5 Essential Aspects to Consider before Starting a Podcast

5 Essential Aspects to Consider before Starting a Podcast

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Essential Aspects to Consider before Starting a Podcast

5 Essential Aspects to Consider before Starting a Podcast

 

Today, we’re going to nail down the details of your show, everything iTunes sees, from the title to the podcast host and the description, to other things like the structure of your show.

So, let’s get right into it.

 

Podcast name

Podcast title

Alright, so the first and most important thing to figure out is your podcast title, the name of your show. It’s essential for obvious reasons, right?

This is what you’re going to say, this is what your show becomes, this is what people are going to say when they share it with other people.

On iTunes, after the artwork, you’ll see the show title. So, we need to figure out a great name for your show. Now, there’s no wrong way to do this, or even right way to do this.

It’s your show, you can do it anyway you want. You can have any title that you’d like. However, there are great titles out there for podcasts and some that probably could be better.

On iTunes, go through and see a bunch of different podcasts and go over the different styles out there. That way, you can figure out what works for you, your purpose, direction, and personality.

Again, there’s no wrong way to go about this, and you can change the name of your show later.

Don’t get too hung up on this, but imagine yourself saying the name of your show to other people.

Another great test for you is to see if your show title describes what your show’s about,

If it is, well then, great. You’ve accomplished a lot of what’s very difficult, which is getting people to understand what your show’s about.

Now, that being said, there are a lot of show titles out there. So there can be titles that, when you read it, you’re not exactly sure what it’s about.

That’s okay too. Again, you don’t necessarily have to have a show title that describes exactly what the show is about.

There are ones that do that, and that do that very well. Obviously, for example, there’s Hardcore History, which gives you a good example of, “Okay, this is about history.” Then, there is Planet Money, so that’s going to be about money. So, these titles describe what the show is about.

However, there are other ones out there that don’t really describe what the podcast is about. For example, Lore doesn’t describe what that is exactly about. On the other hand, there’s the podcast Nerdist, which does give you an idea that this is a nerd sort of show. It’s related to nerd stuff.

Or Sword and Scale, what is that about, right? One may know what those are about only if he listened to them.

In short, you don’t have to have a show title that describes what the show is about. There could be some hidden meanings there. However, you’re going to make it a little bit more difficult for yourself if you go down this route. Now, if you truly want to go down that route, do it. It can be awesome. But remember that you’re going to have to work a little bit harder to get people to understand that this is something they want to listen to.

Obviously, your artwork’s going to play a role in that too, and how you share it, and how you launch it.

There are also personal brands that just name the show after themselves. So, for example, there is the Dave Ramsey Show, or the Bill Bennett Show, Joe Rogan Experience, Katie Couric, etc.

You could do it that way too. However, if you’re a personal brand, you don’t have to go that way.

Again, it’s totally up to you. Again, there’s no right or wrong way to do this, but have it be something that reflects you, something that has meaning, and it could be as simple as you want it to be.

You don’t want to have a title that’s 100 words in length. Remember that you need to keep it short because people are breezing through these. When people click on them, it only shows so many.

Before we move on to the description, the last thing to mention is that titles generally don’t mention the word “podcast” in them.

People don’t do that anymore. So people sort of just already know that it’s a podcast, and you don’t have to worry about that.

You can save some space there by not calling it a podcast. Instead, you can call it something a little bit more formal if you’d like. Or not if you don’t want to.

Again, be open to creativity, be yourself, and put your own direction and style into it. So just keep that in mind.

One thing you might be able to do is to talk about this with other people.

That’s one of the best things you can do with your friends, family, colleagues, anybody that’s around you.

Tell them you’re going to start a show, get them excited about it, and tell them what your ideas are for the title of your podcast. Just kind of get their gut reaction from it.

That will be the best way to select something that works for you and gets a good reaction, which people will see in the podcast directories’ lists. 

 

Podcast description

Podcast description

Okay, beyond your title, the next important thing is the description of your show. It’s a paragraph that relates to your show.

The most important thing to remember with your description is that you need to describe your show as if you’re describing it to a human.

People are going to come to this page and decide whether or not they’re going to listen to your show, and they will absolutely read this.

This is what you’re going to use. It’s almost like a sales copy to get them to click play on one of your episodes.

The description is fundamental. You need to let this person who’s ending up on this page know that they’re on the right spot, and they’re going to get some good stuff related to whatever it is that they’re looking for.

Another reason why podcast description is so essential to writing for humans is because a lot of the time, podcasters may put keywords in it like crazy, where it doesn’t even make sense for a human being. Still, it makes sense for a search engine, and iTunes is also a search engine.

People search for terms here, and podcast results show up based on a number of factors.

Those factors are the title of the podcast, the description, and then finally, you can also have your episodes show up based on the keywords that are there as well. So that’s really important to understand.

If it’s possible for you to include the keyword in your title without it being obvious that you are keyword stuffing, then put it. Otherwise, don’t do that, as iTunes and Apple will reach out to you, and they will threaten to take your showdown and remove it if you don’t comply.

Focus on the description to add some keywords naturally. Write is as if you’re writing for another person who’s actually coming to the podcast page and decides whether or not to listen to your show. You can check successful podcasters’ descriptions if you’d like and use them as sort of a basis and foundation for yours.

In the description, include keywords about things you’re going to talk about. For example, podcasting, ebooks, online courses, affiliate marketing, getting things done, and those kinds of things.

Write for human beings, and make it a great paragraph; spend some time on it.

 

Show type

Show type

Next, we will talk about show type. What it means is, are you going to conduct a solo show or are you going to conduct an interview show, where you’re always having new guests come on? Or maybe you’ll have something a little bit different, like more of a journalistic, sort of research-based kind of show. Maybe you’re going to have one that’s more like storytelling or based on chapters that kind of build on each other every single week.

What kind of show do you want? Listen to different podcasts, or maybe you listen to a bunch already and consider the show types they have. Are they interviewing other people, and is that something of interest to you? Are you actually doing shows by yourself? Or maybe it’s a combination.

Or you can do both. That’s a great option because, with interview shows, you get a lot of great relationship building with your guests, and it becomes a great way to get them to come on to also share some advice that you wouldn’t be able to give to your audience yourself. It’s also interesting to do solo shows, which are, yes, a little bit more challenging because it’s more than just asking questions.

Solo shows are also challenging because you’re just by yourself, and you have to kind of keep the energy going, and you have to just keep it flowing well. This does prove to be quite tricky, but you learn over time.

It’s actually a very, very good way of proving your expertise, sharing authority, and earning more trust with your audience too.

It’s not just you and a guest. It’s actually you, the one teaching as if a person was in your classroom, that sort of thing. So it’s up to you. Just start thinking about what show type you want.

How do you actually want it to be? Make a decision on that now before you actually start determining what your shows are going to be about: if you’re actually going to have guests come on, that sort of thing.

Consider what kind of show type you want. If you need some inspiration, go into your favorite podcasting sections and start listening to shows and kind of figure out a style that works for you.

 

Essential Aspects to Consider before Starting a Podcast

Length of podcast episodes

Alright, next, let’s talk about the length of your episodes.

Let’s say you were trying to conduct an interview, and your shows were always a half-hour in length. Well, what if that interview was going really well?

Are you going to cut that short, or rush things, or be rude to your guest and say, “Oh, sorry. We’re done with our time.”

No, you’re not going to do that, right? Yes, you can shoot for a specific general period in terms of the length of your show, but the length of your show should be however long it needs to be to provide the value that you want to deliver, right? So that’s how long the show should be.

Also, on the flip side, what if you were doing a solo show, and you were shooting for a half-hour, but you were 15 minutes in, and you already talked about everything you wanted to talk about, and you did it in a very brilliant way?

Does that mean you have to add 15 minutes of extra stuff of fluff? No, you shouldn’t have to do that. All this to say, don’t worry so much about sticking to a specific time. Just have a general idea about how long you want your show to go.

Some of the shows may go a half-hour, while others may go up to a little over an hour. So there’s a little bit of difference there.

Now, if there was a significant difference and it was kind of inconsistent, then that’s where you might need to worry about people unsubscribing.

Maybe they’re going to expect an hour-long episode one week, and then all of a sudden, it’s, like, three minutes. Now, you don’t want to do that. You don’t want to mix it up that much.

Again, you don’t have to be so specific in terms of how the time is going to be every single time. Now, by going into the top audio podcast section for the business section on iTunes, you’ll see that there’s a bunch that are in the half-hour section. There’s a four-minute one, a four-minute one, a 20 minute one, etc.

In short, there’s a wide range. It doesn’t really matter. There’s no right or wrong. It just means what is right for you, and just go based on your style, whatever you feel is right.

Then, yes, you can change things along the way. You can change your rhythm, you can change your frequency, you can change the length of your show.

Nothing has to be set in stone, but just pick something, try and shoot for it, and then you can go from there.

 

Frequency of episodes

Frequency of episodes

Alright, next, let’s talk about how often each of your episodes should come out.

Should they come out once a week, once a month, or once every day? For example, John Lee Dumas at Entrepreneur on Fire. He’s a big fan of SPI. He is like a machine, an absolute beast.

He produces seven episodes per week for 365 days. It’s crazy. That’s how he’s up to episode more than 1,600 episodes, which is insane. He’s very consistent; he’s very much a machine.

However, don’t be afraid. Some automation strategies will allow you to hand off some of this work to other people and systematize this whole strategy for you.

Yes, you’re going to be able to understand how to do something like that, but is that something that you actually need?

No, there are very, very, many successful podcasts that just come out once a week, or even two or three times a month.

That’s it. Very successful podcasts, a lot of them do not do seven days a week. Actually, most don’t because it’s just impossible in terms of the workload and productivity.

A lot of the ones that do have seven days a week are entire networks that have loads of people who work on the editing and stuff.

John is just an exception to the rule because he’s a solopreneur. But he’s killing it, and he’s doing it seven days a week. You don’t need to do that to succeed.

You can start with an episode that comes out every other week. Then, you can change the frequency, and that’s totally cool. However, the last thing you want to do is do more than you can handle, and then burn out, and then kind of drop out of the podcasting realm for a couple of months, and then sort of getting your legs back, and then come back again.

No, that’s being inconsistent. Remember, we committed to being consistent with this. Not just putting your podcast together, but being consistent means always being there for your audience and making sure that you are wise in terms of how you approach it.

Think about how often an episode of yours is going to come out.

To help you through this, let’s run through a little thought experiment. That is, consider how often you are thinking about having your episodes come out. Then, consider two years down the road.

Can you actually keep up and stay consistent throughout that whole period with that particular frequency? Then, think about all the other things that need to happen in order to put your show together.

At the start, it’s going to be a little bit harder than once you start to get your legs and begin to get the rhythm. But consider, can you keep up that frequency in about two or three years?

It’s wise to continue your show at least that long and not have you burn out and drop out. It’s not good for you; it’s not good for your fans or brand.