podcast

Everything You Need to Know About Starting a Podcast

What do popular podcasts like Lawyer 2 Lawyer, Legal Talk Network, and Life of the Law all have in common? Their creators showed a commitment to the production process, dedicating themselves to their project. Though the early stages of development are long, involved, and sometimes frustrating, they’re necessary.

With this in mind, new podcasters who are enthusiastic and eager to record need to take a few preliminary steps. Developing a legal podcast isn’t as simple as finding the right microphone and going off the cuff. You have to follow proper protocol and prepare far in advance of the first episode.

Buying Hardware and Software

Most beginners are limited in their budget, and they can’t always afford the latest and greatest hardware. It doesn’t pose a problem, as many microphones on the less expensive end of the spectrum are still satisfactory. A USB microphone like the Snowball is an excellent option at the comparatively low price of $60.

Podcasters will also need a headphone/microphone headset, a smart purchase if they intend to have guests or a co-host on the show. Once they’ve decided on their hardware, they’ll need to choose software, one of the basics of starting a podcast. Depending on whether they use Mac or PC, programs for recording/editing will differ.

At $15 to $30, the Call Recorder for Skype is adequate for Mac users, and they can edit for free with GarageBand. PC users don’t have to spend anything at all, as they can use programs like Pamela for recording and Audacity for editing. It’s essential to remain frugal early on, paying as little as possible.

In these initial stages, beginners should invest only as much as necessary to create a quality product, a bare-bones version of the show they intend to develop. If they receive a positive response, they can feel confident spending more on their project.

Choosing Your Structure and Topics

As beginners collect the necessary equipment for their podcast, they should start defining their show’s structure and subject matter. While they likely have a vague idea of where they want to take their project, they’ll have to find their niche within the law-related genre of podcasting. In other words, they need a selling point.

Podcasters should look at some of the top law podcasts and think about what makes their idea unique. They have to answer these three questions:

  1. What would make someone want to listen to my podcast?
  2. Is there another show similar to the one I’m planning?
  3. If not, what’s the best way I can approach the topic?

With these questions out of the way, the podcaster can begin to structure their show. They now have an idea of their value — the reason their listeners will come back week after week to hear their thoughts and opinions. During the course of brainstorming, they should write down relevant topics, which will engage their audience.

These topics might include easy, accessible talking points to more complex material like the Americans with Disabilities Act. Decide on some topics with educational objectives and take note on how topics are discussed on other channels. Podcast hosts should study the success of the podcasts they enjoy, and take notes on what makes them so appealing.

Finding and Attracting Sponsors

Podcasters often start their shows to share and discuss their interests with others. Over time, as they build an audience, they enjoy the monetary benefits of their success with the addition of sponsors. These sponsors enable them to earn a profit with their podcast, rewarding them for their commitment.

While podcasters can’t expect to earn very much in the beginning, they’ll make an average of $43 for every 1000 downloads with advertisers on the pre-roll and mid-roll. This small sum will build and build, and, gradually, podcasters can eventually earn over $1000 per episode, though it requires dedication.

If they’re looking for sponsors, podcasters can either search through their podcast hosting platform, sell the ad spots themselves or wait for advertisers to seek them out. As a general rule, it’s ideal to find companies that align with the genre and are relevant to the show. It might take a little extra effort, but it’s well worth it.

Start Planning Today

Your podcast can enjoy the same attention as Lawyer 2 Lawyer, Legal Talk Network and Life of the Law. As long as you commit yourself to the production process and remain positive, you’ll create something incredible. It starts with preparation, so start planning today!

About Kayla Matthews

Kayla Matthews
Kayla Matthews is a legal and technology journalist with expertise in IT, cyber security, business efficiency and professional productivity. Her work has appeared in publications such as VentureBeat, VICE’s Motherboard, Gear Diary, Inc.com, The Huffington Post, CloudTweaks, and others. She is a senior writer for MakeUseOf and the owner and editor of the productivity and tech blog Productivity Bytes.

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