This is a guest post from Mwangi, as I know him from the Blog Mastermind program. He is by far one of my best students and an extreme-action taker. He came away from Blog Mastermind with a new love for Podcasting and has put together this guide for us on how to create a successful podcast.
My blog features a lot of podcasts and has from the very early days. I consider podcasting one of the keys to my success as a blogger, and I hope with the help of Mwangi and this article you will decide to start your own podcast too.
Mwangi recorded an audio version of this article, which for obvious reasons makes sense – you can’t talk about podcasting without including one. I also recommend you go grab Mwangi’s Podcasting Manifesto from MyPodcastingTutor.com if you are interested in learning more from Mwangi – it’s free.
Audio Version Of This Article
Download the MP3 [ 10 Minutes - 2 MB]
Hi! My name is Tony Chomba Mwangi Njanja (yup 4 names….including the English one ) and I am a Blog Mastermind Graduate and Mentor.
Thanks to Yaro, I not only have my own blog, but more importantly, my own podcast.
What I Learned from a Big Haired Man Called Yaro
While digging through the six months of Blog Mastermind lessons, I came across Lesson 17 on Podcasting.
This lesson changed my life, and now, many months later, I have more than a dozen podcast episodes under my belt.
I not only applied the lesson to my own podcast, I used the information to get in touch with and interview the best of the best of the best in the worlds of podcasting and video blogging.
We aren’t talking about just anybody here. We are talking about the Yaros, the Paul Colligans and the Gary Vaynerchuks of the world.
Below are 7 lessons that have come from the combination of my experience and their brilliant insights into how to take podcasting technology and use it to create your own media empire.
#1: You Must Own Your Podcast
This one comes straight from the “King of Podcasting”, Paul Colligan. You must:
- Own the domain name of your podcast
- Bankroll the hosting of your podcast
- Own the RSS feed of your podcast
- Own your podcast copyright
As nice as the folks at WordPress.com, Blogger, Blogtalk Radio and Co. are, it is absolutely crucial that you’re in complete control of the rights and the destiny of your podcast.
The way to go about ensuring that this happens is:
- Head on over to places like NameCheap, Domains in Seconds and Dreamhost and get yourself a domain name.
- Host your site at places like Hostgator and Dreamhost. Get your own private servers once you outgrow shared hosting services.
- If your podcast begins getting some serious traffic, you might also consider paying for online storage services like Cachefly and Amazon S3.
- Use Feedburner’s MyBrand service or Paul Colligan’s Premium Cast to ensure the RSS feed is all yours.
- Finally, though I have no experience with these guys, it might be worth testing out services like Prove My Copyright to make sure your online copyright is protected.
#2: The Best of the Best
This tip descended from the “Host of the Thunder Show” Gary Vaynerchuk:
This isn’t a particular popular thing to say in this world where every marketer and guru wants us to believe that we can all be the absolute best at everything.
You must choose an area where you can win. No, scratch that. Not just win, but absolutely dominate.
After all, don’t we have enough mediocre podcasts around?
It must be an area that:
- You are passionate about engaging in,
- Leverages your strengths and;
- Where you bring things to the table that no one else can.
If you start out not knowing where you can be preeminent, that’s fine but make sure your end goal is to be on top of a mountain.
#3: If Image is Everything…
For some of you, the idea of recording podcasts that don’t have a professional look and sound like they cost thousands of dollars to produce is about as appealing as a root canal.
Below I have a couple of solutions for you.
Before I get to them, let me remind you that ultimately, content IS king, not the pretty graphic in the corner.
You want a living, breathing, ginormous (it’s a word: P ) example of this, look no further than the number one personal development blogger on Earth: Steve Pavlina. Steve Pavlina uses the default WordPress theme and yet he gets 2 million+ visitors every single month.
Want another example close to home? Why not have a listen to the Entrepreneur’s Journey Podcast. Because of Lesson 17 and interviewing Yaro, I know exactly how he records his podcasts and I’ll tell you right now, you can have everything 100% setup in a couple of hours for less than $100.
So content is the 80% that will produce results, the other stuff is the 20% on top.
Now, let’s talk a little bit about these “cherries on top” shall we?
One thing you must avoid like the plague if you want good sound quality is sound card microphones.
They tend to record the noise of the computer fan and in general have terrible sound quality when compared to USB mics.
Mics for Every Budget
Gideon Shalwick on his phenomenal video site, Get Your Video Online, recommends that you get yourself a Logitech noise cancellation microphone if you’re just getting started and can’t afford much.
If you have a bit of money to spend, Yaro isn’t alone in recommending the Snowball Microphone as a great mid price microphone.
Get those Pops Out
It would also be useful to head down to your local sound store and get yourself a pop filter.
Alternatively you can scroll over to Google videos and learn how to create your own pop filter at home at a budget price.
“What about the high price range mics?”, you might ask. Well allow me to introduce you to:
#5: The 7-15 Podcast Rule
I first heard about this from the Podcast Answer Man, Cliff Ravenscraft, who lamented about people who would buy expensive podcasting equipment only to abandon podcasting soon after.
In general, you have to get to a certain number of podcasts before anyone (including yourself) can bank on whether you’ll stick to it.
For some, after 7 podcasts, they are pretty sure about whether or not to proceed. For others, they need to put out between 8-15, and some even more before they know whether podcasting is for them.
So, before you splurge on expensive recording equipment, wait until you pass the 7-15 podcast threshold and are sure that you’ll make use of the podcasting equipment over the long haul.
Once you are sure you’re in the game for a long while, head on over to the Podcast Answer Man’s site, where he is ready, willing and able to give you free consultations and recommend equipment that best suits your needs.
#6: Voice-Overs and Theme Music
Many of you will probably be surprised by how cheap these two elements are.
Update: In the middle of typing this post, I learned about a free site for getting royalty free music: Incompetech; clip quality isn’t as high as the other two, but good enough for the free price.
AJ and Jordan Harbinger from Pickup Podcast and Maxim Radio got their intro/outro voice over done for as little as $50 by conducting a Google search and finding gems like:
Jingle Your Way to the Top
For those of you who want to go even further than that, there exists a hidden treasure in the podcasting world:
Jingles aren’t restricted to television sitcoms and dramas. Geoff has created jingles and intro music for the likes of Paul Colligan, Adam Curry and Geek Brief TV just to name a few.
So check out his site, get in contact with him and work on creating your very own custom made jingle.
#7:Selling Your Own Product Will Always Be the Key to Long Term Success
It doesn’t matter if you’re a follower of Timothy Ferriss, Yaro Starak, Rich Schefren, Gary Vaynerchuk or Paul Colligan; there is a pretty consistent consensus among the gurus:
Sure many people have done very well purely on sponsorships, affiliate commission or selling other folk’s stuff but I defy you to find me one top level player in the Internet world who doesn’t sell their own stuff and/or work tirelessly on building their brand equity.
The Fat Lady Sang
And there you have it: 7 things that I have learned are needed to build a popular profitable podcast after an obscene amount of research, experience and interviews.
My hope is that these tips are of use to you and help you on your way to creating your own podcast kingdom.
PS. Download my Podcasting Profits Manifesto – a free report I created that offers many more tips on how to build a popular AND profitable podcast.