Hosts, Equipment, Frequency? Decisions to Make for a Podcast.

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According to a report last year by Edison Research and Triton Digital, the portion of the public listening to online radio (podcasts) continues to grow. In 2017, 61% of Americans have listened to online radio in the past month, while about half (53%) have listened in the past week. This is up from 57% and 50%, respectively, in 2016.

In the B2B world, podcasts continue to multiply. Best-selling author Matt Bailey continues his Endless Coffee Cup and has now made it a family affair, with his brother Ben joining him on an episode. Informa's Aviation Week Check 6 podcast continues weekly and strong. Spidell Publishing's California Minute is actually about 4 minutes, focusing on the big tax issues of the day. They're on hiatus until April 22—no explanation needed.

And if you think podcasts are just for the young, think again. PBS' Next Avenue, a site for people over the age of 50, just launched its first podcast—Your Next Avenue—on work and careers after 50. "Never listened to a podcast before? It's easier than you think..."

Here's a to-do list for launching a podcast:

Make the commitment. Will it be weekly? Over 40% of the Top 25 podcasts with a regular posting schedule publish once per week. Of the Top 25, only three podcasts did not have a discernible schedule to their posting. Consistent publishing creates a sense of stability and sets audience expectations as well.

Choose a day. Over 60% of podcasts with a regular schedule post early in the week, before Wednesday. The most common single day is Tuesday.

Outline your goals, schedule and format. How long will it be? They can range from a couple minutes to more than an hour. An ideal length I read is 22 minutes because scientists believe we can't hold our attention on a single presenter for any longer before we check out. I thought it would be even shorter. TED Talks have an 18-minute maximum.

Select a host(s) and format. Aviation Week's Check 6 hosts are their managing editor, Pentagon editor and defense editor. Next Avenue selected Richard Eisenberg, their Work & Purpose channel editor and the site's managing editor. Most recommendations I've seen call for 2-3 hosts which stimulates more banter. A discussion format is the most popular. It's also recommended to interview guests in person when possible.

Choose your equipment. After trying a few devices, Nathan Isaacs of Act-On wrote: "Ultimately, I went to a tool we.. used on a daily basis – our WebEx account. I could schedule and record the calls just as I would any other conference call. I then downloaded and converted the file into an MP3 format." You'll also need a microphone (start small), headphones, something to record your B2B podcast (digital recorder or software on your computer), and software (Audacity, GarageBand) to edit the podcast.

Where will you store them? Magna Publications and Spidell both do very nice jobs of storing their podcasts in a place where readers can quickly access them and choose one to hear.

Transcribe if possible. It's good for SEO, hearing impaired and journalists who want to grab quotes. There are many transcribing options on Fiverr, and Speechpad is a service that specializes in transcription.

Don't record alone. You may not realize when your energy is falling or that you're skipping words, but someone else will who can tell you.

Approach sponsors and advertisers. Ask if they'd like to add a mention on the podcast or have their names announced. Craig Sorrell, marketing manager at Results Direct, advises the seeking out of direct sponsorships, even if you're just starting a podcast or don't have data on how many are listening in. "[You] can say, 'Hey, we're just starting out, but we have 10,000 members/[subscribers]. This is something for our members/[subscribers].'"

Plan other ways to monetize. Soyini Coke, principal of SIPA member Annona Enterprises, has built up an excellent archive of podcasts—including ones featuring SIPA members EB Medicine and NewsRX. "I firmly believe that I have a large audience that has value, and the income will come," she told me. MoviePass is betting a lot on the same thought process.

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Ronn Levine began his career as a reporter for The Washington Post and has won numerous writing and publications awards since. Most recently, he spent 12 years at the Newspaper Association of America covering a variety of topics before joining SIPA in 2009 and SIIA in 2013 as editorial director…