There are tons of tips out there for podcasting, but there are some "tips" that are really just rules for podcasting. Creating your own podcast is a creative process, so you have a lot of agency to really do what you would like. However, there are some rules that you ultimately need to follow in order to have a legal and engaging podcast.
5. Keep a Schedule.
Without a schedule, you will have no consistency and it will be difficult to improve and grow your podcast. Ensure that you have a specific day that you always post. Whether you choose to post weekly on a certain day, monthly on a certain day, or any other timing, is up to you, but you should keep a schedule so that your audience knows what to expect and hears from you on a regular basis. It can be much more difficult for listeners to become invested in your podcast if they are constantly wondering when there will be a new episode. Consistency is key. Ultimately, a schedule should help you remain more organized and prepared for your episodes, and it should assist you with keeping your podcast episode length relatively consistent as well. And, your organization and preparation will also be keys to your success in podcasting. For help with deciding on a schedule, check out our article here.
4. Always Double-Check.
This really goes for everything and anything, but especially with your equipment, you should always double-check it before recording to ensure that the audio is perfect. One of the biggest aspects of podcasting is your audio quality. If you jump into recording without double-checking everything, even if you have the best equipment out there, there is a good chance that your audio quality will suffer. So, help yourself out by double-checking equipment, your notes, etc. and you will begin to notice that extra attention to detail is another key to success.
3. Keep Your Audience in Mind.
Whether you are editing an episode, preparing an episode, planning your podcast, or any other task related to your podcast, you should remain mindful of your audience. What do they want and what do they expect? Even if you are just starting your podcast and don't have an audience yet, you should have a target audience that you are keeping in mind to direct your decisions. It's extremely important to podcast your passion, but if you forget about your audience along the way, you will struggle with growing and even sustaining your audience.
2. Don't Forget About Legality.
There are a few things to remember in order to keep your podcast legal. Using copyrighted material, like music or film clips, without permission is illegal. In some instances, Fair Use is applicable, meaning using bits of copyrighted material for educational commentary or for criticism is often allowable. However, generally speaking, you should avoid including anyone else's material into your podcast unless you have explicit permission. To find legal music for your podcast, check out our article here.
Another thing to keep in mind regarding legality is that you should have contracts with anyone that is ever involved with your podcast, whether that be guests, sponsors, artwork creators, producers, co-hosts, writers, etc. With everything laid out in contracts, you and everyone you ever work with know exactly what is allowed, expected, owned, and so forth at all times.
Also, podcasts provide an easy opportunity for defamation. You can be sued if you specifically say something that is false and hurtful about someone else. While it may seem like a minor thing, you should keep it in the back of your mind while creating your podcast to ensure that you don't accidentally put yourself in a bad spot.
Finally, you should check that you are not creating a podcast title that already exists. The first person (or company) to use a brand name has the right to use it and to prevent others from using it in the same field. So, it's best to do your research and ensure you are coming up with a unique title to avoid later losing your podcast brand that you've built.
1. Engage With Your Audience.
Again, there is no doubting that your podcast is about you and your passion. That should be a priority. However, your audience is an enormous part of your podcast and its success, so you should engage with them. Whether you engage with them on social media, via email, in-person, or through any other means does not matter. Some simple interaction with your audience will help your podcast grow, provide a great experience for you as the host, create a networking opportunity for everyone involved, and to your listeners, it can be a meaningful gesture. If you genuinely care about your audience, they will genuinely care about you and your podcast, fostering a wonderful community that can truly help to improve your podcast in a variety of ways.
If you have these 5 rules in mind at all times, you can be largely assured that your podcast is legal, you are creating engaging content, your audience is happy, and you have high quality audio. At the end of the day, these couple things are really what make the foundation of your podcast. And, a good foundation is what leads to a fantastic podcast. Happy podcasting!
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