If you’re looking for a guide that walks you through how to start a podcast, you’re absolutely in the right place…
Starting a podcast isn’t difficult, but there are a number of steps you’ll need to go through in order to get it launched.
In this podcasting tutorial, we’ll walk you through every step of the process:
- Choosing a topic & name
- Show and episode format
- Cover art creation
- Intro & outro music
- Equipment selection
- Audio recording & editing
- Submission to Apple Podcasts (iTunes)
- Promotion tips
And much more…
Podcasting is a much less crowded and competitive space than blogging, making now the perfect time to get started.
As of February 2022, there are just over 2 million podcasts, but over 600 million blogs!
In case you’re wondering, I’ve helped thousands of people start a podcast in the last several years and have started a few shows in different industries myself.
Let’s get started:
This is the initial (often overlooked) stage to make a podcast. You’ll want to spend a good amount of time here before you move on.
Feel free to get out a notebook or a whiteboard so you can start planning your podcast like a pro.
Choose A Topic
You want your podcast to be focused on a particular topic or niche.
Try to narrow it down to something you can speak about for many episodes (100+) but that isn’t so broad that you won’t appeal to your potential audience.
For example, instead of having an “outdoor” podcast, talk about hiking – or even more specific, like hiking.
You can always expand your topic later as you get more popular.
Important: see the section about choosing a name to make sure you don’t limit yourself.
Pick A Co-host (optional)
Do you have a friend, business partner, or coworker that you want to co-host with?
It can be much easier to start podcasting if you have a co-host.
You will naturally have a more engaging conversation if you both share your points of view on a topic. It can also be helpful to have someone to keep things on track.
Plus, you can split additional tasks of editing, promoting, and more.
There can be downsides though.
You’ll want to make sure both of you are committed to it for the long term. And it helps to set a schedule from the beginning so you know when you will be recording every week.
There aren’t rules here though. If your co-host drops off, you could still continue the podcast without them. Or you could start solo and add a co-host later.
The important thing is to just get started.. so let’s choose a name:
Choose A Name
If you look at the top Apple Podcasts charts, you’ll see a variety of different names.
Some are descriptive of what the show is about, while others don’t mean much.
I’m actually going to seemingly contradict what I said earlier: You want to choose a name that is broader than your topic.
Using the hiking example earlier, if we choose “The 14er Cast” as our name, what happens when we want to talk about backpacking & ultralight camping too?
Instead, choose a name that will let you expand if you decide to later. Maybe “Mountain Adventures (Above & Below 14K ft)” would work as it gives a hint to hiking 14ers but gives you the option to talk about all kinds of stuff if you want.
I just came up with that as I was writing this, I’m sure you could do better!
Action Step: Purchase a domain name (opens in a new tab) for your podcast.
Another option is to get a free domain name with a TopHost web hosting plan. You can search right here on this page – try it out!
You’ll find a number of “experts” claim that certain lengths are perfect for podcasts. The problem is that’s just BS.
You don’t need a 28-minute podcast because that’s the average driving time. Or under an hour because people can’t pay attention longer than that.
There are 5 minutes podcasts and there are 6-hour podcasts. Find whatever works for you and run with it!
What I would try to avoid is making it longer than it needs to be because you went off-topic for 15 minutes.
Interview shows are popular, but that doesn’t mean you have to do one.
You can do solo (or co-hosted) shows half the time and interview shows the other half.
One big benefit of doing interviews is that they help a ton with getting new listeners – especially if you make it easy for your guest to share with pre-written templates and graphics.
So what does a specific episode sound like?
Here’s one example:
- Intro Music
- Ad Spot
- Call To Action (“Review us on iTunes!”)
- Outro Music
Get creative with this part.
Different segments make it easier to share small clips on social media too.
But remember that for every episode you put out, you will have both repeat listeners and new listeners so you should try to speak to both of them.
Now that you’ve written down your topic, format(s), and secured a domain name, we’ll need to get a few things prepared ahead of launch…
Create Cover Art
Your cover art is the first impression most people will see as they browse through Apple Podcasts or their favorite podcast app.
It’s might also be the image someone sees when you share your show on social media.
Get A Professional Intro (Optional)
Having a third-party introduce you just takes your perceived value up a notch, which is a great way to stand out when first starting a podcast.
Choose Intro Music
Most people don’t need an unlimited subscription-style music service – just a song or two.
Get A Microphone
It’s both a USB microphone and has an XLR connection which lets you upgrade your recording equipment without needing a new mic.
If you are doing an interview show, now is the time to get a list together of who you want on your podcast.
Then start reaching out to them.
This saves the headache of going back and forth working out a meeting time – and means you can focus on getting more guests!
Plus you can ask them for certain info like their Skype username or an intro you can read when they schedule with you.
Recording & Editing
If you haven’t used editing software before, even simple actions in GarageBand or Audacity can be quite intimidating.
It’s understandable: audio production is completely full of jargon!
Create A Template
Before you get started, it will be much easier if you create a template that you can reuse every time you record a podcast episode.
What this means is that you will have your intro & outro music already placed, space for ad spots, as well as your tracks for your voice or an interviewee.
Keep in mind this will look different depending on your episode format – create a podcast template that works for you.
If you need extra tips and help in growing your business, do not hesitate to ask.