Podcasting is a great way to share your voice, your passion and your expertise with the world. Podcasts can also be a source of income, if you know how to monetize them. But how do you start a podcast from scratch? What are the steps you need to take to launch your own show?
In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to start a podcast in 2023, from choosing a topic and name, to recording and editing your episodes, to submitting your podcast to Apple Podcasts and Spotify, and more.
But before we dive into the details, let’s address a common question: is podcasting worth it?
Why Start a Podcast in 2023?
You might think that podcasting is too saturated or too competitive to get into. After all, there are over 2 million podcasts out there, covering almost every topic imaginable. How can you stand out and grow an audience?
The truth is, podcasting is still a growing and thriving medium, with plenty of room for new voices and niches. According to Edison Research, 41% of Americans listen to podcasts monthly in 2021, up from 37% in 2020. And podcast listeners are loyal, engaged and affluent, making them ideal customers for your products or services.
Podcasting also has many benefits for you as a creator, such as:
– Building your authority and credibility in your niche or industry
– Growing your network and connecting with other influencers and experts
– Having fun and expressing yourself creatively
– Learning new skills and improving your communication
– Making money from sponsorships, donations, merchandise, courses, coaching and more
So if you have something to say, something to teach or something to entertain people with, podcasting is definitely worth it.
How To Start a Podcast in 11 Steps
Starting a podcast might seem daunting at first, but it’s actually not that hard if you follow these steps:
1. Choose a Topic and Name for Your Podcast
The first thing you need to do is decide what your podcast is going to be about. This will help you define your target audience, your niche and your unique value proposition.
Your topic should be something that you are passionate about and knowledgeable about (or willing to learn). It should also be something that other people are interested in and want to hear more about.
To find a good topic, you can:
– Brainstorm ideas based on your hobbies, interests, skills or experiences
– Research existing podcasts in your niche or industry and see what they are doing well or poorly
– Survey your existing audience (if you have one) or potential listeners on social media or online forums
– Use keyword tools like Google Trends or AnswerThePublic to see what people are searching for online
Once you have a topic, you need to choose a name for your podcast. Your name should be catchy, memorable and descriptive of what your podcast is about. It should also be easy to spell and pronounce.
Some tips for choosing a good name are:
– Use alliteration, rhyme or wordplay to make it catchy
– Use keywords or phrases that relate to your topic or niche
– Avoid using numbers, symbols or acronyms that might confuse people
– Check if the name is already taken by another podcast or trademarked by someone else
2. Pick a Format and Length for Your Podcast
The next step is to decide how you want to structure your podcast episodes. There are many different formats you can choose from, such as:
– Solo: You talk by yourself about your topic
– Interview: You invite guests to talk with you about your topic
– Co-hosted: You have one or more co-hosts who talk with you about your topic
– Roundtable: You have multiple guests who discuss your topic from different perspectives
– Storytelling: You tell stories related to your topic in a narrative way
– Educational: You teach something related to your topic in a step-by-step way
Each format has its own pros and cons, so you need to consider what suits your style, your audience and your goals best.
You also need to decide how long each episode will be. There is no right or wrong answer here, as different podcasts have different lengths depending on their content and audience preferences.
However, some general guidelines are:
– Keep it between 15 minutes and 60 minutes per episode
– Be consistent with your episode length so listeners know what to expect
– Don’t make it too long or too short for the sake of it; make it as long as it needs to be to deliver value
3. Create Your Podcast Artwork and Intro/Outro Music
Your podcast artwork and intro/outro music are important elements of your podcast branding. They help you create a visual and audio identity for your podcast that attracts and retains listeners.
Your podcast artwork is the image that represents your podcast on podcast directories and apps. It should be eye-catching, professional and relevant to your podcast theme.
Some tips for creating a good podcast artwork are:
– Use a high-resolution image that is at least 1400 x 1400 pixels
– Use a simple and clear design that is easy to read and recognize
– Use colors and fonts that match your podcast personality and tone
– Include your podcast name and logo (if you have one)
– Avoid using too much text or clutter
You can create your own podcast artwork using tools like Canva or Photoshop, or hire a designer to do it for you.
Your intro/outro music is the music that plays at the beginning and end of each episode. It should be catchy, upbeat and consistent with your podcast theme.
Some tips for choosing a good intro/outro music are:
– Use royalty-free music that you have permission to use
– Use music that matches your podcast mood and genre
– Use music that is not too loud or distracting
– Keep it between 10 seconds and 30 seconds long
– Include a voice-over that introduces your podcast name and tagline (if you have one)
You can find royalty-free music on sites like Epidemic Sound or AudioJungle, or hire a composer to create custom music for you.
4. Get Your Podcast Equipment and Software
To record your podcast, you need some basic equipment and software. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on this, as you can start with what you already have or buy some affordable options.
The essential equipment you need are:
– A microphone: This is the most important piece of equipment, as it affects the quality of your audio. You can use the built-in microphone on your computer or smartphone, but we recommend getting a dedicated USB microphone that plugs into your device. Some popular choices are the Blue Yeti, the Audio-Technica ATR2100x or the Rode PodMic.
– A pair of headphones: This helps you monitor your audio levels and avoid feedback or echo. You can use any headphones that you have, but we recommend getting a pair of over-ear headphones that block out external noise. Some popular choices are the Sony MDR7506, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x or the Bose QuietComfort 35 II.
– A pop filter: This is a mesh screen that attaches to your microphone and reduces the popping sounds caused by plosive consonants like P, B and T. It also helps protect your microphone from saliva and dust. You can get a cheap pop filter on Amazon or make your own with a wire hanger and a sock.
– A microphone stand: This helps you position your microphone at the right height and angle for optimal sound quality. It also reduces the vibrations and noises caused by moving or touching your microphone. You can get a desktop stand, a floor stand or a boom arm depending on your preference and space.
The essential software you need are:
– A recording software: This is the program that you use to record your audio on your computer or smartphone. You can use any software that allows you to record, edit and export audio files. Some popular choices are Audacity, GarageBand or Adobe Audition.
– A video conferencing software: This is the program that you use to record remote interviews with guests or co-hosts over the internet. You can use any software that allows you to record both audio and video calls. Some popular choices are Zoom, Skype or SquadCast.
– A hosting service: This is the platform that you use to store and distribute your podcast files online. You need a hosting service to generate an RSS feed for your podcast, which is what allows listeners to subscribe and download your episodes on various apps and directories. Some popular choices are Buzzsprout, Podbean or Transistor.
5. Record Your First Podcast Episode
Now that you have everything set up, it’s time to record your first podcast episode. Here are some tips to help you do it right:
– Prepare an outline or script for your episode: This will help you stay focused, organized and clear on what you want to say. You don’t need to write down every word, but you should have a general idea of what topics, points or questions you want to cover.
– Choose a quiet and comfortable location: This will help you avoid background noise, interruptions and distractions. You can record in your home office, bedroom, closet or anywhere else that has good acoustics and minimal noise.
– Test your equipment and software: This will help you avoid technical issues, glitches or errors during recording. You should check your microphone levels, headphones volume, recording settings, internet connection and battery life before you start recording.
– Record in WAV format: This will help you preserve the quality of your audio file, as WAV is an uncompressed format that doesn’t lose any data. You can convert it to MP3 later
– Edit your audio file: This will help you improve the sound quality, remove mistakes, add effects and transitions, and trim any unnecessary parts. You can use your recording software or a separate editing software to do this. Some popular choices are Audacity, GarageBand or Adobe Audition.
– Export your audio file: This will help you save your final version of your episode in a format that is compatible with podcast platforms and apps. You should export your file as an MP3, as it is a compressed format that reduces the file size without sacrificing too much quality. You should also add metadata to your file, such as title, artist, genre and artwork.
Congratulations, you have just recorded your first podcast episode!
6. Submit Your Podcast to Apple Podcasts and Spotify
Now that you have your first episode ready, you need to submit your podcast to Apple Podcasts and Spotify, which are the two biggest podcast directories in the world. This will help you reach millions of potential listeners and grow your audience.
To submit your podcast to Apple Podcasts, you need to:
– Sign up for an Apple ID if you don’t have one already
– Sign up for a Podcasts Connect account using your Apple ID
– Validate and submit your RSS feed URL from your hosting service
– Wait for approval from Apple, which can take up to 5 business days
To submit your podcast to Spotify, you need to:
– Sign up for a Spotify account if you don’t have one already
– Sign up for a Spotify for Podcasters account using your Spotify account
– Add and verify your RSS feed URL from your hosting service
– Wait for approval from Spotify, which can take up to 24 hours
Once your podcast is approved by both platforms, it will be available for listeners to find, subscribe and download on their apps and devices.
7. Promote Your Podcast to Your Audience
The next step is to promote your podcast to your existing audience, if you have one, or to potential listeners who might be interested in your topic. This will help you generate some initial buzz and traction for your podcast.
Some ways to promote your podcast are:
– Share it on your social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn
– Create a website or a landing page for your podcast, where you can showcase your episodes, show notes, links and contact information
– Send an email newsletter to your subscribers or contacts, announcing your podcast launch and inviting them to listen and share
– Ask your friends, family and colleagues to listen and review your podcast on Apple Podcasts or Spotify
– Reach out to other podcasters, bloggers or influencers in your niche or industry, and ask them to feature or mention your podcast on their platforms
8. Plan and Produce More Episodes
The key to growing and maintaining a successful podcast is to produce more episodes on a regular basis. This will help you build trust, loyalty and engagement with your listeners, as well as improve your skills and content quality.
Some tips for planning and producing more episodes are:
– Create an editorial calendar that outlines your episode topics, guests, release dates and deadlines
– Batch record multiple episodes in advance, so you always have some ready to publish
– Stick to a consistent schedule that works for you and your audience, whether it’s weekly, biweekly or monthly
– Experiment with different formats, lengths and styles, and see what resonates with your listeners
– Ask for feedback from your listeners, either through surveys, reviews or social media comments
9. Monetize Your Podcast
Once you have a loyal and engaged audience, you can start thinking about monetizing your podcast. This means making money from your podcast by offering value to your listeners and sponsors.
There are many ways to monetize your podcast, such as:
– Selling sponsorships or advertisements: This is when you partner with a brand or company that pays you to promote their product or service on your podcast. You can either find sponsors yourself or use a platform like Podcorn or Podcorn that connects you with relevant sponsors.
– Selling products or services: This is when you sell something that you create or offer yourself, such as merchandise, courses, books, coaching or consulting. You can either sell them directly on your website or use a platform like Shopify or Teachable that handles the payment and delivery for you.
– Selling memberships or subscriptions: This is when you charge listeners a fee to access exclusive content or benefits from your podcast, such as bonus episodes, live Q&A sessions, community forums or discounts. You can either use a platform like Patreon or Supercast that manages the membership process for you.
– Asking for donations or tips: This is when you ask listeners to support your podcast financially by giving you a one-time or recurring donation or tip. You can either use a platform like PayPal or Buy Me a Coffee that enables easy and secure payments.
10. Grow Your Podcast Audience
As you continue to produce and monetize your podcast, you also want to grow your podcast audience and reach more people who might enjoy your content. This will help you increase your impact, influence and income.
Some ways to grow your podcast audience are:
– Optimize your podcast for SEO: This means using keywords, titles, descriptions and tags that help your podcast rank higher on search engines and podcast directories. You can use tools like Google Keyword Planner or Moz to find relevant keywords for your niche and topic.
– Leverage social media: This means creating and sharing engaging content that showcases your podcast, such as snippets, quotes, images or videos. You can also use hashtags, stories, reels or live streams to increase your visibility and reach.
– Collaborate with other podcasters: This means finding and connecting with other podcasters who have a similar or complementary audience to yours, and cross-promoting each other’s podcasts. You can also do guest appearances, interviews or swaps with other podcasters to expose your podcast to new listeners.
– Participate in online communities: This means joining and contributing to online forums, groups or platforms where your target audience hangs out, such as Reddit, Quora or Facebook. You can also create your own community around your podcast, such as a Facebook group or a Discord server.
11. Enjoy the Podcasting Journey
The final step is to enjoy the podcasting journey and have fun with it. Podcasting is not only a rewarding and profitable endeavor, but also a fulfilling and enjoyable one.
Some tips to enjoy the podcasting journey are:
– Celebrate your milestones and achievements, such as launching your podcast, reaching a certain number of downloads or getting a positive review
– Learn from your mistakes and challenges, such as technical issues, negative feedback or burnout
– Connect with your listeners and fans, such as responding to their comments, questions or suggestions
– Connect with other podcasters and creators, such as joining a podcasting network, community or event
– Keep learning and improving, such as taking a course, reading a book or listening to a podcast about podcasting
How To Start a Podcast: The Easy Way
As you can see, starting a podcast is not that hard if you follow these steps. However, it can still be time-consuming, overwhelming and stressful if you try to do everything by yourself.
That’s why we recommend using Storyline Multimedia as your podcast partner. Storyline Multimedia is a full-service podcast production company that helps you start, grow and monetize your podcast with ease.
Storyline Multimedia will take care of everything for you, such as:
– Planning and strategizing your podcast concept and goals
– Creating and designing your podcast artwork and intro/outro music
– Providing you with high-quality equipment and software
– Recording and editing your podcast episodes
– Submitting and distributing your podcast to Apple Podcasts, Spotify and more
– Promoting and marketing your podcast to your target audience
– Monetizing and scaling your podcast with sponsorships, products or services
With Storyline Multimedia, you don’t have to worry about the technicalities, logistics or details of starting a podcast. You can focus on what you do best: creating amazing content that entertains, educates and inspires your listeners.
So what are you waiting for? If you want to start a podcast in 2023 without the hassle, contact Storyline Multimedia today and get a free consultation. We’ll help you turn your podcast idea into reality in no time.