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How To Create a Successful Podcast in 9 Simple Steps


Podcasts have enjoyed a huge surge in popularity over the last decade, and as they’re one of the most effective marketing channels available, it’s not hard to understand why.

While almost anyone can start a podcast, building a truly engaging and informative podcast is the key to your success. Creating compelling content takes time and effort. A successful entrepreneur recognises it is well worth the investment to help build a loyal audience and a place where your listeners can exchange information that is insightful and beneficial to all.

Here are 9 simple ways to create a successful podcast

1. Establish a podcast theme

The most important first step is to identify your podcast theme. Your theme will create a framework, so it needs to be built around ideas and topics for which you have a genuine passion. The overarching theme needs to be substantial and topical to provide a breadth of relevant information that can go the distance.

A great way to assess whether a topic is viable is to do a ‘stress test’ on your chosen idea. Start by listing at least 20 episode ideas that you can cover under the umbrella of your theme. Be sure to include important details such as current trends, thought-provoking discussion points and potential guests you can interview.

This is a great way to quickly identify whether the theme has the depth needed to branch out into related topics. If you can’t easily think of at least 20 topics, it’s almost certain that you will quickly run out of ideas.

2. Focus on your target audience

Step two is critical, identify your target audience. A major aspect of any business development strategy is to identify and establish your target audience before you begin, to ensure you create content that truly resonates with your listener. Who would be interested and engaged in your podcast content? Create a customer avatar or profile in line with your ideal listener/customer. For inspiration, research topic options on social media pages, forums or online groups related to your target audience.

If you have an existing database, ask directly through your email list or social pages what they want to hear or learn more about. Once you have some ideas, go through each one and ask if your content and opinions meet your customer’s needs. Ask yourself questions such as Will my podcast add value to their life/business? Is the content interesting enough to engage them for full episodes?

Keep your customer profile front of mind while you develop your content ideas to make sure you offer information that resonates with your intended listeners.

3. Plan your content

Decide early on whether you need to write a detailed script or if you’re more engaging when you ad-lib. A combination of both can work well. A script will keep you on-topic but may come across as stilted and dry. Peppering your podcast with a few fresh, unscripted comments can add an element of surprise and delight to keep your audience engrossed.

Ultimately, your podcasting mode will depend on your level of knowledge, talking style, and confidence levels. The more you know about your topic, the more freedom you have to explore interesting anomalies and variations with your listeners.

Having a clear workflow outline to develop your ideas will help your audience keep pace and engage with your chosen topics. At the very least, be sure to sketch out the major themes of each episode and how they relate to future episodes.

Always know your subject thoroughly.

4. Production quality

Production quality plays a big part in the overall success of a podcast. Poor audio can be an irritating distraction for your listener and minimises the ability to make a valuable connection with your audience. Without clarity, your listeners will quickly tire of the poor sound, switch off and move on.

To ensure success from the start, invest in quality recording tools for a clear and crisp sound quality and editing software relevant for your type of podcast. From production to post-production, having the right tools to create a polished podcast every time means you can focus on enhancing the value of your content and maximise a quality experience for your listeners.

You can also improve your production value by adding video to your podcast. While this is an added expense, it could open the door to a paid subscription service and speedily pay for itself.

5. Master storytelling

Storytelling is a proven method of connecting successfully with an audience. Stories create a neurological response that helps the listener focus and empathise with the storyteller.

A great tip is the classic three-act story arc, a highly effective storytelling method. Begin with a setup, build to a confrontation, and end with a resolution.

To check that your content addresses this classic arc ask yourself:

  1. What were the issues (build-up)?
  2. How do I overcome the challenges (confrontation)?
  3. What valuable lessons were learned (resolution)?

6. Guide your listeners

It’s important to provide your listeners with valuable reasons to keep listening to your podcast. Create a podcast series with an overarching theme that addresses and solves different (but related) matters in each session.

A great way to keep your audience coming back is to provide actionable content. Actionable content clearly explains to your listeners how they can achieve a goal or acquire a skill by following your practical advice. Provide instructions that are clear, realistic and easily applied to your audience in their own business or life.

7. Involve industry experts

To ensure your podcast is well rounded, engaging, and unique, consider inviting industry experts as guest speakers on your podcasts. Having discussions with, or interviewing, professionals, and people with direct experience of your topic are excellent ways of adding value to your content.

Learn as much as possible about your guest and their background beforehand to prepare questions that are specific, curious, or challenging. Hopefully, this will generate unique answers and create a point of difference from other interviews they may have given in the past.

8. Include additional resources

It’s impossible to cover everything in a typical podcast segment. Instead of leaving your listeners hanging with unanswered questions, be sure to provide clear direction with relevant resources such as articles, YouTube videos, or websites and books that dive deeper into your topic and fill in possible blanks for your listener. End your podcast with instructions on how your listeners can access this additional content.

9. Provide transcriptions

Lastly, to create maximum value from your podcast content, include transcriptions for each segment.

This allows those who are hearing impaired to enjoy your show, but it also provides important SEO value to increase your online presence. Those searching for information on topics you may be covering will come across your podcast content, creating endless opportunities to connect with new listeners.

Offer access to transcripts, links and resources to your audience. Ask them to provide you with their name and email information in exchange for these assets. This is one very effective way to create your customer lead database. These listeners are already engaged with your offering, so you are on your way to turning them into full paying customers.

Podcasting is a fantastic way to share knowledge with others and help showcase your skills to a broader audience. Potential customers are looking for experts they can trust. Creating and presenting relevant, interesting, and topical podcasts is a very effective way to build your brand and become a trusted authority in your field. They also provide an amazing opportunity for you to engage directly with your audience and learn more about your target market.

By combining these steps with consistency and passion, you can create a successful podcast full of high-quality content and extra opportunities to scale your business for long-term success.