As with anything new or unfamiliar, preparation and planning are essential in ensuring a successful outcome. Online broadcasting, podcasting, and content creation in general are no different in this regard.
The art of broadcasting involves a number of moving parts and it’s essential that you take care of them before you making a first impression on your listeners. To help you start off on the right foot and avoid the frustration of figuring out what to do bit by bit, we’ve decided to put together a list of the most essential action steps any broadcaster serious about his craft must must take.
#1 Arrange a High Quality of Production
Although different audiences have different expectations with regards to content, a desire to hear high-quality audio is something shared among most listeners. There are several keys to releasing audio: having hardware well-suited for the task and use of the software and editing techniques (if episode are released for download)
Purchase a dynamic mic (condenser mics do a poor job of canceling out background noise) and a pop filter. The Blue Yeti is also a good professional-grade option for those just starting out.
It’s also recommended that you get a mixer. Here’s a list of the of 10 reasons to do so.
Here are a few software tools you might consider investing in:
Soundboard (OS X and Windows) – offers a “quick way to enhance your podcasts or broadcasts with sound clips, effects, or musical accompaniment.”
Sound Byte for OS X and Windows – provides “digital automation software for a variety of recorded sounds.”
#2 Practice to Ensure Smooth Delivery
Irrespective of whether you will be improvising or relying on a script, it takes practice and skill to get to point where you’re able to deliver content for relatively long periods of time without making any mistakes.
Most novices will find it challenging to do so in the early stages of their radio show or podcast. If you record and listen to yourself, figure out where you tend to make mistakes and learn how to correct them, you’ll improve quickly.
#3 Get Clear on Your “Reason Why”
It’s important to clarify your motivation before starting a radio show or podcast. Are you doing this to learn or master new skills, build an audience, or prove that you have the skills to break into an industry? Or, will you use an online broadcasting service like Croice as part of your job?
Are you planning to monetize your content? If so, how are you planning-to do so? For example, podcast hosts who monetize their work measure their reach (the number of people who download or listen to you) and optimize for frequency (the number of “episodes” release schedule) because potential sponsors and advertisers look at these metrics before outlaying advertising money. Others reap the rewards of having a show and a following by taking advantage of affiliate offers.
#4 Pick a Home Base for Your Brand
You need to determine where listeners will go to hear the latest news from you, download the latest show episode, and send in comments and suggestions. The simplest option is to have a WordPress site on a premium theme, such as WooThemes, Thesis, StudioPress, or PageLines. They allow for customization, have built-in SEO features and a thriving help & support community.
If you plan on hosting your audio files on your site, the following set-up is advisable: a WordPress site hosted on either a standard hosting provider, such as DreamHost, or specialized one (e.g. WPEngine) accompanied by a PowerPress plugin, and Libsyn or Blubrry for audio file hosting.
#5 Establish Awareness
Outline and then implement a marketing and promotion strategy for your show or podcast.
#6 Know Where to Get Help and Learn from the Best
How do you master a subject quickly and efficiency? The answer: learning from people who are several years ahead of you. If you are serious about your becoming a radio show host, check out the following resources and online podcasting/broadcasting communities:
Also, make a habit of listening to other prominent hosts and learn why they’re successful at what they do. Take a look at the Podcast Awards page for a list of the major figures in a variety categories.