Ready to channel your inner indie audio influencer and jump headfirst into the podcasting scene? If so, grab your hat, your whip and your Crystal Skull, because I’ve got your map to the podcasting Lost Ark (geddit?) As the UK’s pioneering podcaster, former radio broadcaster with over two decades of experience, and the man behind recently award-nominated podcasts like “Making Conversations Count“, let me give you some tried and tested podcast tips for beginners.
Rest assured, there’s no doom filled temples coming up in this article!
Recipe for a structured podcast
We’ve talked about structure before, and it’s with good reason. It’s so bloody important to get this part right. Without it, you don’t have a hope in hell of anybody listening to your podcast!
I’m not exaggerating here. Your new listener is won or lost based on the first seven seconds of your content. And if it drops in quality or engagement at any point, it’s game over as far as their listening loyalty is concerned!
Here are my top tips for nailing the structure aspect of your productions.
Pick a topic & find your niche
Pick a topic you love – it’s like picking a life partner but less complicated. Once you’ve chosen, drill down to find your niche. Why? Because trying to please everyone pleases no one.
Stick to a consistent schedule
Being consistently inconsistent doesn’t quite cut it in the podcasting world. Choose a release frequency that suits you and stick to it. Your listeners will appreciate the predictability, and your podcast won’t turn into a surprise party nobody was prepared for.
Create engaging episodes
You want your podcast to be as irresistible as a chocolate fountain at a kid’s party. Aim for storytelling that’s as fresh as a summer morning and as gripping as a top-tier thriller movie. Toss in the occasional surprise to keep things lively.
Rise above the noise: Podcast rankings
Podcast rankings can be as deceptive as social media life. Don’t fall into the trap of chasing hollow vanity metrics.
True success is measured not by a random number but by the value you bring to your listeners’ lives.
That said, if you are hell bent on measuring your success in this numbered way, let me share an important factor you need to consider.
When it comes to ranking, these charts measure trending of listening, which can be faked and manipulated using bot followers and high volume fake traffic.
You can learn more about this, here:
The real ranking is in search.
The algorithm of this ranking factor is far more strict and based on actual content. The podcasts I produce always rank in the top 50 for their keywords, often even cracking the top 5 – it’s all about providing quality, not chasing the numbers.
Niche down to stand out
Want to stand out in the crowd?
Finding your niche is like finding a secret path in a dense forest.
The narrower and less trodden, the better and more satisfying.
It will help you reach a dedicated audience of ready to go ‘superfans’ who share your passion.
Your podcast will then become a community, not just a one-man show.
Consistency: Slow and Steady Wins the Race
When it comes to consistency, think of it as a work out regime.
The more you put into this, the faster and bigger your results will be!
Keeping a consistent timeline will help build anticipation and foster loyalty among your listeners. And, for the record, this consistency doesn’t have to be weekly.
Sure, the more often you post content, the more quickly you’ll start enjoying results and meeting your personal targets.
But what good is committing to a weekly schedule you have no way of keeping. Much better to produce a solid fortnightly podcast than a ‘flaky’ weekly one you never manage to keep up.
Quality Audio: Don’t Neglect the Unsung Hero
If your podcast was a rock band, quality audio would be the drummer.
Often overlooked, but the band (ummm… podcast) is nothing without it.
Your voice is your instrument, so tune it well with a good microphone and a quiet recording space. And when I say a good one, you don’t need to invest in one like the depicted broadcast quality Rode mics option.
Something like the Samson Q2U will serve you well in your quest for podcasting stardom.
Or, if you’re a real bargain hunter, this tBone from Thomann will please your thrifty eyeballs. There’s a tiny quality difference compared to the Samson, but most won’t hear that and will think it sounds ‘fine’.
Either way, don’t succumb to the aggressive marketing strategy of Logitech and purchase a Blue Yeti (pictured below).
Simply put, this microphone is overpriced, overhyped tat.
Remember, even the best guitar solo can be ruined by out-of-tune strings.
Connect and Engage: The Key to Winning Hearts
Keeping your audience engaged is akin to a riveting game of chess.
You need to think two steps ahead and keep your opponent (listener) intrigued.
Use storytelling to weave a rich tapestry of sound that captivates your listeners and leaves them yearning for more.
Launch Strategies for Maximum Impact
Don’t underestimate the value of proper planning when starting a podcast.
There’s a lot of bad advice out there from ‘podcast gurus’ about just starting. And there’s a reason they offer that advice. The sooner you start and ultimately hit roadblocks, the sooner they get your cash when you sign up for their courses or coaching programmes. And they’ll do minimal work with you once you’re signed in, and there’s no follow up.
Anyone who knows anything about growing a successful podcast knows there’s a huge amount of strategy and project management involved.
Here’s the broad strokes of it.
Create a Marketing Strategy
Identify your target audience and concentrate your marketing efforts towards them. Trust me, laser-focused marketing is far more effective than a scattergun approach.
Scheduling is your friend
Create a schedule that works for you, and stick to it like it’s a part time job. Because essentially, it’s about to become one!
There’s nothing worse than working against yourself, trying to get that podcast episode recorded.
Pick a day for recording, and record lots.
Pick another day for scheduling, and ensure your edits are done in plenty of time.
Consistency of releases breeds familiarity, and familiarity breeds loyalty.
Keep it Engaging
Your episode should be engaging from the get-go.
Dodge the typical low-rent sponsor message or lengthy intro, and dive straight into the juicy part of your episode.
Your audience will thank you, trust me.
The Hidden Gem: ‘Podcast SEO’
Did you know podcasts can benefit from SEO, too? Yep, those keywords you hear about all the time in the blogging world are also golden tickets in the world of podcasts.
Optimising your podcast for search engines can massively increase its visibility, like adding a powerful spotlight to your stage.
And do reach out to me if you want to learn more about PPO – podcast platform optimisation – or as some call it PVO (podcast visibility optimisation.)
I’m something of a master with this, having studied it for more than a decade. Despite many changes, the basic fundamentals are still the same.
And remember, when it comes to the SEO and PPO side of things, it’s all about striking the right balance. Just as Goldilocks liked her porridge, your keyword use should be ‘just right’ – not too much, not too little.
The Secret Ingredient: Be Unique
This is where most articles offering podcast tips for beginners might fall short – the individual advice that isn’t one size fits all.
The secret ingredient to a successful podcast, is to be uniquely you.
Not Steven Bartlett (please DO NOT try to be Steven Bartlett – one’s bad enough!)
Not Fearne Cotton.
And definitely not Joe Rogan.
These jobs are taken.
But nobody has filled the job of being you yet!
Inject your personality into every episode.
Unleash the quirks that make you, well, you.
Because there’s no competition for being you.
Why Trust Neal Veglio?
Now, you might be wondering, “Why should I trust this bloke’s advice?”
Well, besides my experience as a veteran audio content creator and being the UK’s first podcaster, my work speaks for itself.
The podcasts I’ve produced have not only been nominated for awards but consistently rank in the top 50 for their respective keywords, with many even breaking into the top 5.
That’s no fluke; it’s the direct result of implementing these very podcast tips for beginners that you’re reading right now.
So, there you have it – my ultimate guide to podcasting for beginners.
A blend of practical advice, insights gained from my two decades in the industry, and secrets that I’ve uncovered along the way. It’s all yours to use as you venture into the exciting world of podcasting.
Don’t just create a podcast, create an experience for your ideal listener.