7 Steps to Start Your Gaming Podcast in 2020
Are you passionate about Gaming? Well, what about being the host of your Gaming show?
Podcasts aren’t something new. Gaming podcasts aren’t either.
And if you have heard any recently, you might have told yourself: “I can do this.”
I’m sure you can. So, here you go, 7 steps you need to go through to make it happen.
But first, let’s get right into the reasons why you should start a gaming podcast in 2020.
Should You Start a Gaming Podcast in 2020, or Is it too Late?
It’s NOT late to start a gaming podcast.
Just to put you in context, over 10 million blog posts are uploaded every single day to the World Wide Web. Still, hundreds of new blogs are being created non-stop.
Podcasts have been trending for a while, but it will take over a decade to become oversaturated.
Reasons to start this gaming podcast? Plenty.
- Get well-known in the industry: Build connections with influential authorities in your Niche, Invite them as Guests, and get in front of their audience.
- Low-barrier Entry: You don’t need expensive equipment (hardware) or digital tools (software) to make this happen. You can start with some basics I’ll mention today, and consider scaling once you see wanted results.
- Low Competition: Podcasters have less competition than other types of Content Creators, so you’ll start with an immediate advantage.
- Low Difficulty: Recording a podcast is easier than producing a video. Editing the audio quality, minimizing noise, and trimming the parts you don’t like is all it takes.
So far, I think we both agree that starting your gaming podcast seems better than what was thought. Now, join me in this 7-steps ladder.
Step #1 – Ideas
You know the reasons why starting a gaming podcast is good. But what are your reasons to navigate this project?
Think about these two things very thoroughly:
- What is the End Goal you would like to achieve? (Experience, Subscribers, Authority, Job Opportunities, Clients).
- What is the Process going to look like?
2-1) On what sub-niche of Gaming are you?
2-2) What will differentiate you from the rest of that sub-niche?
2-3) What topics and activities will get Interviewed, and Listeners hooked?
While the goal may change over time, the process should be as clear as water.
Be water, my friend.
I highly recommend you stay specific on what you choose.
Imagine finding and tuning into a Podcast episode of someone who talks about the latest gaming RPG news, and then uploads a Racing game review the next day. Then Interviews a Game Developer, and uploads Gameplays RTS and First-Person Shooters the rest of the week.
Yes, we humans don’t like this box of surprises. Believe it or not, we don’t want to have too many options available. Instead, we like to know what we’re getting for each day and time.
So why else do TV Networks show the same cartoons at the same hour, all the time?
Funny enough, isn’t the contrary what the majority of podcasters do?
From now on, you have the opportunity to start doing things differently. Correctly.
Once you know who your audience is and what do they want to hear, it’s time to brainstorm and pick a name that goes along. It should be simple, memorable, and original.
For the name, you can either play with the words of the genre you’ll talk about or a term that describes your (and your partner’s) primary value.
And yes, having at least one co-host will make the discussion more exciting.
Finally, who said Audio has to be the only format here? Video podcasts which first record the video and extract the audio to be later posted independently get a higher engagement rate.
You can get inspiration from popular Podcasts that use both formats:
- Game Scoop!: One of IGN’s main shows, GS! excels for how these four press all the relevant news of the week into each episode.
- Kotaku Splitscreen: “The only Podcast that had self-quarantined before it was cool.” The team from the US discuss upcoming and latest releases, with quality excitement.
- What’s Good Games: Andrea, Britney, and Kristine share insightful gaming news supported by 30 years of experience combined.
- How Did This Get Played: Focused on the worst and weirdest game releases.
- Giant Bombcast: This video game show has the privilege of mixing a bit of everything, in a fun, straightforward manner.
- GI Podcast: Professionals with careers in the Gaming Industry will take a lot of valuable analysis from this show (hosted by GamesIndustry.biz).
- Retronauts: As its name indicates, they go past time and back to bring us comforting nostalgia.
- Videogame Dads & Spawnpoint: The first one is about three dads that talk about “gaming, fatherhood, and everything in between.” The second, from Keza MacDonald, is the perfect place for tired parents to talk about gaming, life, and family.
- Gamertag Radio: As one of the longest-running gaming talk shows (on air since 2005), it has over 1,000 knowledgeable episodes to hook in.
- Triple Click: Launched recently (April 2020), they observe in a wide range all the culture that surrounds gaming.
Every one of them has found success in their way. But observing deeply, you’ll discover how they share several points mentioned above.
Do what feels right to you, and continue with the next step once you’re ready to go!
Step #2 – Equipment to Start a Gaming Podcast
The minimum you need to record a quality podcast is a mic, computer, and editing software.
How much does it cost to start a gaming podcast? It depends, but not too much.
You could bootstrap this new project with $100, or even less.
Don’t worry. You won’t have to break the piggy bank to afford sounding like an expert.
Cheap mics don’t translate to cheap sound. The other way around: The Blue Yeti and Blue Microphones Snowball iCE deliver outstanding quality for an impressively low cost.
Just take into account that the one you’ll pick varies mostly on doing it alone (cardioid mics are for you) or if you want to record sounds with co-hosts (bi-directional mic then).
Omnidirectional microphones are those who can record sound from all directions, with the best quality possible.
Or, you can kill two birds with one shot by going for a solution like the Behringer Podcastudio. USB/Audio Interface, mixer, headphones, and mic in one bundle.
Now, you already have a computer. And the free software I’ll mention below has ridiculously low Minimum Requirements, so there’s no reason to worry.
Yes, I’m serious. You don’t even have to worry about paying for a new computer of recording/editing software.
GarageBand is a popular choice for Mac users. Even if its name screams “music production,” it’s not only for that.
Although the most popular Free option I know is Audacity. Don’t let its outdated look fool you. This audio-recorder and editor is among the best there is for Windows and Mac.
Here’s an in-depth tutorial on Audacity (by Pat Flynn):
After this step, the most technical part would be all set.
Are you excited!?
Step #3 – Plans and Scripts
I’m excited for you to start this gaming podcast.
That’s why we should take some time to research the previous, current, and following steps.
You’re now the host, producer, and promoter of the show.
Planning will stick you on a schedule for your daily or bi-weekly, or monthly episodes.
“By Failing to Prepare, you are Preparing to Fail.” – Benjamin Franklin.
And this is especially important for your episode’s scripts. Remember, you’re sharing your thoughts with an audience, but time is limited.
Can you imagine how messy it would be to talk about a game with no track whatsoever?
10-minutes of a show can quickly become +60 minutes this way. Bullet points are your best friends. They will keep you focused and relaxed throughout the process.
And about the 10-minutes, that’s just a reference. The length will depend entirely on how much content you want to get into every episode, and how comfortable you feel doing it.
Keep it around the 30-minutes mark. But don’t fill it with bluff to reach that.
There are so many other options available to be entertained. More than ten top-rated podcasts to listen to. Why would someone prefer listening to yours instead?
Because you have great hosts and guests talking with you. Right?
Step #4 – Hosts and Guests
Without a doubt, talking for 30-minutes straight might be challenging, to begin with.
Ease and fun will come if a co-host is with you, making conversations more relaxed and less monotone.
What should you look for in a podcast host/co-host?
- Is he/she even interested in the topics?
- Does he/she have experience and knowledge on the subject topic?
- You two get along? Is there chat chemistry?
- Is he/she responsible?
- Is he/she capable of helping with something else besides recording?
If you’ll spend most time a good portion of this project talking with people, better to be those you enjoy talking to.
Are you starting? Be as flexible as possible and try everyone with respect (this applies to everyone). It’s not only about the results, but to enjoy the process.
Being said, the other half of the time you’ll spend on this project will be recording, editing, and promoting.
Step #5 – Recording
Everything seems more manageable than expected.
Still, put everything in practice with one or two episodes before uploading the pilot.
Have your computer handy with the browser open to check useful facts.
… And just, do it!
I’m sure that the Stage Fear will appear even if there’s no literal stage there. And there’s little I can say for you to overcome it.
Only that you have everything needed, and you’re good enough to do this.
Step #6 – Editing
Do you see it? That wasn’t that bad!
And if you feel it was, it should make you feel good that even the most popular podcasts (gaming and general) also have awkward silences, pauses, and “umm” moments.
It’s just that they chop and clean enough to make the episode sound professional.
But don’t go beyond and try to make it “perfect.” The task of editing each episode shouldn’t take you entire days.
Fortunately for you, there are tools for speech-to-text transcriptions (save time and help with SEO) and Audiograms (convert audio files into shareable mp4 videos).
Now that we got to the shareable part… Let’s see how we publish this beautiful creation.
Step #7 – Publish! (Marketing & Advertising)
The first episode of your Gaming Podcast is ready.
How can you start getting torrents of listeners and millions of downloads?
Hold your horses.
The first thing to do now is finding a podcast hosting (platform).
Here’s where things must stay clear. There’s a difference between hosts and directories.
Podcast hosting services tend to cost between $5 and $15 for 100MB to 250MB of storage.
Instead, directories or RSS feeds tend to not charge for uploading our episodes to lists.
These are the best known:
Once your episodes are up and loaded in the Cloud, you need to get people on it.
You can either…
- Promote it with Social Media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter).
- Convert the Audio to Video format and upload it to your Blog.
- Convert the Audio to Video format and upload it to YouTube and Twitch.
- Show it in front of thousands rapidly with Ad platforms and redirect to other channels.
- Network with your Audience and other experts in the Niche.
- All of the previous, combined!
There are so many ways you can get people listening to your show.
But Marketing and Advertising is a topic for another day.
In the meantime…
These are the 7-steps you should think of doing when just starting your gaming podcast.
I would highly recommend you not to hold it and leave it aside if you have something to tell.
Maybe not with one single episode, but with time and consistency, you will get better… And won’t regret trying.
The same as you won’t regret registering your G1 profile to discover or get discovered by other gamers and investors that are willing to support your career.
Featured image – photo credits James McKinven on Unsplash
Esports Marketer. Marco is the Founder of DFY Gaming. He types for a living but writes awfully on pen and paper.