Originally published in the Boulder Daily Camera and the Longmont Daily Times-Call.

David Letterman once said, “I’d like to do a podcast about guys wearing shorts when it’s cold.” Sounds funny, but you can find just about anything you want to know more about in the world of podcasts.

More and more people are talking about podcasts. It’s an alternative way to communicate with others, and businesses are going all in. Reaching audiences is always challenging. COVID has made it even more difficult. Those involved say that podcasts are to radio as Netflix is to cable. But before you go all in, you should have a plan. Knowing what a podcast involves is important when deciding if it will work for your business.

Let’s start at the beginning. Podcasts aren’t actually new. But they are growing in popularity both with viewers and those producing content. As of September, there are just over one million podcasts. This compares to over 600 million blogs, another popular way to share your expertise.

To begin planning you should consider several important things. What will be your topic?  What will be your title?  What kind of format will work best for your topic?  What kind of cover art will you utilize? Have you thought about music? You may require audio recording and editing. And, don’t forget to plan for where you will submit your podcast, for example Apple Podcasts (iTunes).

When choosing a topic, try to narrow it down to something you can speak about for many episodes. For businesses, this should be your area of expertise. Remember, it needs to be something that will be interesting to others. Will you be the only person hosting, or would it be beneficial to have a co-host or others that may make your effort more appealing? Remember, to be popular, your product must be engaging.

Choosing a name is very important. Once you’ve chosen your title you need to obtain a domain name for the podcast. This may be purchased but there are also places that will provide you with a free domain name. Do your homework to find what will work best for you.

What will be your format? When considering this, take time to think about length. Aligning this with your style is important so that you keep it fresh. Some people do interviews to gain broader audience appeal. Lastly, what is it that you want your audience to ultimately do? What is your call to action?

Visualize how you want your podcast to look. This involves cover art that people will see when looking for podcasts, as well as any graphics you may utilize. How it appears enhances the viewer’s experience.

Excellent audio quality is a must. If you can’t be heard clearly, all of your work will be wasted. There are podcast starter kits available that you may wish to explore. Tutorials for setting everything up are also available. Professional assistance is another alternative. Make plans for how you will record and edit your episodes. Again, many alternatives are available.

Once you’ve completed all of your planning and preparation, you should ponder your launch. There are endless ways to do this, so research is again recommended to determine what will work best for your podcast, your abilities, and budget.

Submitting your podcast to podcast directories will ensure that your episodes will be available to others. Your host should also be able to update your directory with any new episodes that you provide. Lastly, don’t overlook how you will promote your podcast.  Simply producing and launching your podcast isn’t enough.

“A podcast is a great way to develop relationships with hard to reach people,” Tim Paige, the host of CoversionCast notes. So, go get them!

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