is YES! You’ll be accessing untapped audiences that your competitors have not yet considered.
Roughly 7.1 million listen to podcasts each week
So, how do you start your own podcast?
What will you call your podcast?
If you plan to host a podcast as part of an established brand or business, use the company’s name to your advantage, as you’ll already be known under that name. For those of you who don't have an established brand, think about the content you’ll likely cover in your podcast. If you plan to post health and fitness content, choose a name that relates to that. Your podcast can be called whatever you like, as long as you and your audience are happy with it and it relates to you or your content in some way. Have fun with it!
What are you going to talk about?
As with most things, there may be someone out there already doing what you’re planning to do – this is nothing to worry about, in fact, take inspiration from their content. Look through their episode lists and listen to a few podcasts that pique your interest, then use these as inspiration for your podcasts. Alternatively, you may already have your own ideas regarding the topics you’d like to talk about. Write them down and create bullet points relating to your key messages.
What is your podcast going to look like?
We don’t mean what will your podcast studio look like, we’re talking about your podcast’s branding. What will your logo look like? What are your brand colours? Your branding can look however you like, what matters is that it matches your brand’s tone and appeals to your target audience.
How often will you be posting a podcast?
If you intend to start your own podcast, it's important to put together a plan of action. Growing a successful podcast takes time and commitment. If you/your business has an existing audience, don’t expect them all to listen to your podcast just because they frequently interact with you on social media. You need to create engaging content that your listeners will want to absorb.
Are you writing a script or not?
If you think you could talk unscripted for anything from 10 minutes to an hour, go for it. Some people possess the quick-thinking that’s needed to broadcast unscripted, but most of us don't. On the other hand, scripting can make podcasts seem rehearsed and predictable, with no exciting moments. Aim for a happy medium: create a basic list of subjects you’d like to cover (so you don’t wander off topic), but talk about them naturally, so that the podcast flows easier. Imagine you’re chatting to a (mute) friend who’s sitting across from you.
How long will your podcasts be?
Most podcasts are usually under the one-hour mark; some are as short as 15 minutes. Your podcast can last for as long as you want it to, but just make sure you’re using that time to give your audience something worthwhile – you don’t want to bore them. Our top tip would be to start off with shorter episodes and build up to longer sessions.
What will you call each episode?
When naming your episodes, you want them to stand out and grab your audience's attention. Maybe there was a funny, unscripted moment in the episode that you can use as the basis for its title. Humour is a great for engaging your audience; avoid clickbait, though, as your listeners will soon lose interest.
How are you going to record your podcast?
If you plan to be consistent with your podcast and see it as a long-term prospect, it may prove worthwhile to invest in your own podcast equipment. If this seems too much of a commitment to begin with, you can rent podcast studios and equipment at fair prices.
Where will you put your podcast?
There are plenty of streaming services out there, such as Spotify and Apple Podcasts to name a couple. You can also upload the audio files to your website or SoundCloud or film your podcast and post it on YouTube. Where you make your podcast available is up to you; however, just consider where your audience will most likely find your podcast and tune in.
You don't always need a guest. If you have an exciting topic people will still listen in.
All that’s left is for you to promote your podcast across your various social media accounts. Add direct links to your posts, and you're away!
Podcasts are effective when it comes to engaging an audience; however, as with any marketing approach, the emphasis is on educating prospective leads, not selling to them.
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