By Catharine Bramkamp (@cbramkamp)
You’ve been blogging for a while. So why podcast? Because podcasting can enhance everything you do and will most certainly increase your reach.
Studies show that 70 percent of podcast listening happens on mobile devices and 50 percent of podcast listening happens in cars. These are group you cannot reach by blog alone. This is reason enough.
How to Begin Podcasting
So how do you start? Begin by considering the who, your audience, the what, what is your passion and the how, how do you do this at all?
One of the most important things to consider is “Who?” Who shares your passion? Who wants to know what you want to know? Who is watching the same shows or reading the same books? For authors: Who is asking questions about your book or your platform? You can address those questions in a podcast.
Just as in writing, podcasting is like talking directly to one person. Just you in his or her headset. Keep it personal and focus on that listener. If it helps, visualize what that listener is doing: driving, gardening or laundry.
What is your show about? I know, I know: you. A better theme is to build a show based on a subject you are really passionate about. What do you love that you cannot stop talking about? A good indicator that you are ready to podcast is if your friends and loved ones can’t bear to hear yet another update on your obsession. It’s time to share with those who really care.
Narrow Your Niche
Podcasting is about passion, very specific passion. Really specific passion. The nature of successful podcast is to start small and grow big. Begin with the details and grow from there.
One very successful podcast began as a podcast about the show Lost. The couple amassed an enormous audience just by talking about an enormously popular show. Check iTunes and see just how niche-y podcasting can get. Do not start a show on fishing. Start a show focusing on the specific fishing conditions on the east side of Donner Lake at 5:00 AM. Once you’ve circled Donner, you can get really wild and talk about Tahoe. After a year you will probably find you are discussing fishing in general. The bigger the listening audience, the broader your subject can become. But begin small, passionate and focused.
There are two easy ways to podcast and a number of complicated ways to manage recordings and uploads.
Create your show using Garage Band:
- Find your ear buds (with a built in mic)
- Record with Garage Band (Mac program)
- Post on your WordPress site
- Use Blubrry (blubrry.com) to host the podcast
- Use iTunes to distribute the content
Or use Google Hangouts:
- Create a Google Plus account
- Sign up for Hangouts
- Start a party
- Give it a name and tell people what its about.
- Record and/or create a video and/or capture your desk top.
- Publish to Google Plus, which also will automatically publish to YouTube.
For the more advanced, use Audacity:
- Download for free
- Automatically detect mic
- Hit record and speak
- Save as MP3
- Connect to RSS feed creators – a web feed format for frequently published/updated works
- Upload the MP3 to your blog and submit RSS to feed creators
- Sign up for Feedburner—fill out the fields, etc., and it will generate the links
- My technician assures me, “Once you get past the “this is really hard phase” it will become routine.”
Essentials of a Good Podcast
- A consistent opening and closing helps the listener know where she is and that she is listening to the right podcast.
- Shorter is better If it’s just you, you may want to create a 10 minute to ½ hour show. (Grammar Girl launched to fame on just 10 minutes a tip.) If you have a partner, you can start with 30 minutes and move to a full hour.
- Have a closing bit or song, again, to let the listener know when the show is over.
- Focus on your listener.
- Start the essential information of the show at the very beginning.
- Keep the personal chat at the end.
- Interview a guest first and save the standard bits, or elements you include each time (for Newbie Writers they are Word of the Week, Tortured
- Sentences and Prompt), for later in the show.
- Post show notes on your web site.
- Promote the show (and guests) through social media.
- Do it for love, not money.
About the Author
Catharine Bramkamp is the co-producer of Newbie Writers Podcast that focuses on newer writers and their concerns. She is a successful writing coach and author of a dozen books including the Real Estate Diva Mysteries series, Future Girls (Eternal Press) and the poetry chapbook Ammonia Sunrise (Finishing Line Press). She holds two degrees in English, and is an adjunct professor of writing for two Universities. Check out the free book offers this May – http://www.yourbookstartshere.com