"The Communications World For The Everyday Person"

How To Make A Podcast

Making a podcast is a lot easier than you may think. Before you can get to all the nice tricks at effectively marketing your podcast, you have to have a podcast worth listening to.

 

And you create this by using a “podcast format”. Before you hit the record button.

 

Your podcast is like having your own radio show. You start out as your own station with one show. And that show is the one you want to work for you. Because the truth is, most podcasts fail because of being inconsistent. And that inconsistency comes from not having a format to follow, what kind of episodes you have and who to market to.

 

You should not go in to podcasting with the expectation of it going viral. You will lose sight fast and your podcast will turn into a dud, quick. If you have a format that is authentically you, THAT’s what goes viral. Something that’s real and relates. Life spreads.

 

In order for your podcast to be successful, you have to want to do this. This is not like social media where you just throw out content and hope it sticks. You’re going to have to talk, and that’s why most podcast and radio professionals suggest doing a podcast around something you love or are passionate about.

 

 Before we get to the format…

 

Let’s start with the podcast idea we’re going to build the format around. To do this, we’ll use “The Scoring Technique”.

 

1.) Pick a theme or main topic of interest. This can be anything, so pick something you can talk for days about! Examples: type of music, certain sub-genre of music, fashion, teaching & learning/education, genre of movies, religion-spirit-faith, industry, a specific art or craft, medicine-natural-pharmacy, health, etc…

 

2.) Find a specific problem or focus that you can directly relate to in that theme. Then present a strong stance or solution to it. This gives the people listening something to remember you for, and the people that get remembered the most are the ones who solve problems, teach you well and address specific needs.

 

Your theme and it’s focus should be helping your audience. Remember this, because this is what you want your audience to remember you for. The one person they can turn to for this.

 

These first two steps are key! You want a theme that is YOU. Because when you pick something as crucial as the theme of your business and base it off of what’s trendy, you gave your business an expiration date. Pick something that will last. This is why the best entrepreneurs are the ones who find problems people always have and sell new and better solutions.

 

3.) After you’ve found your theme and it’s focus, write out 50 topics around them. So if let’s say you chose “health & fitness for diabetics under 35”, with “diabetics under 35” as the theme and “health & fitness for diabetics under 35” as the focus and problem you want to solve; Now you want to come up with 50 or as many ways as you can to address those problems, and then choose the best 20.

 

Why? Because if you release a podcast episode a week, you now have 5 months worth of material to work with before you even launch. And you don’t have to stress and play catch up this way, which can lead to a podcast becoming inconsistent in the first place.

 

You can choose a lower number of topics to end with, but keep in mind the more topics you have means the more episodes you have before you run out go stale.

 

Now you’re ready to make your podcast format

 

Now that you have your list of episode ideas, it’s time to apply it to an easy format people can get used to.

 

A typical podcast format that includes music looks something like this

  • Intro (10 seconds or less)
  • Greetings, Mention Podcast + Show Name, Upcoming Break + Segment  Announcements (2 mins or less)
  • Song (3-5 minutes)
  • Song (3-5 minutes)
  • Break #1 (previous song titles + artists + where to buy, mention upcoming segments) (30 seconds – 1 minute)
  • Song (3-5 minutes)
  • Song (3-5 minutes)
  • Segment #1 (5-10 minutes)
  • Song (3-5 minutes)
  • Break #2 (previous song titles + artists + where to buy, mention continuing segment) (30 seconds – 1 minute)
  • Song (3-5 minutes)
  • Segment #2 (5-10 minutes)
  • Song (3-5 minutes)
  • Break #3 (previous song titles + artists + where to buy, mention last upcoming segment) (30 seconds – 1 minute)
  • Song (3-5 minutes)
  • Segment #3 (5-10 minutes)
  • Song (3-5 minutes)
  • Song (3-5 minutes)
  • Break #4 (previous song titles + artists + where to buy, mention close of show) (30 seconds – 1 minute)
  • Song (3-5 minutes)
  • Final Words + Announcements (5 minutes or less) *wrap/sum up today’s episode*
  • Last Song (3-5 minutes)
  • Outro (10-15 seconds)

Total of:

12 songs = 36 mins – 1 hr

3 segments + Last Words = 20 mins – 35 mins

4 breaks in between plus intro & outro = 2 mins – 4 and a half minutes

With a format like this you can create a podcast with a running time of 58 minutes at the minimum, and around 1 hour and 40 minutes at the max. You have 3 segments to talk about your episode topics, with 4 short breaks to remind people in between songs about segments or to advertise.

 

You don’t have to have 12 songs, nor the amount of segments or breaks as listed above. This is just our format to give you an episode framework you can apply and shape for your podcast.

 

The other main reason we have this format is because if you have the rights to also distribute the songs you feature, you could release playlists and short music mixes/EPs based off of each episode. You can use this to build an email list and give your listeners an additional product you offer. This is something you would see a lot of radio stations do back during the early 2000’s and before, but has now gone by the wayside in place of streaming. Custom mixes and playlists becomes the game changer.

 

Time to record

 

Now that you have all your podcast, format and episode materials ready, it’s time to record.

 

To get a decent sound for your podcast and for an affordable price, this is the basics of what you’ll need:

  • an audio interface – whichever is affordable for your budget, just pick something which doesn’t lag and have issues with latency. I’ve used the Tascam US-144 MK1 and US-144 MK2
  • a decent or great microphone  I’ve been using the Sterling ST 51 Condenser mic with a shock mount for about 5+ years now and have recorded the majority of my music catalog with it. It’s durable and reliable and haven’t had any issues with it yet. You can get it for around $100 at most music equipment retailers.  
  • recording software – There are a number of audio recording and DAW software that can you can use to make your podcast. Most folks use the free solution called Audacity. I use Studio One Artist, which allows me to incorporate my music production a lot easier into my podcasts as well as mixing.
  • music – You’ll need to find music that fits well into your podcast format and that you have the right to use. If you’re not a music artist or producer, you can use Soundcloud, AudioMack and Bandcamp to start with looking for music to use.
  • podcast sound effects – (optional but recommended) – Most don’t take this last part into consideration when recording their podcast, but sound effects and music samples play a big part in the movement of your show. Sound effects can be dropped in at key conversation moments, can be used for your intro and outro, and even in your own custom advertising. Bottom line, having a few stashes of podcast sound effects in your library gives you an edge over the majority of podcasters.

 

After you’ve finished recording your episode, you’ll want to mix it and get it to sound “good enough for customer playback” (great). You don’t have to be an audio engineer, you just have to know a few basic mixing techniques to work with.

 

Theme…Format…Recorded & Mixed…now what?

Now that you have your podcast recorded, it’s time to upload it and distribute it online. There are a number of ways you can do this, so here are some of the best ones you can use for you

 

if you’re giving your podcast away for free…

  •  AudioMack – AudioMack provides you with a social account similar to Soundcloud that allows you to upload your music, podcasts or any other audio product. And it’s free with unlimited storage. It’s dashboard and design customization need a bit of a makeover compared to alternative platforms, but for the price (or lack thereof) you can’t beat it with free storage. Plus you can integrate it with TuneCore which gets your music or podcast on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and a ton more streaming and audio marketplaces.
  • Soundcloud – the main player in promoting your audio online. Soundcloud leads with an easy to use dashboard and way to check your stats, sharing your audio on social networks and integrating RSS so you can connect it to things like your blog or website. The free account comes with 180 minutes (3 hours) , the Pro account is 6 hours, and Pro Unlimited is, well, unlimited. If you’re just starting out with a podcast and aren’t making money just yet, this could seem as a bit of a road block, but you can also take it as a challenge to make your show the best it can be and promote it well enough.

…or if you’re selling episodes/seasons of your podcast…

  • Bandcamp – Bandcamp has been around for a while as the “DIY-Music Store” go-to for indie artists and audio professionals. You can sell your singles and albums on Bandcamp much like you can on iTunes and other audio marketplaces, but Bandcamp adds a nice touch with customizing your own store. They also now offer a subscription feature you can offer to your fans. This gives you a way to sell more and effectively to your audience, while allowing the fans to pay for music they actually want with added bonuses.
  • Your own website – Having a website allows you to keep the majority (if not ALL) the profits of what you sell. There’s no middle man. Your website is like a digital brick-and-mortar store placed on Internet Avenue. This is THE best way to sell your audio, but receives the most push back. Why? Because people think making and running a website is a lot harder and expensive than it actually is. And that’s mainly in part due to the large amount of information out there on how to have a website, because it can be a little tricky in finding where to start.

 

If none of these options appeal to you, you can always head straight to a spot like CdBaby or TuneCore where you pay a fee and they put it on all the major audio marketplaces for music and podcasts. Can you make money this way? Yes. But you rely heavily on the promotion of those places like iTunes, Spotify, etc. And if you have no real budget to promote with (or working relationship with them), you’re relying even more on a customer to randomly come across your audio and then buy it.

 

Put simple, it’s better to have one main lace to send your audience than a whole bunches to send them to.

 

Now that you know how to start and make a podcast…

 

I want you to take a moment a leave a comment below on what you’re struggling with right now in making your podcast. Is it the format? The promotion? Finding your audience? Let me know below.