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Top 10 Tips on Starting Your Sports Podcast

The way that people get their entertainment is too far and wide now to even begin to try and put it under a single label. Thanks to streaming services, catch-up television, and a new boom in Hollywood movies, regardless of how people want to be entertained by something, there is a means for everyone.

One source of entertainment on the rise that may surprise people is podcasting. In 2021, it was revealed that over 55% of the population have listened to a podcast, and over 155 million people listen to podcasts every week. Not only are they an incredibly accessible source of entertainment, it’s also easy for people to get involved and start making their own. All they need is a microphone, laptop, a topic they’re passionate about, and a voice to discuss that passion. It is for these reasons that sports podcasts have become more and more popular in recent years.

With a lot of competition out there, it is only prevalent that you may be wondering how your podcast can stand out amongst the rest. Well, to help, here is a list of the top 10 tips to take in when starting your sports podcast.

1. Don’t Cover Too Wide a Topic

As previously stated, podcasting has become extremely popular, meaning if you are an NBA fan and create a podcast as such, it will be impossible to stand out amongst the competition. Decide what you are most passionate about and do your podcast surrounding a niche in that topic.

2. Do Your Research

A lot of people, when making a sporting podcast, see it as a potential gateway into professional sports commentary. If this is you, you need to ensure you are treating your podcast the same way you would treat a professional commentary job. This means not being afraid to dive headfirst into research on whichever topic you will be talking about.

If you are discussing sporting predications, then review articles and commentaries by professionals, such as this article published to NashvilleGab, that talks in-depth about the predictions for the Premier League in 2020 – 2021. There are lots of other helpful websites that surround researching sport too. Make it a habit to check on these sites before every recording so you can be fully up to date on any recent news.

3. Word of Mouth Exists, So Give People Something to Talk About

Though there are arguments to make surrounding the promotion of podcasts by using paid advertising or creating SEO-optimized content, word of mouth is also an incredibly effective marketing tool. With that in mind, you need to make sure that you are giving people something to talk about.

Make sure that you are consistently publishing engaging and unique content that people can’t get anywhere else. Of course, you can talk about the sport you love and do so in a way that is entertaining and will entice people to listen to you over the competition.  

4. Invest in a Good Mic

The quality of the recording of a podcast plays a huge part when listeners are deciding whether they would like to return or not. One of the most basic ways to ensure the recording of your podcast is high quality is to invest in a good microphone. These vary in price, and whichever is best for you will depend on where you are recording and who you are recording with.

5. Record in an Isolated Space

If you are recording in a busy or sparse area, background noise or a droning echo may well be picked up in the recording. This is another factor that will play a part in ensuring audiences don’t return. To improve your sound quality, record in an isolated space. A helpful tip if you’re doing the podcast alone is to record it from your closet, as the clothes in there make for very effective sound absorption.

6. Choose Your Length Well

Decide what your podcast is about and choose how long you think you need to go over that subject. If you are simply relaying facts and would like to use this as a demo to send to sportscasters, it doesn’t need to be any longer than 15 minutes. If your podcast is much more conversational and has a team with it and guests interviewed, then you will need more time to fit everything in.

7. Don’t Be Afraid to Interview People

By interviewing people and having multiple voices on the podcast, you are keeping your content more engaging. Interviewing can also act as a promotion for the podcast as you can ask the person interviewed to share it once published.

One of the (very few) positive things to come out of covid was the increased reliance on interviews over Skype and Zoom. Though there is debate on whether this will remain in place, there is no doubt that everyone now has the technology to speak online, and so the people you can interview have opened up worldwide.

8. Consistency is Key

One of the most effective ways to ensure audience retention is to remain consistent with when you put out podcasts. Most professional podcasts air at least once a week, and so it’s recommended you do the same. If you upload sporadically and with no set schedule, less people will likely tune in.

9. Promote Your Podcast

As social media becomes one of the most popular marketing tools used by businesses today, it is an incredibly effective way to promote your podcast. Use popular platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, and LinkedIn to let the world know about what you’ve recorded every time you publish a new episode.

10. Don’t Podcast as A Means of Income

Podcasting is great fun and an incredibly effective way for you to actively create something to show the world; however, you should not go into it thinking of it as a means to make money. Even some of the biggest celebrities who run podcasts make very little in the way of payment. Use podcasting as a way to polish your broadcasting skills, talk about your hobby and build on your personal brand. Then any money that you make alongside those three things is a bonus.

Some Podcasts to Listen To

Arguably, the process of making a good podcast and becoming confident in the work that you are putting out is a process of trial and error. Very few people are natural broadcasters and interviewers; this is something they learn after putting in the work, so don’t worry too much if you don’t pick it up right away.

If you would like to hear some examples of sports podcasts where it’s done right, then check out some provided in the list below.

  • The Simms and Lefkoe Podcast

Sports talk on a grand scale, Simms and Lefkoe are podcasting pros. Their podcast discusses NFL and brings listeners interviews with players and coaches alike.

  • Baseball Tonight

The clue is in the title. Baseball Tonight, the long-running TV program on ESPN, now has its own podcast that is hosted by Buster Olney.

  • The Grantland NFL Podcast

Despite losing the show’s leader Bill Simmons, The Grantland NFL Podcasts continues to bring its listeners great quality content.

  • The Steve Austin Show – Unleashed!

If you don’t mind your podcasts being a bit grittier, this NSFW show hosted by one of the greatest wrestlers to ever enter the ring could be for you. Steve has a very carefree style that anyone who wants to be able to podcast like a pro could do to learn from.

  • The Lowe Post

Zach Lowe hosts this podcast that discusses all things NBA. It provides a great bit of escapism for NBA fans and has become a go-to listen for anyone passionate about basketball.

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