For the average DJ, navigating the world of social media can be a major challenge. While some successful DJs seem to have mastered social media, for many new and developing DJs, social media can yield disappointing results, and often feels like a waste of time. The problem for many DJs is that they’re focusing their energies in the wrong places; while we all dream of having tens of thousands of Facebook and Twitter followers, we often neglect the other more direct mediums that will actually help us grow our fanbase more. Starting your own DJ podcast is one of the best ways to gain followers and get more gigs, and it doesn’t involve hours of tweeting and posting selfies. Here’s how it works:
Why You Should Have a DJ Podcast
Sure, we’d all love to be invited to host a residency on BBC Radio 1 like Flying Lotus or James Blake, but that’s an opportunity that comes only to the most successful DJs at the top of their careers. The good news is that you can basically create your own radio residency by starting a DJ podcast. Hosting a DJ podcast allows you to grow your fanbase online, reach out to bookers and agents beyond your hometown, and develop your DJ skills by performing on a regular basis.
How Does a DJ Podcast Work?
If you have a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) and are even roughly familiar with how it works, or if you have a portable recording device that you can record your mixes onto like the Zoom H4N, you have all the tools and skills you need to make a DJ podcast. As most DJ podcasts are focused on music, most of the process of making the podcast will involve recording your mixes onto your DAW of choice. In addition, some DJs may wish to include other segments like voiceover narration, interviews with other DJs, or even advertisements. All you need to add a voiceover segment to your podcast is a microphone and a USB recording interface, or if you want to make things even simpler, a USB microphone like the Audio Technica AT2020 USB that plugs straight into one of the USB ports on your computer. Alternately, if you’re recording straight onto a device like the H4N, you just need to set up a microphone on your DJ rig and you’re good to go. The only drawback with this method is that it gives you less opportunity to go back and edit things later, so you need to make sure you get everything right the first time as you’re making the recording.
Refining Your Concept
Many DJs these days already have their own podcasts, so if you want to get noticed, it won’t be enough to simply record some generic DJ mixes and put them out online. Just like with a DJ blog, refining your concept to focus on a specific niche is the best way to build a consistent following. So rather than simply calling your podcast The Mixtape Podcast or something generic like that, focus in on a specific style of music or a particular music scene. Your podcast doesn’t have to be all music either. You can develop even more of a niche by focusing on interviews with other DJs, for example, or talking about summer festivals.
Once you’ve got your first few podcasts recorded and ready to go, it’s time to distribute them on platforms like Soundcloud, Mixcloud, and iTunes. The distribution process can be a challenge to wrap your head around, especially when it comes to iTunes, so we’ll be devoting a whole other blog post to that topic in the next few weeks. For now, if you want to get started in the podcasting world, start by recording a few episodes and brushing up on your mixing skills with our video lesson series on DJ tricks.