How to Start a Podcast 2023
Podcasting has been receiving a lot of attention lately. If you haven’t been listening to podcasts, you might think that this is something new even though it isn’t.
Podcasting has been around for a long time though it became popular from around 2004. Then, in 2005, Apple’s iTunes started supporting podcasts. By just becoming part of iTunes, podcasts were well-positioned for growth.
Today, there’s so much evidence that podcasts are still growing…
- 75% of Americans age 12+ know about podcasts, a 5% increase from 2019 numbers
- 37% of Americans listen to podcasts every month, a 5% increase from 2019 numbers
- 66% of consumers today prefer podcasts over TV
- There are over 1 million podcasts and over 29 million episodes
It’s clear that the podcasting medium is growing. Is there room for you to start your own?
If there are over 500 million blogs and more are being created every day, then 1 million podcasts is nothing really. There’s certainly room for you to start your own podcast and succeed at it.
And that’s why we wrote this podcasting tutorial. By the time you’re done reading it, you’ll know:
- Why you should consider starting your own podcast
- What you need to start your own podcast
- How to grow your podcast (more listeners and downloads)
- How to make money with your podcast (very important)
Let’s get started.
Why You Should Start a Podcast
Is podcasting for you?
This is an important question to ask yourself. You need to get an answer to this question in order to decide whether to jump into podcasting or not.
To determine whether you should get into it, check out what it can help you achieve. If you have such goals, then you know that this is something you need to consider.
Here are some of the things you can do with a podcast:
- Run it as a side hustle – if you’re looking for something to do on the side, podcasting is a good option. And if you’ve been thinking of quitting your 9-5 job, then podcasting could offer you a way out. Taking very little of your time compared to your day job, you can get started, build an audience, monetize it and grow it to become a full-time income source.
- Complement your blog – if you have a blog, then podcasting could be a great way of expanding your online business. Giving people an opportunity to listen to audio could net you a bigger audience. You could also repurpose your text content for the podcast and vice versa, making the most of your content production efforts.
- Promote your business – apart from utilizing a more interactive communication format, you can build deeper connections more easily using a podcast. A podcast makes you more relatable to your customers and prospects. This can easily be what sets your business apart and helps you grow further.
- Develop a personal brand – with people starting to listen more than read, podcasting could be what your brand needs. Your voice will help you connect with your audience and convince them of your expertise. You can quickly build your personal brand and authority by providing practical and valuable advice to help your audience solve their problems.
- Support community activities – we’re all a part of a community and we like supporting those activities which add value to our lives. If speaking to an individual makes it easier to convince them to support a worthy cause, how many can a podcast convince?
- Share a passion – do you have a passion that you would love to share with others? Something you think people should take more time to explore? Then a podcast could be the best way to achieve that. It would also help you connect with others of a similar passion.
There’s more you can do with podcasting than this. Just take some time and think about your goals. If you need to reach more people to engage them concerning anything, then podcasting can help.
Here’s how to get started, grow and even make money with your podcast.
1. Planning Your Podcast Name, Topics and Podcasting Goals
As with everything else, podcasting starts with a plan. And in the planning phase, there are some basic things you need to have in place to guide your efforts.
Before you start thinking about anything else, there are three things you need to take care of. These are the name for your podcast, the topic you’ll be discussing, and the goals you want to achieve through your podcast.
Let’s look at how you should go about these three things.
How to Name Your Podcast
Your podcast needs a name. This name is what gives it an identity and helps it stand out from the rest.
This means that your podcast name must be unique while also reflecting what the podcast is all about. From your podcast name, the listener should be able to tell what he will get from it.
Here are some tips to help you get your podcast name right:
- It should be short – a short podcast name is easy to remember and that’s good for your listeners. It makes it easy for them to know your podcast and make a decision on whether to listen or not. A shorter name is also easier to mention when spreading the word to friends.
- It should be simple – simplicity is necessary in this age where people want instant solutions. If your podcast name requires someone to think hard to understand what the podcast is about, you’re likely to push away potential listeners.
- It should grab attention – there are already a number of podcasts. This means there is competition and you need to stand out. Since most listeners discover podcasts by searching directories, your podcast name should be catchy so as to attract potential listeners.
- You can try podcast name generators – if coming up with a podcast name is challenging, you can use a podcast name generator. Some of the best-known podcast name generators include BNG, BizNameWiz, and Crowdspring.
Your podcast will also need a description. The description is typically long because it’s what gives listeners more information about your podcast. This is especially important for new listeners.
One of the most important things the description should communicate is the podcast value. Anyone reading it should be convinced that your podcast will deliver on the value you promise.
Listeners aside, there is something else you need to consider when writing your podcast description: search engines. Although your podcast will be available through podcast listening apps, you need search engines to pick it up and show it in their search results.
This is important because not everyone will discover your podcast through their listening apps. When someone searches for something you talk about and your podcast shows up in the results, you increase your chances of having more listeners. This is the potential for growth.
Writing your podcast description for search engines involves the use of keywords. Keywords are the words and phrases which people type into search engines when looking for answers to their questions.
Pro Tip: Keywords are constantly changing because they reflect the trending questions people are asking. For this reason, last week’s strategy may not work this week. Test new keywords often to come up with new strategies.
For example, if someone is looking for entrepreneurship advice, they might search for phrases like “entrepreneurship skills,” “tips for entrepreneurs” and “how to succeed as an entrepreneur.” These are called keywords. If you include these in your podcast description, you increase its chances of being displayed in search results for entrepreneurship advice.
Also, when writing your podcast description, ensure the main points come first. This is just being strategic: giving listeners answers quickly without requiring them to read everything first.
Podcast Episode Name
Your podcast is a show with many episodes and so your episodes will also require names. How will you name them?
Much of this can follow the same advice of naming your podcast. Every episode’s name should tell the listener what is discussed in the episode. The description should also contain keywords to ensure the episodes are searchable. This will serve you well on a service like Spotify which includes individual episodes in search results.
Some podcasters include episode and season numbers when naming their episodes. This makes sense. However, you need to know that this is not always necessary. You need to check what naming options your podcast hosting platform and directories provide.
If there are options for naming seasons and episodes, then you don’t need to struggle with this. With every new episode which is a part of a series, the system will label it accordingly.
Choosing Your Podcast Topic
Which are the best topics or niches to podcast in?
Choosing your podcast topic is a major step as you plan to start podcasting. The topic you choose is what will determine the subject you’ll cover in your podcast.
Something else, your topic helps you plan your episodes because it provides some structure. Having a topic and intending to offer valuable advice means that you can’t just discuss random sub-topics. What you discuss must be within your subject area, starting on a high level and going into details.
Without a topic, you can end up recording shows which don’t really connect with one another. Unless you’ve decided to talk about everything (not really advisable), such a decision can make it challenging to grow your podcast audience.
Here are two questions to ask yourself when choosing your podcast topic.
How Much Can You Talk About Your Podcast Topic?
Podcasting is all about talking—talking to people about a specific topic.
In speaking about a topic, how far could you go? Three minutes, ten, twenty, thirty, or 1 hour?
Is it something you’re passionate about? A hobby? Something you learned in school and would like to teach others?
How much you can discuss the topic is a sign of how comfortable you are with it. It’s also an indicator of potential podcasting success in the sense that you can’t sustain a show whose subject you can only engage with someone for two minutes.
How Knowledgeable Are You About Your Podcast Topic?
It’s very difficult to start a podcast around a topic you have no knowledge about. Even if you decide that you’ll be interviewing experts in the subject, what kind of questions will you be asking them?
Anyone operating in that niche will easily see that you’re not knowledgeable in the subject. This can dent your image and make you lose credibility.
Just imagine a trained aeronautical engineer running a podcast show about nursing with no medical background at all. If you were a nurse, won’t you be able to pick up the fact that he has neither the knowledge nor experience for the talk?
If you’re to run a podcast, especially with the intention of making money, you need to become an authority in the field. This will be seen through the kind of knowledge and advice you share and that’s what will make your listeners trust you.
What Are Your Podcasting Goals?
People start podcasts for different reasons. Some of the top reasons for podcasting include to make money, share knowledge, identify and connect with a tribe and complement a blog.
What’s your goal? Why do you want to start a podcast?
Determining your “Why” is important because it gives you the motivation you need to move forward.
Starting a podcast is not the hardest thing but growing it is not automatic either. You have to be willing to work on your podcast till you succeed. This is the entrepreneur’s mindset.
When you wake up and feel like giving up, what is it that will remind you of the need to keep going?
Here are some questions you can ask yourself to help determine your goal.
- Where do you see yourself in 3 years, 5 years, 10 years, or more from now?
- What value do you expect your podcast to add to your life?
- In what ways can podcasting help you empower others?
Before you start podcasting, make sure you know what you want to achieve. Without that, you won’t even have any way of measuring your success.
And while setting your podcasting goals, ensure you set SMART goals. Setting goals which are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound increases the likelihood of success.
2. Defining Your Target Audience and Why People Should Listen to Your Podcast
As a podcaster, you look forward to having a sizable audience that’s loyal and highly engaged. This is a good sign of podcasting success which will encourage you to keep going.
But who exactly is it that you expect to listen to your shows, download and share them with their networks?
It’s easy to say “everyone” especially if you’re hoping to make it big in the shortest time possible. In any case, isn’t spreading your net far and wide the best strategy for quick growth?
Actually, no. It may sound like a good plan but that’s not how things work in reality. If you spread your net very wide, you might net many listeners but they won’t be engaged—they won’t be loyal.
For podcasting success, you don’t just need huge listener numbers, you also need an engaged audience. These are the ones who love you and trust you enough to follow your advice. This is crucial, especially if you plan to be making money.
So what do you do?
Identify Your Podcast Listener
The first thing you need to do is create a listener avatar. This is an image or profile of the kind of listener you want to attract to your show.
Defining this listener well enough will help you know his exact needs and preferences. With this information, you can easily satisfy the needs of your audience.
Social media platforms can help you know how big an audience you can have. A platform like Facebook can give you lots of information about different demographics.
For example, did you know that the biggest demographic group on Facebook is men aged 25-34 years old but the most active group is women in the same age bracket? We have over 200 Facebook statistics to help you determine whether Facebook should be part of your podcast marketing strategy.
Since you intend to become a trusted advisor to your audience, what will it take for them to like you and take your advice?
You need to know and understand the listeners you’re targeting. You have to know what challenges they face, why the solutions they’ve chosen aren’t working, how to communicate with them and how able and willing they are to spend money on a solution that works.
This is how you identify your target audience.
Knowing who to target is important because no matter how valuable your content is, it can’t be relevant to everyone.
Use Your Current Audience
If your podcast is to be an extension of your business, then this is easy. You know that you’re going to reach an audience similar to that of your business. You’ll just need to provide value and you’ll be good to go.
The same applies if you have a blog. The same kind of audience you target with your blog will be the one your podcast targets.
Your podcast will therefore be serving to complement your blog.
You can decide to write blog content than produce a show based on that post. You’ll then share the link for those who would rather listen than read.
Why Should People Listen to Your Podcast?
How to start a podcast may not be your biggest worry. Maybe what you’re most concerned about is whether people will really listen to your show and love it.
Our response to this? It comes down to content and how you deliver it.
The content part of it is taken care of by the knowledge and experience you have in the topic you choose. As for delivery, this is about your personality; the thing which largely determines how you communicate.
Here are three things which should give you confidence that people can listen to your podcast and love it.
- You have knowledge and experience – you’ve chosen a podcast topic which you’re either knowledgeable about or have lots of love for. Either way, you’re in a position to provide value to your listeners through knowledge and experience.
- You offer a different perspective – it’s very likely that you won’t be the only podcaster in your niche. But if you look at things from a different perspective, you’ll be able to stand out because your show offers something different.
- Your personality makes them like you – your personality is unique and it helps you connect with your audience. However, as you express your personality, be mindful of your audience. If you’re more of the serious type but want to start a comedy podcast, you’ll have to express more of the humorous side of your personality. If you’re more of an entertainer but want to run a business podcast, you may have to cut back on the comedy.
As long as you have something to share, there’s someone willing to listen.
There’s a ready market for podcasts. And if new shows are getting listeners, so can your show.
3. Choosing a Podcasting Format, Length and Publishing Frequency
If you listen to most podcasts and realize that they feature interviews, you might think that’s all there can be.
But no. Podcasts can take different formats and there are many you can choose from. In fact, you can even come up with your own format if you feel adventurous.
It’s important that you pick a format which you’re comfortable with and stick to it. This is part of being consistent; a necessity if you’re to build an audience.
Your podcast format helps your listeners know what to expect from you and what to say about your show to their friends.
At this point, you also need to decide how long your shows will be and how frequently you’ll be publishing your episodes.
Let’s look at these three things in more detail.
Choosing a Podcast Format
The format you choose for your podcast can do a good job of differentiating you from others. This however should not be the biggest reason for picking one format instead of another.
Your guiding question should be, “What’s the best way to communicate what I have to communicate?”
When you consider your podcasting topic, goals and the best way to provide value, then you’ll settle on the right format.
Your personality should also play a role in making this decision. If you feel that you won’t be comfortable with a certain format, opt for a different one. You can even mix aspects of different formats for uniqueness or to provide a balance. Just make sure you have your listeners in mind.
Here are some popular podcast formats. We’ve included some advantages and disadvantages to help you see which one can best suit your podcast topic and style.
Solo podcasts are definitely the easiest to set up and manage. It’s all centered on you. You choose the topic, you decide how to talk about it, to what level of detail, what perspectives to speak from etc.
As a solo podcaster, you’ll usually talk about a topic you think is important. It may be important to you or maybe to the society in general.
Many solo podcasts are quite personalized as they revolve around the podcaster’s expertise and/or experience. The listeners will tend to develop a strong connection with the podcaster as they get to know him.
There will most likely be some advice given to help the listeners avoid the traps which others have fallen into.
Advantages of a solo podcast
For a solo podcast, here are some advantages:
- Easy to start – getting started when going solo requires minimal equipment. This saves you money, space, and time. Preparing for the podcast and recording your first show will also be easier since there are no conflicting opinions and preferences to deal with.
- Easy to build a connection – being the only one speaking, the listeners’ attention is on you. This helps them see your perspective and relate to it. As your listeners get to know you intimately, you can become an influencer based on this connection.
- You do everything at your own pace – the freedom of running the show at your own pace is invaluable. You don’t have to think about a co-host’s or guest’s availability. You can schedule and work on the show even at 2 AM.
- Editing takes a shorter time – post-recording processing can be time-consuming. But when you have only one track to edit, you save a lot of time.
Disadvantages of a solo podcast
Here are some downsides of solo podcasts:
- It can be too much work to handle alone – starting a podcast requires some effort to be put in. If you’re doing it all alone, you might be overwhelmed. Sourcing for equipment, preparing the content, recording, editing etc. These can prove to be too much work.
- It can become boring – sitting alone in a room and speaking into a mic with no company can be boring. With no company, even ideas can run out faster than you thought. You’ll also have to fight off any discouragement alone as you work to build an audience.
- You’ll be talking a lot – depending on how long you plan your episodes to be, you might be talking a lot into your mic. Can you comfortably talk for, say, 40 minutes? Note that you’ll most likely talk for longer than this since a perfect recording isn’t very realistic.
You can choose to run a co-hosted podcast with a friend. This can make a big difference in terms of content delivery and breadth of discussion.
With knowledge and opinions being shared from different perspectives, this format provides listeners with lots of value and even entertainment.
When choosing a co-host for your podcast, try working with someone who’s committed to what you’re doing. It is just like choosing a business partner.
Advantages of a co-hosted podcast
Partnering with someone to do podcasts can be great, especially if you have similar beliefs, values and plans. Here are some of the benefits you might experience:
- You can have a highly-engaging show – having two people in the studio is perfect for a conversation that can be very engaging. There’s unpredictability because you don’t know what exactly the other person will say and that helps keep the conversation fresh and active.
- You share the tasks and responsibilities – instead of doing all the work alone, your co-host can help. From content preparation to the final tasks of editing and marketing, a helping hand will definitely be welcome.
- It’s easy to keep things on track – sometimes discussions go beyond the allocated time. Sometimes they are within time but go off-topic. Having a co-host helps keep things on track and ultimately deliver on the promise of the podcast.
Disadvantages of a co-hosted podcast
Are there any disadvantages of running a co-hosted podcast?
- Possible lack of clarity in the message – with different perspectives comes different conclusions. This can make it challenging to speak the same message making it impossible for the listener to get solid advice from your podcast.
- It might be difficult to build authority – building authority might be challenging when two perceived experts are “competing” for the title. Also, whereas you might be a stronger “expert,” your co-host might be the reason listeners unsubscribe from your podcast.
- Potential conflicts in future plans – for two people to walk together, they must be reading from the same script. Although you might share the same vision at the beginning, life events can cause your co-host to develop different preferences, resulting in conflicts.
- Potential connection problems – if your co-host records from a different location, then you’ll have to invest in a strong internet connection and specialized tools as well. This might add to the cost of getting started.
In an interview podcast, you’ll be interviewing a new guest in each episode. Having a co-host doing the interviews with you is also common though not a must.
With different guests during each episode, ensuring that the guests are within your niche becomes crucial for consistency. You don’t want your listeners to get confused on the direction of your podcast.
People everywhere are looking for inspiration, motivation and helpful tips. If you can provide these through your interviews, then you can be sure of building a big and loyal audience.
Advantages of interview podcasts
Taking the route of interview podcasts can be quite an adventure. Here are some of the rewards you can expect:
- Provides great learning opportunities – interviewing niche experts and thought leaders can be transformational both for you and your listeners. It’s one thing to read about someone and something different to speak with them and get answers to your questions.
- Build valuable relationships – in life and business, you thrive largely based on your relationships and networks. And having interacted and connected with industry experts through your show, you open yourself up to numerous opportunities for growth.
- Can help acquire new listeners – just mentioning that a podcast episode is an interview with a respected expert can draw attention. And with a podcast intro or description saying that you interview industry leaders, building an audience might not take that long.
Disadvantages of interview podcasts
Although it can be a joy and achievement to interview successful people, the journey is not always smooth. Here are some of the obstacles you might face on your way there:
- Finding guests can be challenging – the best and most influential guests are the industry experts and getting these can be a very big challenge. You also have to bend to their convenience as far as things like time and interview location are concerned.
- Preparations might require quite an effort – since you’ll be asking the questions, you need to do a lot of research on your guests. It’s only when you know their background well enough that you can ask relevant questions and help them add value to your show.
- Conducting an interview requires skill – you need to know how to ask the right questions so as to get the answers your listeners need. This is a skill you may need to learn and it may take some time as you practice.
- Engagement is largely determined by your guests – with your guests doing most of the talking, their enthusiasm will play a big role in making the show engaging. You might need to put in some work to make the show lively in case they’re not engaging enough.
- Standing out might be a challenge – interview podcasts are very popular, meaning there are many of them. You’ll have to be very creative in order to stand out from the crowd.
Panel podcasts are not very common though they can be very engaging. They take the form of a discussion between the host (you) and a group of guests.
Depending on your topic and plans, the panel could be a group of friends or experts from different fields. Either way, the diversity in knowledge and experience provides a lot of “meat” for your listeners.
As the host, your task will mostly be around choosing a topic and moderating the discussion.
Advantages of panel podcasts
Panel podcasts can be great because they:
- Can be very educative – depending on who forms your panel, there’s an opportunity to provide a lot of valuable information to your listeners. If you can form a panel of experts from different fields, then whatever they share can keep your listeners coming back for more.
- Driving the conversation is easy – with a group of people discussing a topic, you’ll have very little pressure to drive the conversation or keep it engaging. This makes it easy for you and spares your energy for other tasks like editing and marketing.
Disadvantages of panel podcasts
Panel podcasts come with certain challenges though. These include:
- Discussions can get heated – whenever you have a group discussion, you’re likely to touch some emotions. This happens especially when discussing topics touching on strongly-held beliefs and opinions. Prepare to calm your guests down when the discussion gets heated.
- Preparations might require a lot of work – preparing for a panel podcast may require quite some work. Gathering knowledge so as to fact-check claims by your guests may need time and effort.
- Setting up might be costly – setting up a podcast studio with all the equipment for a panel might be costly. You also need more space and that could mean hiring a room for recording the podcast.
- Finding guests can be challenging – finding the guests who will make up your panel can be a real challenge. This is mainly because you have to get people who will add value to your shows and coordinate their schedules.
Fictional Storytelling Podcasts
Also known as podcast theater, this might be your best choice if you’re a fiction writer. You can use this podcast format to tell short fictional stories or long ones spanning multiple podcast episodes.
Podcast theater can be made up of a single voice narrating the audio or multiple voice actors representing different characters.
A good fictional storytelling podcast will keep listeners entertained and hooked through elements such as tension and climax.
Advantages of fictional storytelling podcasts
Here are some advantages which might encourage you to start a podcast theater:
- There’s little competition – fictional storytelling podcasts are not common. This means that your podcast can be discovered more quickly. Getting your first few listeners after a short time can be very motivating.
- Very addictive for the audience – just like watching a TV series, these podcasts can be very addictive. Your listeners will want to know what happens next. With a story that spans multiple episodes, your listeners will be eagerly waiting for the next show.
- You can be as creative as you want – these podcasts give you all the flexibility you need to be creative. You can exercise your wildest imaginations and draw your listeners into your fictional world.
Disadvantages of fictional storytelling podcasts
Here are some disadvantages which come with a podcast theater:
- Hollywood is your competition – with all the movies coming out of Hollywood, convincing people to listen rather than watch might be a challenge. Movies feature celebrity actors, visible tech, and scenes which audio alone can’t really compete against.
- Requires a lot of creativity – you need to be very creative to work well with this format. Still, to attract a sizable and loyal audience, you need to develop a compelling story and incorporate tension.
- Requires a lot of work – the best of fictional stories will span several episodes. This might require planning (including writing) the whole story to ensure that everything falls into place. After that, you still need to record with voice actors.
Non-fictional Storytelling Podcasts
These podcasts are all about telling real-life stories. You can get your stories from anywhere in the world.
These could be stories in the daily news but with extra information for a full understanding of the situation. They could also be a recreation of a historical event or life in different parts of the world.
For the people who love knowledge, this can be an excellent podcast format to consume.
Advantages of non-fictional storytelling podcasts
Here are some of the things which might encourage you to go for this type of podcast:
- Stories attract audiences – everyone loves stories and a good story can be very addictive. If your listeners see you as a good storyteller, then you’ll quickly build a loyal audience. It gets easier with stories which provide suspense e.g. murder and scandal investigations.
- Can provide an unrivaled listening experience – your show doesn’t have to be spoken only. You can include sound effects, clips from interviews, songs, and movies or anything else you think will enhance your listeners’ experience.
- You can’t really run out of content – there’s so much happening in the world that you can’t run out of content ideas. You can even ask your listeners what they would like to know about.
Disadvantages of non-fictional storytelling podcasts
Here are some possible drawbacks when it comes to doing a non-fictional storytelling podcast:
- Expectations can be very high – people are always curious about what’s going on around the world. When you show that you can satisfy their curiosity, your listeners will develop high expectations. Prepare to meet them.
- Might take time to produce – producing such shows will usually take time. Once you decide on a story, you have to conduct lots of research to gather the necessary information. Putting it all together will also be time-consuming.
- Sharing inaccurate information can be very costly – being non-fictional means you must provide factual information. And when listeners look for value and realize that you’re not working with facts, you can attract a bad reputation, lose credibility and your audience too.
These are some of the common podcast formats out there. Remember that you can combine aspects of different formats to come up with your own format.
One of the things that can set your podcast apart from others is its length. Depending on what you’re discussing, you can decide to be known for episodes which are shorter or longer than average podcasts in your niche.
As you think about the length of your shows, also consider the time’s people listen to podcasts. For example, if the national average commute is 26 minutes, then a show lasting around 20-30 minutes could be a good idea.
Pacific content conducted a study of 10 million podcast episodes. From their analysis, they found that the median podcast length was 38 min 42sec. This can help you decide what length would be ideal for your show.
Many podcasts span around 20-40 minutes and 1 hour. If you’re to differentiate yourself from the competition using length, you can do shorter episodes which go straight to the facts.
You can also decide to do a long-form podcast running for at least 1 hour. An example of this is Campaign. Being a fictional storytelling podcast, 1 hour is an ideal length for the shows.
When choosing your podcast format, there’s something else you need to consider: the frequency of publishing your podcast episodes.
How often should you release new episodes? Daily, weekly, bi-weekly or monthly?
Generally speaking, the higher the frequency, the better for your podcast. Here are some reasons why you should consider publishing your episodes more often:
- More opportunities for episode downloads – one of the biggest proofs of podcast success is the number of show downloads. Having many episodes increases the chances of having many downloads as long as your audience is loving your content.
- More episodes to be shared – more podcast episodes also means more sharing. It’s difficult to share your episodes widely when there are only a handful of them. But when you have many, then there are higher chances of some being relevant to those who didn’t relate to previous shows.
- Higher likelihood of showing up in search results – when you have many podcast episodes covering different aspects of a topic, you increase the chances of one of them coming up in the search results. Your shows will be discovered more easily leading to more listeners.
As you look to release new episodes as often as possible, it’s good to keep in mind that this will require more work from you. You’ll have more preparation to do, more time to allocate to the recording and editing, more guests to find etc.
This should however not scare you. If you plan on making podcasting a major part of your life, then this is necessary.
Also, if you’re to make money and live off podcasting, then this is one investment step you can’t skip.
4. Recording Your Podcast With the Right Podcasting Equipment and Software
Your podcast will only be as good as you make it.
Since it’s an audio product, the listening experience needs to be great. You’ll be able to provide a good listening experience if you use quality recording equipment.
Unlike content quality which you can improve over time, low-quality sound can make it difficult for you to build an audience.
When a listener checks out your show, he should love everything about it. If he experiences problems with sound clarity, has to keep adjusting the volume or any other such issues, he may leave for good.
To avoid such a situation, you need to invest in the proper equipment.
Fortunately, there are good options which are very affordable. Starting a podcast doesn’t have to cost a fortune. You just need a microphone (and relevant accessories) and a recording software.
There are many different microphones, each with its own pros and cons. Choosing one can be challenging especially if you’re a beginner.
But don’t worry, we’ll guide you through what you need to know.
Although you can go deeper and explore specific types of mics, there are basically two categories: USB and XLR mics. USB mics are those which connect to your computer through the USB port. XLR mics on the other hand connect to your computer through an audio interface.
How Do You Choose Between a USB and XLR Microphone?
To choose between a USB and XLR mic, you have to be guided by a few things. These are your budget, technical know-how (or willingness to acquire it) and desired sound quality.
USB mics will be your choice if you’re on a budget. They’re also easy to set up and use because they are plug-n-play. Since podcasting has been growing, more investment has been made resulting in the sound quality of USB mics being good.
XLR mics on the other hand will be your choice if money isn’t so much of an issue. Although there are some affordable XLR mics, they’re still more expensive than the USB alternatives.
These mics utilize a three-pronged connection which is quite distinct from the USB connection. And since they can’t connect directly to your computer, you need an audio interface. This means extra cost when working with XLR microphones.
XLR mics will however give you an opportunity to tweak the sound settings for the best experience. This brings us to the “know-how” bit. Although it’s not so hard to learn the stuff, knowledge of adjusting mic settings might not be your preferred way of getting started.
The one thing that XLR mics have over USB mics is high sound quality. Also, as much as the tweaking might not be for most people, this is flexibility which you can’t get with USB mics. You need it down the road once you learn the ins and outs of podcasting.
All the same, you don’t have to start with these. USB mics already provide above average sound quality and for beginners, you really need an easy setup. The faster and more hassle-free your experience when starting out, the faster you start improving and focusing on growth.
Podcasting Microphone Accessories
For podcasting, you can’t—or at least shouldn’t—get a mic and head off to start recording. You need some accessories otherwise the audio quality you produce will still be below average even with XLR mics.
The accessories you need for podcasting will help deal with things like external vibrations and sounds which reduce the listening experience.
Here are the basic microphone accessories you should consider buying:
A microphone stand is necessary to prevent you from holding the mic in your hands throughout your recording session. This might seem like a small thing but it’s not. The more you’re comfortable, the easier it is to deliver quality speech.
Beyond the comfort, holding your mic can also interfere with sound quality due to excess movements. It’s best to have the mic in a set position where it’s stable.
There are different types of microphone stands ranging from desktop stands to boom arms.
Of the different types of stands, the most flexible is the boom arm. This offers more adjustability and can save you valuable desk space. Desktop stands can look simple and neat while serving the purpose. They might however not be high enough to reach your mouth.
When choosing a mic stand, consider the build quality, strength, size and adjustability. Although boom arms can easily be the best choice, you need to ensure they can hold the weight of the mic. If they can’t, the mic will be sagging and you’ll need to keep repositioning it while recording.
A shock mount is an accessory designed to protect the mic from shocks and vibrations. Recording mics are usually sensitive and pick up such disturbances easily. This in turn affects your sound quality.
Shock mounts will keep any shocks at bay and ensure that your mic captures your speech as it’s supposed to.
The best shock mount will be the one coming with your mic. If your mic doesn’t include one, then purchase one from the mic manufacturer. You can still opt for a shock mount from a different manufacturer.
Whichever option you pick, make sure you check your mic’s diameter to be sure that it will fit the shock mount.
You might have seen studio microphones with something hanging in front of them and wondered what those were. These are called pop filters.
Pop filters are made of thin metal or nylon mesh and are designed to catch those sounds referred to as plosives.
Plosives are consonant sounds which are made when you pronounce letters like P, T, K, B, D and G. If you want to see the need for one, try saying “POP” into your mic without the pop filter. You’ll hear the popping sound that comes with that. Plosives produce a spike in the audio and they affect the overall sound quality.
If you want to provide your listeners with a pleasant listening experience, you have to filter out these plosives.
You’re recording a podcast, not listening to one. What do you need headphones for?
We get it. You don’t want unnecessary equipment to take up space and dent your pocket. So, are headphones necessary?
Yes, headphones are necessary because they help you monitor the recorded audio. As you listen to the audio you’re recording, you’ll be able to pick up any sounds or noises which you’ll need to edit out later.
As long as you’ve heard it on the headphones and it’s not part of the podcast content, your listeners shouldn’t hear it.
Don’t go for just any set of headphones. There is a type called closed-back headphones. Look for these as they’re able to prevent the sound you’re monitoring from leaking into the mic.
This can happen because with open-back headphones, what you’re listening to can be heard by someone next to you. If this is so and you have a sensitive mic in front of you, the sound could be picked up and get recorded as part of your speech.
If you plan on doing interviews, get a set of headphones which has an in-built amplifier. This will be necessary for guests who want to adjust the volume level of their headphones.
Podcaster Starter Kits
Some manufacturers bundle some equipment together and sell them as a package. These packages, aka starter kits, are meant to provide some form of all-in-one solution. Instead of shopping for everything separately, you just buy the kit and you’re good to go.
This is very helpful for beginners. However, these kits are usually not “complete.” There will most likely be something that needs to be purchased separately. For example, you may have a package with an XLR mic but without the cable. In other cases, you may have the cable but not a microphone stand.
Of course this happens because prices have to be kept low. All the same, it’s important that you note what’s available and what’s missing so you can make an informed decision.
Here are some top podcaster starter kits you can choose from. These have not been arranged in any particular order.
1. Blue Yeti (Blackout) USB Mic starter kit
The Blue Yeti podcaster starter kit is a popular option among podcasters. And when you think about it, you easily see why.
For one, the mic connects through the USB port. That means this is an easy-to-use starter kit which should serve you well when getting started. You won’t need to worry about any cables and devices you’ve never seen before.
The kit also includes a desk stand as well as a boom arm. You also get a pop filter and a set of closed-back headphones.
Note that there have been complaints about the mic not fitting the boom arm it comes with. You’ll also need to be careful with the gain and volume knobs which feel cheap.
The Blue Yeti starter kit is available on Amazon.
2. MAONO USB Mic starter kit
This starter kit features a USB mic which makes it ideal for any beginner. The plug-n-play simplicity means you can get started podcasting as soon as you receive the kit.
The kit boasts of compatibility with both Windows and Mac computers, even with iPhones. For the iPhones though, you’ll need an OTG conver]]>
Coming with a foam windscreen, boom and pop filter, it’s not surprising that you get high-quality sound.
One potential drawback though is that the mic can pick up considerable background noise. To reduce that, you may need to pay extra attention to your room. Getting a quiet space would be ideal.
You can get the MAONO starter kit on Amazon.
3. TONOR Pro Condenser Microphone starter kit
This starter kit is praised for being an affordable solution that produces high quality sound. It’s not difficult to see how this can be the case since the package comes with an XLR mic.
You also get all the accessories you need to get started. These include a metal shock mount, boom arm, pop filter, table clamp, XLR cable and power supply.
Although this mic will give you crisp sound, your audio file will need some post-recording tweaks for it to have warmth. In case this is not an issue for you, then this kit is a great option for starting your podcast.
You can get the TONOR starter kit on Amazon.
4. Focusrite Scarlett Solo Studio starter kit
The Focusrite starter kit is considered an upgrade for the podcaster who is moving up one level. The kit can however be used by a beginner too, though it will cost him more.
The condenser mic produces crisp, natural sound that’s of high quality. The kit also includes an audio interface which is compatible with both PC and Mac as well as an XLR cable.
As is the case with starter kits, something had to give. In this case, it was the pop filter, shock mount and mic stand. The set of headphones included in this package is closed-back but the sound quality is average. If you can, get a better set.
You can get the Focusrite starter kit on Amazon.
5. Audio-Technica AT2020PK Microphone Pack
The AT2020PK starter kit provides real value when you consider the audio quality you get from it. In fact, this set is considered by some as good for enthusiasts—podcasters who are willing to spend more for good equipment.
With this starter kit, you get a mic mount, an adjustable 360° boom arm, and a set of ATH-M20X headphones.
Are there any downsides to this starter pack?
Well, the fact that the package doesn’t come with an XLR cable means you’ll incur an extra cost. You’ll also have to buy a pop filter, shock mount, and an audio interface for the mic—another extra cost.
You can get the AT2020PK microphone pack on Amazon.
Podcast Recording Software
To record your podcast, you’ll need a software program known as a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). This is what will capture the audio you’re recording for your shows.
There are many podcast recording programs available. Although they all do the same thing, they mostly differ in terms of features, cost and ease of use.
Let’s look at some of the options you can choose from.
Audacity is a cross-platform audio editor that’s also used for audio recording. The fact that it’s free makes it popular because it offers an opportunity to get started with minimal costs.
Though free, Audacity is very capable and works with Mac, Windows and the GNU/Linux operating systems.
Compared to other DAWs, Audacity’s interface looks a bit outdated. Functionally speaking though, this is a program used by both beginners and professionals.
Some of its features include the ability to produce 16-bit, 24-bit and 32-bit audio recordings, support for many audio formats, real-time review of sound effects as well as support for LADSPA, LV2, VST and other plugins.
Audacity also has a wide range of keyboard shortcuts. These make it easy to use the program once you’ve mastered them. The only notable downside is that it’s not as easy to learn as other alternatives.
GarageBand easily wins the easy-to-learn title and for that reason, is the best for beginners. That said, experienced podcasters like it too. There’s only one downside though, and we’ll mention it early enough: GarageBand is only available for Macs.
GarageBand offers you pre-recorded loops and synths which you can use to create some background music for your podcast. It also makes it easy to create ad spots for your advertisers’ ad content.
With GarageBand, you can add real-time sound effects when recording your podcast, extend or shorten musical loops, enable various plugins for individual tracks, change the pitch of tracks and much more.
To crown it all, GarageBand is free.
If you’re familiar with Adobe, then you know that their programs really empower creatives. Adobe Audition is what they have for podcasters and it doesn’t disappoint.
Adobe Audition comes with an adaptive background noise reduction capability to help you record your podcast with professional quality.
The program comes with frequency analysis, spectral analysis, ability to add SFX and ambience voice as well to match the loudness of all the speakers in your podcast.
Adobe Audition isn’t free. It costs $20.99 per month.
Zencastr is a web-based podcast recorder which makes it very easy to record your interviews online. When planning to interview a guest, all you need to do is send him a link and the interview will be captured in a lossless 16-bit 44.1k WAV file.
The program allows you to record your guests on different tracks and automatically edits the audio levels of the recordings.
You can try Zencastr for free for 14 days. Afterwards, you’ll have to pay $20 per month to continue using it.
If you intend to do interview podcasts, then you should consider the possibility that you’ll need to record remote interviews. With such a situation, many challenges abound.
The most common challenge you may face with such interviews is internet connectivity issues. Also, a tool like Skype which is commonly used by some podcasters can result in low-quality audio files.
This is where Squadcast comes in.
Squadcast is easy to use and is currently the best choice you have for remote interviews. Squadcast records both ends of the conversation locally and syncs them online to ensure that your interview is always available.
Being browser-based, Squadcast won’t require your guests to download or install anything. Using it will mean you give your guests the opportunity to focus on telling their story, not worrying about installations and settings.
Squadcast also eliminates audio drift to make your editing work easier.
5. Editing Your Podcast With the Right Tools
After recording your podcast, you’ll need to edit it in preparation for publishing. Not only will there be parts which need to be cut out, you’ll also need to add a few things to your recording.
Let’s look at what happens during the podcast editing process.
Adding an Intro
The intro part of your podcast plays a very critical role. It’s not just the beginning of your podcast, it’s what needs to convince your listener to keep listening. It needs to confirm to listeners that they made the right decision to check out your podcast.
That means that you have to start strong and maintain the momentum. Every minute counts and you have to hook listeners, engage them and show that you have something valuable for them.
You’ll use the intro section to do at least three main things:
- Introduce the podcast and episode – use the intro to tell new listeners something interesting about your podcast and the overall goal of your podcast. Then proceed to quickly mention the goal of the current episode. This should obviously be a small part of the big goal. Paint a picture of the problem at hand and the need for a solution.
- Introduce yourself and your guest(s) – with every podcast episode, you’ll have to introduce yourself and any guest(s) on your show. Apart from mentioning names, you need to mention qualifications to make the listener see that you are qualified to speak about the subject.
- Briefly explain the value you’ll deliver – give the listeners an idea of the solution the episode is going to provide. If possible, quantify the value they can expect to get. For example, if the episode is about validating a business idea, tell them you have 3 tips which will help them validate their ideas in only 2 weeks.
Adding an Outro
As much as listeners have listened and hopefully loved your content, they need something better than a plain “goodbye, see you next time” kind of ending.
Keeping growth in mind, this is the time to give your listeners some direction on what to do. Having shown yourself to be knowledgeable and full of valuable solutions, your listeners expect you to tell them what to do in order to get more value from you.
You might think that they know what to do—and they probably do—yet they need to hear it from you. Sometimes, what they need is a reminder. So go ahead and tell them what you want them to do.
Do you want some social proof? Ask them to leave reviews of your podcast. Do you want them to subscribe? Ask them to do it. Looking to build an audience on Facebook?
Ask them to join the Facebook group you created. Whatever you want them to do, just ask them to do it.
Podcasting is all about your voice but it can’t be a podcast without some music.
Your podcast will need a few seconds of music at the beginning, probably somewhere in the course of the episode and also at the end.
Music will do a good job of exciting and entertaining your listeners or simply as a way of introducing a different section of your podcast. For example, you may have a section of answering your listeners’ questions. You could play some music to indicate that the Q&A session is coming up.
Fortunately, you don’t have to produce music alongside your podcast. You can get free music for your podcast and there are many sites providing this service.
One of the most popular ones is digccMixter.
Other sources of royalty-free music include Pixabay, Incompetech and Youtube Audio Library.
Cutting Out Recording Mistakes
When recording your podcasts, you’re likely to make many mistakes especially when getting started. It might take you some time before you develop the experience and confidence required to have a smooth flow of ideas and speech when recording.
Making mistakes is normal; even pros make mistakes. This happens when you say something then realize it isn’t what you intended to say. Or maybe it simply doesn’t communicate your thoughts well enough.
You’ll also need to remove any background noise that the mic picked up and anything that was said but wasn’t part of the discussion.
Some mistakes can only be identified when listening through the audio after recording. For others though, you can use sound markers to note the point at which the mistake was made.
The easiest way to do this is by clapping your hands immediately you notice that you made a mistake. The mic will record the clap as a spike in sound.
When you load the recorded audio file for editing, you’ll be able to see all the spikes in the sound waveform and therefore know what sections you need to work on.
Exporting Your Final Audio File
The process of preparing your podcast for publishing ends with creating an audio file which you’ll upload to your podcast hosting platform. This file will contain your recording and the music you added to it.
The most important thing about this file is quality. The sound quality of your shows must be high. Sound quality is usually determined by checking the sound quality of an audio file. This sound quality is measured using Bitrate.
The higher the bitrate, the higher the sound quality of your audio file. The lower the bitrate, the lower the quality. But this doesn’t mean that you should just aim for the highest bitrate you can export in.
Something else which comes with a high bitrate is the file size. Although having a show whose sound quality is high is good, a big file size can put off some listeners. They can experience challenges streaming your show or downloading it.
And if someone is on a limited data plan, they may opt not to download your shows simply because of the size of the file.
Here are some guidelines on the audio file you’ll export:
- Use 96 Kbps for a show which is mainly talking. This FM radio quality will allow you to play some music. Always record in mono so as to maximize on sound quality.
- Use 128 Kbps if your recorded audio has lots of music and sound effects. This bitrate can record in stereo
- Use 192 Kbps if you want higher sound quality for your music and sound effects. The average listener may not even differentiate between this and 128 Kbps. Also note that this will result in bigger file size.
- Make sure the final audio is in mp3 format.
The Best Podcast Editing Tools
For editing purposes, you don’t have to look for any extra tool other than the one you used to record your show. Every DAW is equipped to record and also edit your audio file and that’s exactly what podcasters use them for.
The Podcast Host conducted a survey of podcasting tools and found that of all the podcast editing tools, Audacity was the most popular.
That said, there are some great podcast editing options you can check out and maybe even sign up to use due to their ease of use.
Editing Your Podcast Using Alitu
Alitu was designed to make podcast editing extremely easy because its creators saw the need for such a tool.
Many podcasters express no desire to learn the technical stuff about podcast editing. Others have no time to edit their audio files. So what do they do?
Alitu came to the rescue.
When you use Alitu, you can record segments of your audio in the tool, upload interviews separately then merge them to come up with your complete audio file.
You’ll be able to cut out mistakes, add clips from your library (ads and other segments) as well as set up music or voice fades.
Check them out and see how easy it is to get your shows ready for listing on podcast directories.
Editing Your Podcast Using Descript
Another easy way of editing your podcast is by using Descript. Descript however does this in a very interesting way: you edit audio by editing text.
With Descript, you can correct your voice recording by typing, collaborate with others to edit the audio in real-time and use the timeline editor to fine-tune your audio with fades.
Editing your recorded podcast couldn’t be any easier.
6. Creating Your Podcast Artwork, Show Notes and Choosing the Right Categories
Did you know that your podcast needs more than audio files to be complete?
A small part of the work of creating your podcast is creating the artwork and coming up with show notes. Something else you might consider doing is making a transcript of your podcast episodes.
Let’s take a deeper look at these.
Creating Your Podcast Artwork
For the best first impressions, you have to communicate visually. This is the reason why podcast artworks are so important. They give your shows an identity, attract attention and help convince a potential listener to check out your podcast.
How does a small image achieve all this?
Consider the fact that your podcast artwork:
- Is the first thing a potential listener sees when browsing a podcast directory like Apple Podcasts
- Is the image on the listening device’s screen (computer or mobile device) when listening to a podcast
- Is the image seen when your show is shared on social media
From these three things, you should be able to see how important your podcast artwork is. As such, you need to give it the attention it deserves.
That said, you don’t need to be a skilled graphics designer to create a good cover art for your podcast. A service like Canva can make it easy for you to create an impressive podcast cover art.
If you don’t feel like spending time designing, you can get the job done by a freelance graphics designer. You can look up graphics designers on Upwork or Freelancer.
You can also check out 99 Designs, a popular website where you can find talented graphic designers.
Here are some of the specifications for your artwork as per Apple Podcasts’ cover art requirements:
- File type: jpg or png
- Size: Square, 1,400 x 1,400 – 3,000 x 3,000 pixels
- Resolution: 72 dpi
- Colorspace: RGB
Once you have your artwork created, use the podcast artwork checker to preview how it will look on different platforms.
Creating Your Podcast Show Notes and Transcript
There are many podcasters who don’t write show notes at all. It’s probably because they don’t see the need to do it or maybe don’t even know there’s something like show notes.
For you however, reading this will give you the information you need to make a better decision.
Here are some of the ways in which your podcast can benefit from show notes:
- You can include a Call to Action in the notes
- You provide tweetable quotes for improved brand awareness and authority status
- Get more organic traffic by improving search engine ranking
- Increase engagement by hooking busy listeners
- Provide relevant links (blog posts, Facebook and Twitter feeds, donation page etc)
How do you write show notes?
Show notes need to have a structure or format which encourages busy listeners to read through and quickly know what the show is about.
For the best results, make sure you implement best practices when it comes to writing your podcast show notes.
Here’s what you should consider when undertaking this task:
- Keep it brief and make it easy to scan through by using sub-headings and bold text
- Include keywords to boost your show for SEO performance
- Include tweetable quotes
- Include timestamps
- Include visuals where possible e.g. images, graphs mentioned in the show, infographics etc
- Include the show’s transcript right after the show notes in case someone prefers reading the text version of the podcast
Some podcasters understand the value of not only writing show notes, but doing it well. One such podcaster is Tim Ferris. The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the biggest podcasts in the US. Take a look at the show notes of one of The Tim Ferriss Show podcast episodes.
As much as writing show notes is not difficult, it’s possible that you may not want the extra work. That’s understandable and you’re not alone. The good news is that you can outsource the work.
There are podcast show notes services you could check out and have them handle this for you. Podcast Fast Track is one of the options you have. You can also check out Podcast Motor for similar services.
If you prefer dealing with a freelancer, then Fiverr’s podcast show notes writers could be what you need.
When it comes to transcribing your show, this could be even more challenging than creating show notes. Typing out your shows word-for-word can be very tiring. The best solution here is to outsource the work.
Check out GoTranscript or Rev for help with this. They’re both recognized for their good transcription services.
Choosing Your Podcast Categories
As you get ready to have your podcast available to your listeners, you need to decide what categories you’ll choose for them. Podcast categories are the classifications by which podcasts are listed in directories.
Podcast categories are meant to make it easy for listeners to search for podcasts by topic or by using relevant search terms.
According to Podcast Business Journal, the top 3 podcast categories are comedy, news and culture.
Choosing the right podcast category can determine how easy it will be for your podcast to be discovered by new listeners. You, therefore, need to ensure that you choose a category in which your podcast fits well.
You can choose up to 3 categories with one being the parent category and the others being sub-categories under the parent category. Although Apple gives you the option to choose 3 categories, they’ll only use the parent category in searches.
Other podcast directories reportedly use the other two sub-categories. Since you need your show in those directories too, then all the three categories become important.
7. Hosting Your Show and Publishing to the Best Directories (Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify)
After you’ve recorded and edited your podcast, you now need to publish your show. This will make it possible for your podcast to be discovered and build a listener base.
Hosting and publishing your podcast is probably the easiest of all steps in the podcasting process.
Let’s look at how to go about this.
Hosting Your Podcast
Different podcast hosts offer different package options but most of them offer a free starter package. Although the features of this package are limited, you’re still able to get your show published and start acquiring listeners.
There are many podcast hosting platforms available and each one has a set of strengths that make it the best option in different situations.
Buzzsprout is undoubtedly one of the best hosting platforms and it offers an easy start for the beginner podcaster. With its a user-friendly interface and detailed analytics, you’re able to not only get started faster but also see how your show is performing.
For a better understanding about podcast hosting platforms and why we recommend Buzzsprout, read our review of the best podcast hosting platforms.
Which Directories Should You Publish Your Podcast On?
Once you upload your podcast to a hosting platform, the next thing to do is publish to directories. Podcast directories are the primary way through which listeners discover and listen to podcasts.
There are very many podcast directories and it’s important that you get your show listed in the most popular directories first followed by the rest.
When you prioritize the top directories, you ensure that your show can be discovered while you’re still working on listing in the less-popular directories.
So, which are the most popular podcast directories?
According to a study by Chartable, the most popular podcast directory is Apple Podcasts. It’s followed by Spotify, Castbox and Google Podcasts.
Fortunately, you don’t have to spend so much time working on getting your podcast on all the major directories.
For instance, if you get your show on Apple Podcasts, there are other directories which will also automatically have it since they pull their info from Apple Podcasts.
These directories include:
To get your show listed in Apple Podcasts, just sign in to your iTunes Connect account, validate your RSS feed then submit it to Apple Podcasts.
To get listed in Spotify, log in to your Spotify account, provide your RSS feed, choose your podcast categories and you’re good to go.
Getting listed on Google Podcasts is a bit different. Instead of the submission process other podcast directories guide you through, Google will just search the internet to find your podcast.
This can however take a bit longer than you would want. So to “help” Google do it’s thing faster, you can manually submit your RSS feed to Google. Make sure that your podcast meets Google Podcasts’ guidelines and your show will soon be picked up and listed on the directory.
8. Launching Your Podcast
There are two ways to launch your podcast: quietly or with hype and promotions.
If you decide to launch your podcast quietly, you’ll just record, edit it then publish without telling anyone about it. You’ll then work on gradually getting it known by potential listeners’ eyes and convince them to check it out.
Taking this route may mean that it can take you some time to get your first podcast downloads or subscribers.
Taking the route of hype and promotions can help you achieve faster growth. You can expect your show to have some listeners from day one and maybe some downloads too. This may be followed by reviews that could help show that your podcast is worth listening to.
Let’s look at how you can launch your podcast with a bang.
Publish At Least 3 Episodes
Although you can launch your podcast with just one episode, we won’t recommend that. You want your listeners to have enough content to binge on when you launch.
Having more than one episode ready to listen to also gives a better idea of what your shows are about and how they sound. They help listeners recognize your style, understand your brand and adapt to it.
This is important because it gives people something to say when discussing your podcast. Having sampled 3 episodes, any listener will be able to pick up the value you provide and share it.
Something else, having more than one show will prove your consistency in providing value to your audience.
Also, try and have at least 4 additional episodes already completed and scheduled out for the next few weeks.
This will help take the pressure off your back. At least you can have some rest after launching your podcast before going back into production.
Write a Blog Post About It
If you have a blog, then you need to write a post about your upcoming podcast. Your blog audience will most likely be eager to consume your new content type.
Leveraging the audience you’ve built through your blog can also dramatically increase your subscriber and download numbers. This is because you get listeners for your show immediately after the launch and they’ll probably share it within their networks.
Writing a blog post about your upcoming show will help build expectation. With many listeners on day one, your show will rise faster through the ranks in the podcast directories and capture the attention of potential listeners.
To make full use of the content you’ve created, record a video and post it on YouTube. Even as you build your audience through your podcast, you can use the same content and make money on YouTube.
Email Your Subscribers
Another way of bringing together potential listeners is to email your subscribers about your upcoming podcast.
Your email subscribers are actually the most loyal of all among your audience. For someone to give you his email address willing to receive marketing information from you, then he really loves your content.
Sending out emails about your podcast can make a big difference. Combining the loyalty of your email subscribers and the benefits of email marketing, you can reach your podcasting goals faster.
You can schedule your emails for every week in the launch month as you build momentum towards the d-day.
Every week’s email should contain an aspect of your podcast which you know will help convince your subscribers to listen, subscribe and share your show.
Announce on Social Media
You can’t really market your podcast without talking about it on social media. This is where you leverage your own network of family and friends. These are the people closest to you and probably the only ones who truly care about your success.
Head over to your social channels and let your friends know that you’re about to launch a podcast. Tell them what it’s about, how you offer solutions and even the kind of people you’ll be speaking to.
For the best results with your network, plan to meet some of them for a chat. A physical meeting can help build excitement and promote your podcast. This will increase the anticipation of your potential listeners.
Create a Teaser Episode
One of the best ways of creating some hype around your upcoming podcast is by releasing a teaser episode. This is a short episode introducing your show and mentioning some of the main points your show will be discussing.
This is similar to a movie trailer. Just as trailers help build expectation and people eagerly wait for the movie, so will a teaser episode do for your podcast.
One of the best ways of doing this is by creating a video teaser episode. Since social video generates 1,200% more shares than text and image content combined, your efforts here will guarantee impressive returns.
And the best part is that you don’t need any tech skills for this. Using a service like Headliner will get you sorted in no time.
Another tool you can use for the same purpose is Wavve.
These videos will help you leverage the audio content you’ve created to drive more reach and engagement on social media.
Create a Facebook Event
Facebook marketing is a must before and after the launch of your podcast. The best thing for preparing your podcast launch is to create a Facebook event and make it public.
Anyone who interacts with any of your content online should know about this event. Invite them and depending on your plans, you can make it a physical or virtual event.
Launching your podcast using a physical event might come with some costs. If you would rather keep costs low, then opt for a virtual event.
Hosting a virtual event is easy when you use a tool like WebinarJam or Demio. Check out our comparison of the best webinar platforms to see why we recommend these two.
On your podcast launching day, provide some insight to help the attendees understand the story behind the podcast. Make them see the need to listen so as to learn how to deal with the problem you’re tackling through the podcast.
Make sure you remind them to leave a review and share the podcast with their networks.
9. How to Grow Your Podcast
Your podcast needs to grow. How can you grow it?
For many podcasters, this is the most challenging part of podcasting. As much as getting started can be scary, nothing compares to the long wait you can face as you work towards growth.
This can be a big challenge. It can even be the one thing that makes you decide not to get into podcasting.
However, podcast growth is possible. As long as you’re consistent in publishing high-value content at the expected time, you can be sure that growth will come along.
But publishing your shows and waiting for growth isn’t very realistic. You need to market your podcast.
Here are some of the things you can do to give your podcast growth a boost.
Create a Podcast Blog
Podcast hosting platforms normally include a podcast website in their packages. This is meant to give your podcast a home. A podcast website makes your podcast more discoverable through internet searches, helping you acquire more listeners.
Whereas this option from your podcast host is okay, it’s usually quite limited. In many cases, you only get an archive for your shows as well as a page for individual episodes. Analytics form a part of these websites as well as some customization options.
But considering the possibilities you have with a blog, you might do well to consider having a website/blog independent of your podcast hosting platform. This is something you have more control over and can build to grow beyond what your podcast host can allow.
Look at it this way. Instead of having a website with podcast shows only, you can have a blog for your shows and include relevant discussions to increase engagement. Such discussions will also provide content for your podcast marketing since search engines can crawl the discussions.
You can easily get started creating your podcast blog using the tried and tested web hosting services by Bluehost. Bluehost is recognized for its reliability (very important for your podcast’s availability) as well as affordability.
Check out our comparison of the best web hosting platforms and see why we recommend Bluehost.
Build Your Email List
Some social media marketers push the notion that email marketing is dead.
You’ve probably heard it and maybe believed it. In any case, it makes sense that in the 21st century world, social media is king, right?
We love facts and share lots of them because they tell a more accurate story. According to a study by OptinMonster, email is more effective than social media when it comes to marketing.
Building an email list becomes even more important and valuable when you understand that the only audience you truly own is your email subscribers. And since you have your own blog set up outside your podcast hosting platform, you can easily build an email list.
But you shouldn’t just grab email addresses and start sending emails. You can do better than that.
ConvertKit should be your tool of choice when it comes to collecting emails and here is the biggest reason why. ConvertKit is smart enough to understand that different blog visitors are at different stages of the customer journey.
For that reason, ConvertKit captures emails at different stages of engagement to enable you to communicate with your listeners based on their interaction with your blog. If you understand how sales funnels work, then you’ll love ConvertKit.
Another great tool you can use is Constant Contact. For more information about these tools, read our review of the best email marketing tools.
Add Your Podcast Link to Your Email Signature
You know that people are still reading emails but are you utilizing this communication channel to the maximum?
Consider creating a beautiful email signature that contains information about your podcast. Instead of using a plain text email signature, put in a little effort, and create a visual email signature.
And just so you know, you don’t need to be a graphic designer or know how to write complex HTML codes. Tools like MySignature and htmlsig can help you with this.
Make sure you include your podcast artwork, description of it and a link to it. Use this as your signature for every email you send. Alternatively, save it as a template which you can choose in case you have other email signatures you use.
Promote Your Podcast on Social Media
Promoting your podcast on social media is a must. Decide early enough to include social media in your podcast marketing strategy. Aim at having your content on all the major social media networks.
How many networks you join and how active you are in them will come down to the audience in those platforms. If the audience you’re targeting is on Facebook, you must be there. If Twitter, Instagram, YouTube or any other, then having a presence there is necessary.
People are making money on Instagram, TikTok and every other social media platform. If there are audiences big and loyal enough to make money, then you should definitely promote your podcast on these platforms.
Get Interviewed on Other Podcasts
Cross marketing is another option through which your podcast can attract new listeners. It’s all about forming and maintaining valuable relationships with other podcasters.
Look up other podcasters in your niche and reach out to them with a pitch. Describe your podcast and tell them about the value you provide. Extend an interview and avail yourself for one. As long as your pitch communicates your value and your shows deliver, you will bag some interviews.
Having extended an interview invitation, the podcasters you reach will see that you also value their content. That’s a good thing because you can’t risk portraying yourself as being out to benefit without adding value to others.
In all this, focus on building long-term relationships. You can get opportunities to partner with someone further down the road and not necessarily now.
Post Your Shows on Quora and Reddit As Answers
Facebook is undoubtedly the biggest social media platform, closely followed by it’s sibling Instagram. But these are not the only platforms which you should be active on.
To grow your podcast, you have to be present where your audience is and engage with them there.
One of the biggest opportunities of growth is in online forums like Quora and Reddit. While Quora is a Q&A platform, Reddit is a discussion forum. Both offer opportunities to ask questions and get answers.
If you don’t have an account on these platforms, create one and get to know how the platforms work.
After you’ve launched your podcast, head over to both platforms and look up questions which you’ve addressed in the episodes you’ve published. If you can answer new questions before others do it, the better. Answering any question that’s not more than 3 days old will still serve the purpose.
Give a comprehensive answer and point out that you’ve talked more about the matter in your show. Provide a link and see your audience grow. Also include a link to your podcast in your profile.
Attend Conferences, Meetups and Events in Your Niche
Every industry has occasional conferences and events and your niche is no different.
Look for relevant associations in your location and register to join them. From there, you’ll get notified of any event coming up.
Also, look up Facebook events that you can attend. Get to interact with those in your niche and expand your network.
You should also attend meetups organized by other podcasters. No matter the niche the organizers podcast in, these are opportunities to grow your network. You might find areas in which you can collaborate with another podcaster.
You can join Meetup to get started connecting with others in your niche.
10. Making Money with Your Podcast (High-Income Strategies)
Podcasting is one of the ways you can make money online and attain financial freedom. Depending on whether you already have an audience or not, how much you make and how soon you make it is the big question.
Here is an example of some popular podcasts and the money they made in 2019.
We’re going to look at 7 high-income podcast monetization strategies to show you how your podcast can make you money. We’ll also include three honorable mentions. These are income streams which although they work just fine, they’re not necessarily “high-income.”
The reason we’re focusing on high-income strategies is to help you start making money as soon as possible. The faster you start making money, the more motivated you’ll be and the sooner you can make the job switch.
Let’s get started.
1. Sell Your Own Products
As your listeners begin trusting you, you become the expert they look up to for advice and direction. And to provide that advice, you can scale your business by creating products to sell.
The important thing is to ensure that the products are relevant to your listeners and they provide value.
Here are examples of what you can create for selling.
Selling Books Through Your Podcast
People are hungry for knowledge. If you’ve shown your listeners that you can provide them with knowledge, then writing a book is another way of doing just that. This time though, you’ll be receiving payment for your efforts.
With this income-generating strategy, your podcast actually served to introduce you to your audience. It then helped you build trust and establish yourself as an authority who can be trusted to lead others to solutions.
In the 21st century, you don’t have to find a publisher and end up with a slice of the profits. Just self-publish and keep all the profits.
You also have some options with books: paperbacks (or hard cover if you prefer), ebooks and audiobooks. We recommend that you do ebooks and audiobooks. Audiobooks in particular are increasing in popularity just as podcasting is.
Starting with the digital books i.e. ebooks or audiobooks will get you started faster and at a lower cost.
Selling Online Courses Through Your Podcast
If you’ve been doing online research for a while, you’ll have noticed that many industry experts have online courses.
Think of the university course you took and then imagine taking an online version. Which would you prefer?
Interest in online courses has increased because they’re cheaper and offer lots of flexibility. Consider these stats:
- 60% of internet users prefer ecourses because they fit their lifestyle and schedules
- Since 2000, the global e-learning industry has grown by 900%
- The global e-learning market is projected to reach $325 billion by 2025
- The online learning platform Teachable has 20,000 courses, 7,500 experts and over 3 million students
- The top teachers on Skillshare make up to $40,000 annually
Having built an audience and proved yourself worth their time every week and month, an online course would pay you well for your efforts.
Pro Tip: To be sure of the specifics of the problems your listeners struggle with, use your podcast to conduct a survey. This will help you know what exactly to address in the course so as to provide value for money.
Make the course in-depth and throw in some freebies like cheat sheets, live Q&A sessions with you and access to an exclusive Facebook group.
Now, this course can’t be hosted on the “free” website your podcast host gives you. You need a dedicated platform to host your e-course. And as good as your Bluehost website is, it’s not the best option either.
There are websites which are created specifically for this. They provide a platform for online classes where you create the course while they handle everything else for you.
Our recommendation goes to Teachable.
Teachable enables you to link to your website using a custom domain, make sales pages, have one-on-one sessions, schedule with Calendly and so much more.
For more information about which platforms there are and which one is best for you, read our review of the best online course platforms. Also read our guide on how to successfully create and sell an online course.
Selling Software Through Your Podcast
One of the best ways to make money online is by selling software solutions. This is the realm of Software as a Service (SaaS). It’s big and everyone is heading this direction.
Have you noticed that even companies which used to sell software products in DVDs are now asking you to subscribe?
Creating a software solution may not be the easiest option but it can be very rewarding. As long as you can envision a software solution that solves real problems, money will follow.
Not a software developer? No problem. You can find talented and experienced software developers on Upwork.
Do you want an example of someone who took this route and now has enough customers to make him money?
Since you’re a podcaster, consider Alitu. They created their web-based podcast editing tool after realizing that many podcasters were struggling to professionally edit their shows.
Selling your own software solution also gives you the ability to keep 100% of the profit. When you know that you’re making money, you can concentrate on producing your podcast content.
2. Sell Podcasting Services
Apart from podcasting itself, what else are you good at? Other than speaking in an engaging manner in front of the mic, what else have you done to succeed as a podcaster?
Instead of teaching your audience how to do different things, you can actually do it for them. You will then charge them a fee for the services you offer.
These services can be anything from promoting their podcasts on social media, helping them acquire more listeners using pro tips you’ve learned to helping them build traffic for their podcast website/blog.
Whichever service you decide to sell, make sure you make your listeners understand the importance of that service. For example, if you’re to sell traffic building services, make sure they understand that listeners also search Google for podcasts.
As such, having an SEO-optimized podcast website is one of the best ways their podcasts can be discovered. Also tell them about a tool like SemRush which they should use for keyword generation and analysis.
Once they know the importance of the service, they’ll be more likely to engage you.
3. Sell Your Podcasting Skills
You can also offer yourself as a podcaster for hire to interested clients, especially businesses.
Businesses know that podcasts are attracting huge audiences and as such, are great for reaching more prospects.
The question then is, should they advertise on podcasts or start their own podcasts?
Using your own podcast as a portfolio, you can pitch the idea of starting a podcast to businesses. Tell them what you know about their industry and advise them on the benefits they could reap from running their own show.
As a master podcaster with experience, you can easily start a podcast for them. If they have a marketing team, you can take care of the technical aspects as they provide content. If they don’t have a marketing team, you can handle everything and charge them even higher.
Pro Tip: In your pitch, emphasize the importance of building an engaged audience over a big unengaged audience. A relatively small but highly-engaged audience is better than a big audience which isn’t even discussing the show.
When approaching those businesses, make sure you’re armed with the right numbers from your own podcast. The number of weekly listeners, the number of Facebook likes and comments to new episodes, how long the conversation goes on after an episode etc.
4. Organize Virtual Summits
One of the easiest ways of making money from your podcast—good money—is by organizing virtual summits.
Virtual summits are actually trending right now as the best mode of educating your audience.
This is because they offer flexibility in attendance and they’re free during the summit dates. Even their market size is projected to increase.
Since virtual summits bring together many industry experts, the audience usually gets a lot of value from these events. Considering that they won’t be able to digest and implement all the lessons at once, attendees will usually want to have access to the recorded summit.
This is where you make money. After the event, you sell what is called an “all-access pass.” This gives the buyer lifetime access to all the content generated during the summit.
If you want to know how lucrative virtual summits can be, just look at Navid Moazzez. Navid is a well-known virtual summit expert who has generated massive income from these events.
Navid started as a podcaster before permanently shifting to virtual summits. From one of his initial summits, Navid generated $20,000 in sales and added 3,000 subscribers to his email list. More recently though, he organized a summit which gave him around $180,000 in sales and over 26,000 new email subscribers.
You don’t have to be insanely popular to organize a successful virtual summit. All you need to do is leverage the relationships you built through your podcast.
5. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is a common income stream for most podcasters. Affiliate marketing involves promoting the tools you use for podcasting then earning a commission from purchases made through a special link.
Affiliate marketing is a win-win for both podcasters and the businesses whose products and services are being promoted. The business only pays for purchases made while the podcaster makes easy money by leveraging his loyal audience.
If your listeners trust you enough to follow your advice, you can make money through affiliate marketing. To avoid breaking the trust, make sure you only promote products which add value to your audience. The products must also be ones you personally use or can vouch for.
Affiliate marketing requires that people buy using your link. Since podcasting is audio, ensure maximum conversions by guiding listeners to your podcast website/blog.
Also, instead of using text links, be unique and use Lasso for affiliate link displays.
So, what kind of products can you promote?
If your audience is made up of fellow podcasters, then promote the best mic, pop filter, mic stands, starter kits, podcast hosting platforms, email marketing tools etc.
If your podcast is in the health and fitness niche, you can promote diet plans by nutritionists, yoga classes, recipe books, gym memberships etc.
Think about your niche and look for products and services which will add value to your listeners. If the products are on Amazon, join their affiliate program. Or you can join any of these high-paying affiliate programs. Alternatively, reach out to the companies and negotiate a deal directly with them. You could get higher commissions this way.
Some people prefer getting help from one-on-one interactions and not reading books or watching videos. If you just announce on your podcast that you’re planning to launch coaching sessions, such people will express interest.
In promoting your coaching services, be clear how exactly you’re going to make your client’s life better. This is the core of your offer. As much as they know you as the expert in your field, you have to provide real value for money.
Try your best to quantify the benefits your client will get by working with you. If you’re helping them with time management, how much time will you save them? If you’re advising them on finances, how much money will you help them save or make?
If your niche doesn’t give you opportunities to quote numbers, then focus on the end result. For example, if your podcast is about relationships, are you going to save their marriage? Help them rebuild their relationship with their kids?
When it comes to coaching, one of the biggest challenges is going to be about scheduling your sessions. One of the most popular tools for scheduling meetings is Book Like a Boss.
Using such a service will help you focus on delivering value instead of going through your calendar to schedule appointments.
To get more people to sign up for your coaching sessions, start by offering free 30-minute sessions.
Through the email marketing you carry out and the free session you offer, you’ll be able to turn a number of your subscribers to paying clients.
Donations are a common way through which podcasters make money. Listeners are also happy to support their favorite podcasts by donating either a one-off amount of by making monthly donations.
Although not all your listeners will make a donation, the funds can still add up to a significant amount. This can be motivating especially if you have a small and engaged audience.
Instead of waiting till you have tens of thousands of downloads so as to attract sponsors, you can ask your loyal audience to support your show.
Through Patreon, many creators, including podcasters, are receiving financial support from their fans.
With the value you add, even the usual 1% – 2% conversion rate for donations will give you a considerable amount.
Consider this scenario. Your show attracts 1,000 listeners per episode. If you were to run ads at the industry-standard average of $18 CPM, you would make $72 in a month with four weekly shows.
Now let’s say you have a patreon account and ask your listeners to support you with $3, $5 or $20 per month. If 2% of 1,000 listeners gave just $5 per month, you get $100. That’s a difference of $28.
What happens if some listeners give $20 because they love your show so much? What happens when the number of listeners increases?
Mind you, you didn’t stress yourself about finding advertisers.
Here are three strategies of making money with your podcast which you can also implement. We call them “honorable mentions” because although they can earn you money, it’s not as much or easily as the others we’ve mentioned.
We recommend using these income streams as extra income channels to supplement the other main ones.
For many podcasters, the first thing they think about when considering monetizing their podcasts, is getting sponsors.
We understand why. This is the most commonly-discussed monetization strategy in podcasting. It’s similar to how bloggers think about ads despite earning very little from them.
Sponsorships are not bad in themselves, they’re great. The problem is that you can’t make significant amounts of money through them unless you have a very big audience.
According to AdvertiseCast, here are the standard podcast advertisement rates by which you can expect to be paid for every 1,000 listeners or downloads:
- $18 for a 30-second ad roll
- $25 for a 60-second ad roll
All the same, the sponsorship and advertising route is not a hopeless path to walk. If you have a highly-engaged audience and can negotiate well, you can get paid at a higher rate than the average.
Since advertisers look at the number of downloads or listeners, let your pitch and negotiations center on engagement.
Tell your potential sponsors that engagement will turn into conversations around their brands and products thus improving brand awareness and sales.
9. Sell Merchandise
Selling merchandise is another option through which you can leverage your podcast audience to make some money.
Selling merchandise also gives you free podcast advertising. As people wear shirts, hoodies etc with your podcast name on them, more awareness is created and you’re likely to get more new listeners.
With all the technology available today, you don’t even need a warehouse or a logistics department to run an online store.
You can set up your online store using a service like Shopify. Alternatively, read our review of the best ecommerce platforms and choose the one that suits you best.
Since you’ll be printing your podcast artwork on the merchandise, you can use on-demand printing services by Printful.
You can also make money through subscriptions. Earning from subscriptions is all about providing premium content.
The most common approach is to provide free content that attracts listeners then have some “extras” accessible only to paying subscribers.
There are many ways you can go about this. You could for example sell behind-the-scenes content, video versions of your podcast and ad-free listening. You can also invite subscribers to monthly Q&A sessions with you or sell access to archived episodes.
Subscriptions are an easy way to monetize. The challenge though is that listeners might feel as if they have to pay in order to get valuable content.
This monetization strategy has proven to work very well in the news and entertainment niches.
If you’re podcasting in these niches, then your audience may already have embraced subscriptions. It should therefore be easier to get started.
Exciting Podcast Examples to Learn From
Knowledge is power and knowing how to get started with podcasting should be complemented with something else—real-life examples.
Is there a better way of showing you that you can succeed at podcasting other than by showing you those who have done it?
Here are a few examples of podcasts which can inspire you to start your own:
1. Up and Vanished
The true-crime podcast Up and Vanished might encourage you to become an investigator—licensed or not.
When Payne Lindsey of Tenderfoot TV embarked on investigating how a beauty queen and high school teacher went missing, he didn’t expect the show to be more than six episodes long.
Tara Grinstead disappeared in 2005 and after 11 years of investigations by the Georgia Bureau of Investigations, no arrests had been made. Then Payne Lindsey came along.
From his interviews, the investigations expanded from the planned six episodes to 24, not counting bonus episodes. The GBI ended up arresting two suspects and the case proceeded to trial.
So much to achieve, right?
Season 2 is also available, investigating a different true-crime story.
This podcast is in the fashion and beauty category. Like anything fashion, it has a very loyal and passionate following.
The hosts, Doree Shafrir and Kate Spencer make it clear that they’re not makeup experts. But this doesn’t make them lose listeners. In fact, it makes them relatable.
Although primarily named with a focus on beauty, Forever35 also touches on other subjects too. For instance, you’ll find episodes about making meal plans as they advise on general health. They also have shows on yoga practices.
After all is said and done, the message the hosts have is that women should take care of themselves.
3. Ctrl Alt Delete
What was life like before Facebook, Instagram and TikTok? How did people find answers to their questions before Google existed?
A millennial might have some faint memories from which to answer these questions. A Gen Z however can’t even imagine how difficult and unlivable life was.
Emma Gannon is the host of Ctrl Alt Delete and from her experience, she talks about life in the age of the internet. Emma has a book by the same title whose tagline is: How I Grew Up Online.
In her shows, she engages guests to get their stories and advice. It’s mainly about how social media and the internet in general have become a part of their lives and how they handle it.
4. How Did This Get Made?
If you watch movies, then you’ve probably watched some which were so bad that they were actually fun to watch. The kind of movies you wonder what the producers and directors were thinking when they released them.
Such movies are the subject of the podcast How Did This Get Made. The hosts Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael and Jason Mantzoukas take time to tear into these movies and make fun of them.
For each episode, the hosts feature a new guest while also sharing “second opinions.”
And do you know whose opinions these “second opinions” are? These are five-star reviews of the movies on Amazon.
Imagine a hilariously bad movie receiving a five-star review. If you’re wondering how, you’re not alone.
5. Another Mother Runner
Parenting is challenging. And if you decide to include other important things like fitness, you can expect more challenges. Although it’s possible, getting a good balance isn’t always easy.
But there’s help and encouragement.
Another Mother Runner provides the motivation mothers need to get fit and even run big races. The host, Sarah Bowen Shea, is a mom of three and a veteran of 14 marathons. She is usually joined by her co-hosts and sometimes, a guest expert as well.
The show covers topics which include nutrition, mental toughness and even the value of a running friend.
Through the podcast, the hosts aim at showing mothers that they can get moving and still keep their families, jobs and sanity.
Starting a Podcast FAQ
There are many people who are thinking of starting a podcast. They heard or read something and realized that there’s a great opportunity in podcasting. Yet some questions seem to leave them undecided.
If you’re faced with a similar situation, here’s a quick run-down of the most common podcasting questions potential podcasters ask. Go through them and make a decision soonest.
There are many reasons why you should start a podcast. The biggest is probably to build an audience. With a podcast, your audience is your gateway to so many things including making money.
Just as bloggers make money, so can podcasters. With the Armchair Expert podcast earning $9m in 2019 and The Joe Rogan Experience earning $30m, making money through podcasting is not a far-fetched idea.
If you have a business, you can net more prospects through podcasting. You can then nurture them and eventually turn a number of them into paying customers.
You can also decide to start a podcast so as to promote community activities which you’re a part of. This can be in support of something you’re doing yourself or a worthy cause being driven by others.
For example, you can be involved in youth engagement activities in your community to reduce crime. With a podcast, you can easily build an audience in your community and influence them towards productivity.
As long as you need an audience for whatever goals you have, starting a podcast is a great way of getting that audience.
Podcasting is a big investment that can bring big returns. And any time you’re about to start something big, fear will always show up.
Fear operates on emotions and when your emotions are aroused, you don’t think clearly. Unreasonable statements suddenly start making sense when they shouldn’t.
An easy way to overcome your fear of podcasting is by asking logical questions.
Are you afraid of failing? But what if you succeed?
Are you afraid of not sounding great? You’re not auditioning for any competition. Furthermore, there are acclaimed music artists with coarse voices and they’re successful.
Are you afraid that you’re not an expert in the subject? No matter how little you think you know, there will always be people who don’t know as much as you do.
Once you’ve decided that you want to start a podcast, pick up the equipment and record your first episode. Edit and publish it then build momentum from that point on.
It’s estimated that there are over 1 million podcasts and the number is increasing. The increase is caused by the popularity of the medium as more and more people embrace podcasts for both education and entertainment.
Podcasting platforms have also increased in number. Apple has been the leader in podcasts for a long time. Although they still lead the pack, other podcast directories are also gaining a market share for themselves. The best example is Spotify.
As you think of the number of podcasts, understand that the growing interest in podcasts means more podcasts will be launched. Get started fast enough so that you can be part of the growth.
There are many podcasting niches and they’re so wide and deep that you can basically podcast about anything you want.
To choose the best niche, consider at least two factors: how much you’ll enjoy podcasting and how much money you can make from it. If your priority is fun, then think about your hobbies and interests. If money is a big motivation, then start by asking yourself, “Which audience can pay me the highest amounts of money?”
Generally speaking, audiences in the business and finance niches are the ones which spend more money. Those in the fashion and beauty also spend; not so much but very often, meaning they’re also profitable (economies of scale).
We talk more about niches in our article about choosing a niche for your online business. Check it out.
You can launch your podcast with any number of episodes but as a minimum, 3 episodes would be good. Three is not the magic number per se, it’s only that it provides enough content for new listeners to familiarize themselves with your voice, topic and perspective.
If you launch with only one episode, listeners won’t have enough content to decide whether they like what they hear or not. Also, three episodes provide some variety. It’s good to give listeners choices as that makes them feel in control, helping them make a decision confidently.
In the event that they only like one episode, that’s the one which will bring them back for the next one you’ll publish. Starting with more episodes therefore increase the chances that you’ll net more listeners.
To get advertisers and sponsors, you’ll first have to build an audience. But more than just having the audience, work hard to build engagement. With an engaged audience, brands will see that your listeners can actually follow your recommendations and take action.
Once you have the audience, look up businesses in your niche. Any company you think can benefit from being introduced or recommended to your audience, note it down. Try getting in touch with the people in charge of marketing as they will understand your pitch more easily.
Draft your podcast sponsorship pitch and send it or request for an appointment. Follow up after 1 week in case you don’t get a response and again after 3 weeks. As long as you can get even one sponsor, that’s a good start.
Remember to have your numbers ready. How many listeners do you have? How many shows do you have and how many downloads per show? Also note your social media following since this will help paint a picture of the potential of advertising with you.
Starting a podcast doesn’t have to be difficult at all. As much as there are professional podcasting studios out there, you can easily start with nothing but your smartphone and an external microphone. Both iPhone and the android platform support external microphones.
For a more professional podcast though, start by getting a USB mic like the Blue Yeti USB microphone and download Audacity if you’re on a PC. If you’re using a Mac, you can download GarageBand for free, in case it’s not installed.
A mic and a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) are all you need to start a podcast. Of course, you also need the content you’re going to share on your show and an account on a podcast hosting platform like Buzzsprout.
Starting a podcast can cost you a lot if you want to start like a pro. You can buy the most expensive equipment to ensure the highest sound quality. You can buy professional recording and editing software to get all the features you’ll ever want.
But you don’t need to do that. Getting started should be affordable—and it is.
A good USB mic like the MAONO USB microphone costs around $65. If you’re using a PC, you can use Audacity to record and edit your podcast. If on a Mac, you have GarageBand. Both options are free. As for headphones, the LyxPro closed-back headphones are great and they cost $40.
Podcast hosting? Most podcast hosts offer a free package so you don’t have to pay to get started.
The total cost of starting a podcast therefore comes to around $100.
If you’re on a very tight budget, you can opt for earbuds instead of headphones and save around $20 in the process. The Panasonic RPHJE120 earphones are a decent option that costs less than $20.
Podcasting can be very lucrative. However, the one thing you need to know and keep in mind is that it’s not automatic. You have to put in some work to start earning and make even more money.
Making money through podcasting will depend on your audience and monetization strategies.
If you base your earning on audience size, you’ll have to grow your number of listeners. You’ll also need to build engagement and have them share your shows widely.
If you base it on monetization strategies (this is what we recommend), then sell your own products like ebooks and e-courses or services like podcast marketing and coaching. Affiliate marketing is also a good option.
As an example of how podcasters make money, the Tiny Meat Gang makes over 50,000 per month, The Last Podcast on the Left makes over $55,000 per month while Chapo Trap House makes over 130,000 per month.
Ready to Start a Podcast and Grow Your Audience?
Podcasting is on the rise and the time to start your own show is now. If growth has been consistent this far, you’re better off jumping in now to become part of the growth statistics.
Grab the Blue Yeti USB Mic starter kit and download either Audacity if you’re on a PC or GarageBand if on a Mac. Sign up with Buzzsprout, record your first three episodes, edit with Alitu and publish it.
Once you publish to Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts, market it as you publish more shows and watch your podcast grow.
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