Podcasts are relatively inexpensive to create, as a result, and the quality in published podcasts is extremely diverse. Corporate podcasts can be very polished audio productions while hobbyist experimenting with podcasts may have dogs barking and children's screaming in the background.
After all it is the content that matters right? Well no, not exactly remember when black and white televisions could "kind of" tune into stations it was just a hazy effect. How many continued to watch the grainy or flipping screen. Rarely was the show so riveting did it hold the interest of the viewer. Unless of course the content was forbidden to young eyes (as in the playboy channel).
Sound Quality Matters
Having a decent quality microphone is critical to ensure that the audio recording is a quality recording. Filter out extraneous noises, or select a recording area that will not be Interrupted. Use recording software that will allow you to edit out audio snippets that are subpar.
If you generally record in the same location a fixed mic is generally better. If you do field recording you will want to consider a cordless microphone.
Intro and Extro (Outro)
Using music to introduce and end the podcast adds polish to the overall show. You can licensee rights to podsafe music that will allow you to use music in a royalty free capacity. If your show is popular you might find that the music is linked to your show, as part of your brand, so you will want to choose it carefully. There are a number of podsafe music directories where podcasters can purchase music that is royalty free, meaning there would not be any recurring charges when using the music in a podcast.
As with intro and outros, theme music can add a level of professional to a podcast. It is illegal to use copyrighted music in your podcast unless you own the copyright or license it through the proper channels. Consider visiting one of the podsafe music directories to locate music that is reflective of your show.
It is not enough to record the audio for a show. Polished podcasts are produced using audio editing software. The editing software allows podcasters the ability to filter unwanted noises and edit any dead air or parts of the show you dislike.
Catchy Relevant Name
Keep in mind that many listeners will find your podcast through a web page or search engine. Your podcasts title should be catchy and related to the podcasts content. The podcasts title should contain a slogan that conveys the general theme of the show.
Add iTunes Tags
The Apple iTunes Music Store has a huge audience. Podcasters can tap the iPod audience by adding the appropriate iTunes tags to their podcast. There are software applications that will walk you through the process of adding iTunes to podcast feeds. After adding the tags simply submit your podcast for inclusion in the iTunes Music Store. The listing should appear within a few weeks.
Podcasts are now a dime a dozen. In order to truly stand out the show needs a unique angle, a unique view, an interesting perspective, something different from all the other podcasts out there.
Logo / Image
Add an image to your podcast feed, the extra step will add a bit of polish to your show. Many podcatchers or RSS readers will display the image beside the podcast listing. The visual effect will make your podcast jump out of the list.
Who are Your Listeners? Understanding your audience will allow you to cater to them. Know the demographics of your target audience. A well-defined target audience will also help you find show sponsors or advertisers.
SEO for Podcasts
Optimize your podcast shows summary for search engines. Be sure to include keywords or related resources in the podcast feed. This will allow search engines to spider the text for words that relate to your podcast.
Transcript or Show Notes
Many podcasters neglect to include a show transcript, podcasters should consider including detailed show notes or a transcript of the show in the description of the podcast feed. If you display the feed this will increase the likelihood that those interested will find your show in the search engines and podcast directories.
The show should only be as long as necessary, without being a rambling. Most listeners will have a limited amount of time to listen to podcasts, as a result they will be selective about what they listen to.
Keep it Regular
Create a recording schedule and stick to it, if you don't have time to do it properly then skip a show, your listeners will appreciate that you did not waste their time.
Podcasts are becoming more and more commonplace, distinguish your podcast by polishing it and properly publicizing it.