If you have thought about starting your own podcast, you have come to the right place.
Although recording and uploading audio can sound straightforward, there are tips and tricks that can make this process go a lot smoother for you.
Podcasting has grown a lot as a niche the past few years, and it’s only going up from here!
Table of Contents
1. Define the purpose of your podcast
I am so excited you decided to start your own podcast, now it’s time to give it a purpose and define the objectives you wish to accomplish.
There is no right answer to this question, but it’s important to define it.
What concepts will you be developing in your recordings? There are limitless options with what you can do with your podcast. Do you want to talk about neuroscience, politics, travel adventures, mental health, fictional storytelling? Maybe you just want a place for yourself and your thoughts to document your own journey. Your imagination is the only limit.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- “Why am I starting a podcast?”
- “What is my podcast about?”
- “What value do I want to bring to my audience?”
- Identify goals
- Choose topic
Once you’ve answered the why and the what, let’s move to the how.
2. Who is your target audience?
This will come in handy not only for marketing your podcast, but when it’s time to record your episodes.
Remember that with podcasts, there are no visuals to maintain someone engaged, so you have to make your audience feel like they are right there with you just by only listening to your voice.
Identifying who your ideal audience is will help you speak and have discussions in a room by yourself or with a co-host, in a way that helps your audience stay engaged and feel connected to you without actually being physically present.
Tip: Fill out a sheet for your ideal persona. You can’t please everyone, and I believe it’s important to start with a strong foundation of listeners, and later on expand and strategize for conversion plans.
You can follow the graphic below to help you think of the ideal listener, and tailor your content to add value to this demographic.
3. Choose a podcast name and write a description
This is how your audience will find you through a search, and how you will attract new listeners. People tend to find new podcasts either from the direct name search or through searching a topic. Here are three things to focus on:
- Use keywords when picking a title- but make it personal
For example, if it’s a podcast about you, let’s pretend it’s called The Lara Show. You want to add an additional keyword to your title explaining what you will be talking about. For example, The Lara Show- Your guide to personal development, or one of my personal favorites is The Mindset Mentor with Rob Dial. Make sure your title gives the listener insight into what you will be discussing in your episodes.
- Secure domains social media
Once you have your title, you will want to secure that name on social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, or Tik Tok to help you spread the word and market it. If you already have a brand that you are expanding, try to keep your podcast name as close to your brand.
- Add a strong description of your podcast
Think of your podcast description like a movie trailer, this is the next thing your listeners will read after reading your title (you can also add a recorded voice trailer to your list of episodes, but the description is the next thing they can visually scan when they come across your podcast).
Items to add to your description are a clear objective of what listeners can expect from your episodes, your uploading schedule, and links to show notes or where they can connect with you.
4. Choose a podcast format
Having a podcast structure will optimize the way you deliver your content. Although it is possible to have a hybrid style, it’s important to stay consistent with the way you deliver your episodes, that way your listeners will know what to expect and you will have an easier time retaining your audience.
- Solo monologue
Me, myself, and I style. This is the simplest form to start your own podcast if you don’t want to rely on anyone else for your content. You will be responsible for organizing your script and topics, you will only have to edit a single track of audio and you can follow your schedule to make it convenient. This can be a powerful way to start for branding since your listeners will connect with you on a personal level.
In an interview podcast you will be bringing on guests to speak with you and you will most likely be asking them questions based on their expertise or experience with the topic you want to post about.
- Co-Host/ conversational
Think of co-hosting as having two main characters in a story. Your co-host and you will be leading the discussion, bouncing off ideas, and having an engaging conversation about your topic.
When co-hosting, you can also have an interview-style and bring on guests for you to have a conversation together.
- Fictional/Non-fictional Storytelling
In my opinion, these are the most engaging type of podcasts, but also the ones that take the most work. You have probably seen popular crime shows or historical stories being told through podcasts. You could be telling a real-life story from one of your trips to Guatemala or you could be narrating a story you personally created. Here you can incorporate sound effects and different snippets of audio along with your voice in order to make your audience feel like they are living the story through your audio.
You could also be using podcasts to continue spreading content you have already created. Think of Ted Talks, the audio is repurposed from live talks to a podcast form for people to have more access to them. Maybe you are recording your IG lives or hosting Clubhouse discussion, you can repurpose this audio and expand your brand through it.
5. Podcast hosting
Now that you have created your content, what do you do with it? Since you probably want people to listen to your podcast, you will need to think about where to host your audio files. The purpose of having a podcast host is to give you a place to upload your audio, and for it to generate an RSS feed which allows you to submit it to directories such as apple podcast and google podcast, and allows people to subscribe to your show.
You want to have a separate host for your podcast that’s not your website because audio files tend to be large and your site may not have enough bandwidth. If you want to incorporate your podcast into your website, you will want to upload it to your host, and then embed the audio player on your site.
Anchor is a free platform and a great place to start. Since it’s free it will limit your control over your audio files and feed, but you will be able to do everything you need to as you get more involved in the podcasting world.
If you are ready to take the extra step, Buzzsprout is a great recommendation. Although it requires you to pay a subscription fee, it will give you control over all of your content.
You can typically distribute your podcast directly from your dashboard on either Anchor or Buzzsprout. However, if your host does not offer your option, you will have to find the RSS feed they provide you with, and directly submit it to your preferred directories. Here are some suggestion on where to upload your RSS feed for distribution:
Tip: Submit your trailer or first episode to your host and distributors at least one week in advance before your launch date. It will take up to a week for your podcast to be approved, so you want to consider this when planning your launch date.
6. Create a schedule
This is a huge personal recommendation if you want to take podcasting seriously and grow your audience. Depending on the format of your podcast, you will want to consider how often you will be uploading new episodes. If you will be bringing guests on to the podcast, you will want to plan ahead so you can reach out to them and schedule something based on their availability. It is most likely, and recommended, to pre-record your episodes to give yourself enough time to edit and stick to a consistent schedule.
If you recording on your own, it is also a great habit to get into as you will need to give yourself enough time to gather any details for your episode and have enough time to edit.
7. Podcast recording equipment
I love equipment, everything feels more official once you get your recording equipment to start recording. You don’t need the fanciest equipment to get started with your podcast, but the greater audio quality you have the happier your listeners will be. Please, don’t let fancy equipment scare you away from podcasting. I carry interviews on my podcast, and most of the time the interviewees have apple plug-in headphones and it works fine.
If you are looking to get equipment, here are some mic recommendations from cheapest to most expensive:
Additionally, here is some equipment that makes a huge difference if you want to reduce background noise and increase the quality of your audio if you are not recording in your studio.
8. Recording your episode
I have found that the secret to having crisp audio quality is not always the microphone, but the recording environment, and the way you enunciate your words.
When you are recording, it’s important to reduce the amount of background noise that can interfere with your voice and take away attention from what you are saying. I recommend practicing keeping the volume of your voice constant, but changing the tone in order to keep your audience engaged.
Depending on the format of your episode, you can try the following platforms to record your audio.
- Garageband or Voice Recorder (free)– If you are a Mac user, you can use Garageband for free. If you are using Windows, you can also download the app called Microsoft Voice Recorder. These are great options if you are just testing the waters and you are recording solo. This way you can test your voice and microphone.
- Audacity (free)– This is a functional site for all Windows, Mac and Linux users. It enables you to record, and edit, and has some effects features as well. The user interface is not a s friendly, but it is free, and will give you everything you need to get started.
- Zencastr (free)– Zencastr is a great tool for remote recording. I have personally enjoyed it more than zoom. They recently came out with a video feature as well. I enjoy that each person on the session has a separate track, and you are able to store sessions in your Zencastr account. Once your recording session is over, you will need to download all tracks, and edit it elsewhere.
- Adobe Audition ($20.99) – This place has everything you need and it will help you grow as a podcaster and editor. In terms of recording, you can do solo tracks, multi-tracks, and even record the audio through calls in case you are interviewing someone at a distance. This platform requires a subscription, however, if you are part of the adobe creative cloud, it’s included in your $20/month subscription.
- Zoom (free)– This is another great free option to get you started with recording remote interviews. Sometimes interviews can be easier if you are recording face to face, and zoom allows you to do that. You need to make sure you are recording the call, and while you are exporting the audio and video recording, everyone in the call should stay put so you don’t lose anything. You will then bring the exported audio to the editing software of your preference.
Tip: Write a script planning out your episode. You want to make sure you don’t miss important points you want to make or ramble on for too long without making your point come across. On this script, include your show intro, guest intro, episode content, call to action, outro, and possible ads if applicable.
9.Podcast editing software
- Audacity (free)– This is a great platform for recording and editing, as mentioned on the previous section. Audacity is free software, developed by a group of volunteers and it is open source. Although the interface is not as friendly, it is a great tool for beginners.
- Adobe Audition ($20.99)– Audition has a higher functionality, tools and flexibility. If you are ready to take your podcast to the next level and create professional content, you will want to educate yourself on using Audition, it will be worth it. You will have a lot more control over your audio, effects, and will be able to meet broadcasting standards.
I have had great experiences editing with these two platforms. At the end of the day, software usage comes to personal preference, both platforms are beginner friendly, and simple to follow.
If you plan on advancing your audio editing skills, I recommend getting more acquainted with Adobe Audition. At the end of the day, I am a believer that your get what you pay for.
10. Choose a title for your episode and create the podcast artwork
This is the most visual part of a podcast, the title and covert art.
The title of your repisode should be descriptive of the main points covered during the podcast. This should grab people’s attention and contain keywords that make it easily searchable and relate to your podcast title.
Although the cover art can be created right at the beginning of this process, I recommend to wait to have at least the trailer or the first episode recorded to truly see what fits the vibe and energy of your podcast.
You will also need to decide if each episode will have a different cover, you don’t want to deviate front he main theme of your original podcast cover, but maybe you want to highlight the person being interviewed on an episode, or maybe you want to have the title of your podcast along with the episode title on each episode cover. This would require you to edit one for each episode you upload.
11. Upload your episode and publish your shownotes
Now that you have all the content ready, it’s time to upload it to your podcast hosting site, and distribute it!
An additional step I highly recommend is creating show notes for your new episode. It might not be the most important step, but it will make a difference. If you already have a website, create a designated area for your podcast. People can either listen to your podcast directly through your site, or they can read about it. It is a great way to repurpose your content. If people aren’t able to listen to the episode, they can skim through it by reading through the show notes. In addition, you can add additional details and links to your shows notes and highlight important things you brought up during the episode.
12. Let everyone know your podcast is live!
Congratulations! Now that you have recorded, edited, and uploaded your first podcast episode, it’s time to start advertising it! Let people know where they can find you, what your purpose is with it, and how they can support you.
A great way to share your podcast on different social media platforms is through sites like the following:
These places allow you to create social media posts in a way that you can include your podcast audio.