Podcasts are a fast-growing way to pass information to an audience. Many people find podcasts convenient to listen to as they’re generally easy to follow. You can plug in and listen to it anywhere, and at any time you want to, making them popular with different types of audiences.
For instance, people listen to podcasts while working out, doing house chores, commuting, etc. Most podcasts come free of charge, and you have so many options to listen to. You can choose a subject you like and narrow it down to a specific topic, then also decide on the format you’d like it to be.
Podcasts do not get better than that; no wonder research by The New York Times shows that more than half of Americans listened to one in 2019.
This article focuses on why podcasts are becoming popular and why they’re worth your time.
What is a Podcast?
Before we get into the specifics of podcasting, it is vital to know what it is. In short, a podcast is an internet radio that is available on demand.
Another way a podcast can be defined is an edited content piece focusing on a theme, which is listened to as a series. This is what most podcasting influencers seem to gravitate towards.
So in essence, podcasts are like radio programs that aren’t live-streamed like conventional radio.
Podcasts come in mp3 files posted on websites then made available for downloads to store on devices and listen to any time. They can either be about highlights from an existing program or a unique topic.
The world of podcasting is growing big every day, and the numbers show that. That growth gets inspired by the freedom that podcasting brings with it.
First, a podcast doesn’t need to fulfill any licensing requirements or attract a massive listener base like a radio to succeed.
Many successful podcasts are from amateurs who have an idea and the desire to share it with like-minded people worldwide. Good podcasts narrow down from niches to sub-niches and mainly focus on the audience they want to target since there’s an audience for every podcast out there.
Listeners do get their fair share of freedom in the podcasting world. Think about listening to a radio program; you have to time yourself to listen to it; otherwise, you miss it.
You can listen to a podcast at any time when you feel like doing so. Besides, you can listen to it while doing other basic daily tasks.
Types of Podcasts
Podcasts have a strong appeal to the audiences they target, and there are various reasons for this. One of the main reasons is because they come in different types and formats to allow listeners to pick what they want to listen to.
There’s a podcast for everyone, just like hobbies. Here are some common types of podcasts.
1. Interview-Based Podcasts
It is by far the most popular type of podcast you can come across on the internet. As the name suggests, it involves interviewing guests or other types of influencers who have experience in a topic on your show.
You can do that every week, with the same or new guests but without changing the host or topic at hand.
Interview podcasts can reach wider audiences than any other. Your guests and audience can help share the episodes if they find value in them.
This type also opens you up to more varied content than others, as new ideas come up as you interview. It also gives you the flexibility of working remotely from home.
2. Conversational Podcasts
You can also refer to this type as a co-hosted podcast. It involves an individual or two or more people discussing a topic with expert ideas.
A conversational podcast requires you to pick a host who ensures that everyone sticks to the topic and who introduces the show then closes it in the end.
If there’s great chemistry between the hosts, the show will attract a lot of fans. Besides, it can be great fun, cracking jokes and building a strong bond with listeners.
However, the best thing is that you’ll never run out of ideas as your co-hosts will bring some with them. That makes it a great and engaging show.
3. The Solo Podcast
If you are an expert in an area, you can choose to create and distribute a solo podcast series. This type of podcast is fairly common and can help you grow an audience quickly.
You only need to specialize and target a specific audience interested in what you have to offer.
The best thing about this type is that you have the freedom to work with a personal schedule. It is also easier to edit as you’re only dealing with one voice than a co-hosted podcast.
Establishing yourself as an expert in your field also makes it easier to build good connections with your audience.
4. The Panel Show
If you’re dealing with news or current affairs such as politics, this type will favor you the most. Unlike solo podcasts, here, you invite a panel of guests who are experts in a specific field.
You discuss with them something new every week, and you can change your panel week to week.
One of the benefits of this type of podcast is that it is more interesting than the rest. Everyone contributes to the show with fresh opinions and gives it new perspectives every time.
You also do not have pressure creating content as there are more brains in the room to help you come up with ideas.
5. Storytelling Podcasts
It is another popular type of podcast that you can consider trying. Storytelling podcasts can be either fiction or nonfiction, depending on your preferences. However, they’re not very beginner-friendly like the rest of the types we’ve listed above.
Non-fiction storytelling podcasts require more than just speaking into a microphone. You need to collect information by conducting interviews and many other ways.
On the other hand, fiction storytelling podcasts favor writers but can also be overwhelming to create.
Now you know the 5 main types of podcasts, but where are these shows stored? Enter: podcast hosting.
Podcast Hosting: What is It?
Making content available for users is the whole point of creating a podcast. Your audience needs to access the files and download them to their devices at their convenience.
That means you have to find somewhere to store them, and that is what podcast hosting does for you.
Podcast hosting is a service that avails your audio files to the user. It is an intermediary service that allows you to upload edited files and store them. Your audience downloads them over the internet then stores them on a mobile device.
Many people confuse podcast hosting services with directories. Well, as mentioned above, podcast hosting services store the audio files for you. On the other hand, directories only function as displays of your podcast releases but do not store anything, so download requests redirect to the hosting sites.
Hosting podcasts is not an easy thing to do, especially with the various hosting options available. The hosting providers have different content requirements for the files they can store. Different complexities involve the management of stored files, making it vital to pick a hosting carefully.
Choose the Best Hosting for Your Podcast
If you’re thinking about launching your podcast, the biggest hurdle can be finding the best hosting for it. Mapping out such things correctly will make the difference for you.
But then, deciding on the perfect podcast hosting for your next release can be daunting as there are lots of options to consider.
Here are a few things to consider when choosing podcast hosting.
1. Check for Any Restrictions
Podcast hosting service providers allow you to store your files on their platforms under certain rules.
If you’re looking to host multiple episodes, check if there are any restrictions on the number of episodes you can store on the hosting site you choose. Some hosts offer limited free uploads to their customers.
Another thing to consider is whether there are any bandwidth restrictions. You may have to pay a small fee to enjoy unlimited upload bandwidth on specific hosting services.
In your search for a hosting provider, focus on finding one that offers unlimited storage.
2. Look for Promotional Features
Gone are the days when prospects looked for products or services; these days, businesses must avail themselves.
If you’re a podcast, you need to take it to your audience rather than waiting for them to find it. Thus, you may have to go with a podcast hosting that has good promotional features.
Many podcast hosting providers now allow you to customize the site for your podcasts.
You should compare the promotion features offered by various podcast hosting providers before choosing one that fits your needs. That will help you showcase what you have to offer and boost your audience.
3. Consider your Budget
Podcast hosting is mainly a subscription-based service. But then, there’re a few free hosting providers, while the majority will require you to pay for the service.
You should consider the amount you’re willing to spend on hosting your podcast before settling on one.
If you’re looking for a free service, you need to consider the features you get from it. Think about whether these features will help you meet your targets.
You should also consider the terms and conditions on who owns the rights to your content once it’s up on the platform.
4. Think Around Audience Analytics
Understanding your audience determines whether you produce relevant content or not. A good podcast hosting provider should provide you with audience analytics regularly.
It can include details such as where your audience is listening from, the platforms they use, and how much time they spend there.
Besides helping with content creation, audience analytics helps you pitch to the right sponsors who can advertise and bring more revenue.
It would help if you compared the insights that one hosting provider will give you against another to determine which one will be more profitable.
How to Start a Successful Podcast
Are you planning to start your podcast today? Great idea! Before you get going, you need to understand the steps that will help you succeed with it. Here are some that will deliver the best results.
1. Concept development
Developing the concept for your podcast is essential. Podcasts are as varied as their creators, and it is only your imagination that can limit you. You need to define your goals, find a compelling title and pick a theme for it.
2. Choosing a format
You need a format that you’re comfortable with, and that matches your topic. You can choose a single host, an interview, a panel show, etc. Besides, it would be best if you determined the episode length, publishing schedule, etc.
3. Finding equipment
Equipment is important, but it doesn’t have to be expensive for a novice. You can use your own set of in-ear headphones and your phone before upgrading to a professional level. It would help if you also found the right software for the entire process.
Recording multiple episodes for a podcast can be overwhelming. Start by creating an outline, finding a good place for recording and testing equipment early enough. Do not worry about making simple mistakes, as the next step will take care of them.
5. Editing and Publishing
Editing can be tedious, but it is the only way to turn a recording into a podcast. Here’s where you need to use reliable software to refine the audio files. Include a theme song as music makes it sound better.
Next, find reliable hosting and upload your podcast, then connect with podcast directories.
Summary: Start Your Podcast Today
As podcasting becomes more popular, it is an industry worth trying if you love speaking. It is one of the best ways to create and connect with an audience.
As an expert in any field, you can share your knowledge with people interested in what you do through podcasting.
Besides, many people are making money from podcasts, and you can do it too. This article’s insights will help you create a successful podcast and grow a community of followers.