How to make a successful podcast

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Podcasting is a fantastic way to get your personality and you ideas out into the world. Though it’s far easier to produce a regular podcast show than, say, a video series or other forms of online content, podcasting still requires more than one might expect, especially if you want to incorporate professional audio. Thankfully, once you’ve overcome the initial time and monetary investments that go into equipment and planning, all you need is a little dedication and free time to get your show on the road.

Below is our straightforward guide to making a podcast. Keep in mind, however, that it’s intended to be more of a jumping off point than a shortcut to any sort of success. We’ll be laying out a few suggestions on how to make your show sound great — both in terms of audio quality and content — get hosted, and, hopefully, get noticed.

Planning and preproduction

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Before you go about recording your first episode, you need to do a fair amount of planning and pre-production. Below are some other factors to consider.

Theme

You can really go any number of directions here. You could go broad and cover a wide variety of topics, or you could go specific and focus on your own niche. Either way, the rule of thumb here is to find a theme that you’re interested in and that will suit the goals of your show. The more passionate and knowledgeable you are about a topic or idea, the more fun you’ll have, which, will in turn, make your show more entertaining to listen to. As time goes on, if you feel like expanding (or shrinking) your topic as your podcast evolves and grows, go for it! But in the early stages, be sure to stick to it, as it will keep you focused.

Episode length and format

How long do you want your podcast to be? Most podcasts don’t exceed 60 minutes as anything longer typically is a bit much for the average listener. Also, take into account the length of any media you will air — such as songs or a pre-recorded introduction — and run a timer for each segment to ensure the utmost accuracy. Timing doesn’t need to be exact across all episodes, but it should be in the ballpark.

Script

Once you’ve chosen your theme and have a general idea for your show’s format, the next step is to script it. Yes, that’s right, script it. Even if you plan to go off the cuff and improvise your conversations, as most podcasts do, having a general outline to keep yourselves on track is a good idea. This is especially important if you’re going to have multiple segments during your show. Having a script or outline will make transitions between segments feel more natural and elegant, and will ensure you stay within your general time limit.

Scheduling

How often will your podcast air new episodes? Weekly or biweekly tends to be the norm for most shows, though others do air monthly or even less frequently than that.

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