Depending on your background, starting a podcast can either sound incredibly daunting or like the easiest thing in the world. No matter who you are, there are a few things to keep in mind if you do want to get a podcast started, and get it started well.
- Literally, anyone can do it, but not everyone does it well. So many people have something to say about pretty much everything. Saying what you want to say is easy because there are so many ways to put out a podcast today. You could record it using the built-in mic in your laptop, with the memo app on your smartphone, or even using the top-of-the-line audio equipment. No matter who you are, you can put out a podcast. What sets good podcasters apart is their ability to shape their podcasts into something that others want to listen to. It truly is an art form that takes time and practice to refine.
- You will need to learn a lot if you want to grow. Speaking of shaping a podcast, how do you know what your podcast needs in order to make it a good one? There is a LOT to learn within the realm of podcasting. If you’ve been in the broadcasting industry you may have a head start on this, but podcasting as a whole is unique and has its own set of protocol. From titling episodes to running social media pages to whether or not you want to work with a network, and so much more, there is a lot that the average novice podcaster may not know. There is always something to learn, no matter what stage of podcasting you’re in – but especially when you’re first starting out!
- You don’t need fancy equipment to start. As I mentioned earlier, you could literally whip out your smartphone, record a stream-of-consciousness episode, and send it to a podcast platform and call it good. If that’s all you have to record on, that’s fine! Just keep in mind that as you grow your podcast you may want to look into upgrading equipment eventually. When you have a great idea for something, there’s no time like the present to get started and go! The longer you wait and hold off on starting your podcast for whatever reason, the longer it may take for you to learn what your podcast really needs to be great. So, don’t worry about equipment, just hit record! You can work with what you have to start and get better audio devices over time.
- There are podcasts about literally everything…so just pick whatever topic you’re passionate about and run with it. Seriously, I’ve seen podcasts about knitting, music, fixing cars, every religion under the sun, sports, beauty pageants, fitness, and so much more! So feel free to choose whatever topic you’re truly excited about and form your show around that. But – and this is extremely important – make sure your show has consistency with that topic. If you want your show to be successful you cannot have a show about anything. And in order for your podcast to really gain a following, your topic should be something you really find interesting and truly care about! If you care about it, your listeners will pick up on that and really enjoy hearing your content.
- Location doesn’t matter, but who you work with does. This one comes right from my own personal podcast. My podcast originated with me and my first co-host living in different states. Currently, I host with two other co-hosts, each in a different time zone. That’s not the hard part. The hard part is making sure you and your co-host(s) get along well on-air. I even have worked with (and still work with) people I’ve never met in real life! What makes a show work is that everyone is willing to collaborate, and be honest about their opinions. The beauty of podcasting is that you don’t even have to work with anyone else if you don’t want to! Maybe your personality and creativity are strong enough that you can man the show on your own – that’s fine! But make sure that whatever you choose – co-hosts or not, network or no network, editors and producers or none – is in the best interest of your show. Each podcast is unique and has unique needs, so carefully examine which aspects of your show needs improvement and look for others with whom you can collaborate to make it better!
Starting a podcast is a lot of fun, and can become a very rewarding endeavor. With a mic in hand (or even just your phone), and a concept in your head, you can share your voice with the world!