starting a podcast, building a successful podcast, the basics of podcasting

#ContentWritingChat Recap: The Basics of Starting & Building a Successful Podcast with Madalyn Sklar and Julia McCoy

Have you been thinking about starting a podcast, but are unsure of where to begin? Do you already have a podcast and are looking for tips to help you attract new listeners? If either of these sounds like you, this week’s #ContentWritingChat is perfect! If you missed it though, there’s no need to worry because we have a recap of our latest chat and it’s filled with amazing tips. Just keep reading to learn everything you need to know to become a podcasting superstar!

#ContentWritingChat Recap: The Basics of Starting & Building a Successful Podcast with Madalyn Sklar and Julia McCoy


Our guest hosts this week were Madalyn Sklar and our very own CEO, Julia McCoy. Both of these talented ladies have podcasts of their own and had a ton of valuable advice to share with our audience. You can check out Madalyn’s podcast, Twitter Smarter, which actually inspired her weekly Twitter chat of the same name. And Julia is the voice behind The Write Podcast, where she interviews some of the industry’s top influencers.

Now, let’s dive into the podcasting advice from this week’s chat! Get ready to take some notes if you’re a podcaster or aspiring to be one. These tips will set you up for success!

Q1: How can you determine if podcasts are a great content format for your audience?

Before you start investing your time and energy into creating a podcast, it’s a good idea to determine if it’s the right fit for your audience. After all, if they’re clearly not interested in podcasts, then it might not be the right avenue for you to explore. If they are interested, then it’s a good sign that you should dive right in! So, if you want to figure out if your audience is interested in podcasts, follow this advice:

Madalyn’s advice is to just ask your audience what they want. They’ll tell you if they’re interested in podcasts, but you have to actually ask them first. She suggests creating a Twitter poll, which is a great way to get answers. It won’t require a lot of effort on your part either and that’s always a plus.

Julia provided some interesting statistics that show podcasts are on the rise each and every year. This is a good sign that it just might be worth your time and you’ll want to join the fun before everyone has jumped on the bandwagon.

The Digital Natives team suggests seeing how your audience is already consuming content. Is it clear that they’re listening to podcasts from other creators? If so, it’s a good sign that they might also be interested in yours. One way you can experiment before diving in head first is to test out their response to some audio snippets. If they enjoy it, move forward with a full podcast!

And as they said, if you still aren’t sure if it’s the right move, you can always ask them what they think. Your audience will happily share their thoughts with you.

A survey is a great way to get the opinions of your audience. You can create one and send it to your email list or share it on social media to gather responses.

Ai also suggests asking your audience what they think about podcasts. You can then take it a step further by researching the podcasts in your field. Are there many of them already available? Do they have a large following? Learn as much as you can about them as it can help you build a podcast of your own.

As James said, you can always just give it a go and see what happens. After all, your audience may ultimately fall in love with what you have created and you won’t know it unless you try. If things don’t work out though, you shouldn’t let it get you down.

Q2: What tools are essential for starting a podcast?

To get started with podcasting, there are a few tools you’re going to need to have on hand. What are they? Our chat participants have the scoop, so make a note of what you need to buy!

Madalyn said all you need to get started is a microphone. She mentioned that you can go the cheaper route and use an app on your phone or you can choose to invest in more professional equipment.

For a full list of Madalyn’s recommended equipment, check out the link she shared to her blog. Her suggestions for a moderately priced microphone include the Blue Snowball and the Blue Yeti. For something more splurge-worthy, Madalyn loves the Heil-PR 40.

When it’s time to edit, Madalyn suggests GarageBand or Audacity. You can also hire someone to edit for you if you don’t have the time or the skills to do it yourself.

Julia uses and loves microphones from Audio-Technica. She said they’re affordable, but still provide amazing quality. A wind pop filter is a must as well and you can find them cheap on Amazon.

When creating a podcast, sound quality is key. You need to make sure you have a great microphone to record on, but that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank. There are plenty of quality microphones on the market that are affordable.

Jason’s suggestions are a microphone, headphones, and something to record and editor your podcast.

Kristin recommends using Libsyn for hosting your podcast. She said it’s easy to use, which makes it perfect for beginners.

As Sarah said, you’re also going to need some great content that’s beneficial to your audience, time to do the podcast correctly, and a good microphone. All important elements to your podcast!

A great topic, a great microphone, and confident are all must-haves!

Don’t forget that you’ll also need a quiet room for recording and you’ll need a good attitude to along with it!

Q3: Discuss the qualities of an amazing podcast. What keeps you tuning in to each episode?

When starting and building a podcast of your own, you want to make sure it’s amazing. If it’s not, your audience isn’t going to stick around. To keep them coming back episode after episode, follow these tips straight from Tuesday’s chat:

Madalyn said an amazing podcast should be informative, helpful, compelling, and entertaining. If you can create a podcast that delivers those qualities, you just might have a success on your hands.

She also said that podcasts give you the ability to build an intimate relationship with your audience. That’s key to growing your brand overall.

Julia suggests investing in premium music for your podcast intro, teaser clips, and professional album art. All of those things make a great impact when it comes to the overall impression your podcast gives.

She also stressed the importance of creating great content. Fun, engaging, and unique stories, interviews, and episodes make all the difference. That’s what will ultimately attract listeners and keep them.

Jason knows that value is key when building a podcast. You want to make sure you’re providing something useful to your audience so they keep tuning in to new episodes.

After all, if you aren’t providing value to your audience, someone else will and they’ll ditch you for them. Lex’s advice is to provide unique insight and actionable takeaways to keep your audience tuned in. When building a successful podcast, you need to add value.

For Jennifer, an amazing podcast is all about excellent sound quality, interesting content, and an awesome community.

Good storytelling is one surefire way to suck your audience in and keep them coming back for more.

Q4: Podcasters: How can you approach influencers to be on your podcast for an interview? Listeners: What makes a great podcast interview?

If you want to have interview on your podcast, you’ll obviously need to reach out to some influencers in your field and invite them to join you. How do you do it? We’ve got the tips you need to know! We also asked those who don’t have a podcast what makes a great interview. Find out what they had to say:

Madalyn’s advice is to reach out to influencers via Twitter. It’s a simple, but effective, way to contact people and invite them to be on your podcast. She also said you shouldn’t be afraid to ask because you never know what kind of response you’ll get. You might be surprised who says yes!

As a listener, Madalyn said a great interview should be engaging and should hold the attention of your audience.

When Julia was seeking guests for her podcast, she tweeted them or sent an email. It worked!

The Digital Natives team also agrees Twitter is a great way to reach out to people. Don’t forget to also use the network you’ve already built. Odds are, you’ve previously connected with some people who would make the perfect guests.

As a listener, Lex wants a guest who is good on the mic. She also said you need to give them the opportunity to speak. Don’t control the conversation or talk over them.

Don’t let the conversation feel like an interview. Let things flow so it feels more like two friends talking.

Q5: How can you promote a podcast once it has launched to hopefully make it “New and Noteworthy”?

Getting that coveted “New and Noteworthy” spot on iTunes is a huge deal for podcasters. If you want to reach that level when your podcast first launches, there are a few things you should do to ensure its success. Here’s what you need to know:

Madalyn said to launch your podcast with a few episodes ready to go. As she mentioned, if you launch with three episodes, you could triple your number of downloads. Plus, having multiple episodes ready is great for getting people sucked in. It provides plenty of content for them to listen to.

Once you’ve gotten them to your podcast page and they’ve started listening, encourage them to subscribe, rate, and review your podcast. Be sure to also tell them to share it with their friends. These are all key steps in building a successful podcast.

Julia knows you have to hustle when it comes to promoting your podcast. She recommends getting your friends and fans to review your podcast early on if you want to reach that New and Noteworthy section. She saw her podcast get featured within 48 hours of its launch after she had received 25-30 reviews.

It helps to build anticipation before your podcast launches. Tell your audience that it’s coming and get them excited by doing a countdown on social media. It’s a simple way to keep your podcast top of mind and they’ll be looking forward to its arrival.

Jason’s advice is to spread the word about your podcast via social media and paid advertising. He also suggests asking your guests to share it with their networks.

Zala’s advice is to prepare a few episodes in advance. When you can launch with multiple episodes, you provide plenty of great content for your audience to listen to. She also said to start promotion early before you’ve even launched. This is a great way to get people excited about your podcast and looking forward to it. Make sure you maximize the power of your community and word-of-mouth.

Start building a community around your podcast and people will love being part of it. They’ll be happy to help you share and spread the word.

Don’t forget to create some eye-catching graphics to promote your podcast on social media and your email newsletter.

Q6: How can podcasts work as part of your overall content strategy along with blog posts, videos, etc.?

Podcasts, blog posts, and videos can seem like a lot. If you’re building a podcast, then you need to know how it fits into your overall content strategy. Here’s how you can make it fit:

As Madalyn said, you could take blog posts you’ve already written and expand on it to create a podcast episode.

Michelle agrees that this is a great way to go. Plus, if you know the blog post was a hit, there’s a good chance the podcast episode will be too.

As Julia said, repurposing blog posts is great when building a successful podcast. You can also cross-promote it on various platforms.

Sarah suggests repurposing your podcast content into other formats. You can turn it into a blog post, a Slideshare, or another format that appeals to your audience. Alternatively, you could take content from your blog and create a full podcast episode.

Jason says to turn your published podcasts into blog posts, infographics, and more! This is perfect considering not everyone is interested in podcasts and you’ll still be able to reach them this way.

Q7: In what ways can you repurpose your podcast episodes to consistently get new listeners? Should you create a transcript for each episode?

To really get the most out of your podcast, it’s a good idea to repurpose the episodes you create in order to break in new listeners. Many podcasters choose to include a transcript as well, but is it necessary? Here’s what you need to know:

Madalyn likes to tweet quotes from her podcast episodes and include an image so it stands out. It’s worked out well for her, so it’s worth a shot for your own episodes. She also mentioned that transcripts are great for SEO and for those who are hearing-impaired.

Julia’s advice is to promote your podcast any way that you can. Add it to your email signature, your author bios, and more.

While recording your podcast, have a camera on you to capture the whole thing. You can then upload it as a YouTube video, giving people a visual version of your podcast.

Jennifer suggests pulling quotes from the podcast and using them as graphics on Instagram. This is a great way to divert Instagram followers to your podcast.

Share relevant clips and consider creating a highlight reel of the best moments.

For The Write Podcast, Julia started doing transcripts, but has since stopped. She prefers to stick to show notes.

Leah mentioned that she’d love to see transcripts for podcast episodes. Since she doesn’t often get the opportunity to listen to them, she’d love to be able to read instead.

Kristin likes show notes for SEO purposes, so they’re worth adding for your episodes.

Jason is all for podcast transcripts!

Q8: Which podcasts are your favorite?

Finally, we asked our chat participants what their favorite podcasts are and they chimed in! Check out these podcasts and start downloading their latest episodes:

These podcasts that Madalyn suggested are definitely worth listening to!

Julia loves to tune into these podcasts.

Being Boss is a great one for creative, female entrepreneurs.

Have you checked out any of Jason’s top three podcasts?

Love analytics? You may want to check this one out, too.

Have you listened to the podcast from John Lee Dumas?

Kristen has two go-to podcasts that she’s been listening to for a long time.

We look forward to seeing you at the next #ContentWritingChat! Mark your calendars weekly for Tuesday at 10 AM Central Time for great chats centered around content writing and marketing. Follow @ExpWriters to stay updated on our new topics and guests!

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