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What Makes a Great Podcast? Check out these 10 tips

Podcast (s) come in all shapes and sizes. That’s good news for you, because it means that you have lots of room to be creative and make something you’re excited about. 

  • Have a theme. Sounds obvious, right? But that’s how you find your niche. It can be anything from a topic as broad as politics to something specific like how to become a successful entrepreneur and build your own business. Being consistent in the theme you’ve chosen will help to strengthen your personal or professional brand and will differentiate you from thousands of other podcasters who are also trying to start their own thing.
  • Prepping ahead of time. Making and sharing a podcast sounds like a cool idea, but it’s not just you and a microphone. It’s having a strategy about what you want to accomplish. This means mapping out what needs to be done before you hit the record button, which can include doing the research, inviting guests and creating a list of questions to ask them, setting a timeline for what you’ll talk about and for how long, and having notes ready to keep you focused.

  • Say no to noise and yes to good equipment. If you’re just starting out, it might be a good idea to experiment with just using your phone, laptop, and built-in microphone on your device before you invest more money. Pick a space in your home where there’s the least amount of noise and a door you can close. Then, try an app such as Opinion to get started with a free 10-minute podcast. Opt for recording it either very early in the morning or later at night when it’s less noisy.
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  • Knowing who you’re creating it for. Think about your target audience and who would be interested in listening. Is it a certain age group, or people who share a passion of yours, or someone who’s looking to learn something new? Put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself why they would want to listen to you. What’s in it for them? Why would they want to invest their time to hear what you’re saying?

  • Providing value. There are tens of thousands of podcasts already produced and available on many topics. So how can you make a difference and provide something of value? Brainstorm ideas where you can offer something that listeners might not find anywhere else. Think about your core skills and what makes you unique: is it your expertise at something, your unusual background or lie experience, your great communication skills, or perhaps your wacky sense of humor that can make your podcast valuable?

  • Making it interesting and unique. Here’s where you can get creative. You might want to write ideas on what would be interesting to listeners. It could be explaining a different learning technique for playing guitar, or talking about a controversial topic many people are curious about, or even answering questions that others have on how to solve a problem or create a new habit. Putting your unique spin on it will give your podcast more visibility and can help you make a name in the podcasting world.

  • Adding some extras. So maybe you’ve been diligently doing research, prepping for your podcast, and following your notes to the letter as you’re recording it, but sometimes it’s a good idea to step away from the script and give listeners something they might not expect. It can be a helpful tip or a shortcut to overcoming a difficult challenge, or providing information on a free resource you’re giving them on your blog or website. Either way, the extras should enhance your podcast episode and add more value.
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  • Having some fun with it. It doesn’t always have to be super serious for you to make a podcast valuable or newsworthy. Often times we can all benefit from a good dose of humor or just plain silliness to take the edge off things and have an excuse to relax in our busy day. Tell a funny story or give a funny example to illustrate a point you’re making. Talk about what made you laugh and give listeners a few moments to just chill out and have fun.

  • Leave in the imperfect moments. Of course you have the option to edit your podcast episodes to the point of perfection, if that’s your goal. But consider leaving in some bloopers and mistakes you made. If you happen to be recording and there’s a torrential downpour outside your home, keep recording and talk about it. It’s fine to keep your podcast organic and real. Unless it’s an interruption that prevents you from continuing, use it to transition to another story you want to talk about.

  • Provide people with ideas. Did you ever think about what happens after your listeners finish your podcast? It’s not just what you’re talking about during each episode that counts; it’s also how you influence people with what you’re talking about. Your podcast can be inspirational to get someone to think about starting a new venture, or it can be motivational to give them that extra push to get proactive about practicing a positive habit every day. Either way, the goal of your podcast can be to give people ideas – how they can improve something, learn a new skill, absorb key concepts of an important book or movie, or offer tips on how they can become the best version of themselves. After hearing the episode, they might follow up and take your advice on what can improve their lives, and if they do, then your podcast really does make a difference in their lives!
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