Podcasting is a great and easy way to share your ideas with the world. It is so easy that anybody anywhere can tell their story to a global audience. According to a study by Edison Research, podcast listening grew by 23% between 2015 and 2016. In America alone, monthly podcast listenership has increased by over 70% since 2013. Whether it's music, business, sports, or fashion, there are thousands (and maybe millions) of people who may be willing to listen to you.
It is one thing to start a podcast but another thing to be successful in it. Just like blogging, there are millions of podcasting channels. Some of these channels rake in millions of listeners and revenue, while others are barely struggling to survive. So, what makes the difference? How can you start and run a successful podcast? Sit back; we are about to find out.
We commonly say that anybody who fails to plan has planned to fail. This is true, even for podcasting. You have probably read or heard about podcasters who are making it big. And you just can't wait to hit the record button. Just before you do that, it is a good idea to ask yourself some genuine questions. Why are you starting a podcast in the first place? Is it for quick money? Do you have a topic of interest? How often will you create new content? Who is your audience? What platforms will you be using? And so on. A lot of new podcasters take this step lightly. They forget that starting a podcast takes a lot of hard work. Skipping the planning step as a podcaster will only lengthen your journey to success.
2. Choose a Niche
Just as the title suggests, choose a niche, and be good at it. You cannot be everything to everyone. It is the fastest way to fail. I can't podcast about lawn tennis because I don't like it. No matter how hard I try, I will suck at it. A good starting point is to select a niche that is comfortable. Try and find your passion. A subject you can talk about endlessly. It could be music, fashion, business, financials, self-help, sports, etc. Try talking off your head about a topic for 30 to 40 minutes.
Whatever your podcasting goals are, branding your podcast starts with choosing a good name. Your brand name is one of the first things your audience sees before hearing how awesome you sound, or how informative your podcast is. Don't try to be overly creative or abstract in choosing a name. Choose a name that is memorable and related to your niche. Not being abstract doesn't mean it has to sound cliché. Always remember that a huge chunk of organic traffic coming to your podcast will be via Google or iTunes search. It is therefore while to include a keyword in your name.
4. Create Valuable Content
Content is king! This is a common saying in the media sphere. There is so much junk on the internet. Users are now very quick to click the next button. The attention span of an average human is now 8 seconds. What this means it that, if your show has no value, it will be skipped. Be an expert in your niche. Prepare before every podcast and take the time to craft your story.
5. Social Media
Social media is a great place to start your search for listeners. Your podcast is nothing without an audience. It is very easy to get discouraged if you are just starting out and hoping to get a remarkable response just because your content is good. This is where social media comes in. Post new content on Facebook, tweet them, pin them, use Snapchat, or Instagram. You never know which episode will become viral.
One of the best ways to attract more listeners to a new podcast is through collaborations – interviews. This doesn't mean, you should get just anybody to feature on your show. Be on the lookout for industry influencers. Collaborations should be relevant and interviews compelling. Additionally, influencers can help spread a word or two and drive in organic traffic.
Nothing good comes easy. In the same vein, starting a successful podcast is not easy. It may take several months. However, with proper planning, creating valuable content, and consistency, success is not far off.