Do you have a lot of expert knowledge on a certain topic that you would love to share with the world? Hosting your own podcast is a fantastic way to connect with other thought leaders and share your insightful expertise with a potentially massive audience. Podcasts have exploded in popularity in recent years and are now the preferred entertainment medium for countless consumers all over the world. Thus, there is no time better than now to launch the podcast of your dreams.
If you want your podcast to be successful in the long run, it is pertinent to follow some key fundamental steps. From essentials for production to the top way to grow your listenership, follow these tips to launch a thriving podcast.
Make sure your potential podcast topic is in demand
The last thing you want to do is spend a lot of time and resources on launching a podcast that no one is interested in listening to. You need to look for the intersection of what you are interested in and what others are interested in. To do this, you can use a simple tool like Google Keyword Tools. Just put in your general podcast ideas and see how many people a month search for them on Google. If nobody looks for something on Google, chances are they are also not looking for it in Spotify or iTunes.
On that same note, when you find an idea that has a lot of interest, make sure the market is not oversaturated with shows on the topic. You don’t want your podcast to get lost among many others that are similar, as you will be competing with them for the same target listeners.
If you pass all those tests, then you may have found a successful topic for a podcast and should proceed with planning the launch.
Produce your podcast in a professional way
No one wants to listen to a podcast that is sloppily put together. You want your podcast’s audio quality to be pristine, so purchase a high-quality microphone to use rather than just using your laptop’s microphone to record episodes. If your podcast also has a video component, buy a high-quality camera to film your episodes. This will ensure a much clearer video than you would achieve with your laptop’s camera.
If you are looking for fantastic tools to edit your podcast and have no budget, definitely check out Audacity. This free audio-editing tool will take care of 90% of what you need. Also, remember to not get caught up on trying to make every single episode perfect — keep in your mistakes, as it makes the show all the more authentic. Most of us are also not NPR experts and won’t be able to produce shows at that level.
Book great guests by starting with your network
Do you want to interview guests who will help guarantee an engaging discussion for your podcast listeners? First off, think of individuals who would make great guests in your own network of business associates, friends, and family. Then ask them for recommendations on other potential guests, as you never know whom they may be connected to. Keep doing this and you can slowly move up the ladder of guests and start booking really heavy-hitters for your show.
Increase listenership by being a podcast guest
Every podcast host wants their show to get big. One surefire way to boost your listenership and grow your show is by appearing as a guest on other people’s podcasts. Every time you are a podcast guest, you can plug your own show to a whole new audience. To find other podcasts in your niche to pitch to be a guest on, check out a handy online platform called Podcast Hawk. This high-level search engine allows you to do a custom search on 1.25 million podcasts (with new shows added weekly).
A great podcast is one that is engaging for the listeners. One way to enhance engagement is by asking for your listeners to send in their own questions about a certain upcoming episode topic. They would love the shout-out in the episode you answer their questions in. Also, if you plan to interview a popular figure on your show, you can ask your social media followers to send in questions for your guest. This can create great engagement and also save you work in preparing for your interview.
Stick to your broadcasting schedule by batching
It is important to try to maintain a regular podcasting schedule so that your listeners can look forward to episodes airing on certain days. However, from recording your episodes to editing them, podcasting can take a ton of time and effort and it can be difficult to stay on top of. One way to stick to your regular airing schedule is by batching. Plan a day or several days where you can record and edit a number of episodes. You can then schedule these episodes however you see fit.
Monetize your podcast
The best way to monetize a podcast is to have a business or product tied to the show. Don’t try to monetize the podcast itself, as that rarely works. Yes, if you get to 50,000 downloads an episode, you may be able to charge $1,000 for an ad spot. However, if you instead were promoting a $1,000 training course and successfully sold that to 1% of your audience, you would make $50,000 U.S. per episode.
To wrap it all up
Podcasting is a wonderful way to share your expertise and solidify your position as a thought leader in a certain niche. If you want to launch your own podcast, make sure to follow the above fundamentals. Ensure that there is demand for your podcast, produce your episodes in a professional way and book fantastic guests by starting with your own network. Also, increase your audience by appearing as a guest on other podcasts, encourage listener engagement and stay on top of your airing schedule by batching. Finally, monetize your podcast by tying a business or product to the show. All of these tips will help you launch a podcast that will thrive for years to come.
Ray Blakney is the CEO and co-founder of Live Lingua, an online language learning platform. Live Lingua produces the “Learn Spanish with Live Lingua’”podcast, a Spanish learning course built around real-world conversations taught in 3-5-minute daily episodes.