How to start your own podcast
Podcasts are the rising medium of entertainment right now, and can be incredibly fun and informative to listen to. They are easy to put on as background noise and are mostly completely free. I launched my own video-podcast last year and learned the process through lots of trial and error. If you're a storyteller or a podcast enthusiast who wants to start your own series, keep reading from the obviously best host in town.
The Absolute Basics
Why do you want to have a podcast? Who do you want as your audience? What do you want to talk about? What's so important to you that you can spend hours talking about it? You could be selling a product or narrating spooky stories like Bhoot FM, but you should have a general theme and at least 10 episode ideas in your mind before starting. Start researching similar podcasts. This will help you decide whether your theme is viable, what your competition looks like, and the reaction of the audience. You should also research delivery and creative forces that go behind the content.
Write down everything under your overarching theme. If you want to stand out among millions of podcasts, you must have a niche! Narrowing it down also allows space for detailed analysis. Don't just discuss toxic parenting – discuss toxic Bengali parenting in a middle class household or with an only child or the effects of it on the eldest child. Use these nuances to create personalised and engaging content, and definitely plan ahead with notes and references.
Starting off actually isn't that expensive or difficult. Clip-on mics are cheap and available, and any decent smartphone will do. There are loads of free user-friendly software like Audacity for audio and video editing. Look into streaming platforms you'll release your podcasts on, and the demographic of its audience.
There's always the option of adding to your setup as you grow, and this gives you an opportunity to be more certain about what kind of equipment you need before you invest. Plug and play mics and tripods are some basic examples. I found Bangladeshi YouTubers helpful while researching microphones and digital cameras, because they can point to a website or shop accessible to you.
Spend some time deciding on your target audience and plan accordingly. A conversation styled approach is more suitable to unpack a topic, while an interview or narration is apt if your aim is to educate people on something. However, you should aim to find your own hybrid within these formats. I have informal discussions on my podcast, but it often overlaps with the interview format because I get to guide the direction of discourse happening. The setting is also essential -- how do you maintain social distance without making the episode a monotonous Zoom call?
And then, think about details like cover art and intro music. Getting art made for you is the best case scenario but free logo generators, Canva, and copyright free music can genuinely be good replacements if you look hard enough. Oh, you should probably come up with a name and episode duration by now too...
Aahir Mrittika likes to believe she's a Mohammadpur local, but she's actually a nerd. Catch her studying at email@example.com