Podcast Preparedness – Things to Have Ready to Go

Producing a podcast can sometimes be a fast-paced affair. Some aspects of the work need to be done and ready on a regular basis, while at times opportunities may present themselves that give you little time to prepare. Because of this it is worth having certain promotional items ready to go at all times, and in this article we will cover a few things you can have at hand to help make your job easier and make sure you don’t miss those golden opportunities that may arise.

Promo Spots

A great way to promote your podcast is to swap promo spots with other podcasts. These are generally 15- to 30-second audio advertisements that can be run at the end of, or during, the program. Typically you’ll want to use your intro music and have a brief script about what your podcast is about and where listeners can find you. Keep it short and compelling. It is worth having several of these ready to go at all times. Create a few of different lengths, and write different scripts depending on what type of audience you are hoping to connect with. When possible, reach out to podcasters that cover similar topics and offer an ad swap, it can be both a great way to meet people in your field, and to promote your podcast.

Radio Edits

If you have registered your podcast with PRX or hosted with Radio4All.net, there is a chance that your show could be picked up for rotation on radio stations. If your podcast contains swearing or adult content always bounce down a secondary “radio edit” mix with the cussing beeped out, so that it follows FCC guidelines. If you have radio edits ready to go it will save you time if a radio station is interested and you’ll be able to hand over the files without additional work. You may also be asked to provide a “bumper” or station ID, so be prepared to create one. A station ID will usually consist of a 10- to 15-second sound bite saying something along the lines of “Hi this is ‘Your Name’, from ‘Your Show’ program, and you’re listening to ‘Call Sign FM’.” Again, keep it short and sweet.

Tags List

When uploading your episodes, it is important to add as many relevant tags as possible so that listeners have an easier time finding your podcast when they are searching for the subject material that they enjoy. Adding tags can be tedious and it can sometimes be challenging to come up with a list of both general and specific tags that might bring a listener to your podcast. Because this step can be dull and time consuming it is worth creating a document file with a list of your tags, that way you can just copy and paste a large list of them instead of brainstorming a new list each episode. Make sure that your tags are separated with commas and add new tags to the list every time you think of one. Don’t forget to add things like recording date, guest’s names, genres, etc. 

Promo Images

Having an eye-catching logo is essential. Make sure that your logo is easy to read at various sizes, and have multiple sizes ready to go at different resolutions in case you are asked to provide artwork. Also make sure to save a file of the art without the wordage, this will come in handy if you need to create a visual ad and it will help keep your brand easily recognizable.

Intro/Outro Music & Instrumentals

Great intro and outro music is a must. If possible, have a musician friend put some effort into this aspect of your podcast, and do your best to get it right, because this will be a huge part of your branding. Listeners like the familiarity of a great intro and will be weary of future changes, so make sure you have something you are willing to live with for a while. It is also important to have instrumental mixes of your intro / outro music ready to go for both promotional reasons and for branding supplemental material. For instance, if you have recorded an online event with a guest which you will be adding to your YouTube channel, add your intro and outro music to the beginning and end of the video. This will help solidify your brand and clue your listeners in to what they can expect from the content. It can also help to unify your various endeavors and make the production sound more professional.

Jean-Paul L. Garnier

Jean-Paul L. Garnier lives and writes in Joshua Tree, CA where he is the owner of Space Cowboy Books, a science fiction bookstore, independent publisher, and producer of Simultaneous Times podcast. In 2020 his first novella Garbage In, Gospel Out was released by Space Cowboy Books and in 2018 Traveling Shoes Press released Echo of Creation, a collection of his science fiction short stories. He has also released several collections of poetry: In Iudicio (Cholla Needles Press 2017), Future Anthropology (currently being translated into Portuguese), and Odes to Scientists (audiobook - Space Cowboy Books 2019). He is a two time Elgin Nominee and also appeared in the 2020 Dwarf Stars anthology. His new collection of SF poetry, Betelgeuse Dimming has just been released and is available as a free download audiobook / ebook at spacecowboybooks.bandcamp.com. He is also a regular contributor for Canada’s Warp Speed Odyssey blog. His short stories, poetry, and essays have appeared in many anthologies and webzines.