Written By: Sasha Grabenstetter
Before beginning a podcast, it may be helpful to put together a plan. Here are some questions to get you started and other ideas you may want to think about:
- What is the purpose or goal of my podcast?
- Who is the target audience?
- What kind of podcast is it? Is it just me on the podcast? Am I interviewing other guests? Are you co-hosting with colleagues? Co-hosting with friends? Co-hosting or interviewing with other financial educators or individuals in the field of personal finance?
- How long/short are the podcast episodes?
- How often am I releasing a podcast to the public?
- What will I name this podcast?
- How can my podcast stand out?
- Will we be adding a musical intro/outro?
- Who will introduce the podcast each time?
Asking yourself these questions can help you move along in the beginning stages of piecing together your podcast. Knowing your purpose and the target audience can help guide the tracks for your podcast especially in the beginning when you’re unsure of what topic to start with.
Next up is creating the content. There are numerous ways to do this, but to simplify, the two options are an outline or a script. An outline is the backbone of the conversational podcast, featuring specific points or research you want to mention. . Take note, conversational style podcasts may potentially get off track if the speakers begin to discuss something completely off topic.
The other kind of content creation is the script method. Writing down each question and answer in a written/typed document to follow along. This kind of method can be helpful if you’re the only one hosting a podcast or if you have a particular story or topic you want to cover. The point to consider is this type of podcast can feel like someone is reading from a script.
Either method of content creation works differently for each podcast, you have to find what works best for you and your co-host(s). While you could definitely “wing it” – some of the best podcasts always have some research or content creation involved behind the scenes.
Lastly, if you’re creating a podcast where you’re interviewing others, make sure to give them at least some questions up front or have some pre-recorded conversations about what you’d like to cover on your track.
Tools to Record & Edit:
While you could just record yourself on your computer, it’s best to think about how it will sound. Purchasing a microphone designed for podcasting can be a helpful tool in creating a professional sounding podcast. Have you ever listened to a podcast and you can just tell the sound quality is unwelcoming by its static or robotic voice? That’s what you want to stay away from. Take some time to look at microphones online and find an option that will meet your needs and budget.
Once you’ve recorded, the FUN begins. Editing the podcast is probably the single most important piece of producing a podcast. There are two options to edit a podcast: Do-It-Youself (DIY) or pay someone to do it. Let’s start with paying someone to edit your podcasts. There are tons of companies and individuals available to edit your podcast for a fee. If this is the route you decide to take, make sure you listen to some other podcasts they’ve edited and see if you like the sound quality of them. Also ask about how long it takes for them to turn around a podcast. If you’re recording weekly and it takes them two to three weeks to get it back to you, you may have to make some choices (either wait or record multiple podcasts and pay to have them edited).
The second way is to DIY. While this method is cheaper, it’s definitely more time consuming. If you’ve never edited before, it might be a large learning curve. But once you’ve learned, you’ll get better and better with each and every podcast you edit. If you do decide on DIY editing, you may need to decide what program you want to use/purchase.
Posting your Podcast (and Cross Posting):
Once you’ve recorded and edited, you need to move onto the next phase which is finding a place to post or host your podcast. There are a lot of sites available, so check and see what works best for your needs and price points.
Some podcast hosting sites will automatically cross-post to other apps like Apple Podcasts, others will not. If you decide to go with a hosting site that does not cross-post, you’ll need to directly apply to a few of the larger named ones (like Apple and Google) and submit your RSS feed to them. It doesn’t take a long time, but it will need to be done if you want people to find your podcast on their smartphones or listening device. .
Lastly, you’ll need to market and push your podcast out to your listeners (and new listeners). Pieces of the marketing will also involve creating a track image for the singular podcast episode as well as image for the entire podcast, writing a quick description for the track, and then posting the podcast to be found online. Sometimes writing a blog post or image and directing your listeners back to the podcast can be a great way to cross-promote.
Starting a podcast can seem overwhelming, but having a plan, asking yourself the beginning questions, as well as brainstorming ideas for the podcast can make the recording, editing and marketing process easier. The end result is creating a podcast worth listening to, and that others can enjoy!
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