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An inspiring, comprehensive, step-by-step guide to creating a hit show, So You Want to Start a Podcast covers everything from hosting and guest booking to editing and marketing - while offering plenty of encouragement and insider stories along the way.
Though they are the fastest-growing form of media, podcasts can actually be tricky to create—and even harder to sustain. Few know the secrets of successfully creating a knockout podcast better than Kristen Meinzer. An award-winning commentator, producer, and former director of nonfiction programming for Slate’s sister company, Panoply, Meinzer has also hosted three successful podcasts, reaching more than ten million listeners. Now, she shares her expertise, providing aspiring podcasters with crucial information and guidance to work smarter, not harder as they start their own audio forum.
Meinzer believes that we each have a unique voice that deserves to be heard. But many of us may need some help transforming our ideas into reality. So You Want to Start a Podcast asks the tough but important questions to help budding podcasters define and achieve their goals, including:
Why do you want to start a podcast?
Think about specifically why you want to start a podcast versus a blog, zine, YouTube channel, Instagram feed, or other media outlet. Find out if a podcast is really the best way to tell your story—and what you really need (and don’t need!) in order to get started.
What is your show about?
For any advertiser, corporate partner, or press outlet, you need a snappy pitch. How would you describe what you want to do in two to three sentences?
Who is your podcast for?
Who are you trying to reach? How will your content and tone appeal to those listeners?
How is your show going to be structured?
Create a step-by-step map planning the show out. Think about length, segments, interviews, advice, news reads, and other aspects of successful podcasts you can adapt for your own.
With this motivational how-to guide—the only one on the subject available—you’ll find the smart, bottom-line advice and inspiration you need to produce an entertaining and informative podcast and promote it to an audience that will love it. So You Want to Start a Podcast gives you the tools you need to start a podcast—and the insight to keep it thriving!
There are millions of podcasts, but only 16 percent of them last beyond nine episodes, writes Meinzer, host of the By the Book podcast, in this practical-minded manual that asks pointed questions intended to help readers find their voice and refine their product. Her tips on defining one's niche, cohosting, landing and conducting interviews, getting the right equipment (she recommends using "decent," not top-end, mics), and growing one's audience are clear and direct. Readers may be surprised at how much work and preparation goes into what might appear to be a couple of folks hanging out and shooting the breeze for an entertaining 45 minutes or so, but that's precisely Meinzer's point. Her many tips, such as to keep one's opening banter brief, cultivate diversity (66% of hosts are white men), and develop a thick skin for harsh criticism, will also go a long way. Dabblers who think it will be easy because "my friend Dave and I are really funny" will (rightfully) be discouraged, but those serious about mastering podcasting will find Meinzer's insights invaluable.