THE host of a podcast ranked as one of the top three business shows by iTunes has launched a masterclass to share his knowledge.

Alex Chisnall, presenter of Screw It, Just Do It, says even though there are hundreds of thousands of podcasts, they can be an easier way to reach an audience than some of the alternatives.

“Twenty plus years ago, business owners were all told to have a website, a virtual shop window, so they all got one. There are now over two billion websites online. They were then told to start blogging so those searching online could find their website. There are now over 500 million blogs out there,” he said.

Getting your social media content seen by a significant number of people is increasingly a “pay to play” enterprise, he says.

“Podcasting on the other hand is completely free – and there are only 550,000 podcasts out there. What is more, 100 per cent of your subscribers will see all of your content,” he added.

Screw It, Just Do It was an offshoot of Mr Chisnall’s work as the founder of StartUpU, the regional delivery partner of Virgin StartUp in Dorset.

He has interviewed the likes of Innocent’s Richard Reed, Notonthehighstreet’s Holly Tucker and Dragons’ Den star Piers Linney, as well as Ted Baker’s recently-ousted chief executive, Ray Kelvin.

The success of the podcast has led Mr Chisnall to launch his own monthly Podcasting Masterclass at THIS Workspace, in the Daily Echo building in Bournemouth.

He said it is important to make an impact early by releasing several episodes at once – boosting your chances of getting into iTunes’ all-important “new and noteworthy” recommendations.

“It’s not that difficult to get seen by a wider audience. It’s a pretty well-trodden pathway that if you can release a podcast with four to eight episodes at the same time, people are more likely to download all those episodes,” he said.

Even 200-300 listens can get you ranking on iTunes, he said. And although more people own Android devices than Apple, downloads and reviews on Apple’s iTunes platform are all-important for getting noticed.

He said it was not vital to have top-end equipment at first. “The more serious you get, the more you want your podcasts to stand out, and then the sound quality becomes more important. But you can literally start a podcast with your existing smartphone and Skype or Google Hangouts,” he said.