Having conceived and then worked to produce The Podcast of No Return for a year and a half (as of 07/2019), I have explored almost every facet of the podcast process: content creation, production, and promotion. Here’s another blog post documenting my experience, and which can hopefully save others some of the headaches and stumbling blocks of getting a show online. — Steve Monosson”
Podcasts on the Apple platform alone have topped 50 billion streams and downloads overall. Thanks to the art of podcasting, anyone can have their own digital soapbox and use it to become famous. Who wouldn’t want a piece of that pie?
If you’re looking to get into podcasting, you have to deliver the best possible content for your listeners. This will help you stand out from the crowd and possibly join the greats someday.
Read on for our list of 8 things you need for the best podcast you can make.
1. A Great Topic
If you’re trying to create the best podcast, you won’t get very far without a great topic first. Your topic will be the beating heart that fuels your project or quickly kills it, so be sure to find something solid to build on.
Unless you’ve already got a huge following, your listeners would rather hear about a niche topic that interests them rather than unbridled rambling. Pick a topic as general as video gaming or as specific as Japanese Power Ranger commentary (I’d say pick “ridiculous sketch comedy” but The Podcast of No Return is on that ;)).
. Finding a relevant focus is a great way to attract listeners who may not have spotted you otherwise.
The best podcast has to come from your own passions. If you’re trying to talk about something because it’s popular, your listeners will likely catch on to your bluff and lose interest fast.
Think about it. What are you absolutely nerdy about in real life? Chances are, there are lots of people who feel the same way and would love to hear what you have to say.
Your passion is also what’s going to keep you going, even if you feel like quitting. While having the best podcast can be amazingly rewarding, it can also be a ton of work to produce and maintain. There may be some times where you want to crawl under a blanket instead of creating your content; your passion is what will drive you to get through these slumps.
3. Good Equipment
Listening to audio recorded from a laptop microphone is about as fun as doing your taxes. Give your listeners a break and record yourself with quality equipment that won’t make them immediately regret clicking on your content.
Before you run out and spend thousands of dollars on a top-notch recording setup, consider starting smaller. There are a lot of cheaper options out there that can still produce decent enough quality to get you noticed. Besides, you may decide that podcasting isn’t your thing, so you don’t want to pour a bunch of money into it before you know where it’s going to go.
With the growing popularity of podcasts, there are even microphones out there designed for podcasters. Keep yourself to a more modest budget for your first equipment purchase and upgrade down the road if you’re starting to grow.
4. Thorough Preparation
Producing the best podcast isn’t the same as rushing through a book report in school using nothing but the Cliffnotes. While you may be a master procrastinator, now’s not the time to wing it.
Take the time to be prepared for whatever you plan to talk about in the episode. What makes a good podcast is the perfect balance of passion as well as the gumption to plan it out.
When making podcasts, you may want to write up a script to follow during the episode. At the very least, come up with some bullet points to guide you while you’re recording. That way, you won’t be tearing your hair out editing out all the “likes,” “uhhs,” and pauses where you ran out of things to say y (personally, I confess to editing out a lot of these).
5. Audience Engagement
The best podcast strategy is to be engaging with your audience. No one wants to listen to monotone reporting without any personality. Tell a story to your audience and do it with style.
Think about it this way: you’re the performer and your podcast is the stage. Your audience is there to see you perform, not read your lines. Add your personality and showmanship to your podcast in order to engage your listeners and keep them coming back.
Another important aspect of audience engagement is remembering to thank your listeners at every chance you get. After all, without your audience, you’d be talking to yourself in the dark like a crazy person. Stay humble and don’t forget to let your followers know you’re grateful for their attention.
6. Use the Best Podcast Promotional Strategy
Podcasting is becoming a popular practice. That means the marketplace is pretty saturated and the chances of people stumbling onto your content are very low in the beginning.
That’s why promotion on other platforms is super important for building the best podcast. You have to get your name out there to bring in more followers.
A great way to do this is by researching other podcasts with a similar subject matter and seeing if you can make a guest appearance. Or you can even be bold and appear on a podcast that is completely unrelated. Either way, their following will get to know you and will likely check you out afterward.
Be sure you also establish a social media following on all platforms and maintain an active presence, too. You never know what will lead people to your podcast.
One of the best podcast practices is maintaining a consistent schedule for your listeners. People like to know when to expect new episodes. No one wants to deal with their favorite podcaster making random appearances like Sasquatch.
Pick a day of the week and also a frequency with which you can reasonably upload episodes. Weekly is best, but you can start with biweekly or even monthly if you’re busy.
The important thing here is to stick to your schedule once you establish it. Don’t skip a week here and there. Let your listeners know you’re serious by always posting new content when they expect it.
8. Create Brand Awareness
Another one of the best podcast strategies is to create a brand for yourself. Get a theme song, a logo, and other things that solidly establish you as a brand. You can even use these designs for merch when you get big!
Creating the best podcast isn’t easy, but it’s a labor of love. If you put the right amount of work in, you can be successful with it.
For some ideas and inspiration, check out our podcast episodes.