Thinking of Starting a Podcast? Here Are 7 Things to Know

two men participating in a podcast
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You’ve got topics. You’ve got themes. You’ve got ideas. You’ve got an itch to share your message. And a podcast is a great way to do that. Now let’s get down to the details of what you need to know before you start your podcast.

1. Know Your Audience, Define Your Niche

Who are you talking to? Why? What is your topic, and what unique insight do you have to offer about it? Before you jump into podcasting, understand exactly what your focus is. It’s important to niche down to something specific, rather than keeping it broad. For example, talking about parenting is fine, but it may be too broad to capture — and keep — an audience. Niche down to specifics — parenting children with special needs, parenting without yelling, parenting abroad, managing your own passions while parenting… you get the idea.

2. Create Episode Subjects

Now that you’ve narrowed down your focus to a manageable topic, can you come up with several subjects within your topic to talk about at length? Brainstorm a list of episode subjects to make sure there’s enough to say — and that you’re still interested enough to say it.

picture of a woman doing a podcast

3. Think About Who You Can Interview

If you want to do an interview-style podcast, make an interview wish list. Think of all the people who might have something to say on your topic, and start compiling their contact information. Consider what subjects they can talk about, and begin designing your show around those subjects. Once you’re up and running, begin contacting and scheduling your interviewees.

4. Get the Right Equipment

Sound quality is critical in a good podcast. If people hear too much background noise or if your voice isn’t crystal clear, they’ll navigate away. There are far too many podcast fish in the sea. You need to make sure you make it easy for people to listen. While you technically can record a podcast with your computer’s built-in microphone, you’ll get better sound from a high-quality microphone and headphone set.

5. Get Recording Software

There are many options for recording software. Your computer may already have Record It, or if you have a Mac,you have iMovie or GarageBand. Alitu is also a great option as it takes care the processing, branding, publishing, and editing for you.

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6. How to Turn Your Recording into a Podcast

Once you’ve recorded your show, find a media host that can store your audio and make it available to your listeners. Your media hosting service will walk you through the process, and you can then place your audio files on their website and/or on your own website. Submit your podcast to directories, like iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, and TuneIn, so you can be found and listened to. Don’t forget to use your own webpage to list the URL.

7. Manage Your Transcripts

To make your podcast more accessible and interactive, add your transcripts, show notes, and show highlights to a dedicated website for your podcast. This helps with SEO, helps people share, gives people a place to comment, and is also a good place to provide any links to anything you talked about in your show.

Always keep your audience in mind, and consider how you can make the listening and interacting experience valuable to them.

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