Podcasts are a great way to create a business around a topic that you’re passionate about and to share that passion with others. When podcast creation is done correctly, it can be incredibly rewarding financially and emotionally. However, despite the fact that podcasts are so great, many people who want to get started with them do not actually know how to create one. In this article, we will break down exactly what a podcast is, and how to start a podcast. Let’s get started!
What is a Podcast?
A podcast is an audio program that is very similar to talk radio. Podcasts usually revolve around a certain topic such as health, finance, dating, etc. Some podcasts are free, and some cost money to listen to. Some of the most popular podcasts in the world currently include:
- The Daily – published by the New York Times
- NPR News Now – published by NPR
- Up First – published by NPR
- Dateline NBC – published by NBC News
- The Ben Shapiro Show – published by the Daily Wire
- Stuff You Should Know – published by iHeartRadio
Podcasts are published on many different platforms. However, Apple Podcasts and Spotify are the top two platforms for publishing podcasts.
How to Create a Podcast
Step 1. Choose a General Topic
Choosing a topic is the important first step of creating a podcast. When you choose your topic, you should make sure that it is something that you know a great deal about and are passionate about. This is because you will be speaking at length about it. It is difficult to speak at great length about things we don’t know about, but relatively easy to speak about things we do know a lot about. So, if you are passionate about sports, consider a sports podcast. If you are passionate about finance, do a finance podcast.
Step 2. Choose a Name
When you are going through the podcast creation process, choosing a good name is extremely important. This is because you want the name to both explain what the podcast is about to potential listeners and also, pique their interest. You don’t want the name to be so specific that it makes you feel restricted in what you can talk about. But, you also don’t want it to be so broad that listeners have no idea what it’s about.
Step 3. Choose Co-Hosts/Business Partners
If you are not going to be doing the podcast by yourself, then you will need to select a co-host or two to help you with your podcast. If you do decide to work with a co-host or several co-hosts, then you will need to be sure to choose people who are also experts in the field your podcast is in. This is so that they can help to contribute valuable content to your podcast. You should also make sure that they are people you can trust and rely on.
Step 4. Buy a Microphone
A high-quality microphone is one of the most important podcast tools that you will need to get your podcast launched. If the sound quality is not good enough, your podcast will most likely not do very well. A good microphone will cost at least a hundred dollars. Podcasts are low-cost businesses, but this is a startup expense that cannot be avoided. The Audio Technica ATR 2100x USB mic is a popular option for podcasters.
Step 5. Get Some Intro Music
Many people who wonder “how to start a podcast” don’t realize that a podcast needs intro music. You can hire a freelance musician to make some intro music for your podcast, you can buy music online, or you can use free sample music. You can find more information about royalty-free music that you can use for your podcast. Having intro music for your podcast can help to make it seem a lot more professional and it will help to form an emotional connection with your listeners.
Step 6. Choose Some Episode Topics
You are going to need some episode topics that you can use for your first few podcasts. If you are highly knowledgeable about the topic, then you might already know some excellent topic ideas right off the bat. However, if you don’t already have some great ideas for topics in mind, then you should do some research. Look at some of the top podcasts in your niche to see what kinds of things they are talking about. You can get some inspiration from this. Come up with a list of at least 5-10 topics that you can use for your first handful of episodes. After you launch your podcast, you will be able to see which topics performed the best. You can then choose more topics that are similar to the best performing topics and create new podcasts around these topics. This can increase your odds of success.
7. Choose a Podcast Length
Some podcasts are just a few minutes per episode and others are over an hour. If you are wondering how to start a podcast, length is one of the top things you need to consider. You should consider how much time you have available per day or per week to contribute to your podcast, and how long you think that you will be able to speak for before selecting your podcast length. There is not necessarily one length that works best. But, you should choose a length that you are comfortable working with and that will work well for you.
8. Get Cover Art
The vast majority of podcasts have cover art. Many people wondering how to start a podcast are not aware of this. However, cover art is the first thing that people will see when browsing through Apple Podcasts or a different podcast platform or app when they land on your podcast. Your cover art should be aesthetically pleasing and attention-grabbing. It should also prominently feature the name of your podcast. If you have graphic design skills, you can do the cover art yourself. If not, you can outsource this to a graphic designer. You can find plenty of high-quality graphic design freelancers on Upwork.com.
9. Choose a Recording and Editing Software
The podcast recording and editing software is the software that you will use to actually create your podcast. The software will make a digital recording of your podcast episode while you and/or your co-host speak into the microphone (make sure your microphone is plugged into your computer and synced to the recording and editing software). After your recording is complete, you can go through and edit it and take out any parts you might want to get rid of. Garageband and Alitu are two software programs that many podcasters use to create podcasts.
10. Launch Your Podcast!
You can launch your podcast by submitting it to individual podcast platforms such as iTunes, Spotify, etc. However, before you submit it to platforms, you will need a host. Your podcast host will host your podcast in the same way that a website host hosts your website. They store all of the data for your podcast and allow it to be seen on the internet.
One of the best podcast hosts on the market is Buzzsprout. Buzzsprout is compatible with all of the top podcast publishing platforms such as iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, and Amazon Alexa. Buzzsprout is trusted by over 100,000 podcasters and it makes it easy to launch new episodes. It is a great platform to use and can really help you to streamline your overall podcasting process. Buzzsprout even has social sharing features that can help you to get the word out about your podcast. These social sharing features enable you to share previews and snippets on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram.
11. Promote Your Podcast
In order to grow your podcast after is launched, you will have to promote it. You can promote your podcast by buying Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube ads, by building a website and doing content marketing, by paying social media influencers to promote your podcast, by taking out traditional radio, newspaper, and television ads, etc. The more that you promote your podcast, the more listeners you will draw in.
If you are currently asking yourself, “What do you need to start a podcast?” or “How do I start a podcast?” the tips in this article can help you to get the ball rolling. After reading this article a few times, you should know exactly how to do a podcast. Knowing how to podcast can help you to build a successful podcast that you can use to generate a significant income stream. If you can grow your podcast large enough, it can even replace your normal 9-5 job. However, before you start thinking about quitting your day job to chase your podcast dreams, make sure that know exactly how to start a podcast and how to grow it effectively.