Podcasting is very trendy now. It's very powerful, it helps create beautiful connections but it's easy to make a few mistakes, waste time or miss out on opportunities.
I have made a few mistakes when I created one or seen others do. I'd rather you wouldn't do the same so here's what I learned launching mine and prepping my second one.
[Disclaimer, this post has been written quickly to answer a few questions that are coming back again and again. Bookmark it and review regularly, I'll update it regularly]
Let's talk about starting your podcast.
You need to host your podcast on a podcast hosting company.
Too many people try to host it on their site.
This is NOT a good idea.
- If there's a spike of traffic, your hosting cannot always cope and it could be a great mess with your rss as well.
- It's also not great to check downloads, the origin of downloads etc. Podcast hosting allows you to see the difference between the people who visit your site and the people who download episodes. If you want to find a sponsor at some point, having reliable and precise stats are necessary.
- In case you decide to rebrand, either yourself or your podcast, it's easier to do it when your site is hosted on a podcast platform instead of your domain name.
The extra cost may feel too much but believe me, it's best for peace of mind, analytics and growth.
Some good hosts are
- Libsyn (cheap to start but reliable host with options to grow)
- Pippa.io (now bought by Acast - the one I use for mine. I love the dashboard, the analytics are easier to see than on Libsyn and the included tools to make a small video excerpt of the episode, as well as a transcript, is helpful. The transcripts aren't perfect, even less when you have an accent like mine but it's a good start, takes less time to correct than type it all.) (affiliate link, if you take a yearly plan, we both get a $25 Amazon card, handy for podcasting gear 😛 )
- Anchor is the wild card. Free, easy to do from your phone. They say you own your feed but I don't like free tools. They can disappear fast and if you don't pay, aren't you the product?
Plenty of other providers with various price tags.
Make sure you can easily share episodes with all platforms (Apple, Google, Spotify etc... Youtube even if that's of interest to you.)
To have a smooth experience with your guests
- To organize the booking, use a tool like Calendly or Acuity. That will avoid so much back and forth between you two.
- Ask for a bio, a picture in high definition and the link they want you to share, as well as any freebie or product launch they have in the pipeline. You can send an *Airtable form so that all is put in there, a good way to have all in one spot for your or your VA to access all this. [affiliate link but I only share products I use or believe in]
A podcast art is really important.
Make sure it's readable even when it's tiny. Look at ITunes on your phone or any podcast app and you’ll see how tiny it will be once in use.
You need to get something with contrasting colours (no light blue on medium blue for example, it won’t read) and a pic of you or some art that makes sense will help. My first logo didn’t “say” anything and I have wasted opportunities that way. ?
Create an intro and an outro that sounds like you and is not too long.
That's something I regretted not to do for my podcast at first. I did one myself, without getting music and it was not really perky or quite like me. When I launched season two, I created one with music and it felt much more like me and like something that people would recognize.
You can find inexpensive ones on platforms like Audiojungle.
Make sure you have a good mic.
If you can invest only a tiny bit, try to put the money in your mic. The sound quality is important and can be improved for cheap. Using a good camera for your computer allows you to get better sound than with the mic of the laptop.
Always use and make your guest use headphones as well to avoid echo.
Use an app that allows you to record the two voices on two separate files so you can edit more easily in case of trouble if someone cough over the voice of the other for example.
Learn how to use your editing software.
Garageband on Mac or Audacity can do wonders if you know how to use them.
Record at least 8 episodes before you launch.
Record an episode 0 that is a short intro about who you are, why they should listen to the show and what it will be about, its pace etc... Episode 0 tend to be listened to even when you reach episode 100.
It's really worth doing.
Launch 3 episodes at once. Your episode 0 and two normal episodes. People want to understand what you show is about and will often listen to more than one when they have the excitement of the launch.
Keep the others as buffers. It's really tough to keep recording and publishing regularly. Most podcasters stopped at 8 episodes. Life happens, holiday and sickness included. That is the thing that bit me bad when I started. Always running against the clock and missing the deadline because I had no buffer.
and to finish
Have fun, breathe before you start recording. Don't stop because "you hate your voice". We all do 😛
Some extra resources to learn about podcasting?
- check out Pat Flynn. He's amazing and offer free resources and paid courses (have tried the free now only and it's great.)
- If you're a woman, check out the She Podcast group on Facebook, one of the best you could join. Amazing community, great for tips, support and find guests. They also have courses (on my wishlist for now, but I've seen many raving about them)