5 Critical steps to creating a successful podcast

Podcasting is becoming more and more popular as an alternative to blogging. It’s more engaging and your listeners can follow your topics while multi-tasking eg while they’re driving, exercising, shopping or just doing menial tasks around the house. This means that you have a high chance of creating lots of buzz and engagement around the topics you discuss, and it’s growing in popularity. Of course, launching a great podcast is not as easy as starting a blog. It’s imperative to work through a process in creating a successful podcast.

You have to have a strategy, find your podcasting voice, edit the audio and deliver a final product which not only deals with interesting topics, but is also a good sound quality.

Below are some of the most important steps you should take if you want to launch a podcast in order to enjoy the maximum possible engagement and attract lots of followers.

1     Brand and Own Your Podcast

Although it may make sense to start out using a free platform such as SoundCloud, you should own your podcast from its launching date. Find a catchy and relevant brand name for it, secure an internet domain and publish your podcast on your own website. This is the best way to attract your listener’s goodwill and trust, because they will learn to recognise and identify with your podcast brand image.

2     Pick a Format

Your podcasts should be easy to recognise by their specific format. This is a part of branding your podcasts.

  • Determine the length of the podcast,
  • the attitude you want to use (scholar, funny, relaxed, business),
  • develop an intro which you will use in all your podcasts and stick with this format in all your recordings.

3    Determine Your Publishing Schedule

As a beginner, you may not be aware of the best days and hours to release your podcasts. This is why you should start following other successful podcasts in your niche and note their schedule. You may want to vary just a little bit from them (1-2 hours ahead or later) so that your potential listeners are not engaged by someone else. Later, as you build your own tribe, you can determine from their activity which are the best times to post your podcast.

4     Get the Right Equipment and Become Familiar with It

For the purposes of podcasting, your smartphone recorder is not really enough. You will need a real microphone. Yes, it may seem intimidating at the beginning to speak publicly at a microphone, but you will get used to it. Take your time to become familiar with it, test your voice in different rooms and on different tones of speaking, and then listen to your recordings. You will soon figure out your best speaking voice and the ideal environment to record your podcasts.

You might also want to check out the Radcaster’s blog for lots of useful hints and tips about sound quality. Karly has also created a great video on why creating a podcasting space is so important and how to do one on a budget.

5Edit Your Audio

Last but not least, your podcasts should have great sound quality.

  • Going through a noise reduction process if necessary
  • a smooth transition between two different sections
  • deleting any errors
  • removing ‘umms’ and ‘aahs’ (that is a personal choice if you want to leave them in or take them out). I think if the conversation flows naturally and they aren’t too annoying, just leave them in there.

If the thought of the audio editing does your head in, outsource that part of the production process. There’s no reason why your podcast should sound any less polished than those of experienced podcasters.

There’s also other steps outlined in my free one-page Podcast Launch Checklist you can get here.

Lyndal Harris

About the author

Lyndal Harris, Founder of Podcast VA offers podcast editing and production support services making podcasting easier for everyone. We’ll look after the techy stuff for you… All you need to do is record your episode and we’ll do the rest. Ready to start?