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How to Start a Podcast in 2024: The Definitive Guide

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How to Start a Podcast

In today’s world, you don’t need to be a pro to launch your own podcast. It’s easier for anyone to launch a successful podcast than ever before.

But that doesn’t mean the process is easy. There’s a LOT that goes into starting a show. After chugging through the planning stages, you must write scripts, record, edit, submit your show to directories, etc.

This to-do list can be overwhelming for anyone (especially for those working on their first show). Luckily, we’re here to be the helping hand you need. From choosing a name and creating cover art to determining the length of your episodes, this guide will walk you through all of the crucial details of beginning your own podcast.

Ready to start your podcasting journey? Here is a step-by-step guide to get you started!

Key Takeaways:

  • 🎙️ Discovering your voice and topic is paramount to beginning your podcast journey.
  • 🎙️ Utilize available resources to plan, record, and edit your podcast with intention and professionalism.
  • 🎙️ Monetization, promotion, and engagement with your audience are essential for growth as a podcast creator.

Reasons Why You Should Start a Podcast in 2024

  1. 🎧 There are 464.7 million podcast listeners in 2024
  2. 🎙️ There are currently over 4.2 million podcasts Worldwide
  3. 🇺🇸 178 million Americans have listened to a podcast

See Top Podcast Statistics 2024 for more reasons to start a podcast.

Reasons Why You Should Start a Podcast

Benefits

Starting a podcast in 2024 offers many benefits. Firstly, it allows me to build an audience and connect with people who share my interests or expertise. As an added bonus, this also helps in increasing the size and value of my network. Having a podcast enables me to share my knowledge and experiences with a broader range of listeners, something that can be fulfilling and rewarding.

Another benefit to starting a podcast in 2024 is the opportunity to monetize my content. With the continuous growth of the podcasting industry, more and more advertisers are recognizing the value of sponsored content, offering me additional revenue streams.

Moreover, having a podcast helps improve my communication skills. The process of developing, recording, and editing episodes hones my speaking abilities and enhances my storytelling prowess. As a result, I have become a better public speaker, which can have positive effects on other aspects of my life and career.

Challenges

However, starting a podcast in 2024 also comes with its set of challenges. One of the most significant obstacles I may face is creating unique and compelling content. With the vast number of podcasts available today, it can be tough to find a topic that hasn’t been extensively covered. In order to stand out, I need to offer fresh perspectives or dive into niche subjects that appeal to my target audience.

Another challenge is consistently producing high-quality content. Scheduling and sticking to a content calendar can be difficult, especially when balancing it with other commitments. Producing regular episodes requires time and effort to research, record, edit, and publish.

Lastly, navigating the technical aspects of podcasting can be a daunting task. I must familiarize myself with recording equipment, editing software, and podcast hosting platforms. While there are many resources available to help me learn, the learning curve may still be steep at first.

Despite these challenges, starting a podcast in 2024 is an exciting and rewarding endeavor. By creating engaging content and overcoming the obstacles mentioned above, I can start building a successful podcast and connect with a dedicated audience.

Quickest and Easiest Way to Learn How to Start a Podcast

Easiest Way to Learn How to Start a Podcast

I’ve found that the quickest and easiest way to learn how to start a podcast is by following a step-by-step guide. In this short section, I will provide you with a brief outline to get you started on your podcasting journey.

  1. Choose a topic and audience Think about what topic you’re passionate about and who your target audience will be. Consider the format of your show – audio-only or audio and video. Make sure to keep your podcast unique and interesting.
  2. Plan your episodes Decide on the length and frequency of your episodes. Create a content calendar to schedule your episodes and keep you on track. Consistently releasing episodes helps maintain and grow your podcast listener base.
  3. Gather necessary equipment Invest in a good quality microphone and headphones. A pop filter and a boom arm can also be helpful. For recording and editing, there are various free and paid software options available, such as Audacity and Adobe Audition.
  4. Record and edit your episodes Record your episodes with clear audio and minimal background noise. While editing, remove any mistakes, add your intro and outro, and adjust audio levels to maintain consistency across all episodes.
  5. Host and distribute your podcast Find a podcast hosting platform that suits your needs and submit your podcast feed to popular directories like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts. This will make it easier for your target audience to find and subscribe to your podcast.
  6. Promote your podcast Share your episodes on social media and ask your listeners to leave reviews. Engage with your audience through email newsletters, social media, and online communities, which will help you grow your listener base.

Taking Podcast Training Courses

While you’re planning your budget, you may want to consider if there’s room for training courses.

“How to start a podcast” training courses can be the perfect solution for newbies. They walk you through everything from optimizing audio quality to writing the perfect podcast description.

While podcasting courses can help you skip much of the research and make it easier to get to the fun part, remember that they aren’t necessary. In fact, many successful podcast shows are self-made. Its also worth checking out some free resources like Podcasts about podcasting to help you get going. It all boils down to whether you need professional advice or want to go the DIY route and learn completely from experience.

Planning/Research Phase

Planning your podcast

We know you’re eager to share your voice with the world. But don’t grab your mic just yet.

The first step is to do some planning and research. We urge you not to skip this seemingly boring yet crucial step, as it will set your show up for success. By doing your homework, you’ll have the structure you need to remain motivated and stay on track.

So, let’s cover some of the most important elements of the planning/research phase.

Finding Your Motive

Start by sitting down and asking yourself, “Why do I want to start a podcast?

In most cases, the answer should come easily.

Maybe you’re a business that wants to attract new customers. Maybe you’re an entrepreneur who needs to build authority in your industry. Or, maybe you’re someone who wants to share their hobby or passion with others.

Whatever the case may be, it’s crucial to figure out your motive. That way, you can give your show direction and work with a vision and end goal in mind.

Finding Your Niche Topic & Theme

Of course, you’ll also need to choose a Podcast topic for your show.

The nature of some shows requires them to discuss everything under the sun. In most cases, however, we recommend picking a topic and sticking to it.

Having your episodes revolve around the same topic will give your audience the consistency it wants. If your podcast’s subject matter is constantly changing, podcast listeners may become confused or even frustrated.

Choose a topic that you’re knowledgeable and passionate about. It’s good to get specific as people will want to listen to something no one has ever done before.

However, remember that there is such a thing as too specific. If you decided to make your show only about roses, for instance, you’d quickly run out of things to talk about. Instead, it’d be more appropriate to choose a topic like gardening techniques and put a unique spin on it. That way, you give yourself a little more wiggle room.

Target Audience

Target Audience

Now that you’ve figured out why you’re making your show, it’s time to determine who it’s for.

Podcast hosts should ask themselves who they’re trying to reach.

If you’re a hobbyist, you’ll want to find people who are interested in your hobby. If you’re a business, your target audience might be your current customers, new customers looking for your products, or other industry experts.

Once you pinpoint your ideal listeners, you’ll be able to create content that speaks to them. You’ll also find it easier to push your show and make the most of your podcast marketing efforts.

Do I Need an Audience to Start a Podcast?

As we discuss in the next section, you don’t need an audience to start your show.

But if you already have a following, it’ll give you a much-needed jumpstart. Whether it consists of social media followers or clients, your existing audience is bound to be excited about the new content you put out.

What If I Have No Following?

Want to start a show but don’t have a following? Join the club.

Many podcasters begin with their message falling on deaf ears. It will take a while for your new podcast to build the following you want it to have in many cases.

And that’s OK! As long as you make great content and market well, you’ll get tons of podcast listeners before you know it.

So, don’t let your lack of a following stop you. Instead, embrace the challenge and think about how rewarding it will be to build something from nothing.

Knowing Why They Should Listen

Whether you have an existing following or not, you need to figure out what will make potential listeners tune in.

The key is to provide unique value. Whether it be in the form of entertainment, knowledge, or something in between, value can take many forms.

If your episodes are unoriginal, redundant, or just plain boring, listeners are bound to click away.

Picking a Podcast Format

Next, you should consider how you want to format your show.

There are tons of ways you can present your content to the world. But, at the end of the day, it boils down to what format is most accessible to you and potential listeners.

Remember not to get too hung up on the format. It’ll likely evolve after your first few episodes as you get into the swing of things.

Need some podcast format ideas? Here are a few of the most common ways Apple podcasts structure their shows:

The Monologue

Many shows go with the traditional “monologue” format. A single host goes in with a topic in mind and talks into a mic in this style.

And that’s pretty much it. This format is popular because it’s so simple and helps you build an intimate connection with your audience.

The Interview

If you want something with more structure, you can choose to go interview-style. Bringing on different guests every week is the perfect way to keep things interesting. Of course, you’ll have to master your interview skills, but guests often come with funny stories, new information, and/or interesting perspectives.

Two podcast hosts laughing while recording a podcast

Segments

You can also choose to format your show with segments. For instance, you might take calls from listeners asking for advice. Or, you could pull questions from social media and provide your take.

Conversational

Lots of Apple podcasts have more than one host. And it makes sense when you consider how many benefits a co-host can bring.

For instance, a co-host can bring in new listeners by introducing your show to their followers. It’s one more person to help promote by, say, sharing a teaser episode to social media.

A co-host also takes a lot of the pressure off of you. Thanks to the conversational format, you won’t have to worry about talking every second. Instead, the two of you can bounce off of each other and keep the conversation flowing. As long as you have good chemistry, you shouldn’t run out of things to say.

While bringing on a co-host can be a smart move, you shouldn’t pick just anyone. See below for some tips on how to find your perfect partner in crime.

How to Pick Your Podcast Host

Ideally, your co-host should be someone familiar with podcast recording. They should be comfortable talking for long periods and understand how to connect with an audience. Additionally, they should be familiar with your niche and be willing to research topics as needed.

It’ll also be beneficial to choose someone tech-savvy. If they’re familiar with podcast recording equipment, the burden of setting up and editing won’t fall entirely on you.

Yet another ideal characteristic is if they have an existing following. Think of their audience as a bonus rather than a requirement. If they don’t have a following, they should at least be willing to promote new episodes.

Perhaps most importantly, you should find someone that you get along with. Good chemistry will be key to charming your audience and preventing awkward silence.

Pro tip: Don’t think you have to find a co-host that’s just like you. The best pairs are usually those with conflicting personalities. They’re comfortable discussing each other’s differences and getting into thorough debates about engaging topics.

Video Podcasts

Recording the video for a podcast

Want to take things up a notch? Consider integrating video into your show.

The video opens you up to more listeners who prefer this form of media. It also makes your content more engaging by allowing listeners to see you, your co-host, and your guests talking and laughing.

If you choose to go this route, make sure you choose a podcast hosting platform compatible with video.

Settling on a Podcast Name

When learning how to start a podcast, don’t overlook the importance of choosing a name for your podcast.

The name is often the first impression listeners get of your show. It should tell them what your show is about and reveal a little about your brand.

Here are a few options you have at your disposal:

The Fun Route

If you’re particularly clever, the fun route might be the perfect way to go.

For instance, consider the comedy/food show Green Eggs and Dan. The punny title reveals the host’s humourous side while hinting that the show talks about food. It even incorporates the name of the host in a subtle yet memorable way. You can use tools like Chat GPT or a Podcast name generator to give you inspiration.

The “Straightforward” Route

In some cases, you might choose to go the more “straightforward” route.

A title that describes exactly what your show is about might not be as memorable, but it can help listeners find you via search. There won’t be any confusion about what your show will offer!

The Brand Name Route

Some hosts might want to name their show after themselves or their business. However, we only recommend going this route if people are already familiar with you.

Want to use your name but don’t have a following? Include some additional information to clarify what your show is about (i.e., Mexican Baking With John Garcia).

Whatever podcast name you end up choosing, make sure you choose a good one from the get-go. It’ll be how users find you on platforms like Apple Podcasts and can be a pain to change later on.

Branding and Design

Branding and Design

Creating Podcast Cover Art

This wouldn’t be a “how to start a podcast” guide if we didn’t discuss cover art.

In tandem with your podcast name, your cover art contributes to the first impression with potential listeners. Make the most of it by choosing art that is intriguing and reveals what your show is about.

Podcast Logos and Artwork selection

There are tons of different directions you can go. If you want some inspiration, take a look at the top shows on Apple Podcasts.

You’ll see that some art relies heavily on pictures while others utilize typography. There’s art that’s cartoony, fun, simple, modern, futuristic, and everything in between.

Whatever you do, keep the following tips in mind:

  • First, focus on a design that’s true to your brand. If your design is misleading and doesn’t reflect what your show is about, listeners will feel duped.
  • Don’t add too much detail. If you overload your podcast cover art with pictures and text, it’ll look messy. Instead, make sure you only add the most important details and make them stand out. That way, when users view your show on something like the Apple Podcasts app, your tiny icon will look amazing.
  • Adhere to the file specifications of your preferred podcast directory. Typically, a 1400 x 1400 pixel PNG or JPG under 500kb is standard)

If you’re artsy, consider making your podcast logo and cover art yourself. It’ll help you save money and add a personalized touch to your show. Free online tools like Canva make it easy for anyone to try their hand at graphic design.

If you doubt your graphic design skills, consider hiring a professional for any podcast artwork. Graphic designers on websites like Fiverr are accessible and affordable. Best of all, they can create a custom design that’ll show listeners you’re not the average podcast.

Setting Up a Website for Your Podcast

Creating a website for my podcast serves as a central hub where listeners can find more information about the podcast and access episodes. When designing the website, I focus on making it easy to navigate, visually appealing, and in line with my podcast’s branding. A well-designed podcast website includes a brief description, an episode list with links to various platforms, and a way for visitors to subscribe or connect through social media. Additionally, incorporating a blog for my podcast can help improve SEO and provide useful content for my listeners.

Establishing a Presence on Social Media Platforms

Social media is an effective tool for promoting my podcast and building a community around it. By establishing a presence on popular platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, I can engage with my audience, share updates, and create buzz around new episodes. It’s essential to maintain a consistent presence on social media and leverage visual elements such as custom-made graphics, podcast cover art, and my podcast logo. I also use hashtags and social media contests to boost engagement and attract new listeners.

Planning the Episodes

Once you hash out your show’s details, you aren’t done with planning quite yet.

Now, it’s time to focus on the details surrounding your episodes.

Here are some of the most important considerations to keep in mind when planning episodes.

Deciding How Long Your Podcast Episode Should Be

LengthFrequency 📅
20-30 minutesWeekly 🗓️
45-60 minutesBi-weekly 📅
90+ minutesMonthly 🗓️

There’s a lot of debate surrounding how long podcast episodes should be. Some argue that long-form content is better as it provides more value. Others prefer to keep their content short and sweet.

The truth is that there’s no right answer. You should make your episodes however long (or short) they need to be.

Two important factors that will help you determine the ideal length include:

  • How much do you want to cover in each podcast episode
  • The attention span/preferences of your audience

While you don’t need to make every episode the same length, it’s good to keep things consistent. Listeners want to know what they’re in for so that they can, say, fit your episodes in during their commute.

Struggling to settle on the perfect length? Check out our comparison of short and sweet vs. long-form episodes.

Short and Sweet

Most listeners will say that a “short” episode is no longer than 15 to 20 minutes. This length has many benefits. For instance, it appeals to people with busy lifestyles. They may be more likely to tune in as they aren’t signing up for as much of a commitment. Plus, the short length will increase the chance of them listening to the whole thing.

Keeping your episodes brief may also save you money. When you don’t need as much storage space, you can pick a cheaper plan from your podcast hosting provider.

Listening to a Podcast on a phone

Long-Form

Seeing as many shows have 25-40 minute episodes, we would consider anything over an hour-long to be long-form.

Long episodes are appropriate when you have lots of good content. For instance, if you interview guests and the conversation tends to flow, there’s no point in cutting out valuable material.

And don’t worry about scaring off your listeners. Many people will be eager to tune in (of course, as long as you’re not filling your episodes with fluff). They might turn on your show during a long road trip or even pause/play it throughout their ordinary week.

Even if they have lots of good content, some hosts are hesitant to make their episodes long. If that’s the case, split into two or even three episodes. These chunks can make your message more accessible to your audience. Plus, separate episodes will build anticipation and make it easier to adhere to your release schedule.

Coming Up with a New Episode Release Schedule

If you look at Google Podcasts, you’ll notice that many shows release a new episode every week.

Posting weekly is ideal as people crave new content. If they don’t get enough episodes from you, they’ll find another show that can meet their demands.

Quality Over Quantity

While regular episodes are important, you should never sacrifice quality for quantity. Listeners will notice when you start churning out episodes just to meet deadlines.

Instead, strive to post as often as you can while maintaining your brand’s high standards. As long as you’re bringing your A-game, biweekly or monthly uploads can be more than enough to keep your audience interested.

Aim for Consistency

In a perfect world, hosts should aim for consistency. Listeners want to be able to look forward to the next new episode rather than wonder where you went.

Lastly, realize that your publishing schedule isn’t set in stone. You can surprise your audience with a new episode in the middle of a break. If you need to take the occasional break because you don’t have time to record a high-quality episode, that’s OK.

Beginning Your First Episode

Earlier, we discussed the importance of choosing the right name and cover art. These elements are crucial in compelling listeners to click on your podcast.

However, getting them to tune in is only half the battle.

You need to capture their attention even further and convince them to stick around. That’s where your podcast intro comes in.

Your intro could take a million different directions. Some shows incorporate intro music to give it a professional sound. Others rely on a unique tagline, incorporate call-to-actions, introduce the hosts — the possibilities are endless.

Whatever you do, try to keep things brief. A concise intro will help new listeners feel welcome without overwhelming them. It’s also good for returning listeners as they’ll want to dive right in.

Perhaps most importantly, make sure your intro is consistent with the tone of your show. It should set the right mood to avoid unnecessary whiplash.

Choosing Podcast Music

As we mentioned in the previous section, adding intro music can be a smart move.

A memorable melody piques the interest of new listeners and lets your current audience know they’re in the right place. You can also add your podcast music to the outro to make your episodes more conclusive.

Hosts can even add music throughout the “body” of their episodes. However, you should only go this route when it adds value to your show. The music you choose needs to set the tone, create emphasis, inspire reactions, etc.

How to Add Podcast Music to Your Episodes

You’ll need to add music during the editing phases. While software like Adobe Audition and Logic Pro X let you drag and mix tracks, we recommend checking out your hosting provider. Many have podcast apps that let you easily add royalty-free music.

Whatever music you include, be careful with the audio levels. Making the soundtrack too loud can drown out your voice or distract listeners.

We know you want to incorporate your favorite songs into your show.

Even though your listeners would appreciate hearing today’s top hits, you shouldn’t use music that isn’t royalty-free. Otherwise, you could face some serious legal trouble.

Fortunately, it’s easy to find royalty-free music for podcasts through websites like Epidemic Sound, Shutterstock, and Pixabay. You can download files for a small fee or even for free.

As great as copyright-free music is, some people have a vendetta against it.

Some think that it’s too hard to find a track that suits their brand. Others believe listeners can clock the generic beats.

If you don’t want to use royalty-free music, hire a pro to record a completely original track. This route is nice as it gives your show an even more personalized touch.

Coming Up With Titles for Podcast Episodes

As our “how to start a podcast” guide has demonstrated so far, you’re going to have a lot on your plate.

Perhaps the furthest thing from your mind is what you want to call your episodes. Can’t you just name them “Episode 1,” “Episode 2,” etc., and call it a day?

You could. But going the numerical route is a big mistake.

For one, it’s boring. No one is going to see “Episode 30” and think, “Wow, that sounds interesting. I better tune in!”

You need to give listeners a reason to choose your episode over the millions of others on Google Podcasts. Think of your podcast title as an elevator pitch to your episode. Good ways to build interest include using a question, including a phrase like “How to…” or “X Ways to…”

Include Keywords in Episode Titles

Directories like Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts let users search by episode. So, in addition to being interesting to listeners, your episode titles need to be search-friendly.

Don’t be afraid to increase visibility by using relevant keywords in your titles. Taking advantage of trending topics is the perfect way to introduce your show to new listeners.

However, make sure your episode delivers what your title promises. If people click on a misleading title, they’ll become frustrated if you don’t deliver what you promised.

Bringing on Podcast Guests

Your show might invite the occasional guest to mix things up. But if you chose an interview format, you’re going to need to find new guests for every episode.

The pressure to find good guests can be a lot. During your search, keep the following tips in mind:

Don’t Choose Just Anyone

Especially when your show is new, it’s tempting to bring on just anyone as guests. However, we’re here to tell you that it’s OK to be a little picky.

You need to choose guests that are relevant to your show and eager to be in front of the mic. More importantly, your audience needs to find them interesting.

Expand Your Definition of Guests

All guests don’t have to be other podcasters. They can be anyone from local celebrities to authors to politicians. Tapping into unique perspectives will give your show the well-rounded approach it needs to stand out.

Be Persistent

When looking for guests, you need to be persistent. Proactive outreach means calling, emailing, and social media messaging any prospective guests.

The more you reach out, the more likely you’ll hear back.

Don’t be afraid to contact people who you think would never say yes. Even if your show is new, influencers and experts are always looking for the chance to be on new platforms. They’ll be especially willing to come on if they see that you have lots of potential to grow an audience.

And what’s the worse they can say? No? Rejection is all part of the game. As long as you remain persistent, you’ll find the perfect guests in no time.

Double Dip

No matter how many episodes you release, there’s bound to be one guest that sticks with your audience. Maybe they liked their charming personality or their chemistry with you.

In any case, make sure you give the people what they want! Feel free to invite this fan favorite back for Round 2. Listeners will eagerly anticipate the new episode, and you won’t have to do as much outreach as the two of you already have a relationship. It’s a win-win.

Approaching Podcast Scripts

Anxious to record your first podcast episode? You’re not alone — most hosts are no stranger to these nerves even after they’ve recorded several episodes.

To make yourself more comfortable, you might feel tempted to write out your podcast script. After all, how can you go wrong when you have your lines in front of you?

In some situations, scripts can be helpful. They’re especially relevant for structured, highly produced shows that involve topics like storytelling.

However, most hosts find that scripts do more harm than good.

Cons of Scripts

For one, scripts take way too long to write. It can eat up a lot of your time if you have to make one every week.

Scripts can also make your show sound boring and forced. Unless you have lots of practice under your belt, it’s hard to sound natural while reading a script.

Perhaps most notably, scripts can limit your creativity. Let’s say you’re in the middle of your show and suddenly think of a really good point. Because you’re too scared of deviating from your script, your audience ends up missing out on your excellent point.

Write an Outline Instead

To avoid the cons of a script, you should write an outline instead.

An outline is a perfect tool as it gives you a loose structure. If you’re ever stuck, you can refer to it to get back on track.

An outline also gives you a lot of wiggle room. Listing points instead of full sentences, helps you sound more conversational. It also opens room for you to throw in additional points as necessary.

Podcasting Equipment

Podcast Equipment

The magic won’t happen until you have some basic equipment

Some new hosts go the easy route and purchase a podcast starter kit. Inexpensive kits come with the barebones supplies you need, such as mics, headphones, and cables. More advanced packages may include mixers, pop filters, and mic stands.

If you don’t want to buy a starter kit, here’s an overview of important podcast equipment.

Choosing The Microphone

A podcast microphone is perhaps the most important tool in your arsenal. Without it, people won’t be able to hear what you have to say.

For beginners, I recommend the Audio-Technica ATR2100x-USB. It’s an affordable and versatile option with both USB and XLR connectivity. As you progress, can also consider upgrading to higher-end microphones like the Shure SM7B or Rode NT1-A for professional-level sound quality.

When recording with multiple people, Its best to avoid USB microphones as they can cause issues with multiple inputs. Instead go for XLR mics, which will require an audio interface or mixer.

The best microphones for podcasting depend on your needs and budget. However, we’ve found that brands like Samson and Blue make affordable, high-quality podcast microphones.

Headphones

While headphones might not seem essential at first, they play an important role in monitoring audio levels and detecting any inconsistencies during recording. I should invest in a decent pair of closed-back or over-ear headphones for better isolation and reduced audio leakage. Some popular podcast options include the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x and Sony MDR-7506.

Here are a few characteristics I should look for in podcasting headphones:

  • Comfortable fit for long recording sessions
  • Good noise isolation
  • Flat frequency response for accurate audio monitoring

Audio Interfaces

An audio interface allows me to connect multiple XLR microphones and other instruments to my computer. It also provides better sound quality compared to built-in computer sound cards. The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 is a popular choice for beginners, offering two XLR inputs, built-in preamps, and 24-bit audio resolution.

Things you should consider the following when choosing an audio interface:

  • Number of inputs and outputs needed
  • Compatibility with my computer and recording software
  • Preamp quality and phantom power availability

By investing in the right podcast equipment, including a good microphone, headphones, and an audio interface, I can ensure my podcast stands out in terms of audio quality and professionalism.

Podcast Recording Software

Podcast Recording Software

A USB mic (see also ‘How To Connect A USB Mic To iPhone‘) plugs into your computer. But to capture the audio, you’ll need recording software.

Podbean

When it comes to podcast recording software, Podbean is a reliable option for beginners and experts alike. I have found that Podbean offers a straightforward platform to record your podcast episodes effortlessly. With its web-based application, there’s no need to download any software – simply log in and get started with your recording session.

One advantage of using Podbean is its built-in editing tools, which allow you to fine-tune your podcast recording with ease. Features like noise reduction and volume leveling come in handy to create a polished final product. Additionally, Podbean offers seamless integration with popular hosting services, making it easy to distribute your episodes on various platforms.

Logic Pro

Another excellent podcast recording and editing software is Logic Pro. Although it’s a more advanced option compared to Podbean, I appreciate the professional-grade features and control that it provides. Logic Pro is designed for macOS users, ensuring seamless integration with your Apple device.

Record a podcast with high-quality audio using Logic Pro’s extensive set of effects, mixing tools, and virtual instruments. This software also supports multi-tracking, which means you can record multiple audio sources simultaneously and edit them independently. This feature is particularly useful when you have guest speakers or need to incorporate various sound elements into your podcast episodes.

Fortunately, there are a couple of free options available.

Mac users often turn to GarageBand as it comes as a default app. However, newer versions of GarageBand have somewhat limited features.

Thus, both Mac and PC users are better off with Audacity. It’s hard to believe that this software is free when you realize how useful it is for audio recording and editing.

If you want access to even more features, consider something like Adobe Audition. It’s a professional tool that’s available if you have an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription. For years, hosts have been using it to get studio-quality recordings.

Note that most recording software doubles as editing software. Later, we’ll go over which editing features you should use to clean up your tracks.

Extras You May Need

All you need to make your first episode is a mic and recording/editing software.

We recommend sticking with these essentials until you get into the swing of things. That way, you can figure out if you like podcasting before you drop a bunch of money into it.

When it’s time to upgrade your studio, consider adding accessories such as the following:

  • Pop filter to improve sound quality
  • Studio headphones for editing purposes
  • Non-USB mics like dynamic mics or condensers
  • Audio mixers for non-USB mics

Recording a Podcast

Once you have all of your podcast equipment, it’s time to record your podcast.

Here are some of the most important tips to keep in mind before you press that big red circle.

Recording in the Right Space

New shows probably won’t have access to a fancy recording studio. But don’t sweat it!

It’s perfectly acceptable to film in a room in your house. However, to get the best sound quality possible, follow these recommendations:

  • Turn off fans, air conditioners, or anything else that produces white noise.
  • Choose a small room with drapes, carpets, or other paddings that will reduce echo.
  • Ask your roommates for quiet time.

As long as you have a decent mic and record in an ideal environment, your audio will sound professional. You can also clean up your tracks with editing software (which we’ll discuss later).

Pretending Like You’re Talking to a Listener

Many people don’t realize how foreign talking into a mic is until they do it themselves.

Don’t make the mistake that most newbies make. That is, they’ll act like they’re talking to the mic or themselves.

The goal is to sound like you’re talking to your listeners. So, create your podcast persona in your head and pretend like they’re in the room. The more you practice, the more natural your monologue will sound.

If you have a co-host, it’ll be a little easier. You don’t have to do much imagination as a real person is sitting across the table.

Calming Your Nerves

Before you hit that record button, do whatever you need to do to calm your nerves. Some hosts will:

  • Drink a soothing tea
  • Meditate
  • Practice deep breathing
  • Review their key points with a co-host or friend

By calming your nerves, you not only feel more comfortable but also improve your sound quality.

Relaxed hosts are less likely to take noisy breaths which would make the editing process more difficult. You’ll also be less likely to shift around in your chair, shuffle papers, and make other unnecessary noises.

Recording Remotely

In a perfect world, we’d always be able to record with our guests in person. However, if you don’t want to limit your show, you’ll have to record remotely every once in a while.

The problem is that recording remotely can be a pain to coordinate. And it’s even harder to get good audio quality from these sessions.

Choosing the right podcast equipment for your show

If you’re on a budget, consider Zoom.us. This free video conferencing tool lets you record 40-minute calls with up to two people.

Those who want to avoid compressed audio files and annoying connection glitches should opt for a tool like Squadcast. As a “double-ender” call recorder, it records each person’s audio separately and then syncs both recordings together in post-production. The result? Amazing audio quality and less work when it comes time to edit.

Other tips for recording remotely include:

  • Choose a day and time that works for you and your guests
  • Make sure your guest has access to decent podcast equipment (especially headphones and a microphone)
  • Encourage your guest to record live audio in a quiet environment

Recording a Video Podcast

There’s debate around whether you should add a video element to your show. Some say that it requires too much time and effort to put together. Other podcast hosts might feel uncomfortable putting the stress of being camera-ready on their guests.

In some cases, however, video can be a powerful way to make your show more engaging. The format is particularly relevant to interview-style episodes as it pulls the conversation together.

If you decide to go the video route, you could use your smartphone. However, we recommend investing in a high-quality DSLR for streaming platform-ready images.

It’s also important to sync your audio and video. A delay will be funny for the first few seconds, but your audience will quickly get annoyed.

Finally, make sure you clean up a little before hitting the record button. Your set doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but it should look tidy and welcoming.

Podcast Editing Software

Podcast Editing Software

Before you upload your audio files to platforms like Apple Podcasts, you’ll need to do a little editing.

Make things easy on yourself by choosing a recording tool that doubles as audio editing software. That way, you can keep all of your audio files in one place and streamline your workflow.

Pro Tools

Pro Tools is a popular and powerful audio editing software that has been widely used by both amateurs and professionals alike. With its advanced sound editing capabilities, Pro Tools allows me to:

  • Edit and arrange multiple tracks with ease.
  • Utilize a wide range of audio effects, including compression and equalization.
  • Create non-destructive edits, allowing for easy revisions and changes.
  • Easily import and export files in various formats.

While Pro Tools offers a steep learning curve for beginners, its powerful features make it a great choice for podcast editing projects. Personally, I appreciate the variety of tools it provides, although it might be too complex for those new to podcast editing.

Riverside

Riverside is another excellent option for editing podcast software, offering user-friendly features specially designed for podcast creators. Built mainly for remote recording, my favorite Riverside features are:

  • High-quality audio: Riverside records audio in separate tracks for each participant, providing clear and crisp sound.
  • Video recording support: Riverside also offers video recording capabilities, allowing for versatile content creation.
  • User-friendly interface: Riverside makes it easy for me to edit my podcast with a straightforward interface and approachable tools.
  • Automatic noise reduction: This feature helps me clean up the audio by removing any unwanted background noise.

Riverside offers a more accessible option to edit your podcast for all experience levels. I find it especially useful for remote recording and appreciate its simplicity compared to more advanced software like Pro Tools.

Now, it’s time to go over a few editing tips that will make your life much simpler.

Working with a ‘Less Is More’ Mentality

A common new podcast host mistake is overediting. You cut, trim, delete and rearrange until your episode is virtually unrecognizable.

All of this editing not only eats up lots of your time but impacts your audience’s listening experience. They want to hear a natural-sounding conversation — not a mishmash of sound bites that don’t flow.

If you want to have a successful podcast, you should strive for minimal edits. Plan your episodes well so that you don’t have to cut anything from the middle. And, make yourself and your guests comfortable to remove “ums” and awkward pauses.

All you should have to do in a perfect world is trim a little off the beginning and the end of your podcast episodes.

Focusing on Quality

Instead of chopping up your audio, focus on improving the quality.

One of the most important things to do is normalize sound levels. Be sure to check the upload requirements of Google Play and other podcast directories. However, a good rule of thumb is to bring your levels up to -2dB using the “amplify” setting in your podcast editing software.

Yet another easy way to make your audio sound amazing is by reducing white noise. Apply a noise reduction feature to eliminate humming air conditioners and other droning background sounds.

Finally, you might consider adding filters to make your voice sound clearer, crisper, or fuller. While it’s normal for a podcast host to want to sound radio-esque, be careful about going overboard. Using tons of filters and putting each one on the maximum setting will leave your voice sounding watery.

Acoustics and Recording Environment

Acoustics When Recording a Podcast

When starting a podcast, one of the key elements to consider is the acoustics and recording environment. As a podcaster, I understand that having an ideal space to record is essential for capturing high-quality audio.

The first thing I did was to find a dedicated room to set up my home studio to make a podcast. This room should be quiet and free from external noise, such as traffic, lawnmowers, or helicopters. Ideally, the room should have minimal echo and reverb. This can be achieved by having a space with carpets, curtains, or bookshelves, which can absorb sound and prevent it from bouncing off the walls and ceiling.

To further improve the acoustics, I applied acoustic treatment to the room. This involved covering 75-80% of the solid walls with commercially available acoustic foam. This helps to reduce first reflection points, which are surfaces that directly reflect the sound of my voice back to the microphone. By treating the walls, ceiling, and floor, I was able to significantly minimize unwanted sound reflections and improve the overall audio quality of my podcast recordings.

In addition to treating the room itself, it’s also important to select the right microphone for podcasting. There are two main types of microphones: dynamic and condenser. Dynamic microphones are generally better for home studios, as they are less sensitive to background noise. Condenser microphones, on the other hand, provide higher sensitivity and better sound quality, but they also pick up much more background noise. Based on my experience, I went with a dynamic microphone for my podcast to ensure clear audio without excessive background interference.

Lastly, it’s important to have a good set of headphones and get familiar with all your recording equipment. This will help you make necessary adjustments while recording and during post-production editing.

Prepare for Your Podcast Recordings

Preparing to Record

Before I begin recording my podcast, I take some crucial steps to ensure that the outcome will be professional and engaging. First and foremost, I choose a strong topic or theme for the episode. It is essential to have a clear idea of what I want to discuss, something that is both interesting and relevant to my audience. I often spend some time researching the subject to gather valuable insights and information.

Once I have my topic, I create an outline for the episode. This helps me stay organized and on track while recording. I list 3-5 bullet points of the key points I want to cover in the episode. This approach works well for both solo shows and interviews.

  • Choose a topic: Pick a relevant and interesting theme for your podcast.
  • Research: Spend time gathering information on your chosen subject.
  • Outline: Create a list of key points to cover during the episode.

Next, it’s time to think about the technical aspects of the recording. I make sure my recording space is set up correctly. This means finding a quiet location, setting up any required equipment, and testing my microphone. Having a comfortable and professional podcast recording space will help me produce a high-quality final product.

  • Find a quiet location: Choose a place with minimal background noise.
  • Set up equipment: Make sure all your gear is in place and functioning properly.
  • Test the microphone: Do a quick sound check to ensure optimal audio quality.

Lastly, I find it important to prepare myself mentally for the recording. I take a few moments to relax, focus, and get into the right mindset before I hit the record button. This can help me feel more confident and articulate during the podcast.

  • Relax: Take a moment to calm yourself before recording.
  • Focus: Clear your mind of distractions and concentrate on the podcast.
  • Get into the right mindset: Feel confident and prepared before you start.

By taking the time to prepare for my podcast recordings, I can ensure a more seamless recording process and create a polished, engaging final product that my listeners will enjoy.

Hit Record: First Few Episodes

Record First Episode

When I began recording my first podcast episodes, there were several techniques that I learned to ensure the highest quality audio for my listeners. In this section, I’ll share some tips for recording high-quality audio so that you can create engaging podcasts from the start.

Tips for Recording High-Quality Audio

Before hitting record, I made sure to have the right equipment to create professional-sounding episodes. Investing in a quality microphone and audio interface ensures that my voice is captured clearly and accurately. I also considered using pop filters and acoustic treatment to enhance the audio and minimize any unwanted noises.

One of the key aspects of creating a great-sounding podcast is the recording environment. I chose a quiet location with minimal background noise and properly set up my equipment, paying close attention to microphone placement, and maintaining an appropriate distance between myself and the mic.

To improve the audio quality of my podcast episodes, I also learned about the importance of proper gain staging. This means adjusting the input levels to ensure that the signal is neither too weak nor too strong, avoiding clipping or distortion. A good rule of thumb is to set the input levels to peak around -6dB to -12dB, leaving enough headroom for post-production adjustments.

While recording my first podcast, I understood that consistency among episodes is important for a cohesive listening experience. This includes maintaining a uniform vocal tone, similar audio levels, and a similar style across all episodes. Taking breaks and using notes to stay on topic also played a crucial role in keeping my podcast engaging and professional.

Moreover, I found that monitoring the audio during the recording process helps ensure a high-quality end-product. By using headphones and regularly checking the audio levels, I was able to identify issues and correct them quickly.

In conclusion, by following these tips and focusing on producing high-quality audio, I was able to create an engaging podcast that provided value to my listeners. By investing time and effort into the recording process, you too can create a successful podcast worth listening to.

Edit Your Podcast Recordings

Edit Your Podcast Recordings

Basics Of Audio Editing, Including Cutting, Mixing, And Mastering

To produce a professional-sounding podcast, editing your recordings is essential. I will now provide you with the basics of audio editing, including cutting, mixing, and mastering.

Firstly, it’s important to use a reliable podcast editing software for the job. There are various options available at different price points, such as Audacity, which is a popular free choice, or Adobe Audition for those with a higher budget.

Cutting is the simplest but most vital part of editing your podcast. My advice is to listen carefully to the entire recording and remove any unnecessary portions, such as awkward silences, stutters, or irrelevant content. Keeping the flow of conversation is important, so make sure the cuts are smooth and unnoticeable.

The next step in editing your podcast is mixing. This involves adjusting audio levels and equalization to ensure a balanced and comfortable listening experience. Here’s what to keep in mind when mixing:

  • Normalize audio levels to maintain a consistent volume across all voices and tracks
  • Apply compression to control dynamic range and prevent too loud or too soft portions
  • Use equalization to fine-tune frequencies for a more natural and pleasant sound

Lastly, the mastering process enhances the final audio quality and ensures compatibility with various listening devices. Some essential aspects of mastering include:

  • Limit the peak levels to avoid distortion and meet common streaming service standards
  • Apply a high-pass filter to remove unwanted low-frequency noise
  • Adjust the stereo width to create a more immersive experience for your listeners

Editing your podcast is a crucial step in producing a high-quality end product. With the right podcast editing software and a good understanding of cutting, mixing, and mastering, you can confidently create and publish your podcast episodes.

Intro and Outro Music

Intro and Outro Music

When it comes to creating a podcast, one aspect that can often be overlooked is the intro and outro music. As a podcaster, I’ve found that these elements are essential for setting the tone and leaving a lasting impression on listeners. Choosing the right intro and outro music can help attract an audience and enhance the overall listening experience.

In selecting my podcast intro music, I considered several factors. The intro plays a vital role in managing the listener’s experience and capturing their attention. With typically just 5 minutes to “hook” a third of all new listeners, it’s important to establish the podcast’s theme and style immediately. I opted for a short, unique tune that’s catchy and relevant to the show’s topic, ultimately setting the stage for the content to follow.

My outro music is just as important, as it provides closure and leaves a lasting impression on listeners. I carefully chose a track that complements the podcast’s content and doesn’t overpower the final words or call-to-action. The outro also provides an opportunity to include a memorable tagline, contact information, or a thank you to listeners for their attention.

While selecting music for my podcast, I considered different music genres, often looking for instrumental tracks to avoid distractions. Royalty-free music sources, like Soundstripe or AudioJungle, offer a wide variety of tracks suitable for podcast intros and outros. Alternatively, collaborating with local artists or composing original tracks can lend exclusivity and recognition to your podcast’s sound.

Lastly, it’s essential to observe copyright laws by ensuring the music selected is legally available for use. Failing to do so can result in unwanted legal implications and potentially harm your podcast’s reputation. Be sure to obtain the necessary permissions or licenses before incorporating any music into your podcast.

In conclusion, investing time and effort in choosing the right intro and outro music can significantly enhance a podcast’s overall quality and appeal. It sets the stage for your content, engages listeners, and establishes a professional, polished presentation.

Legal Considerations

It’s crucial for me to understand copyright laws when starting my podcast. I need to ensure that any content I use, such as music, images, or clips, doesn’t infringe on anyone else’s copyright. This includes not only protecting my own created content but also being mindful of other content creators’ rights. To avoid potential issues with copyright infringement, I’ll make sure to:

  • Use original content or obtain the necessary licenses and permissions for any copyrighted material I want to include.
  • Attribute any copyrighted works appropriately, according to the creator’s licensing terms or requirements.
  • Review fair use guidelines, which permit the limited use of copyrighted works for educational or critical purposes, to determine if my podcast falls within these parameters.

Permissions and Releases from Guests and Co-hosts

Another critical aspect of starting my podcast is ensuring that I have the proper permissions and releases from my guests and co-hosts. This can help protect me and my podcast from any legal issues in the future. Here are some steps I will take to ensure I have the necessary permissions and releases:

  1. Communicate clearly with guests and co-hosts about the rights and responsibilities associated with their participation in the podcast.
  2. Create a written agreement outlining each party’s rights and obligations, including permissions to use the guest’s or co-host’s contributions in the podcast (e.g., their voice, image, or ideas) and any terms for compensation or attribution.
  3. Obtain signed release forms, which give me the right to use and distribute my guests’ and co-hosts’ contributions in the podcast, from each person involved.

By addressing these legal considerations early in the process, I can help make sure my podcast is compliant with the relevant laws while also protecting myself and my content.

Monetization

Monetization

When it comes to monetizing your podcast, there are several strategies that can help you earn income while providing value to your audience. In this section, I will discuss the top four ways to monetize your podcast: sponsorship deals, affiliate marketing, merchandising, and Patreon. These methods can help you grow and monetize your podcast effectively.

Sponsorships

A common and effective way to monetize your podcast is by securing sponsorship deals. These are agreements with brands or businesses that want to advertise their products or services to your listeners. In return, they pay you a fee for promoting their offerings during your show. To attract potential sponsors, you need a dedicated listenership and a clear understanding of your audience demographics.

Affiliate Marketing

Another way to monetize your podcast is through affiliate marketing. This method involves partnering with companies and promoting their products or services within your episodes. Each time a listener makes a purchase using your unique affiliate link or discount code, you earn a commission. This approach can be especially effective if the products or services you promote align with your podcast’s theme or your audience’s interests.

Merchandising

Creating and selling merchandise is a fun and creative way to monetize your podcast while building your brand. Popular merchandising options include t-shirts, hats, mugs, or any other items that showcase your podcast name or logo. Offering exclusive, limited edition merchandise can help generate buzz and encourage listeners to support your show by purchasing products.

Patreon

Patreon allows you to create a membership platform where your most dedicated listeners can support your podcast financially. In exchange for a monthly fee, they get access to exclusive content, behind-the-scenes updates, or other perks. This method helps you build a stronger relationship with your audience, and it provides a more consistent revenue stream.

By exploring these various monetization options and tailoring them to your podcast’s unique needs, you can create a reliable income while fostering a loyal and engaged listenership.

Distribution and Promotion

distribution and promotion Podcast

Choose Podcast Hosting

Our “how to start a podcast” guide wouldn’t be worth anything if we didn’t talk about hosting platforms.

Without a podcast hosting service, your episodes don’t have a place to live on the Internet. Unfortunately, that means you can’t publish them to directories like Apple Podcasts.

Hosting platforms (AKA media hosts) also have tons of other purposes. They let you create a podcast website, put ads on your episodes, edit your audio, track analytics, and so much more. Some platforms even offer educational resources to help newbies learn the ropes.

Picking From the Best Podcast Hosting Platforms

Over the years, more and more people want to learn how to start a podcast. To meet the growing demand, tons of hosting platforms have hit the market.

The various choices can make it hard to pick the right one. Your decision gets even more complicated knowing that you should consider factors like your budget, preferences, and how big your show is.

If you’re just starting, consider Buzzsprout. This media host offers all the basic features you need at an affordable monthly subscription.

Other fantastic options include:

  • Transistor
  • Podbean
  • Anchor
  • Simplecast
  • Captivate
  • Blubrry

Whichever platform you pick, make sure you sign up for the appropriate plan. You want access to the appropriate storage, bandwidth, and team size without spending more than you need to.

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How to Submit Your Show to Podcast Directories (Apple Podcasts, Spotify, & More)

Many new hosts think they have to upload their show to every podcast directory individually.

Sounds like a lot of work, right? Thankfully, that’s not how things work.

Submitting Your Show via Your Media Host

Your media host essentially does the heavy lifting for you. After making your account, you need to submit your show by entering details like your podcast’s description and title. You should also classify your show under the right podcast categories to ensure your episodes land in front of relevant listeners.

Once you hit submit, your podcast RSS feed will automatically generate. This RSS feed is how listeners can access your show.

From there, you can upload your first episode. Along with the audio file, you’ll need to submit the episode title and description. The platform will also ask you to choose which directories to submit to. We recommend selecting the major ones such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and any other directories your listeners flock to.

And that’s pretty much it! Your show and its first episode will populate on the directories you selected. And, they’ll eventually pop up on less popular directories (even if you didn’t select them when initially submitting your episode).

Difference Between Podcast And Parcast.

Publishing New Episodes

Every time you want to publish a new episode for your podcast, all you have to do is upload the audio file to your account and create a new episode. Directories will automatically pull the episodes and deliver them to listeners via your RSS feed.

Manual Submissions

Technically, you can submit your show to individual directories using platforms like Apple Podcasts Connect.

However, as we’ve described above, this tedious work is unnecessary. A hosting platform lets you submit to multiple directories in one swoop.

Advertising Your Show

Especially if you don’t have an existing following, it can take a while to build the audience you want.

Rest assured, listeners will find your show eventually. To speed the process along, be vigilant about your advertising efforts. You need to get creative if you want to spread the word and stand out from the thousands of other shows already out there.

Need some advertising ideas? Here are a few strategies we’ve found effective:

Share Clips to Social Media

In today’s day and age, social media is one of the most powerful marketing tools available. You’d be foolish not to use it to promote your podcast.

Girl long hair listening to a podcast on a run

Ideally, you’ll want to focus on the social media platforms where your target audience spends most of its time. For instance, if you want to attract an older crowd, Facebook will be your best bet. On the other hand, a platform like TikTok is more appropriate if you’re aiming for younger listeners.

Whichever platform you use, try to make your posts valuable rather than promotional. Sharing clips that are funny, interesting, or profound will make listeners curious. When they see clips from a few episodes, they’ll be more likely to share with friends and even tune in to your full show.

Use a Clear Call-to-Action

Even though your social media posts shouldn’t be overly promotional, a clear call-to-action can go a long way.

Think about it — if you see a funny podcast snippet on TikTok, you might think, “Hey, I want to see more of that.” But if the account doesn’t give any info as to the show name or where you can tune in, you’re not sure where to go. Like most listeners, you’ll probably lose interest and keep scrolling.

If the post had contained a clear CTA, however, you get the direction you need to follow the account, visit the podcast website, etc.

Should You Promote Specific Listening Platforms?

When crafting your CTAs, you might wonder if you should promote specific listening platforms.

Some people say it’s essential to perform well on Apple Podcasts as it’s where most podcast listeners go. You might also want to focus on Spotify as it’s the second-largest podcast directory in the world.

It can be beneficial to encourage your listeners to listen on a specific platform. However, we recommend keeping things simple. Telling listeners that your show is available on their preferred listening platform keeps

Leverage Your Guests’ Audience

We’re not saying that you should use your guests, but you can’t go wrong with leveraging their audience.

Having a guest on usually means that your show will see new traffic. In your episode, make sure to welcome these new listeners. You can do this by appealing to their interests, filling them in on the premise of your show, or demonstrating your relationship with your guest. Ultimately, you should strive to encourage them to stick around for future episodes.

Go on Other Podcasts

Even though you’re focused on producing your own show, you shouldn’t turn down opportunities to go on other podcasts.

Being a guest is another great way to expose yourself to new audiences. You can tell listeners a little about yourself during your appearance and even create hype for upcoming episodes.

Engagement and Community Building

Engagement and Community Building

Listener Engagement

As I am building my podcast, engaging with my listeners will play a crucial role in its success. Encouraging listener engagement can be achieved by asking them to leave reviews, provide feedback, or interact with my podcast’s social media pages. This will not only strengthen my podcast’s community but also help me to understand what my listeners want.

Promoting interaction between podcast listeners can be accomplished through hosting live events and webinars, setting up online forums or discussion groups, and creating social media challenges. Offering diverse avenues for listener engagement will allow me to cater to their varying preferences and maintain their interest in my podcast.

Networking

Cultivating strong relationships in the podcast industry is equally essential in growing my podcast community. Networking with other podcasters and industry professionals can open up collaboration opportunities, share insights, and broaden my own knowledge. Attending podcast conferences, joining online groups, and engaging with relevant social media communities can be effective ways to build connections.

Establishing relationships with influential individuals in my podcast’s niche can also provide me with an opportunity to grow my listener base. Inviting expert guests to participate in my show and promoting their episodes through their channels can exponentially increase the number of people who listen to my podcast. Additionally, networking with my podcast’s target audience can help foster a sense of community among listeners who are genuinely interested in my show.

Analytics and Improvement

Analytics and Improvement

When starting a podcast, it’s important to consistently monitor your analytics to understand your audience and make improvements to your content. As a podcast creator, I have found value in focusing on analytics like downloads, listener numbers, and play-through rates.

Before we dive into the analytics, remember that the goal is podcast growth. By continuously improving your content and paying attention to listener feedback, you can expand your audience and reach a wider range of people.

When measuring podcast analytics, I rely on platforms like Google Podcast Manager, Apple Podcast, and Spotify dashboards. Be aware that podcast analytics are not yet fully standardized across platforms, so your numbers may vary from one source to another. Despite this limitation, these platforms provide valuable insights, such as podcast performance over time and trends in listener engagement.

Some key analytics to pay attention to include:

  • Downloads: The total number of times your podcast episodes have been downloaded, which generally indicates your podcast’s popularity.
  • Listener numbers: The number of unique individuals who have listened to your podcast, giving you a sense of your podcast’s reach.
  • Play-through rate: The percentage of your episode that listeners, on average, listen to. This indicates how engaging your content is and can guide you on where to make improvements.
  • Audience retention: The length of time your listeners stay subscribed to your podcast, which is an indicator of the connection you have built with them.

Armed with these insights, I make changes to my podcast to better serve my audience. For instance, if my play-through rate drops mid-episode, I analyze the content at that point and make adjustments to increase engagement. Similarly, if my podcast’s listener numbers are not growing as desired, I might experiment with different marketing strategies and content themes.

Next Steps After the Launch

Hosts put in a lot of hard work to get to their official lunch. But in many ways, publishing your first episode is only the beginning.

Now’s not the time to let off the gas. However, to ensure you have a successful show, keep the following steps in mind post-launch.

Optimizing Your Podcast Website

With everything else you have on your plate, creating a website for your show might be the furthest thing from your mind.

However, we’d argue that this step is an important one you shouldn’t skip.

Even though it may not be immediately obvious, a podcast website comes with tons of benefits. For instance, it opens your show to new listeners. It helps your content show up in search results and land in front of the right people at just the right moment.

Your website will also act as sales funnel. When listeners tune in and want to see more from you, your website gives them a place to go. You can provide the value they’re looking for and guide them towards a final action (whether you want them to enter their email address, buy a product, etc.).

Fortunately, creating a podcast website couldn’t be easier. Many media host platforms let you make your own website as part of your plan.

Optimizing it, however, is another story. So here are some ways you can ensure you make the most of your website:

Embed Your Episodes

It only makes sense to make your episodes available on your website.

However, we don’t recommend uploading episodes directly to your site. These large files can result in bandwidth issues, inaccurate listening statistics, and an overall poor listening experience.

Instead, you should embed your episodes via your podcast’s RSS feed. All you have to do is log in to your hosting platform, grab the embed code, and publish it to your site. Listeners will then be able to view players and tune in to each episode, all without having to leave your site.

Create Transcriptions

Transcriptions are word-for-word accounts of each episode. To make them, you must listen to each episode in full and type out everything you hear. If you prefer, you can automate the process by paying for transcription software.

Creating transcriptions can be very time-consuming. However, we assure you that it’s well worth the effort.

Perhaps most importantly, transcriptions make your episodes more accessible. People who are hard of hearing or don’t speak your native language can use them to follow along and enjoy your content like other listeners do.

Another benefit of transcriptions is that they help SEO. Google eats up this kind of long-form content as it explains what your episode is about and provides value to users.

Add Show Notes

Both show notes and transcriptions are written materials related to your podcast episode. But that’s where their similarities end.

Show notes aren’t verbatim accounts of your episodes. Rather, they act as in-depth summaries. Most show notes highlight key points and provide resources for listeners who want to learn more.

While show notes are great for engaging listeners, they’re also ideal for search engines. You can incorporate relevant keywords and authoritative links to improve your rankings and attract new listeners.

Once you complete your show notes and transcriptions, realize that you can’t submit them to your hosting platform. You’ll need to upload them underneath your episodes on your website.

Questions On How To Start a Podcast

Questions Related to How to Start a Podcast

Have more questions on how to start a podcast? Check out a few FAQs.

How can I start a podcast with no prior experience?

As a beginner, the first step to starting a podcast is to determine your topic and target audience. Next, pick a format for your show, such as interviews or solo episodes. To get started, invest in a decent microphone, audio editing software, and research platforms for hosting and distribution.

How much does it cost to start a podcast?

You don’t need a lot of money to start a podcast. However, if you want to keep things as affordable as possible, set aside around $100 for a high-quality podcast microphone and $200 for an annual hosting subscription. As for recording/editing software, use a free podcast option like Audacity.

What equipment is needed to begin a podcast?

The most essential equipment for a podcast is a quality microphone and a computer. I recommend investing in a pop filter and an adjustable arm or stand for the microphone to reduce noise and improve audio quality. For editing, you can use free audio-editing software like Audacity. Finally, a pair of good headphones will also come in handy for listening and editing purposes.

What are some tips for creating a successful podcast?

To increase your podcast’s chances of success, focus on finding a unique angle on your chosen topic, providing consistent and high-quality content, and actively engaging with your audience on social media platforms. Additionally, make sure that you properly edit your content, optimize your episodes for search engines, and promote your episodes through various marketing channels.

How much do podcasters make?

It’s estimated that highly successful podcasters make anywhere between $500 – $1,000 per episode due to affiliate sales. However, that doesn’t include guest appearances on other shows, influencing, and merch sales.

How can I start a podcast to make money?

Monetizing your podcast involves seeking sponsorships, offering premium content for paid subscribers, selling merchandise, or promoting your own products or services. Before launching your podcast, identify potential avenues for monetization and develop a business model around your strategic goals.

How can I start a podcast for free on platforms like Spotify?

To start a podcast for free, choose a free hosting service like Anchor, which automatically distributes your podcast to platforms such as Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts. However, be aware of the limitations of free hosting plans, such as restrictions on storage, analytics, and monetization opportunities.

Should I start a Podcast and YouTube Channel?

Starting both a podcast and a YouTube channel can be an excellent way to reach multiple audiences and experiment with different forms of content. However, you should consider the level of effort, time, and resources required to maintain both channels. If you’re up for the challenge, you can share audio from your podcast on your YouTube channel, or create video content to complement your podcast episodes.

Do I need to buy anything to start a podcast?

Yes, you will need to invest in some basic equipment to start a podcast, including a quality microphone, computer, and a suitable location for recording. Additionally, I recommend getting audio editing software like Audacity and researching podcast hosting platforms, which may have monthly subscription costs.

The Bottom Line: Is Hosting a Podcast Worth It?

Now that you know how to start a podcast, you see why launching a successful show is a huge accomplishment. So much goes into creating a podcast, and it’s certainly no easy feat.

However, hosting a podcast is absolutely worth it if you’re dedicated to your craft. You get to connect with viewers worldwide, express yourself through a creative outlet, and learn new things about niche topics. Your mind will expand, and so will your wallet if you know how to make a great show and have patience.

This “how to start a podcast” guide is about as comprehensive as it gets. You’ve learned everything from how to edit your episodes to how to market your final product.

Now, it’s time to go for it! Feel free to bookmark this page, as it will serve as a handy tool on your journey. With our advice, you’ll avoid skipping steps and set your show up for success.

Brett Robinson

Head of content and marketing over at Wired Clip HQ. I'm an Audio enthusiast and have been interested in anything from microphones to speakers. I am the lead guitarist for a small band and my main passion is editing our tracks.

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