Podcasts: Ten Top Tips – be original, don’t be scared and get on board

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Image credit: RMC

Ten Top Tips for Great Podcasts” were outlined at the 2021 Religion and Media Festival “Exploring Belief”, by Gerard Edwards, chief executive of Podcast Radio.

  1. Listeners
    9 million British people listen to a podcast every week
    105 million Americans listen to a podcast every month
    16 million Australians listen to a podcast every month.

With podcasting, people listen on the go to what they like with no interference from ads. It’s you telling a story, or you consuming a story as the listener, and it’s a close bond to the human voice. There’s nothing like it, because, unlike robots, the human voice has everything in it. We can tell from the slightest inflection whether someone’s sad, when someone cries on a podcast. You can really feel it, which is amazing.

2. Be original Come up with an idea you want to podcast about. If someone else is already doing it, grab some good ideas from them — but then make something that no one else has done or is doing.

3. Audio quality matters The first thing we look for when we click on a piece of audio is whether or not it sounds nice. You don’t have to spend that much money to achieve radio quality. Just watch a 10-minute explainer video and you will pick up skills as you go. If someone else’s podcast sounds better that yours it isn’t because they are spending more money. They’ve probably spent 10 minutes more than you figuring out why it should sound better.

4. Lift ideas If you are finding making a podcast a bit of a struggle and you’re running out of steam, look at what others are doing to see why they have so many listeners. It may not just be because they have big-name guests on; there are lots of other reasons why. If you can listen and answer the question as to why someone else is loving another podcast, you’ll have the solution to try on your own podcast.

5. Test it out Would you listen to your podcast? That is one of the biggest tests in any medium. You make a podcast because you love it, you fall in love with it. Even if a business is starting a podcast, it should be because they believe in it. It isn’t just a sell about ad space. It’s because you’re passionate about it. And if your test is because you are passionate about it, but you wouldn’t listen back to your own episode, then you’re probably not on the right track.

6. Be consistent A week is a lot shorter than people think it is. If you tell your listeners that you are going to release a podcast every Friday morning for the foreseeable future that is a big commitment. You could put one out every month, 12 times a year. Either way, consistency is key so that people know what is coming. You aren’t a radio or TV station with a schedule, so you must be consistent. However, this can be flexible too and parameters can change — but you have to promise to keep it up to be consistent for a good podcast.

7. Patience With so many millions of podcasts being produced, it may feel like a struggle to be noticed or heard. Be patient, people will pick yours up. And when someone discovers one bit of your content or one of your episodes, you then have a new listener who may listen to all of the episodes.

8. Bust a myth If you start a podcast episode, just get straight to your topic. No one wants to hear five minutes of banging on about other things. There will be so much content in the episode you don’t have to fill it out. And if you run out of things to talk about, just make the episode shorter. Rules are out the window with podcasting and it’s refreshing and daunting for new podcasters and old podcasters alike. It’s just you and your listener.

9. Get on board Everyone’s doing it. In the same way we questioned having to have a website a little while back, that’s where podcasting is right now. People notice if a brand, company or an organisation doesn’t have a way to give its message in a human voice directly on demand to a listener. If you’re not allowing your human voice and your story to be told how you would like it to be told, then you are missing a trick.

10. Don’t be scared Just go to Spotify or Apple, or Google podcast and a topic or celebrity you like and press play. People will drop in and listen — and if they are still there after three or four minutes, you’ll all of a sudden realise you’ve become a podcast listener and you’ll have fallen in love with them.

Report edited by Anna Averkiou

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