How to Start a Podcast: A Comprehensive Guide

How to Start a Podcast

Thinking about starting a podcast? This article will guide you through every step of “how to start a podcast” in 2020. 

Content distribution is growing and so are podcasts. Online Blogs, Social Media Posts, and Videos can be integrated with podcasts as an effective strategy to build a brand. According to Statista, over 86 million Americans listen to podcasts and there are above 144 million listeners worldwide. These statistics have grown over 37.5% in the last 3 years.

What is a Podcast?

A podcast is an audio recording that can be downloaded from the internet. Podcasts are created with the purpose to inspire the audience through discussion on different topics like Music or Technology. Podcasts are subscribed using RSS and are often found on iTunes. Once you subscribe to a podcast, you can use “Podcatch” to automatically download the latest podcasts which you can later play on your mobile phone or computer. People also host podcasts on their websites to entertain their viewers.

How to Start a Podcast?

Starting a podcast is not difficult if you start in the right direction. This walkthrough will help you familiarize yourself with every step of starting a podcast.

The 6 Basic Steps of Podcasting:

  • Choose a podcast name & topic
  • Choose podcast episode format
  • Record your audio file.
  • Select cover art and music
  • Editing podcast with tools
  • Hosting and submitting podcast

Choose a Podcast Name & Topic

The first step in starting a podcast is coming up with a concept. You need a plan and execute it. To begin with, spend some time researching your topic and choosing the name of your podcast. Choose a topic you can speak about for at least 20-50 episodes for eg. Traveling or Music. Everyone loves traveling and you can discuss your traveling experiences, places to travel, and much more. Look into new opportunities to expand your topics and create more episodes.

You have unlimited topics you can talk about but relevance and consistency is the key here. You don’t want to bore your audience and never consider clickbait topics. Your audience will only lose interest in your podcast or feel misled.

Once you pick your name and topic, you can get yourself a co-host if you want. It’s a lot easier to discuss a topic with another person and makes your podcast interesting with a different point of view. People nowadays also use AI podcast tools like JukeBox, GPT-3, and AI-voices.

Choose a Podcast Episode Format

Podcast episode length depends on the content and topic of discussion. Use a proper format for your episode: the intro, the discussion, and the ending. Remember, you are delivering a message via podcast. Don’t cut out good content trying to wrap up the episode. 

If you ask podcast listeners, they would say a short episode of a podcast is around 15-20 minutes, and a long episode can go over an hour. Don’t go over the planned length or cut off on the episodes to make it work. You don’t have to make a 40 minutes episode if you can finish the content in 20 minutes and likewise, you don’t have to cut off the good part of the episode to make it short. There are only two things that give value to your podcast: Content and intended Audience.

Nevertheless, an average podcast is somewhere between 20-50 minutes per episode. It’s good to keep the episodes the same length but not necessarily.

Record Your Audio File

Quality of audio is a crucial component of podcasting. Get yourself a good pair of microphones before you go any further. You can practice some pre-production sessions before you go into development. In fact, you should record a couple of podcasts and do some analysis on audio pitch and quality.

Intro music makes a Podcast more professional. You can download royalty-free music for your intro soundtrack. There are many podcast ideas like guest interviews or tech reviews. Choose a topic of your interest and start recording.

If you want to do a guest interview for your podcast, you might want to reach out to people you want on your podcast. A proper introduction to the expertise of the guest is necessary at the beginning of the podcast and a respectful ending gives value to the overall content.

Select Cover Art and Music

Once the podcast is recorded, the next step is to choose suitable cover art and music for the episode. A podcast without music is like a ship lost on the horizon. Choose a proper intro and ending music and be consistent with it in every episode. 

The podcast logo is important for branding. Choose high-quality images and use clear words to communicate what the podcast is about. To make it more professional don’t use more than two fonts and get artwork dimensions right. The competition among podcasts is increasing. Keep an eye out for your competitor for new ideas.

Editing Podcast with Tools 

The podcast is created and now you need to clean up the audio, fix volume issues, and insert intro/ending, and more. There are a bunch of tools in the market to do so. Some are free while some are paid but it all comes down to budget. 

If you don’t want to spend money on tools, Audacity is the best free option. It has many features and can get you through the editing process with ease. But if you are looking for a more powerful tool Adobe Audition is the most recommended software by Podcasters. Alitu is another amazing option that offers automation with a simple interface.

With a whole bucket of podcasting tools, below are the few to get started with:

  • GarageBand
  • Reaper
  • Pro Tools
  • Descript 
  • Wavepad
  • Studio One
  • Power Sound Editor
  • Fission

Hosting and Submitting Podcast

It’s time to launch the podcast to viewers worldwide and you need a hosting provider to do so. While there are tons of Podcast hosting companies, our recommendation is Buzzsprout. It’s the easiest podcast hosting provider operating since 2009. All you have to do is just upload the audio file and it will take care of the rest. Buzzsprout offers a free plan for three months and a paid plan starts at $12/month for a three-hour upload.

Podbean is another great podcast hosting provider with unlimited hosting plans and bandwidth. They also have podcast promotion tools that submit your episodes to top directories automatically. It also offers a platform for podcasters to monetize their content. Podbean has a free plan with limited storage and a paid plan starts at $9/month with unlimited storage space. After hosting you can create a WordPress blog and go live to start marketing your podcast

Here are a few of the podcast hosting services:

  1. Buzzsprout
  2. Podbean
  3. Blubrry
  4. Transistor
  5. Libsyn
  6. SoundCloud
  7. Spreaker
  8. Podiant
  9. Anchor

Choose any of the hosting providers to launch your podcast. Congratulations! You have successfully launched the first episode of your podcast. 

Here are a few ideas to start your new episode of the podcast:

  • Guest Interviews
  • Storytelling/Success stories
  • Interview with podcasters
  • Reviews
  • Musicians/Bands
  • Business promotions
  • Product recommendations
  • Upcoming Events
  • Latest News / Coronavirus
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