Friday, July 31, 2020

5 Ways To Start A Podcast (And Boost It Quickly)

Starting a podcast can be confusing.  I had limited resources and no mentor to assist me when I started in 2011.  I did a lot of things wrong, but somehow I've lasted and this is still fun for me.  My show is steadily evolving and I get new ideas to improve it each and every week.

If you're starting a podcast then please consider all of these things below:

1) Find a platform.  There are a ton of places where you can start your podcast.  Some of them are free and some are not.  Do not be afraid to start with a platform that may charge a monthly fee.  Sometimes you get what you pay for, so keep that in mind.  I really like some of the free platforms, especially Anchor.FM.  But, I also know that there are some paid others that have a ton of features and analytics from Buzzsprout to Libsyn.

2) Decide what your show will be about.  What are you so passionate about that you need to share it with the world?  It doesn't have to be one singular topic, but you do want one singular theme.  You want people to be able to say, "that's the podcast you listen to when you want discuss (insert subject here)" or "hear people discuss (insert topic)".  Once you determine the purpose of your show then find a title that is either relevant or catchy.  If you're lucky then it will be both.

3) Create social media pages for your podcast and/or a website.  Give people somewhere to go if they want to learn more about your new podcast.  Social media will give people a place to interact and drive discussion.  TikTok is hot right now and Instagram gets a lot of traction, too.  Facebook Groups and Fan Pages are pretty easy to create.  You could do all of them.  The FB Fan Pages offer analytics and insight on page traffic, so that's a bonus.  Keep in mind that this means that you need a logo for your podcast and social media listings.  Make sure it's something that catches the eye.  Keep in mind that most people will see your logo as a thumbnail first, so it needs to stand out in a small picture.  A catchy tag line that summarizes the podcast is a nice touch as well.

4) Have at least three podcasts ready to go out of the gate.  If you're going to start your podcast, don't give people just one episode and then make them wait another week or so to get another.  Allow the listeners to binge-listen a few episodes to get hooked first and then make them wait for that next great episode to drop.  In the words of Missy Elliott, "hit 'em with the heeeeeee" and then "hit 'em with the haaaaaaa".  Be sure to keep a consistent release schedule, too.

5) Get your friends/family on board. It's crucial to have their support to start fast out of the gate. Get as many of them as possible (messaging directly is the best way).  If your podcast launches and you can get 100 or more of your friends and family to subscribe on Day One (even if they don't listen), the sheer number of people subscribing on the first day can possibly land you on one of the New Releases/Trending Now charts on Apple or one of the new Spotify charts.  Subscribers are the key to success in the podcasting industry.  Reviews are very overrated and although they are nice, I've seen podcasts with 60 reviews not appear on a chart while another one with 6 reviews was prominently displayed.  Apple, Spotify and the other podcast aggregators only really care if people are subscribing which means that they are coming back for more.

Once you've done all of that then you are ready to launch!

And as a bonus tip: use YouTube and take advantage of the plethora of tutorials they offer!  The more work you put into your podcast prior to launching, the easier your progression will feel.

Good luck!


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