By Author Denise Turney
Radio Podcasts are fun, educational, controversial and engaging. Radio podcasts are also growing. Featured show topics range from books, sports to politics, science, education, family and entertainment. Although they are taking off, managing a successful podcasts takes planning, smart execution and targeted marketing. We’ve compiled seven must haves that can take your podcasts from average to winning. The first must have starts with you and your deepest passion.
Radio Podcasts and Passion – A Perfect Marriage
Dolly Parton, Jillian Michaels, Dr. Drew and Shaq are among the celebrities who have a podcast. Millions of people have seen these celebrities’ work. Yet, Dolly Parton, Jillian Michaels, Dr. Drew, Shaq and other celebrities don’t podcasts about topics that they know little about. Instead, they focus on their passions.
So, what are you passionate about? I love books and story (have since I was in elementary school). Therefore, it’s no surprise that my podcast features author interviews, book conferences, screenplay writers, poets, literary agents, editors and book publishers. See how I marry podcasts and passion by catching a few minutes (or an entire show) of Off The Shelf Books Talk Radio.
Choosing a podcast that links to your passion, is a huge time saver. You’ll know which guests to schedule, where to narrow your podcasts marketing and the types of questions to dig into during each podcast episode. Even more, you could be viewed as an “expert” in your passion field, especially if your radio podcast takes off. Next, you’ll want to choose a quality podcast hosting platform.
Podcasts Hosting Companies That Score Big
Blubrry, Buzzsprout, PodBean, Castos, Simplecast and Audioboom are among the top podcasts hosting companies. Points to pay attention to when selecting a hosting company include monthly storage limits, pricing, advertising, community and marketing tools that each company offers.
For example, SoundCloud’s monthly storage limits start at 3 hours and goes up to unlimited. Pricing is comparable to the podcast’s storage needs. Require more storage, prepare to pay a higher monthly hosting service fee.
Additionally, some hosting companies share ad revenue with their podcasters. Blog Talk Radio does this. But, Blog Talk Radio has a telephone dial in feature that some podcasters and listeners aren’t crazy about. Which brings up the third winning podcast must have.
Returning to Blog Talk Radio, there is an option to listen to their radio podcasts thru a podcast’s chat room. Skype is another way to catch a Blog Talk Radio Show (more about Skype later in this article). iTunes, a Bluetooth connection, the Alexa app, Skype and Zoom are tools to record and/or listen to podcasts on.
Each comes with pros and cons. For this reason, when choosing a podcast hosting company and a tool to Record Podcast Episodes, pay attention to sound quality. If you want to experience a visual connection with your podcasts guests, consider Zoom.
Depending on your recording experience, you could also use your smartphone to record podcast episodes. Before you choose this option, check your phone’s sound quality. Also, ensure that sound doesn’t breakup or go in and out.
Make It Easy for Listeners to Love Your Podcast
For starters, great sound quality is a key way to make it easy for listeners to love your podcast. Additionally, host and guests preparation, choice of questions and consistency are the next three winning podcast must haves that can set your show apart.
Do yourself a favor and choose engaging guests. People in your passion field who have knocked out online radio interviews before can help turn an episode into a slam dunk. But, even if you go with inexperienced or shy guests, your show can leave a lasting and good impression on its listeners.
To achieve this, research each guests a week or more prior to her or his feature interview. Also, ask questions that require wordy answers. For example, questions like “Do you like to read family sagas?” “Is hockey your favorite sport?” and “Were you a history major?” make it easy for guests to give one word answers.
This isn’t what you want. Therefore, “Do you like to read family sagas?” could become “How did you develop Tammy Tilson, the family matriarch, in Spiral?”
Turn Podcasts Guests Into Fans
Following up on this, develop enough questions to keep the show flowing. On Off The Shelf Books Talk Radio, I create at least 30 questions for each guest. Often, I don’t get to each question. But, having 30 questions to ask each guest keeps the show from experiencing lulls.
It also helps guests to relax and enjoy the show as it unfolds. To keep listeners coming back, be consistent. For example, you could schedule a podcast episode for each Saturday morning or each weekday. Just pick the same time (e.g. 11am/EST) to air your podcast.
Consistency cannot be over stressed. Be there when your guests and listeners are. Last, market your radio or audio podcast.
Spread The Word About Your Radio Podcast
Social media, press releases and offline radio, television and print interviews are a few places where you can market and advertise your radio or audio podcast. If you have a YouTube channel, consider marketing your audio podcast there too.
In addition, you could market your audio podcast at your blog, within guest blog posts, at podcasts directories and by leaving bookmarks, postcards and flyers at places that your target audience frequents. Also, ask your guests to tell their supporters about your podcast and their feature interview.
Content marketing platforms like Taboola, Outbrain, StoryChief and Newscred are other places where you could market your radio podcast. As with other marketing platforms, pay attention to pricing and service range and depth. And, be consistent.
In closing, podcasts popularity is backed by strong numbers. According to Music MPH, 150 million people in the United States have tuned into a podcast. About 150 million Americans listen to a podcasts at least once a month. Nearly 103 million people tune into a podcast each week. Listener range crosses at least 100 languages.
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