[Updated] Should you create a podcast? Can you create a podcast? Yes, the answer is YES, just start. We interviewed 500 podcasters in our Rockin Libsyn Podcast series at all stages of podcasting and asked them:
“What do you wish you knew before you started podcasting?” We found there are some real common themes with the wisdom they’ve shared. Get a jump on it with these helpful tips.
Creating a Podcast Is a Lot of Work
The consensus is that when you decide to make a podcast, you are taking on more than you might realize, especially if you are doing it by yourself.
When thinking about the amount of time and dedication it will take to see your vision through to its full potential, remember, the time you put in upfront determining your concept will save time later. A lot of the work is front-end.
We’ve got a great resource to work through concepting in our How to Start a Podcast Guide. No stone unturned!
Then, when thinking about production, estimate how long you think it will take you to create an episode and triple that time — that’s how long creating an episode really takes.
Above all, remember, podcasting is a marathon, not a sprint,
This puts things in perspective. Adopting this perspective has helped many a podcaster keep podcasting and avoid the dreaded “podfade.”
Downloads Aren’t Everything
Remember, you don’t need to obsess about download numbers, especially to start, but it IS helpful to understand your podcast analytics. They don’t just count downloads; they can help you see what episodes are doing the best, where people are listening, etc., which can inform your marketing strategies.
Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) tech-verified stats, which is what Libsyn provides in both our Basic and Advanced podcast plans, are the industry standard, providing universal terms and measurement standardization. These podcast analytics help podcasters accurately compare their growth to others in the industry and give advertisers the assurance that ad buys across podcasts provide the same reach. So, if you have future podcast monetization goals, understanding your IAB stats is key.
Niche Content — Go for It!
Don’t try and tackle all kinds of topics in order to gain listener interest and growth. Find your specialty and focus on your subject matter expertise. Make it interesting, make it exciting, make it the very best that it can be.
If you find yourself too scattered, you can always rebrand and relaunch. Many of our podcasters have stepped back in their podcasting journey to do just that. Most who have pivoted realized a significant growth in not only listeners but loyal listeners, one of the most important elements of a podcast’s audience who relate.
Sometimes finding your niche is a process. Trust it.
Check out Kate Erickson from Entrepreneurs on Fire who talks about the value of niche content, especially to set yourself up for future monetization opportunities.
And watch this video on podcast growth that directly addresses the needs of niche content podcasters when it comes to growing audiences. See Timecode 36:18.
Trust Your Choices
Again, many of our podcasters express great gratitude for having the confidence to trust their instincts. Simple things like the length of your episode. One of our podcasters shared this: “The head of the network told us she never thought our show would work or be popular because it was shorter and not an interview format. Needless to say, we have done the show the way we wanted from the beginning and it’s worked out spectacularly. If you have a vision for a show, it means there are listeners out there waiting to hear it. Don’t listen to people who don’t share your vision.”
Another put it more simply: always bet on yourself!
Your Podcasting Community Will Keep You Podcasting
Something you’ll find when you make a podcast is a very engaged and helpful podcasting community, who are there to assist, encourage and celebrate you. It’s a very unique group to be a part of and extremely amenable to answering questions, swapping promos, sharing expertise, sharing what works for them (and what doesn’t).
There are also great podcasting events every year like Podfest and Podcast Movement where podcasters come together to learn, find new gear, offer insights, share experiences and get to know one another. Attending a conference or even forming a podcast er group in your own community is a great resource to keep you passionate about podcasting.
“There’s no comparison to a face-to-face conversation with someone that understands the podcaster’s struggle. Get plugged in and find your people!”
Don’t Suffer from Podcast Gear & Process Paralysis
When you make a podcast, suddenly you are learning all about remote recording, editing, creating cover art (This is super simple when you use Canva), audiograms for promotion, maybe video podcasting and more. This means a lot of gear and processes. These tips were top!
- It’s crucial to write down your schedule/outline. Having it out of your mind and written down is super helpful for having a clear mind when producing & hosting your show.
- Test your mics properly and avoid audio reverb.
- Keep learning about the industry. Technology evolves, and implementing new strategies helps improve processes.
- Commit to learning, improving, and taking action!
- You don’t need the latest and greatest podcast equipment. Set milestones and when you reach one, treat yourself to a new piece of equipment or software!
Want to get a sense of how other podcasters set up their studios for success? Check out our podcast studio tour that features a tour of not one, but FOUR Libsyn podcaster’s workspaces!
Need help with some of your production questions? Go to our create a podcast guide. Here you’ll find everything you need to know to produce your first episode!
Be a Guest on Other Podcasts
According to our podcasters, social media is only a part of the whole podcast promotional strategy. Ends up, what has the most impact is being a guest on another podcast. There’s that podcasting community again!
In this way, you are getting the word out about your show while offering the host’s audience something so good that they want to check out your show, too. It’s a win-win!
Need some help figuring out how to score that guest you’ve always wanted? Libsyn’s own Brian Cottington shares his tried-and-true tactics used to find and get ANY podcast guest!
Enjoy your Role
Being a podcaster brings with it a certain amount of “cool.” Really, you host a podcast? Where can i listen?
According to one Libsyn podcaster, “Saying that I have a podcast makes me feel super special. As an introvert, telling people that I have my own show is a convenient way to make a quick connection. It’s fun for me when someone pulls out their phone in excitement and asks me what the podcast is called so they can subscribe.”
Take Advantage of Libsyn Resources
We’re happy to say that in looking back, our podcasters are pleased with the ability to access the many resources we provide to help them on their journey. They recommend, especially when starting out, to take advantage of all of the information in our getting started podcasting guide, in the Libsyn Blog, our library of Libsyn help articles, our Libsyn You Tube channel and the official Libsyn Podcast, The Feed.
All of these resources are designed to help you start and keep podcasting. You can also connect with our podcast support team Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST to answer any questions!
Here is our favorite. When asked about regrets, our podcasters mostly said they regretted not having started podcasting earlier!
Said one podcaster, “I wish I would have started my own show years ago. It’s going to be uncomfortable getting on the mic, but hopefully, after three months it gets easier. Then, six months later, it’s even easier, and eventually, you hit a groove. I’ve released seven episodes and I feel like I’m starting to catch my stride.”
So start. Launch a podcast today.
Need more inspiration? Read about podcasting during the pandemic, where podcasters share how they overcame all the odds that COVID-19 brought with it. Anything is possible, so KEEP PODCASTING!