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Podcast your voice

Podcast your voice

Social work professor Jonathan Singer shares his secrets to developing a successful podcast

By Lauren Krause

Podcasting is Jonathan Singer’s passion. Podcasts, Singer explains, allow a storyteller to express themselves outside the parameters of a traditional print format. Tone of voice, inflection, use of music, or absence of background noise are all ways to emphasize points. “The experience of audio only versus video is that we naturally create images in our mind about what the person is talking about,” said Singer, an associate professor in the School of Social Work and the voice behind the popular Social Work Podcast. “It’s an experience of co-creation.” 

Here are Singer's tips for starting a successful podcast:

1. Figure out what you want to say and who you want to say it to. Start with a large-reaching interest and narrow it further to reflect what you want to say. Subjects can range from topical to archival depending on your goals. 

2. Determine how to reach your audience. “Social media is key to this world,” said Singer. “Start social accounts for your podcast to get the word out and use new or existing hashtags.” Listeners will also want to know when to expect your episodes, so be predictable and clear. Resources like Podtrack, which offers free analytics and paid advertising, can help with audience identification.

3. Get good audio, learn how to edit, and learn how to publish. “Today’s phones have great audio; you could use a phone today to record if you don’t want to purchase costly audio tools,” said Singer. But he advises against interviewing and recording entirely over the phone, except for small clips, and suggests investing in a good headset microphone for remote interviews.

Check out Singer's podcast at socialworkpodcast.blogspot.com

Illustration by Dan Page