What is the idea behind the show, of course? Why are you passionate about it? What does it mean to you? What are you gonna translate to your listeners through this show? You don't have to be an expert on everything but you're gonna need to be eloquent if you're starting a podcast about that. Is this a topic that you wanna live with for the next however long you're gonna have your podcast going? 'Cause you're gonna be thinking about it all day long. What's your ambition, as we talked about earlier? What is it gonna sound like, what are the elements? What is it gonna feel like to listeners? What is the full creative picture for this? Which leads me next to a bunch of mechanical questions. How often is the podcast gonna come out? How long are the episodes gonna be? Small detour, I don't think anyone in this room should be thinking about an hour long podcast. I actually think it's almost rude to make episodes that long when you think about all the stuff out there, you seldom need an hour. ...
I love the 25 to 35 minute range. So again, it's not a rule for everyone but just keep it in mind. So, frequency, duration, how many podcasts in your season? How many seasons per year? What can you realistically do to keep this going? And then what's the format of this? Is it interview? Is it non-narrated? Are you going out into the field to collect sounds? Is it all in-studio? You're gonna need to know how you're actually gonna make a show. And then what's your plan for a digital presence? Are you building a website? Are you gonna write about it alongside that? Are you gonna have all the social channels fired up and ready to go? What's your production map? What's your timeline and what's your ramp-up? Because I guarantee, you probably need about twice as long to get your podcast off the ground as you think you might. Another thing I wanna know about is who's involved? Oop, well and the audience, well they're both involved actually. Who's your team? Now you don't necessarily have to have a formal staff and if you're starting a podcast, you probably can't afford that. But you should have somebody, whether it's a friend that you get a favor from and you pay it back or somebody that comes on board for a credit, you need an editor. Everybody needs an editor, right? There are no professionals out there who make any creative content without an editor. Things can usually be shorter, and tighter, and more to the point. So, an editor in some fashion, whether it's someone that you share your early episodes with and they give you feedback on or it's someone that you work with very carefully from the first idea through the releasing of the podcast, you need an editor. I also highly recommend having someone who knows about sound and the technology to work with because there's so many rabbit holes you can go down with that in getting the quality of the sound that you want to get going. So, having a sound person on board, having an editor to give you honest feedback, and then just having a community of friends that are gonna support you in your undertaking that might come to listening parties and you feed them and they give you honest feedback about the show because you're really gonna wanna go through iterations and pilots and try things out. You're seldom gonna tape something, put it out to podcast right away. So, that goes with giving yourself the time and the space to make adjustments. But you need a team around you, so partner up, don't go it alone. Make sure you have some people supporting you in this. And then audience is really about who is this show for? You have to identify that before you get started. And I think you can box yourself into a corner with that if you think it's only for a certain type of person. Now this really depends, back to ambition, who's it for? It is a niche subject like ukuleles, or sugar cereal podcast? Is it just for a certain kind of person who's only gonna be interested in one thing, then fine, you're gonna have a smaller audience. Play to those people and have a blast. But, can you make your podcast relevant for a broader audience than who you think even? And how are the ways to do that? And maybe that's a challenge that you put to yourself. Because again, at the end of the day, what's the point of having a podcast if nobody listens? And if you're fine with a smaller audience niche topic, that's great, just do your best work in that space. If you want it to be bigger 'cause your ambition's are bigger than that, you're gonna have to take that into consideration and have it be something that's interesting beyond your own life and your own circle of friends, and your family and something that really speaks to a larger audience. And lastly, what are the goals for the show? Whether it's download numbers, whether it's how consistent can you be in your publishing. They can be very mechanical goals like numbers, metrics based things you can follow up and then see how you've done. And they can also just be just personal goals. Who are certain people you want to get on your show because you've always admired the way they think about something. Maybe a personal goal is to get your parents listening to your podcast. Anything you can list out, document and then come back to it and say, well how am I doing? And then you can change your goals as you go, but it's so important from the beginning to have some roadmap to shoot for. Otherwise, you're just making and going, you're never pausing to say how's it going? Is this measuring up? Is the work that I'm putting into this resulting in the payoff and the audience, and the creative joy that I want out of making this show.
Ready to take your initial leap into the world of podcasting? Then this is the class for you. A lot of people think that all you need to produce a podcast is a great idea, a laptop, and a microphone. But if you really want your podcast to be heard, you need to first get the lay of the land.
Julie Shapiro, executive producer of Radiotopia and Ear Hustle, will give you valuable insight into the world of podcasting and outline the key elements of building a successful show. She’ll talk about the important players in the field, where to get helpful resources, and what it takes find your audience.
In this class, you’ll learn how to:
- Develop your initial idea and bring focus to your topic.
- Discover resources and communities to support your efforts.
- Find and develop your unique voice.
- Establish a manageable workflow.
- Secure revenue and maintain a publishing schedule.
- Stand out from the pack and build your audience.