Want to establish yourself as an authority in your niche and build an engaged audience? Consider starting a podcast.
With 62% of individuals aged 12 and above tuning in, podcasts are undeniably popular. There’s never been a better time to learn how to start a podcast if you’re looking to make an impact with your business.
Creating a podcast can help you connect with your audience, establish relationships, and grow your business to reach your goals faster.
But starting something from scratch can be daunting, especially with so many technical requirements and distribution channels for podcasting. On top of that, it requires confidence to speak to your audience and guests.
That’s what we’ll help you with. We’ll cover podcasting’s technical and abstract aspects so you know what to expect. We’ll also share an A-Z step-by-step guide on where to begin when starting your own podcast.
Once you have a clear plan, some of those nerves will clear away and you’ll feel excited to begin on your podcasting journey.
Why Start A Podcast?
The media landscape is constantly evolving – our target audiences are busy people with never-ending to-do lists and countless distractions vying for their attention.
So how do we slice through the noise?
The answer is simple: engage with them where they are.
Podcasting allows us to engage with consumers on hot-button industry topics in a digestible and flexible format.
There were 140 million podcast listeners in the United States alone in 2022.
That number is projected to grow by an additional 20 million each year with streaming services like Spotify, YouTube, and Apple Music, making it easier than ever to discover new podcasts.
Incorporate podcasts into your marketing strategy to help your business significantly impact your industry, customers, and community.
Here are a few more reasons why you should seriously consider starting a podcast for your business:
Establish Yourself As A Known Expert In Your Niche
Imagine being recognized as an industry expert by your customers and community. The value of such recognition would be immeasurable.
From a young age, we are conditioned to believe that the talking heads on TV, radio, and the internet are the experts in their fields, and we should trust their opinions.
Start a podcast to establish yourself as one of these trusted voices in your niche.
Produce high-quality content that resonates with your audience to build their trust and establish yourself as a knowledgeable authority.
Consider developing solid podcast topics and interviewing guests who can share their expertise with your listeners to enhance your credibility.
Reach A Loyal Audience And Build Strong Relationships
Once a listener subscribes, they will automatically receive new episodes downloaded to their device. This means they won’t need to search for new content or worry about missing an episode.
They have already shown interest in your podcast by subscribing, and you can now deliver your content regularly and efficiently without worrying about it getting lost in spam emails.
That makes the deliverability quite high, which is a great outlook for conversion-rates to be higher, too.
If you have crafted and outlined your content correctly, you have the potential to build a listener base quickly, even on a global scale.
Present your content and refer to your offers consistently with podcasts to keep this in your audience’s minds.
Also, the most significant advantage of podcasts is their focus on a particular subject matter. Your listeners choose to tune in because they’re interested in your content, unlike on traditional radio, where interruptions and subject changes are common.
Take advantage of this by delivering high-value content that blows their minds and keeps them returning for more.
Podcasts Drive Organic Traffic
Your listeners have chosen to tune in to your podcast, which gives you a unique opportunity to promote and market to a targeted audience effectively.
Speaking directly to the right people for your content provides an ideal chance to create an offer that appeals to them.
Include a call to action encouraging your listeners to visit a tailored webpage featuring a promotional offer in each episode.
Make your audience feel special and give them a personalized reward for listening and subscribing to entice them to visit your page.
Your offer should include an introductory item with little or no cost that can entice them to join your database.
Once they are on your contact list, start marketing higher-priced products or services. Include a link to the offer in the podcast notes. That way, your listeners can easily visit your page and learn more.
Also, use social media to promote your offer, increasing the likelihood that potential customers will see it.
Low Barrier To Entry
Starting a podcast doesn’t cost much. All you really need to begin with is a computer, a decent microphone, and an account with an online podcast hosting platform.
As your podcast grows in popularity, you can always invest in more advanced equipment to improve podcast production quality.
On the other hand, starting a radio station involves complex processes and significant expenses for high-quality recording and broadcasting equipment.
Podcasting eliminates these obstacles and allows you to bypass the high costs associated with traditional broadcasting.
While podcasting may not be as expensive as traditional broadcasting, it does require one crucial element: Quality content.
You must have something meaningful to say and a deep passion for sharing it with your audience.
Some Myths Blocking You From Starting A Podcast
Despite podcasts’ growing popularity, several myths have circulated about podcasting, some entirely false and others with some element of truth.
Podcasting myths can be discouraging and misleading, leading people to believe that podcasting is complex, expensive, or exclusive to certain professions.
This misinformation can prevent people from exploring the medium and limit their creative expression.
Here are a few myths that might be blocking you from starting a podcast:
Myth 1: You Are Not Skilled Enough To Start A Podcast
The biggest myth in podcasting is that you must be skilled in specific areas to start a podcast. The truth is, anyone can start a podcast.
Podcasts are about creating high-quality content that is valuable to your target audience. Skills such as recording, editing, and promoting come later.
Anyone passionate about audio as a medium of expression can start a podcast, regardless of background or profession.
You learn and improve as you go, and there is no mold to fit or eligibility criteria to meet.
Myth 2: You Need A Lot Of Fancy Equipment Or A Home Studio
Another popular myth is that you need expensive equipment or a home studio to start a podcast. But all you need is the minimum equipment required to record audio.
You can even use your closet to record an episode, as it provides a noise-free environment.
You don’t need to invest in expensive mics or headphones; you can start with the in-built microphone of your regular earphones.
There are free software and tools available that can help you produce professional-sounding audio.
Myth 3: Choosing A Broader Topic Is Better
“You need to choose a broad topic for your podcast” is another common myth that should be avoided.
If you choose a broad topic, you won’t have a specific audience to address, no uniformity in your content, and it will be difficult to categorize or promote your podcast.
Instead, select a niche topic you have expertise in that stands out from all other podcasts.
Myth 4: Your Podcast Needs To Be Perfect From The Start
Understand that your podcast does not have to be perfect from the very beginning! There will be challenges along the way—mistakes will be made—but what matters most?
Focus on creating quality content tailored to resonate with listeners rather than obsessively editing each episode until you achieve perfection!
Myth 5: You Need A Radio Voice
A lot of people find the sound of their voices to be unsettling or even off-putting. This is a fairly common phenomenon known as Voice Confrontation, and there’s a scientific explanation behind it.
As The Washington Post explains, when we hear our voices on a recording, we only hear the external vibrations transferred to our ears via air conduction.
But when we listen to ourselves speak in person, we also hear internal vibrations carried by our bones—these vibrations tend to carry more rich and low tones than external air conduction.
So when we hear our recorded voices without those body vibes included, it can be jarring and feel like something is off.
But according to an article in The Guardian, it’s unlikely that others are similarly surprised or critical of your voice’s high-pitched or unusual aspects.
Most people tend not to be overly critical of other people’s voices at all. So while you might be the only one thinking about your voice this way, rest assured that others probably aren’t making the same evaluations.
Your unique vocal qualities could actually work in your favor by helping you stand out from the crowd and giving you a competitive advantage.
Just think about all the podcast hosts with drastically different-sounding voices. As long as you desire to connect with listeners and deliver quality content that resonates with them, your voice will be exactly what your podcast needs.
Start Your Own Podcast Now – Step-By-Step Guide
The following steps give you a clear outline for how to start a podcast from scratch.
Step 1: Planning & Preparation
Decide on the purpose of your podcast—are you creating it as a personal passion project, or is it intended to be used for business or marketing purposes? This decision will shape your entire plan moving forward.
If you plan on monetizing your podcast or using it as a marketing tool, create a business plan before diving too deep into the process.
To ensure the success of your podcast, understand how your audience aligns with the value your podcast offers them. This understanding will help you identify the match between your listeners and your podcast’s value proposition.
Once you’ve figured out why you want to create a podcast, take some time to identify and understand your target audience. It can be challenging to gain traction and build an audience without clearly understanding who you are creating content for.
To better understand your target audience, create a listener persona or avatar. This detailed description will help keep your podcast on track and ensure you provide value to the listeners that matter most.
Define Your Podcast Target Audience
Starting a podcast is an exciting adventure, but it’s crucial to establish your target audience first.
Identifying your audience will guide the unique design of your podcast and set you up for long-term success.
Here are some steps to narrow down your target audience and make meaningful connections with them:
Define Your Niche
The first step in identifying your target audience is defining your niche. What makes your podcast unique? Start by deciding on a topic you’re interested in or curious about.
Consider what you can discuss extensively and what sets you apart from similar podcasts. Will you use an interview-based format or a solo monologue style? Will there be music involved?
Once you’ve narrowed down your topic, go deeper to further develop your niche by brainstorming episode ideas, signature style, and tone.
Do Your Market Research
Get to know potential listeners by conducting market research. Ask for feedback from family, friends, and coworkers, and post surveys or polls on social media platforms to gauge interest in potential topics.
Analyze audiences of similar podcasts that inspire and influence you to understand better who you could reach. Take note of their demographics, such as age, gender, interests, profession, or background.
Design An Audience Persona
Put all the thought and research into establishing all the traits and characteristics of your specific audience persona—like creating a vision board for your ideal listener.
Try to answer these questions when designing your audience persona:
- What are their likes/dislikes?
- What motivates them?
- What problems do they face that can be addressed through your podcast content?
This exercise will help refine the messaging, purpose, style, and tone of your podcast.
Narrow Down Your Target Audience
There are many different types of listeners with different interests and tastes. So instead of trying to reach as many people as possible, target those you can make a real connection with—those who find particular value in your podcast that they can’t find elsewhere.
Refine Your Personal Brand
A target podcast audience also helps focus and refine your personal brand. It does that by cultivating consistent content, style, tone, purpose, and messaging if you know who you’re speaking to and what they want from their listening experience.
Monitor Your Audience Growth
Keep track of how well you reach your target audience for long-term growth. Track metrics like downloads per episode, ratings/reviews on platforms where available (e.g., Apple Podcasts), and social media engagement (comments/likes/shares), etc. Use this information to adjust your content strategy as needed so that it resonates with listeners more effectively.
How To Start A Podcast With No Audience
Just because you have a podcast doesn’t mean anyone will listen to it. It isn’t easy to get people to subscribe and listen, but with some promotional strategies, you can grow your audience in no time.
Learn how to start a podcast with no audience by following the tips below:
Create An Email List
One of the best ways to get listeners is by asking them directly. Create an email list that lets people sign up for updates about new episodes or news related to your show.
That way, you’ll build a community around your podcast, giving you valuable insight into who listens and what they like about your show. This email list will also help you promote your products/services and get you more prospects for your business.
Do Guest Spots
Guest appearances are great opportunities to share your expertise with a broader audience and attract new listeners.
Find podcasts related to yours and contact their hosts to see if they’d be interested in hosting you on their show. Send them links to your work, so they know how relevant you are!
Remember to include social media buttons in your bio so listeners can connect with you there too. If possible, link back to your website and tell people where else they can find you online.
The more often you publish, the more likely someone will stumble upon your podcast and become a fan. But remember, your content needs to be on point to get them hooked on your show.
Build Anticipation Before Releasing Each Episode
Since you’re starting a podcast from scratch, let your listeners know it’s coming. Consider partnering with another podcaster to cross-promote each other’s podcasts or creating a show that combines your content strategies into one format.
If you have an email list, share your podcast idea and include links to pre-release episodes on social media. These tactics allow new audiences to hear about your podcast and get excited when it launches. Also, consider offering a free giveaway or free course in exchange for people’s emails. These lead magnets will help you reach more people with your future offers.
Ask Friends, Family, & Strangers To Subscribe To Apple Podcasts/Google Podcasts Etc.
Simply asking people to subscribe on Apple/Google Podcasts etc., for your podcast is one of the best ways to get started with little-to-no following.
If you have a decent number of friends and family, ask them to listen and leave a review if they enjoyed it. If you don’t have many connections, reach out to strangers on Twitter or Facebook who might be interested in your topic and ask them if they would be willing to listen.
You never know what kind of audience you may find! Even if only a few people subscribe, you’ll start getting reviews, which will help build up your profile over time.
As long as those few subscribers continue listening and leaving reviews, those reviews will show up on Apple/Google Podcasts, etc., bringing more listeners into the feed!
Choosing The Right Name For Your Podcast
When learning how to do a podcast, choosing the right name for your show is one of your most important decisions.
With so many podcasts out there, it’s essential to pick a name that stands out from the crowd and accurately represents your show.
There are three main options to consider:
Option 1 – The Catchy Name
One approach is to come up with a clever or catchy name for your show. While this can be an effective way to grab people’s attention, it’s important not to sacrifice searchability.
Try incorporating a brief description into the title if you choose a clever name. This will ensure potential listeners can find your show when searching for relevant topics.
Say you’ve created a podcast called “The Missing Peace.” While this title might be considered “clever,” it doesn’t provide much information about what your show is actually about.
To address this issue, consider adding a tagline or a podcast description that helps clarify what listeners can expect from your content.
Option 2 – The Descriptive Name
A descriptive name will clearly outline what your podcast covers. For instance, if you’re creating an entrepreneurship-focused podcast, calling it “Drive Business Podcast” leaves no doubt about what listeners can expect from your episodes.
While this approach may seem less creative than some other options, it has its advantages in terms of clarity and searchability.
Just be sure not to get too wordy or long-winded with your title—remember that you’ll need to say it often when recording episodes and promoting your show!
Option 3 – Using Your Own Name
When learning how to do a podcast, some podcasters use their names as part of their podcast titles. But this approach may not be very practical unless you already have an established audience or personal brand associated with your name.
For example, if someone started “The Peter Griffin Show” and it was actually about rock climbing rather than anything related to Peter himself, potential listeners might just skip over the title altogether.
Instead of using only your own name in the title (e.g., “Peter Griffin’s Rock Climbing Podcast”), consider adding other descriptors like location or topic area (“Rock Climbing Adventures in Nevada with Peter Griffin”).
Step 2: Podcast Episode Format
Once you’re done preparing for your podcast, you need to decide on the format of your show. Here are some factors to consider:
How Long Should Your Podcast Episode Be?
While some listeners may consider anything under 15 minutes as short and anything over an hour as long, most agree that episodes ranging from 20 to 45 minutes are within the “sweet spot.”
But remember that your content and audience should ultimately dictate the length of your episodes. If you have valuable and relevant content that runs for 50 minutes, why cut it down to 20?
On the flip side, if you’ve conveyed all you need to say in just 10 minutes, there’s no need to pad it out for another 20. In cases where an interview spans two hours but is consistently engaging throughout, don’t hesitate to split it into two individual episodes.
Ask your audience for feedback to determine the ideal length of your episodes. Consider surveying them once a year to gather data on whether they believe your episodes are too short or too long.
Also, length can actually be a unique factor in attracting listeners. Short and snappy four-minute episodes may suit one type of listener, while three-hour in-depth interviews may appeal to another. It’s worth considering whether length could be a deliberate choice for you when starting a podcast.
Timings & Schedule
When deciding on a podcast schedule, you need to be consistent. The most effective schedule is typically the one you can commit to regularly and frequently.
If you can only produce one monthly episode, that’s perfectly fine. If you can manage to release an episode every two weeks, that’s even better, and if you can release an episode weekly, that’s okay, too.
While a monthly show can still have a significant impact, listeners often plan their schedules around when their favorite shows are released each week.
But don’t stick to a deadline just for the sake of it. It’s better to release one excellent episode per month than to put out mediocre content every week just to meet a self-imposed deadline.
Creating A Podcast Daily
In recent years, daily podcasts have become increasingly common. These podcasts typically feature a “one quick tip” format and air on weekdays from Monday through Friday.
By producing a daily podcast, you can become a part of your listeners’ daily routine, which can be incredibly powerful. Provide listeners with bite-sized, easily digestible content they can consume daily. But the shorter episode length means you’ll have less time to engage with your audience over the course of a week.
While producing a one-hour daily show is possible, few people have the time or attention span for such lengthy content.
Your episodes’ short and focused nature will make them more manageable for listeners and allow for easy repurposing of the content. Keep them concise and provide valuable insights in each one to make a significant impact on your audience with minimal effort.
Consider sustainability if you’re thinking about creating a highly-produced podcast that goes out every week. While it may be tempting to dive in headfirst, burnout is a genuine risk if you don’t pace yourself.
Instead, follow the lead of your favorite TV shows and produce your podcasts in seasons. A season represents a block of episodes, and the number of episodes per season can vary depending on your preference. Some may choose to produce six, while others may opt for upwards of 20.
With this approach, you can throw all your energy into creating high-quality content for each season before taking a well-deserved break.
This also allows for themed seasons, making your show more accessible and appealing to new listeners. Another advantage of producing themed seasons is that it makes repurposing and monetizing your content much easier.
We’ve seen many ebooks and courses created from serialized podcasts because much of the planning, structuring, and organization are already done.
One common concern about producing podcasts in seasons is the fear that listeners will forget about you during your breaks. This doesn’t have to be the case as long as you clearly communicate how your show works. Encourage your listeners to subscribe to their preferred listening app to automatically receive notifications when new episodes are available.
Choosing Episode Titles
When figuring out how to start a podcast, choosing a captivating and descriptive title for your episodes is just as crucial as naming your podcast.
Avoid giving your episodes boring or nondescript titles like “Episode 1” or “Episode 2.” Names like these don’t give the listener any idea of what they can expect from listening to that particular episode.
To create a compelling title for your episode, you need to think about the main message that you want to convey in that episode. What is the key takeaway or solution that you are offering? This will give you a clue as to your episode title.
Say you are doing interview shows. It’s crucial not just to name the episode after the guest featured on the show. (A chat with Meg, for example.) If your listener has never heard of this person before, they may not be interested in listening to that particular episode.
But if the guest is an expert on something the listener is struggling with, then this would be an ideal opportunity for them to learn more about it. As a host, you must highlight this fact and ensure potential listeners know what they can expect from listening.
Descriptive episode titles also provide added benefits, such as improved searchability in most listening apps. When someone types in a “how-to” question related to your topic and you have an episode on that subject matter, there’s a much higher chance of them finding your show.
The format you choose will depend on your personal preferences and who’s involved in the show. Here are a few formats for you to consider:
You should learn how to make podcasting simple, and the solo show is one of the simplest formats for starting a podcast. It involves recording episodes on your own without any co-hosts or guests.
|You have complete control over the content and can build a reputation as an authority on your subject. Also, you don’t need to rely on anyone else to record episodes or split profits with others.||For beginners, this style of show can be intimidating. It can be challenging to overcome the feeling that you’re “talking to yourself” rather than connecting with listeners.|
If you’re confident in your ability to carry an episode alone or want complete creative control over your content, this may be the right format.
In a co-hosted show, you present alongside a friend or colleague.
|This format allows you to bounce ideas off someone else and create chemistry for an engaging listening experience.||Scheduling time for recording can be difficult when coordinating with another person’s availability. Also, questions may arise around ownership of the podcast and how potential income should be divided, if there is any.|
If you thrive in collaborative environments or want added energy from conversing with someone else while recording an episode, consider co-hosting as an option.
An interview show involves inviting guests onto your podcast to share their expertise or entertainment value with listeners.
|Interviewing allows you to connect with people you’ve always looked up to while potentially increasing your audience size as guests promote their episodes across their networks.||Conducting interviews is a skill that requires practice, so it’s best not to approach high-profile guests too soon. You’ll also need reliable technology for remote interviews and scheduling flexibility when coordinating with guest availability.|
If connecting with industry experts or influencers is vital for building credibility within a specific niche market, then conducting interviews may be worth considering.
Several other formats may suit aspiring creators, including the following:
- Roundtable: One regular host discussing a specific topic alongside several guests. (eg. The Game Design Roundtable).
- Documentary: A narrator walks through interviews, conversations, and clips to tell a story (e.g., “Startup“).
- Docu-Drama: Combines drama and documentary elements for an entertaining learning experience (e.g., “Hostile Worlds“).
Ultimately, choosing which format works best depends on factors such as personal preference, available resources, and scheduling flexibility, among others.
Consider which type of show will help bring out your unique voice and help you connect authentically with listeners who will grow alongside you throughout each episode.
Step 3: Equipment Gear & Recordings
After completing the initial planning and preparation for your podcast, the next step is recording your debut episode and learning how to set up a podcast.
To start recording a podcast, all you really need is a computer with a USB microphone and internet access. Remember that the quality of your equipment and podcast setup can greatly impact your show’s overall sound and audio quality.
If you opt for a more budget-friendly and basic podcast setup, your show may have limitations in terms of its sound quality. But even a simple USB mic can do the job if you choose the right one.
It’s also smart to start with a basic podcast setup to determine if you enjoy podcasting before investing significant money in high-end audio equipment.
When figuring out how to set up a podcast, the Samson Q2U is an excellent choice for a reasonably priced yet high-quality microphone. It has a long lifespan and can be used with various recording equipment.
Availability may vary depending on your location, but the ATR2100 is another comparable option. Both of these exceptional podcast microphones are priced under $100!
The Samson microphone includes a small mic stand, but upgrading to a boom arm stand can provide added flexibility.
Simplicity in the recording process has its advantages, as it allows for easy recording. This means that you can maintain regularity in your show during the early stages and have an opportunity to build a loyal audience.
Improve your podcasting experience later by upgrading to a superior USB microphone, such as the Rode Procaster, or even upgrading your equipment with the Zoom PodTrak P4. This dedicated podcast recorder lets you locally record four participants and remote guests via phone or online. It’s an exceptional all-in-one piece of podcast equipment.
Recording & Editing Software
You will require software to record and edit the audio after connecting your USB microphone or audio interface to your computer. Luckily, a few options are available for this purpose, including one that’s free.
- Audacity: a high-quality audio editing application that is free of charge. It meets the podcasting needs of most users.So if you want to learn how to start a podcast for free, this software is the way to go!
- Adobe Audition: a preferred professional-level production tool with excellent workflow and a wide range of features. This software requires a paid subscription.
- Alitu: The Podcast Maker: an easy-to-use audio recording and editing experience designed specifically for podcasters. This web app records your audio, automates audio cleanup, and adds music and fades. Also, it generates automatic transcripts of episodes and allows direct publishing via Alitu’s hosting or your existing hosting provider. Plus, it offers exceptional editing and episode-building tools.
It can be challenging for beginners with no prior audio experience to learn how to create a podcast with Audacity and Audition; it’ll take some time to get used to it.
Alitu is the perfect solution for those who feel discouraged by audio production and have no prior experience. Its user interface is beginner friendly.
If you own a Mac, you likely have Garageband pre-installed on your system. While this audio software has been popular among podcasters, recent versions have reduced its feature set. So, we suggest Mac users also try Audacity as an alternative when learning how to start a podcast for free.
Scripting Your Podcast
Before hitting the record button on your podcast, plan what you’ll say. This is where podcast scripting comes in handy.
While some may imagine scripting as an extensive essay read verbatim on the show, this approach is only necessary for highly produced and heavily edited podcasts.
For most shows, a well-structured outline or list of bullet points can be sufficient to guide your conversation and keep your content focused. Extensively scripting your podcast can have several challenges. Firstly, it can be a time-consuming process, especially if you’re producing content every week.
Also, without extensive practice, like highly-produced presenters, reading a script can feel robotic and lack the natural flow of conversation. Podcasting is an intimate medium that connects well to a natural conversation rather than a scripted sermon.
While bullet points can help guide the discussion, avoid relying too heavily on an extensive script. With practice, you’ll find it easier to steer the conversation without relying on a fully scripted show and eventually learn how to create a podcast.
How To Talk Into A Mic
Learning to talk into a mic can be one of the biggest challenges when figuring out how to start a podcast. The key is to shift your focus away from feeling like you’re talking to yourself and instead imagine that you’re speaking directly to one person—your listener persona.
As a business, you may have already created an avatar or persona of your ideal customer or listener. This is a detailed representation of who you want to reach with your podcast.
By creating this persona, you can have more natural and engaging conversations, making your listeners feel like you’re speaking directly to them. Over time, this can help build and strengthen relationships with your audience.
Remote Call Recordings
It’s never been easier to record remote interviews or chats with co-hosts worldwide. While Zoom is a popular choice, a better option is a dedicated ‘double-ender’ call recorder.
A ‘double-ender’ call recorder ensures that each participant is recorded on their own computer. This means the audio isn’t compressed for online broadcasting, and you won’t experience the connection glitches commonly associated with platforms like Skype and Zoom.
If you want more flexibility and control over your remote recordings, separate audio tracks are the way to go. Easily edit, mix, and adjust each track independently by recording on different channels.
With either of these platforms, you can record high-quality audio from multiple participants on separate tracks for maximum editing flexibility.
Step 4: Production & Editing
In this phase, you’ll edit out any mistakes, combine various audio clips, and incorporate music or sound effects. You’ll also ensure the overall sound quality is perfect with EQ, leveling, and compression techniques.
How To Edit Your Podcast
Learning how to start a podcast is exciting, but the post-production process can be overwhelming for beginners. Edit your podcast to ensure that your content is engaging and polished by following the steps below:
- Choose Your Editing Software
When learning how to start your own podcast, there are countless options when it comes to editing software, both free and paid. Popular options include Audacity, GarageBand, Adobe Audition, and Hindenburg Journalist.
Each software has its own unique features and learning curve, so choose one that suits your needs and skill level.
- Import Your Audio Files
Once you’ve chosen your editing software, import your audio files into the program. Most editing software allows you to drag and drop files directly into the timeline or import them through a menu.
- Trim Silence & Unwanted Audio
Before diving into more detailed edits, listen through your entire episode and trim any silence or unwanted audio. This could include long pauses between sentences or sections where nothing significant is said.
- Add Intro/Outro Music and Sound Effects
Add music or sound effects to set the tone for your podcast and make it more engaging for listeners.Consider using royalty-free music or creating your own jingles if you have musical talent.
- Adjust Volume Levels
Ensure that all speakers’ voices are at similar levels throughout the episode. You don’t want one speaker to be much louder than another, as it can be distracting for listeners.
- Cut Out Filler Words
Filler words such as “um,” “uh,” “like,” or “you know” can distract from the content of your podcast episode. Listen through each speaker’s dialogue carefully and cut out any filler words that aren’t necessary.
- Add Transitions
Transitions such as fade-ins, fade-outs, or crossfades between segments can help smooth out any abrupt changes in audio clips.
- Export Your Edited Episode
Once you’ve made all necessary edits, export your final audio file in a format suitable for hosting on various platforms like Spotify, Apple Podcasts, etc.
Step 5: Publishing & Promotion
Once you’ve learned how to start a podcast, it’s time to shift your focus to sharing your creation with the world!
Podcast Cover Design
Similar to episode titles, first impressions hold great significance. Create an eye-catching cover art that stands out amidst the vast sea of podcasts on platforms like Apple Podcasts and Spotify.
For optimal results, we suggest creating podcast artwork that is 1400 x 1400 pixels in JPG format and under 500kb in size. Avoid uploading large PNG files that can cause issues with your feed.
Since your podcast logo is often viewed as a thumbnail, avoid cramming small text onto it. Ideally, the only text on the logo should be your podcast name.
If you’re looking to create cover art for your podcast without breaking the bank, Canva offers free design tools and templates specifically for podcast logos.
Alternatively, hire a freelancer on a platform such as Fiverr to assist you with creating unique cover art that represents your branding. A designer can help balance descriptiveness, cleverness, and quirkiness in one static image that works well when viewed as a thumbnail on a phone screen—much like choosing a podcast name.
When learning how to start a podcast, you’ll need to choose a hosting platform for your podcast. A good hosting platform will ensure your show is available to listeners worldwide and provide you with the tools you need to grow your audience.
Here are some of the best ones to consider:
Buzzsprout is one of the most popular podcast-hosting platforms. It’s easy to use, making it simple for beginners to get started without technical knowledge.
Buzzsprout also provides detailed analytics to track your show’s performance and see how many people listen.
Libsyn is another popular option for podcasters. It’s been around since 2004 and has established itself as one of the most reliable hosting platforms in the industry.
Libsyn offers unlimited storage and bandwidth, making it an excellent choice for shows with large archives or high download volumes.
Podbean is known for its user-friendly interface and powerful features.
It offers advanced options like monetization tools, custom branding, and even a built-in ad marketplace where you can connect with sponsors directly.
Transistor is a newer player in the game but has quickly gained popularity among podcasters due to its intuitive interface and powerful analytics tools.
It also offers unlimited storage and bandwidth, making it an excellent choice.
Anchor is a free podcast hosting platform, perfect for beginners who want to try their hand at podcasting without investing any money upfront.
It also includes built-in creation tools like recording and editing software, making it an all-in-one solution for new podcasters.
Submitting to Podcast Directories
After creating your show on your preferred media host, the next step is submitting it to various directories. These directories allow listeners to find, subscribe to, and download your podcast.
Before submitting your podcast to key directories, having at least one published episode is important.
Create a short teaser, podcast trailer, or episode zero early on in your journey. This way, your show will be listed on all popular platforms before you release your first full episode.
After you publish your podcast, its listing varies from platform to platform. For instance, the Apple Podcasts search algorithm favors shows with high numbers of all-time subscribers. This means that established shows may have the upper hand in discovery.
Podcast Websites To Publish
If you already have a website for your business or brand, there’s no need for additional web hosting. You can simply set up your podcast on your existing website.
This is a great option for you if you want to learn how to start your own podcast to run a hobby show and want to keep things simple.
If you’re interested in exploring other options, consider Podpage, which can help you build a professional-looking podcast website in just a few minutes. Another option is the self-hosted WordPress platform.
How To Start A Podcast: FAQs
How much does it cost to start a podcast?
If you opt for lower-end equipment, your initial investment for podcasting would be around $350-$400. This covers your computer, microphone, headphones, audio interface, and recording software. Remember that you can always upgrade your equipment if you need to improve the quality of your gear.
How many episodes does it take to start a podcast?
The decision ultimately lies with you and your comfort level, but our recommendation is to have around five or six to eight episodes finished and completed before launching. This should include at least the three episodes that you plan to launch with. Following this approach will ensure a smoother start for your podcast.
Can a podcast be just one person talking?
Yes, it’ll be called a solo podcast. In a solo podcast episode, the host elaborates on a topic they’re knowledgeable about. It’s similar to a TED Talk but without the live audience and pressure. Typically, these episodes are shorter than interview-based episodes because only one person is doing the talking.
Wrapping Up: How To Start A Podcast
Believe it or not, you have the power to create something extraordinary: a successful podcast that can inspire and engage audiences around the world!
Remember, creating a successful podcast takes time, effort, and patience. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there; keep pushing forward even when it feels challenging. That’s the essence of this “Podcast for Beginners” guide.
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