The podcast journey is a lot of fun and it is even better when you can seek some advice from others who have travelled that road before you.
There are many mistakes podcasters make, believe me I know, because I have made many myself.
So, here I want to share some advice which may help you avoid some of the more common pot holes and pitfalls of podcasting.
In fact, the advice shared here is not just relevant to podcasting, it could probably apply to any new thing you are trying to learn.
It probably goes without saying many podcast creators start their podcast experience as a listener.
You’ve probably listened to a podcast or two and somewhere along the way thought, “I could do that,” or “I should do that”.
No arguments there from me, both are absolutely right.
But, in that moment where the thought popped into your head, you may have neglected to consider one important thing.
And this is a common mistake many beginner podcaster make.
Often people search on the internet, “How to start a podcast?”, yet have not considered why start?
It may even be the reason you arrived here, after all, this article’s title is “how to start a podcast?”
But, answering “why start a podcast?”, is probably just as much, if not more important than how.
The reason it is important is because your ‘why’ helps you better understand your goal or purpose for doing something in the first place.
Some reasons people podcast include:
Whatever the reason/s, it is entirely yours. and there is no right or wrong reason.
Understanding why you want to start a podcast is important because it will help you set the expectations around how you will measure the success of your podcast.
So before reading one more line, if you are here because you want to know how to start a podcast? Take a couple of minutes to consider why you would or should?
Once you have considered the question of ‘WHY?’, you should not stop with this question.
And this brings us to the next thing many beginner podcasters fail to do, and that to plan a podcast.
As the motivational speaker, Brian Tracy put it, “Every minute you spend in planning saves 10 minutes in execution; this gives you a 1,000 percent return on energy!”
Planning out your podcast allows you to give serious consideration to not only the question of ‘why?’, but to many other questions beginner podcasters should ask.
Questions like: Who is my audience? What podcast format should I do? How often? How long should an episode be?
You see, these are just some of the questions those starting a podcast should consider.
Unfortunately, many don’t and this can increase the chance of overwhelm and failure.
I recently watched someone launch a podcast with one interview only to finish the interview saying I don’t know who I will speak to next week.
They did a second episode the following week, but failed to continue beyond that point. It was clear they had no plan.
Surprisingly their podcast was quite good for someone starting out, but without a plan, I am not surprised it did not continue.
Pre-planned launch strategy and batch recording are just two approaches which could have ensured the future success of the podcast.
Planning and recording a few episodes prior to launch would have given the podcast more chance of early success.
Batch recording shows is the process of recording a number of podcast episodes in a short period of time, for distribution over a long period of time.
Having episodes up your sleeve helps ensure your podcast can be ongoing.
Here at Modern Media School, we share with prospective students a FREE successful podcast launch checklist to help beginner podcasters plan their shows.
It addresses these questions among many other things new podcasters should be asking themselves.
Which brings us to another peiee of advice for beginner podcasters.
Another piece of advice for those starting a podcast is try to find someone who has already done a podcast to help provide you with advice.
Of course, there is plenty of information on the internet to help you learn, but rather than sift through hours of videos and blogs from all over the internet, finding someone who had done it can help you fast track your learning.
As author Gina Greenl once wrote, “Experience is a master teacher, even when it’s not our own.”
Finding likeminded people with experience to help you on your journey is something I would highly recommend.
And one final piece of advice, which you should know when starting a podcast: audio quality is king.
People can often survive watching poor quality video with good audio, but people tune out when audio is poor quality, whether it be video or a podcast.
Many beginner podcasters fail to comprehend the importance of producing quality audio.
Some would argue content is king, it certainly is extremely important, but if the production quality is sub par, people are still unlikely to stay tuned in.
There is a lot you can do in pre-production to improve the quality and save significant time in editing (post production).
There are techniques and pieces of equipment which can help improve the quality of your audio before you even hit record.
These include sound treatments for walls to stop reverb, pop filters, windsocks, shock mounts and microphone stands or arms.
Additionally understanding sibilance, mouth clicks, popping, clipping and the ambient noise of a room (noise floor) are all factors beginner podcasters should be aware of.
Simple techniques can be employed to reduce these, or at least be aware of them and work to reduce their impacts.
And of course, speaking clearly, being prepared and being conscious of reducing your ‘ums’ and ‘aahs’ can also help save time editing and improve the audio experience for the listener.
So, these are the key advice I would give to those starting a podcast would be: