Starting a podcast can be overwhelming. From finding a niche to arranging your equipment, one has to take care of multiple things in order to succeed. If you want to run your own podcast business but don’t know where to begin, this ultimate guide on how to start a podcast will push you in the right direction. After reading it, you will have a clear idea about the benefits of a podcast, how to start and even make money.
14 Steps to Start a Podcast
Anyone can start a podcast. You just have to record your episodes and publish them online.
However, turning your podcast show into a successful business is altogether a different story.
The following podcast tips will help you successfully launch your podcast show that your audience would love:
1. Decide What Your Podcast will be About?
When you decide to start a podcast, the first question that pops into your mind is what your podcast will be about. Coming up with something that you and your audience would love episode after episode is not easy.
Therefore, it is imperative that you decide to podcast about your interests and hobbies so that you don’t lose enthusiasm even after podcasting for years.
If you’re already running a business, choosing podcast topics related to your business can be a good strategy. For example, you run a social media agency to help small business owners. Then, your podcast content can offer tips, tricks, and hacks to leverage social media.
2. Decide on a Niche
Hobbies and interests are wide, so can be your business audience. To maximize your podcast success, deciding on a niche helps a lot.
A podcast niche is a narrowly-defined topic that interests a specific kind of audience. Some successful podcasts niches are health and fitness, personal finance, self-improvement, etc.
Here are a few tips to find the perfect niche:
- Make a list of things you love
- Write down what makes you different
- Analyze your strength and weakness
- Consider competition
Last but not least you should pick a niche you really enjoy so that you can work for the foreseeable future without getting bored or burnt out.
3. Decide on Your Podcast Categories
When you upload podcasts on Apple Podcasts, you will be prompted to choose a category. Arts, Business, Education, Fiction, Health & Fitness are some popular categories on Apple Podcasts.
As a thumb rule, you should pick a category where potential listeners expect to find you. Listing your podcast show in a subcategory helps you find more new subscribers because subcategories have niche audiences.
You can use the category tag in the RSS feed to add a category to your podcast show on Google Podcasts.
4. Decide on an Amazing Podcast Name
A unique name can help you stand out from the crowd. So, it is critical that you pick an amazing title for your podcast show.
Here are some tips to consider when deciding on the title of your podcast:
- Pick a name that represents your content. If you’re running a podcast for preparing Asian food, naming it Yummy Wok makes sense
- Make the name of your podcast succinct. There is no point in giving your podcast a name – A Cook’s Guide to Easy-to-Make Recipes, when you can just name it – Quick Cooking
- Never include creative misspellings, special characters, punctuation marks, abbreviations in your podcast title
- Ensure your podcast title is easy-to-hear and easy-to-spell
And most importantly, you should check whether the name is available or not before creating social profiles and community profiles with the same name.
5. Design Your Podcast Cover Art
Your podcast cover art has the power to capture the attention of your listeners as it is often the first thing they notice when they stumble on your podcast.
So, you should choose a great podcast cover design.
Here are a few tips to follow when creating a cover design for your podcast:
- Cover design must meet the size guidelines of podcast platforms
- Make sure that the design conveys the theme of your content
- Limit words in your cover design and use beautiful typography
- Ensure that the cover complements your logo
A great podcast cover is critical for attracting listeners. If you’re not able to create cover art, you can check other podcasts in your niche to get inspiration.
6. Create an SEO Optimized Podcast Description
Your podcast’s description plays an important role in encouraging listeners to subscribe to your podcast.
There are two types of descriptions you will have to write – one is your show description and another is episode description. To build a successful podcast show, you need to write SEO-optimized descriptions for both.
Include the top keywords/key phrases in your descriptions. This will help improve the visibility of your podcast, increasing the number of listeners. As a result, your podcast business will be more profitable.
7. Write Scripts for your Podcast Episodes
Writing scripts for your podcast’s episodes enables you to be on the right track during the podcast – you will know what you have to talk about and when.
Also, podcast scripts reduce excessive pauses and rambling.
Usually, a podcast script includes:
- Introduction (set the tone for the episode)
- Guest introduction (if you have any)
- Sponsor message (if you have any)
- Topic discussion (The main point, supporting point, supporting data, supporting quote)
- Call to action (CTA)
Many podcasters write complete scripts for podcasts episodes, but others prefer noting down key points to be discussed during the episodes. You should do what works for you.
8. Find an Amazing Recording Space
Whether you want to record remote interviews or you are going to be alone on your podcast show, the audio quality of your podcast matters a lot. Listeners often leave a podcast midway if its sound quality is not good.
Therefore, you should strive for offering high-quality podcast audio to your audience.
The good news is most popular podcasting microphones won’t make a hole in your pocket. But setting up recording space can be tricky if you plan to set up a home studio.
Here are some tips to help you get started:
- Pick a smaller room with minimum outside noise
- Install soft material like a rug, curtain, and carpet
- Use soundproof wall panels to make your room soundproof
If your show is going to have just a few episodes or you make good money through podcasting, you can explore renting a studio.
9. Set Up Your Equipment
If you want to run a podcast show as a business, you should shell out money to set up your equipment.
Here is a list of items you need to invest in:
- A computer
- A microphone with a stand
- Pop filter or winder screen
- Audio recording software
- Editing tool
- Acoustic treatment
10. Record Your First Podcast Episode
You have completed the podcast equipment setup. Now, it is time to record your first episode for your listeners.
Can I Record a Podcast on my Phone?
Yes, you can record a podcast on your phone with a recording app. But you need to buy podcast recording equipment to have studio-quality recordings.
How do I record a Podcast Remotely?
Zencastr is a great tool to record podcasts at different locations. You can also record Skype calls for interviewing podcast guests remotely.
Intro music sets the mood for your listeners. So, use befitting podcast music. You can easily google for free music.
11. Edit Your Podcast
After you’re done with recording, you will need to edit audio files to offer podcast listeners a high-quality show.
Here are popular audio editing software programs:
- Adobe Audition
- Ableton Live
12. Decide on a Podcast Hosting Service
You will also need to pick a place to host your podcast.
Here is a list of the top podcast hosting companies that suit all popular podcast formats:
It is quite easy to create a podcast hosting account on the above companies.
13. Launch Your Podcast
There are tons of listening apps offering diverse content. None is going to notice your podcast if you don’t launch your podcast with some fanfare.
The initial buzz you will create through your podcast launch can encourage listeners to hit play button and subscribe.
Here are a few best practices to successfully launch your podcast:
- Have at least ten episodes at the time of launch
- Keep episode length under one hour
- Explore opportunities to be a guest on multiple podcasts one month before your launch
- Create attention-grabbing episode titles
- Launch on multiple platforms
- Make a plan to boost each new episode
14. Market Your Podcast
A phenomenal launch is not enough to make your podcast show a hit. You have to maintain momentum through marketing.
The following tips can help you market your podcast to reach a wider audience:
- Add your show to podcast directories
- Hire a web developer to build a podcast website
- Co-host some episodes with other podcasters
- Promote on social media
- Convert audio content into video version to post on YouTube
Running giveaway contests or quizzes can also help spread the word for your podcast.
What Equipment do You Need to Start a Podcast?
To start a podcast, you may need the following equipment based on your podcast format:
- USB Microphone (or another type)
- Pop filter
- Headphone and headphone amplifier
- Audio interface
- Digital audio recorder
- Recording and editing program
- Podcast hosting provider
In addition to the above items, you may also need soundproofing materials.
How do Podcasts Make Money?
As a new podcast host, you might wonder how podcasts make money.
Well, there are multiple ways to monetize your podcast. But your podcast will earn really money only when you have a significant size of the audience.
The following are common monetization methods:
If you create useful content, your audience can support you. Ask for their support, and use a tool like Patreon to get donations.
You can also make your podcast’s RSS feed private to let only paid subscribers listen to your content.
You can start promoting products/services in your podcasts. When someone makes a purchase using your referral link, you will get a commission.
You can sell complementary products, such as your books, courses, or consulting services in your podcasts to earn money.
To earn money through sponsorships, you will promote sponsors during your show. You need to have a large audience to earn through this route.
Now that you know how to start a podcast and make money. The next step is to make a plan to begin a podcast show and start investing in podcast equipment.
You can check the best budget podcast microphone and Bluetooth headphones to pick the best tools for your podcast show. If you need some motivation, you can explore the best small business podcasts.
This article, “How to Start a Podcast” was first published on Small Business Trends