Podcasts have exploded in popularity thanks to being easily accessible through streaming platforms like Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and even YouTube.
With millions of potential listeners worldwide, it’s no surprise that enthusiasts pursue podcasts as an outlet for their passions. Many even leverage their shows into new and successful careers.
The key to turning that in your favor? By going from general to specific. Instead of starting with a broad base, delve deep into your area of expertise and quickly grow your audience in your little niche.
Sports is a popular category that can help you make your mark in the industry. But how to start a sports podcast? Let’s dig deep.
Is Sports Podcast Different?
Advancements in technology have made it easy for consumers to access information on a wide range of sport-related topics through various mediums.
While TV and print have made their mark, podcasts have emerged as a top-rated source of information and entertainment.
Podcasts are relatively inexpensive to produce and easy to broadcast, which has paved the way to a potentially viable career that can easily become your main hustle in time.
So, if you believe you’re the next Dan Patrick or Jim Rome, why not explore the world of sports podcasts and become the next big star?
Knowledge You Need
Although the sports podcast industry is quite welcoming to newcomers, it can be challenging for outsiders to truly make an impact – especially if they don’t already have an established following on other social media channels.
So, how do you find success in this niche? Here are some tips.
Start with a Narrow Focus
In 2021, over 116 million people listened to a podcast at least once a month. There is no end to the audience you can capture—all you need to do is center your podcast on the subject you’re genuinely passionate about.
Start with a narrow focus on the niche of your interest.
For example, if you’re interested in all things NBA, start with a small segment instead of talking about it in general. You could talk about:
- Injury updates
- Trade rumors
- Countdown to the new season
- Opinions on your favorite team or conference of interest
- Players from specific states
When you find a niche, summarize your podcast in a sentence or two, which you can use as an intro and a tagline for marketing collateral.
Here’s an example:
“Welcome to NBA Predictions – your go-to podcast for the latest NBA predictions. I’m your host….”
Do Your Research
Whether starting a podcast to interact with other sports enthusiasts around the world or as a stepping stone into the world of professional commentary, producing your show requires top-notch research about your niche.
For example, if you’re talking about predictions or trades, you’ll need to review articles and online commentary about trade rumors and cross-check it with information from official websites.
You will need to confirm accuracy before constructing an episode that highlights the information in a fun and engaging manner.
Luckily, there are a lot of sports websites that can make research a breeze. Always refer to official sources before you echo anything on your podcast.
Build A Good Setup
You must deliver quality episodes to attract and maintain a steady stream of listeners. Invest in a high-quality microphone to record crisp audio that you won’t have to work too hard to edit later on.
There are DIY solutions if you don’t have an isolated space where you can record your podcast. For example, your closet. The clothes in the small area can ensure effective sound absorption, which improves the clarity of your recording.
Create Engaging Content
Creating scripts and recording podcast episodes are challenging enough, but the work doesn’t stop there.
The best way to get the word out about your new show is through effective marketing strategies that will capture your target audience and encourage them to tune in.
Maintain your social media accounts and continuously post content to promote your show.
Use the right hashtags and keywords, and urge your guests to post about your podcast and the episode they’re in. Use branding tactics to pique and retain your listeners’ interest.
Keep it Concise
Choose the right length for your podcast. For example, if you’re simply doing a replay or review of things that happened during the game, a 15 to 20-minute window should suffice.
The bite-size pieces of information will keep your guests entertained and yearning for more without boring them.
But if you’re bringing in guests to discuss a specific topic, it’s best to stretch the timeline to accommodate a deep dive into various opinions and debates that may crop up.
The correct timeline is especially crucial if you’ve booked an expert guest—you must give them the time and space to share their insights with your audience.
And Most Importantly, Be Consistent
Many aspiring podcasters give up when they don’t see the numbers they want. But don’t be so easily discouraged—it will take time to ensure optimal reach and audience retention.
Be prepared to put in the work and be consistent. Set an upload schedule and stick to it so your audience will always know when and where to find you. Plan your content thoroughly so you will not be floundering for topics to cover or marketing tactics to try.
How to Attract Guests
Inviting guests to your podcast is a fantastic promotional strategy, as you can ask them to share the link to your show once it’s published. Fans of your guests will likely tune in to their specific episodes, and if you engage them, they will become regular listeners.
Here’s how you can attract and invite guests to feature in your podcasts:
#1 Build Connections
Invite people you know from the industry, then ask if they can make introductions to others in your niche. Attend industry events to network and build connections. Contact personalities on social media and show them your existing body of work.
#2 Emphasize Your Credibility
In the digital age, it is easier to contact famous personalities directly. When you make your pitch, open with other guests you’ve had on the show to establish your credibility.
Stand out from everything else in their inbox by personalizing your pitch and discussing something they are passionate about.
#3 Link with Writers
Check Google Alerts and ESPN to see who’s been in the news, and keep an eye out for up-and-coming journalists and publishers. They are trusted sources in the sports world who will likely be eager to share their expertise on your show.
#4 Partner with Established Bloggers
When you’ve started building a loyal audience base, link with established bloggers and work out a barter system to help you expand your reach.
Don’t limit the scope of people you can interview on your channel, either. Your guests don’t have to be present in person; you can also connect with them worldwide through platforms like Skype and Zoom.
Promoting Sport-Based Podcasts
Even if you’re making a top-tier, state-of-the-art, entertaining sports podcast, you can’t be sure that people will tune in.
Even podcasters with established followings can experience a slow flow of visitors to their new venture—marketing your show is incredibly important throughout your journey.
Here are two promotional strategies that can work in a snap:
Word-of-mouth advertising is more important and efficient in the digital age than ever.
Your podcast content should exceed what people can get from Google or other sports commentators. And when you engage one person, they can entice their friends and family to tune in as well.
More than half the world’s population uses social media for various purposes, making it one of the most effective marketing tools to promote your sports podcast.
Maintain accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and other platforms to promote each episode and post sneak peeks, announce changes in the upload schedule, and publish engaging, high-value content to expand your audience.
Knowing the basics of how to start a sports podcast will ensure the success of your venture.
You can quickly transform your interest in sports into something tangible—something to share with the world, polish your broadcasting skills, and demonstrate that your voice is worth trusting and listening to.
And when you publish the right content for the right people, it can potentially give you a steady stream of income, too. An excellent incentive to do what you enjoy, wouldn’t you agree?