The term podcasting was first used by Ben Hammersley in the Guardian newspaper in 2004 to describe a new medium, but podcasting operated “under the radar” for many years. Edison Research has been following podcasts since 2006 and reports that the biggest growth in popularity has happened this year.
Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Have a Podcast
- Podcasts are portable and fit perfectly into today’s lifestyle. Whether it’s commuting or otherwise traveling, working out at the gym, or going for a walk or jog, or cycling, a podcast easily goes with us wherever we go.
- There’s less competition. With over 500 million blogs and 700 thousand active podcasts, there’s less clutter to break through for your audience.
- Podcasting enables you to build better engagement with your audience. The bond formed between a podcaster and his or her listeners is like that of a radio audience. There’s a level of intimacy that can’t be duplicated by video or the printed word alone (I know, I’m saying this to you using the printed word alone). Podcasting allows you to express emotion and emphasis in ways that don’t come across as well with just copy on a page.
- Podcast audience members are loyal. Consider the numbers: 88% listen to all episodes. 80% listen to an entire episode or most of an episode. 79% listen immediately. 55% listen within 24 hours. 69% report that a podcast ad made them aware of a product. 61% made a purchase because of a podcast ad. [Statistics from whypodcasts.org and musicoomph.com]
- The popularity of podcasts is still growing. Smartphones are fueling the growth of podcasts and will continue to do so. iTunes have also contributed to the growth of podcasts. Apps like Stitcher, Soundcloud, and Spreaker are ways that people are listening to podcasts today.
How to Start Your Podcast
- What is your podcast going to be about? Will your format be you talking or interviewing guests? Will you share hosting duties? Will it be a storytelling form? Or will you combine forms?
- Prepare your first episode. Some may freewheel it, but a script works for most people.
- Record and edit your podcast. MP3 is the generally accepted norm for audio files. You can record from your smartphone to start, or a portable digital recorder. For editing, Audacity is a free option. Use a 128kbps bitrate and 44.1Mhz sample rate.
- Prepare cover art for your podcast. You can do this easily and for free at Canva.
- An intro and outro adds a little class to your podcast. Some music, an introduction that includes the name of the podcast, your name, the episode number make a good start. For your outro, you can say something like “you’ve been listening to…”
- The ID3 tags you use will help your audience find your podcast. These will include your podcast name, title of the episode, and what the episode is about. MP3Tag is free and will help you do this.
- Finally is distribution. For how to do this, I recommend this blog post.
Your first episode will likely take the most time to prepare, but once you’ve done it a time or two it should be easy to keep doing it (and it’ll be fun to watch your audience grow!).
I invite your comments and questions, and your likes and shares.