Podcasting: It’s not for the faint of heart! You’re ready to take your voice to the web, but how do you go about making it happen?
Let’s get started!
Preparing for your Podcast
First things first, know that there’s no single one best way to podcast. Every podcast will have its own unique flavor due the combination of your style, your format, and the equipment you use.
Let’s look in more detail.
Choose Your Style
Yes, you are a snowflake. 😉 If you’re thinking about podcasting, choose a style that fits your personality. The worst thing you can do is mimic someone else’s style. Be yourself – it’s a heck of a lot less effort.The worst thing you can do is mimic someone else's style. Be yourself - it's a lot less effort. Click To Tweet
Here are a few quick questions to help you think about your unique style:
- Do you like to teach? If you’re someone who enjoys getting down in the details and explaining those details to others to help them get a better grasp of a topic, then an education approach could work well for your podcast.
- Are you a people person? If you’re someone who enjoys banter with other humans and has a knack for creating conversations from scratch, then an interview approach could work well for your podcast. You might also work well on a co-hosted podcast.
- Can you talk about a topic you’re passionate about ad nauseam? If you’re someone who’s super-passionate about a particular topic (maybe it’s tech, business, or fake flying monkeys), then a live Q&A style podcast might work for you.
These suggestions aren’t prescriptive, rather they’re meant to help you start thinking about how you can play to your personality and strengths to produce the most interesting content.
Choose Your Format
If you’ve listened to many podcasts, you know they come in all shapes and sizes. When we talk about Format, we’re talking about the details of your podcast. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Will your podcast be live or pre-recorded?
- Will you have guests or a co-host?
- Will your podcast be audio-only or is there video?
- Will your podcast be broken up into pre-defined segments (i.e. tip of the day, reviews, breaking news, etc.)?
- What length will your podcast be?
Listen to a ton of podcasts to figure out which ones are your favorite (here are my faves). Consider the elements you really like and could blend into your format. If you’re not sure where to start, check out these three podcasts and note their different formats.
Choose Your Equipment
Ok, so you’ve identified your style and thought through the format for your podcast. The next step for how to podcast is to choose you equipment.
Equipment includes items such as a web cam (if you plan to have video), a microphone, a microphone stand or mount, a headset, and your audio processing software.
Here are a couple of articles to help you consider what’s right for you:
Warning: You can spend very little or a whole heck of a lot when it comes to choosing equipment. My recommendation is to start with something inexpensive and upgrade to higher quality as your podcast popularity grows.
How to Podcast
When it comes to the mechanics of podcasting, there are three basic elements involved:
We covered a lot of the Preparation in this post, but check out the slides below where I’ll unpack these things in more detail.
Have fun and happy podcasting!
This post is based on my presentation from WordCamp Las Vegas on the how-to’s of podcasting. Here are the slides:
Presentation slides for WordCamp Las Vegas 2014