(Tip: You’ll find lots of great, inexpensive software programs to help you with your podcast on Appsumo’s “Start Your Podcast” page. And these are lifetime purchases, not monthly licenses!)
It’s hard to believe it’s been almost two years since the very first episode of Audio Branding. We’ve featured over forty exciting guests since the show started and talked about everything from audio branding (imagine that) and healing harmonies to machine learning and the sounds of the planets and stars. In this episode, we’ll take a look at podcasting itself and some of the tools I use for my show that might be helpful to anyone thinking of starting their own podcast.
Just so you know, some of the links I’ll be sharing are affiliate links, but you’re welcome to check out the websites without my affiliate codes, if you prefer. Either way, they’re a good place to start when it comes to creating your podcast empire.
With over a hundred million people in the U.S. alone listening to podcasts just last year, plus over twelve million in the U.K. and thirteen million in Canada, the audience and market influence of podcasting is only getting bigger. More than half of the people listening to digital audio, now listen to podcasts, and that audience is more attentive than ever before: podcast listeners devote on average thirty percent of their listening time to podcasts.
If you have a brand, a product, or even just a message that you want to share with the world, podcasting is becoming one of the most effective ways to reach your audience. It fits into all the corners of your multitasking life because you can listen while you’re taking a walk, driving to work, washing the dishes, whatever. But there are some basic things you need to consider when you’re ready to put your podcast out there. For instance, where do you start when it comes to hosting your podcast? There are all sorts of options, and my show uses Captivate.fm for its hosting services.
Not only do they offer marketing information on the site for promoting your podcast (Mark Asquith and his team really share some stellar information), they charge by the number of downloads per month rather than the number of podcasts. While a lot of other hosts charge per podcast, you can have as many as you like on Captivate, which can really come in handy if you ever want to start a new podcast while keeping your old podcast’s episodes archived. You can also create podcasting networks and even share ads within that network – an option that previously has only been available for content creators with very deep pockets. I highly recommended them.
Of course, there’s also the matter of recording your interviews, especially if you’re working on the go or, like me, you’re often interviewing guests from all over the world. Cloud-based audio software and interview services have come a long way just over the past few years, and the interviews on my show are recorded using Squadcast.fm, a browser-based remote service with stellar audio quality that can host up to four people in a session.
Each speaker’s audio track is separated into a high quality .wav file, as long as you make sure echo cancellation is turned off (and to make that work, everyone involved, needs to be wearing headphones – just so you know!). The service also just added video recording this year. My link to them comes with a free seven-day trial.
Once you have your podcast recorded and hosted, you’ll probably want a website for it, not to mention an app for people listening on their mobile devices. Why not? There are quite a few different ways to go for hosting web and app content, but this show uses SupaPass.com since it specializes in podcasts. It offers a free trial too, and a free package for building a website if you’re just starting out.
Another online tool I’ve found helpful is MyPodcastReviews.com, for collecting and organizing podcast reviews from all over the web. As part of the service, it even allows you to provide one link for people to leave reviews, called LoveThePodcast.com – which automatically displays only those options that work on your potential reviewer’s device, whatever that happens to be. This tool comes with a 14-day free trial (like others), along with a few different annual packages.
You might also want to let your listeners post voice reviews, ask questions or make comments on your podcast, with a super simple way of recording their short audio snippet – kind of like leaving a voice mail. There are several use cases for a service that I use called Witlingo (at Witlingo.com) – and here’s a link to a page that demonstrates those use cases. I’ve used it for podcast testimonials, feedback, and for questions and comments people might have after I’ve talked about something in a Clubhouse room (which is a companion to my podcast and happens on Wednesdays at 2pm Eastern in a Club called The Power of Sound. Since my podcast is released Wednesday mornings, it makes sense to have our discussions then). They have a free version (though it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of the paid version) – and it’s well worth trying out. If you do decide to pay for the service, Witlingo has very kindly allowed me to offer you a 25% discount off your first year, if you put JODI in the subject header of your form or email when you contact them.
That may cover the big services – recording, hosting, distributing, reviewing and getting feedback on your podcast – but there are a ton of online tools that can help smooth out the bumps along the way.
Google Forms, not to be confused with Google Docs, is a free service for creating listener surveys and I also use it as an intake form for my guests, then forwarding automatically to Calendly so that they can book in their time for the actual interview. Calendly also offers a free option for setting up online meetings of any kind. Their links are also on my blog:
There are professional services out there for finding guests, some more expensive than others, but you can save yourself thousands of dollars if you do it yourself. Some of the sites I use are podmatch.com, matchmaker.fm, ThePodcastCollaborative.com, PodcastDirectory.com, and Podbooker.com. You can use them to find guests and to appear as a guest on other podcasts, which is a great way to help build your audience while offering helpful and engaging content for their show. It really is a win-win situation for both the guests and their hosts.
The podcasting industry’s bigger than it’s ever been, and it’s growing faster each year: it’s estimated that more than 160 million people will be listening by 2023, just two more years. No matter what audience you’re looking for, it’s out there. These online tools can be a great way to get started, but the most important step is simply taking the first one – and there’s never been a better time.
Would you consider giving this podcast an honest review? You can do that here: https://lovethepodcast.com/audiobranding. And if you like what you hear (and read!) – please do share it with anyone you think might be interested. Thanks so much!
And if you’re interested in crafting an audio brand for your business, why not check out my FREE download – Top 5 Tips For Implementing An Intentional Audio Strategy at https://voiceoversandvocals.com/audio-branding-strategy/