How to Start a Podcast: Your Complete Step by Step Guide

In 2019, podcasts are more popular than ever before. And their popularity is growing at a crazy rate.

In the past year, about half of all Americans listened to a podcast. And about one-third of those people listened to at least one podcast each month. In 2018 only about a quarter of the people who listened to podcasts listened to at least one per month. In short, podcasts are more popular than ever. 

Have you thought about starting a podcast? They’re easier to start than you might think. And there are a myriad of reasons why starting a podcast is a great idea.

This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to start a podcast.

Why Should You Start a Podcast?

The simplest answer is because you have something to say. But to expand on that, podcasts are a great way to build a new audience and connect with your existing audience.

If you’re currently a creator of written content, starting a podcast gives you a new way to connect with the people currently reading your content. It also gives you an opportunity to pull in a new audience who isn’t likely to read your content. 

If you’re running a business, creating a podcast that ties into your business can help you reach new customers. By providing them with valuable content via your podcast, you’re building the trust that makes a potential customer into a customer.

Starting a podcast is a great way to enhance the content you’re already creating and reach new people. 

Your Podcast Idea

The first step in creating a podcast is coming up with an idea.

If you’re a content creator, then your podcast will be an extension of your current content. It may directly relate to the written content you’re already producing. Or your podcast idea could be an offshoot of the written content you’re creating.

For example, if you run a mommy blog, your podcast could be a roundtable discussion with other moms about parenting topics. Or each episode could focus on a different parenting hack. 

If you’re starting a podcast to gain customers for your business, your podcast idea should relate to your business but not be directly about your business. Your podcast should be providing your customers with information that’s important to them. This makes your business an authoritative source in their minds. 

For example, if you run a social media consulting company your podcast could be about trends in social media. Or it could be interviews with social media influencers. 

The most important thing when choosing a podcast idea is to make sure that you have enough to talk about. If you can only make two episodes about your podcast idea, then it’s not worth making a podcast about. You need enough content to fill at least seven or eight episodes.

Need some inspiration? Check out this American podcast.

Plan Your Episodes

Once you’ve honed in on your podcast’s topic, you’ll need to create detailed plans for each episode. You don’t need to plan every episode in your first season right away. But you should plan a few episodes before you start recording. If your podcast is telling a single story, it may be helpful to plan all the episodes so you know how the story will break down.

Write an outline for each episode. Include the major points that you want to cover. Do your research and write down any facts, dates, and statistics that you need so they’re easily accessible while you’re recording. If you want to interview someone on an episode, reach out to them far in advance and set up a time to record. And make sure to write down all your interview questions.

You should have enough information in each episode plan so that you can speak authoritatively for the entire length of the episode without needing to read from a script. You should be comfortable enough with the material to speak conversationally throughout the episode. 

Purchase Recording Equipment and Set Up Your Recording Space

For your podcast to sound professional, it will need to be recorded with quality equipment. The speakers on your computer just aren’t going to cut it. And you’ll need to record in a place that provides good sound quality.

Take the time to research the best recording equipment for podcasting. Don’t be afraid to splurge. The quality of your equipment will make a huge difference in how your podcast sounds. And you need to sound good to get and keep listeners. 

Once you have your equipment, you need to set it up in a space that’s conducive to recording. Believe it or not, a lot of podcasters record in closets. The small space cuts down on ambient noise and echos. Some podcasters line a closet with heavy blankets to make it more soundproof, which creates better sound quality on the recording.

If you can afford to rent time in a small recording studio, that’s an option as well. Do the math to see whether it’s more cost-effective to rent time or buy your equipment and set up a recording space at home or the office.

Record and Edit Your Audio

When you’ve got all the equipment and your recording space set up, it’s time to actually record! Follow your episode plan and record the audio.

You’ll have way more audio than you’ll need and there will always be mistakes. So, be prepared to extensively edit whatever audio you record. Invest in audio editing software so that you can easily and professionally edit the audio you record.

Get Your Podcast Out in the World!

Once you have the final cut of your first episode, it’s time to get your podcast out into the world! Take ample time to work on an episode description that will entice listeners. And create a logo for your podcast to reinforce your branding.

Next, you need to choose a podcast hosting service, unless you know how to create and tweak your own RSS feed. Podcast hosting services store the audio of your podcast for you and help your podcast episodes get found. They do this by creating an RSS feed so that your podcast can be uploaded to places where people find podcasts like Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, and Google Play. 

Once you’ve chosen your podcast hosting service, submit your RSS feed to the platforms where you want people to find your podcast. Once your podcast is approved by the platform, people will be able to find it and listen to it!

Ready to Start Your Podcast?

Starting your own podcast seems overwhelming at first. But if you follow these simple steps to start your podcast, you’ll be up and running in no time. You’ll be reaching and connecting with new and existing audiences on a whole new level.

Need some more advice about creating successful content? Check out the rest of our blog!