5 Minutes To: Creating and Launching Your Podcast, For Free

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More people are listening to podcasts than ever before. And with so many people listening, the demand for audio content, especially when it comes to ‘niche’ content, is huge.

That means that there’s a great opportunity for you, your brand, or your business to get involved with what we marketeers call ‘audio marketing’. The average attention span of an internet user is a matter of seconds which means that video, or visual content, has to be quick, impactful, and, all too often, fleeting. 

But podcasts are different. Podcasts are long-form marketing. You can offer insights, information, training, community-building, humour, conversation, and in return, you get the undivided attention of your audience. That is marketing gold dust.

 

So where do I begin?

That’s a great question. People these days are getting their podcast content from a whole host of different services, but the most popular platforms are Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify. 

You may be wondering about the cost of recording, producing, and distributing your episodes, but fear not. This blog post is going to take you through every step of the process to create, launch, and distribute your podcast around the world totally free of charge.

 

Setting up your podcast

Firstly, let’s introduce you to Anchor.fm – a podcast management platform that allows you to record, edit, and distribute your podcast for free across all the major platforms.

Once you’ve created your account, you can go ahead and set the title, description, and album art of your podcast, and Anchor will create a public page for your podcast, too. You can also link it to your social media accounts, and your website, too. 

Then, you’re ready to begin!

And that’s one of things we love about podcasting – there are no rules whatsoever when it comes to the content of your podcast. It’s a totally different, unique way to talk about you or your brand, with the only limitations being the medium itself. 

 

Creating your first episode

Recording

The first option you have to record your podcast is to do it the old fashioned way, with microphones, or more likely these days, over Zoom. If you don’t have the budget or scope for a full microphone setup, recording on your mobile device can still yield some great quality results.

A top tip for recording your podcast though is going to be to make sure each of your guests has a separate microphone / phone – trust me, when it comes to editing your episode, you’ll be really grateful! You’ll have control over the levels, and make sure the active speaker is always able to be heard with minimal background noise. 

Another top tip if you’re using several microphones in one place or apart, is using a loud clap or noise you can use to synchronise all the audio feeds. That’s exactly what the ‘clapperboard’ you see in film and television production is used for!

 

Editing

Your editing style will be unique to your podcast,for this you should consider who your audience are, and what they’re going to want to hear. For example, if you’re creating an industry podcast, the chances are, your audience aren’t going to appreciate a whole lot of ‘in-jokes’, even if you’re having a laugh recording the episode! 

If you’ve set up your recording so each guest has their own microphone (or voice note file), then in the editing process, you’ll be using something called ‘multi-track’ editing. Many of you I’m sure will have heard of Audacity, an open source multi-track editing software you can download and use completely free. 

A great tip is to ‘mute’ all the other guests when someone else is speaking as it makes sure that things are that bit clearer. If you have a more informal, conversational style of podcast make sure you turn the volume back up for those little social cues that make it sound much more like a natural conversation. It can feel a little alien if the speaker makes a humorous comment and the pause for laughter is totally silent!

Putting together a slick podcast takes a bit of practice. Smoothing out the cuts in the audio, working out the pace, and figuring out the bits of conversation to keep in (and those to leave out) takes time, but once you’re used to the editing process it can also be a really enjoyable, and a totally unique type of creative work.

 

Using Anchor

You could potentially save yourself even more effort and time by using Anchor’s built-in episode creator. Whether you’re using their dedicated podcast recording app, or just using the website, there are a bunch of features that can be really useful in creating episodes quickly and easily. 

As well as the ability to record audio directly into Anchor, as Anchor is owned by Spotify, you’re also able to search and use Spotify’s music library in your episodes. They also have a comprehensive suite of title and transition sounds you can use to help build your episode.

 

Another nifty feature, especially once you’ve established your podcast with a larger audience, is the ‘Messages’ feature, whereby you can send out a link over social media and ask people to submit feedback / questions as voice notes for you to use in your episode, great for panel discussions or FAQ style episodes, and a great way to engage your audience, too. 

 

Publishing your podcast

Once you’re happy with your podcast, you can get about publishing it to all the platforms that Anchor supports. You’ll be asked to name the episode, give it a description, and then fill in some more details such as season and episode number, and then you’re good to go!

 

Hit publish, and then within a couple of hours, your podcast will be available worldwide on all the major platforms.

It can be a bit daunting launching a podcast, but there are a couple of tricks that will help build your audience, and one of the most important is ratings. For those platforms that support rating podcasts, including Apple and Google, the higher rated your podcast is, the more likely it is to appear in search results or as a recommendation for new listeners. It’s definitely worth prompting your audience in your episodes to rate the podcast and share it with their network if they’re enjoying it!

 

Analysis

As marketers will tell you, knowing your audience is one of the fundamental pillars of good marketing! That’s why we love Anchor’s analytics capabilities. 

 

If you’re trying out new episode ideas or topics, it’s always useful to know which episodes are popular with your audience, and which of them might not capture their interest. The ability to see a report on individual episode audiences, as well as seeing an overall trend and how your audience is listening over time is incredibly useful.

Anchor is able to report on the reach of your podcast, in terms of listenership figures, as well as analyse the geographical location of your audience, and how they’re consuming your podcast. 

 

Growing your podcast

Currently available in the US, and hopefully coming soon to the UK and Europe market, is the ability to monetise your podcast directly from the Anchor platform. Anchor also works with sponsors, having the ability to work directly with a select group of brands, your podcast could prove a nice little earner! If you’re based in the US, you’re already able to make the most of this service, and if, like us, you’re in the UK, or elsewhere in the world, you can add your name to the request for monetisation which we hoping to see in the future.

 

Let’s get going!

Podcasts have never been more popular, and with Anchor, you have the ability to get going and share your voice with the world quickly, easily, and for free. Plus, with tools like Audacity, you can put together professional-sounding podcasts with little more than your phone, an internet connection, and something to talk about. The potential reach and engagement of your audience is huge, so we wholeheartedly recommend thinking about your audio marketing strategy. 

 

If you’d like to talk audio marketing, how to put together a great podcast, or even join us for an episode of The Smart Life, reach out to the team at Beacon! Drop us an email at hello@beaconagency.co.uk and find out more about how we can help bring your story to life.