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13 rules for a good podcast from Lika Kremer
13 rules for a good podcast from Lika Kremer

What is the fundamental difference between a podcast and a radio show, and why is it so important to decide on the format.

13 rules for a good podcast from Lika Kremer
13 rules for a good podcast from Lika Kremer

Do you listen to podcasts and want to create your own? Do you already have an idea, but not sure what to do next? These rules will help you distinguish a good idea from a bad one and create your own show.

1. Don't try to make a radio program

You often start listening to radio programs from the middle, from the moment you got into your car or went home. Therefore, the radio speaks to everyone at once, its task is to grab the attention of a person passing by. A person chooses a podcast consciously and always listens from the very beginning. Therefore, your goal is not to shout, but to build trusting relationships.

2. Make a good pitch

Pitch is two or three sentences that explain the essence of the project. Answer the questions: what is the story and what is the story?

Here are the answers to these questions using the Serial podcast as an example. What is this story about? A re-investigation of a murder that happened many years ago. What's the story? High school student Adnan Sayed was convicted of the murder of his ex-girlfriend, but he does not admit his guilt. Journalist Sarah Koenig decides to find out: what if he is not the killer?

The third big question is: why is it a podcast and not a video or text? Formulate your answer in two sentences, and then ask yourself: would you listen to this? Exactly? Check on five friends you trust. A good podcast episode is easy to retell to a friend over dinner.

3. Decide on the format

A good podcast has a clear idea and clear rules from episode to episode. For example, there is a podcast 99% Invisible that talks about the design around us. Each episode focuses on a specific, narrow theme, such as cocktail straws.

Answer yourself to the question: what exactly are you doing in each episode? Is it an interview, monologue, reportage, investigation, or a conversation between three friends? About what? What are the rules? Is there one topic or several of them? Do you have rubrics? What is their duration?

4. Think about what you can do while listening to your podcast

During the time that a person listens to a podcast, he must have time to do something: drive from home to work, clean up a closet, run 5 km on a treadmill, or walk with a dog. Therefore, the ideal length for a podcast is 20 to 40 minutes.

5. Add events

In a good podcast, something always happens right in front of the listener. If this is an interview, the guest must remember or formulate something that he has not said before, think about answering your question, be embarrassed, laugh - we must learn something new about it (about him, not about you!). If this is a reality show, give an opportunity to listen to how something happens in real life: you run from home to the bomb shelter, ask your grandmother for forgiveness, convince the investor to give you money, as it happens in the podcast "Either it comes out or not."

6. Be interested

If you have a conversational podcast, then the co-host is your associate and accomplice. This does not mean that you agree on everything: sometimes it is even better if you have something to argue about - for example, like the hosts of the podcast "It Happened". But it should be interesting for you together. If this is a podcast investigation, your main ambition is to get to the bottom of the truth, find answers to your questions, figure it out and tell (or better, let it listen) how you did it.

7. Describe what is happening

A good podcast is very visual. This is a movie for the ears. The listener imagines what the characters look like and where they are. Help him in this, describe the gestures and facial expressions of the interlocutor, if this is a reportage, tell him where you are, what is happening around, what is the weather, what the people next to you look like.

8. Take care of the sound quality

You can also record a podcast on your smartphone, but you must be heard. Speak into the microphone, remove extraneous noise during editing, remove what is pronounced illegible. If these are important words of the hero, retell. It should be clear to the listener what is going on.

Avoid harsh, unpleasant sounds. Podcasts are most often listened to with headphones, keep that in mind. If possible, buy a pair of good microphones, such as the Rode PodMic or the Zoom H1.

9. Mount

Do you feel like you have cut everything that is possible? But this story, which is irrelevant and does not add anything to the story, does not reveal the hero that you just feel sorry for cutting out? And this joke, understandable only to you? Listen again critically! Or ask someone to work as a "second ear". Leave only the most important thing - what works for history. Listen again and edit again.

10. Post a podcast regularly

Pacific Content estimates that 12% of Podcast success: a long game podcasts stop coming out after the first episode.

Remember that a podcast builds its audience gradually. One must learn about it, one must get used to it. Therefore, issues should be published on the same day, at the same time.

11. Do not admire yourself

Getting attention is not a good reason to do a podcast. The world is run by people who tell good stories. To have something to tell, turn on curiosity, look for heroes and stories.

12. Publish and Promote Wherever Possible

Everything is ready, but now you need to be heard. That is, you have to publish and distribute the audio file. A good podcast is easy to find and is found in all podcast apps, on all platforms, and on all social media platforms. To do this, you need to choose a publishing platform, for example, free Anchor and VKontakte or paid Libsyn and Simplecast.

To publish a podcast, you need a cover with an icon and title. There should be no small details in the picture: it must be read in a small size, on the phone - remember this!

13. Share your podcast

A good podcast gathers a community of like-minded people around it. Perhaps, at first, a very small one - your subscribers in social networks, friends and family. We released a podcast - tell people about it! If your project is good, the community will grow. And if no one is listening to you, stop and re-read the article from the beginning.

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