The Podcast Help Book #1 – Intro to Podcasts

So, You have decided to become a Podcaster, eh? Well welcome to the cut throat world of producing podcasts. It’s not easy, but at the same time, there is never a dull moment. As a podcaster myself, I believe that there are many things that can be learned from others mistakes. I, for one, am learning how to grow your audience without boring them to death – a lesson I discovered that I needed to learn sooner rather than later. So I decided to teach myself.

As you take this journey, you will learn that there are things that you are going to do that will not only drive you crazy, but your fan base as well. You will also learn something very important…TECHNOLOGY IS NOT ON OUR SIDE!!!!!

With that being said, here are a few things to keep in mind when you decide to create a podcast.

  • Time- Do you have the time to commit to a regular podcast? See, podcasting is more than just randomly posting a podcast here and there, it’s also consitancy so that way you can build an audience. If you decide that you are going to do your shows on Tuesdays at 3:00PM, then you better have a show ever Tuesday at 3:00PM. Remember, in order to build an audience, you have to show up to the events that you set up. It’s just like a relationship. If you don’t show up to your dates, you won’t grow as a couple. Set your schedule according to your availability. The beauty of podcasts is that they can be daily, weekly, or monthly. You just need to create the best schedule for you, then stick to it.
  • Host- No, not the host of the show, but more like the site that you are going to use to host your podcast. There are a few different options that you have. Some that I think work great, others I think you should stay away from. However, that decision needs to be made by you! I, personally, use Spreaker.com for the reason that I like it’s easy to integrate social media tools. I can have a show be automatically posted to my Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr as I go live, then when I go off-air, it will be sent to Youtube. I think it’s great. But there is also places like Pod-O-Matic, Blog talk Radio, and even hosting the audio on your own personal website. All of these options have been used in the past, and all of them work.
  • Preperation- Your entire show is built around what you have prepared. So make sure that you take the proper time to prepare for a show. I have a 90 minute show, I like to prep for 180 minutes worth of  a show, that way, I do not run out of material to talk about, nor do I feel like I have to slow things down. i can keep a calm, conversational tone to the entire podcast knowing that I have WAY more things prepared then I could ever use on one 90 minute show. And depending on the topic at hand, sometimes it’s good to have more than what you need on hand.
  • Quality- This is an important one. You can choose how you want your show to sound. You can choose to have a tin sounding show, or you can choose to really invest in your own product and buy yourself a nice microphone, create sounders and sweepers, and well, build the overall quality of your podcast. Here is the thing: Some people like the sound of “low budget” podcasts, while others like to know that the host of the show cares enough to put some effort into the podcast.
  • Topic Knowledge- If you are going to do a podcast on cats, please know a few things about cats. Do not just crack the mic and not know anything about what your show is about. People who are tuning into a cat show probably know a thing or two about cats, and once they realize that they know more than you, they will no longer tune into the show. Heck, they might start their own and steal your audience. But really, know what you are talking about. The last thing we want to hear is “Uhms” and “Uhhh”s. We want to hear what you have to say about the topic you are presenting. So pick a topic accordingly.

This is what I plan to base the next few entries based off. Podcasting is not easy, but it is fun. If you take a minute to do a few simple things before beginning your journey of podcasting, it will save you time, headaches, and failure.

Please feel free to hit me up on http://Twitter.com/therubenjay for questions, comments and concerns.

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