How To Start a Podcast Step By Step (And Promote It)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated August 25, 2021 | Published February 25, 2020

Updated August 25, 2021

Published February 25, 2020

Podcasting is one of the most popular ways to create original media content from the comfort of your own home. If you have the necessary skills and equipment, you can record a radio talk show or narrative story and share it with listeners around the world. If you are interested in making a podcast, you may be wondering where to begin. In this article, we will explain what a podcast is, look at specific steps for how to start a podcast and offer tips for how to grow your podcast's audience.

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What is a podcast?

A podcast is a show that consists of spoken audio episodes that tell a story or focus on a certain theme. Podcasts are created and published by teams that include hosts, editors, producers and researchers. Podcasts can be accessed through audio content applications like iTunes and Spotify, as well as through the individual podcast's website. Most podcasts are free to the public and are funded by advertisers, endorsement deals and donations from listeners.

Starting a podcast is an interesting and relatively simple way to create and share content with a wide audience. If you have the right equipment, you can record and edit podcasts from your home or office. Podcasts can be about anything, from true crime stories to television show reviews. The success of most podcasts primarily depends on the relevance of their content and the personalities of their hosts.

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How to start a podcast

  1. Choose a premise and a title.

  2. Decide on a format.

  3. Acquire the necessary equipment.

  4. Record and edit audio.

  5. Add music and sound effects.

  6. Design cover art.

  7. Back up your data.

  8. Submit to a podcast provider.

1. Choose a premise and a title

The first step in creating a new podcast is choosing the subject matter. You can center your podcast around any topic that interests you or that you want to share with others. The most popular podcasts today discuss a wide range of subjects including, true crime, politics, entertainment, health and wellness, experimental science and many more. When deciding on a premise, you will likely want to choose something with which you have a level of expertise or extensive knowledge.

Once you have a subject, you will need a title. Most podcasts titles are short, catchy and descriptive. Your title should relate directly to the podcast's content and be easy to search online.

2. Decide on a format

Next, you will need to pick a format. A podcast's format includes its length, structure and how often it is published. Podcasts episodes typically range from 20-90 minutes in length. Some shows follow a narrative structure while others are discussion-based. And others are made up entirely of question and answer segments. Podcast creators might share new episodes on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, depending on how long it takes them to produce the show.

To find out which format will be the best choice for your podcast, you will need to consider your schedule, budget and other practical factors. It could also be beneficial to listen to episodes from podcasts similar to yours to find out what kind of format other creators are using.

3. Acquire the necessary equipment

Now that you have a functional idea, you will need to consider the technical side of producing a podcast. Before you can start recording you will need to buy, rent or borrow the right equipment. To record a podcast, you will need a high-quality microphone, a functional set of headphones and a PC or laptop. The best options for microphones will include a USB port so that you can record directly to your computer. If you want to improve the quality of your audio recordings, you can acquire additional equipment like boom mics, shock mounts, audio mixers and microphone cables.

4. Record and edit audio

Once you have the equipment you are ready to record your first episode. Depending on your podcast's structure, you may decide to write a detailed script. Alternatively, you may prefer your host, guests or actors to improvise the discussion with nothing more than a list of suggested talking points. You will need to find a time and a place for recording that minimizes intrusive noises or distractions.

You will also need to install an audio editing program on your computer. This is where you will adjust the volume levels, cut out unnecessary clips and edit your content for quality.

5. Add music and sound effects

While editing your episodes, you may want to add intro, outro and background music. Many podcasts feature a theme song or musical introduction that was created specifically for the show. Other shows use royalty-free music from sources like Incompetech or Free Music Archive. Adding background music or sound effects can help you guide and influence how your listeners respond to particular moments in your episodes. For example, many crime shows use sinister-sounding music to keep their audience on edge while some comedy shows make use of a laugh track.

6. Design cover art

Every podcast that is shared through a podcast provider should have cover art. Most podcast designs consist of an attention-getting logo that features the name of the show and the host. If you or someone on your team is skilled with graphic design, you may be able to create your cover art using Adobe InDesign or PhotoShop. Otherwise, you can pay an agency or freelance designer to create cover art that fits your needs.

Effective cover art is typically somewhat related to the purpose and premise of the show. Choosing an interesting font, color scheme and design elements can help your podcast stand out and appeal to new listeners.

Read more: Learn About Being a Graphic Designer

7. Back up your data

One of the most critical steps in starting a new podcast is finding a place to store your data. Podcast episodes can require anywhere from 10-30 megabytes of digital storage. As you continue to record new episodes, you will need to start backing up your data using an online server. There are a number of audio hosting services that are popular among podcast creators, including Soundcloud, Buzzsprout and Transistor. Some of these services offer free plans but most charge a monthly fee in exchange for keeping your data secure.

8. Submit to a podcast provider

The easiest and most effective way to share your podcast with the public is through popular podcast providers like iTunes, Spotify and TuneIn. First, you will need to log in to your account on your podcast hosting service's website and access your RSS feed URL. You can visit the hosting service's Help page to find instructions on how to do this. Once you have the URL, you can submit it to a podcast provider for validation. Once your podcast is approved, you will get a notification and your first episode will be published.

You can alter your podcast's posting schedule and episode descriptions using your podcast provider account. You will also be able to keep track of how many subscribers you have and check your listener analytics.

Tips for promoting your podcast

Here are some suggestions for how to grow your podcast's audience:

  • Create a website. Publishing a website for your podcast helps your podcast show up in Internet searches related to your content. It also provides a link that your listeners can share with their friends, family and coworkers. Your website should include a description of the podcast, the names of your production team and links to listen to episodes.

  • Record a trailer. Just like tv shows and movies, some podcasts have trailers that the creators use to attract potential listeners. These can be formatted as either video or audio clips and posted on YouTube or social media. Some podcasts feature trailers for other shows at the beginning or end of each episode.

  • Share show notes or transcripts. One way to make your podcast easier to find online is to share transcripts or show notes on your website. This will help your podcast show up in the search results for related keywords and will make your show accessible to Internet users who prefer to read rather than listen.

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