Five tips for anyone looking to start their own podcast

Making a podcast should be simple, and it is for the most part.

The increasingly popular artform has outstripped many other forms of media thanks to its sturdy platform of self-expression and creativity. It helps that there are some truly creative people out there starting their own podcast series and putting it out to the world, from deep and exploratory examinations on classic albums, to retellings of true crime. Politics, film, modern art, fashion, social commentary – nothing is off the table when it comes to the deep and exciting world of self-made podcast series, nor should it be.

I believe everyone has a podcast in them, but not everyone knows where to start. To help, I asked a leading podcaster – Dan McHugh, best known for producing shows like Maddie and Six Tackles with Gus – for a few tips to share with anyone trying to get their ideas out there. McHugh has just signed out to lead a new six-class podcasting course by ILKI, so the below come with good authority.

Those interested in learning more about the ILKI classes, officially titled “ILKI-CAST”, can enrol for online or in-person (out of Forbes Street Studios in Sydney) classes at ilki.academy. The course fee is $1,270.00 and in-person dates start on Saturday 26th October, or Wednesday 6th November for online.

Here are five tips and things to consider when trying to start your own podcast, all in McHugh’s original words.

The idea creation

The first step to creating a new podcast is to choose a subject that you are passionate
about….but! Before you start your podcast, think about why you want to make one. What is the purpose, and what do you hope to gain from making the podcast. There are many reasons for why you should start one and how you can use it effectively to grow a business, expand a network or market and idea.

Plan the podcast content

The next thing to do is plan your content. Decide on what kind of show it will be, the format, the style and tone. Personally when I am making a podcast, I actually like to make a small promo or ad for it. That way I solidify the idea and have a good feeling for how I want the show to sound in terms of mood, music and style.

Podcast logistics and management

It’s good to think about the practicality of making a podcast i.e. recording, editing, mixing. Podcast production has a few ‘moving parts’, so it’s worth considering where you might need help. After all, you do want your show to sound good right? Especially if it will be a marketing tool for your company. There are professional producers you can hire – like myself – and pro facilities out there – like Forbes Street Studios – where you can hire a room to record your podcast.

Hosting

Who will host this show? Everyone thinks they would make a great radio or podcast host, but professional talkers spend a lot of time honing their skills. Before you hit that record button it is worth doing some community radio, partaking in an improv or drama class or just practise reading out loud. You want to ensure that you are putting your best self forward, so practise talking into a microphone, do some test recordings and send them to a trusted friend for feedback.

Identify your audience

There is one thing that I think gets overlooked because people are so caught up in the excitement of making their show….. Identify your audience. Who do you want to be listening to this show? Make sure you tailor your content, the music, the format, the length to suit the tastes and consumption habits of your intended audience. For example, if your target audience is a mother with kids, consider that she might not have time to listen to a 1 hour show and I’m generalising here but she most likely won’t want heavy metal or hip hop used in the production.

Forbes Street Studios is located at 150 William St, Woolloomooloo NSW 2011

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Chris Singh

Chris Singh is the Deputy Editor of the AU review, an obsessive hip hop nerd, a whisky drinker, and a lover of all things travel. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter with @chrisdsingh.

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