Podcasts are growing in popularity as the cost and technical expertise required to produce them comes down. They are a great way to produce content faster than if you were typing and people can listen to it just about anywhere.
To get started you will need to decide what you want to talk about. The topics you can choose from are limited only by what you can imagine. Ideally you want to pick a topic that you are either knowledgeable or passionate about. Do some market research and make sure there is a demand for the topic you choose.
Once you have decided on a topic you will need some equipment. As a basic set up you will need a computer and a microphone. If you are going to be taking podcasting seriously you will want to invest in further items:
- A pop filter to record clearly/protect your microphone.
- A pair of headphones so that you can hear your recording clearly.
- A microphone stand to give you the best position to record clearly.
- An audio mixer to control the recording.
- An audio interface to produce high resolution recordings.
As well as the hardware you will need some audio recording software. Audacity is an excellent piece of free software which allow you to edit your recordings.
Now that you have the equipment and decided on the topic, you need to create the podcast. You will want to use a quiet area in your office or home where you can remove yourself from every day distractions. Plan out what you are going to put in each episode and set a schedule for how often you are going to record.
Once you have produced your podcast you will need to upload it to a host. You could upload it straight to your website but this can cause performance issues on your site and work out very costly to pay for the bandwidth as your podcast grows in popularity. A better way to do it is to upload it to a dedicated podcast host such as Buzzsprout.
Then comes the most crucial part of having a successful podcast. You need to grow your audience. This is absolutely vital, as with most forms of social media, the bigger the audience the more opportunities you will have to make money. A good starting place is to submit it to directories such as iTunes and Google Play Podcasts. Some other ideas to promote your podcast can be found on the blogging page.
Finally you want to monetise your podcast. You can do this one of several ways:
- Charge to download your podcasts. This is the most straight forward way and works well if you are established or have a huge audience. But when you are starting out the best thing to do is offer the podcast for free and monetise it through other methods.
- Advertising within the podcast. You can sell advertisements on your podcast similar to the way radio sells advertisements.
- Sell products through your podcast. This can be merchandise, courses, training, coaching etc.
- Accept donations. Sometimes simply asking for people to make a small donation if they appreciate your podcast can add up to a large sum if you have a lot of listeners.
- Promote other media which you have monetised. Podcasts are great to run alongside other online media such as your website, blog, YouTube or social networking accounts.
Sites to use
Audacity – Free, open source, cross-platform audio software.
Buzzsprout – Free podcast hosting.