Last updated on April 16th, 2020
Podcasting is a popular medium to promote a business and industry or any expertise. Because of the success of this medium, more entrepreneurs than ever before today plan to make good use of it for enhancing their market reach. It is easy to start your own podcast. However, you need to know how to start a podcast, and you need to consider many vital things.
Podcasting has revolutionized the way businesses do marketing. This is a favorite platform for an array of shows, storytelling, journalistic reports, and interviews. You can build an audience and connect with the industry leaders using your podcasts. Considering the success of the medium, many entrepreneurs think of starting their own podcast shows.
The popularity of podcasting among people is increasing by each day. This is one of those mediums that are finding a huge number of users. According to a study, six million more American people listen to podcast weekly in 2018, as compared to 2017. In this duration, the fans listened to 40% more shows. Another interesting trend to be noted here is that mobile devices consume nearly 69% of podcasts.
Wondering how to start your own podcast? Setting up your own podcast is simple. There are some complexities involved in it, though. Right from conceiving the idea to finally podcasting your shows, you have to go through a process. You need to adopt a step-by-step approach to do the job from start to finish systematically.
If you do not want to hire expensive professionals to set up your podcasting platform, a do-it-yourself approach is still good enough.
How To Start A Podcast? – 18 Easy Steps
Step 1. Why Do You Need A Podcast?
First, you must have an apparent reason for starting a podcast. Do you need it for a business to market something or you want to start it simply as a freelancer? Is podcasting a hobby with you? Answer such questions precisely. When you have a purpose, you can create the content accordingly with a direction. For example, if promotion of a business is the reason, you will create content that helps you target the audience and build brand identity.
But if you want to pursue podcasting as a hobby, then you will choose the topics that fascinate you personally. You will be creating the shows mostly only in your spare time.
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Step 2. Know Your Audience
Once you know the reason for starting a podcast, the next step is to pinpoint the audience. You must precisely know the profile of your target listener. It is essential as you will prepare content for the target audience.
For instance, if your podcast is about health and fitness, then you will talk on the topics such as weight loss, bodybuilding, healthy eating, and exercises. When you know your target audience, you can then focus on making engaging content. So, give people a reason to listen to your content.
Step 3. Name Your Podcast
To give your podcast a name is not as easy as you may think. Usually, it requires a lot of brainstorming. You should come out with a catchy name that reflects the reason that made you think how to start a podcast. Write down some description also into its title. After reading the description, the audience can clearly know the reason for podcasting.
One thing to remember when naming the podcast is that you will take the name many times during the recordings of your episodes. So, keep the name simple and catchy.
Step 4. Planning Your Show
If you have something valuable to say to your audience, it will surely interest them. So, you need not cut the content short just for the sake of reducing the duration of the episode. Know that podcast length solely relies on content. There is no standard duration in which you should send a message out.
A short episode may be over in 15 minutes, while a more extended episode may last for over an hour. Some podcasters prefer to keep the episode time to the average commute time of 20 minutes. But there is no harm if the episode length goes up to 45 minutes.
When you plan how to start a podcast, make sure that your content and audience should be able to decide your episode length. You should never forcibly reduce the content to 20 minutes when the length of valuable content can go up to say 50 minutes. People love to have as much useful information as they can. It may also be that after some time your audience will let you know if your episodes are too lengthy or too short.
Step 5. Create A Unique Logo
Before you move any further, make it sure that your podcast has a logo. Design the logo from best graphic design services. The logo is an identity of your personal or business podcast. The listener will first look for your logo when they want to buy your episodes from stores like iTunes.
They will also identify your podcasts from its logo on their iPods. To make an excellent visual impression of your podcasts, the logo design must be unique in terms of its use of colors, images and other elements.
Step 6. Decide Podcast Routine
How often should you podcast your episodes? That is an important aspect that you should consider wisely. But your content will be a determining factor in releasing the new episode on a daily, weekly or fortnightly basis. Your target listeners can then plan their lives around the time of your new episodes.
However, do not compromise on the quality. It is far better to start podcasting once in a fortnightly with an interesting and useful episode rather than releasing very average episodes daily. Therefore, your content quality and its substance should be the basis for the podcast routine. If you have been concerned more about how to start a podcast that becomes popular almost instantly, this factor is something you cannot ignore.
You can also think of starting a seasonal podcast based on a specific theme. In that case, you may opt for creating a dozen episodes on that theme in the season. You can then start the new season after a break of one or two months with a new theme.
Step 7. Give An Appropriate Title To Each Episode
This step may seem to be obvious since we name everything. But the fact is that we come across with many podcasting episodes that are inappropriately named. For example, what would you make out of ‘episode 1’ and ‘episode 2’?These titles do not give us any hint of the content. The listener audience must get a clear idea of what the episode is all about.
An appropriate title will give them the reason to listen to the episode. For example, your episode may be titled like ‘ How to ….’ or ‘ 10 Tips to ….’ Such titles will lure your audience to listen to your new episodes.
Another benefit of such titles is that it helps in easy searching. Remember that iTunes lets search episodes by their name. You should also consider inserting some keywords in the title so that it comes up in the search results.
Step 8. Decide On Podcast Format
When you are planning how to start a podcast, you should know that there are some podcast formats available for the episodes. You can experiment with the formats to know which of them works best for your shows. Choose the solo show format, which is actually a monologue style. Its advantage for your show is that you’ll be the main speaker for the show. You can record the show on your own. But you will be projecting yourself as an authority on the topic. Since the podcast is entirely yours, you can decide on the ways to monetize it.
Other formats include the co-host show and the interview show. You need someone to co-host the show. This format makes your shows lively as you can chat and debate, and do a lot of things regarding presentations of the show. But you should decide on the ownership of the podcast.
The interview show format is ideal when you are interested in talking to your heroes from different fields. People like to listen to something from the mouth of celebrities. The guest has own audience, which automatically becomes yours as well soon after you interview the person. You can grow an audience fast with this format.
Besides these major formats, you can experiment with others also. Think of the options such as the roundtable which has one regular host. The host will be talking to many guests. The documentary format is also exciting to take up. Under this format, a narrator takes you through different locations clips, takes interviews and starts a conversation with people. You can create a mixture of these format as a unique idea. But consider your content as well.
Step 9. Create An Impressive Cover Art
You would like to sell your podcast episodes from the iTunes store. But you will be competing for the buyers’ attention as there are already thousands of podcasters selling their shows from the store. To attract the buyers, your cover art must be unique and memorable.
To do that, get some graphic design ideas and pick the one for the cover, that reflects your episode message.To submit your episodes to the directories like iTunes, make sure that your cover art is 1400 x 1400 pixels, in JPG or PNG form.
Step 10. Have The Right Equipment
How to start a podcast within a low budget? Setting up your own podcast is not expensive. All you need is a computer to record a podcast. There should be a built-in microphone in the computer. You will also need the Internet connection. However, you will be investing more money in buying equipment for a high quality of sound.
To start with and to see if you are really enjoying the job, have a simple USB microphone setup with the right mic. A simple headset mic can also work fine in the early days.But if you want to interview people in-person, then equipment like Rode Smartlav+, SC6 splitter are great tools. While purchasing any quipment, look for reviews. For example, if you are planning to purchase Smart Podcast Player, then first look for Smart Podcast Player Review only and accordingly buy the product as per your requirements.
Later on, you have the option to upgrade to expensive and better tools like Rode Procaster USB mic. You will then set up a digital recorder such as Zoom H5 and a mixer like Yamaha MG 10. Overall, you will need podcast microphones, USB microphones, digital recorder, and a mixer.
Step 11. Software For Recording & Editing
You will also require some software to record the audio and edit it. Fortunately, you have access to a free programme called Audacity that will fulfill your podcasting needs. So, you do not have to spend money on it.
Software such as Adobe Audition and Alitu are also helpful in recording and editing process. The Mac users have Garageband as a default software installed on the machine. You can use this also for audio editing.
Step 12. Put Your Business On A Website
In the modern world, people like first to visit the website when they want to know more about a company or industry. When they come to know about your podcast and its episode, expect them to visit your website.
Therefore, put everything related to your podcasting on a website. It should have pages like about us, contact, podcasts, blogs, tutorial, etc. Make sure that your web page design has these pages. The website must also be user-friendly that offers an excellent experience for the users.
Step 13. Pay Attention To The Script
Think of the script part of it when you start your own podcast. While you will be talking a lot, decide on what precisely the points you want to cover when discussing an issue. In your early podcasting days, an elaborative script, with everything written down, is almost essential.
This way, you will not miss the talking points. With the experience, however, you will just have some bulleted points. You can then talk out about them within the time frame.
Step 14. Learn How To Talk
How to talk is perhaps the most difficult part to master when you start your own podcast. You really need to give it a serious thought when you plan how to start a podcast. There is some feeling of nervousness that you will be experiencing in the initial days.
But, gradually you will learn that instead of talking to a microphone or talking to yourself, it is better to speak to a single person. Remember that there is a target listener that you should have in mind. You should talk to that listener who is your ideal customer; if the podcast is about the business.
Step 15. Add Music
Although adding music to your episodes is not necessary, still, it is advisable. You should think of adding some intro music to draw the attention of the listeners. Many websites offer music that you can access legally for your podcast. This is a royalty-free stock music.
You can also subscribe to the library of a tremendous amount of music. There are many places like Incompetech to get good free music for the podcast. Or, pay a smaller amount to get a lot of unique music from sources like Jamendo and Audioblocks.
Step 16. Setup A News Feed
Almost all podcasters have their own newsletters. A podcast newsletter can be published twice a week, once in a month or any duration of your choice. What should go into your newsletter? Well, you can give details of the trends and news about the new trends developing in an industry. You can offer follow-ups or roundups on a particular topic. The newsletter can also give information on a broader theme or idea.
Since you will charge a fee from the subscribers, the newsletter will turn out to be an excellent financial support to running your podcast episode.However, your newsletter design should reflect your business or industry. It is also a way for your audience to judge your professionalism in conducting the business of podcasting.
Step 17. Have A Business Card
As you will be meeting a lot of people, including famous personalities, the one thing you must give them is your business card. The card has your contact details like website URL, phone number, physical address, blog site, etc.
So, get a beautiful business card design with the help of an experienced designer. Remember that a great card design is also a way to impress your potential clients.
Step 18. Have A Good Social Media Presence
A good social media presence of any business is essential to do business. This is because millions of potential customers are active on different social channels. Regularly posting your content on your social media page will help in promoting your podcasting startup.
So, these are the steps you should take to start your own podcast. Each stage requires you to pay attention to the details. With time, you will learn how to conduct the business of podcasting for the desired results.
During the podcasting process, you will require some visuals such as a logo, business card, blog, websites, etc.. designs. You can get many new design ideas by outsourcing the work to Designhill, a prominent marketplace for business owners and designers.
To start your own podcast, take every step carefully to meet every single requirement. You must know your podcasting niche on which you will talk about, visual identities like a logo and website, and equipment to set it up.