S.T.A.R.T. 4

R stands for many things, but most importantly R is for reach.  It’s time to talk about your next step.  You’ve got an idea, you’ve setup a website, and you’ve established your social media channels.  What’s next? Content, consistent, weekly content is your next step.

If you’re a podcaster, how often are you going to post, weekly or monthly?  Either way, remember content is king.  Every episode needs to be interesting.  

They also need to maintain a good audio quality throughout the episode.  If you’re a Mac user, then GarageBand will be a wonderful choice for creating your podcast.  Windows users have various options, but Audacity is a wonderful free program that will work for you. 

Once you’ve made your audio file, it needs to be submitted to a provider.  Some choices are iTunes, Soundcloud, and Podbean, but there are others.  You will also need to create an xml file known as an RSS feed.  This sounds complicated, but it’s much easier than you think. There are even tools that will step you through it.

An RSS feed is basically an xml file that creates the metadata and instructions you need to package your audio file for distribution.  Here is a link to Apple’s own instructions for creating a podcast, and to the free program Audacity. (https://www.apple.com/itunes/podcasts/specs.html – http://audacity.sourceforge.net)
On top of this, you’ll need a quality image to represent your podcast. Make sure that you have the rights to any image you use.  This will be the image that is the face of your podcast.  It’s one of the most important images that you will choose.  
A quality microphone, like the Pyle-Pro PDMIC58 Professional Moving Coil Dynamic Handheld Microphone will help you with sound control.  Music for your opening and ending needs to be original or public domain for copyright purposes.  
Quality sound is vital, but the most important part is your own voice.  Your voice doesn’t have to sound like a radio DJ, but it does need to avoid a monotone feel.  People will tune out a voice that doesn’t excite them. 
Fluctuations are important, as long as they are natural.  You never want to sound like a vocal roller coaster either.  Your voice needs to be inviting, entertaining, and interesting.  The best way to do this, is to have passion about what you’re saying.
This will also go a long way towards building your audience.  They will be interested, only if you are.  Can you generate enough regular content for a weekly podcast?  If not, a monthly one may be a better choice for you.
One way to do this is to have guests, but that comes with challenges also.  People’s schedules will dictate that you pre-tape some interviews.  It will also mean that you’ll have cancellations, and need to reschedule. 
When that happens, you’ll still need to have content ready for your post time. If you’re supposed to post on a particular day, again, be consistent.  Once you get regular listeners, they’ll expect you to produce shows regularly.
If you’re a blogger, consistent means at least two posts a week, every week. Obviously there will be exceptions, but as much as possible you need to maintain a schedule.  This will keep your followers engaged in what you have to offer.
Whether it’s audio, text, or video, your Reach will be determined by how consistently you produce something.  If something isn’t working, be open to change. At the same time, do not allow common obstacles to stop you.  Once you S.T.A.R.T. your project, follow it through until the end.
Next time, we will look at video content on S.T.A.R.T. Workshop!

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