Within this last week, the number of valid shows on Apple Podcasts hit over 900,000! What a milestone! According to the statistics compiled by My Podcast Reviews, over 50,000 podcasts were added in the last 30 days! Now, that’s just crazy! If you’ve been podcasting for a while, you’re part of a pretty formidable group, but if you’re just getting into the game, or you’re on the cusp of starting your own show, don’t let these numbers scare you. There’s a space and a place for all in the podcasting sphere, but it’s up to you to carve it out. And I get it, it can be super daunting trying to find your niche amongst so many, but you just need to start at the beginning. And just as you learned to read and write by learning your ABC’s, what better way to learn some of the basics of podcasting than through our very own Podcasting ABC’s. For each letter of the alphabet, we’ve defined some podcast-related terms that we think will come in handy as you journey into the wonderful world of podcasting.
Let’s begin with A for….
An audiogram is an audio-based video, created by converting a piece of audio from your podcast episode to an animated waveform and placing it on top of an image. The end product is an eye-catching video that can be shared across your social media platforms. Audiograms are a great way to promote your show as they give viewers a fun little teaser of your amazing content.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, you want to start a podcast, not a blog! But in reality, starting a blog often goes hand-in-hand with starting a podcast. This all has to do with improving the discoverability of your show. Having a blog alongside your podcast gives search engines more text-based content to index and so improves the chances of your show showing up in the results of a web search.
For more, see D for Discoverability.
If you want to start a podcast, but you don’t want to do it alone, then what you need is a co-host, someone who you can share the mic with and who can help bring a balanced point of view to your topic. A co-host can also help share the workload of putting together each podcast episode. But possibly of one of the best benefits of having a podcast co-host is having someone to share the journey with you.
For more reasons to have a co-host, check out The Top 8 Benefits of Having a Podcast Co-Host
Simply put, “discoverability” refers to how easy it is for listeners to find and access your show. It’s a hotly debated topic as to whether or not the technology needed for successful podcast discoverability is where it should be, but regardless of that, the fact of the matter is that you need to do everything in your power to make your podcast discoverable.
Related read: How to Improve the Discoverability of Your Podcast
One of the many cool things that happen when you join the world of podcasting is the whole host of podcast-related events that you get to attend! Whether these are live podcast recording events of your favorite show, great workshops, informative conferences, or even podcast award shows, podcast events are a great way to meet your role models, hone your craft, and make some great connections with people as passionate about podcasting as you are.
Related read: Podcast Events You Should Attend in 2020 – Part I
No, I don’t mean the hit television series (although there are some great Friends-focused “rewatch” podcasts to check out here: The Top “Rewatch” Podcasts), I’m talking about the life-long friends you’ll make along the way on your podcasting journey. Most podcasters are passionate, generous with their time and knowledge, and welcome newbies with open arms. You’ll connect with people from all over the world who share your love of your topic as well as the medium as a whole, and that can be the start of many lasting friendships.
Having guests on your podcast is a great way to add diversity to your show, give added valuable content to your listeners, and expand your reach. Being a guest on another show is another way to extend your reach and gain listeners. It can also help you build your authority within your niche.
Headliner is one of the sites that can help you make those eye-catching audiograms we mention at A. Headliner is super user-friendly, allowing you to easily select your desired audio clip, choose from multiple styles and colors of waveforms, and upload your desired background image. It will even transcribe the audio for you, making subtitles a breeze. In a matter of minutes, you’ll have a fun audiogram to share across your different social media platforms.
Related Read: Top Tools for the New Podcaster
You probably don’t need me to explain Instagram to you, but you might not know how Instagram can help our podcast. Social platforms, such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook are really great places to promote your show. You’ve heard that podcast discoverability is a work in progress, but in the meantime, take matters into your own hands and create an Instagram account for your show. You can post eye-catching images, share some really cool audiograms, and connect with your listeners – all of which will go a long way to making your show a success.
If you’re new to the industry, one of the best ways to make connections and get your show out there is by joining podcast communities. Facebook, Reddit, and Twitter are just some of the many platforms available for podcast-focused communities. If you go looking for them, you’ll be surprised at what you find. From communities based on your favorite podcast to groups set up just for newcomers, you’ll quickly find a whole host of like-minded people for you to connect with.
Know Your Subject
It should go without saying that if you want to dominate your field and build authority within your niche, you need to have a thorough knowledge of your subject. Listeners can easily tell the difference between someone who knows their stuff and someone who has not done their research. If you want your show to succeed, don’t be the latter!
Ultimately, it’s your listeners who will keep your show alive. Once you know your niche and your target audience, you can start creating content that meets your listeners’ needs. Keeping your listeners as your focus will ensure that they consistently find your show valuable and relevant, and will go a long way to helping you make a name for your show within your niche.
Podcasts are fast becoming a very lucrative field – both for podcasts as well as for advertisers. By 2019, podcast ad spend totaled a whopping $855m globally! And that figure is set to rise to $1.6bn by 2022! There are a variety of ways podcast hosts can monetize their show – from host-read ads to selling their own products, the possibilities are nearly limitless!
Your niche is that specialized topic that you’ve carved out for yourself within a wider subject. Your niche serves as the platform from which you can share your knowledge, and anyone in the industry will tell you that finding your niche is key to attaining podcasting success – it’s that all-important first step to entering the podcasting world.
Related read: 8 Strategies to Build Authority in Your Podcast Niche
O is for Optimization, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) that is. In order for your show to be discoverable, you need to maximize your search engine optimization, which, in essence, means that you do all you can to ensure that your show has the highest potential of popping up in the results of a search engine.
A podcatcher refers to the software that enables listeners to get access to their favorite podcasts. Well-known examples of podcatchers are Apple Podcasts and Spotify, but other popular choices include Spreaker, Stitcher, and Overcast. Some podcatchers are available for free on specific operating systems, while others often have tiered payment options.
Hands down, the quality of your podcast is what will keep listeners tuning in. Carefully-crafted, value-packed episodes that sound great to your listeners’ ears should be your constant aim. Cool intros and outros, fun sound effects and great guests are awesome, but they’ll never be able to save a show that is of low quality.
Comprised of information and coding, an RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed is what is updated each time you upload a new episode. Your unique RSS Feed is how your episodes are distributed to the multitude of podcatchers where your podcast can be found.
Hailed as one of the catalysts of the Podcast Revolution, Serial showed the world all the possibilities of what a podcast could be. When it first aired back in 2014, it seemed the names of Adnan Syed and Hae Min Lee were on everybody’s lips as they tuned in week after week to hear how the fascinating story would unfold. If you happen to not have heard it yet, now would be a great time to remedy that!
A transcription is a written account of all the verbal content of a podcast episode. Transcriptions are important for a number of reasons, the most compelling of which are improved discoverability and SEO. If you need any more convincing, check out The Top 5 Benefits of Transcribing Your Podcast.
USB Audio Interface
A USB audio interface is what converts your voice (analog signals) into digital signals which can then be processed by a computer. It manages the sound processing of your audio equipment, including all the inputs and outputs you use in your recording. A USB audio interface is necessary as it is what will convert the signal transmitted by your XLR microphone. (See X below.)
For each and every episode, your goal should be to give your listeners as much valuable content as you can squeeze into your episode. Episodes of high-quality and filled to the brim with valuable content are what will see you and your show succeed in this industry.
We Edit Podcasts
We Edit Podcasts is the fastest podcast editing, transcription, and show notes service available online. You pick the package that best suits your needs and their stellar team will do all the heavy lifting for you. There are no contracts, no hassle, and no stress – just quality services.
An XLR Microphone is what is used by many podcasters to get the highest quality recording possible and is the audio industry standard. XLR microphones are favored because they give you a lot of flexibility in your recording set up.
You Can Do It!
Ok, so this one is less of a podcasting term and more of an encouragement. Remember that no matter how daunting it may seem in the beginning, or how many challenges or hurdles you will face along the way, you can do it! There are so many resources for you to turn to, your newfound friends and mentors to guide you along the way, not to mention your passion and determination – all of which will help you see the journey through.
And finally, Z is for…
Zencastr is a nifty program particularly great for capturing telephonic interviews as it allows you to record voice audio in high-quality, without worrying about dropping the call due to a bad connection. Other great options for capturing quality audio when doing telephonic or long-distance interviews are SquadCast, and Ringr.
Now You Know Your ABC’s…
And there you have it, our very first ABC’s of Podcasting. While this list most definitely does not contain everything you need to know about the industry, it does give insight into the key aspects we feel are vital to achieving success and longevity for your show. And now that you know your ABC’s, there’ll be no stopping you on our way to podcasting stardom!