Leveling Up Your Podcast
Podcasting is one of the fastest growing mediums to enter the realm of media entertainment. According to Inside Radio, since 2015, the number of monthly podcast listeners has more than doubled, increasing 123%. If you’re new to the world of podcasting or looking to improve the quality of your productions, look no further. At MXL, we have a few tips and tricks up our sleeves that will have your audience thinking you’re a podcast pro!
1. Identify Your Goals
Determine the purpose of your podcast. What do you want the focus to be? What messages are you trying to convey? Perhaps your aim is to inspire, maybe it’s to educate, or maybe you’re just looking to spark a conversation with a community that shares your passion. It’s absolutely crucial to pinpoint who your target audience is in order to align the messaging with your goals. Whatever your objective is, remember to always come back to the purpose behind your show.
2. Choose A Format
Is your podcast going to be strictly an audio recording, or will there be a video component as well? Also, before you launch the podcast, it’s crucial to determine which platform to host your show on. Some top options are SimpleCast, Podbean, BuzzSprout, SoundCloud and Blubrry .
3. Sound Quality
We might be a bit biased, but nothing ruins a podcast quite like a muffled voice, coughing, your dog barking, or a noisy lawn mower that happens to pass by at the most inconvenient times (or is that just us?). We won’t crowd this post with microphone details (although we’d love nothing more), but check out our recent blog post on setting up a home recording studio to make sure you have the best mics and interface for the job. If you’re looking to enhance the audio-quality of your podcast, the MXL BCD-1 is a great choice. As an end-address dynamic microphone with warm, rich tones, the BCD-1 is designed to capture crystal-clear audio and is sure to take your podcast to the next level.
Good editing is key to making your podcast flow and keeping listeners engaged. By editing and cutting your podcast, you can increase how engaging the content is by removing unwanted noises and pauses (“Ums,” “Uhs” and moments of awkward silence), while also removing any unnecessary tangents you may have gotten caught up in. You want your content to flow while being concise and to the point, so it’s crucial to minimize the amount of fluff present in the recording. Some of our favorite editing tools include Pro Tools, Hindenberg, Audacity and Adobe Audition.
You might not want to wing it this time. It’s not necessary to script out every word, as this can be boring and lead to lost engagement. Instead, try listing out the main points you want to cover, and the order you’d like to speak about certain topics. If there are multiple people on your podcast, figure out who is going to say what. This will help to keep you focused in the moment and communicate more efficiently. Some of our favorite tools for content planning include Evernote, One Note, Google Docs or just old school pen and paper.
Featuring guests on your podcast is a great way to bring in another person’s perspective on a topic. Whether you bring them on to give their expert opinion or you’re going for more of a conversational vibe, guest speakers will help further drive your message. However, if you don’t prep your guests, they can potentially derail your podcast from its focus. Whether your guest is with you in person or virtually, it’s important to make sure the kinks are worked out prior to the recording or live stream. It’s helpful to get to know your guest and chat about key discussion points prior to the podcast, as well as familiarizing yourself with the technology involved in the production. This may include video conferencing platforms, microphones, headphones and more. The more comfortable a guest is, the better they’ll perform.
Your podcast is a business, and as for all businesses, branding is an essential element. It’s important to know what fits your podcast and to determine what is on-brand and what isn’t. If you have a show about food and you bring on a political guest, make sure you’re able to merge the two conversations—don’t leave your listeners trying to connect topics and relevance to your brand. Also, remember to make sure all of the content you post follows a consistent aesthetic. We typically turn to tools like Canva or Adobe Spark for this.
8. Digital Presence
To promote your podcast consistently, take the extra time to work on a logo and website, as well as increasing your social media presence across various platforms. When posting to social media, try linking back to your website as well as linking back to specific episodes. Not only will this increase your audience’s engagement on your social channels, but it also helps to bring additional eyes and ears to your show.
Timing is everything. Whether you’re planning a production schedule or your promotional content for social media, determine a schedule and stick to it. Decide how frequently you want to post to your social channels as well as how frequently you want to launch a new episode, and make sure to stay consistent. If you chose weekly podcasts, it might be best to stick to the same day—this will help your audience remember when to tune in, as opposed to a sporadic schedule.
10. Have Some Fun
Last but not least, enjoy yourself. If you’re not having fun with your podcast, then what’s the point? Choose topics that excite and interest you. If you’re not passionate about the conversations you’re having, the audience will pick up on this and disengage. To peak your audiences’ interest and keep them coming back for more content, be relatable, tell a joke (or two) and have fun with it.