You only have one chance to make a good first impression, not to mention the fact that it is the visual aspect of your podcast that will influence the listener, before the auditory side comes into play. Your cover (or sleeve) should appeal to the audience and incite them to listen to your podcast; this is why the visual impact is as important as the quality of your sound and equipment.
"The finest words in the world are only vain sounds, if you cannot understand them." Anatole France knew a thing or two about podcasts, that’s for sure! Your content is important indeed, but the quality of your sound deserves at least as much care; a poor sound could be detrimental to your audience’s understanding and their experience as a whole.
AIFF, AAC, WMA, OGG: there are as many formats as there are uses. The good news is that you won’t have to analyze all the solutions and their characteristics to find the right format, as there are mainly two options for podcasters: WAV and MP3.
The bond you will establish with your audience will be based on the content of your podcast. It is important to think about the opening and closing of your episodes carefully. The introduction should incite the listener to stay with you, while the conclusion should make a good lasting impression so that they end up subscribing to your shows. Do not forget the golden rule of show business: leave the audience wanting more. This is often why your favorite bands open a concert with an upbeat song, while saving their biggest hit for the encore.
Podcasting is not only about having the right tone and voice. Do not overlook graphic design (for the cover) and communication (on social media). Being a skillful writer is also a great quality to have as a podcaster; or at the very least showing how much you care about the written presentation of your episodes. If you want to reach as many people as possible, you should always choose your words wisely.
Do you also hate it when your Monday night soap opera episode starts at 9:05pm instead of 8:55 as initially planned? Okay, you may not be into that kind of shows, but you get the gist. Well, it is not so different for podcasts listeners: if they expect your episodes to be published every Monday at 12:30pm but one day you decide to delay that by an hour, a day, or even worse, a week, chances are they won’t appreciate it! Avid listeners become creatures of habit, so try to cater to their routine.
If your microphone costs you an arm and a leg, don’t worry: you can find free good-quality podcast editing software. Take Audacity for instance. Countless podcasters now use it as a reference for recording and editing. Countless is an open-source and user-friendly application software. It’s no wonder beginners love it.
Podcasting is like a relationship: you have to keep the flame alive over time. The bond you share with your listeners is not only based on your posting episodes online on a regular basis. During the week(s) leading to your next episode, there are various tools you can use to keep in touch with your audience and even try to reach new fans.