Do you dream of hosting your own podcast? Have you ever wished you could just make a show out of the conversations you have with your friends? Well, getting started might be easier than you think! If the prospect of producing a podcast intimidates you, here are some tips that can help you get your first episodes released and promoted.
Don't Wait For The Perfect Gear
If you get your inspiration from big podcasts done by professionals, you may feel like you're ill-equipped to start making your own production any time soon. How could you hope to record a good podcast without the best microphones and most advanced sound editing software? Plus, if you intend your podcast to have video, you'll surely have to hold out for the best possible cameras before starting your show, right?
Well, actually, none of that is the case at all. In fact, most popular podcasts started out with whatever equipment the producers could afford. If you look back in time, most vloggers and amateur podcast channels begin with one camera and one microphone. As the show gains popularity, the video and audio quality slowly improves. This is because the podcast is prospering, and the host can afford to upgrade the gear as he or she goes along.
At this point, even some smartphones produce good enough video for a podcast. Decent-quality microphones can be surprisingly inexpensive, and the average enterprising podcast producer has quite a variety of free sound editing software to choose from. The only thing stopping you from getting started is your own insecurity.
You Shouldn't Just Wing It
For your first podcast filming, it might be tempting to try and host the show without making any plans for the content. However, this can make the show unenjoyable for both listeners and viewers. Think about a typical conversation between you and your friends: you might skip over important topics, reference inside jokes, have long pauses, and communicate largely with body language. Having a podcast with this same sort of conversation may leave listeners confused or bored.
That being said, improvisation is still the spice of life, and a wholly scripted and rehearsed podcast will come off more like a radio play than a conversation. You and your fellow participants should strive to find a happy medium between practicing for the format and maintaining your creative freedom. One way to do this is to practice talking together as though there is an additional person in the room who has never met any of you before, which helps you keep the audience in mind when you actually film.
Another important way to keep your audience happy is to plan the topics of conversation before the podcast and do your best to stick to the list. That means no one will ramble too long about a single topic, and issues that may be important to your audience won't get glanced over. For a visual aid, hang up a poster behind the camera with each topic and the approximate amount of time you want to spend discussing it. During the shooting, keep track of the show's progress and try to subtly shift the conversation along accordingly.
Incorporate Feedback To Grow Your Popularity
Podcasts only make money so long as they have an audience, and the bigger the audience, the more money they can potentially make through advertising and merchandise. Growing your audience is usually a matter of pleasing the early adopters, or trendsetters. These are the people who will spread the word about your show to their friends and family.
Pay attention to the feedback you receive after posting your video. Does your audience want to hear you talk about a certain topic? Do they have questions for the podcast members? People love to feel heard and have their name read out by the host, so you can please fans greatly just by answering a few of their questions or discussing issues that interest them. If you plan to do a live podcast, answering select questions as they come in is another excellent way to build a loyal fan base.
Shooting a podcast can be loads of fun, and watching your show grow in popularity is even more exciting. If you're waiting for the perfect time to create a podcast, maybe that time is now. You could be a day or two away from the first episode of a hit new series.