If you are looking for information on how to start a podcast for your business and you have absolutely no idea what you need to do in order to get the ball rolling, you are in luck. I have got you covered.
Starting a podcast is not difficult. You need to follow certain steps to get things going. Podcasts are an excellent way to get the word out about your business and create some serious leads for your business. Did you know that there are almost 60 million people in the US that listen to podcasts every month? Additionally, over 25 percent of Americans between the 12 to 55 age bracket listen to at least 3 podcasts weekly. Launching a podcast is a promising avenue for you to explore to generate more leads for your business.
I’m going to show you how you can execute your ambitions to launch a successful podcast for your business. I’ve put together this post to walk you through every step of the process that you need to follow. Let’s begin.
Step #1: Choosing The Topic
First things first – Your topic. Make no mistake, choosing the perfect topic is not that easy. You may have a general idea about the topic you want to discuss for your podcast. The issue is with specifics. Finding that one thing to focus on is a challenging issue for plenty of budding podcasters. If you’re stuck in this situation yourself, here are a few things that can help you identity your particular niche:
Know Your Purpose
Of course, the primary purpose of your podcast (like with everything you want to do in your business) is to make money. But there’s always something more to it. Other than making money, why do you want to start a podcast? What is it that drives you to put in so much time and effort into pursuing this project? For instance, a tech genius might want to start podcasting about his or her favorite new gadgets in the market.
You see, it’s not just that they want to make money off the podcast, they are also discussing something they’re very passionate about in the podcast. List down everything about your business that makes it all worth it – find that key element that drives you to do what you do. Your podcast’s content and focus will be derived from that purpose.
Know Your Audience
Now that you have a purpose, you need to understand who is going to be listening to your podcast. Understanding your audience will help you specify your area of focus even further. To narrow things down further, you need to know who your content will engage with.
Ask yourself a few important questions: Who will be your target audience? What are their goals and interests? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you decide on what you’re going to be talking about.
Know Your Specific Niche
So you know what your purpose is with the podcast and who you’ll be talking to. Now you need to find your area of specialization. In any given month, there are thousands of podcasts being added to iTunes. Clearly, this means that the competition is tough. You need to find your specialization, which will set your podcast apart from all the others.
Step #2: Costs & Equipment
The first step was about the whys and what you’re going to be doing with the podcast. Now we’re going to see how you’ll be doing it. Here’s where the tools of the trade come in. You need to consider the primary costs that come with the podcast. This will include your microphone, computer, headphones, internet connection and of course, web hosting.
Ideally, you should go for high quality equipment but if you are just getting started, invest in a mic and use the laptop you already have. Audio editing doesn’t require too much processing power so you can use the laptop you already have. Get headphones that will make editing the audio easier.
Make a website using either WordPress or Bluehost. This will be your primary marketing tool since this is where your audience can get direct access to your podcasts and any articles you post. It is also helpful for generating revenue because banner ads and affiliate links also make plenty of money for you.
While the website you create is going to provide you with the hosting service you need to store your files, it is ideal to get a separate one for your podcasts. Podcasts can become heavy files, taking up hundreds of megabytes per file depending on their length. In order to avoid bandwidth issues in the future, consider investing in podcasting hosting options like Podomatic or Amazon S3.
Step #3: Record & Edit
Now is the time to get down to business and start recording the podcast. The specifics about recording and editing your podcasts may vary, depending on the tools and software you choose but here is a general overview that can help you out.
Once you’ve got all the equipment you will need, it becomes a matter of following these steps to start recording your business’ podcast:
- Setup the mic and check the input volume.
- Open the audio recording and editing software you’ve chosen to work with. Check if the mic you’ve set up is the one that the software will be using to record the audio by going into the settings.
- Once you’re sure that the setup is alright and you’re good to go, just hit that round red button to get the recording started. Don’t worry about messing anything up. Right now, all you have to do is record the podcast. Any mistakes you made can be edited out later on.
- Once you’re done recording, listen to the podcast. If there is any background noise, use the noise reduction feature on the software to reduce it.
- Listen for any mistakes that you might have made while recording the podcast and delete them.
- There will be sections where the volume of your voice is higher or lower than necessary. You will also see a leveling feature on your audio editing software, which you should use to correct the issue.
- Once you’re done editing the podcast, listen to it again from the start. Make more edits where necessary. Repeat this step until you’re completely satisfied with the recording and then export the audio file in an MP3 or WAV format. They offer you good quality audio and they’re playable with literally any media player so they’re the safest options to consider.
If you’re thinking that this was way too easy, hold your horses. You’re not quite done yet. While you’re recording the podcast, you might find yourself wondering if you have the material for more than a single episode. If you do have more than enough material for multiple episodes once you’re done recording, you might feel tempted to release it all at once. Resist the urge.
While a single recording session can potentially give you the content for multiple episodes, it doesn’t mean you need to release it all at once. Think of it like a TV show with a season that has multiple episodes. Release them once a week or twice a week. That depends on you. What’s important is to keep your content lined up for release on a regular basis.
Step #4: Submit Podcast On iTunes
Focus on recording the first few episodes for your podcast before you decide to share them with the world. Ideally, the best place to submit your podcasts is the Apple iOS Podcast app. It is the largest podcast player in the world. With over 70 percent of the entire podcasts people listen to being played on iTunes, it is your golden ticket to the chocolate factory.
Of course, you might need a little information on how to submit your podcast to iTunes (or any other appropriate directory). Here’s what you need to do to submit your podcast:
- Upload your podcast on your selected hosting website.
- Next up is the publish show notes. It’s recommended to do that with your episodes. The notes should mention the title and description of your podcast episode but you can do better. Write a summary of your podcast episode in the description and mention the links to relevant resources for the episodes.
- Now comes the time to submit your RSS Feed to iTunes. Once you’ve published an episode on your website, iTunes will recognize that you really do have a podcast.
- Other requirements here would be to have an Apple ID; a title, a description, and artwork (JPEG or PNG) to go along with the podcast; the category where your podcast belongs; language and finally whether or not the content is explicit.
- Bear in mind that Apple has its own requirements that you need to fulfill to submit a podcast. Follow this link to find out about these requirements.
- Submitting your RSS feed to other directories follows a simple process much like the one you used for iTunes. Some might require you to use just your RSS feed URL, while others might require you to make an account at their website. The best alternatives, other than iTunes, where you can submit your podcasts are Google Play Music, Stitcher and TuneIn.
With your descriptions and all other text defining the podcast, make sure that you use the right keywords. This will help iTunes recognize your podcasts for what they are and match them with the relevant search queries. You know what your audience will be looking for so when you give a title to your podcast and write the description, use keywords that your potential audience will search for.
You want to get as much exposure as you can through your podcasts, right? Using keywords is going to provide you with the exposure you want but you can go a step beyond. If you want your podcasts ranking higher on the iTunes search, encourage your listeners to interact with the podcast. Ask them to leave comments and reviews. Encourage them to subscribe to your podcast. More subscribers means your ranking on iTunes gets higher.
Step #5: Spread The Word
Once your podcasts are uploaded and published on iTunes, you have to market it in order for people to know that it exists. You have something of value and you need to let people know. How will you do that? Well, you can use a combination of things to promote your podcast to the world.
After you submit your podcast to iTunes, it can take several days or even a week or so to get an approval. Once you have the link of your podcast through iTunes, use it anywhere and everywhere. Embed it on your website and spread it through your social media accounts.
Transcripts for your podcasts are a good way to make your podcast more relevant for search engines. You can add the transcriptions to your show notes, which will make it easier for search engines to find your content.
Step #6: Monetizing Podcasts
This is what you have been waiting for while reading the content, haven’t you? Recording and publishing your podcasts just because you love them is good enough but being able to generate income off of all the time and effort you’re investing is amazing. Ideally, you should first hone your skills in podcasting. Make sure that you perfect the art of podcasting in the way that you want to do it. Once you start getting a decent growth in your audience and you are satisfied with what you’re producing, pursue these options for monetizing your podcast.
eBooks and Books
As you generate more and more podcasts, you will gather valuable content that you can compile and turn into a book or an eBook. Transcribing your podcasts will help you a lot in putting together a comprehensive book that covers the topics you have talked about throughout your podcasts. You can easily use the eBook as a lead generator for your digital marketing campaigns, which will bring all your efforts full circle and become a consistent generator of revenue. Of course, repurposing the podcasts is something you’re going to do in the future but planning ahead is always a good idea.
The best way to monetize your podcasts in the more immediate sense is through sponsorships. Just like TV shows or radio shows, getting a sponsor is the best way to not only pay your bills but to make you a lot of profit. Did you know that popular podcasts like Adam Corolla actually earn thousands of dollar every month because of their sponsors? When sponsors are involved, podcasters earn money through the Cost Per Impression model.
Here’s an example for you to understand this model:
- A 15-second mention of the sponsor at the start of the podcast can earn you around $20 for every 1,000 listens (or impressions).
- A 60-second mention of the sponsor on the halfway mark or beyond it in the podcast can generate $35 for every 1,000 listens.
While $55 might not seem like a lot for an episode, imagine having one podcast listened to over 10,000 times. That is $550 per podcast already. Imagine doing this on a monthly basis. This will help you earn more than you might expect.
Podcasting is growing and it is growing fast, folks. Consider all the costs and make all the preparations before you start off your podcast. Follow all these steps and produce the best possible content. I assure you that investing in the equipment, software, web hosting and then marketing will all be worth it once you get things going. By following this guide, you can launch your podcast and make it a successful revenue-generating source for your business.