7 Tips for Better Podcasts ⋆ [FinCon]

7 Tips for Better Podcasts

Do you use podcasts on your blog? A podcast can be an interesting way to engage your audience, as well as provide a little media variety to your blog. Before you start, though, it helps to have a plan — and an idea of how you can sound more professional in your delivery. Here are 7 things you can do to improve the quality of your podcasts:

1. Get the Right Equipment

A good quality mic can help you sound professional. If you are serious about your podcast, a directional mic is the way to go. Other quality equipment and software, used for editing, recording and other tasks, should also be considered. Anytime you are trying to produce high quality work, you need the right equipment. The good news is that you can produce a professional sounding podcast right from your home — as long as you spend a little extra up front.

2. Choose an Appropriate Room

When PT interviewed me for his podcast, I was interrupted twice by the door bell. PT, however, was in a spot that was more appropriate for an interview: A quiet room without a lot of other things going on. If you want to create a podcast that sounds professional, and that doesn’t include a lot of extra noise, you need to be mindful of your surrounds. Choose a location that will help you avoid extra noise, and choose a time that ensures some privacy.

3. Prepare Ahead of Time

One of the best things you can do to improve your podcast is to prepare ahead of time. If you are providing information, write out what you want to say, and be prepared with something of a script. For those who interview others, it is a good idea to do some background research on your guest. You can even provide some of the questions you plan to ask so that your guest can appear more professional as well.

4. Use Sound Bites

Not only can you prepare your questions ahead of time, but you can also prepare sound bites. It will help your listeners remember your podcast, and it will make it easier for your to choose a few sound clips for promotion purposes. Consider your options, and think about how you could a few good sound bites, including sound bites from your guest.

5. Listen

This is especially important if you have a call-in podcast. You want to make sure that you are listening to others, and that really hear what your audience is saying. While you do need to say what you feel is important, the interaction with your guests and with your listeners is important. Make sure you listen as you record your podcast.

6. Use Social Media to Promote Your Podcast

If you want more audience participation, you need to promote your podcast heavily. You can do this with the help of social media. Share information over Facebook, Twitter and other channels. Make sure you offer call-in numbers so that your audience can participate. You can even use hashtags to keep the conversation going.

7. Embed Important Information in Your Files

When you are done, and converting your podcast to MP3 or some other format, make sure you include tags that identify your podcast. This means you need to include the following information about your podcast episode:

  • Title
  • Episode number
  • Podcast name
  • Your name, or your blog name

This will make your podcast easier to find, and tag it so that it can be better identified across the Internet.

What are your tips for a better podcast?

Image source: Tom Wilson via Wikimedia Commons

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Miranda

Miranda

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  • Avatar

    I want to point out that I am responding here because @PTMoney had said.. \”7 Tips for Better Podcasts:http://t.co/RiEOjX78 via @MMarquit #FinCon12 Would love @gspn \’s thoughts.\” on Twitter.

    WIth that, here are my thoughts.

    Regarding point #1, I could not agree with you more. A small investment up front will do wonders for creating an audio podcast that will represent your brand well. It\’s possible, for relatively small investment, to sound as good, if not better, than any FM radio station DJ. The only thought I would add to this point is the fact that I HIGHLY recommend a \”DYNAMC\” microphone over that of a \”Condenser\” microphone. More details on this can be found in video #3 at http://LearnHowToPodcast.com

    The only other thing that I would like to add is to point #7 about \”Tagging\” your .mp3 file. The most common mistake that most podcasters make is that they forget to embed the ARTWORK of their podcast into their .mp3 file. More details of this can be found in video #2 at the same link above.

    Seriously though, this is a great post and happy to see that bloggers are thinking seriously about adding podcasting to their content offerings. There are over 127 MILLION PEOPLE who drive to work alone every day. they could be listening to you on their average 26.2 minute commute to and from work.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Avatar

      @GSPN@ptmoney@MMarquit Thanks so much for leaving your thoughts! You have some very helpful additions that could be quite valuable to bloggers/podcasters! Happy Thanksgiving to you as well!

  • Avatar
    Philip Taylor

    I do interview style podcasts and they are a great way to get started, especially for someone who doesn\’t naturally talk a lot. With an interview, you just need to get the guest talking.

    I would also add that it helps things greatly when you really care about what you are asking your interviewee. Being half-way interested will lead to a poor interview.

    On the technical side, I use Skype, Audacity, and Call Graph (Skype recorder). My mic is a simple Cyber Acoustics headset.

  • Avatar

    Hi Miranda. I have a podcast and I\’m really pleased to see that you\’re encouraging others to use it with their blogs. I need to expand a bit and start including interviews in the show. I\’m on a PC and someone told me about a free recorder I can use with Skype, but I haven\’t tested yet. Hopefully I\’ll get a chance ove the Thanksgiving weekend. Thanks for all the tips. Chat soon.

    • Avatar
      Philip Taylor

      @Ileane Ileane, the recorder is called Call Graph. Sort of tricky to install, but it\’s a totally free solution.

      • Avatar

        @Philip Taylor Philip, the one Dave Thackery, aka thepodcastguy introduced me to is Freeware called MP3 Skype Recorder.

  • Avatar
    thepodcastguy

    As per Cliff of @GSPN I was dragged here by the one-and-only Ileane and the stellar power of a Tweet!

    You know something? Podcasting is really starting to move the needle now. I mean that. Previously we were in hope mode – now conferences everywhere are including web radio and podcasting on their agendas because people are realising there\’s an impetus to connect, engage and foster trust.

    And that\’s just fine by me – and you, I suspect!

    I recently got together with Annabel Candy from SuccessfulBlogging.com to talk about getting more bloggers podcasting. It\’s a natural, and seamless, segue, for all the reasons you mention.

    Here\’s some further reading for your community:

    http://www.successfulblogging.com/podcasting-guide-for-beginners-bloggers/

    Keep doing awesome things!