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Podcasting is an expanding medium of communication for small business owners, brands, influencers, executives, and personalities – hell… Even your everyday Joe wants to start a podcast.
And..like there’s a lid for every pot, every piece of content appeals to at least a single audience online – and if you’re not putting anything out there, you’re missing an opportunity to grow your presence online.
If you’re not sure about the ins and outs of podcasting and you’d like to know more before diving in – you’ve come to the right place! Check out some of the helpful info we’ve collected below.
What do you need to start a podcast?
What is a podcast and how do they work?
Simply put, a podcast is an audio file published online that is typically available in the form of a series and delivered by download or via live streaming.
Of course, podcasts are normally categorized by niche and you can find all kinds of podcasts to fit different exciting interests you’ve already expressed an interest for online.
The purpose of a podcast is to discuss various topics, debate issues, talk about ideas or feature content in audio form (primarily).
Types of Podcasts
There are a variety of podcasts available online, from music podcasts, commentary podcasts, political podcasts, finance podcasts, sports podcasts and much more.
We’ve collected a few relevant examples of podcasts below, but if you’d like to find out about the best podcasts in South Africa (link coming soon) you should read our blog post.
What do you need to start a podcast?
What do you need to actually start recording, editing, and publishing your audio online to new audiences?
It really depends on how large you want to go.
The most popular podcasts may have an exciting set design, expensive microphone setups, soundboards, video cameras, and even specialized podcast producers.
That being said, you could start a podcast with your phone’s microphone and some basic know-how surrounding how to upload and market your content online. You’ll need to shift toward a more permanent setup for your podcast in the future, but if you’re desperate – it could just about do.
The best bet would be to get a small personalized setup featuring a USB microphone or studio microphone.
You would also need to find a copy of an audio workstation online, and find a platform that allows you to publish your podcast on streaming platforms for a small fee.
It really is up to you. If you need a hand we’re here to help you start your podcast in South Africa. We’re ready to assist with high-budget podcasts and basic podcast setups for individuals, large brands, and small businesses.
If you’re still stuck, here’s a list of points to consider when setting up the strategy for your podcast.
Podcast Microphones: Which one should I choose?
Your podcast depends on the quality of your audio – and it really matters!
Carefully consider the quality of your microphone, and if you’re having problems, you may want to consider setting aside some of your monthly budgets for a simple USB microphone with great reviews, a basic studio microphone, or if you’re ready to go all-in – you might want to get a top of the line podcasting microphone.
If you’re looking for general advice, start simple and basic, and upgrade as your interest in podcasting and your audience grows.
Simple: Phone or earphone microphone
You don’t need much to start a podcast and using the recording app on your phone can work in a pinch.
Today, most smartphones contain a built-in microphone that can record your voice and your earphones might contain an inline microphone that’s really handy.
You can record your voice notes and export them to edit on or clip using an audio editing program on your computer, or you can find an app for your phone that will allow you to touch up your recording.
Instead of using the built in recording app on your phone, you can find the 5 best android apps for recording podcasts to manage your sessions easily on your smartphone.
USB Microphones - Podcast Microphones
USB microphones provide a plug and play solution to recording high quality audio for podcasts. Some USB microphones are better than others, but most will do the job of recording your voice clearly, completely fine.
In our post about the best podcast microphones available in South Africa, we cover 4 USB podcast microphones that could be the perfect fit for your setup.
Condenser Microphones with audio interfaces - Podcast Microphones
Condenser microphones are typically the industry standard for recording high quality audio used on the best podcasts.
Although condenser microphones are relatively pricey, a good, budget friendly condenser mic is worth every penny and can often be used for other purposes - such as recording vocals or instruments (if you happen to be into music).
Condenser microphones require audio interfaces, commonly known as sound cards. They connect via an XLR cable and condenser microphones are normally powered by the interface.
Popular audio interfaces for podcasters include the Scarlett 2i2 and the Scarlett 2i4, but depending on the size of your podcast and your audio routing needs - you might need a large interface, like a Scarlett 2i6 or 2i8, or even a “ “.
Use audio editing programs, or digital audio workstations like Ableton or FLStudio to record and edit your audio to meet your requirements.
Should you add video to your podcasts?
Video Podcasting: Should you do it?
Video is a great format to leverage online and is particularly effective on social media.
Today, a platform like YouTube attracts over 2 billion monthly users, and social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram have improved upon and released new video features that continue to triumph when it comes to engagement online.
If you can afford to use it, video is an awesome opportunity for any personal brand, small or large brand.
You’ll need to invest in a high-quality camera, possibly a stand, and some sort of a background or green screen at the very least.
For high-budget podcast productions, you might need a creative set design that makes you stand out and you could need to source a location that is optimal for recording podcasting sessions (like a recording studio or you could soundproof your room).
Podcast set design or background/location selection
Selecting the location for your podcast is important for a number of reasons.
You’ll need to make sure your recording location is out of the way.
You may even need to set specific periods where you know the space you’re recording in will be quiet and subjected to no outside interference.
A secluded office, homemade soundproofed room, or studio would be ideal for your podcast.
You might also be able to get away with doing a podcast outside if you pick a quiet time period and the weather is on your side. Typically, you’d like to stay indoors to make sure your podcasting recording is of the best possible quality.
Podcast distribution: Streaming platforms and downloads.
A final point to consider is how you would publish your podcast online.
You may opt to publish your audio content on a wide variety of streaming platforms.
These platforms could include Spotify and Apple Music, or Deezer, Soundcloud, YouTube, and much more.
In order to have the ability to distribute your podcast on these platforms, you’ll need to find a third-party platform that might charge a monthly fee to get your content out there.
If you need help here, we are ready to lend a hand and get your podcast on streaming platforms.
Making money from your podcast is possible!
How do you make money from podcasts?
Making money with your podcast is possible, but you may need to use a little elbow grease and some organic and even paid marketing to get it done.
Here are two key ways to monetize your podcast as you grow online:
Advertise on your podcast and collaborate with others
Marketing is a key piece of the puzzle when growing a podcast online.
Podcasts can be advertised organically using content creation on social media. This takes time as marketing does, but it is an essential component of building a brand behind your podcast.
Collaborations with other accounts in your industry niche are also essential to ensure that you reach more audiences with quality content in order to grow your follower base.
Paid marketing on social media platforms and other networks may also be a viable option to consider to ensure you are reaching new audiences with qualified interests relating to the content you are offering.
Monetize your streams
In order to be eligible to monetize your content on various streaming platforms – you need to meet their requirements to become an affiliate or partner on their platform.
While this won’t ensure that you make a consistent income from streaming, it is the first hurdle to overcome in the process to get monetized.
Learn about the requirements for affiliate level accounts and partnership programs.
Twitch affiliate partner requirements
At least 500 total minutes broadcast in the last 30 days.
At least 7 unique broadcast days in the last 30 days.
An average of 3 concurrent viewers or more over the last 30 days.
At least 50 Followers.
The CPM on Twitch is seasonal, like all platforms, with rates varying from 1-2 USD per 1000 views to 10 USD per 1000 views.
Of course this doesn’t factor in donations and subscribers you may gain each stream. Twitch takes a 50% cut of subscriptions (4.99 USD each), whilst donations through a partner like Streamlabs aren’t influenced by Twitch.
YouTube Partnership requirements
Follow all the YouTube monetization policies. …
Live in a country/region where the YouTube Partner Program is available.
Have more than 4,000 valid public watch hours in the last 12 months.
Have more than 1,000 subscribers.
Have a linked AdSense account.
YouTube CPM in South Africa is usually around 2.37 USD per 1000 views. However, you’ll need to keep in mind that YouTube takes a 45% cut in revenue. The global CPM average for YouTube channels is 2 USD.
Patreon is home to a wide variety of content which you can monetize.
Whether you’re running live events, publishing live podcasts, hosting webinars, speakers, or marketing other content – Patreon might be the right choice for your brands content marketing strategy.
A dedicated partner manager within Patreon can also help guide you with insights and insider information.
Vimeo OTT is vimeos way of monetizing your content with subscription and on-demand based pricing models.
No matter your channel size, Vimeo OTT is available to you. From 1 subscriber to millions, the platform offers a plan to suit your needs.
Vimeo appears to handle the marketing of your content to paid users of the platform, allowing you to grow your audience and may earn more money online with your content.
How do you grow your podcast online
We’ve let you in on some ideas to help you grow your podcast online – but you’re probably wondering, “how do I implement these strategies?” and “where do I start?!”
We’re here to help you! We offer a wide variety of content creation and digital marketing services to help you conceptualise, produce and market your podcast online.
We can help with your setting up your brand's podcast!
Need assistance with setting up your podcast?
Not sure where to start with your podcast? Downtown Digital can help!
We offer comprehensive branding and marketing services to help you create a winning brand strategy that will take your platform to the next level.
We also offer sound and video editing services that will make your emerging brand stand out, get views and draw audience engagement.
Downtown Digital can also assist in setting up your podcast distribution platform. Get in touch if you need our assistance by filling in our onboarding form here!