Podcasting is an increasingly popular hobby and an increasingly important business channel for delivering content.
In these twin roles, podcasting has found a ready pool of content creators as well as content consumers. At Nairobi Business Courses we teach beginners to the content channel how to start up a podcast show, how to grow within it and how to monetize the show for what can be a good side income.
Podcasting is not difficult to learn but you must start off on the right foot in order to avoid many early beginner issues and problems that can cause people to give podcasting up before they have given it a reasonable chance to succeed.
In this post we will look at what you need to do as a beginner in order to ensure your podcasting career or hobby starts of correctly to give you the best chance of success.
1) Identify Your Niche
At the start of your podcasting career your first and probably most important decision is the discovery and identification of a subject area or niche.
Your material throughout your podcast series and seasons will depend entirely on choosing the correct subject area in which you will find content for your podcast. This niche must be an area of expertise or at the very least one in which you are prepared to do a lot of research and develop your own opinions and theories which will then form your material for the podcast content.
Starting a podcast without going through this first step is courting disaster as many failed podcasters have found out to their cost. The enthusiasm with which they start a podcast evaporates as soon as the subject matter becomes too difficult to research or when it becomes an effort to find new angles for the content.
So how do you find a specialist thematic subject or niche in which to base your podcast ?
The answer is you perform an honest self appraisal in a SWOT analysis. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. At Nairobi Business Courses we teach you this process in which you identify key characteristics and qualities about yourself. In doing this you start to develop ideas about what it is you can successfully and with total commitment podcast about for a series or even a number of seasons.
Having completed your SWOT analysis and self appraisal you now know what you want to podcast about. You must now find out if you have what it takes to do the work.
At Nairobi Business Courses we use the acronym P.O.D.C.A.S.T to identify the key characteristics and qualities of all good podcasters and to help you determine if you have what it takes to be a successful podcaster.
a) P – Passion
You’ve identified your subject matter but exactly how much passion for the theme do you bring to the podcast studio ? Is this a subject you are happy to talk about endlessly in different ways to listeners and subscribers ? Passion for the subject is imperative.
b) O – Organization
Are you an organized person able to manage many different strands of work simultaneously ? Do you like process and structure in your work ? Podcasting is repetitive and requires effort. Without organizational ability you will struggle to become a long lasting successful podcaster.
c) D – Drive
Are you driven by the content you are about to produce to make sure the world understands and cares ? Why are you interested in starting a podcast ? You must be driven to get your message, whatever it may be, out to the world and to your listeners and subscribers. Without drive it will only take a few bad reviews to derail and knock you off course.
d) C – Credibility
Credible means believable. Your podcast must be believable even if it requires the listener to suspend reality in order to come along on the journey with you. This means you must have the ability to transport your listeners even in a fantasy topic into the realm where they stop critical analysis and allow you to lead them from the start of each episode’s topic to the end. You must therefore become a story teller able to command the attention of listeners and take them intellectually, where they have never been before.
e) A – Authority
Closely aligned to credibility is your authority on the subject matter and content of your podcast. Authority comes from have views and opinions about content that you can back up with logic, research and evidence. It can also come from being the advance party in describing the subject as in when you discover or invent a product or service. You must therefore have the capacity to do research and be willing to defend your thesis in each episode and series of the podcast if you are to achieve long term success.
f) S – Self Starter
Podcasting takes time and effort and successful podcasters have an unwritten contract with listeners and subscribers to produce and publish the show on a regular and sustainable schedule. In order to meet this schedule be it weekly or monthly requires that you are a self starter and have the ability to motivate yourself into your production process even when “life” is happening all around you.
g) True to Yourself
Finally long lasting and successful podcasters are true to themselves. They produce their content first and foremost because it grows them personally and makes them feel fulfilled. The sincerity such truthfulness to self creates, is what generates high interaction with listeners and makes them want to engage and subscribe. Produce your best podcast for yourself and others will recognize your commitment and engage with you.
These are the seven qualities that you need at the outset before you start podcasting in order to give yourself a shot at success and longevity.
3) Equipment and Software
Podcasting need not be an expensive hobby or career but there are some basic pieces of equipment required in order to produce a technically proficient podcast episode.
The first of these and the most important is a good microphone. Fortunately, microphones are not necessarily very expensive for good quality output. At Nairobi Business Courses we teach you about the different microphone types including dynamic, lapels and condenser diaphrams. We also discuss USB varieties and those that need Audio Interfaces in order to work.
But it doesn’t have to be as dizzying as it seems. Even though the number of microphones in production increases every year, there’s only so many ways to capture sound waves in the air.
So if you know what microphone type you need to use, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices and find the right tool for the job. There are 4 types of microphone:
Large Diaphram Condensor Microphones
Small Diaphram Condensor Microphones
Ribbon Microphones – Source
Apart from the microphone which we think is critical the other critical piece of equipment for a podcaster is the digital audio workstation or DAW. This is the software which you will use to tidy up your recorded audio tracks and make them technically agreeable to listen to for your subscribers.
Fortunately in this software department there is a perfectly capable and fully functional open source DAW that is more than sufficient for most podcasters known as Audacity. At Nairobi Business Courses the podcast course shows you how to use this DAW to professionally edit your raw audio tracks for your podcast.
4) Start Podcasting
Having got this far you are now ready to start podcasting. We have not, in this post, discussed hosting your show or how to market and grow it for potential monetization. That will be the subject matter of another post.
However, it is important that you make a start with your podcasting hobby or career because it is only by getting your feet wet that you will start to develop the skills required and discussed in this post.
Growing your podcast through marketing is a never ending tasks but you must have a show to market before worrying about growth. Similarly monetization of the show may be an important consideration for you but it cannot happen until you have several episodes , series or seasons under your belt.
At Nairobi Business Courses we teach these important complimentary skills for your podcast but for now start creating podcast content and start developing the necessary skills.
Nairobi Business Courses https://nairobibusinesscourses.co.ke is a one on one trainer for professional and personal business skills in Nairobi, Kenya.