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The Podcaster’s Checklist

In the course of working with clients on their podcasts (and my own Trafcom News Podcast), I started to build a checklist of steps that most podcasters need to follow. Keeping with the spirit of our generous podcasting community, I thought I’d share the list with you here. Note: It’s a work in progress and will be updated from time to time.

Do you see any glaring omissions? If so, please let us know.

Planning

  • What is the goal of your podcast? Why do you want to do one anyway?
  • Who is your intended audience?
  • Does your audience have broadband access?
  • How technically savvy is your audience?
  • What are your competitors doing?
  • Do you have the resources to produce your own podcast or do you need help?
  • How long will your podcast be?
  • How often will you produce your podcast?
  • Will you commit yourself to a regular schedule or do a limited series instead?
  • Have you researched and chosen a name and tagline? Is it easily repeatable by word of mouth?
  • Have you registered a domain name for your podcast?

Publishing

  • Will you integrate the podcast into your existing Web presence or build something new?
  • Do you have album art and a visual identity for your podcast?
  • Have you selected theme music as your auditory signature?
  • Do you want listeners to be able to subscribe via iTunes with one click?
  • Will you allow listener comments? Audio and/or text?
  • Will you set up a comment line so listeners can phone in?

Content

  • What kind of tone do you want to set?
  • Do you have any existing content that can be repackaged?
  • Will you record a standard into and outro with music?
  • Will you write show notes for each podcast – for the sake of your listeners and to boost search-engine rankings?
  • Will your podcast sound like a radio show, a tutorial, a conversation or something else?
  • Will you be recording conference presentations or seminars?
  • Who is the host?
  • How long will the show be?

Production

  • Where will your audio be recorded? Studio? Location?
  • Do you need to record over the phone or Skype?
  • Will you script any of your content in advance?
  • How much editing do you expect to do? Have you selected software for this task?
  • Do you need professional voiceover talent for your intro/outro?
  • Have you sourced royalty-free podsafe stingers and music for your musical signature?
  • Are you linking your podcast to a blog?
  • Have you thought about adding Technorati tags to your podcast?
  • How will you generate your feed?
  • Have you evened out the volume of speech and music in your file?
  • Have you added proper ID3 tags so that listeners can identify your show?
  • Where will your MP3 files be hosted?
  • Where will you store backup copies of your files?

On recording day

  • Do you have your notes?
  • Have you confirmed your guest, if you have one?
  • Do you have some room-temperature water to keep your throat hydrated?
  • Have you shut down non-essential gadgets that make noise (phone, computer fans, etc.)?
  • If you are in a remote location, do you have a portable recorder, batteries, microphone, etc.?
  • Is your microphone hooked up properly? Have you done a test recording? Checked your input levels?
  • Do you need a pop filter?
  • Are you using headphones to monitor your recording?
  • If you’re recording a Skype call, is your audio-capture software ready?
  • Have you remembered to record room tone to enable noise removal later?
  • Have you backed up your uncompressed files and then your final mix?

Promotion and measurement

  • How will you promote your podcast using traditional and social media?
  • How will you track download statistics?
  • How will you measure the success of your podcast?

Thanks to Christopher S. Penn, podcaster extraordinaire, for taking a quick look at this checklist for me. If you want to see a beautifully constructed home page for a podcast, look at FinancialAidPodcast.com.

Cross-posted from the Trafcom News Blog.

© 2007 Donna Papacosta