Podcasts are one of the most demanded and consumed contents on the Internet thanks to their wide variety of topics and the ease with which they can be created. This allows even people without advanced technical levels to be able to place themselves in front of the microphone and transfer their experiences, opinions and knowledge to the most diverse audiences.
Podcasts have the advantage over blogs or videos of being able to be consumed while doing other tasks: driving, walking, housework…
The fact that, unlike blogs, social networks or YouTube videos, podcasts can be consumed while doing other tasks (playing sports, walking the dog, going to work, driving, doing housework…) makes it easier to listen to them and livens up those moments. Thus, along with music or audiobooks, it is content that can be enjoyed for many hours during the day.
The following is a simple guide for those who are encouraged to create their own podcast to have a preliminary orientation that will help them to have a base from which to start.
First steps to start a podcast
Everything should have a purpose in life and a podcast is no stranger to it. Before facing the challenge, the creator must know what kind of podcast he is going to create (informative, opinion, talk show, personal experiences…), what kind of audience it is aimed at, what added value it offers (that cannot be found in the competition) and if in the long term he plans to monetize such content. Setting a goal before starting is essential.
-Choose the right topic
It is advisable to talk about what you know, but it is even more important to to transfer to the listener the passion The podcast’s subject matter must be related to an aspect that really occupies the author’s greatest concern or interest. Normally (or at least desirably) it will be able to transfer that passion to the listeners and thus strengthen the bond that exists by sharing the interest in that subject.
It could be a subject about which the author already has a great deal of knowledge or experience that he/she wishes to share with others, but it could also be a subject about which he/she has a great deal of interest or concern and is discovering (or receiving training) and it is that experience of discovery and that newly acquired knowledge that he/she seeks to share.
One of the positive aspects of podcasts is that a priori. there is no limit on the subject because if the creator is interested, it is possible that there is an audience that is also interested.
It is not directly related to the subject matter or the audience, but it is decisive to select the formula to be used as a structure in the podcast, being able to summarize with three main aspects:
-Informative: News, reports, personal diary…
-Tertulia: Conversation, interviews…
-Fiction: Narratives, dramatizations…
Duration and periodicity.
With some flexibility, but it can be stated that it is usual for podcasts to be:
And in relation to this periodicity there are also more or less established durations that have a certain relationship with the frequency of publication. For example, it does not make much sense (although there are exceptions) for a daily podcast to last several hours or for a monthly podcast to last five minutes. On the contrary, it would be more usual for a daily podcast to have a short duration (between five and fifteen minutes) and for a monthly podcast to last at least one hour.
In the case of weekly and biweekly podcasts the duration would be in that range, between fifteen minutes and an hour. Some biweekly podcasts can be around two hours and a half. there are even podcasts that last several hoursbut it also seems logical at the outset not to set such an ambitious goal as publishing a three-hour podcast every two weeks.
In any case and whatever the periodicity and duration, there is an element of vital importance: constancy. In the words of podcaster Emilio Cano, a podcast is a commitment (to oneself and to the audience) so you have to examine very well the reasons and conditions for a certain frequency and duration because you will have to maintain them over time for years.
In this task it will help a lot to have a publication calendar that allows you to plan when the episodes will be published, what contents will be included…
Title and visual identity
It will be the main attraction of the podcast, so it is essential to devote an important effort to both concepts. Unless the person who is going to make the podcast is someone who already has a very high reputation, using your own name and your own image to title and identify the podcast is not recommended.
Instead (and it is not at all simple) you will have to select. a catchy title, easy to rememberthat is descriptive of the nature or theme of the podcast and that stands out from the rest. That said, it is not easy.
The same will happen with the image of the podcast, both the header and the image of the different episodes. In this section it would be convenient to ask for help from someone expert in design, although there are tools available for free to design these elements that even have free banks of images and fonts, such as Canva or GIMP.
Regarding dimensions and format of the graphic elements, universally for all podcasting platforms you have to work with these characteristics:
-Header image: 3500 x 3500 pixels.
-Podcast cover and episode images: 1400 x 1400 pixels
Scaleta and script are the essence for a podcast to have a structure and ordered contents. And always keep in mind that an introduction and a farewell with fixed elements (greeting / farewell, announcement about the content, mention of social networks …) are necessary.
In the middle of both, the rundown helps to arrange the different sections (with their description, content and duration) while the script will include all the sections (questions, data…) that are going to be communicated to the listener.
What is needed to record a podcast
Actually to record a podcast all you need is a microphone… and little else.
The microphone can be connected to the cell phone, tablet, computer, recorder… and although obviously the higher the quality of the microphone, the better the audio that the audience will hear, there are times when the “earpiece” included in the smartphone box can be enough.
There are travel podcasts, for example, where. the added value may lie in the ease with which the podcaster records his experiences while touring somewhere, so it may be uncomfortable to walk around with a professional microphone and headphones on the street, a museum, or some exotic location, and it may be preferable to sacrifice audio quality for the experience of first-person narration and ambient sounds creeping into the recording.
But the usual thing will be to record the podcast at home, in a home studio, so these would be the points to keep in mind:
-Availability of a microphone with a support that allows to have the script nearby (on paper or on the screen of the computer or tablet).
-Connect headphones to be able to monitor audio while talking.
-Silence: Record at a place and time that is as calm and quiet as possible.
-Redundancy: If possible, especially in case of talk shows and long podcasts, have at least two different devices for recording, so that if one fails you have a “backup”.
There are countless applications that allow you to record the podcast directly from your cell phone or tablet, as well as software that allows you to do it from your computer. And as for the technical equipment needed to record a podcast, starting from the microphone and the mobile, the budget and the search for quality would be the limits.
Editing the podcast
The podcast does not end with the farewell. Once the recording is finished, you can edit the file, cut something that has gone wrong, add music, complete with a fragment that was recorded another day…
Fortunately there are a good number of options to edit audio both from a computer and from the mobile or tablet, and many of them are also free, such as Audacity (available on multiple platforms) or Garage Band (exclusive to Apple).
Download or listen in streaming
When the recording is finished, the podcast must be hosted on one of the many free platforms that exist. Some podcast platforms have already generated their own “ecosystem” so that listeners do not leave.
For this reason, and because they host the podcast for free, it is advisable to publish it on all of them: Amazon, Apple Podcast, Spotify, Spreaker or iVoox are the most popular and also have their own apps on iOS and Android so that publishing on all of them means reaching the maximum possible audience.
The good cloth in the ark is not sold, so it is as important to record and publish the podcast as to “sell” it, and for this the first step is to disseminate it through the social networks available to the podcaster. Or even create a profile for the podcast.
The generation of a community is decisive and it will be necessary to add to the episode recording schedule another publication schedule. In this way, the announcement of the publication of an upcoming episode is shared, its subject and content are informed, the link to download it or to listen to it via streaming is provided…