How to Start a Podcast
Starting a podcast was on my to-do list a long time before I actually did it. I’ve been really into podcasts for a while and saw the potential of having audio-content. Audio content is convenient to consume because you don’t have to be reading or paying attention to a screen. I’m sure if you’re reading this blog post then podcasts are probably already a common way you consume content.
I recorded my first podcast episode in April of 2018? And then not again till November 2018…And then not again till Feb 27th of 2019. Needless to say I was a little wishy-washy. Since then I’ve finally been consistent with publishing an episode weekly over on my show Girl Meets Gram.
So how did I do it? What were the hurdles? Is it hard? Is it time consuming? What equipment do I use?
In this blog I’m going to answer all these FAQs and show you how to get your podcast published on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.
Planning Your Show
Before you go crazy investing in any equipment or hitting the record button it’s important to get intentional on exactly what your show is all about and how you will provide value to your audience. I’d highly recommend getting specific with your content first and then after you become a bit more a veteran podcaster you can branch out. For example every one of my podcast episodes are in some way shape or form about digital marketing.
Get started by typing out a simple one page document that outlines the intention of your podcast. Even write a mission statement or vision. This will come in handy when you are recording a static Intro that will play at the beginning of each episode. Also include in this one page summary whether your podcast will feature interviews or not and a build list of topic pillars that your episodes will stem from.
Planning Your Episodes
When it comes down to recording a single episode I always type them out word for word. Yup I just read a script. This works for me because my blog posts double as a podcast episode. Since I’m writing the blog post anyway I might as well read it off and create a podcast episode out of it right? So if you do listen to this episode on my podcast you will hear the same words you’re reading now. For me this is totally worth it because consistently adding to my blog helps my website rank higher in google and then I don’t fumble with my words or thoughts when recording the podcast.
Creating Cover Art
Making your little square cover art for a podcast is probably the most creative step in getting set up. I used…you guessed it..Canva to create mine. I’d recommend adding your podcast title and, if applicable, your name to the cover art. Use brand fonts/colours and an accurate, relatively up-close photo of you. Make sure you really love the photo and the cover art you create before you publish, you’ll want to keep it the same for a long time and with some podcasting hosts it’s really difficult to switch it after it’s done.
Recording and Editing Equipment
When I recorded my first few episode I used just my phone to do so. Anchor is a Podcasting app that allows you to simply hold the phone up to your ear to record. You pick up the phone, hear an indictor sound and start talking. Once you’re done you are able to make some small edits within the app and even add sound effects. This for sure does the trick but as you can imagine the audio quality isn’t impeccable and editing through a phone app is a bit finicky and time consuming.
So in 2019 I upgraded to a very common podcasting mic, the Yeti. It comes in blue, black and silver for sure and is super easy to set up via the mini instruction manual it comes with. I’d recommend also adding a wind pop filter to help with the loud ‘puh’ sounds that sometimes hit the mic when you say words that start with P. A pop filter also protects your mic from getting dirty/worn down/rusty from any saliva that may come out of your mouth as you talk into it.
Once you have your mic set up and you’ve checked that it’s actually picking up sound it’s time to record. I use QuickTime Player which is a free app that is already on most Mac computers. Open the app select File > New Audio Recording and you’re good to go! Don’t forget to press record!
Once that file is saved you can drag a drop it into an editing program. I use Premiere Pro which is part of the Adobe package. I pay monthly for the Adobe Suite which is worth it for me since I use Lightroom, Photoshop, InDesign and Premiere Pro. If these aren’t programs that make sense for the rest of your business then you can most likely just use iMovie. Make sure when you export you are only exporting the audio not ‘audio and video’.
Recording an Intro/Outro
I’d recommend creating a static intro that introduces your podcast and explains to the listener exactly what it’s all about. This should almost be like a mini commercial or tagline for you podcast, something to keep them listening! Refer back to that 1 page summary you wrote for ideas.
I wrote my intro probably 6 or 7 times before I found a version that I loved. This is going to be some really crucial copy (words) for your podcast business model so take it seriously!
Your Outro should have a call to action. What do you want your audience to do next? Should they DM you on Insta and keep the conversation going? Leave a review? Download your free ebook? Subscribe? Sneek whatever feels most valuable for you into that outro.
In order to create your intro and outro record them in Quicktime and drag into PremierePro or iMovie. Then drag in some music that you feel is fitting for your brand. You’ll know it when you hear it. I used TakeTones.com to find the music for my podcast. Make sure you fade the music in and out at a point that makes sense and then export your new audio files with a file name you are going to remember since you will be adding these files to every episode.
Publishing Your Podcast
The last step is of course hitting that publish button and sending your podcast episode out to the world. There are a lot of podcasting hosting sites and many that require a subscription fee. I currently use Anchor which is free! However, I have my suspicions that my podcast does not get the reach it could be getting due to this. To be honest I haven’t fulled dove into the marketing side of podcasting but if I do decide to move away from Anchor this blog post will be updated accordingly.
Anchor, like most podcast hosts allows you to publish to tons of platforms including the obvious Spotify and Apple Podcasts. You won’t have to upload your episode separately, Anchor will distribute for you!
When uploading onto any platform be sure to write a keyword rich title and description. Key words being words that make your episode easily searchable for someone looking for the respective content. Think, “what would they type if they were searching for this in google?”. Make sure those words and any words that also describe your episode are somewhere in your description.
After you write an episode title and description it’s time to upload your audio file and schedule or publish immediately. Once it’s live I’d recommend letting your audience on your social media channels know in order to drive traffic over to your podcast!
Okay friend I know this blog post is packed with a lot of information so it’s time to go take action! Starting a podcast is not that hard and if you really wanted you could do it today! So go on, get started and let me know when I can go take a listen!