I love listening to podcasts, especially when I drive my kids to and from school and other activities. One day, I thought, “I can do this!” I started googling and talking to friends, but it wasn’t very straightforward or easy to figure out what I needed or where to start. Finally, I got everything together to start my podcast from home, and I’ve been having so much fun with it, I started two! My son also asked me if I could help him start a football podcast while he is home from school, so I decided to write a simple guide on starting a podcast with everything I’ve learned so far. For those of you looking to start a podcast, I hope this helps you, and if anyone already has a show, please comment and let me know if you have any other suggestions!
Step 1: What is your podcast about?
Why do you want to start a podcast? What do you want to share with your audience? Start with a topic you are passionate about, something you would want to tell your friends about, but you probably already have multiple times. Think about what your audience might be interested in and how you can connect with them. It’s also helpful to try to think of a long list of potential episodes on this topic.
Step 2: Name your podcast
Make it fun and unique to catch people’s attention while scrolling through podcasts, and clear enough, so they know what your podcast is about. If you have a recognizable name, brand, or business name – use that to be consistent!
Step 3: Create your podcast logo
You can create your cover art with no design experience using Canva and using their CD cover sizing – they have templates to browse or design your own from scratch. If you have graphic design experience, you can use programs like Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, or Photoshop. If you’d prefer to hire someone to help you create your perfect logo, you can hire someone through Fiverr, Upwork, or 99designs.
Step 4: Add intro and outro music
There are so many royalty-free tracks available for free or a small fee; it’s almost intimidating. My favorite site is Premium Beat. You can also hire someone to create a unique tune just for your podcast. I would recommend not switching your sound that much, if at all because it becomes a way your listeners recognize your show.
Step 5: Get your podcasting equipment
At first, I bought a microphone, pop filter to record my podcasts, but then quarantine happened, so now I’ve been recording all my podcasts through Zoom. It has worked great, but after recording a few episodes, I realized it’s also important to wear headphones while recording. They don’t have to be fancy or a particular brand, any headphones will help minimize background noise.
Step 6: Pick your podcast hosting platform
To get your podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Pandora, etc., you’ll need to have a podcast host to store and distribute your podcast. I use Buzzsprout – it is easy to use and has simple analytics, a built-in transcribing service, and quick uploads. Once you pick your hosting platform, you need to request to be listed on each of the directories like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Pandora, etc. It will usually take up to a week to get approved on each directory.
Step 7: Now, it’s time to record!
You don’t have to get everything perfect the first time or in one recording. You will be able to edit your podcast, so relax and have fun! I like to write out a little bit of a script and plan what I am going to say but not word for word, so it stays conversational and doesn’t sound like you are reading.
If you are using a mic, follow the directions to set up your mic so your computer recognizes your mic as the audio input. And hit record!
I started by recording my intro and outro, and it was also a great way to shake out the nerves before recording my first full episode. Most podcasts have a recurring intro and outro that they play at the beginning and end of every podcast that includes their name, podcast name, a little intro about yourself, and what your podcast is about, and you can add your website in the outro.
Once you finish recording an episode, save your recording. You can go back and re-record any parts you choose, but don’t be too nit-picky. I’m sure it sounds better than you think! The next step is to edit out any errors, background noise, and add in your pre-recorded intro and outro. I hired a college student to edit my episodes, and he has been doing a great job. You can also post on Upwork and Fiverr to find an editor if you need someone.
Step 8: Upload your podcast episode
Now it’s time to upload your podcast to your hosting site and let everyone know it is live and where they can listen. I use my weekly blog newsletter and Instagram to announce each episode.
You are officially a podcast host, congratulations!