After 15 years of making podcasts, here are three things we’ve learned you need to be successful.
If you have a topic, product, subject, or idea that you’re passionate about, you already have the main ingredient ready to go. Look at some of the best podcasts and you’ll quickly notice they succeed because they’re unique. How? Because they talk about niche content you can’t get on radio or TV. The narrower your niche, the more unique you are!
Mainstream TV or radio wouldn’t allow 99% of podcast content on-air. That’s because they are broad-casters. To pay their bills they need to appeal to the widest possible audience, which leads to a lot of dumbing down. 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 you can have a hit podcast of your own.
We’ve all grown up in a media culture and accustomed to good quality sound, and although you are not RTE or the BBC, people will expect clean clear audio. Fortunately this is simple to by 1) recording with a decent USB microphone 2) actually speak into the microphone and 3) record in a room with lots of soft furnishings so you lose that distracting ‘hollow’ room sound.
Preparation adds hugely to your level of quality. The best podcasts plan in advance what they will talk about and go from A to B to C without too much BS. Check out some of your favourite 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 components right and you’ll be well on the way to your goal.
Finally, stick to a set schedule 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. Don’t forget about this concept of “regularity” or it’ll come back to bite you.
Finally not an element for success but for your sanity, is patience. Don’t expect an instant response. Just like TV series, it takes time for your audience to find you. 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.