Podcasts have become a valuable piece of online content, and their popularity is growing as we speak. With as little as a Google search, you can find a podcast dedicated to nearly any industry or niche, meaning those wanting to venture into the world of podcasts have a lot of competition going around.
Whether you want to discuss the latest trends in tech, review products, or provide in-depth practical guides for electronics projects, starting a tech podcast does require some planning ahead. But worry not, because we got you covered. Below are some important aspects to keep in mind, if you want your podcast to be successful.
What is your motivation?
The most important thing you need to ask yourself is why are you doing this podcast. Do you want to build authority? Are you thinking of it as a way to promote your business? Is it just a hobby you want to pursue? None of these reasons are wrong, but each of them requires a certain type of approach to be successful.
If you are looking to promote your business, for example, podcasts can be a good way to build trust and authority, by providing your audience with valuable and useful information. This way, a freelance software developer can use a podcast to emphasize the need for professional software tools and speak about their experience in the field.
Having a clear purpose in mind will help keep you motivated when you need to overcome the challenges that may appear along the way.
Define your niche
You decided to start a tech podcast, but the tech world is vast and complex, so you need to narrow down your content. To do so, and to have a real chance at growing your audience, you need to ask yourself: Who am I making this podcast for?
If you want to approach it from a business point of view, then your niche will be consisting of potential customers and people in the industry, that you wish to view you as an authority. On the other hand, if you are looking to do this for fun, then your audience will probably be tech enthusiasts looking to learn something new.
It may help to create a listener persona, which is basically a sketch of your ideal listener. Who are they? What are they interested in? Keep this in mind every time you are planning an episode and ask yourself: Would they be interested in this episode? Would they like this content?
Give your audience a reason to listen
The vast majority of podcasters start out with little to no audience, and that’s no reason to worry. However, if you want to grow your audience, you need to give them a reason to come back. Be it because you provide valuable information, a source of fun and entertainment, or because you interview a lot of interesting people in the industry, listeners need to feel you provide value for them.
Besides giving them a reason to come back, you also need to give them something to come back to. Before starting your first podcast, make sure you have at least 10 potential episodes your audience would enjoy. This way, you will make sure you don’t run out of content in the first month.
Choose a relevant name for your podcast
You want your podcast to be easy to find, so no matter how tempting it would be to come up with a unique, intricate name, keep in mind your listeners need to remember it.
Choose a simple, yet engaging name, that will make those who stumble upon it curious to check it out and can be remembered quickly. You can stick to something basic and easily searchable, but make sure the name is not too generic. I bet there are several tech podcasts called “The Tech Podcast”, so you will want to think of something a bit more original.
You can always use your name or your business name in the podcast, but this works better if you already have an audience. Combining your name with something more descriptive, such as “John Doe’s tech talk” can provide more details about your podcast’s theme.
Decide on a podcast format
After you decided on a niche and a name for your podcast, you need to decide on the format as well. If you want to maximize your chances of success, an episode should be between 20 and 50 minutes long. This ensures you have time to get your message through, but you don’t end up boring your audience.
Whether you decide to do a solo podcast, a co-hosted one, or interviews with people in the industry, you need to make sure you are keeping your audience engaged. You can choose one of the formats I mentioned, or combine them to create a more complex show.
I strongly advise deciding on some good podcast music as well, to mark the beginning of your show or separate segments. Look for some royalty-free music for podcasts and try to keep the jingles 15-20 seconds short, to avoid disengaging your audience.
Start planning your episodes
I’m not saying you need a full script every time you hit Rec, but it is advised to have some guidelines in front of you, to avoid losing track of your thoughts. Plan your episodes ahead and structure your content so that you hit every single point on the list when recording.
I suggest avoiding writing a full script and reading it out word for word, as it can sound unnatural and make the podcast appear heavily staged or edited. If you are conducting interviews, write down a list of questions you want to ask your guest, but don’t be afraid to improvise if the conversation allows for it.
With practice, you will be able to just go on and talk freely, but until you gain more experience, I recommend sticking to a list of bullet points that cover everything you want to go through in the episode.