How to make your podcast – Tips to create a successful content & audience

Actually, before launching into these 5 steps, we believe it is important to make you a recommendation:

Try to minimize that annoying imposter syndrome. Really. 

There are few things more frustrating than recording, recording, and recording and feeling like it’s never good enough material to publish. Recording a podcast (much like recording videos for YouTube) is an exercise in listening to yourself. And as a general rule, no one likes your voice when they hear it recorded. 

“Do I really sound like that?”.

I’m sure it’s happened to you at some point. The impostor syndrome can hit here very hard, perhaps to the point of extinguishing the desire to continue with the project. Try to fight it and don’t let it stop you from doing a podcast if that’s what you want to do. 

And now, let’s go to the first step!

Podcasting Made Simple: The Step by Step Guide on How to Start a Successful Podcast from the Ground up

In Podcasting Made Simple you will discover:

  • The X factor that leaves listeners craving their next fix of your content
  • The secret to creating an immersive parasocial relationship with your audience
  • Why many podcasters’ advertisement and promotion actually repels potential listeners
  • 5 simple tricks to make postproduction a breeze

1. The previous steps before making a podcast

As they say, first things first. Any project must have some established bases, and a podcast is not going to be less. As a minimum, you should be clear about the following aspects:

The theme of the channel

This aspect is probably the easiest to choose. You will already have in your head what you want to talk about, but it is important that you do not deviate from that topic. Although there may be exceptions, it is usual for a podcast to focus on a specific topic. If in one episode you talk about gastronomy and in the next you talk about Georges Braque’s cubism, you will confuse your audience and it is easy for them to lose interest in your program. 

Remember that the basics of the ideal customer and focusing your content on your target audience also apply here. You have to know what your audience is interested in and offer it to them to generate constant interest.

Communicative style

Imagine a comedy show in which the participants express themselves like news anchors. Or imagine a speaker in a medical lecture talking as if she were telling an anecdote that happened to her with her friends. Weird, wouldn’t it? It would be shocking. Surely the message and her intention would be distorted by an inappropriate communication style. 

In podcasting, it works more or less the same way. Depending on the subject matter you choose, there may be some communicative tones that don’t quite fit. Think about whether you want your episodes to have an informal and relaxed tone, or on the contrary, something serious or even academic. The communicative style has to be in line with your subject matter.

How to make a podcast: what communicative style do you plan to use?

There can always be room for the occasional joke or seriousness, but maintaining a constant communicative tone will bring coherence and professionalism to your podcast.

The length

How long should each podcast episode be? Here there is something for everyone, to be honest. There are podcasts whose episodes last 5 or 6 minutes, and others that last several hours. The truth is that this is totally up to you, depending on what makes you feel more comfortable. 

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What we can tell you is that depending on the frequency with which you publish the episodes, the duration of these should be longer or shorter. For example, if you are going to publish every day, we advise you that the length of each episode should not exceed 10-12 minutes.

Keep in mind that the audience usually follows several different programs. If you publish very long episodes every day, users will feel overwhelmed by the lack of time to consume it all. And that can hurt you. If your episodes are spaced out over a long period of time, you can consider making them longer. Otherwise, your content may “taste little” to your audience.

2. How to script a podcast

So You Want to Start a Podcast: Finding Your Voice, Telling Your Story, and Building a Community That Will Listen

About the Author

Kristen Meinzer is a podcast host, producer, and former director of nonfiction programming for Slate’s sister company, Panoply. Her hosting credits include Stitcher/Panoply’s By the Book, Stitcher’s We Love You (And So Can You), CNN’s Decades of Movies podcast, Panoply’s When Meghan Met Harry, and WNYC/PRI’s Movie Date. Her producing credits include Happier with Gretchen Rubin,

This step is also quite subjective and depends a lot on what you intend to do with your podcast, and the subject matter you are talking about. 

Broadly speaking, there are 3 ways to script each episode.

No script!

There, just go for it. Really, we don’t recommend it at all unless you have an absolute mastery of the topic you’re going to talk about, you’re very clear about what you’re going to say and the episode is very short. If that’s not your case, making a script will save you a lot of work when editing and your episodes will look much better.

Outline script

This involves making a list of all the ideas you want to deal with, and in the order in which you want to talk about them. A document that you have in front of you and that you can refer to if at some point you don’t remember what the next point to discuss is. In this case, you will have a little support, but you will also have to be very clear about what you are going to say and how you are going to link all the ideas so that it is coherent and attractive. And let’s not talk about if you have to remember dates, names, or places. 

If you are not sure that you are going to do all that with perfect fluency, then we recommend you go to the next point.

Complete script

Your best friend in the world if you’re going to make any audiovisual content. 

Your script should have, at least, the following points:

The objective

The main idea and the conclusion you want to convey. If you only have 30 seconds for your episode, what do you want to keep in your audience’s head?

The structure: normally you should have a beginning in which you raise the issues to be discussed; development of all the ideas you want to discuss and a conclusion that you reach after addressing all the points. Making a script with time and calm will allow you to link one part with another in an elegant way and that everything is fluid and cool.

However you script your episodes, there are 2 points that you should always include in the script of your podcast. 

A well-structured start

The first thing your audience should hear in each episode is a header, an introduction that introduces the program explains its theme, and introduces the person presenting the program.

The farewell: and secondly, it would be interesting to include a farewell as well. Something short that always closes the program in the same way, and perhaps where you remind the audience where they can find you in RRSS, on your website, or in your favorite digital home.

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3. Equipment needed to record the audio

Cool! Everything is ready. Now it’s time to record!

The options you have to record your voice are quite varied. However, if you don’t want to complicate things, the truth is that the voice recorder on your computer or cell phone is more than enough.

But this is where the big question usually arises: “How can I record myself? Do I need professional recording equipment? That’s very expensive!

Calm down.

You don’t need equipment of that magnitude at all.

Let’s see, as they say, the more sugar, the sweeter… Yes, it’s obvious that the more you invest in equipment, the better your episodes will sound. But it’s not a must-have to start making your first creations as a podcaster. 

Let’s start with the options you have available, from cheapest to most expensive, so you can see which one best fits the budget you have.

No budget

If you don’t have or can’t spend a single euro, don’t worry, you still have options.

Although it may surprise you, the audio recording quality of your smartphone is surprisingly good and you can use it to record your podcast. In this case, your worst enemy will be ambient noise and echoes in the room you are in.

To minimize the noises that will muck up your recording, try to record in a room with lots of furniture because they help reduce the echo that is produced when you speak. And if it is isolated from street noise, all the better. Although this may seem like a joke, I’m totally serious: if you can’t find a suitable room, record your podcast episode inside a closet. They insulate quite well and reduce the echo a lot.

Low budget

If you have a small amount of money you’re willing to invest in your podcast, try to get the highest quality mic possible within your limits. These three options I’m going to give you offer pretty good audio quality for the price they are priced at:

Of the three the one that offers the best sound quality, of course, is the Newskill. But they all have the advantage that they don’t require a sound card or anything else that will complicate your life. Just plug them into your computer’s USB port and off you go… podcast like crazy!

High budget

If you have a big budget you can do some really cool stuff. But honestly, we recommend that if you are going to start making a podcast, do not invest a lot of money to get started. It’s worth it to go little by little. When you’re already a little seasoned and you have clear that you are passionate about being a podcaster, then you can go for a great team.

When the time comes, if you want to sound like a professional recording studio with very high levels of quality, you can consider buying acoustic foam to cover your studio and block all kinds of echoes and noises. 

You can also upgrade your mic and get a Blue Snowball , or a MXL BCD-1

All of them with amazing sound quality. You can see that there are as many options as you want. All in all, if you really want to make your podcast, we recommend that you don’t get too obsessed with recording equipment. Unless it’s something impossible to listen to, what will really win over your audience is the quality of your content, not the sound. 

If you already have an idea of the equipment you’re going to use, let’s move on to the next step!

4. How to edit the audio of a podcast

It is not uncommon to find some podcast programs that do little or no editing of their episodes. As the recording comes out, they upload it to their show. Honestly, we don’t recommend you do that. 

You don’t need to slap some Hollywood movie-like editing on your audio, but if you use some software to edit your audio tracks, you’ll sound much more professional. We’re not going to get into a tutorial on how to edit an audio track, because we’d be here all day and all night (You know that you just have to leave us a comment below asking for it and we’ll be happy to get to work).

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In any case, to edit the audio you don’t need to spend the money that these kinds of programs cost. Instead, you can use free software like WavePad, Ocenaudio, or MixPad. We only recommend using paid programs like logic pro X, Ableton Live, Adobe Premiere or Garageband if you already have access to them, or if you are going to become a podcasting professional.

To start making a podcast, you just need to learn how to cut out those pieces of audio where you get stuck, where your breathing is too loud.

Once you’ve gained experience, you can play around with other sound effects, background music, and voice modulation. 

5. Where to publish your podcast

This part is a bit tricky and explaining it in depth would also be enough for a whole other post. 

For now, you should know two key concepts:

  1. The hosting: it is the site where you upload your podcast. The site where it is stored and where the applications go to play your episodes. So that you understand me, it is the base of operations. 
  2. The feed: is what is used to send your podcast (which is already hosted on a server) to all applications where you are registered. 

Here is a very simple example for you to understand: Once you have made your podcast (or at least the first episode) you upload it to the hosting server (e.g.: PodBean).

Now, you just have to copy the feed that appears on the host and paste it on the other platforms (Audible, Spotify, TuneIn Radio, Spreaker) so that they detect and play your podcast. 

Every time you upload a new episode on your hosting server, the feed changes and the platforms update the content themselves. This way, you only have to upload the episode once to a single platform.

If this is more or less clear, today we are going to show you the most common platforms.

Publish your podcast on iVoox

This platform has a number of very interesting advantages and some disadvantages that you should know. First of all you should know that iVoox is a free platform for both the audience and the podcasters. You won’t have to pay anything to upload your episodes, at least at first.

The disadvantages are that the free option only allows you to show a feed with the last 20 episodes you have uploaded. If you upload more, the oldest ones will stop being shown. If you don’t want this to happen, or if you want to monetize your podcast, you will have to invest some coins.

Publish your podcast on Spreaker

Spreaker only allows you to upload a total of 5 hours of audio or a maximum of 10 episodes, whichever comes first. If at some point you want to exceed these limits, it will be time to loosen your pocket. The good thing is that from Spreaker you can send your podcast to virtually all other platforms via the aforementioned feed.

Publish your podcast on Spotify and Apple Podcast

Having your podcast on these platforms is always a good idea because they have huge communities of listeners where you can grow as a content creator. The thing is, you can’t directly upload an episode to these platforms. They don’t have a hosting server. That’s why you need the feed.

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