how to start a podcastPerhaps you’re thinking about how to start your own podcast. People everywhere are using the medium of podcasting to promote their name, their brand, and to build an audience of fans for a project they’ve undertaken. And the good news is, you can too!

However, starting a podcast does require some work, especially on the front end. Between purchasing your gear and setting it up at home, understanding how hosting works, and uploading your first show, there’s a lot to learn. It can be a lot, especially if you feel like you are ready to just start recording episodes!

In this guide, we’ll break down 7 things you need to know before starting a podcast. If you find yourself asking questions, you can contact us here anytime.

Let’s dive in!

1. Know Your Podcast – Inside And Out

The truth is, the podcasting medium is not for everyone. At the very least, it may not be for every project. If your goal is simply to occasionally get your message out to new people, you could start your podcast on YouTube instead. YouTube is free, but isn’t really a podcast platform.

This isn’t to deter you from podcasting; in fact, the opposite is true. The first step is to get very clear about why you want to podcast and what your show will be specifically about. Here are some brainstorming ideas to get started:

  • How will your podcast relate to you, your business or brand (or is this just for fun)?
  • What could the first 7 episodes of your podcast be about?
  • What will the title of your podcast be?

If you find yourself struggling to detail 7 separate episodes right off the bat, this may be a sign that there’s a better medium for you. Think these things through before you start. It will save you time and money. Good old pen and paper are your friends for this first step.

If you decide podcasting is the way to go, keep reading!

2. Find The Right Equipment

When it comes to how to set up a podcast, you’ll want good equipment. People don’t want to listen to bad sound on a podcast, and it will make you sound unprofessional. Thankfully, affordable USB microphones that sound good do exist.

With the boom of home podcasting, two low-cost options have really emerged as the best.

The two most popular home podcasting microphones that won’t break the bank are the Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB and the Rode Podcaster. This stereo mic might also be a good option for your show if you are recording remotely and need an iPad or iPhone solution.

For a new show, you only need a good USB microphone to start. Later, you can worry about mixers and all the additional pieces.

3. Pay For Good Artwork/Intro

Sure, you could design your podcast cover art on a website like Canva for free, but unless you have an eye for graphic design, it’s probably not a good idea.

Your podcast’s cover art and introduction music are the first things people will see and hear when listening to your show. If you want to give them a good impression, it’s important to invest a good amount here.

If you’re on a budget, you can get artwork done with Fiverr or Upwork. For something a little more comprehensive (but pricey), 99Designs can give you some great artwork, too.

For your intro, we provide royalty-free music and customized voiceovers to make your show shine right out of the box. Our voiceover artists are experienced in podcasting, professional radio, news reporting, multimedia production, video narration, church podcasting and more. It’s not a good idea to cut corners here, and we’ve been doing this for almost two decades!

4. Pick A Good Hosting Service

People asking, “what do you need to start a podcast?” would do well to find the right hosting service. You don’t want to upload audio directly to your website, as most website hosting servers aren’t designed for this and will slow down over time. Therefore, you should either find a free hosting solution or invest a small amount of money each month to let 3rd-party sites host your podcast episodes for you.

Websites like Soundcloud offer free hosting, while Libsyn starts at just $5/month.

5. Get Familiar With iTunes

Pat Flynn, one of the best resources available for building a podcast or online business, talks about iTunes as one giant search engine. iTunes is where most podcasts are, so it’s a spot you need to be.

Here’s how to start a podcast on iTunes.

6. How Will You Record?

What do you need to start a podcast? Something to record your episodes, of course. If you use Apple products, GarageBand is a free solution that many home podcasters use with a lot of success. You can even practice editing your show in the software too.

There are plenty of good free or low-cost recording options available, so don’t feel like you need expensive software for this.

Another option is to let us record your guests over the telephone like professional radio stations do. We pioneered this process for podcasting, and it starts for as little as $50/episode.

7. Write An Outline For Your First Show!

After setting up all of your equipment, choosing a hosting service, and getting your show in order, it’s time to start working on the first episode! At the very start, it will help to follow a rough outline. Don’t feel like you have to read off a script–don’t, in fact, because your listeners will know you are–but it will help you be comfortable and cover your key points.

In time, you may not need the outline anymore. But it’s a good resource to have initially, and will help you stick to the ideas you identified as important when you brainstormed during step 1.

Some podcasters, however, always follow an outline. The key to doing well with this medium is finding what works for you and sticking with it–refining your process over time.

How To Start A Podcast – Wrap-Up

Starting a podcast requires some work on the front end for sure, but it will be worth it if your goal is to connect with a new audience or build your brand. Even if you’re just doing it to have fun, a podcast is a good way to get your name out there and gain experience with speaking and having new tech skills under your belt.

Some things to do when you start: know what your show will be about, get a good USB mic, get nice artwork and intro audio done, pick a good hosting service, understand iTunes, pick the right recording software (or let us do it), and write a good outline for your first few episodes.

In addition, we are always here to help. Check out our podcast production services to learn more. Happy podcasting!