A Step-by-Step Guide for Creating a Successful Podcast

SNEAKY BIG Staff / 5.20.2020

Have a genius idea for a podcast? With an estimated 16 million people in the U.S. identified as “avid podcast fans” (Source: Nielsen Q1 2018), there’s no time like the present to jump into the wide world of podcasting.

While there is a voracious audience for podcasts, there is also a lot of competition. According to recent data, there are more than 900,000 to choose from. That means you will need to knock it out of the park to be successful.

There are three main steps in creating a successful podcast:

  1. Prep Work – These are the critical things you need to have in place before ever stepping up to a mic
  2. Recording & Editing – This is where our full-service audio recording studio in Scottsdale, AZ comes into play
  3. Distribution & Promotion – There is no “build it and they will come” in this industry

Ready to get this show on the airwaves? Here are the key elements of prep work before recording.

Step 1: Choose a Topic and a Name

You probably already have a general idea of a topic at this point. To take it from vague to vogue, we’ve found it helpful to write a mission statement. This will guide your content creation and help potential viewers know if you are their cup of podcasting tea. Try to choose a topic that is broad enough to discuss over many episodes but specific enough to stand out from the herd. If we were to start a podcast, for example, we wouldn’t do just “video production” but perhaps “video production in Arizona.”

When choosing a name, we recommend coming up with a list of 15-20 possibilities. Once you have some good ideas, there are three places you will want to check to make sure that name is still available:

  1. Podcast distributors like Apple, Google Podcasts and Stitcher
  2. Domain providers like GoDaddy or Bluehost
  3. Social media platforms (trust us – trying to convince someone to give their social handle to you is an expensive and often unsuccessful endeavor)

Step 2: Episode Format

There are three key elements of a show’s format that you’ll want to decide in advance:

  1. Episode length – Whether it’s five minutes or five hours, decide in advance what works for you (but make sure to do a little bit of beta testing to make sure what works for you works for your audience, too)
  2. Episode format – There are two main types of podcasts: interview and solo/co-hosted. You can do one or the other or a mixture of both. It’s helpful to plan out the interview episodes well in advance to ensure availability.
  3. Line-up – Break your episodes into a basic run of show. It might look something like this:
    a. Intro music
    b. Welcome & teaser
    c. Ad spot 1
    d. Interview
    e. Ad spot 2
    f. Call to action (“subscribe” or “tune in next week when we talk about such and such”)
    g. Outro music

Step 3: Create Your Cover Art

While you should never judge a book by its cover, let’s be honest – everyone judges a podcast by its cover art. We recommend working with a graphic designer to make sure yours pops and that it truly reflects the message you want to get out into the world.

Step 4: Intro & Outro Music

Just like your cover art is the first visual impression people make of you, your intro music is the first audio impression your podcast makes with potential listeners. There are a lot of great places out there where you can purchase songs or find royalty-free ones to use.

Step 5: Make an Appointment

Armed with a mission statement, name, episode formatting, cover art and music, now comes the fun part – the recording. You can definitely buy a whole bunch of gear and figure out how to record and refine your own audio. But, if you want to take your podcast to a level above the competition and thereby increase your perceived value with listeners, let our audio engineer do the heavy lifting for you in our 540-square-foot audio recording studio. Fully soundproof and vibration-isolated, this space is the perfect place to get professional quality.

Ready to get started? Contact us today!

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