underscored podcast like a boss lead
CNN  — 

The pervasive idea has crossed nearly everyone’s mind at some point: I should start a podcast.

Our tendency to record our thoughts and ideas goes beyond the internet, but when it comes to podcasting, it pays to know what you’re doing. That’s where “Podcast Like a Boss” comes in, which is a course taught by successful podcasters about creating and nurturing your own podcast.

This $59.99 course contains seven modules that concentrate on the vital steps to create a podcast, from start to finish. These lessons are presented as narrated videos with slides and an accompanying workbook.

During our hands-on with this course, it quickly became clear that these instructors knew what they were talking about. We found plenty of concrete examples and recommendations, as well as honest advice gleaned from the instructors’ experiences.

If you have any interest in starting a podcast, but don’t know where to start, keep reading to see how our hands-on went.

Here’s how these courses work

The instructors (Kathleen Shannon, Emily Thompson, Paul Jarvis and Jason Zook) have plenty of experience creating and managing podcasts. Throughout each module they share conceptual lessons, such as accepting that not everyone will enjoy your work. They also go over numerous concrete lessons, including recommendations on recording tech and software, as well as which platforms to host your recordings.

If you’re deep into your podcasting career, it’s worth listening for techniques you may have overlooked. And, of course, if you’re set to begin, this course is a treasure trove.

Best of all, once you own “Podcast Like a Boss,” it’s yours for life. You can access it anywhere you have internet access, any time of the day and listen to the modules in any order you want. Alternatively, you can actually download the entire course’s contents for offline use.

Branding and content

The early modules in this course focus on determining the kind of content and voice you wish to present. The instructors emphasize being yourself — concentrate on attracting listeners that will enjoy your content and don’t worry as much when it doesn’t appeal to absolutely everyone.

The instructors also cover branding, or methods that’ll help you promote your podcast. One activity we found valuable in this section involved the instructors analyzing the efficacy of various podcast names.

They move on to content creation, starting with basics such as if you’ll incorporate guests and/or co-hosts. Of course, they provide tips on coming up with what kind of content you’ll actually produce.

The instructors also introduce the “Road Runner Rules,” a series of principles to stick by as you plan and create content. For example, come up with a question you can regularly ask yourself to make sure your content is on track.

Gear and automation

Hardware and software is key to any podcast, but the instructors assure us we don’t have to break the bank. They provide a plethora of examples of affordable gear (as well as more high-end tech), from various microphones to free software like Audacity.

Later on, we watched a full walkthrough from recording audio to editing to exporting a project using the software they recommend. We appreciated this, as it helps learners who might otherwise be intimidated by software they’ve never used.

In terms of automation, the instructors cover two basic principles: regularly produce content and automate the uploading process. This simply requires you to create a schedule and stick to it (we were provided with thorough examples of how this might look). And use services like Zapier to automatically share episodes, create Wordpress posts and more. A second short video is included to explainZapier’s interface.

Launching, growing and monetization

underscored podcast in-line

Interestingly, before covering nurturing and monetizing your podcast, the instructors return for prelaunch instructions. It all ties in, though, as they recommend marketing yourself right out of the gate.

They use an acronym they created just for this course: GEM. You should:

  • Grab the audience’s attention.
  • Explain the value of your podcast.
  • Make them take some action.

Taking action includes supplying an email to send them updates before and after your podcast launches. Plan your marketing and build a social media presence before you begin so that things go smoothly.

We were treated to tips on building a following and, finally, monetization methods.

The instructors place great emphasis on audience interaction — instruct your audience to, say, write reviews of your podcast on iTunes. And on your episodes, you can read their reviews and comments to build that relationship.

It’s just as important to provide a place for your audience to interact with each other, too. Plus, surveying your audience is a great way to find out who is listening and what they want. Just remember, those filling out surveys will tend to be your biggest fans.

There are eight different techniques of monetization. To maximize efficacy, the instructor emphasizes using all eight methods simultaneously. For example, affiliate your podcast with products or services. Just be sure to keep things totally transparent. And make sure you are affiliating yourself with something you genuinely enjoy (aka, don’t be a shill).

Bottom line

There’s so much to learn from “Podcast Like a Boss,” and the instructors are clearly teaching from experience. Whether you don’t have a clue where to begin, or you’ve been podcasting for some time, there’s plenty of knowledge to be gained. And that is backed up by realistic examples that the instructors employ. Plus, you can learn it at your own pace, online or off.

So don’t sell yourself short, your own podcast is more than achievable. And with the tips and resources in “Podcast Like a Boss” ($59.99; stacksocial.com), you’ll have a serious leg up.

Note: The prices above reflect the retailer’s listed price at the time of publication.