Podcasts present a fantastic opportunity to discuss topics in a unique way. If you want to make your podcast the best it can be, being familiar with podcast best practices is imperative.
Since the term was first used in 2004, podcasts have truly taken off. In today’s smartphone age, people lean towards this medium for entertainment and information. Podcasts refer to an audio file which you can stream or download on the internet with any device. Some podcasters do live shows, while some pre-record and edit content before its release. Just like videos, there is no specific formula for podcasts when it comes to content, format, and length. A podcaster can talk about anything they are interested in. Podcasts can also feature lessons, audio dramas, and everything in between.
This type of medium is a top choice among content creators looking for ways to connect with an audience. Although the popularity of video content is also skyrocketing, there’s no denying that podcasts present an amazing opportunity. You might even be part of the 30% of Americans who listen to podcasts currently.
Ensuring that your output is nothing short of great is challenging, especially if you don’t know tips and podcast best practices. To make things easier for you, we have compiled everything you need to know about podcast best practices here for your convenience.
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This post has been updated in August 2021.
Why Get Into Podcasting?
You may be thinking: the industry is already saturated, so why start my podcast? If you’re a true creator, you may have tons of options to get your voice heard, whether it may be blogs or video blogs.
The reason why you may be hesitant to start your podcast is you think you don’t have the right technical or voice skills. If you cringe every time you hear your voice, don’t worry. The truth is that most people dislike their own voice. With 1 out of 5 adults listening to podcasts occasionally, chances are, your voice will appeal to an audience. However, you’ll never know unless you try. Here’s what you can get if you try podcasting.
Using audio in a clever way to push your content forward is a solid marketing strategy. Podcasts are not just a trend- they are here to stay. So if you are thinking about diving headfirst into the industry, the best time to do it is now.
While there may be thousands of podcasts out there, it is still less saturated than blogging and vlogging. Also, the engagement level of people surges for podcasts since they tend to listen longer compared to blog content. This fact may be because podcasts enable listeners to multitask, which isn’t possible when they are engaging with any visual content form. Your podcast can be the saving grace of your listeners as they workout or commute.
Technology has revolutionized the way people work. If you wanted to try podcasting when it first boomed, you had to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on your equipment. Now, for a fraction of the cost, you can still get the right equipment. And you don’t need a lot of gear to start your podcast. Chances are, you already have an internet connection and a computer or laptop. From there, you can start investing in other gear.
Increase your network
Building a loyal audience is easier than it seems. As more people listen to your podcast, your audience will expand. Once you have the podcast best practices down pat, people who can relate to your content and style. Not only that, they are likely to recommend your podcast to their friends through word of mouth or social media.
With the internet, it’s also very easy for listeners to find your podcast through searching for topics they enjoy. When this happens, you can expand your network and reach an audience you haven’t tapped before. Not only that, you may even make valuable connections with your guests and collaborate on future projects.
If you’re passionate about following the best podcast practices, you can exercise creative ways to make money. Once you’ve amassed an impressive listener and download count, you can charge brands to be your sponsors. You can also sell your merchandise. Soon, you may be going home with a five or six-figure income thanks to podcasting.
Podcast Best Practices
Get your notebook ready to take notes about these effective podcast best practices.
Podcast best practices – Get the right tools
It would be impossible to make the best podcast if your gear is not up to speed. While you may simply record on your phone, the result may sound cheap. Just with any other career, you have to invest for a quality podcast. Thankfully, you don’t have to shell out your life savings to purchase excellent gear.
For instance, the thing that dictates audio quality is a microphone. The better one you get, the clearer your podcast will sound. There are USB microphones that you can get for as low as $50. If you are co-hosting with guests, you can purchase a microphone headset.
Podcast best practices – Be consistent
If you want to keep your listeners, you have to engage in distinct branding. While a clever name would greatly help, there’s nothing more appealing to your audience than consistency. How do you think your potential listeners would feel if they checked out your podcast episodes and found subpar audio quality in various episodes? People will have a better impression of your podcast if all your episodes are consistently great.
Before you make your podcast, determine the schedule you want to follow. Do you want to release podcasts daily, weekly, or monthly? If you don’t follow your set schedule, you will lose your audience.
When you have a unique style and energy, people will associate it with your brand. This connection will then give you more authority in the field. To keep your content consistent, ensure that your listeners remember your insights and style of delivery.
Podcast best practices – Think about the structure
Even if you’re an experienced speaker, you can’t simply speak in front of a microphone and see where it goes. A dedicated podcaster who wants their work to follow the podcast best practices will make an effort to create a structure for the podcast. You don’t have to make a script and follow it completely. A simple guide with key points is all you need.
Aside from the schedule, it also helps to know the length of your podcast. To make it easier, break it down into segments and pack quality and in-depth information in every part. This way, people who are listening to it while on their commute will appreciate it even if they don’t finish the entire episode.
Podcast best practices – Grab your listener’s attention
If your podcast is boring, people won’t listen to it. One surefire way to ensure your listeners won’t stop listening is to keep surprising them with some information they didn’t even know they were interested in. For newbies in the industry, it is recommended to look for a successful podcast with the same setup as you for ideas. Try to incorporate this with other podcast best practices to engage the general public or your niche market.
To keep your audience interested, you may also work with influencers. This tip will help your podcast gain a bigger audience. When you interview important people, you can tie up with their personal brand and their network. This way, their followers who didn’t know about your podcast before will find out about you.
Podcast best practices – Hire people
You may think you don’t need help to run your podcast. If you are serious about it and still have a full-time job, you’ll surely struggle to juggle your time and priorities. What you can do is to hire people to do the legwork for you. These jobs can include brainstorming topics, doing research, interacting with listeners, and handling sponsors and overall logistics.
Podcast best practices – Don’t try too hard
It’s no big deal to introduce your own company or work in your podcast. A short introduction would actually help build up your credibility in your niche. However, try not to take up half of the podcast talking about yourself. This mistake will make you come across as cocky or full of yourself. If you try too hard to sell yourself to your audience, they will lose interest. Remember, a podcast shouldn’t just be focused on you.
This tip is both true for personal podcasts and as well as those meant for marketing purposes. A true podcast is not “sales-y.” When your genuineness can be felt from all your episodes, listeners will be much more likely to come back.
Podcast best practices – Be accessible
Podcast best practices include that the work is not over once you release your podcast. Make sure you also have a professional website your listeners can check out. Encourage your audience to check out related blog posts and content on your website.
Also, build a community through your podcast by encouraging your listeners to take part in group discussions, polls, and surveys. Examine what your audience likes through analytics and discuss topics they want to hear. It also helps to have an active social media presence. Setup your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and generate as much engagement as possible. This trick will add more traffic to your website and podcast.
Podcast best practices – Optimize your podcast
Even if you have the best podcast, nobody will find it if it’s not visible in search engines and platforms. Developing SEO skills is one of the most important podcast best practices you should know. Make sure your title is catchy and relevant since iTunes and other platforms have an algorithm that heavily relies on the podcast title. Make a compelling title and description that encapsulates your podcast through keywords. However, don’t fill it with unrelated keywords since platforms may catch on and flag your content.
Podcast best practices – Monetize your podcast
It’s awesome to earn income through your podcast. You can put advertisements on your show to provide revenue, but be careful not to overstuff it since it may turn off your audience.
Although making money through this medium is amazing, don’t focus on it. Unless you already have thousands of followers, you will not start earning right away. The first months or even years of your podcast should focus on generating good content instead of generating profit. Once you’ve established your network, you can start approaching brands for sponsorship. However, only find sponsors that your audience would be interested in. What kind of items would help them? What are they willing to spend on?
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Don’t Forget to Have Fun
Now that you know the most effective podcast best practices, you can finally maximize the potential of your work. Apply the podcast best practices discussed above and see what works best for you. In time, you’ll be ready to try other tricks of the trade. No matter what your niche or topic is, make sure you’re having fun. Once you are enjoying what you do, your passion can help you stand out.