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Tips on Copywriting Podcasts

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 4/28/2011

Here are some tips on copywriting podcasts for your own recording.

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    Podcast Scripts

    Music Babylon, Royalty Free Images from www.sxc.hu When you are copywriting podcasts you have a unique mix ahead of you because it is the unity of more traditional talk radio writing with the new expectations and delivery that comes along with the new podcast production. In this way, copywriting podcasts actually requires that you have a pretty clear sense of who your audience is and what it takes to cohesively create an audio focused monologue. This goes beyond traditional scripting because podcast production and distribution happens on a very consistent basis and it requires keeping people's interest in a way that can be difficult for your average listener. Here are a few tips on how to create great podcast scripts for your own talk podcast production.

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    Visual Language

    One of the important things to do when copywriting podcasts is to try and reach out beyond the medium. This may seem a little complicated, but it is what most forms of media try to do. Video is a two dimensional medium, but techniques are used to give it a three dimensional space. In your audio you want to move beyond the fact that you are simply playing a recording of people talking by using your language to paint a clear picture. When you are copywriting your podcast try to bring in a lot of visual scenarios that require description, allowing the language to become rich and involved so that the audience can visualize and keep their attention drawn in to your podcast production.

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    Topic

    Radio shows and podcasts alike are fairly topical, and podcasts are especially so since they tend to be very focused on something specific and are not as broad as radio. When you are copywriting podcasts for a specific day you should draw out a few stories, ideas, or topics that are specific to your individual show so that you have a thread to draw it through.Microphone, Royalty Free Image from www.sxc.hu 

    The nature of this is going to be very dependent on the format that your podcast takes in general. For example, if this is the podcast of a filmmaker or musician then it is likely going to be something that happened in their life or a news story that is relevant to their perspective and work. If it is a podcast on comic books then it may be on a specific artist, character, event, or storyline. This does not need to be the whole of the discussion, but should be something that is introduced in the opening monologue and then returned to throughout the podcast production.

    If you have a guest, it is best if they are around the topic, but since these are often chosen shortly before the recording and when you write the podcast script, you may have to improvise. Either way, if you have a guest it is important to continue the commitment to the topic by discussing it with them. You should not, however, remain focused on the topic if the guest is not contributing. This can always be edited out in the audio mixing program that you are using, such as Pro Tools.

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    Conversations

    An audio podcast is often invited onto a person's computer or iPod because they have sought it out explicitly. This is not necessarily the case with radio that they may stumble upon, but instead a person usually subscribes to a podcast production so that they will return to it on a regular basis. To keep a person around you will need more than just a platform that interests them. Instead, you are really going to want to use conversational language that is directed right at your audience and makes them feel involved. Impersonal monologues will not keep a listener engaged over multiple listens, and instead you need to focus in on empathy with situations they may be interested in, the presentation of problems and solutions, and way to make the audience feel as though they really were engaged and bettered because of listening. The copywriting then needs to reflect how this language is to be spoken out loud, but ahead of time the structure outlining a general 'conversation with the audience' is going to be key.

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    References

    Four Copywriting Techniques for Engaging Podcasts and Audio Presentations, http://www.copyblogger.com/audio-copywriting

    How to Plan Your Podcast, http://www.voices.com/podcasting/plan-your-podcast.html

    Photo credits: Royalty free images from www.sxc.hu