Are you an avid podcast listener? Podcasts are such an amazing way to learn something new, hear an inspirational story, or market your business. This makes it the perfect platform for busy moms like me because I can tune in while folding laundry, cooking, or driving my kids around town. People can listen to each episode on their own time without having to watch a screen. Listening to a podcast is one thing, but have you ever considered starting a podcast?
If you haven’t heard the journey of how I started my show, Mommy Diary: The Podcast, read why I’m starting a podcast and check out my very first episode. In short, I learned that I didn’t need very much to get started! The internet is loaded with overwhelming information on this topic, so I’m going to simplify it for you all in one place.
10 Steps to Starting a Podcast
If you’ve made the decision to start a podcast, I’m sure you are very excited. However, before you even think about recording, there’s a few other things you need to brainstorm. Whether you are creating your podcast as a tool to bring new leads to your business or it will be just for fun, I recommend getting clear on your vision. Here are a few things to consider:
Who is your ideal listener?
What are your goals for your first year of podcasting?
How often will you release episodes?
What will the style of your show be (interview, solo, or a mix)?
How long do you want your episodes to be?
Writing the answers to these questions down will help you have a solid foundation for your podcast. I suggest organizing your thoughts in a notebook or using a program such as Trello.
2. Design your cover art
Every show needs cover art. It should reflect the vibe of your show, and if it’s for your business consider putting your photograph front and center. You can create this in Photoshop or Canva. This is also something you can outsource to a graphic designer.
Keep in mind that most people will be viewing your cover art on their phone, so keep it simple and legible. There are a few requirements for the sizing. It must be:
- Minimum 1,400 × 1,400 pixels, maximum 3,000 × 3,000
- Under 5KB
- RGB color space (not grayscale, CMYK, 8-bit indexed, or transparent)
- JPEG or PNG file format (JPEG is more highly recommended)
3. Choose your music
Most podcasts have music that is played during their intro and outro of their show. It must be royalty-free music. It’s a one-time purchase and then you’ll have the license to broadcast it in your episodes. Here are some reputable sites where you can purchase:
In my opinion, this is one of the most fun parts of starting a podcast!
4. Set up your recording space
You don’t need a studio to record a podcast. There are things you can do in your own home to have great sound quality.
The most important thing is to pick a space that is not “echo-y”. You want to avoid hardwood floors, windows, etc. If you only have hardwood floors in your home, you can put an area rug or towels on the floor. Put your curtains down on the windows and avoid being near mirrors. The idea is that you want to soak up as much sound as possible.
One of the best places to record is in your closet. Why? Because it’s most likely carpeted, surrounded by clothes, quiet, and small. It may not be the most comfortable and visually-appealing space, but it’s always an option!
The three most important items you’ll need are your computer, a microphone, and a pair of headphones. Here are some recommendations:
There are a few free options for recording your episodes. Audacity is free for both Mac and PC users, and GarageBand is free for Mac users. There are many YouTube videos available that will show you how to get started!
5. Sign up for hosting
Just like your website needs a host, so does your podcast. There are several options available, but I recommend Libsyn. It has great features, stats, and customer service.
This is a very important step in starting a podcast because your host is where you will upload and schedule all of your episodes. Then, it will automatically release your episodes to the other platforms (Apple, Spotify, Google, etc.).
6. Record a trailer, intro, and outro
Another incredibly important thing to know when starting a podcast is that you need to have your hosting set up and at least one episode live before you are able to submit your show to Apple and other platforms. It can take up to two weeks to be approved. While the norm is only a couple days, you still want to prepare for it to take longer than expected.
A work-around for this is to create a very short trailer for your show and publish it through Libsyn. This will count as your first “episode” and therefore you will be able to submit everywhere.
A trailer should be short. By short I mean only a couple minutes. It can include:
- clips from your first few episodes (if you have recorded them)
- a quick introduction to who you are, why you’re starting a podcast, and what your audience can expect
7. Submit your show
Once you have one or more episodes published, you can submit your show! There is a long list of where you can submit. They include:
You’ll need to submit to each platform individually. Start by going to each of the platform’s websites. They will ask for your RSS feed. This can be found under “destinations” in your Libsyn account. Depending on your host, you may be able to submit to some places directly from there.
8. Record launch episodes
It’s suggested to launch with 3 or more episodes so people can binge your podcast right away! Think about when you discover a new show that you love. What if there’s only one episode to watch? You would be bummed! It’s the same concept.
9. Create promotional graphics
A mistake that many people make when starting a podcast is that they don’t tell anyone about it. Rather than hoping that people will stumble upon it in their favorite podcast app, share it! You can create graphics on Canva to promote each episode.
10. Share and celebrate
To continue with the point above, sharing your podcast is so important. You worked hard to pull it all together, so don’t keep it to yourself! Here are some ways you can share each and every episode:
Post about it in your Instagram and Facebook stories and feed
Create an audiogram using Headliner.app
Make a tiktok or Instagram Reel about your latest episode
Tell your friends and family
Email it to your email list if you have a business
Be a guest on someone else’s podcast
There you have it! If you are considering starting a podcast, I say go for it! Whether it’s your new hobby or for your business, it will be a fun experience.
If you need help launching or maintaining and growing your podcast, you can post a job opportunity at hireapodcastmanager.com. This goes to a group of freelancers who have been trained in the tasks that come with podcasting: launching, editing, show notes, guest management, promotion, strategy, and more.
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