How To Podcast: Advice from a Professional
If you’ve ever thought about podcasting, but you’re still on the fence about whether or not it’s for you, let me tell you a little secret: You don’t need experience to succeed. Podcasting has a low barrier to entry and is a great way to build your audience and improve your site’s SEO. It can be part of a full content marketing strategy!
But if you want to go all in and do it right, I’ve got some tips to share.
The 7 Steps of How to Start a Podcast:
- Choose an Audience
- Choose a Format
- Build a Recording Studio
- Record Your First Episode
- Edit Your Show
- Upload and Distribute
- Promote Your Podcast
We break each of those steps down below. Before you dive into managing your podcast on Apple (or elsewhere), here’s one thing to kick off your whole process: Figure out your topic. This gives you a niche and will help you find an audience. Your listeners are key! If they like what they hear? You’ll have an ever-growing fan base who will be eager for your next episode (and maybe even give you some money).
Below, we’ll talk about everything in more detail.
Why Start a Podcast?
Before you start a podcast, determine your goals. The same advice applies to hobbyist and professional podcasters. Determine why you want to make your show, and the rest of your choices get simpler. For example: Should you make an audio-only or a video podcast? That depends what you want to achieve!
– Audio only: These podcasts consist solely of sound files that listeners can download or stream to their devices.
– Video plus audio: These podcasts include both an accompanying video file and an audio file that listeners can download or stream to their devices. That gives you an idea of what you’ll need when you’re ready to start recording.
If you want to show off your on-camera abilities, your already know which medium to use. Those who care more about mimicking the sound of a radio show quickly opt for the opposite. This kind of decision might seem obvious, but the simplicity always comes back to the focus of your show. What do you want to achieve? That’s how you know what to produce.
Another consideration: Businesses use podcasts to reach audiences and grow brand awareness. Podcasts provide unique opportunities for content marketing, too. Done well, they offer an immersive experience for listeners who connect on other platforms like social media and blogs. We recently wrote about using podcasts for SEO.
How To Start a Podcast in 7 Steps
With a little planning, you can launch a podcast today. Here are the seven most important steps.
1. Choose a Topic
Choosing your audience is the first step in creating a podcast because it helps you to decide what kind of content will be most interesting and relevant to them. For example, if you’re creating a podcast about cooking, you might want to target people who are interested in cooking. If you’re creating a podcast that focuses on spirituality, then maybe you’d be better off targeting people with similar beliefs or practices.
2. Choose a Format
The next step is deciding on the format of your show. Do you want to create an interview-style show where one person interviews another? Or do you want to run an audio diary or storytelling series? This decision will also help determine how often you record episodes and how long those episodes should be.
3. Build Your Recording Studio
Once you’ve decided on your topic and format, it’s time to get started building your recording studio! It doesn’t have to be elaborate—all it needs is decent equipment so that your audio sounds good and can be heard clearly by listeners. You can also use free online tools like Audacity if you don’t have access to any other software packages yet!
Indie podcasters often start new shows with a USB microphone. That negates the need for a soundboard or external equalizer, so producers record directly to their computers. Some small podcast producers connect USB microphones to their phones and record with distribution apps.
4. Record the First Episode
The first episode of your podcast is going to set the tone for everything else that comes after it. So don’t skimp on this step! Make sure that your sound quality is good enough for people who aren’t used to listening to podcasts—you don’t want them turning off before they hear what you have to say!
5. Edit Your Show
Next, you’ll need to edit your first episode. This is where you add music, transitions between segments, and any other bells and whistles that will make your show stand out from the crowd.
What’s a DAW?
Digital Audio Workstations, more commonly called DAWs, allow you to edit audio files for your podcast. They serve as the foundation of the editing process. Professional podcasters use DAWs to choose audio segments, format episodes, add music, coordinate speaker tracks, and more.
6. Upload and Distribute
After that, upload your show! There are lots of different platforms for podcasting online (just Google “podcast hosting”), but if you’re just starting out, we recommend PodBean or Anchor. They’re both free to use and have great user interfaces for beginners.
7. Promote Your Podcast
Finally: promote! Popular podcasts don’t happen accidentally. Here are three ways to get started:
Promote your podcast on social media.
The best way to get new listeners is to let people know that your podcast exists in the first place. A simple TikTok video could get more people interested in what you have to say. If you have a large following on another platform like Instagram or Twitter, consider posting there as well!
Book popular guests.
If you want to grow your audience and bring more listeners into your fold, one of the best ways is by having big-name guests on your show. Look for people who are popular within your niche and see if they’d be willing to come on and talk about their experiences related to the content of your podcast. This can help drive even more listeners toward your show!
Ask for reviews on iTunes.
Once someone has listened to all or part of one of your episodes, ask them if they’d be willing to leave a review on iTunes so others can find out about it too! If someone leaves a positive review (or even just leaves any kind of rating at all), there’s no reason not to ask them for a review—it only helps spread the word about something you’re proud to release.
Additional Considerations for Podcasters
You don’t need experience to succeed!
Podcasts have a low barrier to entry and can improve your site’s SEO. Audio is part of a full content marketing strategy, so it’s important to consider how you’ll be using podcasts on your site. Good podcasts require passion, so make sure you have the time and energy to commit to this project.
Also, you may consider relying on artificial intelligence to come up with episode ideas. We found the best ChatGPT podcast ideas so you don’t have to.
What’s the Best Podcast Microphone?
The best podcast microphone is still the Blue Yeti microphone. It doesn’t require an external soundboard or other editing equipment. Just plug it into a USB port and you’re ready to start recording. Many podcasters prefer other styles and brands, but this relatively inexpensive rig got me started and still functions as a workhorse after years of use.
Should I Pay to Promote My Podcast?
You don’t need to pay to promote your podcast. With the right promotional strategies, you should find an audience naturally. We recently discussed podcast guesting and how it helps find niche communities. When in doubt, reach out to the communities you know best.
What Podcasting Books Do You Recommend?
There are several great books about podcasting. Here are a few noteworthy examples:
- NPR’s Podcast Start Up Guide (a personal favorite)
- Out on the Wire: The Storytelling Secrets of the New Masters of Radio
- So You Want to Start a Podcast
Myths and Misconceptions about Podcasts
Podcasts are a great way to share your message with the world. But there are some common myths and misconceptions that people have about podcasts.
Myth: You need a following to host a show.
Nope! Podcasting is all about the content, not who’s hosting it. Having an established following can help, but it’s not necessary for success.
Misconception #1: You need a fancy microphone to produce podcasts.
This is not true, there are many different types of microphones to choose from for a variety of uses. Some microphones are used primarily for voice-overs, while others can handle the nuances produced by instruments. It all depends on the type of podcast you plan on producing and what your needs are. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on equipment then you can use a small, inexpensive USB microphone or maybe a headset. You can even use your mobile phone’s built-in microphone to give podcasting a try.
Myth: Podcast hosts need a “radio voice”.
Nope! There are many different styles of podcasting – from interviews to storytelling to just chatting with friends. As long as you’re comfortable speaking in front of a microphone, you can podcast!
Misconception 2: Audio recording should always be done in the same room.
This is not true either, audio recordings can be processed and added onto later, so you could record from different places and still make it sound like it was all recorded in one setting. Additionally, this myth assumes that the audio will be edited down to its raw audio files. Nowadays, you can record remote speakers with free podcasting apps.
Podcasts are a great way to share your knowledge with the world. They can help you build credibility and authority in your niche, which can lead to more business opportunities and sales.
In addition to being a great way to get started as a podcaster, podcasts can also improve your site’s SEO—especially if you’re using RSS feeds and other tools that allow people to subscribe directly from their apps and other devices. Audio content is part of a full content marketing strategy that includes written articles and videos as well as spoken-word pieces like podcasts and radio shows.