How to Create Your Own Podcast in 5 Steps

1. Establish the Name, Purpose, Audience

So you’ve got something to say about our crazy world?  

After marshaling down the general theme of your podcast idea, you’ll need to include its purpose. Establishing a purpose will act as your North Star when you are trying to choose the topic for subsequent episodes. Making the purpose specific yet open is key. For example, if you’re passionate about the thematic elements of film and how they apply to daily life, your purpose could go in countless directions. 

For example:

  1. I want to illuminate the most obscure pieces of film in order to broaden my audience’s understanding of the art, while making tangible connections to current events, effectively proving each movie’s relevance. 
  1. I want to focus chiefly on pieces of historical fiction, interviewing people who were involved in some capacity in order to determine the accuracy of the Hollywood portrayals. 

Now it’s relatively safe to assume that children 13 and under are not going to be your target audience for either one of these potential podcasts. So who is? This may be one of the more important steps of the materialization process since it will also determine who your sponsors will be (they only want to advertise to possible buyers) and what your topics will be (adapting to fan feedback will be crucial for long-term success).

2. Determine Podcast Structure

Think about how your content will be experienced by your listeners.

Will you have interviews with special guests anchoring every episode or discussions based on external sources that you have reviewed prior to recording? As you narrow down your choices, make sure you understand the time commitments of each approach. You will need to book guests far into the future to ensure a frequent publishing schedule, in addition to reviewing their expertise. Weighing the pros and cons in the early stages will ensure the stable longevity of your creative project.   

There are countless ways to structure your recording time, so get creative and stand out! 

3. Schedule Studio Time for Audio Recording

In order to achieve the highest quality of sound production, which is key to drawing in initial listeners, you’ll need to find a reliable studio. Having immediate access to a vast arsenal of recording equipment, as well as the advice and guidance of seasoned professionals, will give you an essential edge. 

Demŭn Studios (Website Link Here and featured in the above photo) has specialized in podcasts for over five years. These folks are conditioned professionals who can provide everything needed to produce high-quality recording. Everything from equipment set-up and recording to audio editing and digital distribution will be in the hands of experts. What’s even better about this place is that the engineers who work here care deeply about their craft. Ask questions, build a community, and create something that audiences will want to return to again and again. 

4. Getting Sponsors 

Think of the last podcast you listened to. What were their sponsors? Did the content of the advertisements apply to you? Once your podcast starts to grow in its following, you’ll be able to accrue a revenue stream via reaching out to companies who find your audience numbers appealing. While established creators like Joe Rogan (The Joe Rogan Experience) and Terry Gross (NPR’s Fresh Air) do not need to proactively contact possible advertisers, all beginners need to keep it top of mind. 

Consider the following:

  • What is the age demographic of my podcast content?
  • Which companies would benefit from an advertising space on our show?
  • What is our value add?

When you approach your podcast project with all this information fleshed out, it will be a much smoother transition from a hobby to a full-time lifestyle. 

5. Publish Your First Episode! (Choose a Host & Cover Art)

Until your podcast picks up a steady following from social media promotion, advertising, or word of mouth, you will need to catch people’s attention in every way possible. There are hundreds of options out there for listeners to choose from, so establishing a unique cover art design to draw one’s attention while they scroll through the digital sea is a must. Do not underestimate the power of visual intrigue simply because you believe your content speaks for itself.

Do some initial field research by having a neutral friend scroll through podcasts and ask why they chose those particular ones. What are their favorite podcasts? What causes them to click on one thing more than another? The more people you survey, the more your findings will be representative of the average potential subscriber. 

Now the time has come to get that shiny new beauty out into the devices of people everywhere! While Disktroid is the best choice for uploading any musical endeavors, podcasts operate on a slightly different platform of distribution. You can eliminate all the potential stress of researching and choosing a distribution software if you choose to work with Demŭn Studios, however. They can walk you through the entire process!   

If you choose the independent route, here are the top two options to consider when you are ready to publish:

There you have it! Before popping that expensive champagne in celebration of your first-ever official podcast though, make sure to map out the next few months of shows in terms of frequency, topic, interview guest (if applicable), and time dedication needed for preparation. You got this! 

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Phoenix musician Sincerely Collins truly knows who he is, even when his music has taken different forms.

Collins first caught the music bug at age 13 after watching his cousin, a rapper in a group with Xzibit, record a three-song EP. From the making of a beat to the writing of the rhymes, recording and mixing it, he was there for it all.

“You have to create a voice within yourself, and it’s already there, it’s already you,” Collins says. “A lot of people just spend so much time trying to sound like somebody else that they don’t recognize that their voice that they already have is what they need to use to express.”

“I saw the whole process from start to finish, and it really felt innately second nature to me to dive right into it,” Collins says, “So after that first night, I asked him to take me to Walgreens and get me a notebook and pens, and that night I started writing down lyrics and never looked back.”

He filled up those notebooks for years, writing rhymes to beats. By tenth grade, Collins had recorded his first song and was making a name for himself at his high school, selling CDs and putting on performances. After graduating, Collins started a group called Weird Is The New Cool, taking inspiration from idol Pharrell Williams and his group N.E.R.D.

“That was kind of like my rebellion period from rap, and I just started getting really into rock music,” says Collins. 

They opened up for big bands like Dirty Heads, Sublime, and 311, but after a few years, it was time to move on. Sincerely Collins the hip-hop artist was born, and in 2015 his song “Light Work” got major play on the radio. After moving to Los Angeles and living there for a few years, Collins headed back to the desert just before the pandemic and is excited about his future.

“I’m to a point now with my solo work that I’ve never signed a record contract that would hold me back from doing whatever I wanted to do with my music, so I’m in a blessed place now where I can start experimenting and going back to those live instruments and band groups,” Collins says.

With all of his experience, Collins was the perfect person to ask for some tips about how to get started in the music scene in Phoenix. 

“I think it’s very easy to break into now,” says Collins. “I think if you want to be a musician in Phoenix, it’s fairly simple as far as just getting your foot in the door and getting some traction going. It’s a lot easier than when I was starting out, that’s for sure.”

Collins suggests connecting with promoters, making yourself available through social media, and researching who puts on live shows. He says Respect the Underground is another helpful resource that allows musicians and artists from all over the Valley to have an outlet for their music.

So what should you do once you’re ready to get into the studio?

“The fact you’re reading this interview, you’re kind of already doing what you should be doing,” Collins says. “Because one thing you have to do is you have to tap into where the action is, going and researching and finding a place like Demŭn Studios.”

Collins says to then listen to the people who have what you want to have and have done what you want to do. It might be engineers, producers, or a studio manager.

“They might not even be a musician, but they’ve been in those sessions, and they understand certain things you might not understand about getting to the next level, so that’s very important,” he says.

Listen too to the music you like to develop inspiration. 

“It’s very easy for musicians to get away from just taking time to become inspired, but I think that’s one thing that I always do,” Collins says. “I take time to listen to other music that’s going to put me in a zone and in the frequency where I can tap into a frequency and do that for myself.”

And don’t forget to develop your unique voice. Collins says it’s important to get out of your own way and find your voice on the microphone because people will relate.

“Even people like Tyler, the Creator, and Odd Future, they were making music that was outlandish, but they have their voice, so people connected with it, and there are singers who aren’t the greatest singers in the world at all any means, and they would tell you that, but they found out how to put their voice, add a little autotune but still have their expression and their voice and their passion on that microphone,” Collins says. “People will connect with that, so you need to spend time finding that voice and making sure that you stick with that in your music so that you can transcend.”

As far as Demŭn Studios goes, Collins is definitely a fan. He spent a chunk of his career exclusively working out of it, and it’s even where his hit song “Yap Yap” was created.

“I personally trust that studio highly to produce a sound that can compete with industry-level sound,” Collins says. “When it comes to studios in Phoenix, I would definitely recommend this studio, and I think that all the readers are in the right place if they’re trying to find things that are going to help them in the industry in this city.“

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Tips To Get On Stage At a Local Concert or Festival

With festivals and concerts coming back into our lives as we stray away from the pandemic. They are some of the best ways to get your name out there and introduce fans to new music, but how does that happen in the first place? We’ve put together a list of ways to get your live career going. 

The Balance Careers has some great tips. First, prepare your submission materials and create a press kit. Each festival and concert will have its own requirements of what you’ll need to submit, but you’re likely to need an up-to-date artist biography. This is basically your story of how you got started in the music industry, musical accomplishments, and influences plus some color like a personal story or two. Your bio should be short, written in a few paragraphs or at most a page, and you should constantly be adding to it. If you record a new song or album, get an award, play a big show, or anything else of note, add it to your bio. You should also have some professional photos and a video of you or your band performing. Be sure to have some quality recordings too. Another thing to do during your preparation is to make sure you have an active social media presence or website. You don’t have to have thousands of followers, but you should get your social media numbers up as much as you can and interact with your fans as much as possible. If your last post was two years ago, that could be a problem. Next, mark your calendar. One of the easiest ways to miss an opportunity is to not get an application in on time. Create a spreadsheet with all the important details and dates. It’s important to be responsible and show that you care, so pay attention to any deadlines and don’t arrive late for gigs once you book them. After you send in your submission, follow up respectively. Don’t pester an artistic director with emails especially if it says not to contact them, but if there is a way to send a quick thank you note, you should definitely do so. 

Next, don’t be afraid to start off small. If your hometown has a festival or a local concert, that might be the perfect way to get involved. While it might not be Coachella or Lollapalooza, it’s still a start. You’ll be able to put it on your resume and polish your performances. Performing small at first also helps your market yourself or your band through word of mouth and social media as your music begins garnering reviews. You can let your social media followers know you’re appearing, plus the more performances you are able to get, the more concert and festival promoters will be interested in you. Be wary of shows where you need to pay to perform. Organizers may expect you to buy tickets to resell to fans with little to no compensation. You don’t want to play every concert or festival offered to you — be selective and make sure it’s catered to your type of music. Do your research in advance and target concerts or festivals that are known to book similar acts. Search festival directories too for opportunities. Additionally, don’t be afraid of non-profit appearances. While you won’t be getting paid, it’s still great exposure.

Make sure to practice your stage routine. If you’re not very experienced on the live circuit, it’s okay, but you should be able to command a crowd and put on a solid show. Playing at a concert or festival is very different from playing at a nightclub or a coffee shop. Bandzoogle says your live show must be memorable since there’s a lot of competition for festival and concert slots that are open to those like you who are not the headliners or more popular acts. When you apply for an event like this, you’re not just selling your music or yourself. Promoters want to know you have a killer live show that can attract and keep your audience interested. You don’t want your set to get stale, so change the order up, throw out some goodies to your fans, get someone up on stage, or bring in a special guest. Ask your crowd how they’re feeling, have them repeat your lyrics after you, or recite a popular chant. Introduce a social media contest or take a pic of the audience and post it online. Don’t be scared to interact with fans following the show too. After your performance, walk out among the fans and talk to anyone who approaches you, says Music Industry How To.

Next, network, network, network. The music industry can be small, especially if you’re active in your local scene. If you constantly put yourself out there as a professional act with a great live show, word will get around, and you’ll have a better chance of being selected when you apply to gigs, according to Bandzoogle. Reach out to local promoters, agents, talent buyers, and fellow musicians while you play more shows and grow your fanbase. 

If you don’t end up getting the gig, don’t give up or get discouraged. Getting booked at concerts or festivals is very competitive. Ask to be kept informed of other opportunities, and keep perfecting your craft until you can apply again. Play other places like fairs, showcases, and smaller venues to get more experience. It will happen eventually!

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How To Distribute Your Music Like The Pro’s – Use Distrokid

You finally perfected that genre-bending new song that is going to revolutionize the game, give voice to an important social issue, make people dance around their kitchen, or all three. This song has everything, there’s no way around it. Now how can you get this thing out into the ether and stuck into people’s heads?

Enter the glorious world of Distrokid.

What is Distrokid?

This magical platform allows you to simultaneously distribute your tracks on Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, Google Play & YouTube Music, Amazon, Pandora, Deezer, Tidal, Napster, iHeartRadio, ClaroMúsica, Saavn, MediaNet, and over 150 other smaller outlets. You also have the autonomy to select which of these outlets if you’re not into (or have never heard of) a specific one- cough Tidal cough. But let’s face it. No one listens to music on anything outside these platforms, and hipsters can’t bring vinyl on road trips or airplanes. 

For just a flat fee of $19.99 a year as a single artist, you can upload as many song tracks as you want! The entire process is extremely user-friendly and saves you valuable hours that can be sunk into designing that next track in the back of your mind. 

How is it Different from Other Major Platforms Like Soundcloud?

While Soundcloud is free, it lacks the mass appeal and user-friendly access of the other platforms integrated into the Distrokid distribution software. For instance, if someone is trying to show their friend your new song on their phone, they will have to scroll haphazardly through the sea of choices on Soundcloud, or quickly navigate through Spotify, (or one of the other expertly organized music systems) and share with multiple friends in a matter of seconds.

Distrokid also has multiple additional features that help you market your music on Youtube, where you can earn exponentially increased revenue the more views you acquire. Many of the stars we know today in the music industry have become famous off of their Youtube videos alone. Never have I once listened to Tekashi 69 in my car on the way to the store, but you better believe that I have seen every one of his music videos. The draw to Youtube is not only the visuals attached to the songs, but also the algorithms they employ to suggest more content and keep you watching. This can lead to more of your music. Instant publicity. 

The chief difference between Distrokid and other platforms is the highly-tailored, efficient way that it enables you to not only put your creation out into the world but, also promote it to a target audience. In the age of technology dominance, this kind of tool is essential to becoming recognized and paid handsomely for your brainchild.

Okay Cool. Now, How Do I Use This Thing?

Distrokid is simple and straightforward in its initial setup, as well as its continued uploading usage. Three major things you need to have prepped and ready before you start your first song upload are:

  1. Your music tracks (saved under WAV format is best for sound quality purposes)
  2. Names for your songs and an artist name for yourself
  3. Knowledge of who your target audience is and which social media/audio platforms they are most likely to use

The rest is laid out for you in step-by-step text prompts! 

With that, you’re on your way, wayward son!

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How The Music Industry Is Bouncing Back From The Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has had a profound impact on all aspects of our lives including the music industry. All of a sudden last year, live and in-person events grinded to a swift halt, leaving many out of work. Festivals and conferences were canceled, smaller music venues closed permanently and many artists delayed planned album releases and tours. There were some positive developments, however. The time off gave artists the opportunity to work on and release new music, virtual performances hit an all-time high, and online platforms like TikTok where tunes are an essential part of making videos thrived. Artists like Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande; Queen and Adam Lambert; and Twenty One Pilots released songs that benefited good causes. Zoom performances and live stream sessions became popular, and it became a major way for fans to stay connected to their favorite musicians. Dua Lipa and BTS saw success with their virtual concerts. In fact, BTS’s record-breaking pay-per-view concert in October sold around 1 million tickets, TIME says. 

There is a light at the end of the tunnel as life starts to get back to normal. Performances are being held in person again including some big music events coming up like Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, and Governors Ball. Artists like Elton John, Lady Gaga, Kiss, Machine Gun Kelly, Maroon 5, and more are starting up tours as well this summer. In 2019, the live music industry was worth over $20 billion, a rich ecosystem of artists, venues, ticket sellers, production companies, vendors, and travel operations, according to TIME. With in-person venues silent for over a year, live streaming and virtual concerts became the default. Even with live performances coming back, online events are not going anywhere. Verzuz, the hip-hop and R&B battles webcast series devised by Timbaland and Swizz Beatz has attracted millions of viewers. Versus was introduced during the pandemic as a virtual DJ battle with the two creators first appearing on an impromptu Instagram Live in March 2020. Each show consists of two challengers in the entertainment industry who compete with their best hit record. The first three Verzuz matches surpassed 1 million views and led to an increase in music sales and online streams. The second season began in November 2020, and in March 2021, Versus was acquired by TikTok competitor Triller. As part of the deal, each of the artists who have appeared so far have received equity. Timbaland says there will be a hybrid of live and digital events in the future, and that’s what others in the music industry believe too. Ian LaPlace, a former venue booker and co-founder and head of talent at First Tube Media, discusses in the same TIME article how he is building a live performance series leading into music festivals that will blend the two. A fan can scan a code at a festival that will give them further access to the artist who is playing while live-streaming the festival can multiply the audience and attract viewers from around the world. 

Streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify have become a popular way to get your music and show no signs of stopping. Revenue in the global music industry last year actually reached its highest level since 2002, partially due to paid-for streaming subscription services like Spotify, Apple Music and Deezer, according to Financial Times. In fact, total revenue increased by 7.4 percent to 21.6 billion in 2020. There’s also Bandcamp, an internet music company that allows artists and labels to upload music and control how they sell it. During the pandemic, the platform started up Bandcamp Fridays, a day when its revenue share on music and merchandise are waived, giving money directly to the artists. 

TikTok continues to play a big part as the music industry bounces back. In 2019, the app saw a shift in trends from memes and trends to music discovery, according to Miami Student. Songs like “Say So” by Doja Cat and “drivers license” by Olivia Rodrigo were consistently used as sound on videos during the pandemic, and it’s a place where both new and old artists can express themselves. TechRadar talks about how TikTok is changing all the rules, and while it can be hard to predict which songs will go viral, older tracks, tracks by unsigned artists and abstract remixes reign supreme according to TikTok’s algorithm. TikTok has also recently announced a string of licensing deals with all three of the major labels — Sony, Warner Music and Universal Music Group. That will mean a new revenue stream for artists, and those who have songs on TikTok should hopefully be properly paid.

The pandemic for all of its tragedy has also forced the music business to innovate and has enabled fans to enjoy music and their favorite artists in new ways, and here’s to seeing it recover completely.

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