If you read to yesterday’s blog, you read some tips on steps to get your podcast started. Today, I’ll continue to helping you start a podcast.
Step #11 Script your episodes
Scripting your episodes is not necessary, but could be beneficial for those who may not be flawless when recording audio in one take. What I mean is that some people have a natural ability to record audio with ease. Or perhaps you are recording audio while on your drive to work daily. In these situations, scripting is not needed. However, some people like to outline their ideas and then follow each point as they record. Others like to have a fully scripted message prior to recording. I tend to use a script mainly because I stumble and lose my train of thoughts. So having a script to follow, helps me keep on task and ensure I get my entire message heard. You can use whichever method is best and easiest for you. You can also try one method and then another to see which one you prefer. Do note that people do not like listening to people reading, so if you plan to read your script, ensure you don’t sound like you are just reading text in a monotone fashion. People like to listen in more of a conversation-like tone. I tend to read a line of my script before I hit record, then say it as if I wasn’t reading it so it sounds more natural.
Step #12 Record your audio
Here is where the fun begins where you can start to record your audio. There are many ways to record, but two main ways are to record the audio in its entirety using a free app like Rev Voice Recorder on your phone or directly within the Anchor.fm podcasting app. In this situation, you can use ear buds that have a build in microphone. When I’m driving, I use the ear buds that came with my iPhone – they work great in fact. If you are on a budget, this method works great. Others like to record using fancier means like an upgraded microphone and recording software. I use a Blue Yeti microphone I got for about $100 bucks on Amazon. In this case, you can use a software like Garageband on Mac, Adobe Audition or Audacity on either Mac or PC. Either way, go with what is going to be easy for you to begin. As you get better, you can always upgrade. Keep in mind that the free apps and using ear buds may have a lower sound quality than if you used something a little more powerful, but as you build a budget, you can always upgrade as you go. Also keep in mind that sound does matter and where you record will determine what background noises you may have within your audio. For me, I have to be congnizent of my 3 loud children so they don’t pop up on my audio recordings too many times. Others have dogs, neighbors mowing and even for me there is an extra hum when the air conditioner is running. So keep all of that in mind.
Step #13 Edit your recordings
If you have a Mac computer, Garageband on your Mac is free and will work great. Another free software is Audacity, which can be used for both Mac and PC. Another great one is Adobe Audition, which has a cost, but also has a lot of great features within it. Again, if you prefer to avoid having to edit your recordings, you can record using Anchor.fm, as well as Rev Voice Recorder. What is great is that you can record in sections using both of these methods and without editing, it can be uploaded and published straightaway. However, if you are like me and stumble over words, say a lot of ums and want to cut out various word fumbles, editing software can make that happen. My method is to record a paragraph or two at a time, then edit out anything I want, then continue to record the next 2-3 paragraphs and so one. This way when I’m done, I’m done. Or you can record the whole thing at once or in pieces and then go back and edit the audio accordingly. Either one is good.
Step #14 Add background music
I think it is a nice touch when you are able to add background music to your episodes, although this is not necessary in the least. I know that there are studies that show that music caters to one’s subconscious mind and actually adds buying power to your message. For me, it is nice. A few tips though if you choose to go this route. Be sure to use royalty-free music. You can find royalty-free music by searching on Google. Also, there are subscription sites that you can use to provide you with buying .mp3 or .wav files once or a membership where you can have unlimited downloads. I actually use AudioBlocks for my audio and depending on what I’m creating will determine what type of music I want to use. Obviously, you want to lower the volume on the background music so it doesn’t over shadow your voice. You also don’t want it to be super distracting if there are instrumental cues that are loud, then soft or even startling. Creative Commons and Incompetech are other place to find possibly free background music. So choose for yourself – add background music or not – either route works.
Step #15 Publish your podcast
Are you ready to publish your first episode? This is where it gets fun because once you publish your first episode, you did it – you have created your very own podcast. The upside is that you can start building an audience and if your content is value-driven, your audience will start to grow sometimes quickly. The thing to keep in mind with podcasts is that you do not directly upload your podcast episodes to places like iTunes. You will need a place where your episodes are hosted like your own podcast website or a site that specializes in podcasts where you pay a subscription. Once it is uploaded to your site, you can then add podcast channels to sites like iTunes, Spotify, SoundCloud and many other channels. However, if this sounds too complicated to you and you want to take a short cut to getting started, then Anchor.fm is for you. I know you have heard me talk about Anchor a zillion times already, as well as you hear my ads for it. However, please note that I don’t get money for promoting anchor aside from a penny per listen when you hear an ad. Just mentioning it within this episode is because I think it is a great way to get started, for free. As my ad does say, they have made it super easy for anyone to start a podcast and that is for sure since I’m proof. They host your episodes and at this point, I’m all about free.
Step #16 Monetize your episodes
There are many ways to monetize your podcast and if you are wondering what that means – it means you make money by podcasting. I won’t go into the how to do each one, but I do want to list all of the various ways to monetize your podcast. Sell sponsorships, find coaching clients, promote a membership site, build a mailing list, sell services, sell mastermind slots, create information products to sell, sell books, sell products as an affiliate, have affiliates come on and sell products, ask for donations, give some content away for free – charge for upgrades, build your brand, sell an app, repurpose content and sell it, brag about your numbers, host an event, sell physical products and the list actually goes on and on. It really depends on your industry, what you are promoting and whether you want to monetize at all. You hear my ads within each episode promoting Anchor.fm and every time that is played, I get a penny or two. I think I’m up to 0.30 cents which doesn’t sound like much, but I only have a handful of listeners at the moment. Imagine if I had thousands, how quickly those pennies would turn into dollars and so on. Make it rain, right?
Step #17 Schedule your podcast episodes
Depending on your episode cadence, you may want to bulk up on recording episodes and schedule them. In fact, it has been great for me. I sat down and wrote scripts for 5 episodes last Monday, then recorded all 5 on Tuesday and then scheduled them to publish daily at 6am for the rest of the week. What was great for me is that I had high hopes to record more episodes this past weekend, but I wasn’t able to. There was a big snow storm here where I live and my kids were needing mommy time more than ever due to cabin fever. So I was thankful, I had already pre-recorded several days in a row and they were tee’d up for being released. So my advice is do the best that you can to get ahead meaning the more you can record and schedule, the better. In fact, I would love to get to a point where I have an entire month’s worth of content ready to go, wouldn’t that be amazing.
Step #18 Evangelize your podcast series
The first thing is to leverage your social media presence and ensure that you post the launch of your podcast on as many channels as possible. To also have a regular awareness of your podcast, you can post each episode on your social media channels as they are released. If you have an email list already built up, be sure to send them a marketing email letting them know about your new podcast. You can also put your podcast on iTunes as it is the most popular podcast listening platform today. Also, you can drive even more traffic to your podcast using YouTube and SEO. Another idea is to put the podcast link onto your website so your viewers can see that you have something new for them to listen to.
Step #19 Rinse and repeat
Now that you have your first podcast under your belt, it would be easy for you to create more podcast series over time. Using the same methods as your first, you can have multiple series for multiple businesses or causes. The more you do, the better you get too and the easier is to get your message out there. You can always partner with another person and do a co-hosted show or find a unique niche and run with it. The best thing is to just start and see where it takes you.
Step #20 Publish your podcast transcriptions
I know I have talked about taking your script or transcription of your podcasts and putting them on a blog. But what if you could take some of your best podcasts and then package them into an information product you could sell? Or even use for a membership site. Don’t limit yourself to the possibilities because you can stretch your content to go a pretty long way if you wanted. Just think about what a daily podcast would look like in a year’s time. Wow, right? 365 episodes of content, content that most likely came from your intellectual property arsenal. Content that was your skills, know-how, expertise or passion. You could make a course out of this content or create free reports or membership site where you have the content in video format and even just package a handful of your best episodes into a series titled best of the best. The sky is the limit so be sure to brainstorm ideas to get more miles out of your time, effort, blood, sweat and tears. You put hard work into each episode and it is always even sweeter when you can make a little money too.