Lessons Learned From Launching a Podcast
Back in February I had the idea to start a podcast that takes a look at the science of a particular film and compare it to real life examples. This idea turned into the podcast Hollywood Science that I produce all by myself.
I’ve helped others launch podcasts but in those cases my role was almost exclusively to work on the audio side of things, so handling a podcast from idea through to launch, including setting up feeds and submitting to directories, was a new experience for me.
Here are just a few things I’ve learned from the experience and some things I’d do differently for any future podcasts that hopefully you can learn from.
Define Your Podcast
Knowing the scope of your podcast will be one of the best reference points for answering questions that arise during your pre-launch process. For example, knowing how often you’ll be releasing episodes, the expected length of each episode (and as a result, final mp3 file sizes) can guide you in which hosting platform to choose. For Hollywood Science I didn’t want price creep as I put out more episodes so I went with Simplecast for hosting where it’s the same price every month, forever, and included a simple website to save creating a separate one. All of this isn’t to say that your podcast can’t change down the line but knowing the scope of your podcast at launch will help make the start up process much smoother.
Manage Your Expectations
In a ideal world your new podcast launches to fanfare, featured on Apple Podcasts and receives hundreds of thousands of downloads. In reality, unless you’ve already got an audience before launching or are part of a successful network then expecting to hit the front page of Apple Podcasts might not happen from the get-go. One thing all podcasters can usually agree on is that they want their show to grow. So as long as you’re seeing your overall listens and audience numbers grow you be sure that your podcast is going the right way. With Hollywood Science, I didn’t receive any promotion and relied on Twitter and Reddit to start off but the numbers have increased with each episode so as long as that trend continues then I’m pleased.
This is where I’ve fallen short with my show and if I could change one thing it would be this; have a backlog of episodes ready to go before you launch your show. For me, an episode of Hollywood Science requires research and writing a script before I record and edit and it’s usually that process that takes the longest. With more planning, and if I was less overeager, I’d have had a few episodes before launching to release, say, every other week which would have created consistency while I worked on future episodes.
Focus on Audio Quality
One of the things I take pride in with my show is the quality of audio and I believe that it’s one of the biggest indicators of how seriously someone takes their podcast. From the first episode to the the most recent ones, I’ve tried to improve the audio quality with each, whether by recording beneath a blanket or learning how to master correctly.
It’d be great to hear what you’ve learned from launching a podcast and what you’d do differently if you could go back.
Hollywood Science is still a work in progress and something that I work on improving with each episode. In the meantime, if you’d like to listen to the show you can do on Apple Podcasts.