Jim Morrison once said that “whoever controls the media, controls the mind.” While that is certainly as true now as it was then, the mode of media has changed significantly, as well as who is permitted to contribute to them. For centuries the best way to keep up on relevant news (outside of visiting the local watering hole for gossip) was to pay for widely circulated newspapers and pamphlets. Today, the news is simultaneously far more accessible and far more cheap. Newspapers will still charge for the privilege of reading news from their bullpen of writers, but the credibility of what is being reported has always been﹘and likely will always be﹘scrutinized against the sensationalism of getting issues sold.
Enter the podcast. In a strange turn of events, the same people who wouldn’t cross the street to save the world’s last broadcasting station are now turning towards their phones for what amounts to highly individualized radio shows. Podcasts can be as informative as any newspaper, produced by sought-after voices, specialized in incredibly niche topics, and have an audience of millions, all without any money down on the part of the listener. While there will always be jokes about how you can’t qualify for a loan in California without producing proof of podcast ownership, the fact of the matter is that the world’s newest, most definitive source of media has arrived.
Pod Bless America
What makes podcasting so wonderful is that there is no societal barrier to entry. If you want to start a podcast about the joys of dressing up your iguana for photography shoots, then there isn’t much to keep you from uniting the owners of dapper pets everywhere. Before this clarion call can go out across the airwaves, however, there are a few things to be aware of when attempting to start a professional podcast. Luckily, the audio geniuses at Ignite Studios can help you sort things out.
Unsurprisingly, the first step to becoming a podcast mogul is to understand the nature of the product you’re trying to create. From the outset, it’s important to establish a kind of mission statement by which you will shape the identity of your podcast. Here are some things to consider:
- First Who, Then What
The key to any successful endeavor is to surround yourself with the people who will help you succeed. If you own and operate a family photography business and want to accommodate more clients, having multiple experienced photographers on staff is essential. The same principle exists in podcasting; you need people who know how to run the equipment, have the bandwidth to edit and compress the audio, can find their way around the marketing, and who are entertaining to listen to. Finding the right team is the first big step, and Ignite Studios can cover virtually all of those bases (the co-host position we leave to you).
- Find a Niche
Mark Twain is credited as having said “write what you know.” While podcasts are generally better if the hosts actually know what it is they’re talking about, the first law of content is to “pod what you’re passionate about.” To keep with our family photography example, if taking pictures of people and their stylish iguanas is what gets you up in the morning, that enthusiasm will be infectious. The knowledge will come later. Make sure, however, to bring something unique to the podcast in order to differentiate yourself.
- Be Consistent
The single thing that will kill a podcast faster than any other is a lack of consistent content. If the release schedule for new episodes isn’t easy to follow then you will lose all your listeners overnight.
This is the part of the podcasting process that frightens away most people, and yet it is the easiest to negotiate. Once again, with the right team behind you and the proper identity, equipment issues will work themselves out. It’s important to remember that there is no reason to break the bank going out for the finest that money can buy. In fact, by working with a business like Ignite Studios, the equipment can be left to someone else to worry about. The technical needs are pretty simple:
- Editing Software
- A Distributing Platform
- A Specific Space for Podcasting
While you can certainly record your podcast anywhere, the best audio quality will be found in a space specifically set up for the medium. That means either a room with sufficient sound dampening and space for the equipment or you can do what most of the world’s most successful podcasters do and rent space in a professional studio. The quality of the product you can make at a place like Ignite Studios will be worth more than the rental fees once your audience starts showing up for each episode.