- Category: March - April 2009
There is definitely a difference between a good podcast and one that is not. Podcast production takes effort, but anything worth doing is worth doing right. Strive towards making your podcast stand out. Here are some tips to making your podcast count:
Sound Quality Matters
Make sure you have a good or at least decent quality microphone to ensure a quality recording. Filter out extraneous noises and make sure your recording area is sound-proof and uninterruptable.
Prior to recording, conduct an audio test to make sure that the sound quality is acceptable and background noise is minimal.
It’s not enough to record the audio for a show. Ensure you have recording software that will enable you to edit out anything you don’t like or that is subpar. Polished podcasts are produced using audio editing software. The editing software allows podcasters the ability to filter unwanted noises and edit any dead air or parts of the show you dislike.
Intro and Exit
Using music to introduce and end the podcast adds polish to the overall show. You can licensee rights to pod-safe music that will allow you to use music in a royalty free capacity. If your show is popular you might find that the music is linked to your show, as part of your brand, so you will want to choose it carefully. There are a number of pod-safe music directories where podcasters can purchase music that is royalty free, meaning there would not be any recurring charges when using the music in a podcast.
As with intro and exits, theme music can add a level of professional to a podcast. It is illegal to use copyrighted music in your podcast unless you own the copyright or license it through the proper channels. Again, consider visiting one of the pod-safe music directories to locate music that is suits or is relevant to your show.
Have a Catchy, Relevant Title
Bear in mind that many listeners will find your podcast through a web page or search engine. Your podcasts title should be catchy, relevant and related to the podcasts content. The podcasts title should contain a slogan that conveys the general theme of the show.
Add iTunes Tags
The Apple iTunes Music Store has a huge audience. Podcasters can tap the iPod audience by adding the appropriate iTunes tags to their podcast. There are software applications that will walk you through the process of adding iTunes to podcast feeds. After adding the tags simply submit your podcast for inclusion in the iTunes Music Store. The listing should appear within a few weeks.
Use voice inflections to show emotion and to emphasize points and opinions. The inflections add character and humor to broadcasts. Listeners will catch on to any enthusiasm, but will often tune-out monotones.
Podcasts are now a dime a dozen. This point might be obvious, but to distinguish your podcast, the show needs a unique angle, a unique view, an interesting perspective, something different from all the other podcasts out there.
Logo / Image
Add an image to your podcast feed. This will add a bit of polish to your show. Many pod-catchers or RSS readers will display the image besides the podcast listing. The visual effect will make your podcast jump out of the list.
Understand your target and listener demographics
Do you know who your listeners are? Understanding your audience will allow you to cater to them. A well-defined target audience will also help you find show sponsors or advertisers.
SEO for Podcasts
Optimize your podcast shows summary for search engines. Be sure to include keywords or related resources in the podcast feed. This will allow search engines to spider the text for words that relate to your podcast.
Transcript or Show Notes
Many podcasters neglect to include a show transcript, podcasters should consider including detailed show notes or a transcript of the show in the description of the podcast feed. If you display the feed this will increase the likelihood that those interested will find your show in the search engines and podcast directories.
Podcast Length matters
The show should only be as long as necessary. Remember that most listeners will have a limited amount of time to listen to podcasts, as a result they will be selective about what they listen to.
Break It Up
Record longer shows in short segments; this will make the final editing process easier.
Create a recording schedule and stick to it, if you don't have time to do it properly then skip a show, your listeners will appreciate that you did not waste their time.
Stick to a Format
Each show in a podcast series should follow a prescribed format. All shows in a series should be similar in length. Try not to stray too far from the preplanned format, as listeners will come to expect it.
By Shanti Anne Morais