Podcasts continue to rise in popularity, providing musicians, businesses, marketers, and alike with opportunities to connect directly with their audiences.
If you’ve ever thought about podcasting to promote your music – or if you have had the desire to learn more about podcasting – you’re in the right place.
In this guide, you will learn how to set up your first podcast, and what type of content you can create to engage your fans.
Let’s delve in!
Why Should Musicians Podcast?
You’ve heard it before: You have to cut through the noise to get noticed.
The problem is that many musicians go to already crowded social networks, app, forums and other websites to try to stand out.
This isn’t to say that there aren’t opportunities on Facebook or Kickstarter – just as an example – but gaining an edge on your competition isn’t always easy.
I don’t know too many musicians that are podcasting, despite how recognized it’s starting to become.
Therefore, podcasting could present some new possibilities for you, if you’re willing to put the work in.
Additionally, podcasts enable you to connect with your audience for longer. What do I mean by that?
Think about how long it takes to read a blog post or watch a YouTube video. 2 minutes? 4 minutes? Maybe 10 minutes if you stick around for that long?
But what happens when you have an engaging podcast? People will listen to the full 30, 60 or even 90 minutes!
The advantage is that, when people listen to you for that long, they really get to know you. That’s a huge benefit when it comes to booking shows and other opportunities.
Another benefit of podcasting is that you can grow your presence on iTunes. Digital downloads may be on their way out, but podcasts are on the grow, so having multiple ways of getting noticed on iTunes is useful.
Of course, you still have to submit your podcast to iTunes and get approved to become discoverable there.
How To Set Up Your Podcast For Musicians
Furthermore, there is an abundance of information waiting at your fingertips. All you have to do is run a quick search on Google (i.e. how to start a podcast), and you’re sure to find plenty of information.
Regardless, there’s no way I could cover every contingent here, so let’s hone in on how to start a podcast with WordPress and Squarespace.
If you’re using WordPress, I recommend getting the Blubrry PowerPress plugin. Once installed, all you have to do to include your podcast audio in a new post is:
- Upload the audio file, which should be an MP3. WordPress doesn’t handle large files, so uploading via FTP is your best bet. If you’re not sure how to do this you can contact your website provider or simply Google ‘how to upload files via FTP’.
- Add a new post.
- Enter the URL into the Media URL form in the ‘Podcast Episode’ toggle box.
- Click on the ‘Verify URL’ button.
If you did everything right, your podcast episode should be ready to be published. If not, a dialog box will appear letting you know that it can’t find the specified URL.
If you uploaded the file correctly, all you need to do is make sure you typed in the location accurately, and everything should work perfectly.
In Squarespace, you can use Audio Blocks to publish podcast files. The process is as follows:
- Click an Insert Point, and from the Block menu, choose Audio.
- You can add a track and author title to the file you just uploaded (recommended).
- You can add audio files by uploading an MP3 from your computer, or you can choose an external file that you’ve uploaded elsewhere and enter the URL.
Wasn’t that easy? Rest assured it’s a lot easier than it used to be!
Content Types To Create
You can let your imagination run wild when it comes to content types, because your podcast is your podcast. You can do with it whatever you want to do.
As far as playing music on your show is concerned, as long as it’s your music, there shouldn’t be any conflicts. It’s when using other people’s music that you should be a little more careful.
In any case, here are some ideas for you to try:
- Acoustic performances: we all know how popular acoustic reinterpretations of well-known songs have become on YouTube. Now, I’m not suggesting that you reinterpret someone else’s music, but you can certainly play acoustic versions of your own tracks, especially if you’re an electric band most of the time.
- Interviews: some of the most stimulating conversations are those you have with experts, authors or people who work in your field. Many podcasts feature interviews already, so this is pretty standard fare. As a musician with a fanbase who likes your type of music, you can interview other musicians in your genre.
- Commentaries & behind-the-scenes looks: whether you have a CD, DVD or digital release out, you can provide your fans with an inside look into the project on your podcast.
- Gear talk: a lot of people – especially beginning musicians – like to talk about gear, how it sounds, and what purpose it serves. If you can offer some interesting insights into the gear you use, this might be your kind of content.
- Tips: if you’re particularly good at marketing, or if you have a unique perspective to bring to the music industry and musicians at large, then you might consider sharing your thoughts on your podcast.
Of course, the whole point of starting your podcast is to promote your music. However, no matter what type of content you produce, you always have the chance to talk about your new release or share your web address.
If all you do is talk about yourself and your music, it could come off selfish or forced. If you can find ways to add value to the music community at large, you’ll give people a better reason to tune in.
Furthermore, honing in on specific tribes can be helpful; like Goth World or Metal Nation. There might be podcasts out there like that already, but I’m just throwing these out there as examples.
So are you going to start your own podcast? Let us know in the comments.