Darren: We shall. I just wanted to get that upfront because you bring a lot of credibility to this topic and a lot of experience, particularly in that area of editing and helping podcasts to get up and running with the hosting side of things, the technicalities of podcasting which, to be honest, almost killed me and almost stopped my podcast before I even started. Now I asked our Facebook group listeners to ask any questions that they had about podcasting and I was amazed how many questions came in.
I was going to prepare a whole lot of questions but I think our listeners probably are the best ones to ask the questions. A lot of the questions that I want to start off with are around the why of podcasting. I said it at the start of the show, this is the time of year where we see a lot of readers starting new blogs but also new podcast or new YouTube channel. For those listening, who are wondering is a podcast right for me, why do you love podcasting?
What it looks like in the first aspect is, the reaching your existing audience in a different way is having usually different types of conversations or covering different topics around your main area of focus that is just more appropriate for an audio medium. You and I having this conversation in a blog would be really weird. But having this conversation, having really a dialogue, having your Facebook group members to have questions, and things like that is really natural in this audio medium. When I was working in corporate, I would have hours a day in the car that I just listen to podcasts.
I could never spend hours a day reading a blog.
5 Steps to a Successful Podcast
So, you kind of think about people maybe in those situations. How could I do a podcast with such a visual topic? Craig: I interviewed a fellow for our podcast at Castos who was an artist. I can see that just by download numbers he gets 20, or 30, downloads per episode. I asked him this exact question. This goes back to why would you podcast instead of have a blog or something? Very few people probably are doing that and it would be a way for her to send out and tell a different story of the art world to their audience.
Darren: Yeah and I think you can then drive people back to your blog post which might show the art of the artist in the show notes or in a separate blog post. That ought to be a good combination. Tula asked an interesting question. Craig: Absolutely. Have you seen being Australian that people are surprised or have different reactions to your accent? Darren: I do. I guess it really probably depends on how different your accent is and if you find that people do struggle to understand your English. Craig: And I think a bit of a higher level thing is, is having a brand and an identity.
Your accent and being Australian is part of your brand and identity. Darren: Yeah, so go for it, Tula. But just doing it in an audio medium, I think, tells the story, if you will, better they can than a blog. Craig: This is by far the top question. Craig is taking all of the questions out of my head and keeping me from doing this so that I can actually start the podcast.
How to Start a Successful Podcast in A Guide for Beginners
But all that preamble to say, I have two recommendations when it comes to podcasting mics. I record usually on Skype, like we are doing now or on Zoom, both of which are basically free. You need another piece of equipment called a preamp to go in-between that and your computer. It gives you a little more depth of vocal quality. I know Tim Ferriss uses this or used it at some point for all his interviews. Similar question, what software do you recommend? You just mentioned Skype and Zoom. Craig: Yeah. For remote interviews like this, Skype or Zoom.
That gets the remote interviews done. Again, it is perfectly good. So, audacity. Darren: I just used GarageBand because it was on my Mac, but Audacity is certainly one that most of my friends seem to be using these days as well. Frank asked for some advice on hosting. Now we have to disclaim that you actually offer that sort of service, so maybe go check out Castos would be a good way to go.
Audio Version Of This Article
But I guess maybe if you could talk to what you mentioned earlier about not using your blog hosting. Maybe if you could just expand on that a little as to why that might be. Craig: I think having a dedicated media hosting platform is a good idea. Say you release your podcast episodes every Tuesday morning.
If you have a bunch of people on your website as well, your website is going to crash maybe, perform really slowly. If you can separate those two resources onto different platforms, then your website will perform much better and consistently, and your podcast listeners will be able to stream and download your episodes much more smoothly. So separating these two resources onto different platforms is just the best practice really in podcasting. The tool that a lot of people have heard of probably is Libsyn. So, maybe check out Libsyn as well. Monte actually asked how much does it cost to get into podcasting.
Maybe you could speak to that. Just something so that you have some microphone close to your mouth is really important. These hosting platforms are all on a monthly basis just like your WordPress hosting platform would be. Another thing that I really like is having a boom arm which is this articulating arm that attaches to your desk or table and then holds the mic up at the vertical level of your mouth so that you can sit comfortably and talk into the mic without stooping down or holding the mic in your hand and having all sorts of uncomfortable ergonomics for podcasting.
Is it best to have a script for your podcast or to go with bullet points or just ad lib? What do you do? Craig: This will change as your journey as a podcaster evolves. I think for most people, scripting out an entire monologue or series of questions is really difficult. For me and for a lot of people, the hardest thing in podcasting is to just talk for 5 or 10 or 30 minutes by yourself, reading something, and having it sound natural. Darren: Yeah and a few people did ask what are the pros and cons of having a co-host. As someone who predominantly does just talking head, me alone in a room, it is an awkward, strange thing to do to just sit there and talk.
Someone like Gary V. Any tips on finding a co-host should you find someone that compliments your personality? Any tips on that? Craig: My personal podcast that I started four years ago started as a solo show where I was planning on interviewing people. We started down one path and went to another after he came on the show.
He compliments my style, experience, and personality quite a bit. I think you and your co-host are going to be spending a lot of time together and talking about a lot of things that hopefully are really important to you and your audience. Time zone is an important one. Dave lives in Colorado and I live in France now.
We start the podcast at at night. Darren: Yeah. I think you want to have similar values, but having different perspective or life experiences sometimes can make for an interesting discussion. I think something along those lines can sometimes work, too. It just adds a little bit of tension. Ollie asks about finding guests for your podcast. Craig: Most people find when they start out, finding guests is not that hard.
You have a dream team list of the top 10 or 20 people that you want to have on the show. Getting through that first couple of months is typically pretty easy for folks. All the people in your industry you really look up to, or have worked with in the past or something, a really high quality candidate for your podcast. Coincidentally, for people that are more on the business-to-business side of content in the worlds that they live in, one of the things that very few people realize I think in this hidden gem of podcasting is the networking opportunity.
Audience-building for sure, but networking is huge. As far as preparing your guest, I think having a quick call before the podcast, it can be the day, or a couple of days before, or a week before is really helpful. Do you have any questions? Do you have gear? Do you at least have ear buds that you can put in? Figuring out a way and a system to do that every time is really important.
The Key To A Successful Podcast
Darren: Great tips. Ahmed asks, where should you get an intro or outro made for your podcast? Any places that you would look? Just send them a script and they record it and send it back to you. Darren: Kathy is asking about making the audio less echoey in her room.
Craig: Looking at your microphone very well may be the answer. There are some mics out there that are really popular, that are frankly just not ideal for podcasting. The Blue Yeti is one of those. It works beautifully there. For Kathy I would say, if she can move, that would probably be the best thing. As strange as it sounds, a lot of people record podcasts in their closets.
I podcast in my office which is the top floor of our house and has wood paneling and angled ceilings. Things like a conference room with just this giant glass table is just the worst. Sorry to our listeners for that upcoming. It might give the editors of this podcast a little bit more of a challenge.
Which leads me to my next question from Ron. How much editing is too much? Craig: This should match the style that you have overall. If you are really buttoned up and want everything to flow really quickly and sequentially, and have a really tight podcast, then spending more time removing all the ums and uhs, slight pauses, misspeakings, and things like that is going to be consistent with yourself and your brand. I think there definitely is a point to the spirit of the question where too much editing makes it sound artificial and not like a conversation.
Nobody has conversations without pauses and saying um. Daren: I was talking to a few friends about this the other day. Most of my friends listen to podcasts on 1. Launching your podcast. Where should you be submitting your podcast? Should you be putting it into all the different networks? Is there an easy way to do that? Craig: Yes. Apple Podcast formerly known as iTunes is still the biggest one and will be forever maybe. Google Podcast, Google Play for strictly Android users is a big one. Nobody uses Android. Stitcher is a cross podcasting platform.
People on Apple and on Android can listen on Stitcher, and has some cool streaming features. The fourth I would say is Spotify. It is definitely worth it. The fifth one I would say maybe is YouTube. It goes back to how people consume content in different ways. It might be that the people that you want to reach love being on YouTube and watching stuff, and they could find your podcast on YouTube instead of in Apple Podcast or on your blog.
There are some tools out there that let you do this automatically. We do it automatically at Castos to repurpose your audio content into video and publish it to YouTube for you automatically. Darren: Putting it on YouTube is really smart, because it is such a massive search engine, and people will find you for the first time there. Again, consistency is key. You don't want to set your audience's expectation for 45 minute episodes, then do a 15 minute episode. Now it's time to map out the most important aspect of your podcast, the content.
Podcasts are no exception to the adage "content is king. It's a good idea to keep a running list of show topics. As soon as an idea strikes, note it down and plan it for an upcoming show. One way my co-host Dave and I come up with topics is to simply recognize when we stumble upon a great topic for a show. We'll be having a spontaneous chat, talking shop about freelancing and web design, when suddenly it's apparent we've hit on something interesting and relevant for the show. Write it down.
Some podcasts break each episode into segments. If your niche is somehow tied to current events, it may be a good idea to cover news topics as part of your show. Perhaps a guest interview is a main component in your format. Plan for each of these segments and keep in mind the timing and flow of each. Finally, it's beneficial to think about some kind of script for your show. This will be different for everyone. My preference is to have a few sentences written out beforehand to use as the introduction to the show; something to get it off to a strong start and introduce the topic and guest properly.
The rest of the show's topics are planned using short bullet lists indicating which points I want to hit on. The idea is to make sure I'm covering what I want to cover, while keeping the delivery natural and somewhat improvised. Again, it's up to you to find the right balance. Now on to some of the technical aspects for creating a video podcast.
Surprisingly, there are quite a few tools needed to piece together a working podcast. Here are the ones we use:. It will drastically improve the audio quality of your show. The Yeti USB mic is reasonably priced and it delivers great sound. Skype — All of our shows start with a Skype video chat.
Now that Skype 5 includes the ability to have video conference calls, it's a perfect choice for having a three-way conversation. Plus, the sheer popularity of Skype makes it easy on our guests who are already comfortable using the platform for online conversation.
ScreenFlow — This is a great app for recording and editing screencasts. It's easy to use and packs in powerful editing features. Luckily, Blip. Plus it's got great reporting tools to check the popularity and reach of your podcast. BoinxTV — BoinxTV serves as our virtual control room, allowing us to produce a live web broadcast for our show.
It has features to allow for quick switching between cameras and screens and other visual effects like captions and transitions. We feed our output from BoinxTV into one of these services to fire up the live show. We then embed the video and chat room right on our website for the audience to participate live.
Be sure to check out the psychedelic sound effects you can apply in the process! This can be useful if you're only interested in making a recorded podcast not broadcasting live. Plus, it comes packaged with handy utilities for splitting a conversation into individual movie files, and stripping an MP3 audio file from your movie file. With your podcast created and released to the world, now comes the hard part: promoting your podcast and growing your audience. I'm a believer that if you focus your efforts on creating the most interesting and engaging content possible, you will naturally attract an audience and grow a community around your work.
But there are a few things you can do to help move things forward:. Have a solid website. Something professional, clean and simple. The focus is your podcast, so let the design of your site support that. I recommend going with a quality, premium WordPress theme to get up and running quickly. Build community around your podcast. Encourage your audience to participate in your live chat if you have one. Ask for feedback, conduct surveys and polls, keep a close eye on your podcast's analytics via blip. Know which topics garner the most interest from your audience and let your audience help shape the direction of your podcast.
Sharing is great. Ratings are better. As with any web content, social media integration is a must for your podcast to help your audience spread the word faster. If your podcast is largely distributed via iTunes, you'll want to encourage subscribers to rate and review your podcast to help boost its standing within the iTunes directory. This is one of the best ways for your audience to help you get discovered.
Just like starting a blog, starting a podcast should be about quality, authentic content first and monetization second. You can't have the latter without the former. That said, there are several methods to monetize your podcast which are worth considering:. Try to sell advertising placements on your show. Just like advertising on a blog, this requires a significant audience in order to bring in real revenue.
It also runs the risk of turning off your audience who may not want to hear plugs in between quality content. A more viable approach, and one that may be more lucrative, is to simply build your personal brand using your podcast as the medium. Hosting a podcast — particularly a video podcast — is a great way share your personality and let your ideas shine.
Today's wisdom dictates that promoting your personal brand can translate into building a prosperous business. Just watch any video by Gary Vaynerchuk and I think you'll agree. I hope you find this guide helpful as you plan your video podcast.
No matter what niche you're in — live or recorded, video or audio — the key is to have fun with it and let your passion for the topic shine through. Now press record and start podcasting! Interested in more Podcasting resources?