The Serial Podcast created the conversation how podcasting would become the new online radio. While podcasting isn’t a new technology, in fact, it’s been around for decades, it’s only become popular in the past year or two. Now every business, blog, and person are hosting a podcast. Why, though? There are hundreds of podcasts already out there, and new ones are popping up daily. I have a hard time keeping up with my subscriptions now, and an even hard time justifying subscribing to new podcasts.
This doesn’t mean you cannot start your podcast now! I’ve seen a few podcasts catch my eye over the past weeks, and while it’s harder to get my attention. It’s getting easier to grab the attention of ordinary folks who are just starting to understand what a podcast is. They might see the podcast app on their iPhone screen, but more often than not they hide the app away in a junk folder or leave it on an unused screen. Now, however, more people are talking about what a podcast is. There are NBA, NFL, movie stars, and news anchors starting their podcasts to talk more about what they love from movies to very niche topics like collecting coins. Either Way your personal brand or business could use a podcast! I like to call today’s podcast the business cards of 2016. Instead of pointing potential customers or clients to your social sites or website, you’ll tell them about your podcast.
What type of podcast?
There are different styles of podcasts out there. It’s like a genre for books that are either nonfiction or fiction. Each type of podcast appeals to various kinds of listeners, but it also depends on the budget and amount of time you want to invest. Either podcast type will work, but each one serves a different purpose.
These are the two types of podcasts:
There is a discussion podcast where you and a few guest have a conversation around different topics. This is easy to edit and is easy to plan. All you have to do is gather up the gear, find a few guest and you’re ready to go.
These conversations are frequently moving towards talking about some current event in your industry, telling a story about your work or business or bringing your listeners behind the scenes during a meeting or conversation with a partner. A great resource for finding guests is Podcast Guest which lets you post your podcast on the weekly newsletter to find a guest, and alternatively, you can guest on podcasts to grow yours that you're starting.
Think a highly produced NPR This is the American Life radio show when you think about these podcasts. They take a lot of editing, tell a story, and feel super professional. Gimlet Media has taken to producing some of these, and they’ve had a huge success. However, they take a lot of editing, production, and time. This means large budgets and a lot of staff to write and edit these.
They’ll tell the story of your company, about a customer, or about yourself. They’re great if you have a little extra time, or audio production is something you're passionate and talented at.
What Gear do I need?
Getting started with podcasting doesn’t mean a bunch of expensive gear or software. In fact, you can get started with $50 and upgrade as your podcast becomes more popular. The go to mic everyone uses is the Snowball microphone, which is only $49 on Amazon. There are better mics but for the price the Snowball is one of the best, and if you're unsure of starting out the $50 price won’t set you back that far.
The software to use is Audacity, which is a free and open source piece of software that’s perfect for recording audio. While it’s not as powerful as Audition or GarageBand, it’s going to do the trick if you're starting out and learning how to edit your podcast. There are other options and services like We Edit Podcasts.
Where do I host a podcast?
Hosting a podcast isn’t always easy, but using Soundcloud as the go-to place for your podcast is one of the best options. It’s inexpensive, and anyone can listen to it on the web, on iTunes or Google play. While hosting a service like SoundCloud isn't appealing to any person who likes to control their content, it allows you to see analytics and not worry about if your podcast is up. You can use WordPress and hosts the podcasts on there through a plugin, but that’s more trouble when SoundCloud already has a network of creators and listeners already built in on top of iTunes and Google Play.
Podcasts are undeniably hot right now, and with them being relatively easy to produce they’re great ways to market yourself on the internet. They’re also amazing means to bring customers, clients, and friends behind the scenes or start a conversation that you’ve wanted to have.
I host a different podcast about technology and internet culture, but I also guest on various podcasts to not only grow my network but also to have fun conversations with friends and colleges in my field.