Sociology Podcast 101
In today’s time and era, the mediums for knowledge generation are not limited to text. Multiple pedagogical tools are now emerging in the area of education. One of the most successful examples of this alternative method is the use of an audio-visual medium to teach. With the onset of Covid-19, these mediums gained much popularity, and there was a significant increase in the popularity of podcasts. In this article, we will dwell on the intersection of sociology and podcasts and look at the process of starting and maintaining a sociology podcast.
● What is a Podcast?
A Podcast is an audio-based mode of communication. It consists of episodes that are dedicated to a specific topic or theme. Today, many streaming apps and platforms, such as Netflix, Audible, etc., showcase podcasts. It can be accessed through laptops, computers, and phones as well at the convenience of the listeners.
● How to start a Podcast?
Starting a podcast is not easy, but it is also not impossible. Any sociologist can create their own podcast channel with some prior planning, hard work, and dedication. However, one should note that it consists of many steps for one to launch a podcast. Let us see what these steps are.
1. Form your Brand
Thousands of podcasts exist out there. It is therefore imperative to make your podcast unique and attention-grabbing. The first step is to finalize your podcast’s topic or theme. Since it is going to be a sociological podcast, you have a wide array of options to select from. This can be both an enjoyable as well as a daunting task, but it is a crucial one. Many themes, such as sociological perspective, philosophers, applied sociology, etc., can be taken up as interesting final themes.
Stating an example makes things easier to understand. For this article, we will be using a running example, ensuring that things are more comprehensive.
The theme for a sociology podcast could be: Analyzing Popular Culture through Sociological Imagination.
2. It’s All in the name
The uniqueness of your podcast would also be dependent on its name. A generic name would not stand out to the audience. Therefore, a quirky, trendy name selection is the way to go when choosing your podcast’s name. Decide on a name that reflects your content in a broad range so that it attracts as many people as possible. The name of the podcast will leave the first impression in the minds of the consumers.
For example, we can blend the name Sociology+Podcast= SocioCast!
3. The Plan
The planning stage is a significant step without which a podcast cannot be launched. There is a need for planning from the start till the end of podcast production. However, the most essential form of planning will be required for two significant sections: the episode content and the intro/conclusion selection. Every podcast consists of episodes. For your podcast, you will have to select the number of episodes, the length of one episode, and the content of the episode. Secondly, the introductory and the concluding segment of a podcast should be impactful. Music can be accommodated in your podcast as well, according to your taste and convenience.
Planning cannot be done without research. Do not get lazy on your podcast. The integrity of any podcast is its truth. If you run a podcast without background research and fact-checks, sooner than later, it will collapse. The audience is intelligent and has access to the same resources as you. Thus, never back down on research. Make sure that whatever content you prepare is original and backed up by trustworthy sources.
For example, for SocioCast, every episode can be 60 minutes long. In each episode, one popular cultural reference (such as music, movie, book, etc.) will be sociologically analyzed. The first 10 mins will be divided into 20 seconds of introduction music, 2 minutes of the SocioCast, and 7 minutes for the day’s topic’s introduction. Similarly, the last 10 minutes will be used for 8 minutes of topical conclusion, 30 seconds of thanking the listeners, and 30 seconds for conclusion music.
4. Prepare it beforehand
One of the most common mistakes that a newcomer podcaster can make is recording an episode without prior practice and content. Although a podcast is just a conversation between you and the mic (most of the time), it does not mean you do it unprepared. It is best if all the content for the episode is prepared beforehand, such as the final topic, analysis, examples, and concluding comments. Having this mindmap with you will help you record a more precise and informative episode.
For example, the SocioCast episode 1 can be an episode where you tell the listeners why they should follow your podcast. Thus, before recording, make a plan so that the content informs the listeners about the X factor of your podcast. Make a bullet list for your episode with a flow including answers for the following key points: welcome to SocioCast, your introduction, why you started this podcast, what listeners should expect, and how your episodes will be divided.
5. Equipment Selection
The right and quality led equipment are absolutely necessary for good podcast production. Since it depends only on the speaker’s voice, the microphone and equipment quality should be immaculate. Invest in some good gear to excel in your podcast journey. Some of the mics that you can check as a beginner can be:
➔ Shure MV7 podcast microphone
➔ JBL Commercial CSUM 10 microphone
6. Start Recording!
Now that you are all set, it is time for the most exciting task! Start recording your content. Sociology Group recommends that it is always best to pre-record some podcast episodes so that even if you miss the scheduled recording, you can launch the episode on time for the listeners. Thus, whenever you sit to record your episode, it is best that you record a minimum of two episodes in one go. Also, note that recording is not the only step. After you record, you have to edit and refine your podcast for the best results.
Editing is undoubtedly not easy to do. You can refer to the following links:
7. Upload the Podcast
You are all set now to upload your podcast on a platform where you gain listeners. There are many sites and apps that allow you to upload your podcast. Some of the most popular are Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Castbox, Google Podcast, etc. Choose the platform that best suits your podcast content and listenership demography. Do not fret if you gain fewer listeners in the initial months. Popularizing a podcast is a slow journey, but it is absolutely worthwhile. The primary motivation should come from you sharing your sociological interests and knowledge with the greater world.
If you don’t know how to upload your podcast on platforms, here are some links that can help you through the process:
➔ On Apple
8. Advertise your Podcast
The key is to advertise as much as possible to gain more listeners and subscribers. Do not stay limited to your podcast platform. Go beyond and explore the extensive web of the internet. You can open multiple pages for your podcast on different social media apps such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, etc. so that people get to know about it. The more you advertise it, the more popularity it will gain. It is easier to gain listeners when multiple platforms for your podcast exist.
For example, you can start an Instagram page and a Snapchat page for SocioCast, uploading small but worthwhile snapshots and sneak peeks into the podcast episodes.
Hey! You know all about beginning a sociology podcast. It is time that you take your sociological intelligence beyond textbooks and articles. Finding a new medium to express your knowledge is right in front of you and super accessible. So, what are you waiting for?