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Ultimate Podcast Creation Checklist for Success

Updated: May 7

It’s really easy to say “let’s make a podcast”. 


It’s a lot harder to execute.


So let’s not waste any more time, because you’re going to need it - here’s your comprehensive checklist for creating your new podcast.


a red pen is checking items off a to-do list, text says "The Ultimate Podcast Checklist"


✅ Show Concept


You’d probably think title comes first, alas, you’ll need a concept first.


Think of your show concept like an elevator pitch, if you’re getting bored giving it - chances are no ones going to find any real value listening to it. So make sure you’re honing in on a particular niche relevant to your brand or industry.


Remember that a podcast is often an ongoing, evergreen content pipeline - if your concept is only going to work for one or two episodes, a podcast might not be the best avenue for that idea. Make sure your show has enough wiggle room so you’re not pigeon holed, but niche enough to target a specific issue or concept.


For example, if you run a vet clinic, and you want to start a podcast, your show concept might be compelling, everyday insights and tips to ensure you’re giving your furry friend the best life while also keeping them healthy and happy. You might talk to other vets, dog trainers, entrepreneurs in the animal product space, etc. 


But you wouldn’t want to pigeon hole yourself into just training tips, or just vet care. You’re still in a niche, but there’s room to expand! With a medium like podcasting, where you’re likely to produce 26-52 episodes in a year, think of it like buying school shoes for your kid - you’ll want to leave them with some room to grow.


 Show Title


Here it is - the big one. You’ll want it to be catchy, and short. Short as in, “Dog Training and Vet Tips from Experts in the Animal Care World” is a bit of a mouthful, and likely won’t even fit on a smartphone screen.


Consider, “Pawsitively Inquisitive” or “Coffee with a Vet” - casual, open ended, but definitely explains the niche. 


Before you go gung-ho on developing the branding and assets around your new name - google it! Look it up on the podcast directories, and make sure it doesn’t share a name with another podcast of a similar concept. 


You’d be surprised how many podcasts of the same name there are - this creates an instant uphill battle. Avoid confusion, solidify your show’s individuality to give it the best chance to grow organically.


There is always an exception to this rule, just like with business names - if your desired podcast name happens to share the name of another small podcast, but that podcast is in a completely different niche - that can be okay.


For example, if you like the name “I Framed My Wife” for your photography podcast, but there’s also a small true crime show with the same name, that isn’t necessarily going to get in your way.


 Audio Equipment & Recording Space


Once upon a time, and really not that long ago, a good quality microphone would set you back at least $600AUD. 


Nowadays however, things have changed drastically. The quality of an iPhone voice memo once fooled myself and an Audio Engineer colleague back in my radio days - we genuinely thought this person had bought a seriously good quality microphone. Turns out, it was just an iPhone, and the correct recording space. More on that in a second…


While smartphones are good, you’re going to want a microphone for a few different reasons. The main being that while our team can absolutely work magic, the magic works best with the quality you can only achieve with a purpose built product.


An ideal scenario would be an XLR microphone, powered and fed through an audio interface. Altogether, at the low range, this gear should’t cost more than about $400AUD, and should last years.


However, there is a counter to this method that is far cheaper. A lot of microphones are being released “plug-and-play”, simply, they connect to your computer with via USB, and you’re good to go. The quality isn’t as crisp of course, but it’s not a difference the average podcast listener will notice. This option can be achieved at as little as $158AUD. Told you things have changed.


If you read anything of this article, let it be this: the quality of your microphone will be made redundant by a poor recording environment.


A $3,500 mic setup will be left sounding like $35 if you record in a cathedral, for example. Naturally due to the echo.


Echo can be the trickiest to fix in post, so aim to dedicate a space in your home to recording. The general, and really simplified saying when it comes to audio, is that “if it will absorb water, it will absorb sound”.


It’s not abnormal for award winning voice over artists to record broadcast quality audio from their hotel room in a pillow and blanket fort - two things that will absorb water.


Audio will sound exponentially better when you record in your home office with a couch and a bookshelf stacked with years of collected paperbacks, than if you record in your kitchen; the couch, the wood and the books all absorb water, while the harsh surfaces of glass, stone and steel will bounce your voice around for as long as they deem necessary.


This brings us back to the iPhone voice memo - half the reason the recording sounded so good, wasn’t actually credited to the iPhone - she was recording it at the end of her bed, in a carpeted bedroom with plenty of sturdy wood furniture.


When working with us, we’ll tailor our suggestions exactly to your recording style & environment, so you know you’re getting the best option for your needs and budget.


 Show Intro & Outro


All great podcasts have a catchy, to the point intro to the beginning of each episode, which end up acting as a trailer of sorts for new listeners.


You’ll want to consider whether you’d like to voice it yourself, or have a Voice Over Artist do it for you. Using a VO Artist can make the show sound more professional and thus ideal for established brands.


Music will come into play here - find yourself a royalty free tune (sorry, no ACDC), or you won’t be able to earn money from the podcast. Very rarely will a podcast be returning an investment within the first year, though for consistency’s sake - best to avoid the tunes we know and love.


But don’t worry, the market for royalty free tunes is amazing - there’s something for absolutely every taste. 


  Audio Production Software


There are countless options available these days for post-processing your audio. Audacity is a top player, because, well, its free. It definitely gets the job done, but the user interface can be a little daunting.


The pay-to-play platforms like Logic Pro, Audition & Pro Tools are the most common in the professional space, as they allow for a more seamless experience for experts in the field.


When editing your audio, it comes down to personal preference in terms of how deep you want to go. Do you just want to get rid of some long pauses? Maybe your guest had filler words like ‘umm’, ‘uhh’, or ‘you know’ that you feel could be cut down.


Or maybe someone on the recording was a little quiet. An amateur can absolutely achieve these, and there are some fantastic tutorials available online.




At Welcome Back Media, we take our clients’ audio through a meticulous 4 step post-processing operation and leave your audio as broadcast ready as it allows.


  Publishing


This part can go one of two ways, quick or time-consuming, depending on your preference. If you just want to upload it and leave it at that, then all you need to do is pick a podcast hosting site, create your podcast, upload it, and away you go.


If however, you want to give the episode (and the show in general) the best chance to grow an organic, strong listener base; you’ll need to jot down a few more steps:


  • Craft a catchy, grabbing title

  • Write a summary of the episode, in the form of show notes

  • Provide a timestamped overview (chapters, essentially), for the audience

  • Create individual episode art (especially for guest-based shows)


  Amplification


And here’s where it gets impactful - the amplification stage should never be delayed, or worse, expelled!, ignored.


The way you promote the episode across your various digital platforms is the bread and butter for gaining listeners. Here’s why:


It must be remembered that on platforms like Youtube, or even traditional mediums like TV - they lay out what we could be watching and when on a silver platter, based on our preferences. But, those are visual mediums, and audio is a different beast. Most would say they’re more skeptical to take a risk on a podcast of someone they’ve never heard of, than to sit through the newest Food Entrepreneur show on TV, just ‘cause its on. All this to say - you need to tell people about your podcast, or they won’t know it exists.


You should be focusing on the platforms where your audience is most engaged, without ignoring the platforms where you’ve spent less effort - sometimes those can be exactly where your prospective listeners are!


If your brand is particularly strong on Instagram or Facebook, you’ll want to formulate your episode amplification package around videos, interactive stories (think polls, question & answers), stills of the episode art with audio clips.


But you’ll still want to throw a post to LinkedIn, and of course, email marketing.


You’ll want to be making short, catchy videos (under 1-2minutes) from the most enticing areas of the episode. These are your advertisements, essentially, so don’t skimp on production! 


Check out our work if you need a little help in that department…


  Take a Deep Breath, Rinse & Repeat


The title says it all. Depending on your schedule, by the time you’ve finished executing all of this (roughly 15-20 hours of work for an amateur editor), you’ll already be needing to begin working on the next one.


Thankfully, you can cut those 20 hours down to 2 hours, by partnering with a podcast production company (wink, wink). Those 2 hours make up light decision making, reviewing content we produce, and of course recording the episodes themselves.


If this sounds like a lot, and those 2 hours are sounding a lot nicer, reach out. We’ll do the heavy lifting for you.

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