Guide to Publishing a Podcast - Keeping your Show on Track
When you're putting together a podcast there are certain details that must be in order before you begin. First you must have a concept, the idea that drives you to want to do this in the first place. You must have the equipment, and the determination to learn how to use it to achieve the best possible quality. Then you have to learn how to post your episodes on the internet using RSS feeds and XML files in order to share your production with the rest of the world (to make this step a lot easier, B&H created this
free educational guide to help you over that hurdle).
Even with all of this thorough planning, unforeseen pitfalls may still pock the road ahead. When individuals or a company decide to go forward with the creation of a podcast, they often don't think of a long-term strategy to keep their podcast on track. Ideally, your show will grow in popularity the more you work on it, and in order to make this happen you have to plan ahead.
In the podcasting community, when a show loses steam and falls apart, it's referred to as “podfading.” Obviously, all of the factors that lead to a podfade cannot be eliminated, but some healthy foresight and a realistic attitude can really bolster your show's chances for long-term success.
For starters, instead of thinking of your podcast as a separate entity, think of it as an extension of something that you or your company is truly passionate about. Your audience isn't downloading your show because it's a podcast, they're focusing their attention on you because you share an interest, because you have something to offer them that was borne of a shared passion. The medium of podcasting is ultimately inconsequential. The content and information are everything.
What makes podcasting unique is that it empowers the individual to broadcast an individual viewpoint to a global audience. To truly harness this independence it's crucial for you to personally master all of the technical elements involved in podcast production. Many podcasters work as a team, often with one member handling the brunt of the technical tasks. While it's beneficial to work as a team, it's more important to be well-versed in the entire podcasting process. If you become dependant on a technical crew member, the fate of your show will be entirely in their hands. If you take the time to learn every step in the production process yourself, you are much less likely to podfade. Start by familiarizing yourself with the equipment involved in audio and video podcast production with these former Pro Audio Update articles:
An Introduction to Audio Podcasting Equipment
A Guide to Audio Interfaces for Audio and Video Podcasting
The B&H Guide to Publishing a Podcast
Podcasting Secrets in Garageband 4
Bolster your podcasting technical know-how even further with an informative book on the subject.
Creating a strict time schedule for when you must have new episodes uploaded can potentially work against you. For example, imagine you started a podcast about plumbing. In the beginning stages you mandated that a new episode must be uploaded every two weeks. If your schedule got too hectic and you couldn't get new shows together in time, you could quickly lose momentum and podfade. Perhaps you find yourself with lots of free time but you don't have any new information or good content to present. You'll feel obligated to throw a show together even though it will be lacking substance. Boring material will spur your audience to unsubscribe, and ultimately discourage you from investing more time and energy into your podcast.
On the flip side, you don't want to become too relaxed about producing and uploading shows. Deadlines can be a motivating force. The trick is to strike a balance that keeps your show growing and lively, but not stifling and stressful. All in all, having good content is always the most important factor whether you're uploading new episodes daily or biannually.
The shelf life of your episodes should also be taken into consideration. If you're mindful to not make the information and presentation easily dated, the shows will be more desirable to download for future audiences. This isn't always avoidable.
Sometimes you have to get very specific with your content, and in this case good content is always more important. But as a general rule, when there's wiggle space for timelessness, it's always a good foundation to build a show upon.
It's critically important to do lots of research to see if you can find any other podcasts that may be similar to what you intend to do. Chances are you'll find some podcasters who have succeeded and others who have faded. Try to determine what it is that made the successful podcasters last as long as they have. Create a strategy for yourself so you can do the same. With a little effort you can create an in-demand podcast with an original angle and a vitality all its own.
Should you have any further questions about podcasting or the equipment used to produce them, we encourage you to contact us on the phone, online, or in person at our SuperStore in New York City.