So, how do you make a high-quality podcast?
A bit of a loaded question. We talk about high-quality podcasts all the time…but how do you actually make one?
What can you do to produce a high-quality podcast? It’s more than just one thing. In our experience, there are important things you can do at the different areas of your podcast process that all add up to a high-quality podcast.
Because as much as we love our microphones and our awesome studio set-up, these in and of themselves do not make a high-quality podcast.
And yes, we’ve got plenty of posts focused on how to start a podcast. (Like this one, or even this one.)
We’ve also got guides to help you take your podcast up a level, and even ones which will help you improve the quality of your podcast audio.
But this one is a little different. In this post, we’re going to look at all the areas that have to be covered to make a podcast. But we’re going to look specifically at what you really need to focus on in each area in order to have a final product that is of top shelf quality, AKA a high-quality podcast.
So, work through these topics with us, and let’s make you the proud host of an awesome podcast!
Tips for a High-Quality Podcast
Topic and Niche
Okay, so a really common phrase, whenever we talk about your podcast topic or your podcast niche is, “Niche down.” This is really imperative. You need to have a really clear idea about your niche, and your topic, so that you can start to carve a space out for your podcast within your niche.
That’s the idea, anyway.
But if you really want to create a high-quality podcast, you’ve got to take this one step further.
You’ve got to double down on your niche!
I mean, really hone your niche, clearly define your topic, and be really intentional about the message you want to share via your podcast. That’s a key way to stand out in a sea of podcasts.
If you are super clear about what your podcast is all about, and how it’s going to serve its audience, you’ll be able to consistently deliver valuable content to your audience.
And this is what is at the heart of a high-quality podcast.
Next up, let’s talk equipment. There is literally no way you can have a high-quality podcast if it doesn’t have high-quality audio.
Literally, no way!
Podcasting is an auditory-based medium. It’s all about sound! So to have a high-quality podcast, it has to sound great!
Thankfully, it’s actually pretty easy to tick this box on your way to a high-quality podcast.
There are plenty of mics on the market, for all types of budgets, that will deliver top-notch sound.
With the right equipment, some research, and a good helping of practice, it’s totally possible to get high-quality recordings in the comfort of your home. And to help put you on the right track, you can also check out this post: Everything You Need to Know About…Podcast Equipment.
But using a professional recording studio is a hassle-free way to ensure your podcast always sounds amazing!
Use our Studio List feature to find a professional studio near you.
Bottomline? A high-quality podcast is one that has high-quality audio. So take the time to master your equipment. Find your mic’s “sweet spot”. Record from your closet or pillow fort to get that full, rich sound. Do whatever you have to do to get the best recordings possible.
Next up, let’s examine another area of your podcast and run it through a quality check.
Under the microscope now is your content.
We’ve all heard the “everything is content” line on some social media platform or another.
Well, I’m about to deliver what may be an unpopular opinion.
Although I like to think of it as an uncomfortable truth….
But when it comes to your podcast everything is NOT content! Seriously. A rambling episode about something related, kinda, sorta, to your topic and niche is not going to get your podcast recognized as one that is high-quality.
I’m sorry, but it’s just not.
If you want your podcast to be considered as one that is high-quality, and if you want it to be one that keeps listeners coming back episode after episode, then you have to consistently deliver quality content.
You have to stay at the top of your game within your niche. You have to keep honing and refining your knowledge. You need to be up-to-date with the latest in your field or industry. And you need to do all of this so that you can offer your listeners the cream of the crop when it comes to your podcast content.
This is a signature of a podcast that would be widely considered to be high-quality.
Fun fact: Writing is just as necessary for a high-quality podcast as your super cool recording space.
Another unpopular opinion perhaps?
Maybe. But it’s true nonetheless!
But somehow, there seems to be some overarching belief that all it takes to create a podcast is to set-up your new mic, put on your cool headphones, and just talk about whatever comes to mind.
Sure, you’ll have a podcast. But will it be one that’s high-quality?
Honestly, that’s one of the biggest misconceptions when it comes to creating a successful podcast. That all you need to do is just “wing it”. (Urg, I shudder whenever I hear that!)
No, just as there’s no crying in baseball, there is no “winging it” in podcasting.
I don’t care how easy-breezy lemon-squeezy a podcast episode sounds. I can guarantee you that in order to pull this off, there’s a well-written script or outline – and one that’s been practiced and refined – somewhere in the background.
And even then, with that well-written script or outline, there’s still going to be some stories, or interview questions that don’t make the final cut, because they didn’t actually serve the audience.
Because that’s really why it’s necessary to write some sort of script for your episodes. You want to be sure that your episodes are always delivering quality content that offers tons of value to your audience.
Because that is the hallmark of a high-quality podcast.
Now, what if your podcast follows the interview format. How can you make sure your podcast is one of the highest quality?
Well, all of the above still applies to you. But there are some extra steps you need to take in order to get that ‘quality’ stamp of approval.
Let’s start with your sound quality. So you have your set-up and your equipment waxed. You’re consistently getting recordings that sound beautiful and rich.
But what about your guests? How do their recordings sound? Does their quality match yours? Or does it sound like they’re being interviewed on a submarine using a tin can as a microphone?
If you want a high-quality podcast, your guests also have to be in on helping you achieve that quality. So, well before your interview date, check in with your guest. How are they planning on recording their side of the conversation?
If their answer is the mic on their headphones, or their laptops onboard mic, step in! You could even purchase a budget, quality mic (check out this post for some options) that you send to your guests before the interview. They can then ship it back to you after the interview is complete.
Remember, the goal is quality. So do whatever you need to to make that happen.
Great interviews don’t just happen…
And then finally, in your quest for interview quality, always prep your guests. Again, I know it often sounds like those amazing interviews are happening “off the cuff”. But they’re not!
The best interviews happen when a guest is prepared. That’s the only way to ensure that your audience gets the interviewee at their best. Without at least some question prep, your guests aren’t’ really going to be able to shine and share their best knowledge.
It’s an interview, not an interrogation! Send your guests your proposed questions well in advance and let them prepare their answers. That way, what they deliver will be of the highest quality. And so will your interview!
Finally, let’s talk about quality when it comes to promoting your podcast.
Simply sharing the link to your latest episode via Twitter just ain’t gonna cut it. But neither is flooding your accounts with images or videos that don’t serve a purpose.
I’ll say it again, everything is NOT content. When it comes to promoting your podcast, quality really does trump quantity. It’s far better to have a solid social media strategy, where you perhaps post less frequently, but what you’re posting really serves your audience, than just sharing post after post that says, “Check out my latest episode!”
The latter is probably not going to gain you any more listeners.
Rather, take the time to learn about your audience, the social platforms they use, and the type of content they’re looking for.
Then, share quality content that meets their needs. Become someone that gives their followers tons of value. And then direct them to your podcast. You still can totally let your audience know a new podcast episode just dropped. You should do this! It just shouldn’t be the only thing you do if you want to develop a reputation as someone with a high-quality podcast.
A high-quality podcast does not “just happen”. As with literally everything in life, if you want something to be great, you have to work at it.
And when it comes to podcasting, “great” requires far more than a cool set-up, a top-of-the-range mic, and an oat milk latte. (Look, I have nothing against any of the above. But I can’t rely on them to make something of quality. Consistent effort is the only way to do that.) You have to be willing to consistently strive to be better than yesterday at all the areas that make up a podcast.
Double-down on your niche. Spend time tweaking your set-up until you’re getting those rich recordings. Hone your topic knowledge and write solid scripts or outlines. Develop a social media strategy. And deliver value with your episodes and your posts.
In short, make sure that everything attached to your show is of the highest quality, and you’ll have a high-quality podcast.
What makes a podcast high-quality in your opinion? Share your thoughts with us!