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How To Start A Podcast
Curious about starting a podcast of your own? Then you’re in the right place! Maybe you’ve got a rough idea, but you’re feeling overwhelmed with exactly where to begin. Don’t worry! Today, we’re going to discuss how to start a podcast: everything from the name to format to equipment.
Whether you’re looking to tell stories, network, or make money, podcasts are a great way to discuss, share, and elevate ideas and concepts.
So let’s dive right in!
Even if you’re on a budget, that doesn’t mean you have to kiss your dreams of a podcast channel goodbye. Let’s start with the planning stage which is, you’ll be glad to know, free. In fact, nearly everything you need to start a podcast is free!
First, ask yourself what your podcast is all about. What’s it for? Who’s it for? You might think you have a great idea, but if you can’t answer these simple questions, it’s time to sit down and do some brainstorming. A podcast is nothing without an audience, so you need to know who they are!
Whether you’re focusing on entrepreneurship, mental health, the Keto diet, or vampires, make sure your focus is clear and specific. In this way, you’ll know the “what” and “who” of your podcast. Making a “listener persona” is when you sit down and clearly picture who your podcast is for: vegans, ghost hunters, athletes, or artists. Narrowing your focus gives you direction!
Where Do I Get An Audience?
“Build it and they will come.” That was a famous line from the movie Field Of Dreams. It’s also a good rule for a podcast! Don’t worry if you don’t know where our audience will come from. Most beginner podcasters face this challenge.
Lucky for you, people who listen to podcasts have said – statistically – that they don’t care whether they’ve heard of a show or its host. They really only care about the topic. So, build a killer topic and some intriguing content and the audience will come.
Name It And Claim It
Just like a book or album, the name is important. It’s either a hook that attracts people or a dud that disappoints. When examining how to create a podcast name, choose something clever but also clear. For example, here is a name with a description after it:
Dead Cold: Unsolved Cold Cases Revisited
The first part of the name is short and clever. The second part explains what your audience can expect to hear. Crime buffs searching for “cold cases” will come across your show and know it’s right up their alley.
Decide On Length
The length of your podcast will depend on the subject matter. Most successful podcasts are around 20-45 minutes in length. A good rule of thumb is not to pad your episode with “filler” but make sure every minute counts.
How Often To Post
A lot of beginners wonder how often they should release new episodes. In general, you’ll see professional podcasters offering up a new show every week or two. You don’t want people to be inundated with content, but you also don’t want them to forget you. Once a week or bi-weekly seems to be a sweet spot.
A concise, exciting 15-minute podcast is far better than 50 minutes of unfocused banter and awkward silence.
Choosing Your Format
If you’re a fan of podcasts, you’ve already noticed that they come in several familiar formats. The most popular are as follows:
- Interview Format: In which the host interviews special guests
- Co-Host Format: In which there are two people riffing at once
- Solo Format: In which you are the authority and you share your experience
One of these will probably strike you as superior or attractive right off the bat. That’s probably the one you should explore moving forward.
Now that you’ve got the basic questions answered, you’re ready to start recording. If you’re wondering how to start a podcast for free, don’t worry. You don’t need an elaborate setup to get going.
Here’s what you need:
- High-speed internet
- A computer
- A quality but affordable mic
- Recording and editing software – Audacity is FREE
- If you’re a MAC user – Garageband is already installed
Writing A Script
A good way for your podcast to go right off the rails is to think you can do it without a script. While podcasts open up the door for a lot of lively conversation and improv, you still need to start with a blueprint for the episode – that blueprint is your script.
You don’t need a word-by-word novel, and you definitely don’t want to sound like you’re reading on-air. But you do want an outline to guide you through your main topics and points so you don’t drift too far off-topic.
Far Away Guests
If you have a podcast, you usually won’t be interviewing people face-to-face. Typically, they’ll be in another place entirely, maybe even another country. You can include anyone as a guest on your episode by using Zoom or Skype.
As we mentioned before, Audacity is free. And it doesn’t just help you record, it also helps you edit. If you’re wondering how to start a podcast from home at little-to-no cost, this is a good software to use.
What About Music
Music is an important part of any podcast, but you want to be sure you’re choosing legal tunes. The web is full of sites where you can find royalty-free songs for your show.
With music, there’s a fine balance. You don’t want to bore people to tears with a 2-minute intro, but 15-20 seconds of a song here or there adds a nice touch of professionalism to your format.
Choosing Your Host
You’ve got your name, your subject matter, your guests, your script, and your show. Now you just need to put the greatness out into the world! For this, you need a media host. For example, you might be wondering how to start a podcast on iTunes or how to start a podcast on Spotify.
You actually sign up with a media hosting service first and then you can get your show on iTunes or Spotify.
Here are some well-known and affordable media hosts:
These services require a small investment but probably cost less than what you spend on coffee over the course of a month.
Once you have your show aligned with a media host, then you can submit it to places like iTunes and Spotify, where listeners can find it.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
How to start a podcast business?
One of the most popular questions is how to make money with a podcast. There are quite a few ways a podcast might generate income:
- Affiliate marketing
- Selling services and products
It’s best to feel out your show, and your audience, before deciding which of these avenues might work best.
How to start a podcast on YouTube?
Once you have your podcast up and running, you can choose to share it to YouTube if you like. This is just one more way to grow your audience and reach more listeners. You can even set it up to where your episodes automatically upload to YouTube with the background image of your choice.
How to create a podcast RSS feed?
Having a podcast RSS feed allows people to subscribe to your channel without visiting the exact site where it’s hosted. It’s a good idea because people want things to be fast and simple and they don’t want to be going through multiple steps. All you have to do is make an RSS account and add the details of your podcast.
Can I start a podcast on my iPhone?
A lot of people wonder how to start a podcast on iPhone. And it can be done! There’s even a free iPhone podcast app called Podbean. Not only is it kind to your wallet, but it’s also simple and user-friendly.
Now that you know the basics of how to start a podcast, you’re well on your way to creating content that draws subscribers and loyal fans. One of the most important things to remember is that Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is a good show.
Through trial and error, experimentation, and observing the success of fellow podcasters, you will eventually find your groove, hone your focus, and grow your audience. Now go forth and conquer!