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How to create successful podcasts for your online course

Once you take a look at the numbers concerning podcasting, you are sure to realize it’s not a fad and it is here to stay. Even if you don't have a lot of experience in the field of show-business (because ultimately a podcast is a short sort of a show) and you don’t particularly like the way your voice sounds when it is recorded, you are bound to recognize the immense benefits a podcast could bring to the subscribers to your online course.

Especially if you dwell in the realm of human learning, you are well aware that there are various types of learners and you can’t reach them all by written text and video alone. So here are a few ideas about how to go about making your own podcast.

Choosing the right hosting option

The first thing to figure out is what kind of hosting is most appropriate for your purposes. There are many podcast hosting services you can choose from, that will allow you to upload and store your audio files and also monitor various insights about your audience.

You also need to figure out your podcasting style -- a one-man (audio) show or a discussion-type one. The first option obviously is to go solo: write, edit and present your own podcast.

Another way to go is to have a co-host, a partner with whom to deliver the content. You can choose a person who will bring their own original feel to the table or somebody who you feel would prove complementary to your approach – like a pretzel to a Bavarian.

The third option is to have your podcasts in the form of interviews with a new guest on each one. Your guests will most likely share the episodes with their audience and thus you will reach even more people.

Choosing the right format

Once you have that checked and you know who is going to be the host of your podcast, it’s time to consider the various formats that can be used – from very strictly planned out to easy-going with a lot of freestyle.

If you chose to do it all on your own, a script is easiest to follow and execute.

With a co-host there is always the option of banter – a back and forth conversation with witty punchlines and surprising twists.

For longer podcasts (though it’s highly recommended they are kept rather brief) you can use segments but then it is important to keep them pretty much the same throughout the episodes.

The basic structure of a podcast

It’s best to be as creative as possible in your podcast in order to get people interested in what you are saying (and what you are selling, most of all). There is, however, a widely accepted structure you can use as a starting point:

  • Intro music – it’s important to note that this will become an integral part of the presented brand so it should be catchy and distinctive.
  • Introduction – there are several options when it comes to beginning a podcast. If you opted for the scripted version, a recap of the previous episode works best. With other formats, a short presentation of what they will be about or of the guest would make more sense.
  • Body – the actual content of the podcast where you tell the story, discuss a topic with a co-host or conduct interviews. For editing purposes, it is best to record everything by segments.
  • Conclusion – the wrap-up can be either a short recap or a preview into what’s to come. It is also where the call to action should be inserted in order to boost up engagement and gather some valuable feedback.
  • Outro music – it’s best for this to be similar or in connection to the tune played for the introduction.

Tips from a pro

If you want to make sure that your podcast will be successful, here are some useful tips from Seth Green, the “Ultimate Marketing Magician”:

  • Give your podcast a catchy title and include in it the number one keyword that it should rank for;
  • Use good cover art that includes the title of your podcast and some images that give a good idea of what it is about;
  • In order to give more depth to your podcast, have the introduction read by an actor or a subject matter expert doing voice-over;
  • Have different featured guests in order to make your podcast more compelling; they will surely share it with their own audiences as well;
  • Market your podcast so that your target audience is sure to hear about it; include email, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram and everything else you think is useful in your strategy;
  • Have every podcast transcribed and edited so that it is easily made into social media content, blog posts or even e-books.

Closing thoughts

Podcasting is a lot easier to do than video and has a lot of benefits when it comes to marketing your online course. With the technology in your pocket and all the information readily available with a simple click, it would be a waste not to hit that record button.

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