January 26, 2022

How to Start a Podcast and Be Consistent When You’re Short on Time

Lindsay Harris-Friel

By now, you’ve probably read our article, So You Want to be A Podcaster? This is Where You Should Start. You may have thought, “Wow, that is a lot. How am I going to have time to do all of that?” 

Relax. Alitu is a podcasting app for busy people. Not only will Alitu save you time, but here are some strategies to help you become your audience’s favorite habit. 

What’s In It For Them? 

Many people start a podcast because they want to be famous on the Internet. It’s sad but true. But, many others start podcasting to: 

  • Promote a business, brand, or project
  • Solve a problem
  • Entertain or inform people about a particular topic
  • Communicate with other people who care about the same thing they do

When you start a podcast with a purpose, you need to know, concretely, what’s in it for your audience. This is sometimes called a value proposition. If you’re promoting an existing business or brand, you probably already have a mission statement or a value statement to guide you. Instead of statements that start with “I,” describe your podcast in statements that begin with “you.” 

  • Instead of, “In this podcast, I talk about how much I love fishing,” talk about “this is the podcast where you learn about how to have great fishing experiences.” 
  • Instead of, “I buy and sell real estate, and here’s how I make money,” think, “You can buy and sell real estate; here’s what will help you.”
  • Instead of, “I have all these funny ideas, so I’ll practice my jokes,” think, “You must have noticed this funny thing about life.” 
  • Instead of, “My kitchen tool store is great and here are our latest sales and special offers,” ask people what they like to cook, how they cook, and what tools they prefer. 

Whatever you want the audience to get out of your podcast, write it down and carry it with you, or stick it on a big note in your workplace. It’s going to inform everything else you do to make this podcast. This might not sound like a time-saver. But, like knowing which way is north when you’re in the woods, it helps you be more efficient. 

Make an Appointment. 

Our lives are full of appointments. We keep them to get something we need, or we’ll be penalized if we don’t. But, when it comes to our own interests, we tend to let them slide. We’ll make appointments for therapy, but we’ll say that we’re too busy to meditate or write in a journal. We’ll keep an appointment for physical therapy, but we might skip exercise if we “just don’t feel like it.” 

Treat your podcast like it’s your new part-time job, your therapy session, and your next haircut all rolled into one. Set appointments in your calendar for time to plan, record, and edit, and publish. Block them out. If other people want to do something during that time, tell them you’re working on a project. 

Balance the Time You Spend on Planning, Recording, and Editing

It’s true that there are popular podcasts that run for an hour or more. While Alitu makes it easy to edit, polish, and publish your show quickly, some of that depends on you. If you turn on the microphone, hit record, start talking off-the-cuff, and don’t stop for an hour, you’ll find that you need to spend a lot of time making that recording sound good. The recording stage is where time flies. Whatever time you plan each episode to be, schedule at least the same amount of time for planning and post-production. Here are some things you can do in advance to make the process run more smoothly. 

  • Write out five to ten topics that you know you want to cover, in advance. There will be times that you’re tired or frustrated by something else in your life, and you won’t feel like making a new episode when your appointment time rolls around. A  list of topics you’re excited about sharing will keep you moving forward. 
  • Write and record introductions and ending statements (sometimes called intros and outros) separately, and save them as their own files. That way, you only have to record them once. You can add them to episodes later on. This keeps the intros and outros consistent. 
  • Write an invisible script for each episode. This is easier than it sounds. It’s a set of talking points you want to cover in that episode. Not only does this help you stay on track, but it can prevent unpleasant mouth noises and filler words like “um” and “uh.” Practice reading it. 
  • After you record, but before you start editing, listen to your episode all the way through at least once. You can use Google Drive or an iOS app like EditPoint, and load it onto your phone. This way, you can listen and take notes while you’re exercising or doing household tasks. 

Podcast Show Notes

Your show notes can be just as important as your audio files.  Think of it as a springboard for your audience to learn about you, go to a sales funnel if you have one, and learn more about any guests or resources you mention. 

Some podcasters include one link to their podcast website, then post their show notes as a longer blog post. Others include the full credits and links in every episode’s show notes. This info is part of what makes folks decide whether or not to download that episode, so it shouldn’t be an afterthought. The words you use in your show notes are part of what makes the episode easier to find in a Google search or in a directory, as well. 

Use the invisible script we mentioned earlier to summarize your episode. This way, you have your key talking points ready to go. 

I like to save a copy of the credits and links that are the same for every episode, so I can copy and paste them in.  Again, this keeps everything consistent. 

Promotion and Social Media

Promoting your podcast can feel like digging a hole through the center of the earth. Instead of expecting to strike gold, think of this as a routine part of your podcasting experience. If you plan it right, you’ll start off doing a lot of work at the beginning, and less as you go along. 

Just like every part of your podcast, promoting it is something you need to schedule time for. Social media is designed to distract you from the minute you open the platform, so bear that in mind. You might have logged in to update your followers about the next episode, and find yourself trapped in a debate about cookie recipes. It happens to the best of us. 

One way to spend less time promoting your podcast is to use a social media scheduling tool, like Meet Edgar. This way you can write multiple posts all at once, and let Edgar post them for you. 

Another thing every podcaster should do is to thank their listeners in every episode, generally, and when they can, specifically. If someone reaches out to you with feedback on your show, mention them in the next episode. Audiences who feel acknowledged are more likely to continue listening. 

Ask your audience to tell a friend about your podcast. Word of mouth is the most effective form of advertising.  Many podcasters waste a lot of time on social media. You really don’t need to post more than once a day. 

Batch Processing

Batch processing, or “batching,” is when podcasters produce a lot of episodes at once, by performing each step at a time. For example, you can plan five episodes at once, record five episodes at once, edit and polish five episodes at once, then release them according to a schedule. 

This lets you take advantage of different resources that might not be available all the time. You can record late at night or early in the morning when it’s quiet, and plan, edit, or promote at other times when it’s more likely that the neighbors will whip out their lawnmower

Podcasting in Seasons

If you produce your podcast every week or month with no end in sight, it can be easy to feel discouraged. Instead, consider producing a set number of episodes, then taking a break, and starting back up again. Season-based podcasting has a lot of advantages. For example: 

  • Each season can focus on a different aspect of your podcast’s main topic. 
  • A new season is an opportunity for a new promotion push. 
  • Use some of your time on hiatus to plan the next season. 
  • This is a good time for a podcast audit and maintenance. 

When you use this approach, create an end-of-season signpost or message, so that audiences know you didn’t “podfade.” Mention in your recording that you’ll take a break for a while, and when the podcast will resume. 

Your audience has given you their time and attention. Reward that by making sure they know when you’ll be back. 

Podcasting and Time

Busy people have interesting info to share with the world. You do have time to produce a podcast; you don’t have time for frustration. Fortunately, you can avoid frustration by planning ahead, and using the proper tools and strategies to produce your podcast.

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