How to start a podcast in 7 steps

Podcasting is a powerful medium to reach the right audience and can get press attention too for your topic or brand.

It can travel with you throughout your day, there’s no camera involved (which allows people to open up), and the path to producing a story that feels urgent is much easier than say, making a documentary. Lastly, the intimacy of audio allows the listener to immersive themselves in someone else’s world.

If you’ve been bitten by the podcast bug, you know this wholeheartedly. But it can be daunting to get started. Don’t worry, we have some ideas so here’s our dvice on how to start a podcast.

1. Know that your voice matters.

Nowadays it seems like everyone has a podcast and that’s not a bad thing.

“Everyone says there’s too many podcasts, but there are not too many podcasts. There’s no such thing as too much content,”. “Your weird quirky thing is probably someone else’s weird, quirky thing. So if you’re passionate about it, go do it.”

2. You don’t actually need much to get started

It can be intimidating if you’ve seen veteran podcasters recording in a state-of-the-art studio, but these days you don’t need fancy equipment to make a professional-sounding podcast. “There’s products out there like SoundCloud and Zencastr that are really easy and accessible,”. “And you can do right from your laptop and talk to someone who’s across the globe without tons of expensive equipment just to get a proof of concept going.”

“There’s just lots of ways you can get into the game pretty quickly.”

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Once you get your podcast off the ground, you can think about investing in nice equipment. If it’s a simple talk show format you might not ever need more than a computer and editing software. “There’s just lots of ways you can get into the game pretty quickly.”

3. Keep the scope manageable.

Don’t mistake getting into the game quickly for overcommitting to a new project that hasn’t been tested yet. “I always tell people to try it first and see if it has legs for a weekly podcast.”. Just make six episodes and see how it goes. You might find that a weekly pace is too demanding, or get to episode five and realize you have nothing left to talk about.

“If you get to episode five, and you’re like, ‘Man, I could talk about this for the rest of my life,’ great, do it,”. “But set yourself up for success and not ‘I am going to do this podcast for the rest of eternity,’ because you don’t know what it’s gonna feel like.”

4. Monetize from the beginning.

So you survived making six episodes and you want to keep going. That’s only half the battle, because now you have to get your podcast out there. “See if you can partner with someone who’s interested in the same message that you are and see if you can offset the costs of the equipment and distributing it in some way,”.

“It may not be a big moneymaker from the start, but thinking about how you might monetize it, or at least offset costs early can help it feel more sustainable over time.”

5. Invest in marketing.

In order to monetize, you need to market your podcast, but in order to market your podcast, you need money. Basically monetization and marketing need simultaneous attention, so it’s a bit of a chicken-or-the-egg situation. But instead of marketing/monetization as competing factors, think about them as part of the bigger objective which is getting people to listen to your podcast.

“We really think about the entire experience that someone might have discovering the show,”. “We think about the art, does it make sense? Does the title make sense? Is it going to tell people what the show is about? When they click the art? Does the description make sense? Does it pull them in? What problems is it solving for people? Or what interest is it piquing for people?”

“We really think about the entire experience that someone might have discovering the show.”

Other aspects to think about are episode descriptions for SEO and how to categorize the podcast for discovery. If you have a comedy podcast, the comedy category is notoriously competitive, so maybe put it in arts where it can be found more easily.

6. Think strategically about promotion timing.

Once you’ve established a rock-solid brand identity you can promote your show through channels that align with your interests. Take advantage of promo tools on platforms like Apple and Spotify that are “wonderful and are really looking for interesting, diverse content.”

We recommend thinking about thematic times of the year. “If you have a Filipino food podcast, for example, Asian American History Month is a great time to try to get some promotion,”. “That’s in May, so you want to start in March or February to get some interest in your show.”

“Someone who already listens to podcasts is the most likely person to go and listen to a new podcast.”

Another way to promote your show is through cross promotion with similar podcasts. It could be anything from a casual shout-out to an ad-swap, which is a more formal agreement to play each other’s trailer or excerpt.

Cross promotion is super effective and is something that we still use today, because “audio converts to audio,”. Someone who already listens to podcasts is the most likely person to go and listen to a new podcast.”

7. Find your people.

The beauty of podcasts is that there are always going to be people who connect with your weird idea and those are the ones that you need to seek out. “Find your people, think about your your core listener and go out from there. And just don’t be discouraged. It’s a really nice medium, and it’s it’s very forgiving.”

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Cliff Morton


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