Looking to start a podcast but feeling daunted by the whole process? It’s not as difficult as you may think. Here’s how to start a podcast in 10 easy steps:
1. Identify Your Podcast Niche and Target Audience
When starting a business, one of the first things experts say is “find your niche”. As Tim Ferriss would say, find 100 true fans and you’re set. The same goes for a podcast.
It’s incredibly important to choose a niche and to find your ideal target audience within that niche. For example, perhaps you want to start a podcast in the self-help arena. You might want to narrow in on relationships, family, friendship, or business instead of making a generalized podcast about all of them.
Then, you’ll want to focus on a target audience. Maybe you’re interested in reaching young mothers with a podcast about breastfeeding. Maybe it’s best to focus on entrepreneurs in your podcast about happiness and success.
The idea here is to focus and stay narrow instead of generalizing and missing the mark.
2. Naming Your Podcast (Keep It SEO-Friendly)
It goes without saying the search engines hold a lot of the power in terms of what becomes popular and what doesn’t. You have to “play the game”, so to speak, in order to get noticed. Name your podcast appropriately, but make sure it’s something a person might actually search.
Your podcast title should be in line with the vibe of your content. If it’s a girly relationship podcast, perhaps a funny or punny title makes sense. If it’s a serious podcast about political ideas, perhaps a more straightforward title is best.
3. Choose Your Podcast Frequency and Duration
The next step in how to start a podcast involves deciding on frequency and duration. Consistency is key and no matter what you choose, it’s best to pick parameters that you know you can stick with.
Podcast frequency refers to how often you’ll post a podcast. Whether that’s daily like Joe Rogan or once a week which is probably the most common, it’s totally up to you. Some people might record four podcasts in a day and get a whole month’s worth of content done in a day – we call this batching. Others like to spread them out and devote one morning a week to podcasting.
The point is to find a system that works for you and is maintainable.
Then you’ll need to decide how long each podcast will last. Long-form content is very popular and maybe you’re up for two-hour-long podcasts in order to do a deep dive into subjects you’re passionate about. Or, maybe you like listening to podcasts that are short and sweet. In that case, you might want to keep it down to 30 minutes.
Again, make sure you keep it consistent and set a goal that is maintainable. As you go along, you’ll learn what your audience likes – and surely, what they don’t. It might need some tweaks from there, but having an idea of the frequency and duration you’d like to achieve is a good place to start.
4. Choose Your Podcast Platform
Next, you’ll need to choose a podcast hosting platform. A hosting platform stores all your MP3’s and creates your podcast feed. It’s similar to a website hosting platform and is a company that allows you to store your media.
With new hosting sites popping up all the time, there are many to choose from. According to Podcast Insights, there are five in particular that are worth looking into:
As with anything, they’ll all have their pros and cons but based on what’s important to you (like an easy-to-use dashboard or low cost), surely one of these sites will prove to be the best podcast hosting site for you.
5. Purchase Essential Equipment
When starting a podcast, you’ll need to invest in some quality equipment including headphones, microphones, and professional editing software. That way you can record podcasts from your home or office without necessarily going to a recording studio, although that is a viable option for some business owners as well.
Noise-canceling headphones that cover your entire ear are best and Blue Yet microphones are popular in the podcasting space. Then, once you’ve recorded everything, editing software like GarageBand or Audacity are relatively easy to use and readily available.
From there, just make sure your recording room doesn’t have an echo. Putting up thick curtains or more traditional soundproofing can help if you’re in an empty-ish room.
6. Plan Your Podcast Content
Now, you might be super excited to get right to it after learning how to start a podcast, but hold your horses! There’s a lot of planning involved and it’s smart to have at least a month’s worth of recordings under your belt before announcing your new endeavor to the world.
That means you should be scheduling guests and generating topics in advance so you have a content calendar to work with. Planning ahead keeps you organized and it keeps your podcast on-brand. You don’t want to go in blind and end up on a tangent about wild monkeys if your podcast is meant to be about real estate.
7. Create a Podcast Website or a Podcast Page on Your Existing Website
Not only is a podcast a great way to offer extra content for your followers, but it’s also an opportunity to ramp up the traffic on your website or blog. Once you’ve figured out how to start a podcast, the next step is creating a website for it. Or, if you always have a website, make sure you include a page devoted to your new podcast content.
Here, you can add show notes which include links to more information on what was mentioned, social handles for the guest you interviewed, include a summary of the conversation, or, if possible, you can post full transcriptions of your podcasts on its website for some added SEO.
It’s a place to share freebies or discount codes from sponsors and will be a fabulous added resource for your listeners.
TIP: You can transcribe the audio of your podcast using a service called Rev!
8. Submit Your Podcast to iTunes
This part may seem confusing but trust me – it’s super simple. To submit your podcast to iTunes, all you need to do is follow these easy steps.
-Record the podcast.
-Make sure to complete the podcast details such as title, description, and summary.
-Choose a podcast hosting platform (which are listed in step #4)
-Get your RSS feed URL
-Download and create an iTunes account
-Submit your podcast recording to the iTunes Podcasts Connect
-Wait for approval (could take between 24 hours to two weeks)
9. Submit to Podcast Aggregators
After submitting your podcast to iTunes, you don’t want to stop there. Submit your podcasts to other aggregators like Stitcher, TuneIn, Overcast, Podcast Addict, and any other podcast providers where people might be listening.
Each aggregator has a different submission process and most will require some sort of one-time application. Check out their websites for more information.
10. Promote Your Podcast on Social Media
Finally, once you’re good to go and your brand new podcast is live for the world to listen to, it’s time to promote the best way we know how – using social media, of course!
The best social media platforms to use when promoting your podcast is Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. You’ll want to create media-rich content that shares snippets of audio or fun teasers and soundbites to get people interested.
Lots of podcasters film video footage of their podcasts as well to create even more content which turns out great for YouTube and gives your listeners yet another way to engage with your brand.