Let’s be honest, podcasts as a new type of media didn’t become famous overnight. Indeed, its path to success was rather lengthy, complicated and had a number of challenges to deal with. Yet, the fact is undeniable – the popularity of podcasts has been steadily growing over the past few years and studies convincingly say that this trend won’t stop in the future. As one expert put it, the growth in podcasts is a slow, gentle upward curve. Probably, the best thing about podcasts is that they are used by consumers for both entertainment and educational purposes, as well as for branding and raising awareness of key issues in society.
Basics of Podcast
The beauty of it is that it’s extremely easy to make a podcast. The main thing you need is to have something you would like to share with the listeners, a mic, a recording gadget and some software to do the basic editing. For enthusiastic people without much technical experience, part of the attraction of this format has always been that you don’t have to be an IT genius with a Master’s of Science degree to come up with something great. In all likelihood, it’s the podcast’s informal and seemingly less professional style that resonates so well with younger generations of podcast fans.
Only Audio Matters?
Like any other audio content, a podcast appears to be tightly connected to solely audio experience. Yet, the spoken word, and primarily podcasts, contains so many of various types of information and entertainment. However, if we consider the audio part only, leaving out the rest, then we limit its huge potential in other spheres. This might surprise you, but graphic design is a very important element of a successful podcast. Exactly like any book is in the first place judged by its cover, a podcast’s first assessment is made by its cover. From the graphic design perspective, options that are available at your disposal are limitless. Basically, you can do anything you feel like doing. There are two main rules here. Firstly, you should choose a variant you genuinely like without trying to copy somebody else’s design. Secondly, your podcast’s design must be harmonized with your podcast’s overall concept and thematic area. If you really want to capture the user’s attention instantly, then you should exceed what this user expects from your podcast. So, don’t be afraid to experiment and combine different elements – for example, you can add music to photo to be used as a trailer, introduction or cover of your podcast and see if it works.
Equipment and Software
So, you’ve firmly decided you are going to have your podcast. So, what should you start from? First and foremost, you need to have access to and learn to use some simple equipment and software. Don’t feel discouraged at this point – the mentioned equipment doesn’t need to be super professional and expensive. Actually, you can have a reasonably good podcast with some basic pieces of equipment. To draft a concrete list of things you would require, it would be good to estimate your audio priorities and recording set-up. Importantly, you should select some software tools you are going to use for recording and editing, like Audacity, GarageBand, Reaper etc.
Script is Crucial
Sometimes, an improvisation or spontaneous speech can work, especially if there are good reasons to do that. But if you are going to make all your recordings, you’d better stop right at this very moment because it definitely won’t fly. In order to solve this issue, you would need a good and effective script. And this is something not to be treated lightly. Newbies like you should invest some time and maybe even money to study at least the basics of script-writing techniques. You must be able to create the key components that make a great podcast: attention-grabbing and concrete introduction, guest introduction, brief discussion of what will follow, recap of earlier episodes, etc.
A fantastic podcast has fantastic ideas as its core. Without interesting and unique ideas you will never be able to succeed in this sphere. We all are familiar with a situation when at some point of time we are like fountains generating new ideas every second, while next week we find ourselves struggling to produce at least one thought. In podcasting, a shortage of fresh ideas can ruin your podcast. To avoid this situation, create your bank of ideas – whenever some podcast-related idea strikes your mind, write it down in a specially designated notebook. Don’t evaluate it, just put it down. And when time comes, you’ll come back to analyze it. Don’t forget to ask your team to do the same.
Nowadays podcasts have become fashionable, something like a very special social media for true connoisseurs with impeccable taste. A great podcast is about intimacy – only you, the host voice and the headphones. If you manage to provide this to your users, you are the winner!