So you want to start a podcast?

You probably have that one friend that recently started a podcast. If you weren’t familiar with podcasts before, you probably are now. You’ve started exploring through your countries’ podcast top 100 and listened to a bunch of different shows. Sooner or later you’ll become a podcast addict and you might want to start a podcast on your own? But how do you start a podcast?

Podcasts are everywhere and while the most popular podcasts are real crime-related shows, they can be a real marketing move for your business too!

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So you might have an idea for a podcast, or you simply want to start a podcast as part of your content marketing strategy. But what now? How are you going to record your show? What hosting are you going to use and how can you find guests?

In this article, we’re going to give you some clarity on what basic steps you should take when starting a new podcast.

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But first some important podcast stats for you!

  • In 2018 the world counted an average of 550.000 podcasts. As of 2021, this number has climbed to an astonishing 1.750.000 podcast shows!
  • 55% of people in the US have listened to a Podcast, at least once.
  • 74% of people listen to podcasts to learn new things, 71% to be entertained, 60% to stay up-to-date, 51% to relax, 47% to feel inspired.
  • By 2021, the global revenue for podcasting ad sales is projected to reach $1.36 billion (from the Revenue Stream graph), and by 2022, the market will reach about $1.62 billion.

We can conclude that the podcast industry is growing at a rapid rate and that people have various reasons for listening to a podcast. With all this in mind, let’s start with the first step you should take when starting a new podcast show.

1. Your Topic

We don’t want to sound too negative, but most of us overestimate ourselves when it comes to creating an original concept. Don’t forget that you will compete with a massive amount of other podcasts and ultimately you want to stand out.

When choosing a topic, make sure to do some research before going ahead with your launch. Is your concept actually original or are there many shows surrounding the topic already?

Another thing to take into account when deciding on your topic is to ask yourself the following question: Is this topic broad enough to create an x amount of episodes?

This comes back to the question of how long you want your podcast show to go on? Is it just a 1 season series or do you want to go on until you don’t feel like it anymore? Make sure you pick a topic that is broad enough to keep producing episodes on and pick a topic that makes you stand out!

2. The Shows Format

When most people start a podcast they immediately rush into searching a hosting or buying their gear. Really, the technicalities will come later!

After you’ve determined the right topic for your podcast it’s time to think about its format. When we’re talking about the format we’re thinking of many things. Here are some questions for you to answer:

  • Are you recording your podcast alone or with a co-host?
  • Are you planning to have guests/interviews on your show?
  • If yes, how will you interview/moderate? Informal or formal?
  • Is your podcast educative or entertaining?
  • Will your podcast be seasonal or episodic?
  • How often are you planning on releasing a new episode? Daily, weekly, monthly, or even sporadic?

If you’ve managed to answer all of these questions, you’re pretty clear on the format of your podcast! It’s time to dive into the technicalities…

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3. The Technicalities

When it comes to producing a podcast, there are really just three important technicalities you need to think about and do some research on.

1. Recording

You are going to need the right microphone to record your podcast and you are going to need software to transfer your recording into a file.

There are plenty of great podcast microphones out there and ultimately it all depends on your budget. For starters with a small budget, the Samsung Q2U will do. If your budget has a little more room, you might want to look into the Yeti Blue, The Freelancer Talk is recorded with this one. If you have a larger budget and want to go for excellent quality, you’ll probably end up choosing a Rode.

Check this article out if you are looking for some podcast microphone advice.

Of course, you are going to need software that allows you to record the audio on your computer. GarageBand or Audacity will do just fine!

2. Editing

Let’s start by saying that we are very much against over-edited podcasts. Podcasts are about honest conversations and most people like the realness of them.

If you decide to edit some of the occasional hiccups or ‘uhms’, Audacity will be alright. Don’t have time to go through the whole podcast and want a quicker way of deleted so-called filler words? Descript will be your best friend. Descript is not only great for editing, it’s also great for transcribing your podcast. Something that is not per se necessary, but we encourage it!

3. Publishing

You are going to need a podcast host in order for you to publish your podcast and submit it to directories like Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

Many people who start a podcast wonder how their podcast can appear in the above mentioned directories. There’s no need for stress. Once you’ve chosen your podcast host, most of them will make it pretty easy for you to submit your podcast to multiple directories.

What’s a good podcast host?

If you’re just starting out with your podcast and you’re not sure whether it really is something for you. We suggest you use Anchor as a host. Their plan is free. Anchor is easy to use, has a recording feature, and submits your podcast automatically to directories like Spotify and Apple Podcast.

If you’re serious about your podcast and you’re looking for excellent customer service. We suggest you look into Buzzsprout or Podbean.

Whereas Anchor holds ownership over your podcast, Buzzsprout and Podbean are hosts that work for you and you keep full ownership yourself. Both come with a great number of extra features such as creating soundbites, your own podcast website, and great in-depth statistics.

The Freelancer Talk started on Anchor and moved to Buzzsprout at the beginning of the year. When you sign up for a plan they’ll migrate your podcast to their directory and download all your podcast information. That’s why we suggest you start at Anchor for free. When you become more serious you can always move!

Photo by Will Francis on Unsplash

4. Branding

Your final step when starting a podcast will be to think about the branding of your podcast. Here are some things to think about:

  • What will the thumbnail look like?
  • Will you create special Social Media accounts for the podcast? Or are you using your current ones?
  • Are you looking into getting a specially devoted website for your podcast?

We’ll go into the branding aspect of your podcast show in another blog, as it’s a big topic! But we do want to tell you about PodPage. If you’re looking into creating a website for your podcast, we think PodPage is the best option out there!

PodPage is an incredible easy-to-use platform that allows you to create a state of the art looking podcast website. Customize your website, choose from a number of templates, and PodPage will automatically add new episodes to your website when they are published. Integrations as ‘Leave a VoiceNote’, ‘Show Donations’ and ‘Guest Details’ are a great way to give your audience a richer experience when getting to know your podcast.

5. Finding Guests

So, we’ve talked about your show’s topic, format, technicalities, and a little about branding. Create a clear plan before starting your podcasting journey and spend some time researching other podcasts. You’re ready to go and have decided you want to have guests on your show. Where do you get these? Here are some proven methods of finding podcast guests.

  • Use your own circle/network and start sending out invites
  • Join topic-related groups on platforms like Facebook. You can either create a post yourself in which you tell your group you are looking for guests. Or simply reach out to members of the group through private messages.
  • Sign up to platforms like Poddit.net or PodcastGuests.com
  • Use Social Media to spot potential guests and reach out
  • Sign up to be the first one to get access to The Freelancer Talk platform and start creating a social network group of your own related to your podcast!

Obviously, there’s much more to podcasting than these steps. But we feel that after following these steps, you’re pretty much ready to start recording your first episode, or trailer!

Make sure to listen to The Freelancer Talk every Tuesday!

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