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Podcasts are a great way to connect with an audience, build trust, and establish credibility within a business niche.
They are easy to launch and consume, free, and your audience can listen to them on the go, on any device.
There is a growing number of enthusiastic listeners around the world, and successful shows now enjoy a cult following.
If you’re ready to take the next step and launch your own, read on. In this post, you’ll learn how to start a podcast for free or next to nothing, and discover everything you’ll need to consider before launch.
Podcasting is popular because it is accessible to all and relatively easy to get involved with.
In this article, we’ll take you through eight steps on how to set up a podcast:
Planning is crucial if you want to create a sustainable and successful podcast. Here we break down what to consider when planning your strategy and content creation.
Just like running any business or project, careful planning is crucial when you want to launch podcasts.
Here are some ideas to think about when building your strategy:
Once you know your goals and found your unique voice, it’s time to get started planning your podcast.
When thinking about what problem your podcast is trying to solve, we recommend starting with the following:
You also need to think about the duration and format before you launch your podcast.
Will your show run for 30 minutes or a whole hour? Will it follow a narrative style or will it be more like an interview?
You’ll also need to think about who will host your show. Will you host it on your own or will you have a co-host?
Here are some of the pieces of equipment you need when making a podcast:
You can either launch a podcast on a shoestring budget or go fully professional.
You can get started podcasting for free by recording yourself on your smartphone and fixing it up in audio editing software.
For example, there are free apps like Anchor that allows you to record, edit, and publish your podcasts all within one platform.
However, the sound quality may not be the best when recording on a smartphone.
If you’re serious about your launch, try to invest in good equipment. Depending on the quality you’re aiming for and assuming you already have a computer at ready, basic equipment can start from as little as $250-300 in total.
Now that you’ve got a strategy and equipment, it’s time to record your first show.
Pick a good location to record in, as background noises can impact sound quality or make your guests feel uncomfortable. Choose wisely and stay consistent with it – at least for the first few episodes.
Always perform a soundcheck before you begin recording. You don’t want to spend hours working, only later to find out that it wasn’t recording at all or there were serious technical issues.
Most podcasts use the first show to introduce the hosts and concept, so let your listeners know what they can expect.
You may also want to record an intro and outro for your podcast to add more personality to your show. For example, adding a catchy jingle at the start will make the show much more memorable.
No matter how good the quality of your recording is, you can’t simply upload a raw audio file. That’s not how to start a podcast. Some post-production work needs to be done to craft each episode.
In short, you must ensure that the audio quality is top-quality, remove any background noise, and even cut out mistakes. You can also add music or sound effects too.
This process may be a little time consuming or tricky at first, but you’ll get the hang of it.
To make the editing process faster, create a template with your jingle, intro, and outro already in place, so you can simply add the recorded audio file later.
Here’s a list of great audio editing software you might choose:
When you’re happy with the final product, save your file.
Fill in the metadata and be as specific as possible, since it will be easier for podcast streaming platforms like iTunes to recommend your show to the right audience.
Next, sign up for a podcast host to store your audio files and organize your podcast library.
Podcast hosting services also help you distribute your podcast to various streaming platforms, as well as provide useful analytics.
Here are three services that you may want to check out:
Choose the service that best fits your needs. Factors to consider include storage and bandwidth allowance, the price per month, analytics tools, and promotion features.
Once you’ve posted your first podcast episode, you’ll be provided with an RSS feed URL. This contains the information about your podcast including artwork, descriptions, and all your uploaded episodes. This will be read by your chosen streaming platform.
When submitting your podcast, usually you will be asked for the cover art, description, category, and the RSS feed of your podcast.
You can submit to as many podcast directories as you want since it doesn’t cost extra to publish on these platforms.
Here are some of the most popular podcast streaming platforms:
There are plenty of ways to promote your show, including:
If you want to create a podcast that’s successful, you need to provide valuable content and ensure consistency for your listeners.
At the end of the day, the audience wants to be entertained, or learn something new, so ensure that your content serves that purpose well.
In the very beginning, it may take you a couple of months, or a year to get to the level you want to be. So just be consistent with your work, listen to the audience, and check your analytics to keep improving.
Revenue from running an audio show will range depending on how many listeners you have and how engaged your audience is.
After all, podcasting is a form of content, and how much you make is influenced by how your podcast fits into a broader business context or strategy. Here are some examples for making additional cash:
When approaching companies about sponsoring your show, it’s a good idea to share some statistics about your podcast, website visitor numbers, and social media followers.
If you don’t have a large following yet, you can analyze your engagement rate. Some companies value podcasts that have high engagement, rather than just a big following.
You can do this by looking at how many reviews people have left about you, and the average podcast download number per week.