In Episode #4 of the RobotSpaceship Podcast, (English Version) we go over the basics about what you need to start your own successful podcast. We get a lot of questions about this topic so we decided to go over some of the main concepts in order to give you a broad overview of the process.
To launch your own podcast format, there are essentially five elementary steps:
- Idea & Concept
- Promotion & Community Management
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Full Podcast Transcript:
Hey, everybody, this is Sean from Robot Spaceship, and in today’s episode, I’m going to be going over some of the basics on what you need to know to start your own podcast. So with that said, I’ll see you in the episode. Today’s podcast is brought to you by the new Robot Spaceship Studios, offering professional podcast production, design, consulting and promotional services to help you start your very own podcast. For more information, go to robot spaceship dot com studios.
T minus five, four, three, two, one. Welcome to the Robot Spaceship podcast, offering business, marketing, social media and podcasting advice to help you grow your digital business. This podcast is brought to you by the Robot Spaceship Podcast Network. For more info and other great podcast series, go to Robot Spaceship Dotcom and subscribe. And now your host, Sean Early. Hey, everybody, this is Sean Early.
And welcome to Episode four of the Robot Spaceship podcast. Today, I want to take a chance to answer a big pile of questions that I’ve been getting about podcasting. So I thought I’d kind of scoop this all together in a big bulk answer session.
That was sort of a we did we did a blog post quite a while ago called Five Steps for Starting a Successful Podcast. So I think a lot of these questions are very relevant to this blog post. So I’m going to kind of scoop it all together and try to answer some of these high level questions about podcasting, pretty much just basics that people ask on how to get started, what they need to know, what they need to do, what is the process, what kind of gear they need.
You know, just kind of a general overview of the basics. So with that said, let me start by just kind of giving you a basic outline of what we call five steps for starting your podcast. First one is pretty simple, its idea and concept. It’s basically what’s your podcast going to be about? Why are you podcasting? What are you going to do it for? Is it a hobby? Is it a business? What’s what’s the strategy behind it?
Number two is recording, which is just the process of actually recording your podcast. So it’s not just the process of recording, it’s also the equipment that you need to record. So I’ll go you know, I could do a whole podcast on that topic, but I’ll kind of go into some of the basics to get you started. At least number three is editing, which once you’ve recorded your podcast, you want to edit it down.
So it sounds nice and slick and professional. Number four, when you’re actually done with your podcast, you have it ready and mix down, then you need to distribute it. So number four is distribution. So what do you what platforms do you need to distribute the audio to? How do you need to get it out there? How do you need to present it on the Internet? What do you need to do? What’s the what’s the backup material and deliverables that need to happen with that?
And number five is promotion and community management, which is basically once everything’s up and on the Web, you need to share it. You need to get some attention to it. You need to market yourself and you need to engage with the people that talk to you about it. So community management is very important. It’s not just get it up there and get onto the next podcast. It’s really about it’s kind of it’s kind of the next step in the communication cycle of podcasting.
So with that said, I’ll get into number one, which I kind of talked a little bit about in my last podcast about the monetization part. But obviously, if you’re doing this as a business, you want to know, you know, why are why are we doing this podcast? Why do we need a podcast? What is it for? So, you know, idea and concept, obviously, you know, you need to have a podcast that’s interesting.
And it needs to be interesting to the very targeted people that you want to listen to it. So if it is a hobby podcast, then, you know, sometimes maybe there’s nobody interested in it, but you just like to do it, in which case, great, go for it. Have fun if it is for a business. And obviously you need to have some some business strategy behind it, not just monetization, but, you know, what is the strategic advantage of having this podcast?
How will it lead to having more business for you? Is it information marketing? Is it infotainment? Is it about communicating to your clients? Is about communicating to your employees? Is it about positioning in your industry? There’s all kinds of reasons for having a podcast for your business, but having a good strategy really helps.
So a lot of a lot of podcasting really comes down to, I would say either.
Fifty percent, you just kind of overthink it and you really plan and plan and plan. You kind of go through a process. Another part is just to take the agile approach and basically just start going for it and kind of change it as you go. There’s no one way that works perfectly, but I just say, you know, see what your what your standard process is for doing things and just get started somehow, whether it’s in the planning stage or just record some episodes.
A lot of times what we’ll do when we start a podcast is if things aren’t quite clear and we just kind of want to get the conversation going, we start what we call an Episode zero, which is basically just a descriptive podcast that just kind of talks about what the podcast will be about. And maybe either you clarify some things to your listeners, what to expect in future episodes, or maybe ask questions just to see if you can get some feedback.
To help you define the podcast a little bit more, I think especially keeping a conversation fresh really involves keeping and keeping up to date and keeping things modern. And sometimes you don’t really know what your podcasting about until the next day when the news comes out and, you know, you see something that applies to your business or your industry and you have to talk about it. So either way, just get started. But, you know, think about, you know, how it’s going to benefit your business.
Are you going to get more clients out of it from what you teach? Are you going to be able to promote the products that you that you sell?
Are you basically, you know, creating, you know, talking about the news about your business? Are you talking about news in a certain industry? Are you you know, there’s there’s a ton of different ways you can go about it. But again, you know, you have to have a reason for your podcast, for your business especially.
I’d jumping into item number two recording. Like I said, I could do a whole podcast and I probably will just on on recording itself. But, you know, obviously you can’t record unless you have equipment. And there’s all kinds of different ways you can podcast. Some people have, you know, a whole studio with lots of microphones and lots of outboard gear and and computers and everything and great mikes.
Some people just just record stuff on their phone with their headphone mic and just kind of upload it from there. It really just depends on what you’re comfortable with, the quality of what you want. But there’s all different kinds of ways you can go. I would say probably the most effective way to do it is obviously, you know, you need a laptop, fairly modern laptop that at least has enough processing power and speed and storage to be able to record some audio, possibly two tracks at a time.
That’s that’s a good way to play safe. You probably want to have at least one good microphone. You know, you can get a pretty decent microphone for one hundred bucks just for podcasting voice quality. You probably want to have some sort of stand to hold the microphone because nobody wants to sit there and hold the mic and hear all kinds of funny noises.
You hear that it’s all this movement if you’re moving the mic around so you want to mic that just stays stable and sounds good. You want to have a pop screen on your mic so that it’s this you know, I have a pop screen so you can hear the popping. But if I talk the pop, pop, pop, you know, you want to be able to cover that. So it’s not so annoying and sort of piercing. When somebody listens to your podcast, you want to have a nice stand.
So either you want a desktop stand that sits on your desk as you talk or one of those nice retractable stands, it kind of bends back and forth and gets out of the way and comes over the top or wherever you want to position it. So, you know, it’s it’s nice to have at least a decent mic and a decent stand to get started with. And then the next step is just a way to get that that audio from your microphone in your computer.
So you probably want to have a fairly you know, you can get an audio interface for your computer, just you plug the microphone into the audio interface and then the audio interface plugs in your computer, usually via USB, USB, sorry. And you can get that for, you know, not too much money, really, I’d say, you know, between one and two hundred dollars worth of equipment and on top of your your laptop, you can basically have enough gear to get started.
A nice set of headphones is good too. I mean, you can also use your your your your your cell phone headphones if you really need to. But, you know, a nice pair of headphones that actually sits on your ear and and blocks out the sound so you can actually hear the sound that’s coming through the microphone. That’s nice as well. So, you know, good mic, good stand, good audio input and nice set of headphones for your computer and you should be ready to go.
As far as recording software, we keep things pretty basic here. You can you know, you can spend a lot of money and recording software, obviously. But, you know, if you have a Mac, we use GarageBand. It’s free with any new Mac so you can use GarageBand, get to use it. It’s great for podcasting. Audacity is another one that works, I think, for PC and Mac. And that’s a free program you can download for recording multiple tracks and editing things.
So I’m not going to go into the specifics of both, but those are two very simple ways to to get started. And some people don’t even do more than that. They just kind of use, you know, a lot of people, robots, batteries, use GarageBand edit. So it’s, you know, perfectly fine to use that throughout the lifespan of your podcast. Obviously, you know, you can spend a lot more money. Obviously, it just depends on how many people are podcasting.
At the same time, some people actually just use a USB sort of headset with a microphone that works, too. That’s another inexpensive way to go. If you just want to record yourself in a podcast, if you want to have a couple of people sitting in a room and recording, then you want to have at least a couple of mikes and an audio interface that has a couple of microphone inputs in it so you can both get a nice quality recording of your voice.
So I would say, you know, price of each mic is, you know, 50 to 100 bucks. Audio interface is, you know, you could get a fairly decent one for around one hundred bucks, normally fairly decent beginner audio interface headphones. You know, it’s really up to preference. You know, you can get 20 buck headphones, you can spend a couple hundred bucks on headphones. It depends on how nice. But, you know, within a couple hundred bucks you can get started podcasting and move up from there and quality.
So, you know, if you want to buy external speakers for mixing or if you want to buy a better audio and or more software or fancy plug ins for your software, you know, you can go crazy with that. But again, a couple hundred bucks and you should be ready to go. So I kind of segued right into the editing part, which is number three, obviously, you know, once you record your stuff in your software, you want to edit it, so you want to mix it down.
So it actually sounds nice if you want to have an intro with a jingle audio jingle in the beginning, or if you want to play some advertisements or whatever in your podcasts, you need to kind of edit your your audio so that you have one nice consistent podcast piece and we use it, you know, the same thing we record in which is which is GarageBand. You can you can edit as well. So you can mix the various tracks down, you can mix all the the sound, the music and everything.
So, you know, you have multiple tracks for that and then you can mix it down using garage band to be able to get your final piece. And you know, that’s the same. That’s another software preference. You know, you can spend a lot of money on an expensive audio editing software and all the plug ins. Or you can use something simple, like a rock band. But either way, it works pretty well. And, you know, I’ve heard a lot of really popular popular podcasts that have been recorded on some pretty questionable sounding gear.
So really, you know, if if if your podcast is interesting, it’s not really about the sound quality. I mean, obviously it makes things better. But, you know, I’ve heard people get away with a lot less some podcasts, some really huge podcasts, actually. People just kind of record their microphone on there, on their iPhone as they’re sitting in the car about ready to go into the office or on their commute to work. Sometimes they do a 20 minute podcast on their commute in their car and you can hear all kinds of noises.
Sometimes they’re yelling at traffic or whatever. But, you know, you can the microphone on your phone works great as well.
And there’s some apps that just allow you to to edit that like online in the cloud and upload it. So there’s all kinds of different ways you can do that. But, you know, getting familiar with a good editing software is going to really make your podcast sound better. And, you know, the more pro sounding, obviously, the more comfortable it is for the listeners to listen to. So, you know, make an effort, you know, you could spend forever trying to tweak everything to make it perfect, but really just kind of make it sound nice with the editing software that you have available to you and kind of move on and learn from there.
Number four is distribution. And that’s basically when everything’s done, when the podcast is burnt down to a away file or an MP three and it’s ready to go, what do you need to do with it then? And so we not only we we mix down the audio, but we make a lot of creatives as well.
So we write a blog post. We create some graphics for that episode. We want to make sure that, you know, if somebody goes and they listen to that podcast online, then, you know, there’s resource information, there’s liner notes about what you talk about. There’s all kinds of, you know, information that you want people to know about when they listen to the podcast. Like, you know, if you’re talking about a product and say, well, I’ll put the link to the product in the liner notes, then, you know, you want to make sure you have all this stuff created.
And when you do upload your podcasts to these platforms like Spotify and all that, you want to make sure you have a nice graphic that goes with it. You want to make sure you have all the text and description, everything ready to go. So there’s a little bit of creative time that has to come on top of just actually recording and mixing the podcasts. So it’s a little bit of work on top of that. But once you do that, then you know you’re ready to go.
And at that point you just need to distribute it. There’s all kinds of platforms. I mean, everybody has a preference as well about what platform they put their podcast on. But, you know, you kind of want to get it on some on the major platforms, you know, which is which is Apple podcast, iTunes, Spotify, Google podcasts, um, SoundCloud. There’s there’s there’s a ton of podcast platforms out there, but you want to make sure you get them on some of the major ones that everybody’s listening to.
And like I said, most people listen to their podcasts on their phones. So, you know, try to get a sense for what? That more people actually listening to podcast for on their phones. Make sure you get it on those platforms, in which case, you know, normally either you buy a service that distributes your podcast to all these different platforms or you can do it yourself for free. You just need to sign up to all the various platforms and distribute your podcast.
So you set up an account and you upload your files. And, you know, it takes a little time sometimes to get approved. But, you know, it’s it’s it’s time consuming if you want to do it inexpensively, but it can be done. So it really just depends on your budget and time limitations. Again, those are whole other podcasts we could talk about as well, which I’ll get into later. And new ones are popping up all the time.
So it’s really kind of hard to keep track of them all. But for the most part, you just want to upload your stuff to a platform that, you know, has a lot of listeners and is easier for people to find you and follow you and subscribe. And that’s really what it boils down to, is you want to get it heard and you want people to subscribe, so they listen to more.
And finally, which kind of segues into promotion and community management, obviously, once you have your stuff all uploaded and ready to go and listen to, you need to make sure people find you and actually go and listen. So you need to be able to share that podcast. You need to maybe, you know, maybe you need a blog to put out your liner notes and information. So maybe you have a WordPress blog or something that you upload it to share the blog post, share the podcast episode itself.
Social media is the best place to go. Lots of social media sharing. Maybe you want a page for your podcast, the Facebook page, Instagram account, all of these places that people normally go to promote and market, there’s businesses. You need to make sure your podcast is shared on those as well. And so, you know, typical Internet marketing practices for sharing your podcasts, getting it known and networking with people, getting it seen. You know, a lot of communication in that is also not just, hey, here’s my podcast.
But you also need, you know, to think about, you know, the lowest common denominator of mindset of people listening.
Sometimes sometimes you need to spend a lot more time to saying, hey, here’s my podcast, go there and subscribe. Here’s my podcast. Go there and follow us. Give us a like give us a review. So a lot of time is just spent sort of duplicating and duplicating and duplicating the message to get people to follow and share and subscribe and blah, blah, blah. So, you know, I’d say it’s 50 percent like here’s my podcast, here’s the new stuff.
And 50 percent is just like go there and do the same thing we’ve been telling you to do just so somebody you know who maybe didn’t subscribe before, even though they heard one hundred podcasts, maybe they’re like, oh, I actually do need to subscribe to this or I need to follow. So I’m a lot of it is just repetitive information as well. And after that is just community management. So once it’s out there and shared and everybody sees it and, you know, somebody listens, people want to leave comments, they want to ask you questions.
And that’s the best part about podcasting is really getting the feedback and hearing from people who listen to you and seeing what they think and getting ideas and and just sharing and being able to answer that as well. So community management is just a big aspect about it that a lot of people kind of overlook. It’s just, you know, you can’t just upload your stuff and say, here it is. You need to be able to continue the conversation and especially with business podcasts.
I mean, that’s really where the business starts for you, is once you’re done promoting and getting people interested and now they’re interested and they’re communicating with you, then you need to actually take that and convert it into something that that monetizes. So continue a conversation personally with people. That’s really what it boils down to. That’s the point of the whole podcasting process for business. So I think those are the those are the big top five.
Those are the basics. Again, we can go into a lot of a lot of deeper, longer, more detailed podcasts about that. But really, it’s just boils down to kind of just getting started, making sure you have enough gear to get the quality that you want, make sure you have enough experience with the gear to make sure that you get it done the way you want it done, making sure you spend the time in creating the creatives, marketing everything, getting it out there, getting it set up.
It’s time consuming, obviously. But, you know, once you get into a rhythm, then it really kind of starts to become second nature.
And, you know, obviously there’s there’s a lot to there’s a big learning curve with podcasting. If you’ve never done it before, there’s a lot to do. It’s a lot of work. There’s a lot of things to learn. There’s a lot of sort of practicing makes perfect, but it takes time. So don’t expect to get everything done perfectly right away. Also understand your limitations. So some things you’re going to be great at and some things you just don’t want to do or don’t do well.
So don’t be afraid to get help with that or outsource the stuff that is really going to just waste your time or detract you from actually getting things out and getting productive with it.
So as a as a as a side note. And another aspect that I’d like to talk about really quickly, we recently launched a new feature, or I guess you’d call it a division of robot spaceship called Robot Spaceship Studios. And we are basically creating a resource for you who need help with your podcast, whether you’re learning how to start your podcast coming up with a concept or whether you need help with the actual production process or recording a graphics or promotion or marketing, whatever you need.
Robot Spaceship Studios is there to help you. So Robot Spaceship Studios is a professional podcast, production design consulting and promotional services agency. And we help you start your own podcast. So if you need help with your podcasts, you need help. Just somebody to talk to you about it. Some consulting, some technical help, some production help, some graphic design help. Maybe you need a website. Maybe you need social media marketing. Maybe you need somebody just to mix the episodes for you.
Maybe you need a jingle. Maybe you need somebody to do an intro for you, whatever you need. There’s a lot of aspects to podcasting that you can’t be expected to do everything yourself perfectly. So if you need help or you need guidance, you need resources, somebody to sit behind your shoulder and just say, this is what you need to do. This is what you shouldn’t do. Or here we did this for you. Get in touch.
Go to robot spaceship, dot com slash studios. We have a number of podcasting, podcasting packages, Sarda packages, pro packages. Go there, check it out once again, that’s robot spaceship dot com slash studios and check it out and see what you think. And let me know because we we have a lot of a lot of knowledgeable people on our staff. We have all agency behind us, people who are ready and willing and very capable of helping you out in all these aspects that you need help on.
So get in touch. Let us know. Once again, I hope that was enough information. At least give you a basic overview of podcasting and what the commitments are going to be, what you need to do. Again, I’ll be touching on a lot of these in more depth in later episodes, but at least that’s a good primer for you to get started. So with that said, I’m Sean Early. This is a robot spaceship podcast and I will talk to you soon.
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