Podcasting has all the potential to turn your hobbies and passions into a side hustle and connection to a larger community. But there’s more to it than wandering into a studio and talking into the first microphone you see. That’s an easy way to get kicked out of your local radio station, just trust me on this one! But with a little bit of preparation, your podcast can go from a dead air depository to an entertainment explosion every week. Here are some tips and tricks to help you plan the perfect podcast. Alliteration not required.
- Keep recording simple (and cheap!): You might think that a pricier option on microphones and recording programs will lead to a better podcast. Honestly, if you just started, there’s no need to invest in high end audio equipment. I use Audacity to record the bulk of my shows, along with Anchor.fm for enhancements, like sound effects and background music. Both are completely free, easy to use, and work as the canvas to create your audio masterpiece.
- Automate as much as possible: The one thing you will get tired of is saying an opening banter or bit over and over again. A really easy workaround is to turn them into pre-recorded segments. If you save your opening (Theme song, show introduction, etc.) and closing (Social media plugs, Patreon links, contact links) as separate files, all you have to do is bookend those clips onto your newest show. That way, you can focus on the current goofy shenanigans your crew got into this week.
- Get a guideline goin’: A lot of people seem to think that podcasting is the same as being a standup comedian, they can just get behind a mic and start riffing. Trust me, for every time I’ve attempted a stream with nothing to go on, I’ll get hit with an anxiety attack and end the stream so fast, I’ll get a refund on the bandwidth used. Therefore, I always try to have some form of a guide to keep me on track. You can go fully scripted, or even just bullet points, but having a map to guide you is a lot better than wandering around, hoping you find some treasure laying around.
- Schedule it out if needed: The line “Do you want to be on my podcast?” is the evolution of the line “Do you want to hang out after school?” and it’s still just as awkward, if not more so. Without a basic amount of preparation, a participant can end up just watching and listening to the host take over the conversation, which makes the podcast a very boring dinner party. Always try to schedule the record time, the topic, the special guests, etc. ahead of time. That way, everyone has something to contribute, the live energy is bouncing around, making a recording session a good time for all.
- Don’t shut down fun: Despite the fact that podcasting has been around almost 20 years, it’s still the wild west. The formula to success is constantly changing. And while having a set format for a show gets you a solid plan for content, the element of surprise can still come up. So, if your co-host has a story about getting kicked out of Comic-Con for fighting someone dressed as a zombified Donquioxte Doflamingo, and you’ve never heard it before, let him tell it! You can make the call if it stays on the show during the editing process, but if it’s during the recording, let it all hang out!
These handful of tips will help develop a system to get your podcast standing in no time. Check back next week, especially if you love random tips! Or, if you want to explore our knowledge, click the drop-down menu for more!