Five Tips for Starting a Podcast
Podcasting is one the best ways to market your brand and get more eyes on your content. If you stream or create YouTube videos you have most the gear you need. Podcasting has been the best tool for introducing new people to my Twitch channel. If you stream you can record episodes live upload the audio to your podcast feed and the video to your YouTube channel. While you're at it take a few clips from each episode and upload it to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Enough about why you should start one let's talk about how.
What's your topic and who's your audience?
Choosing a topic to podcast about can be easier than you think. Ask yourself a few questions. What are you an expert in? What problem can you solve for someone? Starting a show based on those will give you a better chance of adding value to someone and they will be more likely to share the show with others that it can help. Don’t over think this, I have a Nintendo show that sums up the week’s news for my audience. By tuning in to the show they don’t have to look for articles to see what’s going on so it’s saving them time each day. When choosing a topic I recommend something that’s niche but not too niche. If you plan on being in this for the long haul make sure your topic can sustain that. Covering Nintendo gives me a variety of topics each week, but when I covered only Destiny it made it tough to keep the content fresh and exciting to talk about it week in and week out.
Naming Your Show
Now that you have your topic it’s time to name your show. If you have a decent size audience you’ll have a little more freedom in this area. You could call it (your name) Cast. If you don’t have much of an audience then you need to take advantage of organic search traffic. When I was thinking about starting a Nintendo podcast the Switch was just announced, and few shows were using Switch in their name. I wanted something with a long tail so I went with Nintendo Power Cast. In a couple of days, the show was sixth on the list when searching Nintendo on iTunes. Coming up with a name for your show that people can easily find when searching for a topic will get you more listeners much quicker. If coming up with a name that is easily found isn’t really an option all hope is not lost.
Naming your episodes
The title for each episode should be keyword rich. Keywords are the words people use when searching for something. Each of my episodes includes the names of a couple of games that are covered in the episode. I’m covering all my bases this way. My show is ranking for Nintendo, so my episodes can rank for other keywords. As of writing this my top episode has Animal Crossing in the title, so anyone searching for Animal Crossing will see that episode in the results. Some of this may seem obvious, but I see so many podcasts that only number their episodes and those shows will never show up in search results. No one is searching for episode 32. Having keyword rich titles also applies to YouTube videos, blog posts, and twitch highlights.
Having a good mic is a must for a quality podcast, but a quality mic can still sound like trash if not used properly. You want your lips to be one to two inches from the mic. The further you are from the mic the more it sounds like you’re in a large room. Think about musicians performing live they seem to eat that mic. If your mic is on your desk and you can’t get closer you need to pick a boom stand to get it closer to your mouth. This will improve your sound quality on Twitch and YouTube also. Picking up a decent pop filter will also help improve your sound.
Quality Show Notes
Show notes are where I spend most of my time each week prepping for the show. I created an outline for the show and each segment saved it as a Google doc. As news breaks, I add the stories to my show notes. I don’t write a script that I read word for word, but having an outline keeps me on track and beats just winging it each episode. Quality takes work, but it’s worth it. I used to wing it and it’s fine for a conversational show about random topics, but having an outline has improved the content. If you end up podcasting solo then quality notes are a must, because you don't want to ramble. Each episode I do gets its own blog post and it’s s simple copy and paste from the Google doc to my new post.
If you’re already podcasting hopefully these tips will help you get more eyes and ears on your show. If you’re thinking about starting one you’ll need is hosting I recommend Podbean’s free plan for starting out. I use their unlimited plan for $14.99 a month. I use another site for mixing each episode, removing any hum, and getting the levels radio ready that’s auphonic.com. They offer two hours of processing free each month. Feel free to hit me up on Twitter @N64Josh if you have any other podcasting questions. You can check out my show Nintendo Power Cast on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, and Googleplay.