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9 of the Best Tips for Starting a Podcast


If you’re planning on starting a podcast, now would be the best time to do so! With over 420 million monthly podcast listeners worldwide, this digital medium is becoming popular more than ever.

While it certainly sounds fun, starting your podcasting journey is more than just talking in front of a mic and recording the entire session. It takes some work and effort on your part to run a successful podcast, and we’re here to lay down the best podcasting tips on how to do so from the get-go!

How Do I Start Podcast Episodes With No Experience?

9 of the Best Tips for Starting a Podcast

To start a podcast with no experience may seem daunting and intimidating but we all have to start somewhere! The best way for you to overcome this self-doubt is through ample preparation.

Start by becoming an avid listener yourself. Immerse yourself in other podcasts and observe how they run their episodes. The more you familiarize yourself with the medium, the usual podcast format, how hosts keep podcast listeners engaged, and even when to release episodes, the more confident you will be to start a podcast.

After deep diving and listening to various podcasts, you can now get into the nitty-gritty of things. This brings us to the next section of this guide on how to start a podcast.

What Should I Do Before Starting a Podcast?

9 of the Best Tips for Starting a Podcast

Starting and maintaining a podcast show is a serious endeavor. While it is fun and profitable to start a podcast, running it requires a lot of time, effort, and work on your part. To make things easier and help you get started, here are 9 podcasting tips you should take note of.

Know Your Niche and Topic

Before you start a podcast, you should know why you want to start one, what you want to talk about, and who you want your podcast listeners to be.

Determining the motivation why you want to start a podcast will help you give the drive you need to run and maintain it. Do you want to start a podcast to make a profit or do you simply want to impart your thoughts and knowledge on certain topics?

Knowing what you want to achieve will be the push you need to stay consistent. Additionally, this will also affect the episode format of your podcast in case you would like to include any sponsors and ads for added monetization.

After listing down your goals and motivation, you can now choose a topic. This will become your overall podcast theme as your episodes will revolve around the chosen topic. We suggest you choose a topic that you are personally interested in and passionate about. That way, it will be easier for you to think of talk points and topics per episode. Choosing a topic you love will also come in handy when you plan on inviting podcast guests as it will be easier for you to build on the conversation and possibly veer away from the outline.

Once you’re set on a topic, you can choose who your target audience will be. Most likely, you will be able to attract listeners who are interested in the same topic. However, you can narrow down your target audience further to their demographics and psychographics. For you to be able to capture this audience, you will also have to think about your podcast brand and how you creatively package your episodes may it be from the podcast title, episode title, podcast music used, and podcast editing.

Create a Branding

With plenty of Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify Podcasts, and more available on various podcast hosting platforms, you will need to find a way to stand out. This is where branding comes in.

Having a catchy yet intriguing podcast name will help pique people’s interest. The podcast name alone should let people know what the central theme and list of topics they can expect should they listen to your podcast. Since you will start a new podcast, make sure that your name is unique and that no other existing podcasts are using it.

To complement the name is an eye-catching podcast cover art. The cover art of your podcast must stand out from all the other podcast artwork shown in the browse section of podcast platforms. The color palette, images, and font you use will also give listeners a hint at the tone and target audience of your podcast.

Prepare Your Podcast Episodes

One of the most crucial podcast tips you need to remember is preparing your episodes. That means selecting a format and structure and writing down an outline for multiple attacks in the future.

Some formats you can explore are the following:

  • Solo-host monologue: Each podcast recording will only have one host to run and present the entire episode.
  • Co-hosted show: A podcast recording will have two hosts run the show and converse with one another.
  • Interviews: The host or hosts will have a guest for each show to converse with them and discuss the episode’s topic. This is a great format to encourage new listeners to check out your podcast as they might be fans of the guest. It’s also one sure way to make an impact starting from the first episode as you can invite a popular guest to open the show.
  • Reporting: The host or hosts will cover, report, and possibly analyze information and facts about a certain news topic.
  • Story-telling scripted narratives: The host or hosts can tell or act out a story. New episodes can be a continuation of the previous one.
  • Documentaries: The host or hosts will discuss a certain topic in-depth. This type of episode can be a mixture of various formats where guests can be invited, a reporting of information and facts, and more.

As for the structure, one of the most common podcast tips you might hear is finding the sweet spot about the length of each episode. The majority of podcasts fall under the 30-45 minutes bracket but it’s also good to keep your episodes shorter to keep old and new listeners engaged. Whether you are gunning for a 15-30-minute or 30-45-minute podcast, make sure that new episodes follow the format of your first episode for uniformity.

Speaking of uniformity, it’s also a good idea to plan out your episode layout. Decide if you want to start each episode with a hook, intro music, or a brief podcast description. Whatever you decide on doing, make sure to make it catchy so first-time listeners will be attracted to finish an episode. The middle of your recording must cover the main content of your episode or show. You may end with a conclusion and an outro.

Follow the same format each time so listeners who decide to binge your podcast can be signaled when a new episode is already playing. Do also make sure that if you plan on using music, only use royalty-free music or music you paid the license for to play to avoid any copyright strikes.

Set Up Your Equipment

No podcast host would want the audio quality of their podcasts to sound bad. After all, podcasts are audio-heavy so you would need to be audible. Failing in this department will cost you potential listeners because no audience could sit through an entire episode where they can only hear background noise and muffles. While this can be sorted out during podcast editing, you can prevent this entirely by using the right podcasting equipment.

The most basic yet important podcast equipment you will need is a good podcast mic. This is perhaps a podcast FAQ that most podcasters would get as a microphone will make or break the recording quality of an episode. There are plenty of great podcast microphones out there but these are the three main factors you should look for when choosing podcast microphones to use:

  1. Ideally, you want to use a microphone with a cardioid polar pattern. Cardioid mics can pick up sound from the front while rejecting background noise. This allows the podcast host or person talking in front of the mic to be audible.
  2. The common dilemma when choosing a podcast microphone is whether to use a condenser or dynamic mic. Both can record audio superbly for podcasters but the audio quality will differ depending on the setup. Although condenser microphones can give you a crisp audio quality, they are more sensitive. Dynamic microphones are a safe choice to use if you plan on recording your podcast in a studio, however, there is a risk of capturing some soft background noise.
  3. Choose a microphone or external audio recording device with the easiest and most convenient connection type and audio input for you. For beginners, USB microphones would be an ideal choice since the setup is easier. However, most podcasters who are serious about their craft tend to use XLR microphones because they produce a more professional sound quality. If you want the best of both worlds, microphones such as the Maono Podcast Dynamic Microphone PD200X can function as both a USB mic and an XLR mic. You can also read up on our article on USB mics vs. XLR mics to help you determine which one is best for you.

Should you plan on taking your podcast on the road, then you will also need to invest in a powerful portable podcasting setup. For this, you can use your smartphone, laptop, or a podcasting console setup. You have to make sure that you have a stable internet connection if you plan on doing a live stream setup or when you are uploading your recordings to the podcast hosting provider of your choice.

Record Your Podcast Episodes

After outlining your episodes and setting up your equipment, you can now start recording your podcast.

Get the best recording quality possible by making sure your location or studio is optimized for the session. Ensure that no other sounds aside from what you intend to be heard by your listeners will be picked up. If you plan on also using a camera, then make sure that the framing is right.

You can also opt to do a mass recording so you can have a bank of episodes and audio files that are ready to be edited and uploaded to the podcast website and podcast directory. You can schedule out which days and times are best for you to upload.

Install Editing Software

While using free audio editing software can help you get started with your podcast recording, using dedicated podcast editing software will make audio editing easier.

The Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) along with your audio interface are tools you will need for your chosen software. Together, the DAW and audio interface will help optimize the sound quality of your podcast while the editing software will cut, splice, and remove background noise for you.

Some podcast software you can check out and try are GarageBand, which is an ideal choice for Apple Podcasts, Adobe Audition, and Audacity. Remote recording software is also a popular choice among podcasters because of the remote recording tools it offers. Such recording software will allow you to record remote interviews and guests in different locations. Riverside is a popular podcast software for editing that you can take a look at.

Choose a Hosting Platform to Store Your Audio Files

To safely keep all your recordings (unpublished and published), it’s recommended that you choose a podcast hosting platform that will have enough storage to store more than one audio file. A good podcast hosting service should also offer you extra tools such as analytics and monetization features so you can learn how to further maximize and improve your episodes.

Here are some popular hosting platforms you can take a look at:

  • Buzzsprout
  • Anchor
  • Spreaker
  • Libsyn
  • Podbean

Make sure that the hosting platform you choose is compatible with the podcast directories you would like to use.

Publish Your Podcast Episode

When uploading your podcast episode, make sure to write an excellent podcast description. This description along with your cover art will be the first visual attractions that listeners will see and can help them decide if your podcast is worth listening to. Insert relevant keywords to help with your SEO and discoverability and use an attention-grabbing podcast artwork to help you stand out.

After settling on the description and cover, you can now upload and distribute your podcast. It’s ideal to be present in all major podcast directories such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts. Other directories you can try are TuneIn, Amazon Music and Audible, and YouTube (although this isn’t an official podcast app, there are a lot of podcasters who use this platform).

While these directories may have a different system on how to publish your podcast, the general steps are the following:

  1. Upload your episode to the podcast hosting service.
  2. Create an RSS feed. For added information, the RSS feed stands for Really Simple Syndication.
  3. Submit the RSS feed to your chosen podcast platform and directory.
  4. Once approved, your episode will be uploaded to the hosting site and published on the directories.

Promote Your Podcast

Once your podcast is uploaded and published, it’s time for you to promote it! You need to let people know that it’s out there so you can get listeners and possibly monetize.

Work on your socials, create a website, and more. You can choose to run ads, invest in SEO, and do cross-promotion executions with other platforms, websites, and brands.

What to Avoid When Starting a Podcast

9 of the Best Tips for Starting a Podcast

After all the hard work and effort you put into your podcast, you would want to avoid some common mistakes that may put a damper on your possible success. Below are the beginner mistakes every podcaster should avoid:

  1. Solely focusing on the best equipment when you should give equal importance to all factors and elements.
  2. Starting a podcast without defining your branding, audience, and theme.
  3. Obsessing over the statistics. Remember to have fun and go back to the purpose of why you started this in the first place. The numbers will follow, just keep working on your craft and stay consistent.
  4. Starting your podcast without banked episodes. Give yourself a headstart by pre-uploading and scheduling episodes so you have time to breathe.
  5. Poor editing and sound recording. No listener would like to sit down for 30 minutes listening to an unprofessional edit.
  6. Talking down to your audience.

What Makes a Good First Podcast Episode?

9 of the Best Tips for Starting a Podcast

Your first episode is an introduction of yourself, the podcast, and what listeners can expect if they decide to be fans of the whole show. With that said, it’s good to have the following on your first podcast episode:

  1. Addressing your audience so you can clearly define who this podcast is meant for.
  2. An introduction of the main host or hosts. Include your name, what you do, what makes you an expert or qualified to be discussing certain topics, and more. Allow listeners to get to you know.
  3. Share why you decided to start the podcast. This will allow listeners to connect with you.
  4. Give the audience a heads-up on the release schedule of your podcast episodes so they can have something to look forward to.
  5. Give a snippet of what’s to come before saying a warm goodbye.

It’s also good to keep it short and sweet. You can follow it up with another episode released on the same day. The second episode can follow your “real” format where the middle part is a chunk of the topic.

Final Note

Starting and running a podcast requires time and effort. A lot of planning, investment, editing, and marketing are needed but everything is sure to be worth it. Just remember to have fun and go back to why you started in the first place!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you start a podcast on Apple Podcasts?

iTunes has made it easy for podcasters to upload their episodes on their platform. You will simply need to do the following to get your episodes up on Apple Podcasts:

  1. Create an Apple ID account.
  2. Upload your recording to your chosen host.
  3. Log in to Apple Podcasts Connect.
  4. Add a new show using the RSS feed.
  5. Copy and paste the RSS feed from your podcast host.
  6. Upload an artist and verify your show’s details.
  7. Wait for Apple to verify and validate your show.
Naomi Feller

Originally from the East Coast, Naomi started singing as young as 3 years old. In her early teens Naomi made some embarrassing YouTube videos before settling on a love for Podcast editing. When she's not pouring over endless amounts of audio, she lends her expertise to us here at Shout4Music with her crystal clear and finely tuned microphone reviews.

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