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How to Start a Podcast Companion Resource Guide

by | May 8, 2021

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// The resources, links, summaries, and key takeaways from my Listenable course How to Start a Podcast.

At a Glance

1.1 // How to pick a topic for your show

Resources

Key Takeaways

  • Be clear on what your goals are for your show
  • Double down on your commitment
  • Pick a topic in the sweet spot and with a content tilt

1.2 // How to identify an audience

Resources

Key Takeaways

  • Your audience shouldn’t be “everybody”
  • Identify your audience through people who share _______ in common with me or I want to speak to _______ who _______ statements
  • Confirm an audience exists by checking for similar podcasts, blogs, books, social groups or ads

1.3 // How much money do you need?

Resources

  • Buzzsprout // Podcast hosting
  • Audacity // Audio recording, editing software
  • Links to all microphones in lesson 2.5

Key Takeaways

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1.4 // Follow a content-first strategy

Key Takeaways

  • Create your content first
  • Don’t let shiny-object tasks distract you
  • Complete outlines of at least 3-5 episodes before anything else. Only exception is reserving your name, Domain, and social handles.

2.5 // How to pick a microphone

Microphones

Other Gear

Key Takeaways

  • Quality audio is a key part in building a good show
  • The microphone you use, as well as your mic technique, impact that quality
  • At the beginning, use your phone or the Blue Snowball. After 5-10 episodes, upgrade to the MV7.

2.6 // What recording, editing software do you need?

Resources

Key Takeaways

  • Just one piece of software: Audacity
  • Free, available on Win and Mac
  • Tutorials available which simplify getting started

2.7 // How to get your podcast online (i.e., How to host your podcast)

Resources

Key Takeaways

  • Host your podcast on Buzzsprout
  • Use their tools to help you distribute your show to all of the podcast platforms

2.8 // How to structure your podcast

Questions to Ask

  • How many hosts will you have?
  • Will you have guests on the show? If so, how often?
  • Will your show have a script?
  • Will your show have regular segments?
  • How long will the show be?
  • How ‘produced’ do you want your show to be?
  • How frequently will you publish?

Key Takeaways

  • The structure of your show helps your audience know what to expect
  • Consider the answers to the questions I covered to help establish a consistent format from the outset

2.9 // Do you need a website?

Resources

Key Takeaways

  • You should have a website. Training your audience to come to a platform you own is key for long-term traffic and monetization.
  • Ideally, your own site
  • But, at first, you can just buy the Domain and point it at your Buzzsprout site

3.10 // How to record an episode

Key Mic Techniques

  • Use a mic stand
  • Maintain a consistent distance, only about four fingers away
  • Talking to yourself, and into a mic, feels unnatural at first — it gets better fast

Preflight Checklist Items

  • Confirm correct microphone
  • Confirm headphones work
  • Record and review a quick test
  • Put phone on DND
  • Check for ambient noise
  • Get water
  • Review outline

Key Takeaways

  • Perfect is the enemy of done. You have to actually record to get better.
  • Pay attention to ambient noise, and record in your close it if you have to
  • Establish a preflight checklist from the first episode you record. Update it as you go. And actually check off every item as you complete. Don’t skip this step! You’ll miss things.
  • Finally, tap/snap/clap whenever you run into a spot where you need to edit. It’ll save hours.

3.11 // How to host guests on your show

Resources

Key Takeaways

  • Do your research! Know about your guest before they show up.
  • Prep your guest before you hit record
  • Have your guest sign a release
  • Use a tool like Riverside to record high-quality remote interviews

3.12 // Tips for quickly editing an episode

Resources

  • Audacity // Audio recording, editing software

Key Takeaways

  • Use tap/snap/clap as you record to flag spots that need editing
  • Listen at 1.5x – 2x speed
  • Make a templates file with all of the assets you need

3.13 // How to publish an episode

Resources

Key Takeaways

  • Set up a redirect using the episode’s number help folks get to your show notes quickly
  • You can schedule your show notes to go live before your actual episode, giving folks who visit your site a sneak peek before everyone else!
  • Include a transcript in your show notes. It’s great both for folks who want to skim the content, as well as for SEO.

4.14 // How to grow your audience

Resources

Key Takeaways

  • Be consistent. Period.
  • Consider one of the four strategies:
    • Optimizing for search
    • Appearing as a guest,
    • Hosting others on your show
    • Advertising

4.15 // How to monetize your show

Resources

Key Takeaways

  • Try these six strategies for earning revenue from your show:
    • Soliciting donations
    • Affiliate marketing
    • Site banner ads
    • Selling show merch
    • Sponsorship
    • Email marketing
  • Of those strategies, affiliate marketing and email marketing are my two go-to methods

5.16 // My process

Resources

Standard Process

  1. Pick a topic
  2. Write outline (Content first!)
  3. Record episode
  4. Edit, export episode
  5. Upload episode to Buzzsprout
    • Set the episode show notes to a note like “For full show notes, visit mypodcast.com/ep#
    • Generate transcript
    • Schedule episode
  6. Finish show notes
    • Expand show notes
    • Proofread / edit
    • Embed player
    • Bring over transcript
    • Schedule post
  7. Set redirect

Standard + SEO Process

  1. Pick a topic
  2. + Keyword research
  3. + Write headlines
  4. Write outline
  5. Record episode
  6. Edit episode
  7. Upload to Buzzsprout
  8. Finish show notes
    • + Optimize for SEO
  9. Set redirect

5.17 // Rapid-fire Tips

  1. Tap, clap, snap the microphone to spike the waveform
  2. Get music from Pixabay
  3. Get stock photos from Unsplash
  4. Record in a closet. Seriously.
  5. Launch with 3-5 episodes
  6. Short intro, outro. There’s a reason Netflix added a Skip Intro feature. (Hint: Nobody likes them)
  7. One Call-to-Action, ideally sending traffic for everything to your website
  8. Use episode numbers and a site redirect to make it easy for folks to locate the right post
  9. Hating the sound of your voice fades
  10. Make sure your website has a search function
  11. Site must be mobile friendly! Particularly for podcasts.
  12. Keep a running list of ideas. Set up systems to capture anywhere!

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