How To Start Your Own Podcast In 5 Steps
If you’re considering starting your own podcast, you’re in the right spot. Podcasting is a great way to build your brand, connect with your audience, and branch out into new ventures. It’s also much less competitive than blogging. To put that into perspective, there are thousands of podcasts, yet millions of blogs. Keep reading to learn how to start your own podcast in 5 steps. It’s not as intimidating as you think.
Podcasts are audio files that can be downloaded and streamed on smartphones or computers. You can listen to them anytime, unlike radio programs that have a set schedule. I love listening to podcasts while I’m exercising, driving or working around the house.
There are literally thousands of podcasts in any niche you can think of. I’ve downloaded a broad range of shows in the areas of business, health, parenting, photography, relationships, and religion. Podcasts are a great tool to grow your business and extend your reach.
Benefits Of Podcasting
There are many reasons to start a podcast including:
- You don’t have to show your face
- Broaden your horizons
- Open doors to new opportunities
- Foster relationships
- Great for engagement
- Reach a wide audience
- Hone your speaking skills
- Increase your confidence
- Build brand awareness
Start You Own Podcast
Follow these steps to get your podcast up and running:
1. Pick A Niche And A Name
The first step in starting a podcast is to choose a name, or show title. This is assuming you already know what your podcast will be about. Is it centered around business, technology, sports, self-improvement, education, health, travel, relationships, or gardening, etc? There’s some pretty unique podcast names out there, including Hidden Brain, Stuff You Should Know, Up and Vanished, Dumb People Town, and Louder with Crowder. Usually, but not always, you can figure out what the podcast is about by the name.
Many people use their names, or the names of their brands, in their podcast titles, which is a good option. For example, The Joe Rogan Experience, The Dave Ramsey Show, The Tim Ferriss Show, and Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness. Spend some time coming up with a name, but don’t spend inordinate amounts of time on it. Eventually, you’ll need to just choose one and move on to the next step. You can always change the name later if it doesn’t stick.
Keywords And Artwork
Keywords are important to help people find your podcast so spend some time carefully choosing them. Remember, iTunes is an enormous search engine so you’ll want to target keywords that are competitive, but not too competitive. Include these keywords in your podcast description, which will serve to draw listeners in, and let them know what your podcast is about. Read my post below to learn more about keywords.
[Read More: Jaaxy Keyword Research Tool Review]
You’ll need a 3,000 by 3,000 pixel image that represents your show and displays your show title. First impressions are important, design your image with that in mind since it will be the first impression people will have of your podcast. Most listeners will be viewing your image on their smartphones so make sure your show title is easy to read. My all-time favorite graphic design software is Canva, which is a great option for creating artwork for podcasts.
To Cohost Or Not To Cohost
Many podcasts have more than one host. This is something you’ll want to decide up front. Will you be flying solo or do you want to share the limelight? Shows with two people are interesting because they highlight each host’s particular point of view. Alternatively, there’s also the option to include a cohost only on certain episodes. You can also choose to periodically have guests on your show.
Starting a podcast can be less intimidating with a partner. It can also save time when editing and completing other tasks because you can share the load. Like with anything, there are pros and cons to having a cohost. For instance, if one of you is more committed and engaged then the other, that could signal trouble down the road.
Set Show Duration
Decide on the length of your show. There are podcasts that last 20 minutes and some that are hours long. Pick a duration based on your subject matter, and gauge approximately how long you’ll need to cover your topics. What you don’t want to do is select a time that is too long for what you want to cover, and then you’re stuck shooting the breeze for the additional time, which could get boring for your listeners.
Personally, I prefer podcasts that aren’t longer than an hour. In fact, 45 minutes is ideal. It’s long enough to cover a topic, but not so long that people lose interest. As it is, we’re all overstimulated by the amount of information we’re bombarded with every single day. In my opinion, podcasts over an hour aren’t entirely necessary. Of course, this will depend on the subject matter.
Intros And Outros
Intros and outros are the first few seconds at the beginning or ending of a podcast. Intros set a tone of familiarity for the show, which I think is a nice touch. Long intros can be laborious so don’t make yours too long. You’ll also want it to appeal to a wide audience.
Elements to include in an intro would be the name of the podcast, the host’s name, the episode title and number, and a soundbite for upcoming shows. Intros and outros are prerecorded segments that are included in every podcast episode, which listeners come to expect. This familiarity aspect augments the listener experience.
Watch the video below for tips on how to make a podcast intro:
2. Buy The Right Equipment
There are a few nonnegotiables you’ll need when starting a podcast. The goal is to get your message across in a clear and concise manner. That is why the audio needs to be top-notch. A podcast is an audio show after all. People don’t put up with crappy audio, even if the content is great, so always ensure that your audio is high-quality.
Here’s what you’ll need:
1. Invest in a good microphone with a pop filter or wind screen. A mic will give you crisp, clear audio that is easy to listen to. A wind screen will help to fine tune the audio even more so each word you speak is easy to understand. I use a Blue Yeti mic, which comes attached to a durable stand, and includes a pop filter. It connects to a computer via a USB cord, and produces great sound. I’ve been using mine for a couple years and love it.
2. You’ll also what a boom arm with a shock mount. A boom arm attaches to a clamp on a table or desk, enabling the microphone to be close to your face, without you having to handle it. A shock mount holds the microphone, and is attached to the boom. Its purpose is to eliminate vibrations.
The Blue Yeti is a fairly heavy mic, which requires a heavy boom. The RODE PSA Swivel Mount Studio Mic is sturdy enough to accommodate it. This Silver Shock Mount is also designed for a Blue Yeti mic.
3. Recording And Editing
If you’re into free, and who isn’t, GarageBand is a good recording option for Mac. Audacity is a free software for both Windows and Mac users. Recording options include:
- Logic Pro X
- Adobe Audition
- Hindenburg Journalist
Whatever software you settle on, always make sure that your specific mic is highlighted in the settings before you hit record.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when recording your audio. It’s helpful to create a show outline for all of your episodes. This will prevent brain freeze and will help your organize your thoughts. This is ensure your show proceeds in a timely manner. A template, or outline, will keep your episodes congruent, which is helpful for both you and your audience.
Try to talk naturally so your personality can shine through. People like real, they also like vulnerability. Talk at a moderate pace, with an even tone. I find it rather annoying when podcasters are all over the place in terms of volume. Speak clearly, and enunciate your words so your listeners can easily understand what you’re saying.
Keep a bottle of water handy to keep your throat moist so you’re not constantly clearing it, or coughing, which is distracting. It’s also a pain to edit. Your show does not have to be scripted, it can be natural and spontaneous. This will become second nature over time. Be cognizant of the distance between your mouth and the mic. Keep your mouth in the same position, and close to the wind screen, to produce uniform sound.
Eliminate all potential distractions before you hit record. Barking dogs and beeping phones will disrupt your flow. I like wearing headphones to block out anything that will break my concentration. Lastly, It’s always a good idea to include a hook or teaser in your opening segment. This will keep readers engaged and curious. Tell them what you’ll be talking about, and the reasons why they should listen.
Breathe a sigh of relief that you don’t have to record your episode all in one sitting. You can do it in segments, which makes the whole process friendlier. Don’t stress if you make a mistake while you’re talking, trust me you will, just continue on as if nothing happened. You can always eliminate bloopers and blunders when editing.
Thank goodness for the editing process. Most unedited podcasts would be extremely rough to listen to. Editing fine tunes and polishes your recording. And fortunately, editing audio is not nearly as time-consuming as editing video.
4. Podcast Hosting
Now that your show is recorded, you’ll need to upload your audio file to a hosting platform, where you’ll store and distribute your episodes. The hosting service will provide you with an RSS feed that you can then submit to Spotify, Stitcher, or iTunes. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to post an audio file of your podcast to a website or directly to social media.
A podcast hosting service will provide an organized structure for your show, allowing your listeners access to all your episodes. You’ll also have access to analytics that are helpful for tracking the performance of your podcast, and for troubleshooting it’s growth. Analytics data is valuable for strategizing how to improve and streamline your podcast. Many hosting platforms enable audience engagement and feedback as well, along with monetization options as your podcast becomes more popular.
As a heads up, it’s good practice to wait to launch a podcast until you have at least a few episodes recorded. That way, people won’t have to wait until your next release. When you upload your show, you’ll need to complete some information, including the title and description of your episode, a brief summary, the number of the episode, and the date it was published.
There are number of hosting services out there, some free and some paid. Check out their features to pick the platform that best fits your budget and needs:
5. Publishing And Promotion
The final step is to publish your show to iTunes or another directory. In order to submit your podcast to iTunes, you’ll need to adhere to a few rules, and have an Apple ID. Along with your audio file, you’ll also need your cover image in a jpeg or png format, along with a description.
Your podcast must be original and not contain any copyrighted content or any racism. You’ll need your RSS feed URL, from your hosting service, in order to upload your audio file. Go to Podcast Connect and log in. Click the “+” icon in the left-hand side of the dashboard. In the box, paste your RSS feed URL and press “Validate.” If there are no errors, select “Submit.”
Podcasts need to be approved by Apple and can potentially take up to 10 days, but it typically only takes three or four days to be approved. You’ll receive an email once you are. To increase the likelihood that your podcast will be accepted, assure that your RSS URL is entered correctly, and that your show image is in the right format.
Watch the video below to learn more: And don’t forget to promote your podcast by sharing your latest show on your website and all your social media networks.
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Follow the steps above to get your podcast up and running. Podcasting is a great way to share your viewpoints and opinions, and convey your message to the world. You’ll learn by trial and error and that’s okay. It’s part of the process. Choose a name for your show, buy a high-quality microphone and boom, then record, edit, host, and publish your episodes for your audience to enjoy. What are you waiting for?
Would you like your own podcast? Let me know in the comments:)