Podcasting has become a popular way for people to share their knowledge and expertise on topics that interest them. This guide by UK podcast producers Podbubble will teach you how to start producing your own podcasts.
1. Find a Podcast Platform That Suits You.
There are several different platforms available for podcast production. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Here’s a quick overview of some of the most popular options.
Spotify and Apple Podcasts are the most popular platforms for podcasting. Between them, they host around 45% of all podcasts and as a result, it’s really quite important to get your podcast on both platforms. They’re free to use so you don’t have to pay anything and you’ll find yourself picking up listeners quite easily if you have interesting content. Google Podcasts comes in next with around 10% of the market and there are several more that it’s worth looking at if you want to maximize your exposure.
BUT… and this is a really, really, incredibly big BUT… these websites do not host your podcast. By this I mean they don’t store your podcast recording on their servers, they merely stream it from wherever you have it stored. For example, you may choose to store a one-off podcast on a page of your website and have Spotify etc stream it from there. Or you may need to consider a hosting platform like LibSyn if you want to have several episodes or more.
You see, each podcast episode takes up storage space and can potentially slow your website down. So for multiple episodes, a dedicated hosting platform is really the only way to go. Whether you’re going it alone or working with one of the many podcast producers online you’ll need a hosting platform for multiple episodes.
2. Choose a Topic That Interests You.
Before you begin recording, choose a topic that interests you. If you’re not sure what to talk about, ask yourself questions such as “What do I enjoy talking about?” or “What would I love to learn more about?”, because the thing that you’re most interested in is also the passion of a million other people around the world. I’m absolutely deadly serious here… if you are passionate about something and talk about it then there will be a lot of people that will want to listen to you. Choose your topic wisely, go with your ‘gut feeling’, and if in doubt just start talking about something. If it’s the right topic the words should flow fairly easily (given a mistake or two) and you’ll quickly know.
If you’re working with professional podcast producers ask their advice because they work with podcasters and they listen to an awful lot of podcasts themselves as they edit. They’ll have a feel for what’s current.
Once you’ve chosen a topic, think about who might be interested in learning about it. Is there something you’d like to learn more about? Do you have any hobbies or skills that you’d like to share with others? What are the most important things people need to know and what is the order in which they need to know them? This last one is the foundation on which your podcast is built and it’s super important so here it is again:
What are the most important points and in what order do they need to be addressed? Get this right and you will inform and entertain. It’s a winning formula!
3. Write Out Your Script.
Before you start recording, write out your script. This will help you stay organized and keep track of what you’re going to say. It also helps you avoid any last-minute changes. Podcast producers always recommend doing this particularly when you’re starting out. For some, writing a script is not necessary at all. My wife just chooses her topic and starts talking. Her recordings rarely need editing and she usually gets it right on the first take. Most people are not like this. I’m not like this. You probably aren’t like this… no offence, but writing a script is a really good idea.
4. Record Your Audio.
Once you’ve written out your script, record yourself speaking into a microphone. If you’re using a smartphone, make sure you use the right settings so that you can hear yourself clearly. If you’re using a smartphone, feel no shame! Smartphones can record great audio that is perfectly good enough for a podcast. Just make sure the room you record in isn’t too boomy or echoey. A nice quiet space, without lots of echo, is perfect. Bedrooms can be really good recording spaces because beds and the other soft furnishings absorb the echoes and boomy bass sounds.
Record in your bedroom but call it ‘your studio’!
5. Edit Your Audio
This is potentially the time-consuming bit and it’s where podcast producers earn their dough. Cut out the mistakes, compress the loud bits, EQ the sound for the best sound quality… this stuff makes a huge difference and you can totally learn how to do it but if you’d rather leave it to the experts then Podbubble can help for not a lot of cash. And if you want to learn it yourself then hit YouTube, it’s a great place to learn! If you want to get your audio checked by a professional for FREE then send it to us at Podbubble and we’ll listen to it and send you some feedback and advice on how to improve it. We won’t charge you.
6. Add Intro Music
Music is optional but it really makes a difference to the listening experience. There’s a lot of copyright-free music out there on free websites. Some of it gets very over-used and can sound a bit cliche but it’s free, so take a look and see if there’s something for you. If not, Podbubble can create original music to your specification and you can get something really special.
If you’re hosting the podcast yourself you’ll have to create a webpage for it and upload it which is simple enough. If you’re using a dedicated hosting platform like LibSyn then you’ll need to get your account set up and upload it using the platform’s webpage. From there, you go to each streaming platform – Apple & Spotify etc – and tell them where to find the podcast episode. Once you’ve finished this, it’ll take an hour or two for the episode to appear on their platform.
8. Tell Everyone You Know
That’s it. Time to tell your friends. Then they tell their friends. And hopefully the chain continues until you’ve got a few hundred listens. But the really exciting part is when people find you for themselves, listen and leave a five-star review. Nothing beats that!
I hope this checklist helps you get started in podcasting. If you think Podbubble can help then please reach out!