October 11, 2021

3 Things You Should Know Before Starting Your Podcast

Tae Haahr

Podcasting isn’t as glamorous as you’d think. 

Most people I know think my podcasting schedule consists primarily of sitting in front of a microphone and having a blast with my co-host and guests, but that probably only takes about 25% of my podcasting time.

The majority of what I do is time spent on:

  • Planning and organizing
  • Researching and writing
  • Marketing and promotion

Like most creative endeavors, there’s a lot more to podcasting than meets the eye. While there’s a long list of things that I could tell you that would better equip you for your podcasting journey, these are the three most important: 

1. Focus on Quality Content

When I say quality content, I’m not talking about your sound quality. 

Don’t get me wrong, sound quality is an important factor in whether or not someone continues to listen to your podcast — but even the best sounding podcast will be a dud if the content sucks.

Quality original content is what sucks an audience in and keeps them coming back. No one expects your podcast to sound like NPR commissioned it right off the bat, so long as you give them a reason to keep coming back.

How do you create quality content, you ask? You:

  • Figure out why you’re podcasting
  • Focus on your audience
  • Understand your topic
  • Commit to learning and growing
  • Go all in

A commitment to quality content has to come first, otherwise, you’ll struggle to get traction, grow a brand, and make something of your podcast. Even if you’re only in it for fun, seeing growth is an important motivating factor.

2. Time Management and Consistency Are Everything

For a podcast to really grow, it needs to be publishing consistent episodes.

It won’t matter how great your content is or how unique the concept if no one knows when you’ll be releasing episodes. Before you start podcasting, it’s important to look at the free time you have and how much of it you can commit to podcasting.

Good time management isn’t about rushing to get everything done, it’s really the opposite of that. It’s the delegation of your time so that you get what needs to be done without rushing. 

If you’re scrambling at the last minute to record your episodes, write scripts, edit audio, and publish your podcast, you’re probably not going to be putting out quality content. Ultimately, that will hurt your podcast brand.

So, create a podcasting schedule and commit to sticking with it. That means only putting out episodes as often as you feasibly can — weekly isn’t your only option. And not over-committing yourself.

3. Don’t Obsess Over the Numbers

Numbers are not the most important part of podcasting.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to know how many people are tuning in, and your metrics play a big part in figuring out what’s working and what isn’t. But for the first few months, it’s best to just let them play out as is.

New podcasters often get hung up on the numbers. They want to know if their numbers are “good” and how many numbers they should have. But those are the wrong questions for a brand new podcast to be asking.

Listener numbers are great for securing sponsorships and measuring growth. But with no historic numbers to base your conclusions on you can’t use them for either for the first four-to-six months.

There are also a few other important factors to consider:

  • Your numbers will vary episode-to-episode and month-to-month — the summer months are often slower, and not every topic has the same excitement behind it
  • A “listen” or even a “download” does not equal a subscriber (most platforms don’t release the actual subscriber numbers)
  • Engagement beats numbers any day, so when looking at your metrics try to gather data on how long people are tuning in, and focus on the number of listeners, not the downloads

Finally, it’s important to remember that you can’t do anything about numbers that have already been counted, they are what they are. But that data is valuable when it comes to deciding what improvements you should be making.

Getting Started

There is a lot of misinformation out there about what podcasting is like.

Running a show requires considerable planning, good organization skills, commitment to a schedule, and passion for your topic. It’s not the creative outlet for everyone, but for some, it’s the perfect way to reach your people.

Would-be podcasters tend to focus on technical aspects like having the best microphone or laptop, or picking the best hosting platform — and while those are no-doubt important, many fail in the planning aspect. 

But it’s the planning that gets you in the end. It doesn’t take long to realize that you’ve taken on too much and you don’t quite have the time to do it all — but, by then you’re already in the deep of it.

I believe that podcasters that focus on these three things have a higher chance of long-term success. 

Helping You Succeed 

There are plenty of things you can pour time and energy into that will move the needle for your podcast. For most aspiring and early-stage creators, learning the ins and outs of audio engineering isn’t one of them. 

That’s why Alitu makes recording, editing, and producing your podcast as quick and as easy as humanly possible. We want to free up as much time as possible for you to focus on the things you do best, the things you enjoy, and the things that really matter. 

Intrigued about Alitu? Try it out free for 7-days and find out for yourself just how much it’ll improve your workflow!

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