Everything You Need to Know Before Starting a Podcast in 2021
Podcasts have become the best way for people who are always on the go to stay in the loop on trending topics and follow any other areas of interest they may have. It is estimated that over 55% of the United States population has reported listening to podcasts, while around 24% of the population (68 million people) listen to podcasts weekly. Whether you are an influencer, business owner, or someone with a passion you want to share with the world, starting a podcast is the move in 2021. Starting a podcast is quite an easy process, which is why there are over 700,000 active podcasts reported as of this year. If you are interested in creating one of your own, read the article on the 5 Ws you should ask yourself before starting a podcast in 2021.
The 5 Ws:
WHY: To be successful with anything, you need to have a valid reason for starting in the first place. Not only will establishing your “why” for your podcast will help you create content with ease, but it will also motivate you to progress in the space and give you a clear understanding of who your audience is (next paragraph). Before you start uploading content, ask yourself why you are doing it. If your reason is for fame or fortune, you have already failed.
WHO: Who are you making this for? I hate to break it to you, but you will probably not see your podcast on the top charts within the first couple of episodes. But I am also not saying that it is not possible. If you are someone without an established online presence, it will be harder for you to reach people with your podcast. The best way to promote your podcast is to post it on your Instagram, Snap Chat, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Post the link to your podcast on all of your social media platforms. Your podcast may just start as your friends and family listening, but as you stay consistent with uploading, you will grow your audience to other parts of the world. I just started a podcast in December of 2020 and already have seven countries listening. Keep this information in mind as you upload content. You will not always be talking to your friends, family, or social media following. Find out what audience you want to reach before you even think about taking the next step.
WHAT: Once you find out who your audience will be, it will be easier to find things to talk about. For example, if you are starting a health and fitness podcast, you would not want to talk about the best-haunted places to visit in the US… of course, you can talk about that if you want to. However, unless you are a well-known influencer, it will be harder to keep your audience interested unless they know what they can expect from you. What will you talk about to your audience? Start a list right now of topics you want to discuss in future episodes. It is never too early to start this list. I keep a running list of things that I want to cover in my notes app to never run out of ideas.
WHEN: When are you going to upload your podcast? This question includes the date, time, and frequency of uploads. Plan a realistic upload schedule:
Monday: Create a rough draft or talking points
Thursday: Schedule upload on Buzzsprout, add captions and tags, and create soundbites (teasers for your podcast)
This is an example of a schedule for someone like me who starts podcasting as a hobby. Each day, I would work a few hours on something for the podcast instead of recording, editing, and uploading all at once or last minute. Working at this little by little every day will help you stay consistent.
WHERE: Where will you be recording your podcast at? This is an important question to ask yourself. Do you do your best work when you are alone in your room or when you are with your friends who bring out the more outgoing side of you? The best places to record will depend on what microphone you use. If you use a studio microphone, you will need the room to be one hundred percent silent. Studio microphones will pick up on cars passing by, dogs barking outside, and any movement that you make. These microphones are not the best for podcasting. Look for a dynamic microphone when investing in your podcast equipment. Dynamic microphones make it easy for you to record anywhere. My favorite place to record a podcast is in my car- no shame!
Starting a podcast in 2021 is one of the best ways to have your voice heard by millions of people. The podcasting space has grown tremendously over the last year, but it is still a new space for new discovery. Don’t wait to start yours!