If you love diving deep into topics, chatting with other creators, or exploring big ideas that can’t fit into a TikTok, podcasting might be for you.
When you’re new to long-form content, starting a podcast can feel intimidating — but it’s easier than you think. All you need is a decent microphone and a great idea. Start strong with these podcast tips, and you can score some listeners.
What Makes a Podcast Successful?
Millions of podcasts exist, which means there are a ton of tips and tricks already out there about what to do and what to avoid. Here are a few key factors that make most successful podcasts stand out:
- Individuality — The best podcasts focus on a niche topic, offering information that listeners can’t get elsewhere. True crime is a popular topic, but you could end up talking about stories that other creators have already covered. To keep your content original and interesting, try to find a case no one else has covered yet and add some interesting facts to help unpack the story.
- Consistency — Listeners look forward to new episodes of the podcasts they love, and if you stop posting for a month, they could forget about you. To avoid that, put out consistent episodes so your audience knows when the next one will drop. You can also amp up the anticipation with reminders before every new release.
- Value — Strong podcasts help people learn something, have a laugh, or feel like they’re part of a community — all of which provide value to an audience. Listeners should feel like they’re gaining something when they tune in.
7 Podcast Tips for Beginners
If you already have a great podcast idea, the hard part is over. Now it’s time to plan out your content and start promoting it. Before hitting “record,” use these podcast best practices to create the best show possible:
1. Clearly Define Your “Why”
Starting a podcast to build a platform or further connect with your followers is a good idea, but there should be a clear reason why you’re doing it. If you’re taking your TikTok content and putting it into audio form, your followers might feel like it’s not worth their time to listen since they’ve already seen it.
2. Plan Episodes
Decide on a theme for each episode and write an outline that covers what you want to say. It doesn’t have to be a clear script — just what talking points you want to hit and when. That way, you don’t forget anything when you film, and you realize when a topic doesn’t have enough depth for a full episode.
Planning is also a valuable tool for figuring out whether your podcast topic works in the first place. If you start plotting episodes and you run out of ideas fast, your niche may be too narrow. You’ll need to develop an idea you can create more content around.
3. Never Miss an Episode
Consistency is key to hooking listeners. You don’t want them to get excited about an upcoming episode only to disappoint them by not delivering. If your podcast doesn’t come out when it’s supposed to or it’s not clear when more content is coming, people may lose interest.
Create a schedule for recording, editing, and launching episodes. If you know you’ll be busy on one of the scheduled days, record future episodes to get ahead. This way, you’ll have content ready to launch.
It’s also a good idea to create seasons — like two 10-episode seasons a year — to commit to a schedule while making room for breaks. When you release this schedule, your followers will know a break is coming, and they’ll get excited about the next season instead of wondering when you’ll drop the next episode.
4. Choose the Right Episode Length
Podcast episodes can last from a few minutes to a few hours. To figure out your podcast’s best length, consider your content and your audience’s attention span. More complex content, like a deep dive into your favorite movie, might deserve a longer episode, but if your podcast gives daily motivation tips, you can probably keep it brief.
Once you establish a general length for your episodes, try not to stray too far from it. If your audience is used to 30-minute episodes and you release one that’s three hours long, they might not want to listen.
5. Collaborate With Others
Enrich your podcast’s stories by inviting other creators for conversations, interviews, or guest takeovers. Suppose your podcast reviews local restaurants - you could shake up your content by interviewing a head chef and giving listeners an inside look into a topic you already know they like.
Collaborating with others is also a savvy marketing move. The guest will spread the word on their social media accounts and with friends, attracting listeners who could become regular fans. Bringing on another podcaster can be a great promotion tactic since you can promote each other’s podcasts at the same time.
6. Try a Video Podcast
Your audience may already love listening to you, but showing who you really are builds a deeper connection and more loyalty. Film your recording session and post it on YouTube or another streaming platform. You could also make the video content an exclusive perk on Patreon or a similar fan membership website to earn a profit.
Don’t worry about making the transition to film production if your specialty is audio. Captions can help you turn your clips into professional-looking videos with custom captions, filters, and clip transitions. If you put your podcast videos on YouTube, you can even use Captions’ AI Shorts to automatically find the most viral moments from your content and make them into short-form content for Instagram Reels, TikTok, and YouTube Shorts.
7. Promote Your Podcast
Get people hooked before the first episode by promoting your podcast everywhere you can. Announce upcoming episodes on your social media accounts, and create a website and email list so fans always know when a new one’s coming. With those reminders, post a sneak peek of the content to build more hype.
Don't forget about podcast hosting — which is how and where you'll post every episode. If your content is only available on one platform, you're limiting your potential listeners. Find a hosting website that lets you post across several platforms so fans have more places to find you.
What Not to Do When Podcasting
If you have a topic idea and a clear vision for presenting and promoting it, you’re well on your way to making an engaging show. Avoid these common mistakes for a smooth start as a podcaster:
- Spending too much on podcast equipment — You don’t have to spend thousands on a high-tech microphone, fancy headset, and professional software. You can make quality recordings using simple tools, like a podcast microphone that works with your phone or computer. Plus, advanced tools take longer to learn, keeping you from getting to the fun part: recording your first episode.
- Not editing — Take the time to put a professional-level finish on every episode by cutting out mistakes and repetitive information. If your podcast editing software allows, you can fix audio glitches and improve sound quality at the same time. Doing so hooks listeners with clear ideas and crisp audio.
- Recording online — Using an app or online recording software that doesn’t save the file automatically is risky. You could lose everything if your internet fails mid-recording. Find a recording app that you trust, and make sure you back everything up to the cloud as soon as you record. If you accidentally delete something, you’ll have to re-record your podcast which will waste unnecessary time.
Increase Engagement With Captions
If you’re only recording audio content, you might be missing out on turning your social media followers into loyal listeners. Filming a video podcast will help you bring more content to your audience — and with Captions, you don’t have to spend hours editing.
In the Captions app, you can easily cut pauses from recordings, bleep out words “not fit for radio,” and include customized captions to improve engagement and expand your reach. Download it today and watch your podcast soar.