Starting Your Own Gaming Podcast

You’re listening to the next gaming podcast via your headphones and think that you can do it better: the conversation is too slow, the topics – out of date, the host – boring, etc. So, it’s time to start your own gaming podcast concentrating your ideas and vision. With the amount of hosting podcast services, it becomes easy to launch podcast on any topic. However, if you want your podcast to appeal a large audience, you should be ready to commit. Here are our useful tips to start with: Define the reason why you need a gaming podcast, whether you want to compensate your chat activity, increase your audience, find business opportunities, etc. The goal determines every decision you make. It may change over time, but without this starting point you will get lost. You can devote podcast to any topic you wish and change it every episode, but will that be interesting to listeners? For instance, if you talk about Hearthstone, then switch to Warframe and so on, it’s unlikely that people will stick around for all the episodes. That is why, if you’re a beginning broadcaster, try to be specific. You can also consider an all-in-one talk show where you can discuss the newest games, nerd topics, interview people from the industry. In this case, you should create an instant theme of the show, such as Game Informer Show built their podcast. Launching a video podcast is also a good idea. There are a lot of podcasts recorded first as video or streamed on Twitch and then edited into podcasts. This will expand your audience. Once you define the idea of your podcast, start a brainstorm to find an eye-catching and descriptive title. Pro Tip: Video games are a visual content, so it’s difficult to describe your game experience by just word. You should make extra effort in describing games that people aren’t familiar with. Video podcasts can be a perfect solution. Before passing to realization, you should learn how to create a successful gaming podcast: listen/watch to as many podcasts as you can to find people you want to take for a model. Dave Jackson is one of those. His podcasts will help you understand the basis. Dave Jackson is an award-winning podcaster who has been making podcasts since 2005. Dave has been a speaker for many years at the New Media Expo, Podcast Movement, Podfest, DC Podfest, MapCon, and other conventions. His projects “The School of Podcasting” and “Ask The Podcast Coach” helped hundreds of people to launch their own podcasts. Dave won’t teach you how to create a gaming podcast, but he gives you some basic and the most important principles that work for podcast of any topic. Indeed, it’s difficult to find a question about podcasting that wasn’t answered by Dave. Moreover, he provides a live stream every Saturday where you can ask him any question. Did you know that for every 2,000 bloggers, there’s 1 podcaster? Watch Dave’s quick video about how podcasting is growing and continue to grow:

Here Is the List of Best Books About Podcasting:

  • “Podcasting for Beginners: Start, Grow and Monetize Your Podcast” by Salvador Briggman -  an autobiographical story of a man who managed to grow a show with more than 150,000 downloads. Useful tips and strategies.
  • “Out on the Wire: The Storytelling Secrets of the New Masters of Radi” by Jessica Abel where she shares the storytelling secrets behind the most popular podcasts and radio shows.  
  • “Podcast Launch” by John Lee Dumas, the host of the weekly Entrepreneur on Fire podcast - an ideal start for those who haven't heard about podcasting before.
  • “Profitable Podcasting” by Stephen Woessner – the story based on the author’s experience who managed to build a $2 million venture from scratch. The author shares tips for creating, launching, marketing, and monetizing podcasts in any industry followed by software recommendations, checklists and examples.
  • “Introduction to Podcast Technology” by David Power – a step-by-step guide for learning the most essential tools and techniques necessary to record, produce and launch a podcast.
Pro Tip: Listen to as many gaming podcasts you like as possible. Over the time, you will be able to distinguish the most quality and successful ones. Thus, you will inherit the best practices, narrative structure, musical tastes, ideas. It’s also important to listen to your own episode several times and make a correction work. You will be surprised how many details you notice by giving your podcast multiple listens. If you look through the top podcasts on Podbean or iTunes, you’ll see a variety of different names. Some are descriptive, others don’t bear a direct meaning. The general tip is choosing a name that can be expanded or easily modified later. We’ve figured out several ways of podcast naming:

A Descriptive Name

The name that can be easily found by your target audience. If you call the show “The Hearthstone Podcast ”, there is evident what the podcast is about. A descriptive name for your podcast can be not memorable and eye-catching, but it makes SEO and marketing process easier. Avoid giving a long descriptive name: you will have to say the podcast name in every single episode. Examples: Gaming History 101, Go Nintendo Podcast, Game Informer Show, The Stream Coach Podcast

A Catchy Name

If you’ve managed to come up with a unique, funny and eye-catching title, be ready to describe your podcast well in the tagline. Catchy names are good because they are memorable, but absolutely not effective in terms of SEO promotion. If people don’t know the name of your show, it may be hard for them to find it using search queries. Examples: Hey You Video Game, Completely Unnecessary Podcast, Kinda Funny Gamescast, The Giant Bombcast, Let’s Fight A Boss Podcast

A Self-Titled Name

You can self-title your stream only if you’ve already got a stable audience. If you start “The Peter Smith Show” and it is about gaming, people would think “Who is that Peter?” and move on. Better idea is incorporating your name along with something descriptive (for instance, “Everything About Gaming, with Peter Smith”). Examples: The Broman Podcast, Jackass Podcast Pro Tip: Equally important is naming of all your episodes. Choose searchable and descriptive titles. Avoid calling them "Episode 1”, “Episode 2”. People won’t listen, if they don’t know what to expect. Once you decide with name and the idea, it’s time to think about actual episodes. First, decide on their length. It depends on the content and your oratory skills. It’s good to define the optimal length of each podcast: listeners love consistency. However, don’t ignore good content in order to keep a time frame. And vice versa, avoid adding boring content only with the intention to achieve a specific length. The second important thing is planning a schedule. It’s good if you can publish a podcast every week, but the main point is not the frequency, but the consistency. When you release a podcast at the same time, this allows listeners to incorporate your podcast in their routine schedule. Having an extra episode on hand can be of use in case you’re not able to record the episode someday.   The length of your podcast is up to you, but try to make them shorter than 2 hours, especially if you are a novice. Keep it around 20-40 minutes as the maximum. If the listeners want more, they will listen to another episode. This tight conversation means that it’s really engaging and you appreciate the listeners’ time. People have a great choice of podcasts to listen to, so you should do your best to attract them from a very first minute of the show. Pro Tip: Don’t release a podcast, if it’s not as perfect as you want it to be. It’s better to skip one-two weeks, but provide quality content to your listeners. You can choose to make a show alone, but in most cases having a partner to speak with benefits any podcast. Indeed, it’s very difficult to talk to yourself for hours. Shows with one host usually have a lot of dead air and are monotone. Getting a co-host helps make the show more relaxed and rich in conversations.

Which things to consider when choosing a co-host?

  • Is this person genuinely interested in the same topic as you?
  • Is this person an expert in the chosen subject?
  • Do you have a connection with this person? Other words, if this person is somebody you can talk and laugh with?
  • Is this person good at any other field (SEO, marketing, editing etc.) and can make some work for your project?
Pro Tip: If your ideal co-host lives far from you, you can use Skype and recording software (like TalkHelper, Call Recorder). Using special equipment, such as digital recorders, mixers and double-enders, will make the finished product sound like you’re in the same room. If you don’t want your podcast sound like amateur one, you should think about good headset or microphone. The bare minimum you need to record a quality podcast is a microphone, computer, and editing software. A good mic doesn’t necessarily cost a ton: a relatively cheap mic can produce  quality sound. Some mic options for podcasting include: Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB, Pyle PDMICR42R, Blue Microphones Snowball iCE, the Blue Yeti microphone, Behringer Podcast Studio. If talk about editing software, there is no reason to pay for it. You can find various free options to choose from, for instance, Audacity for PC and GarageBand for Mac users. Pro Tip: There are different types of mics: cardioid mics should be used,if only you’re talking to it; bi-directional mic is a perfect option, if you have a co-host, as it records sound from both sides; the omnidirectional mic is able to record sound from all directions — an ideal choice for table discussions. Before you start your very first podcast, make a script and plan your schedule. An outline will help you when you get off track and don’t know what to say next. It makes you more focused and relaxed. When we talk about script, we don’t mean writing an essay. You should write the bullet points you are going to cover during the podcast. The nature of podcasts is conversation, so try to make you show sound spontaneously, not like a sermon. The most difficult thing in podcasting is start talking. You don’t achieve any effect, if you imagine that you talk to yourself or a microphone. Even with zero audience try to imagine your ideal listener, and focus on talking to this imagined personality. Pro Tip: Pay attention to the sound quality. Invest in a pop filter to reduce bursts of air especially when you pronounce “P” or “T”. Put your mic on the four fingers’ distance from your mouth. This way you reduce room noises. Try to eliminate any background noises around you (sounds of fan, fridge, etc.). To make your podcast a public fare, you should find a podcast host. Most popular podcast hosting services charge a fee for audios more than 5 minutes or have a time-limited free packages. It’s not a big amount of money, for example, Libsyn charges $15 for 250 MB of storage a month, while Podbean – $5 for 100 MB of storage a month. Here are some of the most popular podcast hosts to choose from: Spreaker, SoundCloud, Libsyn, Blubrry, Podbean, Mixcloud, Buzzsprout. The next step includes submitting your podcast to as many podcast directories (websites that don’t host your podcast, but take an RSS feed) as you can: iTunes, Stitcher, Tunein, Acast. Castro, Overcast. Podcast Go, Google Music, Deezer, Spotify, etc. Once you’ve published your podcast, start promoting it via social media. Get yourself accounts on Twitter, Instagram, Reddit!. Facebook, build a following step by step. Remember not only share your content, but be active in discussions related to your topic. Below are some useful tips to help make your podcast more shareable:  
  • Having a guest related to your gaming topic may be an effective way of cross-promotion. Guests usually bring additional listeners to your show. Prepare interesting questions and ideas for discussion.
  • Use an audiogram that converts a short audio file, a caption and a background image into mp4 video file that can be directly played on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks. It’s also possible to create an outstanding design with engaging moving audio waves to make audiogram look pop out and appealing when shared on social media.
  • Use speech-to-text transcriptions. Most people prefer read the text first and decide whether to listen or watch the whole thing. Speech-to-text transcriptions increase accessibility of your gaming podcast for people that are deaf or hard-hearing, with ADD and some other auditory disorders. Moreover, this extra content is beneficial in terms of SEO: transcripted texts have more chances to be found via search engines than audio.
Pro Tip: If podcasting is your business and you want it to be really prospective, use one of the most popular configuration: WordPress website -> PowerPress  a plugin for creating podcasts and everything related to them -> Blubrry Podcast Hosting. The combination of these tools allows you to entirely own your brand and build an effective SEO campaign. If you are a passionate gamer, there are huge chances that you’re already a part of Twitch community. But, if you want to create a podcast, it’s important to have a separate Twitch account for this purpose. Do everything to make it easy for fans to find you on Twitch: use the name of your podcast as your channel title, insert podcast’s logo and banner, put a catchy description. With Twitch, you dedicated fans have an opportunity to see and hear you live. Moreover, it’s usual for people on Twitch to randomly decide to check out an unknown streamer, which makes it easy to pick up new listeners. Recently, Twitch has replaced IRL and Creative categories with new, more concrete, to help viewers find streamers of their interests. You can place your podcast in “Talk Shows and Podcasts” category. If you decide to make a podcast that has been previously recorded live on Twitch, here are some tips:
  • Keep a consistent schedule: this helps viewers not only find your podcast, but also direct friends to check it out
  • Interact with a chat only when you want to add some new points into discussion, otherwise the chat will control your podcast which is not good
  • If you upload the audio podcast on iTunes and other feeds, don’t forget to repeat questions in the chat for the audio listeners and describe the actions of your co-host if he/she is doing something physical   
  • Continue your discussion, ask for feedback in social media, post updates of the next stream
  • Editing some parts of the show as clips and posting them in social media will help lead more people to your podcast

Takeaways

These are the basic things you should think of when starting your very first podcast. Remember that if you have a story to tell and are enthusiastic about your idea, you can podcast. Keep the stories flowing and don’t stop after first edited episodes. Indeed, if you submit only first episode, it can leave listeners disappointed if they want to listen more. With one episode, it’s unlikely that you will be featured as something new on podcast directories. So, try to record 5-6 pilot episodes before you start grow the audience and move on.  

11/17/2018