Written by Lindsay Harris Friel
It’s not hard to make a podcast. It’s difficult to make a good podcast. Some folks buy a microphone and dive in head first, only to spend days editing afterward. Others labor in the planning stage, overthinking every decision and never publishing. You do have to try it, make mistakes, learn from them, and use that information to your advantage. Before that happens, though, I’d like to make the journey easier for you. Here are five ways to make podcasting easier.
1. Eliminate Distractions
This doesn’t just mean “dedicate a quiet space for recording.” It also means having a space and time in which to plan your episodes, schedule recording sessions, edit your audio, and connect with your audience. Virginia Woolf wrote famously about “a room of one’s own,” a literal and figurative creative place. Make a quiet space, and schedule time for planning, recording, editing, publishing, and promotion. You don’t have to have a professional studio (though it doesn’t hurt). It’s not hard to make a silent home studio. People have made excellent podcasts in closets and blanket forts. As long as you can focus your effort consistently, and block out unwanted sound, it’s a good space.
2. Plan Ahead
How often do you want to release episodes? How many in a month? Once you know this, you can start thinking about how you want to fill those blocks of time. Write down your overall idea for your podcast’s topic. Let’s say your podcast is about fly fishing. Then, break that topic down into episodes. For example, you could have episodes about fly fishing in different locations, for different kinds of fish, with different kinds of equipment, and so on. Write down your episode plans and schedules, to maintain a good overview of the project.
3. Batch Processing
Batch processing your episodes is a strategy that many podcasters swear by. If you wanted to bake cookies, you wouldn’t mix the ingredients for each cookie, then bake each cookie individually, right? Batching your podcast means that you plan a group of episodes, then record them, then edit all of the recordings, then upload and publish them in a series. This lets you focus on one particular task or skill at a time. It also means that you can take advantage of different resources for different podcasting stages. For example, you can record or edit several episodes at a time, when no one else is home and your house is quiet, but publish and promote them at another time.
4. Use Tools
Adding extra apps and software to your podcasting might seem like extra work. But, the time you spend learning to use any of these tools is time and effort you can save later on.
- Trello, or another task scheduling software, can help you plan your episodes, schedule recording, complete editing, and publish on a consistent schedule.
- A social media scheduling tool can publish your podcast’s social media for you, so that you don’t have the distractions that social media provides.
- Canva has free templates and systems to help you make great podcast art.
- Alitu is an all-in-one web-based podcasting solution. It will help you record, edit, polish, and publish your podcast, so you can focus on creating great content, and connecting with your audience.
These apps might mean spending a little money, and a little extra time in the beginning. But, the assistance means you can deliver a good podcast consistently, and become your audience’s favorite listening habit.
5. Know Your Podcast Niche and Your Audience
A podcast can’t be universally liked by everyone in the world. But, it’s not difficult for your podcast to have a small, loyal following. If you can engage with your audience properly, they’ll recommend it to their friends, and your audience grows.
Take some time to think about who your podcast is for. If your audience were a made-up character, what would that person be like? Think about that person’s habits, what they like and don’t. Some people might call this a “target demographic,” others would call it an audience avatar. Keeping this person in mind when you record, plan and promote, is like having a friend on the outside. If you keep them in mind while you record, you feel more purposeful. This helps you know where to promote your show, and what actions to take with it.
Your podcast’s niche is equally important. It’s the reason your ideal audience member would choose to download your podcast, instead of doing anything else. For example, with the (fictitious) fly fishing podcast we mentioned earlier, you can focus your topic further: not just fly fishing, but fly fishing in America, or more specifically in Wyoming, or in Wyoming by women who love Disney movies. Now, there’s a niche. Just imagine these fly-fisher-women, singing “Colors Of The Wind,” while casting lines in Rock Creek.
While we’re imagining an ideal audience, you should take time to engage with and reward yours. Don’t just reach out to your audience on social media. It’s free advertising, but it’s designed to be distracting. Instead, reach out to your listeners in ways where you have more control.
Make sure that your audience can get in touch. It’s never been easier to make a simple website for your podcast. An email newsletter is a great way to position your updates front and center for your audience. But, what about simply thanking them, in your podcast episode? When people email, mention the show on social media or leave a review, thank them by name. Everyone likes to be remembered.
The fewer obstacles and friction between you and your podcast, the more chance there is you’ll keep going with it. With RedCircle, you won’t need to fork out a monthly fee for your podcast hosting and they have some great monetization options to help you earn once your show is established. RedCircle makes it super easy to be found in all notable podcast listening platforms too. All that’s left to do is choose your topic, grab your equipment, and hit record!