Want to launch a podcast but don’t know where to start ?
Then World of Podcast Ideas is the new series for you. Giving you professional advice and industry best practice to help make your podcast a success.
Starting with ten top tips in a series of two minute podcasts to get you to your podcast launch.
Subscribe now in Apple Podcasts
Tips distilled from industry best practice by me Andy Clark a full time podcaster and radio producer.
There are tips on defining your why, target audiences, formats, audio hosting, storytelling and more. Bite size info that will save you a ton of time and help you cut through the noise and get you up and running.
How to start a podcast
The first batch of ten two minute podcasts will be launched simultaneously on Friday October the 27th.
It’s a step by step plan to help you launch a successful podcast – whether for business – non-profit or for individuals these tips will save you time and get you off to a great start.
In future series there’ll more tips – tips on growing your audience, calls to action, audio quality, editing and the use of music.
But first World of Podcast Ideas brings you essential pre-launch tips to help you find your niche and play to your strengths.
Great resources on podcasting
This is a good place to start alongside my ten tips in World of Podcast check out this podcast with Pat Flynn. From the Problogger.com site which has a great range of resources on blogging and podcasting too.
Storytelling tips and interview technique
Alex Blumberg from Gimlet Media
Pat Flynn – top ranked US podcaster
Ira Glass from This American Life
World of Podcast Ideas – transcripts Season 1.
Want to launch a podcast but don’t know where to start ?
World of Podcast Ideas a new series to give you professional advice and industry best practice to help make your podcast a success. Starting with ten top tips in a series of two minute podcasts to get you to your podcast launch.
Tips distilled from industry best practice by me Andy Clark a full-time podcaster and radio producer.
Episode 1 – Define Your Why
Andy Clark here radio journalist and podcast producer with World of podcast – podcast tips in two minutes. Season 1 is about what to do to get going.
So here is Episode number 1 – where to start>>>>
You need to define your why – why I ‘m I doing this podcast – is it something I really believe in and am passionate about.
This might sound like a no-brainer, you know why – because it is. But having said that a lot of people start podcasts because they think the subject is worthy or they think they can make money out of it, or for some other poorly thought through reason.
And you know what ? So many podcasts suffer from what’s known as pod fade – yes they wither and die pretty quickly after just a few episodes and one of the main reasons for this is that the podaster in question didn’t really stand behind what they were doing.
You can keep something going for a while if you are not passionate about it and maybe it’ll sound okay but sooner or later it will become a chore and your listeners will know.
Podcasts are intimate – that’s what everyone says – and intimacy comes honesty and passion otherwise it can be kind of fake.
So taking the time to really find your subject is step number 1 – do not whizz through this phase or you will regret it.
And yes be intimate and honest with yourself – what’s your niche and just how much do you love it. \ Experiment by all means – record and edit and share with select friends but before you go for the full podcast launch make sure you have found your niche
When you’ve got this down you are ready for step 2.
Episode 2 – Target Audience
Hi all Andy Clark here radio journalist and podcast producer with World of Podcast bringing you podcast tips in two minutes Season one – the first ten episodes are about getting you to launch – episode number 2 – so who’s going to listen to this anyway?
Identifying your target audience is crucial – you need to know who you are making the podcast for. A great tip s to make a number of persona’s – the Americans call them avatars, of your target audience.
So – who are they how old are they, men or women, what are their interests, what level of knowledge do they have about your niche and what are they looking to find out.
Are they mainly Facebook users, or is it Twitter, or Instagram – are they already into podcasting or will you have to explain how it works. You need to find where you potential audience is and do some research and then draw up a picture of who your listeners are. This way you already start to know which questions they are looking to answer and this is where you and your podcast come in.
A golden tip once you have got an idea of who your potential listeners are is to map out the journey you want them to take. Sounds a bit mystical – not so.
If you map out how your podcast will take someone from where they are now to a new more advanced and satisfied level then you are really adding value with your content. Podcast Nirvana is you like.
For example, taking someone with a basic idea of how to start a podcast to a level where they have a concrete series of steps which will greatly enhance their chance of success.
So this was tip two – draw up a persona or personas and map out the journey you will take your listener on – what is the before and after of your content?
Do this well and it will give you the right tone of voice and a host of content ideas right off the bat.
So after this you are ready for step three. I’m Andy Clark and thanks for checking this out.
Episode 3 – Stories
Andy Clark here radio journalist and podcast producer this is World of Podcast – podcast tips in two minutes. Season one with ten episodes is all about getting you to launch with a maximized chance of success.
What are the stories I will tell my listeners?
We communicate through stories and not just through info – info alone will turn people off so decide how you will bring your content to life – what are the stories, the hooks you will use to capture your listeners attention and make sure they come back for more and remember the episodes they have heard already.
This is vital even in an interview style podcast or a solo podcast where you are the only speaker.
You need to be constantly asking yourself how you can use little story elements to increase the stickiness of your content. So ask you guests for stories and examples and anecdotes which underline the points they are making.
Sounds simple – well you’d be surprised how many people do not do this and just rattle through a list of factual questions. Or rattle through a dense info laden script.
Ask people to explain a time when they were doing something – get them to describe how it was. Literally ask people to tell you their stories.
Tell me how you became a millionaire – tell me about a time when everything was going wrong
And use little stories in your own narration too. These examples and stories will make your point stick without them your content will be quickly forgotten.
And stories mean not giving everything away at the beginning build up suspense lead up to the climax of your story – tease your listeners and make them want to keep listening. So make little promises to them – make sure you deliver too of course – and then they will stick with you.
Stories can also be serious to of course – if your podcast is about skills transfer of some kind for example then you can easily find stories around that.
Or if it’s about your business then use stories of what you meant for customers for example – what did you enable them to do – get them to tell you this story.. these testimonial stories can be very powerful.
Make me laugh, make me cry – but please make me feel something or give me great life changing tips wrapped in memorable anecdotes.
This was step 3 in the ten step plan – I’m Andy Clark and thanks for checking this out.
Episode 4 – Formats
Step 4 – Andy Clark here radio journalist and podcast producer this is World of Podcast season 1 episode 4, formats.
Season one is your ten step guide to getting to a successful podcast launch…
Choose your format – in step 1 you found your passion , then you identified you audience their needs and in step three you committed to telling them stories and not boring the pants off them even if you podcast is info based.
The format then is key – will it be a highly-edited magazine type of podcast with produced elements made by different people which you draw together with your recorded links, will it be a solo voice podcast where you dear podcaster simply talk to your audience, an interview podcast, or perhaps a montage (an interview or interviews with the questions removed) you can even choose to go live, make a discussion, you can record and re-package events, add cameras for a vodcast, make a demonstration podcast where you talk through a skill.
Will your podcast be fact based or a drama – there are many options and you need to be aware of the different formats and what they are good for to help you achieve success. Some formats are better at conveying information and others better at conveying emotion and some can do both – interviews for example.
The format you choose will also be based on the time you have and the resources. A good format for small business or individual podcasters working alone is often the interview podcast – but why not mix it up with some solo podcasts and now and again the odd special – whether a discussion or a magazine style.
Make a conscious choice about the right format for you – the best format to convey your stories about your niche to your targeted audience. Be realistic about how much time you have to make your podcast too – these can be a major factor in choosing a suitable format.
Episode 5 – Content Batch
Andy Clark here radio journalist and podcast producer this is World of Podcast season 1 episode 5 of this ten step plan to launch a great podcast
You first content batch – yes a batch – plan out at least five episodes and make sure the topics are at the heart of your strategy and are on topic for your target audience and will start answering their questions and taking them on the journey you planned out in stage two.
The transformation you want to give them – so make sure your content is really focused on that. And give yourself a boost link to and talk about hot issues in your niche – things which are already getting a lot of attention, but which you can add value to.
If you are doing an interview podcast then seek out the influentials in your field, Influentials are big names or people with big online communities. If you can persuade them to take part in your podcast and get them to share with their communities then this will help in your start up phase.
The further you can spread your online footprint at the start the better it will be.
Check the calendar too for external events which can boost your podcast – if your niche is in the news then make use of it – plan ahead to optimize this.
Think about direct call outs to your listeners too – calls to action. Involve them – ask for feedback and ask them to share and rate and review ( more on why this is super important in episode 8) and generate content together – challenge them to take part. Look to inform, inspire and interact. Come up with creative ideas for involving listeners in the show – do call outs via social media and as people to send in audio response too – for example via whats app audio – you can use these in the podcast.
Get a second ear to check your content too – a constructive critical voice who can give you honest feedback you can take onboard and iron out some of the worst creases before going public.
So plan your first five episodes – identify influentials and get them involved and make a plan for interaction with your audience. And most important make sure you are sticking to your identified goal for your audience and are taking them on the journey you planned for them.
Episode 6 – Logos
Andy Clark here radio journalist and podcast producer this is World of Podcast
This is season one episode 6
This one is about the logo – what, wait a minute – the logo, it’s a podcast so like who cares, right? Well people do care, we all like shiny pretty things it seems so there is no escape to having a good logo for your podcast.
In Apple Podcasts and podcast apps and players of all distinctions whether iPhone or Android, Soundcloud or Stictcher or Google Play – you need to look smart.
Logo are square and 3,000 by 3,000 pixels – it’s big baby but they get squeezed down by the apps.
Make something that stands out from the crowd – check other logos in your niche – if they are all purple then make yours orange – if they are all super serious looking then consider making yours jolly. Of course, your logo is an extension of your podcast name and you need a good name. Not too long – you don’t have much screen real estate to play with when your logo is a on a page with dozens of other podcast logos.
So stand out – be clear with your name and not too much text on those logos.
Check the logo for the Alice isn’t dead podcast – no text just a truck on top and a reflection below which is a skull – intriguing and great for this dark thriller. Two words is often enough – and if your podcast has longer title then use a short form people will recognize – for example the WTF podcast from Marc Maron.
Be short, to the point and look good. Just like in the rest of life really …
Episode – Audio hosting
Andy Clark here radio journalist and podcast producer this is World of Podcast this is episode seven of season one giving you a ten step plan to launching a killer podcast
This is a more of technical step – and its certainly a crucial one. Podcasts are big files so you need to have somewhere to host your audio. Trying to do so on your own site will be expensive and probably crash your site anyway.
And the audio host will also make it super easy for you to put your podcast into Apple Podcasts via an RSS feed (don’t worry you don’t need to know how that works – it happens by magic through an audio host)
Suffice to say that once you have such a feed and your podcast is submitted and approved by Apple Podcasts then anyone subscribing will automatically receive any new content – every episode you publish will be delivered to their device.
Audio hosts provide then the place to upload your audio and they generate players so you can embed the podcast on your websites and social media – but most importantly they are your gateway to an RSS feed and Apple Podcasts which then distributes your new wonderful creation to all good apps, including Android apps ( so none iPhone) and players around the internet. Making your podcast available via smartphone apps – yes, sir this is what you want.
Soundcloud offers a free way of doing this – but for me it is more of a music platform. I use an American audio host – Buzzsprout – which is just great and comes with lots of extras such as a mobile-friendly website for your podcast, customizable players and even a tool to allow you to create little audio wave form videos of clips from your podcast. This is a nice tool for promotion on social media.
Other podcasters swear by Libsyn – I have never used it but it must be good too as big hitters like Tim Ferris in the US use this player.
There are other options too of course. The audio hosts are fairly easy to use and all have great how to guides which lead you and and your new darling podcast through to the promised land of RSS and distribution into the podcast universe.
Episode 8 – Create a Buzz
Andy Clark here radio journalist and podcast producer this is World of Podcast this is episode eight in season one of ten episodes to get you off to a flying podcast launch
Before you start make some noise – don’t sneak onto the podcast stage apologetically and hope that someone will notice.
Polish your shoes brush your teeth apply aftershave perfume make up and shine dear podcaster shine – prepare your entry.
A couple of weeks before you launch the series proper make a trailer – episode zero.
Tease some of the content you have in this trailer – you know just like in a movie trailer – tell people what they can expect and tell then it’s coming soon.
Spread this far and wide on social media – use any existing channels you have for this – email lists, Facebook pages, Twitter, Instagram – you can make various content around this trailer to promote it and the forthcoming podcast over the weeks until launch.
Make a press release and send it to all relevant media for your niche. Identify Facebook groups and share it there – what are the Twitter hashtags on your niche – use them too.
Consider holding a launch event and use that in the build-up to the podcast start too.
In other words don’t be a shy wallflower at the dance – spin yourself centre stage and prepare to be adored – well you know what I mean – make lots of noise tell your audience you are coming and where they can find you. Drop names – play some great quotes and show what you have in the pipeline will have your audience waiting for the first episodes proper in a state of near frenzy.
Episode 9 Launch in a Wave
Andy Clark here radio journalist and podcast producer this is World of Podcast season 1 episode 9 of the ten tips on launching a successful podcast
Launch in a wave – when you submit your podcast to the Apple podcasts do so with more than one episode at once…..
This might sound a bit odd but it has a point. Anyone who subscribes will immediately have more content from you to consume, and hopefully share and talk about with friends, colleagues and family. At the same time in the start period of your podcast the number of downloads are a key element to you getting highly ranked by Apple.
You have roughly an eight week period to get your podcast into the New and Noteworthy section of Apple podcasts – if you succeed then your chances of gaining a lot more traffic are increased. So you launch one episode and one person subscribes you have one subscription and (hopefully download or play) if you have 5 episodes at launch then you have a factor five on downloads and plays. So if you then have 100 subscribers then you are immediately good for 500 downloads or plays – maths was always a strong point of mine…
Also crucial are the number of ratings and reviews you get in Apple Podcasts – so clearly ask your audience to do this – this is all part of the algorithm used by Apple to decide of you are a podcast worthy of a pedestal in New and Noteworthy or not.
If you get in then this should be good for a lot more subscriptions.
So this is worth pushing for – so alongside the more episodes at once thing – make sure you have regular calls to action in which you ask listeners to rate and review.
By the way submitting you podcast to Apple podcasts or iTunes as lots of people still call it – is vital as podcast apps whether they are IOS (so Apple device) or not (android) all take podcast feeds from Apple podcasts. It is the mothership of podcasting.
Episode 10 – Promotion
Andy Clark here radio journalist and podcast producer with World of podcast season one giving you ten two minute tips to get to your successful podcast launch – so episode ten promotion
Once your content is out there it is not time to lean back and wait, oh no. You must spread the word and be creative at all times.
You should have identified where your target audience likes to hang out way back in step 2 now you must meet them there and tickle their fancy so to speak.
And as with all marketing there needs to be a level of repetition – so for each podcast think about ways of attracting attention. Select quotes from the podcasts and put them online – ask provocative questions online related to your content, try to stimulate debate. Use different media – video, text and photo as well as the audio to drum up an audience.
Calls to action – ask the listeners to suggest topics and canvass questions from them. Have polls and competitions.
Use easy to produce slide videos to promote the podcasts or wave form audio videos too and always link to the podcast. Video is ranked higher online and will help in you being found.
Think about creating a simple website to go with your podcast and also think about creating possible extras you can offer behind an opt-in members only area. This will enable you to build a community of followers who are opting in and you build an email database and use that for any future marketing activities.
Be attentive – respond when people ask questions and make it as easy as possible – give them plenty of options – Messenger, whatsapp, email, Facebook.
If you have existing channels then make the most of them.
And be realistic about the time you have for this – it sounds like a lot but with a social media scheduling tool – like Hootsuite for example you can plan out a week’s social media content within an hour. Especially if you have a clear plan you can do this quickly and efficiently. Being consistent in your podcast production and promotion will help increase your chances of success.
Okay this was episode ten which means the end of season 1 – you now have a methodology to plan your podcast. I have focused on the conceptual side of things in this series – there are tons of resources on recoding, editing and software online – I have a bunch of links over at podcasting4u.com –
In future seasons of World of Podcast there’ll be more in-depth tips on story an interview and some advice on next steps in tech, recording and more advanced editing.
I’m Andy Clark a professional radio journalist and podcaster Amongst other things I make the podcast Here in Holland the podcast in English about life with the Dutch – For more podcasting goodies check out my website podcasting4u.com –
I also have many services in Dutch zelfpodcasten.nl you’ve been listening to World of Podcast.( Ideas)