How to Start a Podcast
The work that goes into creating an online presence can be exhausting. Even if you have subcontracted someone to create your content, it still takes a lot of energy to delegate. Creating content that is fresh and insightful can be a challenge, but add to that the difficult task of bringing new followers to your various platforms and it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
Thought leaders, entrepreneurs, consultants, and business leaders are beginning to opt for uncharted territory by launching a podcast. It turns out that podcasts are booming right now! If you’ve been thinking about starting your own podcast then we encourage you to keep reading.
How does one even start a podcast? The process is easier and more affordable than you may think.
How to Start a Podcast: An Overview
Here’s a quick rundown of what you can expect to find in your podcast planning process (alliteration, anyone?). To start off, know that some hard work will be required upfront to ensure a successful podcast launch.
First, you will want to find your niche, name your podcast, design your podcast art, write your description, and pre-plan future episodes. After all this, you will be able to get into the nuts and bolts of the podcast logistics.
Once you have things figured out, it will be time to purchase some equipment. And finally, you will officially be “podcasting."
Don’t worry if this sounds like too much too fast, we will outline the “how” here in about 3...2...1…
Find Your Niche
What is your area of expertise or interest? You don’t have to fit in a specific box in the podcast world. However, you do want to pick a lane and stay in it. Most people shape their podcast around their area of work (i.e. financial coaches tend to host podcasts about budgeting and investment topics).
If your podcast won’t be career related, then other options are creating episodes around your interests or current events. If you’re unsure of what your niche should be, then take time to do this quick exercise:
- Write down a list of words that best describe you and your interests or area of expertise.
- Then, make your list more specific based off of those words.
- Keep following these two steps until you have a clear vision of what your podcast should be.
For example, someone who writes “law” as an area of expertise may end up choosing to focus on social justice as the niche for their podcast.
Design the Podcast
The design process of your podcast is often an exciting step for podcasters! It’s the moment when your podcast goes from being an idea to taking on the form of what you want it to become.
Here are some quick tips for making the most of your design process time:
Name Your Podcast
When working on the name, it’s best to come up with a short name that best defines what your show is about. Your title should also represent your brand.
Whether it’s witty, optimistic, or serious, your podcast title should point back to you, the host, and your vision for the podcast.
One helpful method or strategy is to think of your podcast as its own brand. After all, branding is what helps companies create a relatable identity that engages their target market, which in your case is your listeners.
If you're having trouble coming up with a name, try thinking about your niche and branding as this can spark the perfect name for your podcast.
Write Your Description
Writing your description is just as important as naming your podcast. You want to make sure your description gets directly to the point. The description is the reader’s first introduction to your podcast and the last thing they want is a long-winded document.
Consider beginning your description with a question to grab the reader’s attention. Some examples include, “Are you tired of overspending each month?” “Is your family communicating like they should?”
These questions pique the reader’s interest and leaves them wondering how you can help navigate them through these topics.
Not much of a writer? Hire a freelancer to help out. Platforms like LinkedIn, Upwork, and Fiverr are home to literally thousands of creative freelancers. Having access to that amount of freelancers nearly guarantees that you will find the perfect writer for your podcast, budget, and more. Best of all, there are no fees associated with hiring these professionals!
Finalize Your Podcast Cover Art
If you have an existing business then chances are you’ve already designed a brand kit for your social media platforms and website. In this case, you can simply transfer your brand to your podcast cover.
If you are starting from scratch, don’t worry as the process isn’t that complex. You’ll need to find a color scheme and font that best represents your new podcast. Choose fonts that are easy to read and a template that’s created specifically for podcast parameters.
Check out these examples of great podcast cover art.
If you’re too busy to design your podcast cover, then you can subcontract this portion of the podcast journey. Again, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the quality of work you can get on Upwork or Fiverr without having to deal with the headache of over analyzing your design. Both platforms allow freelancers to showcase their portfolios, giving you a chance to review their past work and projects so that you can find a style that resonates with you.
Plan Future Episodes
You’re nearly ready to launch! You’ve taken care of the finer details. Now is the time to start planning ahead by choosing topics and getting guests booked for future episodes (if hosting an interview-style podcast is what you’ve chosen to do).
We all know that time tends to get away from us, so keep that in mind during your planning process. The farther out you can plan episodes, the better.
You should also have a backup plan if a guest needs to cancel or a crazy pandemic sweeps across the world (wouldn’t that be weird?). Once you have the episodes planned out, you should make advertising your upcoming episodes a priority.
Get graphics for social media scheduled so that they post one week out from your new episode.
Buy Your Recording Equipment
It’s time to jump online and read reviews for the products you’ll need. Remember that the most important piece of equipment for a podcast will be a microphone.
If you’re going to splurge on something, then take your money straight to the microphone section of the internet. Most of the time you will be able to find a great podcast microphone for less than $100! Oftentimes, the best deal comes from buying the microphone, boom arm, and stand combo.
Once you buy the equipment and set it up, don’t forget to test it. You will also want to test the equipment with the software you will be using to ensure that everything is compatible and works the way you want it to.
If you’ll be doing interviews, you can use Skype, Zoom, or other platforms for your conversation. Take time to carefully research and see which platform will work best for your podcast idea.
How to Land a Podcast Platform
Getting a spot on a podcast platform isn’t as intimidating as it sounds. As a matter of fact, it’s a simple application process. If there is a particular platform you want your podcast on, then it all starts by going to that provider’s website.
Apple, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, Pandora, and Castbox all have a walk-through of how to apply to their platforms.
Spread the Word
Getting the word out about your new podcast can be a fun process, we promise! Here are a few tips to get the ball rolling.
Don’t feel pressured to do it all yourself. Subcontract content writers, social media managers, and graphic designers to help you spread the word. Freelancers are always a great resource.
Hire a Virtual Assistant or Booking Agency
Building your podcast up can require lots of heavy lifting and getting a little bit of help is sometimes necessary. Consider guesting on other podcasts within your niche. This is often a great way to network with new hosts and get the word out about your podcast to a relevant audience.
Another route is hiring a Virtual Assistant (VA) or a professional booking agency. They’ll help you plug your launch and build an audience for your soon to be hit show.
Repurpose Your Episodes
Transform your podcast episodes into SEO-optimized blog posts to grow your audience. Creating digestible content about each episode with keyword-rich text, overviews, and notable quotes make it easy for readers to find, learn, and share your podcast with others.
Being relevant in the topics you cover will boost the likelihood of your podcast showing up in Google searches. After all, very few listeners want outdated information.
So, You’re Ready to Start a Podcast
Hopefully after reading this you realize how attainable creating a podcast can be. Remember the simple steps: Find your niche, create the name of your podcast, flesh out your message, think through the aesthetic of your cover art, buy and test your equipment, find your platform, plan your episodes, and promote. Finally, share your voice with the world!
You already know that you can do whatever you set your mind to. We’re honestly proud to be part of the process. Check back often as we tackle topics just like this one. We are always giving step-by-step instructions that help people reach their goals.
If you still have questions about how to start a podcast, reach out! We’re here to help.