In the past few years, the global media industry has begun to coalesce on a new form of media, podcasts, as a new frontier in telling stories. Fathers and sons, Twitter influencer couples, childhood friends, and news media startups have been setting aside time and money in the hopes that they can create the next ‘I Said What I Said’ hosted by Jola Ayeye and FK Abudu, with its own branded aso-ebi and sold out event across Nigeria and the UK.
With the rise of Zoom and Zencastr, the all-in-one start-to-finish podcasting platform that allows users to do everything from recording, editing and distribution across streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple podcasts, the barrier to entry has been reduced drastically.
How to make a podcast
There are also multiple kinds of podcasts. From documentary style to one-man shows and interviews, there is no shortage of formats for new podcasters to venture into.
But Todah Opeyemi, the multi-media journalist who has made multiple podcasts, said that the Interview-Style is a good format to start with.
“We are in a digital age, and conducting interviews for podcasts has become easier than ever. With the availability of online tools like Zoom or Zencastr, hosts can easily connect with guests remotely, even if they can’t be physically present in the studio,” Todah told Technext.
Guest on podcasts these days are starkly different from the highly experienced individuals invited on nationally broadcasted talk shows. In the age of Instagram, anyone from a close friend to a neighbour will suffice for honest conversations during the interview. In Nigerian raw chats about real-life experience offers a never-ending source of inspiration.
Todah also stresses that new podcasters should have a clear idea of what their will be about, preferably a niche topic.
At a workshop she held last year, Aisha Salaudeed, the host of I Like Girls, said podcasters should never record in an empty shape to avoid echoes that are difficult to fix during editing. She also stressed that the podcast should have a clear direction before the recording starts.
How to distribute your podcast
Distributing on various streaming platforms has been made easy by platforms like Anchor and Acast. Todah said that capacity and budget would play a key role in what platform new podcasters choose.
“Anchor is a free platform that allows you to distribute your podcast to various listening platforms like Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, and more. There’s Acast. There’s Buzzsprout. Both require payments,” he said.
Then there is the work of getting people to find the podcast and listen. Social media is a vital tool that one can use.
“Promote your podcast extensively on social media,” Todah said. “Similar to rules for promoting other media formats, utilize tools like Headliner to share audio snippets, and share clips from your conversations if you have video content as well. If you plan on having guests, leverage their audience by encouraging them to share the episode with their followers,” he added.
How to succeed in podcasting
Damilare Akinpelu, the host of TechBytes, a weekly runup of tech news podcast, said that new podcasters should pay attention to Content, Consistency and Production. “Create content that people want to listen to, that’s interactive, informative and relevant,” he told Technext.
Wande Thomas, the founder of Madeaux Africa, adds that consistency will be vital in building a community of listeners.
“One thing that is even more important in the podcast space is consistency. You are creating a community and you’re becoming a part of these people’s lives and so they need to be able to count on you,” he said.
But even then, a successful first episode is not guaranteed. Akinpelu cautions that young podcasters must keep at it to succeed in podcasting. “Your first episode might not catch on immediately especially if you don’t have a huge budget for promotion, but if you keep at it, the big break to making money is close,” he said.
Read also: How Wande Thomas built his podcast network, Madeaux Africa
To achieve consistency, Akinpelu advises new podcasters to have a schedule for recording that works with their time and energy.
“Create a schedule that is not too demanding for yourself. If your podcast is not about time-bound conversations like news, you can record multiple episodes in one studio round, which will help you save time and resources,” he said.
If there are areas to strain for podcasters, Akinpelu suggests that they should consider assistance with some tasks. “Get help, if you can. Have a team of 1 or 2 other people, who will help you with the production and also serve as your accountability partners,” he said.
Debunking the myths around podcasting
The narrative that a fancy studio and microphones are essential to start a podcast has gone around for years. But Todah said that it’s not necessarily true. The audio quality is paramount, but he said there are other ways to achieve good sounding podcast without a studio.
“It’s important to ensure that your audio is clear and immersive, by editing out any unpleasant noises. If you can’t afford a professional studio, you can still improve your sound quality during post-production. Free software like Audacity and Audition can help you remove background noises and enhance your audio,” he said.
With these dispatches, it’s time to set up your Zencastr account and start podcasting.
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