Podcasting is all about getting heard and connecting with audiences. And though it might seem mysterious, creating a podcast doesn't have to be difficult. If you have a decent audio recorder, a website for hosting your podcast, and some things you'd like to talk about, you're pretty much ready to go. Let's walk you through the steps to help you get started.
1. Have A Theme
The best podcasts are those that have a theme—an overall thread that ties them together episode after episode. This doesn't mean they all have to be about the same topic, just that someone searching through podcasts will understand what yours is about and why it's worth downloading. You'll also want to come up with a creative and concise title for your podcast, one that captures your theme as well as your business's personality and brand.
2. Offer Quality Content
People will want to listen to your podcast only if it offers them useful, actionable and unique information that they can't get anywhere else. That means you don't want to spend a lot of time rambling in your podcasts about what you ate for lunch, what your kids or dogs are up to, or what's on your mind regarding politics. Rather, each podcast episode needs to have a topic that will appeal to people because it offers them something valuable. The best business podcasts are those that appeal to their clients. A winery, for example, might produce educational podcasts focusing on wine appreciation, selection or food-pairings. Or a business consulting firm might go with tips for business success. Whatever you choose, make sure you're offering content your listeners can use.
3. Be Focused But Conversational
It's a good idea to write a script, or at least an outline, for each podcast episode before you record it, but it's also important to be conversational. Listening to your podcast should be enjoyable and easy to do in a car on a long commute or during a workout —two of the most common situations in which people listen to podcasts.
4. Pay Attention To Quality
In addition to having a high-quality digital voice recorder, you'll want to pay attention to other factors that will affect the quality of your podcast. Make sure you do your recording in a quiet room with no background noise. Also spend some time editing and adjusting sound levels with audio software such as GarageBand or Audacity before you post your podcast, and listen to it to check its quality. You might have a great theme and interesting information, but it will all be wasted if your listeners can't hear it.
5. List Your Podcast On Directories
Once you've created and hosted your podcast, you'll want to get it listed in one of the many podcast directories to start building your audience. One of the most popular podcast directories is iTunes, but there are dozens of others. Check out PodCast411 for a directory of directories.
Podcasts are a fun way to get content out there to the ears and minds of listeners—whether they're clients, customers or just people who want to learn more about your topic. Having a podcast doesn't have to take a huge time commitment, since you can create as many or as few podcast episodes as you like. You can then incorporate them however you see fit into your overall multimedia marketing strategy. The main thing is to get your voice out there, talking about whatever it is that you know best.
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Vivian Wagner is a freelance writer in New Concord, Ohio.