Across two weekends later this month, podcasting extraordinaires Kate Montague and Belinda Lopez will be walking you through everything you need to know to kick-start your own podcast. Ahead of this very exciting Podcast Camp, we asked Kate and Belinda for some advice for those new to the podcasting game.
How can people ensure their podcast stands out?
Belinda: Know yourself and your podcast- if you can’t define it, then how are others supposed to? In each episode, always try to find the universal even in the most sub-genre of podcasts: a gaming podcast, a music podcast, a cooking channel, a news documentary show will always find people because it speaks to broader things we can all relate to, even while it’s being super specific about its theme.
Kate: Spend some time finessing the sound of your podcast. Think about the mix, and how you can use music and extra sounds to make a more professional sounding piece of work. There are a lot of podcasts out there now, so quality production is important when you’re competing for listeners ears!
What’s a mistake many first-time podcasters make? Which traps should newbies look out for?
Belinda: Get a good quality recording. Prevention is better than the cure! You will save so many hours of post-production editing stress if you do your absolute best to get a great recording. This means getting lots of practise and testing audio quality before the important recording day.
Kate: Set realistic goals.Trying to do a fortnightly podcast for an entire year is a sure way to burn out fast! Think about creating a first season with 6-10 episodes. This is a great way to test your format and change it up if needs be. Aim to have at least 2 episodes complete and ready to go before you launch, and then try to keep a regular release schedule – be it weekly or fortnightly – this makes a big difference when you’re trying to keep your listeners engaged.
What’s your favourite piece you’ve worked on?
Belinda: It wasn’t my favourite piece at the time, but making Inaudible Me was a great learning curve. I usually love drawing people out to tell their own stories, but this podcast involved me posing as a Youtube performance artist whispering softly into my fans’ ears. It made me think about unconventional ways of telling a story, and being a storyteller.
Kate: Murder in a Small Town was one of the most challenging but rewarding pieces of radio I’ve made so far. It’s about a murder that happened in the small country town where I grew up. I spent over a year interviewing old friends and families from the area and to this day I’m amazed at how generous people were with their time and personal stories.