40 million Americans regularly listen to podcasts. Podcasts are a growing content consumption medium. Instead of writing blog posts, adding images and linking out, just speak and your audience will listen.
This is the magic of podcasting.
Podcast listeners are highly engaged and are also action takers. So if you advertise or include a call to action in your podcasts, odds are people will take action.
Podcasts are a good platform to describe products and services to action takers.
Podcasts whirled into popularity on the back of all the useless commute time that people were occupying. This meant they listened to podcasts on a bus, in queue or when driving cars.
POdcasts give people information and that doesn’t mean they have to read something to glean info.
People are visual learners, audio learners and book learners.
If you want to be successful at this, there’s only one thing you need to know. You need to be consistent.
Being successful at podcasting is like being successful at any other thing. You need to work for the long term putting out episodes one after the other, on subjects you’re passionate about and are an expert at.
Podcasting is ideal for those
Who have a good voice and love to talk.
If you’re not confident before the mic that leaks through your voice. People sense your discomfort. That said you need to be the boldest speaker in town. As with everything, as you practice you gain more confidence and can watch your own progress.
Also podcasting isn’t being on an island. It’s not about you you and you. Just like with your blog where you at times allow other people to write articles for you, podcasting is similar in a sense.
YOu can bring in guests. Guests are people who are experts at something or have achieved something with their lives.
For example on the Smart Passive income blog’s podcast episodes, Pat flynn regularly interviews people who are some sort of a business success. That was the idea behind a podcast player like Smart podcast player.
A guest who knows his around a subject is an authentic person you can trust.
Also something like this builds interest in your audience.
This helps forge a better connection. When you interview someone you’re asking the person to reveal their life story. This makes podcasts such a compelling medium to tell a story and present ideas in audio.
Choosing a niche
As I mentioned before, running a podcast isn’t very different from running a blog.
Before you record a single episode you need to decide what you’re up against, who you’re going to create episodes about. You need to zero down in on your niche and overarching theme first.
Just like there are blogs on every topic imaginable there are podcasts on scores of topics. Since podcasts are still an emerging platform, the number of podcasts in a particular niche aren’t too many. The niches aren’t overcrowded. That means there’s still a chance for you.
Just because a topic has low competition doesn’t mean it’s a light bulb idea to start a podcast around that topic. Instead you should focus on the keyword volume, the advertisement and revenue opportunities, the challenges and openings before you.
It depends on what you want to achieve and what you want to talk about. Also, your passion is important. You have to talk about this topic and if you’re not interested, your audience will know and will slowly lose interest.
Finally go with a topic that has a lot of angles and sub topics that you talk about for a long duration and has enough fodder for you to create hundreds of episodes.
So ultimately, what I am saying in so many words is the topic you choose bears thought/
Podcast hosting services
You need podcasting equipment but prior to all that a major podcasting expense is going to be the podcast host you choose. I recommend Blubrry because the tool has everything for both beginners and advanced users while being priced affordably.
With blubrry you can affordably host your podcasts, they give you unlimited bandwidth and the starter plans are cheap to begin with. There’s a rich set of analytics tools you can use as well.
The issue with using a shared server hosting that is the same server your site is on for hosting podcast files is that you quickly run out of space and out of bandwidth as more and more people access the files.
The audio files are much larger in size than simple blog posts.
That’s why you need something like a podcast host that minimizes latency and serves data from the place where the visitor is located with its 35 plus data centers.
You get an audio player that is completely customizable. You can share options subscribe options and other options.
You get a branded page on Blubrry with blubrry.com/podcast name
Convert your podcast to other audio format, to video epub or pdf
You can an RSS feed that can be used for syndication along with an itunes powered feed
Upload it to a podcast host like Blubrry and there you get an embed link. The next thing is to whip up a new podcast and add the embed code. People can access the podcast right from your website.
Ultimately use a podcast player like SMart Fusebox podcast player that lets you play your podcasts professionally. Among the tools built in is an email collection tool that lets listeners subscribe to your podcasts as well.
The Blubrry podcast host starts with a 250 mb per month plan
Add your name, email id and payment details. Add your credit card or paypal
With the coupon you get first month free so that you don’t pay for anything. That’s a great way to test the waters. Once done you get an email with your login ifmriaton.
Use the embed code on your blog post to display podcast episodes.
There’s also 24*7 support should you feel any problems crop up and need support at any point in time.
With $12.month pricing this is one of the cheapest hosting solutions that comes packed with 100 mb storage, unlimited bandwidth, you get access to podcast statistics and other files.
The statistics report which countries are visiting and listening to your podcasts
You get a number of downloads
And you get aggregated data from all operating systems.
In addition to choosing a hosting you need a beautiful podcast player. I recommend smart podcast player. You need to design and upload logos and other artwork like thumbnails and intro and outro clip and so on.
You could do at least some of this with Canva and the stencil app.
When you choose a mic to record your voice for podcasting you need to be clear of the basics. Here are the first things to know about.
There are several types of mics that indicate how they pick up sound.
I will save you the trouble. If you’re recording a podcast, you’re looking or a cardioid mic. They have a narrow voice pickup range. If you are a sole person doing the podcast these mics are the best.
Omnidirectional mics on the flipside pick up sound in a circular pattern. Imagine you’re sitting in a group and this mic is at the center. So everyone says gets picked up.
If you have a high end dedicated sound proof room go for this.
USB – I personally feel USB connectors are best compared to xlr connectors because the sound feels more authentic and there are many ports to pick from.
XLR mics are more expensive and require a much more dedicated space to begin with.
As far as microphones are concerned I’d go with Blue Yeti. No it isn’t blue in color. The two variants are silver and black.
Its a professional tool that until recently could only be shipped from US. Picks up very low ambient noise.
Despite the demands the mic is pretty great at delivering high quality output. One good or great feature about Blue Yeti is it dons multiple hats. With the flick of a button you change it from omnidirectional, to cardioid to stereo to bi directional. Supports all four modes.
Edit your podcast
The raw podcast files always have some or the other crop in that makes it difficult to listen to. So the next piece of the puzzle is to edit your recordings before upload. This gives a professional layout to the audio and makes it pleasant to listen to.
What tool or software to use?
I use Audacity which is an audio editing app available for Windows. With the tool you remove noise that you want, you can delete portions of the podcast that don’t seem audible, you can stitch together different portions and eliminate errors.
It’s a simple tool that you can use to give the podcast a professional touch.
With free hosting solution your podcasts may get deleted any time. They also display ads on your podcast.These are the twin problems facing podcast you upload to free sites.
Don’t make that mistake.
POdcasting is not certainly the easiest way to begin your blogging career. There’s certainly a lot of initial investment and tons of work before you see the tiny trickle of revenue dropping by.
Start one and stick with it. Over time you will discover that starting a podcast was a very good decisions.