Careers in the Music Industry - Podcasting Part II
By Demi Michelle
I’m delighted to bring you part two of my mini podcasting series (visit part 1 here). Once you decide your show’s focus and what sets it apart, it’s time to work out logistics and gather all the necessary materials for the show.
Dive Into the Details
Now that you know what your show will focus on and how it’ll be different and fresh, you have to iron out some important details. These lean into logistics and key points for the show’s structure, distribution, and more.
My podcast, Write on Track, is audio only, features guests on every episode, each episode has a target runtime of 30 to 35 minutes give or take, and new episodes release every other Sunday. Nailing down these details before launching a show is key for consistency.
As I did above, I’m going to share some questions you should answer to better understand your show. Knowing this information will give you direction as you continue down your journey.
Questions to Ask Yourself
Do you want your show to be audio only or audio and video?
Will you host your show alone or have a co-host/co-hosts?
Will you have guests on your show? If yes, every episode or every once in a while?
How long do you want your episodes to be on average?
How often do you want to release new episodes? Every week, every other week, or once a month? Something else?
Choose a Name
Choosing a name for your show is one of the most crucial parts of the planning process. Your name should clearly state what your show is about and be memorable. I’ve gotten many compliments for Write on Track, and I can honestly say I went through several other names before landing on this one.
So, what does Write on Track: A Songwriting Podcast tell someone new? First, it’s a songwriting podcast. In this case, one that touches on all aspects of a songwriter’s life, from the craft to the business side and beyond. Second, the title is a pun. Spelling it “Write” instead of “Right” further connects the name to the life of a songwriter. The common phrase, “right on track,” means staying on your path. I always speak of my music industry experience as a journey, so this fits with my vision for the show as well.
So, when you sit down to choose your show’s name, don’t go with the first thing you think of. Toss around different ideas. Ask others for suggestions. Remember to make sure the show’s content is clear in the title and that the name is catchy and intriguing.
Just like with music releases, podcasts have cover art as well. Your artwork is part of the podcast package. It should include relevant information and be designed in a style that captures the tone of the show. Here is the artwork for Write on Track.
Whether you’re skilled at graphic design or hire a designer to create your artwork, think about what text is necessary to have and the designs and colors that match the style of the show. Also, be sure to check your chosen distributor's dimensions for the size, though they’re typically square.
Write a Podcast Description
Next, you’ll need to write a description for your show. It’s best to keep this short and sweet while delivering the necessary information and capturing the tone of the show. Below is the description I wrote for Write on Track.
Welcome to Write on Track: A Songwriting Podcast. Host and songwriter Demi Michelle Schwartz invites you on a journey like no other. Demi explores all aspects of being a songwriter, from the craft of songwriting to the music business and beyond. Catch new episodes every other Sunday and tune into all of the unforgettable conversations Demi has with songwriters, artists, radio presenters, music industry professionals, and more. So, what are you waiting for? Kick back and relax, don’t fall flat, and remember, stay “write on track!”
While you’re writing your description, be sure to capture all a potential listener needs to know. Think of the description as introducing someone new to your show. You want to make the content clear and find a way to get them excited to listen.
Get Music for Your Show
Not every podcast has intro and outro music, but I think this is key, especially for a music podcast. My producer and I created my podcast’s music, so I own it and don’t have to deal with any copyright situations. This is what I would recommend. Having a piece of music that is for your show only gives it a touch of originality.
Going along with the music is scripts for your intro and/or outro while the music plays. Some shows just have music with no spoken words over it. Others have an intro, outro, or both. Again, this is personal preference for what you feel is best for your show.
If you’re able to create your music yourself, that’s fantastic. If not, there are so many talented musicians and producers that would love to help you out.
It’s essential to give a ton of thought to everything I discussed above. When you eventually launch the show, you’ll come off extremely professional and polished if you take the time to craft the show’s package. Everything about the podcast should remain consistent and cohesive to catch someone’s attention, and that begins with developing a solid structure and gathering all the show’s materials.
Having a clear vision and creating a podcast package that reflects that vision will do wonders when you dive into the technical side. In the final part of this series, I’ll be talking about recording, editing, distribution, and promotion.