Podcasting for Authors

Guest blog by Jen Swenson

Find your Why

This lays the groundwork for your new podcast:
● Define your goals. What do you hope to achieve through your podcast? Dream big!
● Choose your podcast genre and theme. The Change Room is a lifestyle podcast for
women in the latter part of life (45yrs +); designed to inspire transformation and
reinvention in all aspects of their lives.
● Find your niche. Everyone needs a niche to capture the attention of a specific group of
listeners, however, don’t cast your niche net too widely or your audience will remain
small. The Change Room’s niche is women over 45, who may be women of faith.
● Give your podcast a name! Your name should be memorable, specific and relate to your
personal ‘brand’ as an author, speaker or businessperson. However, leave creating the
artwork, graphics and branding until a bit later. Once your podcast’s identity takes a bit
more shape, you can start on the more creative tasks.
● Claim your socials! As soon as you have a name, check if your social media handles are
available. Even if you don’t do any more with your online presence at this point, you will
need to ensure you can use the name you have chosen. This is such an important step!

Pro-Tip Have at least ten episodes planned ahead of time and create a teaser episode or trailer for
the podcast. At this point in time, get your logo design underway, but leave the rest of the artwork until
a bit later, until you’re confident in the creative identity of the podcast.

Choose a format

What style will your podcast take? Will you be interviewing guests, or will it be a monologue? How long will each episode go for? Think about your listener and what they might want. Research the costs involved for hosting and the different pod player platforms available. How often will you release new episodes? Consistency is often rewarded by podcast platforms! Will your podcast be seasonal or continual?

Research and choose your recording set up and software

There are a few options out there…

You can outsource – hire a fully equipped studio or build your own. Google “How to
start a Podcast.” DIY setups are less complicated than they sound and can save you lots of
money if you’re launching your podcast on a budget. There are even podcasts about starting
podcasts! Research extensively, but don’t get so bogged down in learning that you forget to

Consistency is key

As mentioned above, podcast platforms like Spotify reward consistency. Jen Swenson had ten episodes of The Change Room ready to go when she launched. Jen hired a local studio to record and produce her first ten episodes at a cost of around $4,500. She used the process and time to research her choice of equipment and has now built her own in-home studio for recording. An in-home set up has become a popular option. The must-have requirement is a space where you can avoid echoes and background noise. Many home-podcasters swear by the walk-in-robe!

So, you’re ready to record your first episode?

Once you have chosen a place and platform for recording, write an outline for your episode and record a test track and listen to it. Make your outline as brief or as detailed as you’d like! Some may prefer to ‘wing it’ but this is a personal preference thing and depends on the tone you’re going for. Even the most seasoned
interviewers and speakers prepare for their podcasts or talks. According to Jen, a 1500-word script will produce around a ten-minute monologue. With The Change Room, Jen’s outlines entail a simple structure or flow and some notes to stimulate an organic, conversational feel.

Tease the release of your podcast

Create or commission a teaser episode for your podcast.
Like a movie trailer, the teaser sets the tone for the podcast and give the listeners an
understanding of what you’re about. But don’t give everything away all at once! Leave them
wanting more. This is a great way to secure yourself an audience for when you launch.

Edit your audio

If you have interviewed a guest, ask them if there is anything they would
like deleted. Record an intro and outro. Do you need music? Some platforms, like Anchor,
provide clips of music for podcasters to use. Again, think carefully about your podcast’s
identity. Does the music you’ve chosen emulate your theme well?

Create a checklist of essential steps towards your launch

At this stage you should also have an idea of the artwork/thumbnail/branding you would like to use.

Set up social media pages

You should have claimed your handles way back at the start and now it’s time to write in a bio and send the page to some friends to get a few followers engaged. If you’ve released your teaser, chances are some people are already interested in following you to keep up with the launch. This is a great opportunity to leverage your connections and get your friends and family to follow you.

Set up your podcast platform

Fill out your profile, upload your artwork, choose a podcast genre, upload your trailer episode and first episode. Write up your show notes. Show notes are a great way to link in resources and even to plug personal endeavours. Jen often links the web address for her email, Instagram and bookkeeping practice in the show notes as a way to connect her listeners to her personally and professionally. There are hundreds to choose from worldwide, but the main players include Spotify, Apple, and Google Play, but you can also research the following:
Wix Podcast Player, Podbean, Buzzsprout, Libsyn, Spreaker, Simplecast, Transistor, Blubrry, Captivate, Castos, Audioboom, SoundCloud, Anchor, Megaphone, Podcast Websites.


Q: Can anyone do a podcast?

A: Yes! There are obviously some rules around certain subjects, so ensure you choose the right
genre or category for your podcast. It’s essential to let listeners know if there is sensitive content or

Q: Should a writer cross-promote with their books?

A: Of course! A podcast is a great way to promote your writing or business.

Q: What platform do you recommend?

A: The Change Room is hosted on Podbean. It is a free-to-use platform and allows us to upload
our episodes to multiple platforms at once.

Q: How do you choose your guests?
A: Being well connected and having a clear vision for the topics is key. Jen asked a lot of friends
to appear on the podcast and, as it’s grown, she’s even had some experts and acquaintances contact her
to reserve themself a spot on the podcast. If you’re a good networker, you’ll find you’ll know someone
somewhere who would be a great guest. Be bold and reach out! The worst they can say is no.

Q: How do you ensure your guests have the ability to record (in the case of remote
interviews)? Tim Ferris sends his guests a top-quality microphone.

A: For those who don’t have Tim Ferris’ money, platforms such as Anchor and Riverside FM
work really well with your smartphone or device. As long as you communicate with your guests in
advance about having a working set of headphones, etc, this obstacle is easily eliminated with the right
software and a reliable internet connection.

Q: What are some of the pitfalls of podcasting?

A: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Preparation is essential in every area. Spend time
connecting with your guest prior to recording to clarify the direction of the podcast. Have a clear
outline that you share with your guest and make sure you allocate sufficient time towards your
podcasting. You should also organise a back-up guest if someone has to cancel. This is very important
to maintain a consistent release of each episode.

Q: When you’re interviewing a guest, do you ask them to sign an agreement, for example, if
they wanted something edited out?

A: Jen is more than happy to edit anything out. The more relaxed and professional you are as an interviewer, the more relaxed your guests will feel. A formal agreement is not usually a must, but if
your guest is not a friend or someone you know, perhaps this would work well to avoid any conflict.

Q: Do you give your guests a list of questions or topics?

A: Yes. Most of Jen’s guests have been friends, so the episode has been more like a chat over
coffee. With guests who are experts, you could ask them to give you a list of topics they would like to
discuss. The Change Room is designed to be organic and free-flowing, so Jen works each guest to
ensure that the conversation topic and the guest’s strengths are harmonious.

Q: How do you get listeners for your podcast?

A: Networking and marketing are essential. Talk about your podcast with people you meet. Jen
preferred an organic process at first, but has since started promoting the podcast on social media and at
networking events.

Q: How do you get feedback on your podcast?

A: Ask for it! On each episode and in your social media, ask your listeners to provide feedback
and to ‘Rate and Review’ if they like what they hear.

You can find Jen’s podcast on https://www.thechangeroompodcast.com/

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