Thinking About Podcasting

Believe it or not, podcasting, while quite the rage presently, actually got its roots back in the 1980s. The practice was actually called audio-blogging, but it really didn’t start to take off until 2004. Now, podcasts are increasing in popularity because of their flexibility in approach, and the ease with which we can consume the information in our busy lives. A podcast provides an easy listening experience that can be partaken in when working out, driving, taking a hike or any other activity where you need your eyes for some other purpose and thus a visual isn’t convenient.

There are now over 600,000 podcasts available for download in iTunes, with more and more added every day. Most podcasts today are developed with the following approach:

  1. Intro music to engage the listener
  2. An introduction of what is to come by the presenter
  3. he recorded interview or segment
  4. A conclusion of what was heard, again by the presenter
  5. Closing music to confirm to the listener that the podcast, or show, has come to an end

And while these are the typical design, the beauty of a podcast is that it is up to you on how you want your podcast to go. Just remember that your podcast is not aided by any visual cues, and since your listeners are only using one of their senses, you need to make sure that your approach is one that they can easily follow without becoming confused along the way.

Here are just a few of the top-rated podcasts so far in 2019: 13 Minutes to the Moon – This podcast was created in honor of the 50th anniversary of the United States moon landing, which is coming this July. The series is updated weekly with new episodes.

The Chernobyl Podcast – This podcast discusses the 1986 nuclear reactor explosion in Ukraine and is available for streaming on HBO NOW, and HBO GO.

Charlie Brooker on Airplane! – Yes, this podcast is dedicated to the movie “Airplane!” that released in 1980, featuring Robert Hays, Julie Hagerty, and Leslie Nielsen.

So what do these three podcasts have in common? The answer is simple – they are all based on topics that will resonate with a particular target audience, and that will keep the listener listening.

If you’re looking to create a podcast of your own, consider these helpful tips:

  • Have a clear picture of your goals and objectives for the single episode or series
  • Be consistent. If you are planning for your podcast to consist of multiple episodes, make sure that your releases are predictable and that you aren’t leaving your audience hanging.
  • Understand your niche, which is created by needs or wants of those who will consume your podcast, that aren’t addressed by one of your competitors. If someone has already told the story, don’t go there, unless you have something unique to say.
  • Title your podcast in a way that will be clear to your intended listeners. If it is too obscure, it is far less likely that they will tune in.
  • Remembering that a podcast is for the ears only, make sure you have some sort of intro and closing so that the listener knows what it coming, and when you are done.
  • You will be promoting your podcast somewhere that people will read about it before they listen. So make sure that you have a high-quality thumbnail image that can accompany the podcast description wherever you have it available for download.

By following the above tips and conducting a bit of research on your own, you’ll be far more likely to have a successful podcast that will resonate with, and be worth the time of, your listeners.