Of the uncountable creative ways of showcasing your talent, podcasting is one that offers a fun and deeply engaging medium for you to reach your audience while opening up a revenue stream for your art.
Presumably, you already know that podcasting is in line to be the next billion industry as soon as 2021. The market is swelling, more podcasters are coming up, and with them, podcasting platforms are also rising. All in all, it’s a great time to be a podcast star if that is something you envisage.
So no matter if you’re a complete rookie, or in search of some useful advice, we’d explore the How, Where and What of Podcasting in 2019, in this quick roundup.
But before that, let’s answer the Why
Podcasting Has Come A Long Way
10 years ago, the internet was a nascent stage for podcasters. The technical setup was hard and the internet speeds weren’t exactly helpful. But thankfully that’s all gone now.
Today, everything from superior quality microphones, voice editing software and internet podcast hosting is a click away. People are diving into podcasts right from their phones, with dedicated podcast discovery apps from Apple and Google.
It’s Amply Immersive
A podcast strikes the perfect balance between a static blog post and an overindulging video. It allows the listener to connect to your voice and immerse in your thoughts without having to completely detach from their occupation.
Listeners like to plug into their podcasts whether on the move or during the office break; it allows their mind to wander.
It’s Ready To Pay
All kinds of creative content have a monetary value, and podcasts are no more a far shot. Podcast advertisements, sponsored content, monthly subscription, pay per download, Patreon integration, you name it.
Podcasts are ready to become a paying option if you’re ready to be devoted to them!
What to Podcast?
The what can come from various parts of your life. Whether you were part of a mysterious crime scene, or you’ve met God in your dreams, or you’re just one great talker, a podcast can be built around anything that is enticing to the ear.
Below are the topics on which the top 11 podcasts on the internet are based upon. Not that you’ve to stick to this list, but it’s a great reference to what is already being liked by the masses.
Most podcasters root for something that is a part of their lifestyle or something that they have expertise in. Look around to decide what can be worth the talk in your podcast!
How to Podcast?
Now that we have some idea on what to podcast, let’s focus on the how.
Broadly, you will need the following to conceptualize, record and publish your podcast online.
There are no rules of thumb when it comes to deciding a format for your podcast but having one is important. Generally, there are three podcast formats that are widely followed.
Short Episodes - Episodes that are timed around 10-20 minutes and are released as frequently as once a week. The format is good if you’re covering a quick talk, or wish to split up your content in smaller releases.
Long Episodes - Episodes that are longer than 30 minutes and may run up to excess of 2 hours. These episodes are good for stories. You can cover an audiobook in one episode and have several layers to your podcast.
Live Broadcasts - Live broadcasts usually last up to 20 minutes and are great if you wish to convert your podcast into a live radio. You can also have both pre-recorded episodes and live broadcasts.
Don’t forget to pick a name for your podcast. We recommend that you include the keyword of your podcast topic in the title or at least your name. So, if your podcast is about “Parenting” and your name is John Smith, your podcast name would sound something like:
“How Not to Be a Petty Parent; With John Smith“
A Recording Microphone
The microphone controls a lot of things such as voice quality, ambient sounds, the need for editing and so on. Therefore, it’s a necessary component for your podcast.
Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB is a great option for the beginner under $100 and comes with a USB connection directly into your computer. The quality offered by this mic is vouched by the podcast expert Pat Flynn.
It’ll be nice to get a Mic Wind Screen Pop Filter which reduces sudden pop sounds from your mouth and make the podcast a breeze to listen.
Here’s a definitive guide to choosing the best mic from Entry to Pro level by The Podcast Host.
An Audio Editing Software
Using audio editing software is easier than it may sound. It only needs to develop the knack for it which shouldn’t be a big deal for the dedicated podcaster.
Audacity is the defacto software tool for editing audio bumps, noise, and distortions that reduce your podcast experience. The following video will teach you how to edit your voice in Audacity with ease.
You can also use Zencastr which is an online podcast-ready tool for you to start recording directly; it takes care of improving sound quality and you can have guests join in too.
A Podcast Host
Essentially, all kinds of multimedia that exist on the internet require a server for storing and distributing the media files, which in our case is referred to as podcast hosting.
A podcast host will store your ready-to-publish podcast media on their server and let everyone access it from there. Today’s podcast hosts have taken the podcast game a lot further by bundling all kinds of marketing, distribution, engagement and discovery features into their platform.
Example of this would be Podbean, which offers a complimentary podcast website, analytics, unlimited cloud audio hosting, iTunes support and many more things.
Then there’s PodMiners, which offers free pre-recorded podcast hosting, live broadcasting and lets your listeners join your live podcast with a virtual phone number.
You also have a rather comprehensive platform such as BuzzSprout that offers a ton of features such as audio optimization, podcast publishing to multiple directories, audio transcription and much more. It sits well in the professional domain though.
So, you see how each podcast host does value addition to your podcast. Just pick the one which fits your pocket; almost all of them have a free trial.
Where to Podcast?
Podcasts are found by people in podcast directories. These are like yellow pages for podcast listeners where they regularly go to listen to their favorite podcast titles.
The undisputed rulers of podcast directories are:
There’s a slew of many other directories such as TuneIn, Spreaker, Stitcher etc that offer directory services but haven’t such a stronghold as these top three.
By now you have enough knowledge on how to kickstart your podcast. You choose an exciting topic, get the software and hardware in, and upload your podcast on a host. Next, your podcast is ready to appear on the top 3 of podcasting fraternity and your friends’ social media walls!
At last, remember that the only podcast that would ever go unheard is the one that never got uploaded.
Best of Luck to you!