In 2020 it is estimated there are roughly 850-thousand active podcasts and more than 30 million episodes. What once was a somewhat unique way to message is now a very active and crowded platform. Unless you are a known celebrity of some kind, you will likely not be able to draw a sizable audience organically out of the gate. That doesn’t mean your idea for a podcast doesn’t have merit. It just means it’s going to take a lot of work and time to build an audience. With that in mind, I thought I might share some quick tips on how to produce and host an effective podcast.

FULL Disclaimer-This is not about best advice for buying a microphone or creating a studio or which software to use. There are a million You Tube videos you can search which answer those questions. Instead, I will focus on concept and hosting techniques and best interview practices.

Create your concept and define your audience.

This is so important. With nearly a million different podcasts currently available you need to separate yourself as an expert in your field to give yourself any opportunity to build an audience. When creating your concept, it’s important you narrow your scope has much as possible. An an example, lets say you wanted to launch a new car podcast. I can tell you there are hundreds if not thousands of podcasts focused on new car models being released so you really need to get more specific than that. Instead consider focusing on maybe electric cars only? Or, luxury sports cars? Or even a certain make like Tesla only. The more defined you are with your concept, the better your odds of creating a niche market for your podcast.

Additionally, ask these questions? Who is your audience? Who would benefit most from listening to your podcast? Why should they care? Answering these questions honestly will also help you define the scope and concept of your new podcast.

Format your show.

If you listen to any podcast you are probably aware of some the more common format practices without even consciously thinking about it. Most begin with music and some kind of voice over announcement of the podcast name and concept. From there, there’s usually an opening chat with the host and co-host, if there is one, who chit chat about the latest news within their area of expertise.

Then the host will “set-up” the guest by introducing him or her and providing some background and reason for the interview. There’s a question and answer segment, a wrap-up and then usually a show close with another voice-over and some music. Sound familiar? Most shows are not entirely creative when it comes to format but you don’t necessarily have to be IF your show is clearly defined and executed.

Refine and Develop Your Hosting Skills

This is also incredibly important and rarely mastered. Remember what I said at the beginning of this post regarding the “celebrity” factor? Here’s the thing and it may be tough to hear but unless you are “known” no one is listening to your podcast to hear you. They are giving it a listen to get information they are interested in receiving. This is the single biggest mistake unknown podcast hosts make when launching. I know it’s new and exciting to host a show BUT you need to remember your guest and the information you are sharing is likely more important to the listener than you. With that top of mind, I recommend these two tips to keep your audience engaged and the information/guest at center stage:

(1) As podcast host, use the fewest words possible to get the response you want.

(2) Think “people, people, people” to keep you on track. What do people want and need to know? How does this information impact people? Why should people care?

These tips certainly don’t cover it all. I would suggest doing more research and watching lots of You Tube videos on this subject before you launch. There’s a lot to it and being successful will require effort and man hours and patience. Good luck!

Rich Dubek is a two-time Emmy award winning TV news reporter with more than twenty five years of news media experience at the local and network level. He is President of the Dubek Media Group, specializing in expert media training messaging, and on-air coaching, and full service video production. The Dubek Media Group is based in Tempe, Arizona.