There are a lot of podcasts that exist -- over 1.7 million, to be exact. This means that there are a large variety of options for listeners when it comes to choosing a series. We want to help you make your series the go-to.
This comes down to creating a great listener experience for your podcast audience. But what does that mean? There’s a lot of buzz about creating an amazing user experience when it comes to websites. For podcasts, it’s pretty much the same thing but for listeners. When a listener presses play on your series, you want to be able to give them the best audio experience possible on and off the listening platform.
We’ve identified three key areas that you can focus on:
- Audio Quality
- Content Quality
Having top-notch audio quality is going to help you stand out from the crowd and give your listeners a better experience. Ensure that you sound clear, crisp, and professional (even if the actual content of your podcast isn’t professional).
Producing high quality audio starts with your setup. A few things you should consider:
Recording in a Soundproof Room
At the moment many of us are working and recording from home so we doubt you have a full studio setup in your home. To get the best sound quality in your home, find a smaller room that’s with little echo (you can also put a blanket over yourself to close in the audio! It may look weird, but it works). Make sure to turn off any air conditioning, close your windows, and ask anyone else in your home to be quieter during your recording times.
Having a good microphone is important for obvious reasons. The better the mic, the better the sound.
But microphones can get pretty expensive. Discover Pods made a list of 30 different podcast mics of all budgets so you can at least have something that’s better than the microphone attached to your headphones.
We recommend getting a USB microphone so that you can plug it into your computer and easily start recording.
That brings us to the discussion around how you should record. If you’re just recording on your own with no guests or other hosts, you can record directly on your computer using software like Adobe Audition (which you can also use for editing).
But if you’re recording remotely and either have another host that you record with or you’re interviewing guests, you’ll need to find a remote recording software that works for you. Check out our list of six remote recording softwares broken down by capabilities and price.
And finally, editing. This is where you can give your audio those final touches to make it sound the best that it can be. At Quill, we usually stick to Adobe Audition when it comes to editing. We love the effects that we can apply to the tracks and the overall interface of the platform.
There are so many editing resources out there that you can explore. Here are some free audio editing tools, but remember, free options do tend to limit your capabilities and quality. Alternatively, if you don’t want to worry about editing and are interested in having someone take it off of your plate, you can chat with us here 😉
Now we’re going to get into content quality. Having a podcast isn’t as easy as just pressing record and then talking for an hour about anything and everything. That would provide a pretty poor listener experience.
A podcast structure is basically the format of your show. Maybe it’s an interview style, a docu-series, or a multi-story series. Whatever it may be, if you define it at the beginning, it really helps to shape your content and editing moving forward.
This doesn’t mean that once you’ve picked a structure you have to stay with it! You can definitely change things up and even see what your listeners grab onto most. But still, defining the structure early on helps to organize and format your series in a way that makes it easier for listeners to follow along with what’s happening in every episode.
If you’re unsure of which structure you want to use, check out our breakdown of 8 of the most popular podcast formats.
After you’ve decided on structure, you can start to lay out your episode plans. These are your roadmaps for each episode. If it’s an interview, it can list the questions that you want to ask. If it’s a multi-story, it can break down when you transition to different guests.
It’s sort of like the skeleton of your podcast episode and helps to keep you on track (since it’s very easy to go on tangents, get side-tracked, or just ramble on for way too long while recording a podcast).
After a listener has finished an episode… Now what? As your episode is wrapping up it’s a perfect time to add a CTA around what they should do next or where they should go.
Many podcasts will direct listeners to their social media channels where they market the podcast and have also formed a community around their show. This is a great audience growth tactic since you’re directing all of your listeners to one place to interact and engage with you and vice versa. Or maybe you have a newsletter that your listeners can join to get updates on the podcast and useful information around the topics you cover.
Whatever it may be, don’t just let your listeners’ experience with you end when your episode ends. Allow it to continue on. That’s how you create a great listener experience as well as a dedicated audience.