Ultimate Guide To Starting A Podcast

Social Geeks Blog Ultimate Guide to Creating A Podcast

Introduction

A lot of people think that starting a podcast is easy and that anyone can do it. Sorry to say, but those people are wrong. Podcasting is hard work, but it’s worth the effort if you really want to do it. You’ll have to put in hours upon hours of work recording your show, editing those recordings, promoting and distributing them across multiple platforms.

However, once you’ve done all that work – which will probably take weeks if not longer depending on how much time you’re able to dedicate – then what? How do you make sure that people actually listen to your show instead of just skipping over it when they see ‘podcast’ in the search results? That’s where this blog comes in!

Identify Your Podcasting Goals

The first step is to identify your podcasting goals. Who are you trying to speak to, and what problems are you helping them solve? Is this going to be a way to build a community around a topic, or are you looking to use the podcast as a way to attract your ideal clients? Outlining your overarching goals is the first thing you should do when setting out to create a podcast, as failing to plan means your planning to fail!

Once you have an idea of what you want to achieve with your podcast, it’s time to figure out how you will measure success and make sure that your podcast is meeting its goals.

The purpose of your show should be clearly stated in a mission statement that includes a few key points about what listeners can expect from the show and how they can get involved (if applicable).

For example, I launched the Social Geeks Podcast in 2020 to help business owners navigate the Pandemic and provide strategic advice for startups, small businesses and individuals wanting to learn more about digital marketing. I want to share what I have learned in the decade I’ve spent managing advertising and marketing for hundreds of businesses, helping dozens of clients reach $1 million a year in revenue and more.

Choose Your Podcast Topic

Podcasts are a form of audio journalism, so you’ll want to choose a topic that will speak to your audience. Choose something you’re passionate about, and make sure you have enough knowledge to talk about it for an hour without sounding like an amateur. It’s also important that the subject matter be interesting and relevant—if it’s not, your listeners won’t stick around long enough to see whether or not it gets better at all. When choosing a podcast topic, think about what makes the topic so appealing: is there drama? Is it funny? Are there exciting stories or anecdotes?

Choose a Catchy Name for Your Podcast

  • Choose a catchy name. You’ll want one that is easy to remember and unique. Don’t use the name of another podcast or an established company, or a word that could be confused with another piece of media (for example: “The Michael Jordan Podcast” or “The Star Wars Podcast”).
  • Don’t choose a long name. You’re not naming your child here, so keep it short and sweet! Oftentimes people will misspell them because they’re too long or hard to say on air, which can lead people away from listening in the long run if they don’t know how to spell it properly.
  • Don’t choose an obscure name just for kicks either: if no one knows what your podcast is about after hearing only half of its title, they’re less likely to tune in in future episodes because they won’t recognize it when searching through iTunes/Spotify/etcetera.

Create an Overview for Your Show

Once you have decided on the goals of your podcast and picked an awesome name, its time to put together the written content you will use to promote the show. Include a brief description of your show, including what it’s about and who might be interested in listening to it.

Give the audience an idea of what they can expect from the show by mentioning specific topics you’ll cover or types of people who will benefit from listening (your target audience). This is also where you should include a call-to-action that encourages listeners to subscribe to your podcast and interact with you on social media.

Once you have your written content, you can start setting up your podcast account. I use and highly recommend Podbean for your podcast, as you can start for free and get your podcast online easily, including distribution to the big podcast networks like Apple, Spotify and Google.

Lastly, when creating your overview and written summary for your podcast, start listing key links that you will need to promote things. You need links to not only your website, but also places like Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn Radio and Google Play Music so people can find and listen to your podcast when they’re ready (and not just because they stumbled upon it on Twitter). Also make sure these links lead directly to the correct place within those platforms — many people won’t bother clicking through if they have too many steps between them and what they want: new episodes!

Establish Podcast Format and Length

In this section, we’ll discuss a few factors that will help you determine your podcast format and length.

First, think about the ideal length of each episode. Some people prefer shorter episodes (5-10 minutes), while others prefer longer ones (20 minutes). Some podcasts have a max length of 30 minutes per episode. While it is possible to go longer than that with some topics, keep in mind that listeners may lose interest if they feel like they’re being drawn out too long.

It’s also important to consider how often you want to publish new episodes. You can release an episode once per week, twice per week or even three times per week! However, because podcasts take time to produce and record—not to mention edit—it may be difficult for people who don’t have much spare time on their hands to commit themselves so frequently without sacrificing something else in their lives (like sleep).

Get All the Gear You Need

  • Microphone: A good microphone is a must. A lot of microphones come with a pop filter, but you can also buy one separately if yours doesn’t have one.
  • Headphones: Buy noise-canceling headphones, which will help reduce background noise in your recording environment and allow you to hear yourself better.
  • Recording software: There are many options out there for this, some free and some paid. I personally use Riverside because it’s free and simple to use; however, if you feel comfortable with recording on a computer then GarageBand or Logic Pro should work just fine too!
  • Editing Software: This is where the magic happens – you will need to be able edit and produce your podcast to ensure the audio and video are sounding good and you are editing out all the bad takes or the filler words that might sound unprofessional. I recommend using Descript, which is by far the best tool I have found to date in my 2 decades of editing video and audio!
  • Audio interface: This is an item that connects your microphone, headphones and recording software all into one device so that they all communicate with each other properly during recording sessions (otherwise known as “noise”). Most audio interfaces are USB powered meaning they don’t need any external power source like batteries or wall outlets in order for them function properly; however some do require additional software installation before being used with certain types of operating systems so make sure before buying! For example Mac users typically need GarageBand installed first before using their devices while Windows users may require downloading drivers from websites like Behringer’s website first before setting up theirs’ too!

Record and Edit Your First Episode

Before you can edit, you need to record. It’s important that your space is quiet and free from distracting noises, especially if this is your first time recording. If possible, find an empty room with good acoustics—a large closet or garage will work just fine! If you’re looking to do a video podcast, I highly recommend watching the below guide to lighting and filming for YouTube.

Once you’ve got your recording equipment set up in a quiet space with great acoustics, it’s time to hit record! When starting out on any new project, think about what kind of steps would be involved if someone else had to do them on their own: what information would they need? What order should those steps happen in? This will help guide how you start off each episode and ensure consistency across all episodes of your show moving forward.”

Create Cover Art for Your Episodes (and Podcast)

The best image to use for your podcast cover art will be a photo of the hosts, or something that represents the topic of the show. It should also be 1,500 x 1,500 pixels in size.

As far as colours go – green, blue and yellow tend to work best with podcasts and white is usually used as the background colour because it makes all other colours stand out more.

The font style should be bold and eye-catching but not so big that it takes away from your podcast name or logo.

If possible, avoid using stock images like those found on iStockphoto since these tend to look generic and unprofessional when used for podcast artwork.

Distribute Your First Episode Across Podcast Directories

Once you have completed the steps above, it’s time to submit your podcast to directories.

You need to submit your podcast to iTunes, Spotify and Stitcher. There are tonnes of different podcasting platforms now, and you need to submit your episodes to each one individually, which can be a nightmare and very time consuming.

To make things super easy, I recommend using a Podcast Platform to help distribute your podcast episodes. I use PodBean for hosting episodes and easily submitting them to iTunes, Spotify and Stitcher. Submitting is easy—just go to each directory’s website and follow the instructions given there (the links are below). Once you’ve submitted, it can take anywhere from 24 hours up to 90 days for it show up in their catalogs!

Promote Your Podcast Everywhere You Can

Now that you have your podcast in the bag, it’s time to promote it.

One of the most effective ways to get listeners is through social media. You should post about your podcast on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram regularly. Make sure that when posting about your show, you include a link back to the website where people can listen or download episodes if they want them.

You can cut up your podcast into shorter clips, taking topics that are searchable and noteworthy to post as Instagram Reels, TikTok or stories. You can also use these on YouTube to help your SEO, and add a text version of the podcast to your website as a blog.

You should also use your website as much as possible! Add links to all of the places that are hosting your podcast on their websites (iTunes, Stitcher etc.) so people can find them easily and subscribe if they want more content from you in the future.

Also be sure to contact local businesses who may be interested in advertising with you during one of their commercial breaks or sponsorship spots during an episode (more on this later). If a company agrees then send over some branded swag such as pens/pencils/posters.

Make Sure People Can Find You on All Social Media Channels

Make sure people can find you on all social media channels. This is key. If your listeners don’t know where to find you, they won’t come back and listen to your show! Make sure that each episode has a link in the description that takes listeners right to iTunes or wherever else they can find your podcast. You should also post links in the description of every post on Facebook and Twitter, even if it’s not related to what’s being discussed in the episode.

People are busy these days – they might see something interesting on Instagram, but if it doesn’t have an immediate call-to-action (like “subscribe” or “leave a review”), it will be forgotten within seconds. Make sure people can easily subscribe/follow by creating a dedicated landing page for new listeners with instructions about how to get started listening as well as providing an easy way for them share their favorite moments from past episodes with their friends or coworkers (without having them leave your site).

There are lots of great tips and tricks to starting your own podcast, but it takes something more than that. It takes commitment, passion and desire. Commit to show up at least 3 times a week and connect with your audience. Passion has to be there to keep you going when times get tough. Desire is what will make you get into the studio and record even when you don’t feel like it. These things combined with all the great tips in this blog will make your podcast successful!

There are lots of great tips and tricks to starting your own podcast, but it takes something more than that. It takes commitment, passion and desire. Commit to show up at least 3 times a week and connect with your audience. Passion has to be there to keep you going when times get tough. Desire is what will make you get into the studio and record even when you don’t feel like it. These things combined with all the great tips in this blog will make your podcast successful!

How do you find your passion? How do you find your desire? How do you find your commitment? The first step is to take inventory of what makes life worth living for me right now because those things are the ones that bring out my passion and drive me towards success (or not).

The second thing I did was create space for myself everyday where I could think about these questions without distractions or interruptions from other people or responsibilities coming up as an excuse not to think about them further (like work projects).

Thirdly I spent time every day reflecting on where my mind went during that quiet time so I could consciously bring myself back into present moment awareness if it had happened away from home somewhere else but still close enough so that remembering where I had been would be quick enough not too waste too much time getting there again before everything started getting crowded again around us all once more.”

Conclusion

Congratulations! You’ve come up with a podcast idea, chosen your topic, named it and created an overview. Now that the hard part is over, all you need are some tips on how to make it successful. This blog post has tried its best to cover every aspect of launching a new show so that you can start sharing your voice with the world today.

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