DEV Community

Alex
Alex

Posted on • Updated on • Originally published at blog.openpodcast.xyz

How To Host A Podcast By Yourself

Some people that want to start a podcast feel they need a co-host or to interview someone to start one. When they cannot find someone they give up. There is no need for a co-host or interviewee but a solo host needs to prepare more before recording. To be a successful solo host a potential host needs to choose a format for a podcast. While there are some advantages to having a solo podcast. There is an opportunity cost that comes along with the solo podcast.

Formats To Use

Listener Questions
One format a host can use to create content for a podcast is to gather listener questions to answer on the podcast. A host can gather questions from their listeners with a survey. A host can gather questions using social media. Giving a link to the podcast and mentioning the answers will be on the podcast.Soon, listeners will email questions for the podcast.

Review Other Content
Another format for a host is reviewing other content. A host can review content related to their industry and then give their take on the content. For example, a writer can summarize books during a podcast and give their opinion about the book.

Create A Format
A host can create their own method of presenting information to a listener. For The Building an Indie Business podcast I created my own format that is “State, Reason, Example.” For the format I state my claim, I give my reasons why I made that claim, and then I give an example of my claim. One episode I stated that “I get ideas for episodes while I work. An episode that resulted from work was the "Vanilla JS dark mode" episode. I got the idea for the episode after adding dark mode to my website

Benefits Of Solo Podcasting

Less Equipment
When a host is recording alone there is less equipment and software involved in the process. With less equipment or software less of a chance of an error happening during recording.

Can Record At Any Time
When interviewing someone the time to record needs to line up with the guest’s and the host’s schedule. This may take some time or one person involved has to make some sacrifices. A solo host can record any time without constraints. Subtracting a barrier from the content creation process.

Easy Way To Get Started
By podcasting solo a host test the waters for podcasting. On a solo podcast, a host has total creative control and has the liberty to experiment with the podcast. Doing a podcast with a guest or co-host can limit creative control. If a solo host records a few episodes and decides podcasting is not for them there is no harm done. If the host wants to change anything such as the format or flow of the podcast they make changes.

No Searching
When a host interviews guests the host must spend time searching for guests. By hosting a solo podcast a host can focus more on content. Sometimes the amount of time between recording will change. For one episode a host might have 2 weeks to prepare. In the next episode, a host has three days to prepare because they had trouble finding a guest. The amount of preparation time impacts the quality of the podcast. If a host has more time to prepare the host will create better questions to ask. Increasing the quality of the podcast. This is not an issue for solo podcasts.

Disadvantages Of Solo Podcasting

Hard To Grow Passed Host’s Network
Having guests is one method to grow an audience. A new audience discovers the podcast when a guest promotes their appearance. Being introduced to a guest’s audience exposes a host’s content to people that would not have found it. When podcasting solo only people in the host’s network and people that see the posts know about the podcast. For a solo podcast host finding new listeners beyond their network takes time. Continuous guests would make growing an audience easier. New people would find the podcast with every guest.

Only Source Of Content
When having a guest on a podcast the host can rely on the guest to create content for them. Being the only person on the podcast means being the only source of content. If the host is having a bad day when recording the content will suffer and the audience will notice. If the podcast quality continues to go down some people might stop listening.
Benefits of interviewing

Expanding The Host’s Network
Having guests on a podcast is one method to grow a host’s network. Which is a missed opportunity for hosts. Although, listeners will reach out and a host can grow their network with listeners.

Accountability
When hosting a podcast alone there may be a day when a host needs to record but does not want to. Having a guest or co-host creates a sense of responsibility. A host does not want to waste the guest or co-host's time by having to reschedule.
Comedians
Many comedians host a podcast. A comedian's podcast gives fans an opportunity to connect with the comedian. The comedian creates another source of income for themselves.

Conclusion

The most important factor for any podcast is the value a listener receives. For a podcast to have value the content needs to educate or entertain the listener. To be clear, there is nothing wrong with having a co-host or doing interviews. Not having access to them should not stop someone from starting a podcast.

--

This post is an excerpt from the Open Podcast Community book. Which is available for purchase here.

For updates on the Open Podcast Community or the book, sign up for the newsletter

Discussion (2)

Collapse
vdedodev profile image
Vincent Dedo

I'm a bit late to the party, but I'm planning on starting a podcast which will be mostly solo and this has helped me.

Collapse
supremerumham profile image
Alex Author

Oh awesome! I'm glad my writing helped!