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Oct 14, 2015

Want to Create a Podcast? Listen to These First

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Want to Create a Podcast? Listen to These First

So you want to start your own podcast. Sounds easy enough, right? While it does not require as much of a budget as producing a high-quality video does, the art of podcasting does demand thoughtfulness and commitment. Just like any good writer should read frequently, any good podcaster needs to regularly listen to top-notch podcasts. Here are seven of the best you can learn from, along with a few extra tips to get you started.

Pop Culture Happy Hour

"Pop Culture Happy Hour" recaps entertainment news and goings-on in movies, TV shows and more. The main takeaway from this channel is that podcast material should be accessible. You need to find your own niche, and that may naturally exclude some people from understanding what you speak about, but by and large any person should be able to tune in and enjoy your material.

Freakonomics

Born from the best-selling book, this podcast is masterful in keeping listeners engaged. "Freakonomics" sheds light on timely news through the lens of economics. By piggybacking off of trending topics, the channel stays relevant and interesting. You can do the same by connecting your subject matter to topics that are in the spotlight.

Stuff You Should Know

People are generally lifetime learners, and the "Stuff You Should Know" podcast taps into this proclivity. By presenting fascinating tidbits on a wide variety of topics, this channel gives listeners content they can take with them when chatting at parties or by the water cooler. Take a page out of this podcast’s book by including bite-sized pieces of information that are easy to retain and can be worked into everyday conversations.

Working

Most people love a good human-interest story, which is part of why the "Working" channel has been so successful. Focusing on different people in various careers, "Working" goes behind the scenes to give listeners a glimpse of what countless jobs are like. This caters to people’s curiosity about other career paths and gives them real people they can relate to. You can bring this same sort of appeal to your podcast by featuring individuals who are pertinent to your field and encouraging them to share an insider’s look at their lives.

On Being

No podcast list would be complete without the mention of a deeper, more philosophical channel. "On Being" is a great example of heavy content that resonates with a vast audience. Through exploring human connection and existence, this podcast ventures into the uncharted territory of people’s thoughts that are rarely discussed. While you may not be a philosopher, this channel is a good reminder to not shy away from presenting more profound material. You don’t want to be depressing, but it could work in your favor to candidly talk about germane matters that are not often mentioned in mixed company.

Serial

"Serial" is a podcast that satisfies the most inquisitive among us. It has become well-known for bringing listeners gripping stories that are broken into segments that leave you wanting more. You might not have such dark, fascinating material like "Serial" does, but you most certainly can learn something from the podcast’s first-rate pacing. Edit your episodes so that each one ends with the allure of something even more spellbinding to come.

Manager Tools

Businesspeople are notorious for having a hunger for knowledge that will help them excel. "Manager Tools" is a podcast that delivers this type of know-how to working individuals, packaged with a bow. Its advice is pragmatic and specific. For your podcast, give listeners actionable tactics they can apply immediately.

So now that you know who to learn from, here's what else you need. To start with, you need the proper equipment. It’s important to have a high-quality microphone, recording tool, computer and audio editing application. In addition to great content, carefully selected music sets the tone for your podcast. Check out high-quality stock music tracks that can be integrated into your episodes. For maximum effect, use swelling music to build up to a climactic moment or suspenseful music to increase the eerie nature of your story.

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