Interact’s Social Media Manager, Wyatt Otto, gives us his 5 tips to producing and recording an awesome podcast.
1. A Great Microphone Does Wonders
You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg, but a great microphone will really up the quality of your podcast. A microphone in the $50-100 range will work just fine and give a significant upgrade from your laptop or smartphone’s built-in microphone. There are two kinds of microphones: condenser and dynamic. Both are awesome mics, but with podcasting, which one to use depends on your setup. Condenser mics are great if you have a quiet space and want to capture rich sound. Condenser mics pick up a lot of details and can be nice, but if you have a lot of background noise—even just a ceiling fan—it will be very easily picked up by the mic.
Dynamic microphones, on the other hand, have a very limited range and will pick up only the sound directly in front of them. They also tend to pick up fewer details, since their range of sound is more limited. So, if you have a rather noisy space, these are the mics for you. If you’re looking for microphones that won’t break the bank, Discover Pods has a great blog post detailing several affordable options.
2. Have a Structure
People love consistency. When your listeners tune in to your podcast, they want to know what to expect each episode. Whether that’s different segments each episode, a recurring host, or a general structure that the conversations always flow through, you’ve got to keep it consistent. Buzzsprout gives several ideas of segments such as Q&As and Tips and Tricks.
Each episode should start with a summary and outline of what will be discussed in that episode. It’s important, of course, that each episode be appealing to your audience, but stating the topic at the beginning of the episode will allow the listener to quickly decide if they’re interested or if they should tune in next week. If you don’t tell them and they find out halfway through that they’re not interested in the subject, they’ll be wary to listen again.
3.Take Your Time
Podcasting is much like public speaking, except you can’t see your audience. This can be really intimidating for some people, resulting in an awkward medium to consume. The key is to take your time; take a deep breath, collect your thoughts, and present them in a calm and casual way. Though it is great to speak very professionally, podcasts are a very relaxed medium and thus do not require a strict formal way of speaking. Be yourself, but be clear and concise about the topic. And also remember that if you severely mess up, the audio can be edited out if need be.
4. Don’t Immediately Look at Analytics
Podcasts are a medium that often takes a long time to gain popularity. The market is highly saturated and there’s hundreds of podcasts for every single topic. But don’t let that stress you out. Your audience, through good marketing, will eventually find you. Just know that if you are creating good, informative content, people who enjoy that content will find your podcast and love it. So, don’t look at the analytics, because it will only stress you out at first.
5. Guests Keep It Interesting
Some of the best podcasts have a different guest every week. There are tons of benefits to having a guest each episode: they reduce how much the hosts have to talk, they can bring a lot of expertise to the topic you’re discussing, and they provide free advertising.
Having a guest devotes an entire chunk of the episode to interviewing them, meaning you don’t have to talk as much to fill the episode. You can easily spend at least fifteen minutes just talking to them about their expertise. That expertise also brings value to your podcast, as people wanting to learn more about subject will be drawn to that episode and your podcast in general. And finally, the guest is a walking billboard. People love attention and being in the spotlight. And if you feature them on your podcast, they’re probably going to tell everyone they know about it…which means all their friends will listen to your podcast and potentially subscribe for more episodes. Having a guest is win-win!
If you liked these podcasting tips, stay tuned for our Quick Tips! video all about podcast guest etiquette and how to get the best interview.