Podcast Blastoff Blog

3 Things You Need to Know Before You Start a Podcast

Nathan Fraser

Having a podcast is pretty awesome.

You get to meet cool people that would otherwise be inaccessible. You get to provide a valuable connection point within a community. You get the chance to put your message out there and spread the good word about your passion or business.

There are lots of great reasons to have a podcast. But it's not for everyone.

Most podcasts fail to make it past seven episodes. This happens for a bunch of different reasons. The most common reason? The host simply stops showing up, forcing their audience to find something else to listen to.

I think everybody should podcast. But maybe now is not the right time for you. There are some things you need to know about before you start your podcast. And once you know about those things, there are some questions to ask yourself.

What follows are three questions to ask yourself, and the things you need to know before you answer. If, after reading this article, you can answer "yes" to all three, then starting a podcast is right for you.

You'll be prepared for what's to come. You'll be aware of what pitfalls to avoid. And you'll have the confidence to know that you're doing the right thing.

  • Question # 1 - Do you have a desire to connect with an audience on a topic that you're passionate about?

Passion is important in the success of any venture. But with a podcast, it's even more so. If you're not passionate about your podcast's topic, how can you expect anyone else to be? When the host phones it in, the audience loses interest.

Another reason that passion is a must is the "dip". After you leave New and Noteworthy on iTunes, you'll see a big dip in listeners. From time to time, listeners will grow out of your audience faster than new listeners are finding you. If you're not passionate about what you're doing, these dips can be the end of your podcast.

But if you're passionate about you subject, people will share in that passion with you. You'll be able to use that passion to barrel through any dips you might encounter.

  • Question # 2 - Will your content entertain, educate or inspire your audience?

The best podcasts have rabid fans. And those fans stick around for different reasons. Mostly, it's because they get one of these three things from you; education, entertainment or inspiration. If you can do all three, even better. But your podcast must do at least one.

Teaching podcasts need to educate, but the best ones also entertain and inspire. Nobody likes the boring old teacher from Ferris Bueller's Day Off. So, unless you're trying to put your listeners to sleep, education alone might not cut it.

Self-help shows need to inspire. But inspiration only works when combined with new understanding, so education needs to play a role. And if you want to inspire people, you'll need to be at least a little bit entertaining.

Even if you’re just doing an entertainment show, you gotta provide a little extra. This can be juicy bits of trivia or breaking news on the latest drama. But give them something meat amongst all the junk food. It'll leave them with a more complete sense of audio nourishment.

Point is, you have to do at least one of these things. But if you can also mix in the others, you'll have loyal fans and a successful podcast.

  • Question # 3 - Can you commit to creating new content, consistently and reliably, so your audience has a chance to grow?

This is the most important question to ask yourself. If you can't show up on a consistent basis, you're fans won't either.

There are so many shows to choose from nowadays. If you don't put out a consistent podcast, you're listeners will forget about you and move on.

Putting out a show each week can be hard. You need to make time to record, but you also have to come up with fresh content on a regular basis. And if you don't put out a regular show, it's almost impossible to hold onto new listeners.

But if you can put new episodes out on a regular basis, your audience will grow.

So, how did you fare?

If you answered yes to all three questions, then you should think about starting your own podcast. At least give it a shot and see if it's right for you. If you enjoy creating it, and you put it out there, you'll find others who enjoy listening to it.

One last thing, before you go. If you know that podcasting is right for you, I want you to start off on the right foot. That's why I put this quiz together for you. But it also drove me to create this in-depth course for beginner podcasters.

It's all the secrets I've learned for putting together a successful podcast series. Now that you know what you want to do, make sure you do it right.