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How to start a podcast in 6 steps

Summary

It’s a great time to start a podcast. A podcast is listened to by 57 million Americans each month. A quarter of Americans aged 12 to 55 listen to at least three podcasts per week. Podcasting is steadily growing and that’s great news […]

It’s a great time to start a podcast. A podcast is listened to by 57 million Americans each month. A quarter of Americans aged 12 to 55 listen to at least three podcasts per week. Podcasting is steadily growing and that’s great news for you, as a podcaster.

Podcasting is like any other project. You need to plan ahead and prepare before you start. This article will give you a complete guide to starting your podcast.

Step 1 – Choose Your Topic

It can be hard to choose the right topic for your podcast. Although you might have an idea of the topic you want to discuss on your podcast, it may not be clear what you should focus on. We recommend that you take a step back if you are in this position. The following steps will help you to find your focus.

Define your Purpose

Why do you want podcasting? What motivates you to put in the effort and financial resources to start this business? A podcast might be a way for a basketball fan to discuss their favorite players or teams. Your deepest motivations should be written down so that every episode flows from them.

Determine Your Audience

Although you can come up with a lot of topics for your purpose, it can also become confusing and overwhelming. This is why it is important to identify your audience. What age range is your audience? What are their goals, and what interests do they have? These questions will help you narrow your options and allow you to choose topics that are most relevant to your audience.

The Dave Ramsey Show is a good example of a podcast which has succeeded in identifying its audience. Although the podcast is focused on personal finances, it is written in such a way as to appeal to those who are not financially savvy. Ramsey’s podcast is easy-to-understand and offers practical advice to his listeners, rather than getting bogged down in industry jargon or technical details.

Find Your Niche

According to a study on Medium, approximately 5,000 podcasts were added to iTunes each month in 2015. This means that you will likely have hundreds, if not thousands, of competitors in your local area. It is important to choose your specialty.

Millennial shows how a podcast can find its niche. Megan Tan, a millennial, hosts the podcast. This is a refreshing departure from other podcasts that are focused on comedy or pop culture. Tan podcasts from her closet and recounts her experiences from working at wait tables in college to her first job. As Tan applied for a coveted fellowship and got a radio job, her boyfriend was also available to listeners. Tan’s story is appealing to a specific audience: millennials.

 

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Step 2 – Consider the Costs and Buy Equipment

Your equipment is the most important expense in starting a podcast. This includes a microphone, computer and headphones, as well as an internet connection, web hosting, and an internet connection. These options are available depending on your budget.

Equipment Low High
Microphone Samson Meteor Mic for $69.99 MXL990 Mic $119.99 Rode Podcaster $229
Computer Acer Chromebook starting at $220 Premium HP Laptop starting at $438 Apple MacBook Pro starting at $619.99
Headphones Sony MDRZX310-WQ for $20 AKG K240 at $67.99 Sennheiser HD280PRO for $99.95
Stand/Boom Arm Neewer starting at $12.99 Hellniya starting at $14.99 Etubby starting at $16.99
Shockmount Neewer starting at $9.99 Blue Radius II starting at $44.99 Neumann 129.95
Audio Editing App Audacity free Adobe Audition for $239.88/year Avid ProTools $999/year
  • Cost-Efficient option – Using the computer you already own and its microphone, you can create and edit basic podcasts for free. To get three hours of free podcast hosting, you can register on SoundCloud. You will still need a website and web hosting, but you can reduce these costs as you get started.
  • Starter pack – To improve the quality of your podcasts consider purchasing basic equipment for podcasters just starting out. You can purchase quality entry-level gear starting at $600 with a budget of only $600. This includes a microphone, headset, microphone, stand, boom arm and shock mount.
  • Business Option– A virtual assistant is available to help you market your content, so that you can concentrate on creating and recording podcasts.

Kristin Marquet is the Creative Development Media Founder, Creative Director and Creative Director. You can still use what you already have, but you need to invest in quality equipment.

Kristin Marquet - how to start a podcast Anyone who is interested in starting a podcast should invest in the right equipment. This includes a website, a microphone and a Skype account.

The price of equipment can vary widely. Let’s take a look at some of the options.

Microphone

Your microphone will have the greatest impact on podcasts’ sound quality. We recommend that you allocate as much budget as possible to it. It should cancel background noises and provide broadcast quality without echo or delay.

Affordable microphones starting at $69.99 High-end microphones start at $229, while Mid-tier microphones are available for around $100.

Computer

Audio editing is not as complex as video editing. You can therefore use any Windows, Mac or Chromebook computer. For optimal performance, we recommend that you get a computer with good memory and processor power if you are looking to buy a new one. You will need a quad-core machine with 2 GHz processing speed, 4GB memory and 500GB hard drive storage. A laptop with high-quality components will be less expensive than $300. You can spend between $400 and $1,000 to buy top-of-the-line machines.

Headphones

It’s a great tool for recording because it allows you to hear your guest’s voice better while they are doing a show. You will also need them to hear your guest when you conduct remote interviews. An entry-level option should be sufficient, as headphones will not alter the sound quality of recordings.

One can be found on Amazon for as low as $20 You can expect to spend between $70 and $100 if you are looking to invest in quality and comfort.

Stand/Boom Arm

A stand must be strong enough to hold your microphone. You will need a sturdy, flexible stand that can be adjusted to find the right height and angle for your voice. Podcasters love desk clip-in stands because they are simple to use and save space.

Boom scissor arm stand
Source: Amazon

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These items are only $12.50 on Amazon Higher quality gear is available for $15 to $18.

Shock Mount

Vibrations can be caused by desk movements such as typing and nudges. A shock mount can be used to keep your microphone stable and away from vibrations.

Sample shock mount
Source: Amazon

One can be purchased on Amazon starting at $10 Higher quality shock mounts are available for $45 or $130.

Audio Editing software

Audio editing software must be able to remove background noise, add background music, and cut out undesirable sounds. The cost of audio editing software licenses can range from $20 for basic applications up to $900 for professional-level licenses. However, there is a free app that allows you to edit audio without paying for it.

Audacity, an open-source audio editor for editing and recording, is available. You can record live audio, edit and convert files into many formats. It’s also free.

Website

Your primary marketing tool will be your website. Your audience will have direct access here to your podcasts or articles. It can also help you increase your revenues via affiliate links and banner ads. The choice of website host depends on your budget, traffic expectations, and other factors. However there are many affordable options.

Bluehost, for $2.95/month, can help you get started with a domain, web hosting and their website builders tools, including WordPress.

Hosting

Although your website may be hosted by a service that allows you to store files, it is still recommended that you choose a different host for podcasts. Podcasts can consume hundreds of megabytes of storage, depending on their length. If you host your podcasts on a web host, you’ll eventually encounter bandwidth or storage issues.

Podomatic provides 15 GB bandwidth per month and 500MB storage for no charge. Consider investing in AmazonS3 if you have the funds. It costs between $0.022 and $0.026 per gigabyte for standard storage. Prices can vary depending on where you live.

Step 3 – Record and Edit Your Podcast

While the details of recording and editing podcasts can vary depending on the software and tools you use, the overall process is the same. These steps will help you get started recording your podcasts once you have the equipment you need.

  1. Test the microphone’s input volume.
  2. Open your audio editing and recording software, such as Audacity. Before you begin recording, ensure that the software is set up to record from your microphone.
  3. To start recording, click the red circular button. Do not worry about making mistakes during this stage. After recording your podcast, you can always make changes to it.
  4. To eliminate background noise, listen to the recording and use your software’s noise reduction feature.
  5. You can delete any sections of your recording that you have made mistakes.
  6. To correct volume issues, use the leveling function in your software.
  7. You can export your audio as an MP3 or WAV file. These formats can be used with almost all media players and provide high quality audio at a small file size.

CNET has a video on how to make and edit podcasts with Audacity.

 

 

You might be tempted to record more than one podcast. You might feel tempted to release episodes earlier than planned if you find yourself in this situation. Anand Bhatt, Al & Anand Crack Hollywood podcast, addresses the issue.

It is difficult to resist the temptation to break up the podcast into too many episodes, and release too much. This is something I am familiar with and must overcome. A recording session can produce a dozen episodes, and you may want all of them. Most people will only see the latest episode. Some podcast listening platforms will automatically unsubscribe you if you miss too many episodes. So take breaks between episodes. It is usually okay to do one episode per week, depending on the audience. You can also take a few months off, despite what others will tell you. Your podcast should not be viewed as a morning radio program. Instead, you should view it as a television show. It can be done in seasons and still be .”

Step 4 – Submit your podcast to iTunes

Once you have recorded a few episodes, it is time to share your podcasts. The iOS Podcast app by Apple is the most popular podcast player, accounting for 60 to 70% of the global market. Many podcasters believe that iTunes’ podcast directory has the most importance.

Be sure to read the following before you submit.

  • Description, title, author and description of your podcast
  • 1400×1400 image file in JPG format or PNG format
  • RSS Feed URL Valid
  • Apple ID
  • iTunes
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After you have completed the requirements, optimize your podcast for iTunes to increase your rank. Optimizing your podcast will not make you appear on the homepage or “New and Notable” lists but it will help you rank higher in search results. These are some tips to increase your iTunes ranking.

Optimize Content With Keywords

iTunes can identify your podcast’s content by using keywords so that it can match it to relevant searches. Knowing your audience’s needs is key. To help you create a list, use Google’s Keyword Planner Tool. Once you have a list, add your primary keywords to these areas.

  • Podcast title – The title of your podcast should contain two to three keywords that are relevant to your podcast. Basketball
  • Name of the Publisher – Enter your name here and follow the format for your podcast title. For example, Steve Nash NBA | Basketball
  • Podcast description – Write a description for your podcast here, but make sure to include the same keywords as in the publisher name or publisher title.
  • Description and title of podcast – include the same set keywords terms.

Request for Comments and Reviews

You can also influence iTunes’ ranking by increasing the number of reviews and comments on your podcasts. Podcasters often struggle to get reviews due to the fact that their listeners are always on the move. There are ways to get your listeners to take a few moments to leave a review.

To win prizes such as a session or exclusive content, you can hold contests in which one reviewer is chosen per episode. To remind listeners to write a few words about the show, you can ask for reviews at each episode’s end.

Sample listener reviews on iTunes
Source: iTunes

Share iTunes Link

Once you have published your podcast episode to iTunes, copy the iTunes link and share it via your website and on social media. Listening to podcasts is still a popular way for people to access them. If they click on the iTunes link, iTunes will increase their download count. Listeners don’t have to download iTunes in order to listen to your show. The iTunes web platform does the job.

Your podcast will rank higher if it has more downloads.

Invite listeners to subscribe

It’s easy to subscribe to your podcast via iTunes. This is one of the benefits to getting your listeners to subscribe to your podcast. Invite your listeners at the end of each episode to click the Subscribe button. Your iTunes search ranking will rise if you have more subscribers.

 

Free ebook: How to Start Your BusinessStep by step blueprint that will show you how to get from idea to launch within 30 days 

 

Step 5 – Market Your Podcast

Although you might have great podcasts that you’ve saved to a host service or uploaded to iTunes, nobody will find them unless you market them. Find an audience to market your show and tell them what it offers. This is a daunting task for someone just starting, but it’s possible. This section will give you some tips to help you build your audience for your podcast.

Connect With Other Podcasters

Your VA should look for podcasters that can help your audience. Let these podcasters know about your show by sending an email with an invitation to guest on your show. In return, you can add that your show would be delighted to host a guest on their podcast.

Even though you are just starting out, a lot of podcasters will be happy to grant your request. Interviewing you gives them the chance to create content for their listeners almost at no cost. Their popularity increases when they have access to your listeners. Interviewing established podcasters gives you exposure. You also have access to their audience.

Justin Kerby, host, Mind Your Market, agrees.

Your audience can be grew by having other podcasters as guests, hosting other podcasts, paying to boost your podcast, and soliciting reviews. Although it takes time, Mind Your Marketing has shown us that it is worth it .”

This is a win-win situation that podcasters who are savvy will always remember.

Optimize and Transcribe

Your VA will help you transcribe the most interesting parts of your interviews. Post the transcription to your article. Your article’s purpose is to increase your audience. Your article should not be exhaustive. It should only spark interest. Your audience will want to listen to more of your podcast so they can download it or stream it.

A podcast transcription
Source: BufferSocial

Once you have transcribed your podcast, the next step is to optimize for search engines. SEO (search engine optimization) refers to the process of increasing your website’s rank in search engines such as Google. SEO is the publication of relevant content using keywords. You need to identify the keywords your audience searches for on search engines in order to get your website ranked.

To help you find the words and phrases that your audience is searching for, we recommend Google Adwords’ keyword planning tool.

Google Adwords Keyword Planning tool interface
Source: Wordstream

Once you have identified the keywords that are most relevant to your article, make sure you use them in the sections below:

  • URL
  • Title
  • Body
  • Alt text for images
  • Meta description

You can optimize your articles with WordPress plugins, such as Yoast. These plugins will help you rank higher on Google. SEO increases the likelihood that your podcast will be found by their search engines. It is almost as important than the content.

Promo Episodes on YouTube

YouTube, not Yahoo!, is the second-largest content search engine after Google. Bing or Yahoo! Every day, nearly 5,000,000 videos are viewed on the video-sharing site. YouTube’s popularity makes it logical to attempt to enter its market. You can also consider video interviews and sharing behind-the scenes footage of your podcast recording to make your audience feel a stronger connection with your content.

Promote Episodes in Instagram

Instagram boasts 800 million monthly users and 500,000,000 active users daily. You can divert some attention to your podcast by using the social media platform.

TheArtofCharm marketing episodes on Instagram
Source: IGBox

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Perhaps you are wondering how to market audio files via a photo-sharing platform. TheArtofCharm provides a great example. To grab the attention of the listeners, the personal development website features an attractive graphic with a quote from TheArtofCharm. They then provide the episode’s main idea in the caption, along with the episode title. They also have a call-to-action that encourages viewers to click the link in their bio to access the episode.

Many podcasters use hashtags, although they are not mentioned in TheArtofCharm’s post. These hashtags are words or groups of words that begin with the # sign, such as #Podcast, #Episode08, and denote a topic, topic, or other topics. Marketers use hashtags in order to index and amplify their posts.

This simple marketing strategy can help increase brand awareness and drive traffic to your site.

Jeremy Slate, co-founder at Command your Brand Media, echoes our call for marketing on different social media platforms.

It’s crucial to market your podcast on as many social media platforms as you can. Twitter and Facebook are the best. These platforms will want you to stay on their platform, so it’s important to trick them. Links will rank lower than long-form text and images, while sharing links will rank higher on sites. Find creative ways to use long-form and images to drive traffic to your .” episodes.

Step 6: Monetize Your Podcast

Although you may love recording your episodes, it is still a great way to make some money from your investment in time and resources. Halelly Azulay, a facilitator and speaker at The TalentGrow Show, suggests that podcasting should be your main objective before you make your website monetizable.

Your audience will grow slowly, but podcasting is a skill that must be learned. You’ll be practicing your craft and building a relationship with your listeners as a new podcaster. You won’t be able to monetize your podcast in this early stage. That’s normal. I suggest that you start, build, refine, and then gradually move into monetization .”

You can choose from the following options if you are ready to monetize.

Sponsorships

Sponsorships, just like radio shows, can help you pay the bills. Sponsorships are a great way to make thousands of dollars a month for popular podcasts like Entrepreneur On Fire or Adam Corolla. According to Entrepreneur on Fire, podcasters are paid by the cost per impression (CPM) model.

  • A pre-roll of 15 seconds can bring in $18 per 1000 listens or impressions
  • A 60-second, mid-roll can bring in $25 for every 1000 listens or impressions

A 15-second preroll is where the host promotes the product for 15 second before the show. A 60-second midroll, which is 60 seconds in length, is the same as a pre-roll. It’s where the host promotes the product during the 40-70 percent mark.

It doesn’t seem like much to make $43 an episode. If you get 10,000 listens each episode, it’s still $430. That’s $12,000. If you do it 30 days per month. This is how podcasters can make a living podcasting.

Affiliate Links

Your listeners will find value in products and services you recommend. Affiliate links can help you monetize this information.

Instead of just mentioning sponsors on your podcast you could create a video, audio recording or article to promote the product. Next, place the link in strategic places within your content. Each time a listener visits an affiliate’s website and purchases a product, you earn income. Pat Flynn, SmartPassiveIncome makes a lot of money by promoting BlueHost. BlueHost even created a page for Flynn on their website to offer him a special deal.

Podcaster Pat Flynn generates revenues through affiliate marketing
Source: BlueHost

Pat Flynn reported that his BlueHost affiliate program generated him an income of $33,075 in November.

Books and eBooks

You will soon be able to create enough content for a book or ebook by creating podcasts. The creator of HackTheEntrepreneur.com, Jon Nastor, did something similar. He combined segments from his podcasts with new content to create his book. The journey of the book doesn’t stop there. He made the book into an ebook, and used it as a lead generator in his email marketing campaign. This brought his content full circle.

Nastor converted his book into a powerful lead generator
Source: HackTheEntrepreneur

It is worth considering repurposing podcasts in the future. However, it helps to plan ahead. Each podcast you create has the potential for making money.

Bottom Line

Podcasting is an emerging field that has millions of listeners. You need to consider costs, licensing, advertising, and monetization before you begin podcasting. Equipment and licenses will cost you around $1,000. You will also need to invest a bit more in marketing so that your audience can find and contact you. If you keep producing high quality content, you might eventually find sponsors or affiliates that can help you earn income. This guide will help you make your podcasting business a success.

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