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If you’re planning on joining the ever-growing world of podcasters, you’ll need to be well-prepared for certain hurdles that lie in your way. With proper resources and time management, you can fulfill your dream of growing your listener base and reaching podcaster stardom.
When you subscribe to a podcast it’s often because the speaker touches upon subjects that are relevant to you. But this is only one aspect of creating a successful podcast. If your passion is football, for example, there’s probably a plethora of sports podcasts out there that you can choose from. And yet some invariably have more subscribers than others. Why is that? What is the x-factor that makes listeners subscribe to one show over another?
One trait that draws listeners to a specific speaker is the confidence in their voice. Since you’re not face-to-face with anyone, your voice has to resonate with your listeners and confidence is a big part of that. Knowing your topic and being able to speak about it in a relaxed and secure way makes listeners feel they can trust you and raises your overall likeability. Once you shake off your nerves and find your groove, things will begin to fall into place.
From the technical part of the job to the interviews and information delivery itself, podcasting has a lot of moving parts that one must master if they want to build a strong listener base. Don’t get discouraged if you find yourself making mistakes along the way. Comparing your new podcast to a veteran who’s been in the game and has thousands of subscribers should be a learning experience, not a castigating one.
If there is a show out there whose style you identify with, take notes! There’s nothing wrong with modeling the technical portion by getting inspiration from others. This could be the use of sound effects, intro music, interview lengths, and so on. Just make sure when it comes to the material and the actual delivery of information, you don’t plagiarize. Always make it your own to give your listeners something unique and engaging.
Many of today’s podcasts have a co-host and sometimes even more than one. It brings a different dynamic into the conversation and another personality. This new personality can attract a whole new set of listeners, provide new perspectives, and keep the conversation going to prevent “dead air”, a term to describe when no one is speaking during an audio recording (it’s also the kiss of death for any radio show).
But finding that perfect match, or matches, isn’t as easy as you might think. Hosts can have different opinions, but they have to be compatible and passionate about podcasting. If one person in the host and co-host equation is lacking one of these traits it will come across to the listeners and make for a less than pleasant listening experience.
Whether you’re going it alone or have a co-host on your podcast, one of the biggest challenges you’ll face is getting enough time to put together consistent recordings with quality listening content. Time slows down for no one, as we’re all aware, and with other daily commitments constantly popping up, sitting down with one or more people a couple of times a week to record for potentially a few hours may prove to be challenging.
The solution? Make sure all parties involved are committed to budgeting their time. Time management to allow for regularly podcast recordings goes back to our previous point about having a passion for this career. If you have the right people in your circle, they will make the time throughout the week and commit to a consistent recording schedule. It also helps to book recording sessions a couple of weeks in advance to give participants time to accommodate their schedules.
If you’re promising your listeners a weekly podcast, the best way to lose them is to not commit to publishing a new podcast each week. Devoted listeners take time out of their day to tune in to hear what you’re saying, so it’s important to fulfill your end of the bargain. Falling behind once may get a pass, but two or three more missed publishings and you’re in the bunker.
Of course, it’s not always easy for adults with families to get a new daily or weekly podcast recorded with work and family commitments. That’s why we recommend recording two or three podcasts within a short period of time, to give yourself some buffer time between publishings and help build up reserves. Once you have your podcast bank account full, you can start publishing more easily and re-up whenever your account gets low.
One of the most challenging and discouraging things a newcomer will face is building their listener base. As of right now, new shows that find success the quickest often come with the help of existing brands or other popular podcasts. If you’re starting without either, you’ll likely have an uphill climb ahead of you, but don’t lose hope! There are things you can do to improve your chances of attracting listeners, and social media plays a big part in it.
Use your social media platforms to promote your podcast to friends, family, and ask them to share it as well. Written content, like a blog, can also help draw listeners to your channel. Also, don’t forget to reach out to other podcasts for the possibility of cross-promotion. Like you, other podcasts are trying to get their show out there to as many people as possible. With consistent cross-promotion, you can multiply the efforts being made to help yours reach a wider audience.
Creating fresh and engaging content is a challenge for any new podcast and becomes increasingly challenging the more frequently you aim to publish. If your goal is to publish every day or every other day, all parties in your broadcasting group will need to be fully prepared to stay on top of current events surrounding your topics and have recording times booked and committed.
Let’s be honest: time is money and while having a passion for podcasting is important, so is paying the bills. Monetizing your podcast is not an easy feat, but it’s well worth the payoff once it starts to happen. Until then, you must ensure you’re budgeting yourself properly and not losing money on your journey to podcast stardom.
Yes, creating and recording a podcast has a cost. But until your podcast becomes profitable, it’s up to you to ensure the costs you bear are sustainable. To help get some money coming in, try looking for sponsors whose products are relevant to your listener base. You can help promote their products and offer a product code with a discount. This would help you earn a commission for any product your listeners purchase from them.
Tune into Hellum Radio today to learn more about other shows and what they do to grow their new channels into successful podcasts with loyal listeners.
Written by: #HeliumRadio