Making a successful podcast

9 October 2018

Making a successful podcast isn’t easy; they take a lot of research and work to get right. But, it’s a great way to engage with your customers and get them interested in your business, so we think it’s more than worth the effort.

In this blog, we’re going to talk you through what you need to do to get your message out there and give you some tips for making a successful podcast.

Don’t just dive in

Are your target market even listening to podcasts? You don’t want to spend your time, money an effort on creating something that your customers aren’t going to be interested in. If you find that they are actively downloading and listening to podcasts, you should listen to them yourself.

Find out what works and what doesn’t. Listen to lots of podcasts that are already successful and get a feel for how they should sound and what content people are interested in that you can use when creating your own.

microphone and laptop being used for making a successful podcast

What you need to record a podcast

Once you’ve established that your market are intersted in listening, you need to create something to give them. For this, you’ll need the right equpiment. The good news is, the simplest tool you can use is probably in your pocket or next to you right now: your smart phone.

Most smart mobiles are good enough quality to be able to record your message so you can turn it into a decent podcast. You’ll just need to find the voice memo or recording app that’s already installed on the device, or download one that’s specifically been made for podcast recording.

If you’re going to be making podcasts regularly and want to base a lot of your traffic and conversions from them, it is worth buying a proper recording device to make sure your sound is completely clear. Do some research into different microphones depending on your budget. We’d recommend searching for a USB mic, as you won’t need extra tools to get your recording. Your USB mic will automatically convert your audio into digital which is a big plus over an analog (XLR) microphone. Analog mics need an additional tool to get your sound onto a computer, but that audio will be really high quality.

Editing your podcast

No matter how you’re recording your audio, you’re going to need some editing software to make it sound great. There is some really great software out there that you can subscribe to for editing your work or you can have a play with free programmes like Audacity or Ocenaudio.

Uploading your podcast

Once you’ve got your podcast recorded, edited and ready to go, you’re going to need to get it on the web. To do so, we recommend using a podcast hosting service.

It’s not a good idea just to store them on your website, it’s much better to link through to them from elsewhere. Why, we hear you ask? Because podcast files are massive.

Whoever is hosting your website won’t thank you for filling that space with podcast files. Often it’s in direct violation of your host’s terms of service. It would also take a long time for your podcast to download for your listener, and it’s likely they’ll cancel the whole thing and go elsewhere.

the tools needed for making a successful podcast

So, you’re going to need a podcast host. Like with editing software, there are lots of different options available to you, but some of the most popular are Buzzsprout, Podbean and Blubrry.

Marketing your podcast

For your podcast to be really successful, you need to market it properly. There are lots of different ways you can spread the word about your podcast, including things like:

Social media – podcasts are prefect for sharing. Shout about your episodes all over social media to get people listening. Pin it to the top of your page and use appropriate hashtags to spread the word. Create short clips to grab attention for the whole podcast and images with quotes from the podcast on. Get people sharing and listening.

Create teasers – build some anticipation for the podcast you’re about to release. Get people thinking about it before it’s available and make them want it as soon as they can. The more interest you can build before the launch, the more downloads you’ll get on that first day.

Have several episodes to go when you launch – we know how tricky it is to create your first podcast, so we know it’s strange to be telling you have more than one ready for launch. However, you’ll look a lot more credible to customers if there are multiple. Plus, if they enjoy one podcast, they’ll likely come looking to you for others and you don’t want to disappoint!

Submit to ‘podcatchers’ – get your podcast listed in lots of different places with the help of ‘podcatchers’. Your customers use different podcatcher apps to get their content, so expand your reach to people who are actively seeking to listen. Try things like Podcast Addict (download from your app store), PodcastLand, Stitcher and Overcast to get started.

Transcribe your audio

A transcript of your audio is really helpful for your search engine optimisation (SEO). Search engines are able to crawl and understand your transcription so they can index it. Once they know what you’re talking about, they can start sending new customers to your content.

Transcribing your content makes you more accessible to customers with hearing and visual difficulties, or poor internet connectivity.

If you write out your podcast script before recording, your transcript is already made!

woman listening to a podcast from her smartphone

Ask people to subscribe

If you can get people to subscribe to your podcast mailing list, you’ll be able to send them new content directly. This can generate lots of downloads for your new content. Let them know you’re here to stay and will be providing them with great content in the future by getting them to subscribe.

Choose interesting background imagery

Most podcasts display some kind of image when the user has downloaded it. Make sure you’ve got a bright, eye-catching image that’s in keeping with your brand to look professional, trustworthy and interesting.

Ask your podcast host to share it

Whoever is hosting your content is likely going to want fresh content to shout about on their social media. Ask them if they’d like to share your latest podcast and link to your own social media. This will help their audience of tuned-in podcast listeners find you.

Be reliable

If you’re serious about podcasting and want to build an audience, you need to be consistent with when you post. Set yourself a regular day or time for posting your new content and stick to it. Let your listeners know when they can expect a new podcast to appear and deliver it.

To sum up

Making a successful podcast won’t happen overnight. You need to make sure you’ve got content customers want to listen to and that you’re able to make a quality recording to share with them. Choose your podcast hosting service carefully and are getting the right deal for you. Once you’ve launched, there are lots of great ways you can market your content to encourage lots of people to download and listen to it.

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