Podcasts. They are becoming more and more popular. Over the past several years, the number of people listening to podcasts has more than doubled. It now stands at a whopping 90 million people who listen to them at least once every month.

They are a great opportunity for businesses to connect with and grow their audience – and practically tailor made for magazine publishers, who already have a built in audience: if people like your magazine, odds are they will want to listen to your magazine podcast.

Magazine content lends itself to podcasting as well, where you can conduct interviews on topics discussed in the magazine. There is a built in synergy. Moreover, podcasts give your advertisers another outlet.

We walk our own podcast talk

We here at MagHub have our own podcast called Tom’s Tips. It focuses on new software product releases, but we also throw in discussion about cats, movie trivia and other topics of casual conversation just to keep it from getting too dry and technical.

We’re going to run through the basics for you of how to start a podcast. It’s how we did it, and you can do it too. Our presentation will span two blog posts. This first one covers the planning and setup, and the second will focus on the recording and publicizing.

Think of a topic, something people want to learn about.

Before you run out and buy equipment, you need to do a little planning. You need to think about the overall purpose of your podcast, the why behind it. What is it you want to accomplish, what is your goal?

Without a purpose, you’re not really giving people a reason for listening. The purpose can be generating leads, building a reputation, conveying a message, or simply entertaining your listeners.

Planning also will help guide you when you come up with topics for each broadcast.   Then you can begin picking topics and researching.  

Create a name that is unique and has relatively low search results to capitalize on SEO.

You want something memorable and specific for your name. Don’t try to cram your title full of keywords. Use just enough to make it easy for people to find you. If your podcast name is only a word or two, you can add a short description in the title tag to help with search results.

Create a format.

If you are looking for something a little more freewheeling, you may want to have another person hosting it with you so that you can play off of each other.

Beyond that, the most common formats are interviewing others or a scripted podcast. The scripted version can be in a dramatic format, as in a play.

There is no ideal podcast length: it’s something you need to determine based on your topic and what you want to say. Some are just 20 to 30 minutes, while others can go for two hours or longer.

But as with any presentation, whether a podcast, speech, or writing, editing is vital. You want to cut any parts that are really not adding anything to the topic or moving things forward – when someone is just rambling or going off topic, for example.

Decide on a schedule and stay with it.

Podcast professionals recommend publishing at least once a week so that you can establish a relationship with your listeners. The more you publish, the more you also learn how to do it and how to do it on a regular basis.

Once you have your topic, a format, a length for your broadcast and a schedule worked out, it’s time to purchase your recording equipment.

Set up your gear.

If you are trying to set up a podcast as cheaply as possible, you can actually do it with just an iPhone and headphones. And it’s important to remember that the technology is actually secondary here. The most important thing is the content – people actually won’t mind if the sound quality isn’t the best if you have outstanding content.

If you are looking for something a little more sophisticated, there are a number of different setups out there for one person, two people, or three and four people. There are also podcast starter kits available that include all of the equipment you need packaged together.

If you are looking for more information about our podcast or how MagHub can work for you, contact us, and we can set up a real-time demonstration.

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