In the past few years, it seems like podcasts have taken the world by storm. This method of providing audio content for listeners was developed in the early 2000s and gained quick popularity in the short period since it’s been around, so much so that today podcasts have become the new best way to consume information.
Statistics show us that podcasts have experienced a steady rise in popularity over the past decade. 78% of Americans are already familiar with podcasting and the number of podcast listeners in the country reached 88 million in 2020. This figure is expected to surpass 160 million by 2023.
Since podcasts are extremely easy to access, address a wide variety of topics, allow listeners to multi-task and are relatively easy to make, it’s really no wonder they are dominating the media industry. If you want to jump on the bandwagon as a podcast creator, you have more than enough reasons to do so.
As we’ve already mentioned, it’s relatively easy to create a podcast, relatively being the operative word here. Anyone can make podcasts, but not anyone can make great podcasts and attract large numbers of listeners. The landscape is incredibly competitive at the moment, meaning that if you want to become a successful podcast creator, you might want to learn a few tips and tricks before you get down to business. So, here are a few aspects that you should keep in mind.
Find your niche
There are currently thousands of active podcasts out there, more than 800.000 to be more precise, which means you have a tough competition to face. With so many options to choose from, it’s not going to be easy to catch the public’s attention. So, you have to think of a way to make listeners interested in what you have to offer.
The biggest mistake is to choose a theme for your podcasts based on what is popular at the moment or what is suitable for the wide audience. You don’t have to follow the herd or try to please everyone to create a successful podcast. On the contrary, you have to bring some originality to the game. The best podcasts are those that address very specific themes and speak to a specific group of people, so the smartest thing you could do is choose a topic that you master and that you are truly passionate about. Listeners will definitely appreciate your expertise and commitment.
Invest in decent equipment
Now onto the technical aspects of podcast creation: you must make sure that you have the necessary tools and equipment to put your ideas into practice and bring your podcasts to life. This doesn’t mean you should break the bank and invest all your life’s savings into buying state of the art equipment or the latest software on the market.
But you do have to purchase quality equipment items such as a good microphone because no one will listen to a podcast that has poor audio quality. A good headset and decent editing software should also be on your list. If you want your podcasts to sound professional, this is the bare minimum equipment you should have on hand.
Focus on quality, not quantity
Once you record your first podcasts and you start getting the hang of it, you might be tempted to create one episode after the other and launch as many podcasts as you can in a shorter period of time. But you have to keep in mind that listeners are looking for quality, not quantity.
Unless you have years of experience behind you, chances are your first podcasts won’t be exactly stellar. You have to work a lot to improve your podcast creation skills, and that takes time and patience. Instead of striving to create more podcasts, focus on the quality of the content you put out there. It’s important to pay attention to all the details in order to achieve great results. From selecting quality royalty free music for podcast, to give your intros and outros a personal touch, to choosing a catchy storytelling style and having a good narrative flow, every aspect that goes into creating a podcast should be carefully planned.
Get to know your audience
We already mentioned that you shouldn’t base your decisions on public demand, but that doesn’t mean you should just ignore your audience either. In fact, getting to know the people you cater to and listening to their feedback is a great way to find inspiration, come up with new ideas and polish your podcast style.
The secret is to strike a balance between what your target audience wants to hear and the identity and direction you’ve chosen for your podcasts. If you manage to do that, you’ll be able to create appealing podcasts and stay true to your values and purpose.
Choose your guests wisely
Guests can definitely add value to your podcast and make them infinitely more interesting, but only if you choose them wisely. Don’t bring in guests just because it’s a common practice and all the other podcast creators are doing it. Look for people who are experts in their field and can bring a fresh and interesting perspective to the topics you address if you want to spice up your podcast.
Of course, your interviewing style is also extremely important in these situations. Apart from answering the questions you have prepared for them, you should give your guests the space they need to express themselves and speak freely. Authenticity and spontaneity are exactly what a podcast needs to stand out from the rest.
Last but not least, you should strive to be consistent. Making a great podcast episode every once in a while won’t be enough to bring you the appreciation and recognition you’re hoping for. You have to work hard and persevere if you want to reach your goals. So, you must get organized, create a schedule that you’ll actually stick to, plan everything down to the very last detail, create an awesome podcast and then repeat. That will help you gain your audience’s attention and trust, and set you on the path to success.