So you want to start a podcast but you aren’t sure where to start? Here is a quick overview of the steps you need to take to get started! We aren’t keen on fluff and filler, so this guide will break down 10 steps, from inception to promotion.
Let’s dive in.
Choose Your Podcast Topic
This may seem obvious, but developing the perfect topic for your podcast is really important. Our guess is that if you’re even thinking about a podcast then you probably have a topic in mind.
But, if you’re still not sure, ask yourself this question: What is something I talk about passionately, so passionately in fact, that my friends ask me to stop talking about it! (Haha!)
Before you commit to your topic, do some research on podcasts with similar topics. This may seem counterintuitive but if there are already many popular podcasts in your niche, that’s a good sign. It means people are looking to consume your content.
From there, come up with 75-100 potential episodes. If you get stuck at 25, get more broad. But, don’t go so broad that you won’t appeal to your target audience. Your core demographic is not everybody!
Name Your Podcast
Clear, concise, and captivating is the name of the naming game!
Be sure people know what your podcast is about by just its name
- Stuff You Should Know
- Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard
Include Your Target Keyword In Title
- Crime Junkie
If you’re having trouble coming up with a topic, it’s important to remember this: don’t get too wordy or complicated. The different podcast platforms act as search engines so think about what your target audience may search for and start with that!
Create Your Artwork
Your cover art is important because it puts an image to your voice! Here are our best practices:
- Use minimal text. The fewer words and characters, the better. Whatever text you use should be readable even at low resolutions, such as 150 x 150 pixels.
- Your cover image should be a minimum of 1400 x 1400 pixels, max 3000 x 3000 pixels for larger screens like the iPad.
- Shoot for 72 DPI (dots per inch) JPG or PNG format, under 500kb size in RGB color space.
HINT: Not a graphic designer? Check out www.canva.com to easy-to-use templates for designing!
Intro and Outro Music
Most podcasters enlist a theme song to ensure that their show has the right vibe! Music is a really powerful way to ensure that you have a signature sound and feel to your show. Be sure that you are using music that you are legally allowed to use. Here are some sites to filter through to find the perfect theme song for your show.
- Shutterstock: Offers an unlimited music subscription for a monthly fee. You can also license individual tracks for a one-time price.
- Audiojungle: Hundreds of thousands of tracks, sound effects, and jingles for any of your musical needs. You can buy a subscription or purchase individual items as needed.
- Epidemic Sound: Subscribe (monthly or annually) to get access to tens of thousands of tracks and sound effects, with new tracks added weekly.
- Melodyloops: Buy packets of royalty-free melodies for a set price.
Get The Equipment You Need
The great thing about podcasting is that you truly don’t need much equipment to get started. Here is our list of items to purchase prior to getting started.
- Audio quality is important so you’ll want to ensure that you have a great microphone. You can decide between at USB mic or an XLR mic. USB mics are plug-and-play microphones that tend to be cheaper and easier to use, but less customizable than XLRs. XLR mics require an extra cable and audio interface to work. They tend to be more expensive and higher quality than USB microphones
- Audacity is a great recording software for beginners. If you are a Mac user and have Garageband, it’s totally free and a great solution as well!
- Headphones protect your microphone from picking up extra sounds from your computer speakers. They also help you hear what you sound like as you speak, so you can adjust your presentation style. You don’t have to get fancy, a pair of earbuds will do just fine.
Pick Your Podcast Hosting Platform
To share your podcast with listeners, it’s imperative that you find a place to store and distribute your podcasts. While your listeners may tune in on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or another platform, you don’t actually upload the episodes directly to those spots.
There are multiple options for podcast hosting but we love Libsyn. Libsyn has been around since 2004 and offers plans with unlimited bandwidth and monetization options, WordPress integration (with their Libsyn Publisher Hub plugin), and detailed analytics.
Record Your First Episode
Now that you’ve got your topic, artwork, equipment, and host, it’s time to record! Here are the 5 steps you should take to record your episode:
- Write your script. Having a script is important in order to guide your episode. While you don’t need to follow it word-for-word, it’s important to have a plan!
- Your environment matters. Remove distractions and background noise to ensure that when people listen to your podcast, they’re not distracted by what’s going on behind the scenes.
- Create your intro and outro. Be sure to mention your podcast name, topic, and the host name. Your outro is a great place to encourage people to subscribe or follow your show on social media.
- Record your episode. Make sure your mic is plugged in and your software is on! Hit record and get to chatting. Every episode will not be perfect so give yourself some grace! Take your time and feel free to re-record if need be.
- Edit and save! Editing your podcast will give you the opportunity to cut out mistakes, background noise, balance sound levels, and more. Keep in mind, if this task seems daunting to you, you can always hire someone to edit it for you.
Upload Your Podcast
Once you’ve finished exporting your episode as an MP3 file, it’s time to upload your file to your host. Each host has their own way of doing things, so follow their instructions!
Here is a link to learn more about uploading your episode to Libsyn!
Submit Your Podcast To Your Desired Directories
Submitting to the various podcast directories is pretty easy. Follow the step-by-step instructions below!
Uploading Your Podcast to Apple Podcasts
- Step 1. Sign in to iTunes Connect using your Apple ID (if you don’t have one, you can create one for free).
- Step 2. Click on the Podcasts Connect button.
- Step 3. Enter your podcast RSS feed URL (which you get from your podcast host) and click “validate.” Click Submit to continue.
- Step 4. Apple will review your podcast and you’ll be notified via email when it is approved.
Uploading Your Podcast to Spotify
- Step 1. Go to Spotify for Podcasters and log in to your account (or create one if you don’t have one yet).
- Step 2. Once you are logged in, go to the “Add your podcast” page and click “Get started.”
- Step 3. Enter your RSS feed and click Next.
- Step 4. Add relevant info to the “Add podcast info” page, review, and submit.
Note: It can take a few hours up to 5 days for your podcast to appear on Spotify, so be patient. Also, Spotify requires audio to be in MP3 audio with bitrates between 96-320 kbps and episodes no more than 200MB (about 83 minutes at 320kbps or 200 minutes at 128kbps).
Uploading Your Podcast to Google/Android
- Step 1. Go to the Google Play Music website and click Publish.
- Step 2. Sign in using your email, and submit your podcast URL.
- Step 3. Once you are approved, your podcast will be listed on Google Podcasts.
Promote Your Podcast
If you want people to tune into your podcast, it’s important to spread the word! You’re going to have to do more than just hit the publish button in order to get downloads! Here are some ideas for promotion!
- Post on social media when you release a new episode
- Utilize your website
- Be a guest on other shows
- Invite guests on your shows
- Never stop promoting
Now, it’s time for you to get out there and do your thing! Remember, have fun and spread the word about your favorite topic.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by creating a podcast, get in touch with us here! Our team has worked with podcasters that drive in over a million downloads. We would love to help you reach your podcasting goals!