Anyway, last time we went through the recording and editing process step by step. Therefore, at this stage, you could have your very first podcast. However, rather than hoarding it like a dragon would with a mountain of gold, it is time to send your baby mp3 out into the world for potential listeners. Yes, those first few potential listeners might be your mom and dad, but luckily you have friends to help with this.
But, you know what you might need? SOCIAL MEDIA!
Now, there are a lot of people on the internet, and there’s a lot of social media. There’s so much noise on Twitter that in order to get noticed, you’d have to tweet seven times a day to get seen by a follower. That brings back a lot of memories of high school and middle child syndrome for me… So what do you do in this situation?
Well, first pick your favorites. If you don’t spend a lot of time on a platform, you are not obligated to join it. I repeat: If you do not like a social media platform, you do not have to join it to pimp your podcast. If you don’t like Pinterest, I can guarantee you that it will be a waste of time and energy trying to maintain an account for something you hate. It will be easiest to stick to four primary social media accounts, too. Quick tip: Signing up for Hootsuite or a similar media manager might be a good idea. It’s already difficult to walk away from the reaction gif waterfall that is Twitter, you guys. If you can plan your tweets and posts a month in advance, I can’t imagine an easier time for you.
Now here’s one of my favorite tidbits: Your marketing shouldn’t only rely on you. If you’re lucky, you might have friends. If you’re even luckier, you have friends who will share your content on their own social media accounts. Don’t get me wrong, “likes” are great. But what’s even better? Getting your content in front of new eyes and earholes! Word of mouth is still one of the best ways to get your projects noticed. And, if you’re introverted like me, social media was practically made for you, so use that to your advantage! This is also a PSA if you’re that friend who only “likes” your friends post about their new podcast or website, but doesn’t share. It’s never too late to start sharing. (The more you know...)
Here’s semi-related question you might have at this moment: Do you need a website outside of a Libsyn or SoundCloud feed? First of all, good unanimous question. Real answer, not immediately. Let’s make this outrageous analogy for you beginners. Starting a website for a blog you literally just started is like asking someone to go steady after a first date. And before you think about it, setting up an online store and donate button is like putting a ring on it. Get used to podcasting first, make that commitment, and then you can take the next step. The rule of thumb nowadays is having at least five-to-10 episodes or blog posts in the can before launching a site.
When you are ready for a podcast website, it will primarily be dedicated to your show notes. This involves a brief description of your episode, an embed code that will play the episode on your site, and a direct download link. Those are musts. Everything else is customizable based on your style. This could include time stamps for the episode, links to reference points, or that someday online store that sells T-shirts with inside jokes on them. But again, this is something you should not have to worry about if you are just beginning. Have some fun and get to know your podcast first before you go looking for those SEO keywords.
Those are the basics for podcasting, as I have come to learn them on my own. If any of you Podawans have questions, feel free to comment below and I’ll address them. In the meantime, you should start that podcast you want to work on. The first step can be as easy as turning on your smartphone’s voice recorder and begin talking.
KC Ryan is currently a Level 5 student at DCH. An office worker by day, she spends her nights writing, improvising, recording podcasts, and having existential crises. She’s a co-host of Parsec Award-nominated podcast Anomaly Supplemental about general sci-fi and fantasy topics. Her greatest achievement so far is convincing her husband to watch Project Runway.