How to get started as a podcaster

ncs 12/02/2019

Today is National Radio Day and it’s got us thinking... Ok, so maybe live radio isn’t listened to as much as it once was – but audio consumption is on the up. Audio books are thriving, as are podcasts. Whether you’re more of a ‘Feminists don’t wear pink’ fan or one of Buxton’s first listeners, chances are you’re on the podcast train (6 million people are!). 

Is this the year of the podcast? 

2019 has started with Spotify buying Gimlet Media for $230 million! There have now been 50 billion podcast downloads, and 12% of the adult population are tuning in every week. We are consuming A LOT of content, and loving it. Much like the boom of Netflix, there are many similar draws to Podcastland. You can listen when you want, where you want. You’re spoilt for choice, with a pod for every mood, taste and interest. And, it’s a really immersive experience. Yes, this is going to be a good year for podcasting.

Want in?

Chances are if you’re reading this you’re a savvy one, someone who fancies their chances as a podcaster. Great! Perhaps you’ve got an idea already, or just want to explore your options. Well, welcome. We hope these tips help you out.

Before you hit record...

The good news is, it’s pretty easy to get started. The equipment is relatively affordable. The bad news? You’re not the only one into it. Competition is fierce and certain categories are highly saturated, so it’s important you think it all through first.

Carefully choose your topic

Comedy is the most popular genre, followed by music, TV and film. It can be overwhelming and challenging to break into common categories, but don’t be put off – if it’s your passion, it should be your focus. Just be sure you know the topic (and your competition) inside out.

Find your niche

What topic can YOU cover that no one else could do as well? What is your point of difference? Maybe it’s your tone, your pace, or your guest list. Perhaps you can focus on an area you know better than anyone. Take an approach that makes your podcast unique to you and engaging for others. Once you’ve worked out these answers, stick to them – this’ll help you stand out from the crowd.

Get the gear

All you need to set yourself up is a decent microphone and some headphones. Expensive doesn’t always mean better. Take your time to research the best brands and read reviews. You should be able to pick these up for a reasonable price.

When it comes to editing, Audacity and GarageBand (on Macs) are both free and easy to use, so all you need to worry about is what to cut and what to keep. (We’re partial to the odd ‘um’ and ‘ahh’ for authenticity’s sake.)

Utilise resources 

Top podcasts get 50,000 listeners, so how do you reach the masses? Using a platform like Anchor will give your podcast a leg up. Not only do they offer great ‘creation tools’ but you’ll also be able to see how your podcast is doing and identify themes. 

Give yourself a social presence and pick up valuable insights by speaking directly to your listeners. You could also transcribe your podcasts and have a blog running alongside them. Combine all of these elements and you’re sure to boost your discoverability and following.

Commit and keep your audience

Consistency is super important. We’re devouring podcasts at speed, and fully expecting new content to appear as we go. If you don’t create regular content, you’re likely to get left behind. Think about it as a series. Will you have a different guest for each podcast? Can you make at least 10 episodes based on your theme? 

Pick a ‘high-concept’ name

There’s one more (biggish) challenge… name it. Pick the right name and your audience know what you’re all about without even reading your blurb. Aim for a name that explains your podcasting concept. If you can inject some personality too then you’re onto a winner! 

And that’s it… Good luck, everyone. We look forward to hearing the result of your hard work soon!