Start a Podcast to Grow Your Business
Podcasting is massive right now! It's an awesome way for listeners to access quality content and be entertained or learn about interesting topics for free.
At the same, podcasting could really help you connect with your audience and other incredible people in your industry, especially if you're more of a talker than a writer.
It's also a potentially lucrative way to make money and promote your business.
There are a few different ways to make money with a podcast:
Option 1: Use the podcast to drive traffic to your products and services. With this option, the podcast itself doesn't make money, but you'll see an increase in sales!
Option 2: Donations. A lot of people are using Patreon, a site that allows listeners to donate a set amount each month (as little as one dollar) to support the podcast, usually in exchange for exclusive content or another bonus, like access to group coaching calls.
Option 3: Ads. You can also get sponsors and run ads during your podcast. (Of course, you can also do little commercial breaks for your own products too!)
You could do any combination of these as well!
But how on earth do you actually start a podcast?
There's a lot that goes into it, but we've broken it down to the basics for you.
How to Start a Podcast: The Basics
Step One: Define your niche, format, and name
If you're podcasting for business, you probably have a good idea of what your podcast will be about. That's awesome!
If you're starting from scratch and plan to earn money solely through ads and donations, take some time to find a topic and niche that interests you.
Once you know what you want to talk about, get on iTunes and look at the different topics and categories. Where would your podcast fit? Picking a well-defined category helps your audience find you.
After you've decided that, it's time to figure out the format of your show.
Is it a show starring you, or will you have a cohost (or several)? Will you interview people? Will it be a combination of these?
How long will the episodes be? (Pro tip: 20-45 minutes is a good length to shoot for.)
How often will you release new episodes?
Now for the hardest part: Pick a name that appeals to your ideal audience! (Make sure to search online and in iTunes to make sure it isn't taken!)Podcasting is an approachable and effective way to connect with your audience, especially if you're more of a talker than a writer. And it's not that hard to get started. Click To Tweet
Step Two: Gather your equipment and programs
No, you don't need a fancy recording studio to record a podcast (though if you have access to one, that's not a bad option!)
The basic hardware items you'll need are simple:
- Microphone or USB headset. This is optional if your computer has a built-in mic, but a good microphone will vastly improve your sound quality.
As far as software goes, you'll need a few more things.
- Have a recording/editing program
It's not enough to just talk into the mic, you need a program to actually record your voice. Audacity is a good free program to start with. If you want to invest in something a little higher end, Adobe Audition is a good option.
If you're using a Mac, you could also use Garageband, which comes preinstalled.
Of course, you can always outsource your editing if you don’t want to do it or don't know how.
- You'll need a way to interview people.
If you interview people on your show, you'll also need a way to talk to them and record the conversation. Skype is a great way to do this.
- Get media hosting
You'll need a place to host your audio files online. Contrary to popular belief, your files don't actually live on iTunes!
You can host your files on your own site, or get a free service. (Libsyn and Blubrry are good options.) When your files are uploaded to these sites, you can then submit them to iTunes and Stitcher where people can find and download the episodes.
You don't HAVE to have a website for your podcast. If your business already has a site, you can just add a page for your podcast. If you want to create a new one, you can get a free site when you sign up for a media hosting service. Or you can buy the hosting and domain and start a new site from scratch.
Step 3: Get cover art and (optional) music.
Now's your chance to get on an album cover!
Really though, you'll need an image to go with your podcast. This is what people see first when they find your podcast and it will be displayed on your page in iTunes. So it really is like an album cover! You can pay someone to design one for you, or do it yourself in a program like Canva or Photoshop, if you're tech-savvy.
A lot of podcasts have intro and outro music, but this is totally optional. You can find some music under the Creative Commons license or hire someone to compose a little song for you. I've even heard a podcast where the host played a simple ukulele song at the beginning of her podcast, so if you're musically talented, that's an option!
Step 4: Submit to iTunes
After you've recorded your podcast, have cover art, and have your audio files hosted somewhere, it's time to get your podcast on iTunes!
To do this, simply click “Submit a Podcast” on iTunes and fill out the form. You'll need the URL for your RSS feed. (You can get this from wherever your files are hosted.) Your podcast should be available within a week or so!
This is the basic rundown of starting a podcast! A lot of people are loving audio right now, so this could be a great choice for your business if you love to talk. Give it a shot!
Overwhelmed with your to-do list? Let's talk.
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