Top tips to setup your own podcast

It’s August 2019 and we have currently been releasing podcasts for around 14 months In that time we have managed to establish ourselves within the podcast world as a credible collective of work.

We have produced over 40 hours of content with another 15 yet to be released, been downloaded nearly 200,000 times and was shortlisted for ‘Best Interview’ in the British Podcast Awards.

Yet we don’t have a background in media and had never released an episode of a podcast before Episode 1 with Brian Wood MC back in June 2018.

So how did we do it and why has Declassified been such a success?

Here is our guidance in setting up and creating your own podcast……

 

Question – How do I setup my own podcast?

 

  1. Have a clear vision of what you want to achieve. This will help you remain true and guide you with how and who you podcast. For us it was all about supporting, guiding and helping those suffering from mental and physical illness and injury. This has had a huge impact with all our decision making.  So, create a vision or mission statement from the very start.
  2. Know your format and/or category. Are you an interview, panel, in a studio, outside, solo etc. Are you a comedy, current affairs, history etc. I believe these make the best podcasts and even the more general podcasts stick to a format and category. This way it allows you to grow and develop with your chosen path. That being said you may need to try several ways to get what you finally want.
  3. Structure. For us we use a very simple structure, we understand where we want to start, where we want to finish and all the points in between. We plan the episode but don’t know all the answers, just the destinations. You may need to listen to several styles of podcast to get a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t.
  4. Content and production. I cannot explain how important this section is. Too many podcast have fail because their content is weak and the production poor. Select your subjects and guests wisely, it takes a skilled host to navigate without pre-planning and many get this very wrong. What we do is piece together a body of 10 episodes, each episodes subject/narrative has been chosen. We then find the people to fill the gaps. Each set of 10 has to make sense. For episodes that don’t fit or an opportunity arises we create a special. One thing to say is that we work off two things 1. We want to make the guest proud and 2. Provide as much value as possible to the listener. At no point are any of our episodes self indulgent. Its about everyone else.
  5. Recording, recording, recording. Simple yet over thought by many. The way we look at it is this, we are creating valuable assets that many people will benefit from so it’s our duty to provide the best possible audio. This comes at a financial cost to ourselves  but we deem it a worthwhile investment. So your options are: Professional studio ranging from £35-£250 per hour. We use SNK studios in London (HERE) and Rebel Base Media in Sheffield (HERE). You can buy your own equipment (Some basic guidance)  You can also record off your mobile – In this case I would invest in a lav Mic (HERE) or something like THIS One final thought on recording and audio quality is be consistent and if possible try and get the best possible quality from the start. Also worth considering is the consistency through each episode. Try not to have a professional quality intro and then extremely poor quality episode. But also worth noting these are just our opinions and you have to do what you feel happy with. 
  6.  Editing is something we leave to our very professional, professional Beth. I just  wouldn’t try doing it yourself unless you have the skills. I know many podcast do self-edit but for us it just isn’t worth the hassle. Some great advice is to get a freelancer (HERE) for between $10-35 per hour. Editors can tidy up the recording, add intros/endings, remove sections, add sound effects etc. Just make sure you brief them thoroughly. 
  7. Distribution. Once you have your final edit and you are happy for it to be released you need a platform(s) to share it. You can individual post it to places like iTunes or onto a website etc but we personally use a ‘Audioboom’. A central area that distributes to several platforms including our website. All automated and ready at a click of a button. Costings are around $10 per month but well worth it. Other platforms are available but this is the one that works for us. Oh, you can also view your analytics in one place.
  8. Other bits to consider – Creating an audio bed (jingle), get a freelancer on Upwork to do it for you. Good briefing will save you money so know what you want before hiring. Sponsorship, we are the wrong people to speak to but I know podcast can earn money, I wouldn’t personally go into it thinking this and be prepared to self-finance (see acast.com for more details. Graphics, you are advised to hire a graphic designer to create a logo, banner and potentially episode illustrations also. Expect to pay between $20-$60 per hour.  It is an investment but it is 100% possible to do yourself.   

 

EPISODE ON THIS SUBJECT TO FOLLOW ON THE FORCES FRIENDLY PODCAST SOON

 

I will look forward to hearing your podcasts shortly.

 

 

P.S Costings for producing podcast episodes can vary from virtually nothing to £1000s.