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Creating A Great Podcast

One of my favorite podcasts is Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street Radio. On the surface, it’s a podcast about cooking, but beyond that, you’ll find history, culture, and ideas that spark your culinary imagination. It’s not just the tips and tricks I like, but the framing of food as an essential element of who we are as a society. Great podcasts do this – they take the listener into a new world of knowledge and insight.

The interest in podcasts (and creating them) has exploded in recent years. According to one estimate, there are over 850,000 podcasts, with over 48 million total episodes. Finding a podcast you like might be challenging (unless you’re listening to The Moth, and if you’re not, you need to be!) Likewise, producing, editing, and distributing your podcast is also tricky in a competitive environment where listeners are selective about how they spend their valuable podcast time. So, how will you set your podcast apart from all the rest? Let’s explore that in today’s blog.

When building your stellar podcast, the first thing to consider is what format you plan to use. In the Milk Street Radio podcast, they often use interviewing as a format. This is a common approach, where (usually) one host interviews a guest. Milk Street also has a second host who helps answer cooking questions from listeners calling into the show. A different format you might consider is the multiple-hosts format, which can lead to fascinating conversations between two passionate co-hosts about their chosen topic.

Other format options include narrative, or storytelling, podcasts, which draw the audience in by telling a well-crafted story, often with music and other elements. Think Aaron Mahnke’s Cabinet of Curiosities. A mixed podcast, on the other hand, uses ingredients from all of these formats, creating a truly unique experience for the listener. Podcast editors and designers like Empower Podcasting can help you choose the format that is right for you.

The next step toward creating a great podcast is essential: the planning stage. Planning what you’ll say and do during the recording gives you something to follow, whether an outline or a full-blown script. As you create your podcasts, you’ll discover what method suits you and whether you want to produce more of a formal show or be more off the cuff. In our next blog, we’ll discuss planning your podcast in anticipation of your first recording.

When creating a podcast, it helps to keep things focused. Stay on topic. I wouldn’t expect, for example, that the Under the Plumbob podcast (a show about all things The Sims, one of my favorite video games) would be a place to get excellent cooking advice (although, if you know anything about Sims, you know how challenging making Eggs & Toast can be!) Listeners have an unlimited variety of podcasts to choose from, and they can be particular about the niche shows they’re discovering. Stay on topic, on brand, and give your listeners something unique. You’re guaranteed a following with people as passionate about your interests as you are.

Finally, be consistent. Realize that one or two podcasts every few months aren’t going to draw in your audience – they’ll lose interest. Plan to release new shows bi-weekly, monthly, or even weekly if you have the time. At Empower, we can edit your podcasts quickly, ensuring you have complete control over your schedule and providing your listeners with consistent and well-produced content.

There’s a lot to consider when planning and creating your podcast. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming, especially in a saturated market with many options for your audience. But with a solid format, a script, and a focus, you’re on your way to building something great. We can’t wait to listen to your first episode.

Happy podcasting!

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