How to Make a Hit Podcast

Have you ever wondered whether you could create a hit podcast? Lots of people assume that unless they have a mind-blowing concept that will appeal to millions of people, there’s no way they could ever produce their own hit podcast. But, fortunately, that way of thinking is way off course.

In fact, just about anyone can have a podcast that’s a hit. What do you need? Huge budgets? A team of technical experts? Major celebrities as guests? A million Facebook followers ready to tune in? No, no, no, and no. You don’t need any of that because podcasts that do well tend to be narrow-casts rather than broad-casts. In other words, if you have a topic, product, subject, or idea that you’re passionate about, you already have the main ingredient ready to go.

One of the key things to remember is this: the most successful podcasts feature content that is not available on traditional radio. That means you’re free to do just about anything you want, as long as you’re excited about it, are willing to offer regular content (weekly, monthly, whatever you want, basically, as long as it appears on a regular, fixed cycle), and focus on quality.

Sure, there’s a bit more to it than that, but not much more. Here are the three main things to focus your microscope lens on, and notice that “having a massive, built-in audience is not on the list.

Unique Content

As mentioned above, all you have to do is look at some of the best podcasts out there and you’ll quickly notice that they succeed because they’re unique. That means what they do is not available anywhere else, not on other podcasts, certainly not on FM radio, and not on television.

For sure, no mainstream TV or radio stations would even allow 99 percent of the current batch of podcast content. And in most cases, the narrower the niche, the better. That’s a concept that works for podcasts but not network TV or traditional radio. Why? Because those last two things are “broad” casts, and they can’t survive or pay their bills without large inflows of cash from advertisers. As a successful podcast producer/creator, you don’t have gigantic expenses, so you don’t need the gargantuan advertising income or audiences.

You simply do what you love, talk about it on your podcast regularly, and offer a quality production (which is actually your product in this case), and you can have a hit podcast of your own.

Quality, in Terms of Recording and Planning

It’s easy to thing that the quality side of things on your podcast is just about you and a microphone, but there’s another aspect to it. That’s because all of us have grown up in a media culture. Unlike generations before us, we are totally accustomed to good quality sound and audio, on radio, TV, and in films of course.

So, when you set out to make a hit podcast, you’ll need to meet a certain “required minimum” of production quality in terms of technical things like sound quality (first and foremost) and organization. In other words, you want your audio to come across clean and clear. Plus, when you present your content, you don’t want to sound as if you’re just rambling and speaking off the top of your head.

Check out some of your favorite podcasts and notice how well organized they are, how excellent the audio quality is, and how they give an overall impression of being a thought-out, high-quality production. So, when you create your own podcast, take the time to get those two components right, and you’ll be well on the way to your goal.

All-Around Professionalism

What do you need to get started? You, because you are the center of the whole thing. It’s about your ideas, your presentation, and your take on your business, or whatever your passion is. If your aim is to create a top-notch podcast about your business, in other words to do your own corporate-type podcast, the first step is to organize your ideas and the content you want to cover. That’s probably 95 percent of what will make it a hit

And, of course you’ll need to stick to a set schedule of production so your listeners get used to a fixed time and day to hear what you have to say. Nothing turns people off quicker than a TV program, radio show, or podcast that is off-schedule. So, even though it might seem to be a small thing, something you can completely control, don’t forget about this concept of “regularity” or it’ll come back to bite you.

The professional sound is of paramount importance. For you and your production, that means using a great external microphone. Don’t rely on the ones that come with various devices you already own, like the laptop mic, or the one on your desktop computer. Those are not good enough to get your quality where it needs to be.

Another core element of success is that you need to be patient and take it seriously. So, don’t expect a fast response. Just like TV series, it takes time for your audience to find you. That means you have to be regular, as pointed out before, and keep at it without worrying about how many listeners you have, especially in those first few months. This is your business. Treat your podcast like the long-term investment it is. But unlike other long-term investments, you won’t have to spend a fortune to get it off the ground.

Again, it’s your business and eventually you want to turn the podcast into a profit center. You want it to bring customers to your door, to view your company as a leader in whatever you do. What do business people do when they want to produce a unique, money-making product? They get professional help when they need it.

When it comes to producing a hit podcast, you’ll soon realize a couple things. One is that it’s doable. If you have the passion to make your company or business enterprise a success, you can no doubt produce a hit podcast. Second, it’s hard work. Of course, anything worth doing is worth doing well, to borrow an old phrase. But it’s true.

Unless you already possess the technical skills to do it all, you need help. That’s what Dustpod does. It’s our job and we take it very seriously. And because it’s our life’s work, our career so to speak, we don’t have the luxury to miss a production deadline, use anything less than top-grade audio equipment, or fall short on the production/broadcast end. That’s our advice for the day about creating your own hit podcast. Remember, you already have most of the keys to success, those being your own mind, voice, and passion about what you do. The rest is icing on the cake, as long as you get the right professional help.

Find out more with our podcast episode featuring ex-Newstalk Editor-in-Chief Garrett Harte, IMRO Award Winning DJ Dara Quality and hot studio producer Aidan Cunningham.

As always, if there is anything you would like to ask about this post, do give us a call or send us a message.