Wondering what you need to start a gaming podcast? Here is a guide to everything you need to consider.
I’m an avid podcast listener, from narrative stories, inspiration and discussion to game updates, I’ve spent the last few years consuming podcasts of all subjects. I’ve previously started a podcast on marketing, music and I’m currently planning the next podcast, but honestly, I’m yet to start one on gaming or esports (shocking!).
P.S hey! While you are here, we write lots of guides to Twitch Streaming here: not: theemergence.co.uk/guides/
What is your podcast idea?
You can start a podcast about anything you want, and it could change every week depending on what game you are currently enjoying… but will that appeal to a listener who may not be interesting all of these games? For example, if you played and discussed Warframe in episode 1, and then in episode 2 you talked about The Sims, it’s unlikely that they will stick around for episode 3 unless they have an interest in all of these games!
At the start, it is best to be specific.
You could always consider a talk show, where you review the newest games released, the last esport competition, or the patch notes from your favourite game. Invite somebody as a guest, or even as a co-host, to keep your talk show interesting.
At least build your podcast around a theme, such as how Final Games built their show. They interview somebody within the games industry about their favourite games and if they had to; which game they would play for the rest of their life.
Consider a video podcast too, there are a large number of podcasts which are recorded video-first or on a Twitch live stream, and then edited into podcasts at a later date.
This comes with naming the podcast, once you know what you are going to be discussing on a weekly or monthly basis, then you can start brainstorming ideas for names.
As with anything creative, there are no rules. Do what feels right to you, learn and adjust based on how you develop your ‘sound’ and feedback from your community.
Software & Hardware
Now, I could go into a lot of detail here, but I’ll keep it simple as you can create a quality, professional podcast with very little equipment.
- Microphone — similar to the equipment we recommend in our guide to software and hardware for streaming, but due to podcast’s audio-only nature, it’s worth considering something better (and sadly more expensive)
- Editing software — there is a lot of free editing software for beginners such as Garageband, Audacity and Adobe Audition. As well as more advanced software, for example, Apple’s Logic Pro, Pro Tools and Hindenburg
- Apps — Consider using an app such as Anchor or some video editing software like Adobe Premiere Pro or Apple’s Final Cut
There are a good number of podcast hosting providers, these include:
There is a great guide to podcast hosts here: www.thepodcasthost.com/websites-hosting/best-podcast-hosting/
Before you wonder, iTunes does not host your podcast, it takes an RSS feed (from one of the above host options) and lets people listen and subscribe to it. Many other apps and websites use the iTunes feed to pull your podcast into their own service. There are many other listening apps that you need to submit your podcast to. These include:
- Podcast Go
- Pocket Cast
If possible, try Google Music, Deezer and Spotify…but usually you have to have a large audience before you can do this.
If you are using an app such as Anchor, you don’t need any hosting software!
Plan and script
Planning is everything when it comes to a podcast. Make sure you do your research before discussing a subject, game, genre or interviewing somebody.
As I mention in our guides to Twitch streaming, consistency is everything. Humans are creatures of habits and we get stuck into our own routines. Consider yourself a radio show, make sure you stick to a schedule. This is where planning comes in with importance again, if you have planned it to be a daily podcast show, yet don’t have enough time to do so — then plan it ahead so you can keep up with your schedule.
Do it alone or with a co-host?
I added this in because I and Joe Birch had a long conversation about the benefits of working with a friend of going it alone.
- Are you somebody that can talk to yourself for hours?
- Do you know your subject matter in-depth?
- Will having a partner-in-crime improve the conversation?
What do you need in a host for a podcast?
- Are they interested in / passionate about the podcast topics?
- Do you have good chemistry with them? (Are they somebody you can talk to and laugh with regardless of the subject matter?)
- Do they know their subject matter? Would you consider them somebody who is an expert?
- Do they have a good working ethic? Will they help you research future topics and questions for interviewees
- Are they able to help you outside of talking — for example, are they good at social media promotion, audio editing or networking?
A significant amount of podcasts are built around interviewing guests, is this what you want yours to be? Or can it incorporate guests in at a later date?
Practice makes perfect
Don’t stop because it sounds bad, don’t stop because it only got 14 views, don’t stop because your friends didn’t like it, don’t stop because your parents think you are wasting your time, don’t stop because it isn’t perfect yet.
This quote from Ira Glass is always worth a read over and over again.
This isn’t a guide to editing a podcast, but the choice of how you edit it is incredibly important.
Do you want it to be short and snappy? With quick cuts (don’t forget to leave some room for your breaths), or do you want it to be completely free for all with everything included? This is completely up to you and the tone of your podcast.
Promotion and marketing
I’m not going to write a full guide to promote a podcast (yet), but there are a number of strategies and tactics you should be considering when it comes to promotion of your podcast.
Firstly; social media. Create and utilise a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.
Secondly, your current stream/youtube channel. Wait… what do you mean you don’t have a Twitch or YouTube channel?
Thirdly, email. An email newsletter is one of the best ways to keep loyal listeners engaged
Fourthly, building a community on your subject matter(s) is becoming ever more important nowadays. Have you considered a Facebook Group or a Discord channel?
And don’t forget the images. Whether it is artwork, behind the scenes or creative imagery, standing out across everyone's social media feeds will be key to encouraging them to listen to your podcast.
Attention is everything.
Who is The Emergence?
We are a gaming platform, dedicated to telling the stories of how your favourite gamers and streamers got to where they are now.
We seek out the emerging heroes of the future.
Written by Mark Longhurst :)