Purpose & objectives.
The purpose of my project was to research and set up the true crime podcast, For Criming Out Loud. The main objectives for this project were to (1) pick a title & create a podcast logo, (2) research, (3) choose podcast music, (4) set up social media and other website necessities. All four of these objectives create a solid foundation to launch a successful podcast.
Objective 1: Podcast name and logo
The first thing that I focused on was finding a podcast title that fit the vision of what I wanted the podcast to be. Based on this article it’s a good idea to choose a name that matches the tone of your content, that is simple and easy to remember, and that is potentially a play on words. Based on this information and other research, I made a list of potential names.
- Double Take
- Down the Rabbit Hole
- The Paranoid Pair
- Two Peas in a Crime Pod
- Just Wicked
- For Criming Out Loud
From this list, there were a few that were already being used, so we narrowed it down to For Criming Out Loud.
After picking the name, I then moved on to creating the podcast cover art and logo. I drafted a few potential ideas:
After continuing to work on the logo, I decided on the following as the final draft.
Objective 2: Research
The first thing I focused on for this project was researching the best podcast hosting sites. When it comes to podcasting it’s important to have a podcast hosting site that helps you store all of your episodes and manage where your episodes get published. I created the following table to compare the important components of podcast hosting sites.
|Storage Space||Website||Outgoing Bandwidth||Monetization||Analytics||Price|
|Podbean||6 hours/20 episodes||No||15 GB/month||Yes||Basic||Free|
|Anchor||Unlimited||No||Unlimited||Yes||Advanced-right in the dashboard||Free|
|Spreaker||5 hours/10 episodes||No||Unlimited||No||Basic||Free|
|Podomatic||5 hours/500 MB||No||100 GB||No||Basic||Free|
After my research I concluded that Anchor was the best option for our goals. The most important thing I was looking for was low-budget, great analytics, and good storage. I found all of those elements in Anchor.
I did similar research on website hosting sites. I wanted to use WordPress to create the website, so I decided to focus my research on the best WordPress web hosting sites. That narrowed my research to two options: (1) Bluehost, (2) Siteground. I wanted an easy-to-use platform that was cost-friendly. Bluehost was the best option for those elements.
I also did research on understanding rankings on podcast apps like Apple Podcasts and Spotify. This is similar to SEO research. I learned about what boosts rankings and how to get your podcast in front of the most eyes. Social media, searchable podcast episode titles and a catchy name were a few of the things that I found to help boost rankings.
Objective 3: Choose Podcast Music
I then researched the best way to get podcast music. I researched the various options related to obtaining music for our podcast. This article from Riverside said that there were a lot of options including royalty-free music, creative commons music, and public domain music. These all have a variety of copyright rules which can be tricky to nail down. The safe way to do podcast music is to create it yourself.
I found a royalty-free music option that would fit the tone of our podcast.
I also composed a draft that could potentially serve as the base melody for our intro/outro music. Using the melody I composed as a base, I can use Garage band to improve the music.
The podcast intro/outro music will be one of these two options.
Objective 4: Set Everything Up
I started by setting up the podcast on Anchor and registering the podcast through them so that when episodes are recorded then they will be automatically upload to platforms like Apple Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify and others.
I then set up the website domain and web hosting platform, as shown below.
And started designing the home page of the website.
After setting everything up with the website domain, I set up social media accounts for the podcast on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
I also created a social media post to announce that For Criming Out Loud will launch in January.
The biggest challenges I encountered during this project were related to research. Podcasting is such wide and versatile realm which means that narrowing down a source that has all the answers is difficult. Many sources say contradicting things based on their own experiences and agendas. This made it so that the research had to be more in-depth and on a larger scale than I had imagined. I spent more time researching than I had initially imagined that I would.
The second challenge I encountered was that I was working with my sister on bigger, executive decisions. My sister will be hosting the podcast with me when it launches in January and making sure that we were both happy with the direction of each of the objectives of this project was more challenging than I initially thought. My sister and I have very different styles and thought processes. It was a learning experience on compromise.
For each objective I used different processes. When I was trying to pick a podcast title, I used a brainstorming session to generate ideas. My sister and I both participated in this session. We followed the basic best practices of brainstorming sessions by banning criticism, focus on out-of-the-box thinking and keep it short and to the point. We sat down for 30 minutes and focused on the idea to pick a title that was a play on words. By the end of the session we had the list I mentioned in the first section of this post.
When I created the logo I used a design platform called Procreate. To get inspiration for the podcast cover art, I used Pinterest, Dribbble, Behance and Awwwards. Once I had a few ideas up my sleeve I was able to begin drafting various podcast cover art ideas.
When I composed the music draft for the intro/outro music I got inspiration from some royalty-free music sites Pixabay and Free Music Archive. Once I had a feel for the kind of music and style that would fit the tone of vision of the podcast, I wrote out a few melodies using my piano.
When I was researching all of the various elements to put everything together for this project, I made sure to use only reliable sources and to use multiple sources for each concept. When multiple trusted sources are all saying the same thing you know you’re on the right track. In order for this podcast to be truly successful I found the most accurate and helpful information.
It was a useful experience to learn all the different aspects that go into setting up a podcast. Everything from the creative parts of it to the logistical parts of it are useful things that will add knowledge to other aspects of my skills set. Creating a logo is something that I’ve never done before, and it helped me to improve my design skills and use creativity.
My favorite aspects of communications are the design ones, so this project stretched me. I got to use my creativity for creating the podcast title and podcast cover art. I improved my skills, which is very valuable. I also was able to challenge myself and improve my logistical skills like research and marketing.
I also improved my research skills because of how much research I did for this project. Much of this project was spent researching best practices and statistics behind those practices. Just like any other type of communication style, podcasting has its own set of do’s and don’ts for success. My research focussed on those things, and I feel that I gained enough knowledge to launch the For Criming Out Loud podcast in January.
These experiences were valuable and I feel that they will keep on giving, even outside the bounds of this project. As I am graduating this semester, I feel that this project has been a great use of my time and has helped me improve skills that will make me an asset to future employers.
Throughout the course of this project I have gained a few different insights. The first insight I’ve gained is that when you are very invested in the project that you’re working on, you only want the best. My sister and I have been thinking about this project for years now and have wanted to learn the skills required to have a successful podcast. As I worked on this project, I was very invested in making it successful and gaining knowledge that would help give us the best chance at making that happen.
Another insight that I gained is that developing new skills, even if they seem challenging or difficult, is always worth it. Research and marketing have never been my forte when it comes to communication, but they are essential skills in the communications field. This project helped me to develop those skills in a way that was exciting and focused on something I was interested in. Now in the future, the skills I’ve learned throughout this project will continue to improve and help me with other work and projects I take on in the future.