Top 6 Things Every Podcaster Should Know
Whether you’re launching a podcast for the first time or you already host an established show, there’s a lot more that goes into being a successful podcaster than a microphone and your Spotify Downloads stats. In order to podcast like the pros, you’ll want to study the playbook.
That’s why we’ve compiled this list of 6 things every podcaster should know:
1. Your Competition
In the world of podcasting, there are currently over 2,000,000 active podcasts being produced. That number is growing every day, which means your super awesome and totally unique idea for a podcast is likely to have some competition. Luckily, you don’t need to be the only podcast on basket weaving in order to be successful.
What you really want to know is this:
- What are the top podcasts that your target audience already listens to?
- What are the top podcasts in the genre you plan to target?
- Does anyone else have the same idea for a podcast as you?
- Is the name of your show (if you have one) already being used?
Keep in mind that just because you found a nearly-identical podcast out there, doesn’t mean it’s still an actively-produced show. Do some market research and find out what your audience wants. Then, figure out your unique angle or spin. From there, you should be able to develop a concept that appeals to your audience and sets you up for success.
2. Your Audience
Believe it or not, knowing your audience is not as simple as tracking your download stats from Spotify. Shockingly, downloads do not equal active listeners. Sure, it’s a great number to reference when you’re selling ad space, but when it comes to growing your audience, there’s a lot more to know.
Growing a podcast audience is a lot like tending a garden. You’ve got to plant seeds at the right time, and understand where listeners are at in their journey. For this reason, we’ve created The Listener Lifecycle. The Listener Lifecycle is like a funnel for podcast audiences, and the goal is to help you create 1,000 True Fans. Believe it or not, that’s all you need to truly be successful in this industry.
To learn more about The Listener Lifecycle including how to calculate your true audience size, how to get casual listeners to subscribe to your show, and more, listen to The Humble Podcaster Season 2 for free, here.
3. Your Time Commitment
Podcasting takes time, there’s no way around it. Between scheduling guests and writing episodes, recording and editing audio, and writing show notes and social media promotion, the amount of time you spend can really add up. That’s why you need to know how much time you’re willing to spend on it upfront. Otherwise, you could wind up choosing a show format and release schedule that leads to a dreaded phenomenon called Podfade.
Podfade is when a podcaster starts burning out on their show. As show releases become more and more sporadic, their audience dwindles and finds other shows to fill their time. Podcasters experience Podfade become discouraged by this lack of engagement in their show, and usually, podcasts never recover.
Luckily, this can all be avoided by understanding upfront how much time it will take to produce your podcast, and how you’re planning to get it all done. Of course, if you want all of the perks of podcasting stardom and none of the Podfade, you can always partner with a podcast production company like HumblePod, who does the editing work for you behind the scenes.
4. Your Goals
A podcast is like an all-access pass to incredible conversations with interesting people. It can help you generate leads for your business, be a fun and profitable side hustle, or even just help you score some free beers at your local brewery. Whatever your goal for podcasting, it’s important to define. Why?
Well, podcasting can be a fickle thing. There may be some weeks where your downloads spike, and some weeks where your Grandma is your biggest fan. The ebbs and flows are all a part of building your audience, but it can be tough to keep your momentum and stay consistent if you don’t have a set goal in mind.
Your goal should be quantifiable (i.e. generate 100 new leads for my business) and attainable. It should be meaningful to you, and something that helps you stay motivated to keep going.
5. Your Gear
The gear you use for recording your podcast is crucial to the quality of the content you put out. Believe it or not, there are things that simply will not “come out in post”. Luckily, this can be avoided if you simply understand what gear will work best for the type of show you’re looking to produce.
When it comes to recording and capturing your audio, you’re going to want to get set up with a high-quality physical recorder or USB interface. It may sound unnecessary but trust us, you do not want to know what it feels like to see that your computer system is “out of memory” at the end of a recording session.
You’ll also need to figure out which type of mic will work best for how you’re planning to record. There’s tons of specs to consider, but the main things to look for are condenser mics vs dynamic mics, as well as the polar pattern. Sound confusing? Don’t worry, we’ve made it easy for you. Check out our interactive gear guide to get personalized recommendations on what gear will work best for you.
Lastly, make sure you wear headphones when recording, speak with your full voice, and always, always, do a sound check first!
6. How to Monetize
Finally, you’ll need a strategy for monetizing your podcast. Podcasting can be extremely profitable, but there are multiple ways to go about it. For instance, you can:
- Sell sponsorship deals
- Create and sell show merch
- Offer premium paid content
- Accept donations
- Monetize your show on YouTube
- And more!
As you can see, there’s a ton of options for monetizing your podcast, and you can monetize as much or as little as you want. For instance, accepting donations and monetizing your show on Youtube takes very little extra time and effort, while selling sponsorship deals, designing merch, and recording additional premium content all take more time but generate more revenue.
Think about who is in your audience, who else is looking to sell to those people, and what kind of interests your audience has. From there, you can develop a solid strategy to monetize your podcast.
And there you have it! 6 things every podcaster should know in order to be successful. Of course, every podcast is different so if you have additional questions, reach out to us and we’ll be happy to help. Happy podcasting!