Podcasts are some of the oldest practices of syndicated Internet content. Still, they are very important in acquiring a wide audience over the net. The people at the TM office broadcast a weekly podcast as well, primarily because of the same reason listed above. This list has been put together to help people design their upcoming podcasts. There a few helpful hints we want to tell you about. We will provide you with the first half of this guide now, and the next half shortly. This will give you enough time to retain the information we provide you, and will help you to get started on your first podcast, or add changes to your existing podcast formats. So enough of this boring explanation; let’s learn how to design some podcasts!

Step 1: Choose a Topic you’re Familiar With

Before you show the world your beautiful voice, there are some things you need to get in order first. You need to sit down and take some serious consideration about what you’re going to talk about. Pick a topic you love to talk about endlessly. A good idea is to conduct a dress rehearsal of the podcast with no notes or groundwork. When you start this dry run, are you able to fill 30 minutes to an hour of quality conversation and talking points? If you answered “Yes,” then you’re all set…you now have a topic, my friend.

Next, you’ll want to search iTunes for other podcasts that will talk about the subject you are discussing. When you search, do you find that your topic is in a very crowded niche? If so, think of ways to alter your topic title to fit into a smaller sub-category. This will give your podcast a much better chance of being heard.

Step 2: Podcast Branding

After you have decided on your podcast topic, the next thing you need to do is brand your podcasts. Podcasts are just like products and services; they are their own brand. You need a catchy name for the brand that will grab the attention of listeners. Experts stress creating a brand with a name that is memorable and speaks to the audience, or your podcast topic. When acquiring the attention of an audience, it’s been shown that descriptive names are better than abstract or overly innovative names.

You won’t be able to convince your audience to tune in to your podcast because of your good looks and interesting topics right away (even though I’m sure they’re both great). You first need to create a following so the buzz of your podcast can be spread throughout the Internet and in general word-of-mouth situations. Most people will learn about your podcasts by searching through Google and iTunes. This is why your title must bring them in. The competition out there is vast, so you need to do something special to stand out.

Next, you need to create a logo for your podcast’s brand. It’s vital to come up with a logo that is appealing to an audience. This logo should show up in your podcast listings for iTunes. Don’t forget about your competition; your brand needs to stand out in the iTunes store.

Step 3: Podcast Layout and Organization

You now need to decide whether or not your podcast will be a video or audio podcast. Many experts agree video podcasts have a higher likelihood of being seen by an audience. This is primarily because video podcasts are more personalized, and the audience feels like they are being directly contacted by the podcast host/hosts. You should still supply an audio-only version of the podcast just for the people who do not like downloading colossal video files.

Next, we need to set organizational standards for your program. This can be weekly, daily, monthly, etc. The podcasts just need to stay on consistent schedule. Think for a minute about your favorite television show. I would bet that you know exactly what time, and what day of the week your program is on TV. This is the same feeling you want the audience of your podcasts to feel. It’s very easy to lose an audience if you are not on a regular fixed schedule.

Finally, you need to decide how long your podcasts will run. Professionals believe a program from 30 to 50 minutes is the essential length for any given episode. It’s not too long and it’s not too short. Consistency is the message to remember. A consistent schedule, with consistent time lengths, greatly increases your chances of creating a positive following.

Get to Work:

There are the first three steps to get you started. Start dabbling around podcast topic ideas. Then try a dry run of your podcast topic and see how long you can talk about your topic. Brand your podcast and come up with some unique ways to entice people to listen to your podcasts. Tune in soon, same time, same place for Part II of the Podcast Formation Chronicles.

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