Hello and welcome back to my blog, it’s good to have you here. Today I’ll be giving you 3 Easy Steps to Starting a Podcast. If you are looking at starting a podcast and do not know how or where to begin, this post is definitely for you. Do well to read through to the end so that you do not miss out on any detail.
1.) Research a podcasting topic or niche
Firstly, you’ll need to define a target audience and research competitors in your niche.
Who is your podcast for? Having a clear idea of your ideal listener will help you create relevant and valuable content. Identify basic information about your target audience like demographics, age, occupation, interests, hobbies and pain points.
Here are some additional statistics from Edison Research to give you an idea of who listens to podcasts in general:
- 47% of monthly podcast listeners are aged between 12-34
- A majority of podcast listeners are active on Facebook.
Use this information about your target audience to create a strategy from content to promotion.
Once you have your topic and niche in mind, do some research on other similar podcasts. By understanding your competitors, you can figure out how you can position your podcast in a way that sets you apart.
With so much competition, it’s almost impossible for generic podcast concepts to gain traction. Ideally, your podcast topic should be specific enough to draw in a certain type of person but broad enough that you can create multiple episodes around it.
For example, what sounds more compelling: a horror movie podcast or a podcast that explores the cheesiest B-movie monsters of the 1980s and 90s?
Go beyond business, politics or film. Get specific. Do your research on what’s missing in the market. Then make a note of what you’re interested in talking about, what aligns with your brand and the skills and expertise you have to offer. Connect all these and you’ll discover your niche.
Recommended: How to Make Money with a Podcast in 2022
2.) Plan your podcast details and posting frequency
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how to podcast, here are a few things you’ll need to plan.
Name your podcast and add episode titles
If you’re working as part of an established brand, you have the benefit of name recognition when it comes to your podcast.
And if you don’t, you’ll need to come up with something that is memorable and distinct from other pods in your niche. You can come up with a descriptive name and use keywords your target audience is searching for around the topic. For example, if a content creator names their show ‘The Content Creator Podcast,’ it’s very clear who that podcast is for and what it’s about. If you want to be more memorable, you can come up with a witty or catchy name.
Here are some examples of non-marketing podcasts with unique names that pique the interest of potential listeners:
- “Brown Riot”
- “What It Means”
- “Hidden Brain”
Just like choosing a podcast name, choosing episode titles is also important. It should be descriptive enough for people to know what to expect and give them a reason to click. The theme of your podcast and the specific subject of the episode are good sources of inspiration.
Also, remember when I mentioned including keywords? It’s important to keep relevant keywords in mind. Search rankings on podcast directories are based on podcast name, provider name and episode titles. So use the keywords relevant to your topic and that your audience is likely to search for.
Decide on your episode length
There is no such thing as an ‘ideal length’ when it comes to podcast episodes. Episode lengths vary from show to show. The half-hour mark seems to be a happy medium for most pods, although some run slightly shorter (and some significantly longer). However, in a survey, 32% said they “feel put off by longer episodes of an hour or more.” So, it’s better to start with episodes that err on the shorter side and build from there.
Another good rule of thumb is to tailor your episode length according to publishing frequency. If you publish daily, keep it short. If it’s a weekly podcast, stay within the 50-minute mark. If you publish less frequently, an hour per episode won’t seem too long to your audience.
Note that your audience probably listens to a ton of other podcasts (Edison Research found that podcast listeners listen to an average of five shows a week). Having a shorter show means they can easily squeeze you into their schedules.
Format your episodes: script or not?
Most podcasts are not scripted. Only some highly produced shows are scripted word-by-word. Besides, scripting takes a lot of time and the conversational nature of the podcast might get lost.
However, a little bit of organization goes a long way to keep you from straying too far off-topic. You can have bullet points and specific scripts written out for more formal points, such as introductions and pre-recorded segments.
Sharing basic notes and having an outline of segments is way better than going into a show totally cold.
Create episode descriptions, notes and transcripts
Presentation is a huge part of podcasting.
Putting together episode descriptions can help your potential listener know if a show is relevant to them or not. Similarly, having notes and timestamps is useful for those who want to skim your episode and don’t have time to listen to the whole broadcast.
Episode descriptions also play a role in making your podcast discoverable in search. This is important because 73% of podcast listeners discover new shows by searching the internet. Include the right keywords in your podcast and episode descriptions (but avoid keyword stuffing).
Bullet points, timestamps and transcripts can be particularly helpful for first-time listeners. Make use of podcasting software that has transcription features to easily capture every word.
Define your podcast aesthetic
So much of figuring out how to start a podcast boils down to your branding strategy. And having cover art and other creatives that carry the essence of your podcast is a part of this. It should visually describe your brand while capturing your audience’s interests. For example, the podcast cover art examples below use color and graphics to convey their brand identity with the theme of their podcast.
You can create cover art yourself using a tool like Canva. Or work with a professional designer who can help you encapsulate your brand into the right logo.
Ideally, your podcast cover art should be 1400 x 1400 pixels, in JPEG format and under 700 kb in size. Opting for larger formats can cause issues down the line.
3.) Build your podcast presence
To build your podcast presence, the first step is to publish your pod through a hosting platform. Then, build your social presence on the right channels to reach your audience.
Select a podcasting platform and create an RSS feed
You’ll need a podcast hosting platform to store audio files online for distribution. You’ll then use this hosting site to deliver content to a podcast directory like Spotify, where your audience will be able to find your podcast.
When selecting a podcast-specific hosting site, consider factors like storage and bandwidth limits, analytics reporting and ease of use.