Podcasting in 12 Steps
Podcasting is an exciting tool of communication. However, like any new toy we get distracted by the shine. I’m here to provide a little perspective about podcasting for the beginner. If you are a student taking a class where you will learn podcasting or if you are an instructor teaching podcasting for the first time, there are a few things you should know BEFORE you begin.
1. Identify a topic you are passionate about.
Simple, right? Ummm. No. This is not as easy as it sounds. In order to identify a topic you are passionate about, you need to figure out what you deeply enjoy. Many people struggle with identifying their interests.
2. Listen to podcasts related to your area of interest
While I assumed people listen to podcasts on a regular basis, they do not. If you aren’t already following podcasts, start doing this immediately. The more you listen the better your own content.
3. Evaluate podcasts
Using your knowledge about radio and television coupled with your knowledge of superior oral presentations, identify what works and what doesn’t in a variety of podcasts. Discuss why the techniques engage or alienate listeners. Use principles of public speaking, identify organizational themes, use of repetition, introduction (setting the tone), conclusions (wrap up). Just to name a few.
4. Identify your target audience
It is imperative to understand and identify target audience. Who would listen to this podcast? Discuss more than demographics. Identify the psychographics. What kinds of people would like to listen to the content. Research your target audience. Who are they? Be specific!
5. Create an amazing name for your podcast
Creating a title for your podcast requires creativity and clarity. What do you want a potential listener to know when they see the title of your podcast? The title should reflect the content you will address. Does the name clearly identify the content of the podcast? It should if you want to develop a following. In many cases, people will decide to listen based on your visual graphic and your name. They will remain listening based on your content.
6. Develop your graphic
The graphic for the podcast is your visual brand. It must reflect the content and feel of the podcast. Based on your graphic and your name, you can attract listeners. After the initial impression, the content must be interesting and engaging too.
7. Write your script
This is the most important and time consuming aspect of your podcast — your content!
8. Basics of sound editing
Learn how to use the tool. As starting point garage band works for beginners.
9. Record — watch your sound quality!!!!
This is where your script is going to provide you with the content of your podcast. Well-organized, planned, researched information provides listeners the desire to engage with your content. Always use a headset. The better sound quality, the more professional you will sound.
10. Edit — please edit!
Editing your podcast can be time consuming. This is where your technical skills are going to be important. It takes time to learn how to use the tool AND it takes time to use it well. Fading music in and out, volume control, clarity, are just a few of the technical concerns beginning podcasters must be familiar.
You need to identify a podcasting platform. Most select Sound Cloud. There are many you can choose from. There are pros and cons to each platform. Research available podcasting platforms. There are many more than iTunes.
12. Distribute & Share
Get others to listen too! This isn’t as easy as it sounds. If you have a good product, people will want to share your podcast. However, the audience needs to know you exist. Use Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest (yes, even Pinterest), to promote your content.
These steps are a broad framework for the process of podcasting. Each of the twelve steps fully deserves its own post. Here’s the point: There is a lot to know BEFORE you sit down and start recording.