A Step-By-Step Guide to Whoring Yourself Out on Audio
Before we get into the technical stuff, there are some important things that you must consider and pre-plan before making the commitment to starting a podcast.
Let’s dig into it!
1. Identify Your Niche And Or Brand
If you already have one, write down 5 adjectives that describe it. These 5 things should match the goal and content of each episode of your podcast.
So for example, you sell cupcakes. So your podcast should obviously surround all things relating to cupcakes. What kind of cupcakes are they? Are the cupcakes custom designed by you? Do you specialize in cupcakes that are shaped like vaginas, are inspired by famous dead celebrities, garbage pail kids, or do you slay at making them for weddings, or divorces? Are you a vegan cupcake goddess? Maybe you only make black funeral cupcakes that sing when you bit into them. The point is, think about what your unique proposition is amongst all the other cupcakeateers on the planet and how you would seduce the world with your brand.
Using this cupcake example, for shitz and giggles lets say the five-word breakdown would be: cupcakes, vegan, dead celebrities, divorce, recipes
Next you’ll need to decide what you offer to an audience. Why would people want to listen to your podcast? What valuable information can folks pick up or apply to whatever it is they are doing. What makes you stand out? Maybe you cupcake smash your guests, or make them taste test them blindfolded standing on a chair and video that portion for your coinciding YouTube channel. If you use my idea, I want royalties.
2. Word Vomit
On a piece of paper spew words that pop up that you think of when it comes to cupcakes. Icing, Batter, sugar free substitutes & their health benefits, or how to make them from tree bark…etc etc. Anything you think of can basically be turned in to a podcast. What are all the things you can talk about that relate to your niche or target market? Can you teach them something? Do you have a competitive edge, a secret family recipe? Are you willing to share stories of your experience like how you started your business or created your niche?? Perhaps you can provide insights to your business model, and how you market your cupcakes. What about interviewing and featuring experts in your niche? I think you catch the savvy drift.
3. Decide on a host
Chances are you may want to have your podcast available on iTunes, but you will need a provider to host your podcast where you will upload it after it is recorded. From the host, your Podcast will automatically be sent to iTunes once you have that part of the configuration set up.
There are several podcast hosts available. I’ve been using PodOmatic. I find the layout not overly sophisticated and beginner user friendly. The channel I find also looks more professional and not as boring as other ones that I have seen. The downside is that the free plan does not include much storage so I am looking to switch. Another host I discovered through my hero Tim Ferris is Libsyn. This is a paid service but you can get quality hosting for as little as $5 for 50mb of storage. Plans do not exceed $75 per month so depending on what you might need will dictate what plan you will need to be on. It has fast and reliable downloading, is optimized for both audio and video distribution, and has multiple publishing destinations including iTunes. The BEST part is if you choose an advanced plan, you receive a mobile app designed just for you! I have not seen this anywhere else and it is pretty f#cking awesome! Trust me, I’m rethinking my first choice; however switching can be costly and a huge pain in the ass handle.
Set up your podcast host account. Please Note: You are not able to link your podcast to publisher such as iTunes until you have recorded and uploaded your first episode to your podcast host! Publishers such as iTunes will not be able to pick up on the RSS feed for your podcast until then. The good news is that each time you upload a new episode to your host, iTunes will piggy back to pick it up for you.
4. Get A Call Recorder
You will need this for Skype or whatever services you will be using when you are hosting distance interviews. Call recording is not included in Skype and is actually a third party add-on you will need to download and install.
5. Choose An Audio Recording Source
There are a shit ton of audio programs you can use to record your podcasts. It’s a trial an error process and mainly comes down to comfort and preference. Some people like Audacity, which I’ve used and found to be complex, or alternatively Mac users like myself can use Garageband. It’s geared towards musicians; however, the user-friendly interface, and ability to create a Master Podcast Template is what hooked me.
6. Create A Master Podcast Template
Naturally this is the next step. Duh. This is to be done inside your podcast recording program, and will literally make your world go around. The template generally will go as follows:
- Pre-Roll: this is your chance to be a big star. No, actually here you just let folks know who you are, and the episode title/number, sponsor notes, and whatever little plug-ins your sassy heart desires. Minus the prostitution and killing men. Unless you really want to. LOL.
- Intro Music (optional): Most notable podcasts have innovative intro music. You can have someone narrate it, or you can use recorded bits of something cool of your own over the music. If you want something really professional. I would suggest you stalk down an audio production dude to out together this 30 bit for you. Hey, maybe you can get Morgan Freeman to narrate your intro; he did a good job with the ducks unlimited series? Hmm, wait not sure if that was the one. It was some nature special though, and he did his monotone best. Trump might do a good job. That is, if you like assholes. GO TO UPWORK TO FIND AN AUDIO GURU if you don’t know anyone in the industry.
- Introduction: A summary about Podcast, and if applicable an ego stoking before welcoming your guest.
- Interview: If in person. Drag this single file and delete the second interview slot.
- Interview (1) only if distance recording: Your voice
- Interview (2) only if distance recording: Your guests voice
- Post-Roll: Final notes, call to action, where people can find you.
- Outro Music (Optional): Same guidelines as before. Trump or no Trump.
You will want to save this template in your podcast folder
7. Create Podcast Folder
On your Mac or PC, you will want to create a folder to hold your Master File, Master Template, your MP3 episodes and all marketing and media related materials. A little tip to keep certain files at the top add an underscore before the file name like so: _HotGuestIntro.garageband. Files will maintain alphabetical order.
8. Have A General Release
Get it signed and dated by each guest. This will cover your ass against liabilities. Make sure to include your company info, and contact information, along with any disclaimers applicable like if your guest or you discuss the time you wore superman capes and did flips on a trampoline while drinking beer bongs. Or the time you were experimenting with walking on stilts while juggling live grenades. It’s a good idea to mention in your blog description and on the release a disclaimer that you/they are professionals, and that people that are not highly trained or skilled in that area should not attempt those acts, and that you are not held responsible for any incidents of injury or death as a result of the conversations held on the podcast. Yadda yadda yadda.
Besides your PC or Mac it is recommended you invest in some quality equipment for podcasting to produce higher quality sound. An external microphone will prove to make you look badass, and also give you crisp, clear sound so even the mice could hear a silent but deadly toot. Out of all the choices I’ve had, I picked the Blue Yeti with a Mic Wind Filter since I record outside sometimes on patios, and in restaurants. Again, this is user friendly and high quality without breaking the bank.
You can invest in headphones but I don’t particularly think they are necessary. If you do want to get them you can find a suite like this to get the microphone, headphones and Mic filter packaged together. Here it is on Amazon.
10. Create A Podcast Outline
You will want to have some organization and establish a flow to keep your podcast on track and on time. Typical podcasts will hold the attention of listeners for around 25-35 PROVIDING you haven’t bored the shit out of them in the first five minutes. I created one with my logo and podcast image and saved it as a template that when I have a new guest, I will open and plug in info like the date of the podcast, any information that relates to my guest and topics of conversation that I want to address and that I think my listeners would want to know or benefit from. I suggest you can send you guest a copy in advance as a PDF so they know what to expect in advance. This also give them the chance to mentally prepare or have their team counter anything they may have an issue with.
11. Test Out
Do a dry run using of all your equipment and your outline. Have your mom or dog sit in as your lucky guest. Using your outline and all the tools I provided you, go ahead and do it. To start a simple 10-minute podcast will do.
Once you are finished recording the audio file, open up your Master Template and drop in your intro that you may have prerecorded and then your Intro Music. You then can drop in your single audio file if you are having your guest on in person. I typically record while with my guest in person for bonding over booze purposes, and that’s just the feel of how I like my podcast feel. Up close and personal. If you do end up doing distance recording you will want to use a split audio feature to clean up sound in each side. So you would then use the Interview 1 and Interview 2 slots for those. Finally you will add in your Outro Music.
Again Note: Using a split app to split the audio is only necessary when using the call recorder in distance podcasting. It is used to separate your audio versus your guest audio to provide cleaner sound.
Once you have completed editing and piecing together your podcast export the audio file as an MP3.
12. Upload And Grow
Hypothetically now you would convert the file to MP3 if needed, and then upload the episode to your podcast host to then submit it to iTunes. Once iTunes pick up your podcast RSS feed you are good to go. iTunes automatically will detect new episodes you upload to your podcast host. Some will take some times but others will appear the following day.
Once you’ve put together the magic formula outlines about as it pertains to your style and brand, moving forward you basically just need to put yourself in the shit, dipping your pretty pedicured tootsies in it. There’s no better way than to just go for it. You get better with experience like with anything else and once you are comfortable your personality will shine through making you stand out even more.
I truly hope you have found this valuable and not overwhelming. I put a lot of information in here for you a simply put as I could. Now it’s up to you take action.