How to start your own podcast in India?
Written by: Rudrapriya TG
Podcasting is like blogging, but it’s audio-only. And because it’s consumed by way of listening, the experience is even more personal. The listener feels like he/she knows you a few episodes into following your podcasting journey.
This is exactly why it’s important that you, the host of the show, needs to be armed with two things at all times throughout the podcast: Knowledge and Passion.
If you’ve already got an expert know-how and the passion to share that information, the rest is all about putting up a good show.
Curiously, creating a podcast show takes a little bit of art, a little bit of science and a whole lot of human. And the formula, when you break it down further gets longer but simpler to follow.
This is what I’ve tried to do here, so if you’re looking to start your own podcast, here’s what you can hope to find as you read on:
The set-up plan
The scripting formula
How to make a living out of podcasting
#1: THE SET-UP PLAN:
The first thing you’ll need is a simple and catchy title which doesn’t reveal too much about the show and yet it’s not too cryptic. The name should reflect the niche that you'll be covering in your podcast, while also being unique and catchy.
Next, you’ll need to write an overall description of the show using keywords, so that it can be picked up by a search engine. This description should pique the interest of a potential listener to make them curious to hit play, without giving away too much.
You will also need a cover art (kind of like a display picture) that is relevant and eye-grabbing to set it up. You can quickly design one for yourself on Canva.
You’ll need all three by default to make it stand out in a sea of podcasts available across platforms.
But, don’t get hung up on these as they can be modified later on.
#2: THE SCRIPTING FORMULA:
Once you figure out your niche, you need to structure it in such a way that:
a) it engages the listeners,
b) it has an easy-to-follow flow, and
c) it has easy-to-understand and easy-to-retain arrangements broken down throughout the show.
1. Don’t write everything down, just note down your ideas in bullet points before you start recording. This way, when you actually talk, it would sound like you’re talking to your audience directly. A script that planned down to every full stop can actually make your delivery very robotic.
2. You can also do interviews in your shows, to mix it up a little. Interviews work really well on podcasts. But for this happen right, you'll need to crack the art of interviewing.
The Art of Interviewing—
Before you interview someone, the first thing you’ll need is an expert or an activist, relevant to your show.
- Depending on your topic, shortlist 8-10 people who you'd like to speak to. Send them a professional invite over an email that clearly outlines the expectations.
- When they agree to come, know the ins and outs of their work. Research is key, so read about them and learn about their journey so that you can ask pertinent questions.
- Before the podcast begins, outline all the questions that you have for them in a notebook so that you don't miss out on any.
- During the show, greet them, be polite and make them feel comfortable and welcome. Ask simple questions like, “What got you started on this field?” “Have you always wanted to be a so-and-so?” Once they’re comfortable, you can dive into their field of expertise.
- Other than the list of questions you’ve already prepared, you could also ask some follow-up questions based on their response. This will make the interview feel more natural to your listeners.
- Don’t interrupt them while they are speaking or cut them short if they stray from the topic. Instead, steer them back gently.
-Finally, don’t forget to thank them for joining you.
#3: THE JINGLES:
Every radio show, news show, TV show begins and ends with a theme song. This is a way of branding and it takes your podcast to the next level.
Usually, as the theme starts to play, you may have noticed on radio shows, how they fade it in the middle until it’s softly playing in the background while the host introduces the show and himself/herself, and then it finishes in full volume after which the show begins. This is called your 'Intro Music'.
Keep in mind, when you are producing the show, it is a good idea to use the same track in the beginning of every episode. This offers uniformity, and prepares the audience for what's to come next.
You can use musical interludes when you move from one segment to the next. This is not very common, but can be used based on your discretion.
Lastly, the closing theme which is more or less the same track you used in the beginning except, you use it to sign off, thank your listeners and sponsors and let them know you’ll be back with the next episode soon on their preferred streaming platforms.
The only thing to note here is that you can not use any tracks or jingles which may cause any copyrights issue in the future. To find copyright free music, use Youtube Audio Library, or Epidemic Sounds.
#4: RECORDING EQUIPMENT:
Basically, the difference between a professional podcaster and an amateur one is the quality of the podcast being published. And the quality is ensured when you invest in good equipment.
A lot of people recommend Audio Technica ATR 2100 as the go-to mic for beginners, especially if you’re recording from your room. This mic doesn’t pick up any echoes, and has three different types of ports, one of them being a USB port so you can directly hook it into your computer or phone and start recording.
As you progress, you will also need two other accessories to go with a mic of your choice:
1. a pop filter, and
2. a boom arm.
A pop filter is basically a noise shield that filters your plosives. Plosives are the popping sounds you make with your P’s and B’s. This is an important accessory as it makes your voice sound crisp and clear which is easy on the ears of your listeners.
A boom arm is a mic stand that clamps on to your table and it comes with a shock absorbent. When you fix your mic into this arm, you can move it away when you are not using the mic without cluttering your desk. Also, the shock absorbent in the boom arm will absorb any accidental bumps to your desk or the tapping sounds on your keyboard or any shakes the mic might experience, enabling it to pick-up your voice only.
What if you're interviewing?
If you need to interview someone or you have a co-host, you’ll need to invest in another mic.
If you’re interviewing someone from a remote location, you can use the call recorder option on Skype which allows you to record in separate tracks which makes it easy to edit.
#5: EDITING SOFTWARE:
Editing is where your masterpiece will be created, so you can’t do away with this step.
If you have a MacBook, you can use an editing software called GarageBand and if you have Windows or Linux you can download Audacity for free. Click here for a quick tutorial video.
#6: HOSTING SERVICE:
Once you’re done recording and editing your podcast, you’ll need to publish it on a platform which will automatically put it across all the streaming platforms like Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, etc.
You can upload it on Sound Cloud which will give you an RSS feed which you can use to manually publish on all platforms or you can also set it up to update automatically.
However, for free hosting service, you can check out Anchor.fm
#7: HOW TO MAKE A LIVING OUT OF PODCASTING:
Initially, as it is all forms of content creation, you’ll need listeners to start making money. For this, you need to self-promote on all your favourite social media platforms. You can also partner with the right kind of people who can share your work with their audiences.
Once you have a small community of regular listeners, you can approach brands of your choice sponsor your shows. Make a quick presentation about Podcast, and reach out to the marketing managers of these brands over emails. You will hear a lot of no's initially, hence, make it a point to reach out to as many people as you can. Make sure you choose products that fit your brand, and products that you believe in, so you don’t lose your reputation or your listeners.
You can also consider creating other products around the podcast, like physical books, e-books, coaching services, consulting sessions, and online courses to make more money on the side. Encourage your listeners to buy these products to support your work.
That's about it. You're now well-equipped to start your own Podcast. If you found this helpful, make sure that you share it with people and spread the word. :)