How to Start a Podcast

10 Steps to Start a Successful Podcast

09.10.18 | Podcasting | By: Jacob Bozarth


how to start a podcastStarting a podcast can be a great way to gain a following and share your expertise in a certain field. Not only does a podcast help you establish yourself as an expert, it can also be a great marketing tool to help grow your business or organization. But even if you have great things to say, you might not know how to start a podcast or understand everything that is involved with actually launching your podcast to make it available for others to hear on iTunes.That’s why we’ve created this simple overview of what you need to start a podcast.

How to Start a Podcast | 10 Steps

  1. Selecting Your Equipment to Start a Podcast

  2. Planning Your Podcast

  3. Creating Cover Art & Intro Music

  4. Recording Your Podcast Audio

  5. Podcast Editing & Making it Ready for iTunes

  6. Transcription & Podcast Show Notes

  7. Setting Up Your Podcast Hosting Platform

  8. Creating a Website for Your Podcast

  9. Publishing Your Podcast to iTunes

  10. Marketing Your Podcast

1. How to Start a Podcast – Equipment

Podcast recording equipment can be a little daunting, especially if you are just beginning and have little to no experience recording a podcast. A lot of necessary thought goes into knowing how to start a podcast, choosing the right equipment, the necessary post production work, and not to mention what you have to do to gain an audience who will actually listen to what you have to say!

Podcast Equipment Details:

2. How to Start a Podcast – Planning

It goes without saying that if you are going to start a podcast, a great place to start is with a topic that you have some experience in and are passionate about. However, there might be one exception to this, and that is if you are a great host and are comfortable interviewing people. People love a great interview, because the people you bring on your show will be the best and most experienced in their topic or field. In this post we will dive into a few steps that may be helpful when it comes to planning your podcast, picking a topic, and outlining your show.

  1. Step one for planning your podcast is to pick a topic or area of interest in which you have experience.
  2. Step two is figuring out what you want the overarching focus of your first season to be.  As your podcast grows, it may take on a personality of its own that is somewhat different than you planned, and that’s ok; just embrace it and ride the wave of momentum. Having a focused theme for each season may help you as you plan your shows, but it is a good idea to hold your plan loosely realizing these themes may change.
  3. Last, we recommend that you take time to prepare each episode by writing out a basic outline for your show. If your podcast format is an interview format, planning may look like writing down 5-10 questions that you hope to cover.

3. How to Start a Podcast – Art & Music

Tips for great cover art:
  1. Keep it simple: Your artwork should contain the name of your show and any relevant images or logos. Avoid the temptation to add extra words or flashy images that may not be needed.
  2. Keep it relevant: Your artwork should reflect the theme or ethos of your show. Use contrasting colors that will help your show stick out and that reflect the emotion you hope your show will communicate.
  3. Make it big: Be creative to make the title text fit but make it as large as possible. This American Life is an example of creatively making the title fit on their cover. Many of your potential listeners will be viewing your cover art on the small screen of their mobile device in iTunes, so you want your artwork to be legible and stand out at this small size.
Tips for great intro music:
  1. Use relevant music: Use music that fits your theme and communicates the feel you want your podcast to have.
  2. Make it clear: Include the podcast name, name of host(s), sponsors, episode number and title, guest name(s), and any other relevant info for each episode.
  3. Set the tone: Include the theme or tagline of the podcast, and give a short summary and purpose for the show. Use this as an opportunity to hook listeners and draw them in.
  4. Make it professional: You want your intro to  grab the attention of listeners and set the tone for your podcast. Go the extra mile to make it sound great so you don’t lose listeners because your intro sucks.

4. How to Start a Podcast – Recording

Now that you have the needed equipment to start a podcast it is time to put that equipment to use. But before you do it is important to keep a few things in mind…

Recording Tip 1 – Environment: 

Pick a room that has natural sound absorbing materials – Walk in closets are great because they usually have tons of clothes hanging that will naturally dampen sound. The key to finding a good room to record in is one that is “dead” with little room noise. To determine how much room noise your room has, simply clap or snap your fingers and listen for an echo or slapback sound. If you do not hear an echo or slapback, then it might work well. Other great natural sound absorbing materials that may help your room are couches, beds, carpet, rugs, chairs, etc. You can also buy basic studio foam to help dampen a room. Another affordable option is egg crate foam that you can buy at a craft store.

Find a quiet location – You may be surprised at all the sounds you will hear and pick up when you are trying to record, especially what you can hear while monitoring through headphones. For this reason you will want to pick a location that has few natural sounds such as HVAC’s, fans, computers, etc. Be aware that some lights actually put off sounds that can be picked up by your microphones. If possible turn off the A/C, heater, and any other natural sound making devices while you are recording.

Recording Tip 2 – Podcast Microphone Technique: 

Distance – Most microphones will have what we call a “sweet spot.” This is the distance at which your voice will sound the best on that particular microphone. This will vary from mic to mic and also may vary depending on the type of microphone you use. When recording narration, the distance from your microphone is everything. A good rule of thumb is to stay about 4-6 inches from your microphone. If you have a guest that struggles to maintain a consistent distance from their mic, one way to help them is to put the pop filter at the exact distance you want them to be. We recommend that you do some test recordings and experiment with different distances from your mic in order to find this sweet spot.

Positioning – Getting your mic in the correct position is key. Depending on the type of microphone you are using, the difference between 1-2 inches can make all the difference between clear, warm, and articulate narration and hollow, muddy, or unintelligible narration. Once your have your mic at the correct distance you want to ensure that the front of the microphone capsule points directly towards the source (aka: your mouth). One of the most common issues when recording narration is controlling the plosives and p-pops. This is caused by a burst of air coming from the mouth hitting the mic diaphragm. One way to help fix this problem is to adjust the mic off center from your mouth and then angle the mic at a 45 degree angle so the front of the microphone is still pointing directly towards your mouth.

Accessories – In addition to your microphone, we recommend a few accessories that will help prevent common problems when recording. Another simple way to fix p-pops and plosives is to use a pop filter. A pop filter is an affordable tool that goes between your mouth and your mic that stop bursts of air that may cause a pop sound in your recording. Your microphone is sensitive and can pick up sounds from anything it touches. If you are holding or touching the mic this can include handling noises; if your mic is on a surface, such as a table or desk, any movements from the surface can cause, thuds, bumps, and other low frequency sounds. For this reason, we highly recommend using a mic stand or broadcast arm to help prevent these unwanted sounds in your recording. A stand and boom arm will help get your mic out of they way and enable you to correctly position your mic while also preventing handling noises. The last accessory that also aids to the this problem is a shock mount. While the mic stand or boom arm will prevent many handling noises your mic picks up, there is a chance you could still bump or move the stand/boom arm, and your mic will pick up these sounds. A shock mount holds your mic on the stand and suspends it by mini bungee like cords that will help prevent the mic from moving if the stand or arm is bumped or move. This will further lessen the unwanted sounds that the mic may pick up.

Recording Tip 3 – Recording Levels: 

Gain – Whether you are using an outboard mic preamp, an interface, a handheld recorder, or a usb mic there should be an adjustable gain setting. (If you need help finding this adjustable gain setting on your device, please contact us.) So now that you have found your adjustable gain setting, what is that magic level you should record your narration? A good rule of thumb is to have your mic peak around -10 to -12 dB. This means at the loudest part of your recording the level should go no higher than -10dB. Most recording devices have these numbers listed on a visual meter. However, if your device does not have these numbers listed, try to stay in the green or about halfway up your meter. If you cannot find a visual meter on your device, well this leads us to our next point…

Monitor –  It is important that you have a way to monitor and listen to what you are actually recording. Even if your device has an excellent visual meter to check your recording level, we recommend you be a skeptic and never trust your eyes. In our world you must learn to only trust your ears. For this reason we recommend someone always monitor your recording with high quality, closed back headphones when recording. Monitoring your audio in real time will enable you to quickly recognize and address any issues with your recording. It is not sufficient to use earbuds or other cheap headphones. With these, you may not be able to hear and quickly identify issues with your recording.

5. How to Start a Podcast – Editing

Podcast Editing Tip 1: Watch your tone!

One of the biggest editing mistakes is when there is a sudden shift in tone of the voice. Editing together two different segments of audio or merging different sentences together can be tricky. Not only can there be a change in the tone of the voice, but also a change in volume and a change in background noise or room tone. Another thing to listen for is room reverberation and echo. Sudden cuts at the end of phrases can prevent the natural room reverberation, so it’s best to listen for the end of the room decay before making an edit or cut.

Podcast Editing Tip 2: Spatial Awareness

Pacing and space are crucial for the overall feel of a podcast. Too much space can sound awkward and unnatural, which can easily disengage the listener. Too little space can make the dialogue sound too choppy and confusing to follow. Finding a natural flow and feel to the conversation is extremely important in creating a well-edited podcast. Space can be utilized to create a pause between different segments to help the listener digest what they just heard. Adding space or a breath between edit points can be beneficial to making a smoother edit and transition.

Podcast Editing Tip 3: Just Breathe

Another common mistake is cutting off breaths too abruptly or missing breaths altogether when making an edit. Cut off breaths occur when a breath is chopped off or incomplete. Missing breaths occur when a breath is edited out due to two different segments being put together. Double breaths can also be a problem when editing. This happens when there are two breaths back to back. All of these errors cause the dialogue to sound unnatural and choppy. When looking at audio waveforms, breaths can be difficult to spot because they are so much lower in volume compared to other parts of dialogue. To make it easier to spot breaths we recommend increasing the size of the waveforms in your DAW.

Podcast Editing Tip 4: Mind your F’s and H’s

In addition to clipped breaths, cutting off consonants can be an audio editing mistake. Common consonants include ‘S’ ‘F’ and ‘H.’ ‘S’ consonants on a waveform can be easy to spot because they look like little footballs. However, the consonants ‘F’ and ‘H’ can be more difficult to see and are often more subtle. When editing different takes together, a consonant can be a great place to make your edit because there is typically minimal tonal differences between consonants.

Podcast Editing Tip 5: Music to one’s ears

Even though dialogue makes up over 90% of podcast content, it is also important to pay attention to editing music. Music in podcasts typically serves as an intro/outro and as a transitional element within podcasts to give the listeners a break. However, bad music edits can be very noticeable and distracting. One of the most common mistakes in music editing is when the tempo and flow of the music fluctuates due to a bad edit. This can be avoided by finding a good loop point in the music where the elements are fairly static and lining up two transient points in the waveform. The best transient points to use in music are often percussive elements such as kick drum and snare. Be careful not to cut other musical phrases short like guitar parts, piano, synth, vocals, etc. Long fades can also be useful for music transitions to give the listener a heads up as to what is about to come.

Podcast Editing Tip 6: Try Various Editing Modes

There are different editing modes within certain audio editing platforms that can be useful to help you save time. In Pro Tools, the shuffle mode can be used to quickly splice and move two different edit points together. Additionally, the spot mode can be used to move an audio region to a specific timestamp within the timeline. Take some time to learn and try out the various editing modes assigned to your platform. It will boost your editing productivity.

Podcast Editing Tip 7: Copy/Paste Quality Consonants and Breaths

Sometimes there are certain consonants and breaths that are problematic or don’t sound good. For example, a plosive (‘P’ sound) is typically caused by the host being too close to the microphone and by moving too much air through the diaphragm of the microphone. An effective fix to this problem is to copy and paste another ‘P’ sound that isn’t popped and  sounds more natural over the problematic area. This is very tedious, but it makes a huge difference in the overall quality of the finished product.

Podcast Editing Tip 8: Remove Lip Smacks/Clicks

Do you ever get annoyed by hearing a continuous barrage of lip smacks? We sure do, and nothing can be more annoying than hearing a lip smack every other sentence. Editing out lip smacks and mouth clicks will make your podcast a more pleasant listen. Your audience will thank you!

Podcast Editing Tip 9: Group Your Tracks

If you have more than one dialogue track to edit, grouping tracks together, or multi-track editing, can save you time and help keep your session organized. This also keeps the tracks in phase and in line with each other.

Podcast Editing Tip 10: Use Headphones

One of the most useful tips when editing is to use good quality headphones. Over the ear, closed headphones work great to help isolate you from your editing environment. Listening on headphones will help you hear all of the details and nuances of the voice much better than listening on computer speakers or even on higher quality near-field monitors. This makes hearing subtle details such as breaths much easier.

Podcast Editing Tip 11: Listen Back to Your Edit

This may seem like a no-brainer, but you need to listen back to your edit. Don’t exchange speed for quality. It may take some more time to go back and listen, but it will potentially help you catch even more editing mistakes. Listen without looking at your screen, and see if you can detect any of the common mistakes listed in this blog. Remember, the best edit is the one that is unnoticeable. If you can’t hear it, then you know it won’t be distracting for the listener.

6. How to Start a Podcast – Transcription & Show Notes

4 Ways Podcast Transcriptions Add Value to Your Show
  1. Stand apart from the rest – As mentioned, we know your goal is (or should be) to try & find ways to stand apart from the rest. You should be looking for ways to add value to your listener in ways that other podcast are not. One way of doing that is providing for them an accurate word-for-word recording of your dialogue. How is this helpful? Well, while many people love the fact that podcasts are a strictly audibly consumed media, some people are just readers plain & simple. By limiting yourself to one medium, you are in some sense, limiting your audience to only those who consume that type of content. Now the reality is you are podcasting so that those who listen to podcasts will hear your message. Fair enough. But if you provide a companion resource in an alternate form, you have just broadened your market to those who may not gravitate towards just listening to your podcast. What better way of developing a more loyal following then telling people that you offer what they are interested in? Also, consider the fact that you become more quotable when your content is in written form. People are so often inspired by what they read & then feel motivated to share that message or thought with others on a compatible platform. Been on FaceBook recently? When you make yourself more easily quotable you allow your message to be heard & seen by more people & you increase your reputation & respectability. By simply offering a podcast transcription you can reach more people & strengthen your message.
  2. Refine your skills – While I know the main driving factor behind even considering podcast transcription is primarily the benefit to others or reaching others with valued content, there are some major benefits to you as well. One such benefit is that it can help you refine your skills as a podcaster. How so? Well, with transcription, you are given a snapshot of the conversation with your guest or interviewee. When you are enabled to go back to the transcription of the conversation, you are now faced with either the ringing praise or grim reality of how well you interact with others. Podcast transcription will allow you to see if you play well with others by encouraging good, healthy conversations that are impactful & build to a crescendo, or whether you dominate the conversation with an agenda that keeps others from openly communicating. It also forces you to evaluate how effective you are in your communication. Just because you say a lot of words doesn’t mean you have a lot to offer in those words. And nothing is more terrifying than seeing the same word repeated every. other. sentence. But these are realities we have the opportunity to address. It might seem like a punch in the gut to have to face these issues, but in the end it can force you to come to terms with your weaknesses & make you better at your craft.
  3. Allow you to repurpose your content – Another reality of why transcription is beneficial is that it allows you to efficiently repurpose your content in other formats, over & over again. Now this can be a mutual benefit to both you & your listener. Now I get it-you think your audience is being very gracious with you by putting up with your voice an hour a week to begin with. But let’s face it. The name of the game these days when it comes to not only gaining, but also maintaining an audience is m-a-r-k-e-t-i-n-g. You have to find really great ways to market your podcast & your content for others to be able to fall in love with it. If you aren’t flooding your audience with consistent exposure to your brand, you aren’t getting your message through as effectively as you could. And one great way of improving this process is increasing the number of ways & times your content is getting in front of them. Through transcription you can turn your humble little podcast recording into Show Notes, a blog post, social media posts, an email or newsletter blasts & countless other things to help reinforce your brand & your name to your current listeners. And when the content is specific to what you’re already providing the world, it makes things simplified, easy & effortless.
  4. Improve SEO – Another invaluable reason to consider podcast transcription, especially if you use any video content with your podcast, is how it improves your SEO. Much like podcasts, this buzzword has gained tremendous popularity recently, for good reason. If you’re new to the SEO game, SEO simply stands for Search Engine Optimization. Simply put, it is the methodology of getting your content (or your brand) recognized through a search engine (think Google) before the next guy. If you’re feeling rusty (or downright lost), some simple research can help you cover the basics to get things going. But have you ever Googled something & wondered “Why’d that link pop up first?”…that’s SEO. The reality is that the better equipped you are in improved SEO, the greater the chances & higher the rate your content will be seen, clicked & reviewed. And that is what everyoneis looking for.  SEO is so important that entire agencies are created to help their clients focus on SEO generation improvement. It is so critical to business success in our modern day, that no viable company can be sustainable without putting a lot of time & effort into refining it. The truth is, it’s not always who has the best content, but who has the most relevant SEO optimization that gains the greatest popularity. One way SEO is rated is the length of time someone stays on your site or your link. The longer the stay, the more engaging the material (so it’s believed), the more valuable it is & the higher it rates. By offering transcripts for your podcast on your site or landing page, the greater the chance someone will stick around on your page just a little bit longer to learn more about your podcast & improve your overall SEO.
How Show Notes Help You Grow Your Podcast:
  1. Engaging Your Listener: Show notes force your listener to do more than just listen to your voice. They force them to become a part of the interaction by clicking links, learning more & leaving comments with their thoughts. It’s your opportunity to give a call to action for them to support you, your guest & engage on the things you’re discussing. It’s a simple yet startling reality that the more you engage your listener, the more they will come back to you. Show notes are your chance to gain followers for the long-haul.
  2. They’re a Differentiator: It’s no doubt that more & more podcasters are offering them, but they are offering them because they see the value. The are a differentiator. Yes, they differentiate you from those not offering them, but it’s more than that. They differentiate you from the rest who are offering them as well. Even if other podcasts in your same genre offer them, yours will be unique because your conversations will be different. They are a tailored encapsulation of you & your brand for your listeners to consume. Your guests are your own & your topics are your own. Use your show notes as a way to make yourself different from the rest of podcastdom & have people be drawn to what makes you unique from the rest.
  3. Boost your Credibility: Think about it. When you read something from a company or a person that references a link from or for another person, place or thing, it adds instant credibility. It shows thoughtfulness & shows you are a bona fide professional (at least in some way) who is not just thinking about yourself, but that you see yourself as a part of a bigger picture, a broader scope. By offering show notes you’re telling your listener that sure, you care about your podcast, but you also care about them & you’re looking for ways to be of value to them. When you communicate that to your listeners, they will thank you by coming back again & again while telling others about you.
  4. Cross-promotion Opportunity: This is a no-brainer. If you are cross-promoting your guests, their companies or causes, it will instantly give you leverage to invite other guests on to your podcast with more favorability. This is particularly true when you gain a large following. Promoting them in your show notes (as well as your other marketing channels) is a simple gesture that shows them you’re in it for them just as much as for you. Now sure, you want to have them on your podcast because it helps you. Sure, you want to be seen a legit podcast by your listener by offering them more content. But think of what a great asset it will be to your guest to have them know you are promoting them & helping your listeners know them more. The value of this cannot be undersold. Because so much of podcasting is done grass-roots style, this can be a real game-changer.
  5. SEO Goldmine: While all the other points we’ve mentioned are fine & dandy, this is where the greatest value is for you. In the magical world of technology, everything you put out into the tech world mystically finds its way onto Google & other such search-enginery. You don’t have to “register” your podcast with Google to have it be found in a search result. The real selling point for you is that by targeting SEO keywords in your show notes, you are helping yourself be found on the interwebs. The more relevant the information is you put in your show notes, the more it will result in higher numbers of people having the opportunity to stumble across your podcast when looking up those target words in a search engine. Now you will no doubt gain listeners through other means, but there is tremendous value in boosting your SEO search game through a simple thing like show notes.

Show notes are an incredibly simple way to step up your podcasting game & show your listeners you are thinking about ways to engage them with relevant content. Even better, they are something you can easily adapt to doing yourself with minimal effort. But we realize not everyone is able to take the time, or perhaps, muster up the desire, to handle these alone. Remember that the Resonate team can help. Let our creative team help you compile the show notes for your podcast as a stand-alone service or as an add-on to our other post-production services. We are helping podcasters just like you unlock more potential & gain more listeners through show note assembly for their podcast episodes. It’s an easy way to get the professional exposure for your brand & your podcast that you’re looking for.

7. How to Start a Podcast – Hosting

There a lot of options when looking for podcast hosting platforms. And there are an ever-growing number of hosting sites to choose from in 2018. There are a variety of options each host offers that can either simplify…or complicate the decision making process. There are variations based on the listener target demographic, features, pricing, ease of use, compatibility with landing page or website, networking options, monetization and variations on how to track your analytics. These are all important elements that people find real value in. So as you set out on the journey it’s important to get your bearings to know what you’re really in search of. What’s important to others might not be important to you. The challenge, especially for first-time podcasters, is knowing what is most important and understand what’s most valuable. Knowing the headache this has caused for our own podcasters I want to help by offering a brief overview for you in hopes of helping to bring some sort of clarity on this idea of podcast hosting platforms. Below are our top 3 podcast hosting platforms:

PodBean

Podcast Hosting Platform Podbean
Overview: PodBean is a household name in the podcast hosting world. However PodBean is unique because it is not only a hosting platform but it has also become a platform for the direct consumption of podcasts as well. Think of it like another podcast directory. While most hosting platforms are simply the home for the podcast which sends episodes to the directories, PodBeanoffers a place where their podcasts are featured, categorized and presented for direct consumption. This is a real advantage to the podcasts they host because they offer greater exposure in some regards than other traditional hosting platforms.

Features:

  • Website builder and full-featured podcast site
  • Reliable cloud hosting
  • Unlimited storage and bandwidth
  • iTunes and play store support
  • Search engine optimized
  • Your own domain and branding

Differentiators: While most podcasting hosts offer support around advertising and monetization, PodBean is quickly growing its influence through offering advertising, premium content and crowdfunding options for podcasters who are looking to grow their listenership in the future. They also see the growing value in video for podcasting and are gearing their offerings to support that medium as well.

Pricing: $3-$99/month (based on storage needs)

Learn more about PodBean: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NmybFhbM0k

Website: www.podbean.com

Libsyn

Podcast Hosting Platform Libsyn

Overview: Liberated Syndication, known as Libsyn, is the largest and oldest podcast hosting platform. It’s been around nearly as long as podcasts have been and they pioneered the concept of hosting and publishing podcasts. Yeah, really. It’s no surprise then that in many ways it’s seen as the godfather of hosting platforms. That being said, they are not always as user-friendly as many other platforms around and their setup process can be a little…clunky. But because of their notoriety and the respect many people give them as the leader in the industry, they are a real contender for the home for your podcast. They offer a variety of features for every level of podcaster, from initial publishing/hosting to analytics and advertisement opportunities. Most people are drawn to them because of they are the household name in podcast hosting with great customer support.

Features:

  • Unlimited Downloads
  • Media Hosting – audio and video
  • Your own webpage for your show
  • An Apple Podcasts and iTunes compatible RSS feed for your podcast
  • HTML5 video and audio player
  • Single click multiple destination publishing with OnPublish
  • Network App Listing

Differentiators: Unlike most hosting sites who can only broadcast your RSS feed to all of the directories, Libysn offers the ability for you to publish your content to specific directories which enables you to appeal to specific audiences. This allows you to be unique and offer something special or exclusive to certain target audiences of your listeners.

Pricing: $5-$75/month (based on storage needs); Use promo code “RECORD” when signing up at Libsyn and receive the rest of the current month and the entire next month for free*.

Learn more about Libsyn: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPpfk_PKCNw

Website: www.libsyn.com

Buzzsprout

Podcast Hosting Platforms
Overview:
 Buzzsprout, like many of the other platforms listed, is well-known and respected in the industry. What they offer is a solid and reputable hosting platform for podcasters that ensures their podcasts get where they need to go. All pay plans include, unlimited storage, 250GB bandwidth per month, the podcast migration tool, and no advertising. Also when you signup using this link, Buzzsprout will give you a $20 Amazon gift card.

Features: 

  • Unlimited Storage
  • 250GB Bandwidth Per Month
  • The Podcast Migration Tool
  • No Advertising

Pricing: Free-$24/month (based on length of uploaded audio and length of time hosted)

Differentiators: An easy to use platform with a free plan option and Add-On service of 128k Stereo Optimization

Website: www.buzzsprout.com

8. How to Start a Podcast – Website

While your hosting platform will be the home for your podcast audio, we also recommend that you have a website for your podcast. Having a website will allow you to drive web traffic to your show, a place to post show notes, transcription, and other resources. If you have a current website you can create a landing page on your current site or you can have our friends at PodcastGiant build your website from scratch! PodcastGiant offers fast and simple websites for your podcast at a very affordable price. The will provide you with a blazing fast website, nightly backups, beautiful themes that are SEO optimizes. Also if you decide to go with them they can handle your RSS feed and offer unlimited podcast hosting as well. Check them out here!

9. How to Start a Podcast – Publishing

Once you’ve recorded & the post-production process is completed, the finalized audio still has to reach the listeners. How this all works is pretty simple. Your podcast will have to have a hosting site set up. This is very simply where your episodes will be uploaded & “live”. While there are many, some common hosting platforms are LibsynAudioboom & Podbean. All have pros & cons that can be discussed elsewhere. Whatever you choose, once the hosting is setup, an RSS feed is created which is simply the method used to distribute your content to a large number of people. But to reach the people is an accessible & user-friendly way, this RSS feed needs to be told where to go. This is where directories like iTunesStitcherGoogePlayTuneIn, even Spotify, come into play. These are the places your listeners will go to hear to your content. But beyond explaining the basics, I want to help you understand that setting all of this up is a little more involved than just a click of a button. All of these directories have an approval process & they work independently of each other. While the information might be sent to each of them simultaneously, they may not all be approved at the same time. This is something you’ll need to understand if you’re thinking of that big, looming launch date. The date you keep telling everyone about & asking people to set their countdowns for. Since it’s not a process automated to happen at the drop of a hat, the reality is you may have to set up the directories before you intend to even launch to make sure your release date is actually realistic. Is there still some fogginess about this? Not a problem. Our team deals with this regularly. Let us know what we can answer for you to make sure you’re listeners can actually hear what you’re promoting when you say it’ll be available.

10. How to Start a Podcast – Marketing

Now that you know how to start a podcast you need listeners.

Tips to Grow Your Podcast Audience
  1. Use keywords in your title: This will help those searching for podcasts come across yours. As much as you want to be creative with your title, sometimes it’s best to keep it to the point. Think about what you would type into a google search if you were looking for a new podcast to listen to. An example of using keywords would be “The Cleaning of John Doe | True Crime.” You can also add keywords to the artist area. i.e. Vanessa Pearson: True Crime Podcaster.
  2. Don’t skimp on the written description of your show/episodes: You don’t have to give away any spoilers when writing your description, but including some “juicy” details will draw in listeners. You don’t want people to pass up on listening to your podcast because you left out important information. Remember content is key!
  3. Submit to every single podcatcher (directory) possible: The more places your show can be heard, the better. Google some well known podcasts and see which podcatchers they appear on, and be sure to submit to all the same places. You can also search “list of podcatchers” and you’ll find a number of them. Some examples are: castbox.fmtunein.com, and podchaser.com.
  4. Press releases: Look for opportunities on DiscoverPods.com or reddit.com. When you see blogs or articles listing “Best Crime Podcasts”, “Best Comedy Podcasts”, etc. be sure to comment and commend the author for making the list and mention yours to them. You should also write to the author asking how you can get added to the list or possibly mentioned the next time around. Even if they are unable to help you out this time, networking is never a bad thing so keep in touch with them if possible. If you do get added to one of their lists, be sure to promote them! They’re always looking for more followers, just like you.
  5. Be active on iTunes: Find podcasts similar to yours and post reviews. Your username should be the name of your podcast. This will help you gain a little more exposure to those reading reviews. Something to remember is to always be kind. If you have constructive criticism it’s best to send it in a private message.An extra iTunes tip: From launch date, you have 8 weeks of eligibility to be on the top 100 New and Noteworthy list.  Though no one really knows the exact secret to getting on this list, there are a few things that can help your chances. You can release a minimum of 3 episodes on launch day and spend your first week reaching out to your audience and ask them to download all three episodes and leave a rating and review.
  6. Interact on social media: TwitterFacebookInstagram, etc. are all incredible tools for picking up listeners. It’s super easy to stay in touch with your listeners through social media. Be grateful for all of the followers/listeners that you have. Don’t stress if your numbers aren’t where you want them to be. Enjoy the journey and watching your podcast grow.
  7. Don’t view other podcasters as competitors: It’s easy to fall into this but it’s important to separate yourself from it. View other podcasters as your equals or friends, not your competition. You all have something in common and similar goals. It’s important to lift each other up. If you show love, people will show you love back. As much as you want to promote your show, try recommending another podcast you enjoy or one similar to your own. You’d be surprised by how many people respect a selfless action from another podcaster. A great way to be helpful and supportive is by joining podcast groups on Facebook. It’s a good way to make friends, ask for advice and give advice as well. Some groups to join are “Podcasts We Listen to”, “Underdog Podcasts Community”, “Podcasters Support Group”, “Podcast Growth Mastermind”, etc.
  8. Make things fast and easy for others: Once you’ve joined some Facebook groups, ask the admin if you can introduce yourself and your show. If they allow it, put a link to your website or hosting site, as well as a link to iTunes. It’s important to make things as hassle free for your listeners as possible. Don’t make them search for you–give them a clickable link.
  9. Use hashtags: There are so many hashtags that you can use on social media that will get your page viewers, which may lead to your podcast getting listeners. Many podcasters use #FF which stands for “Follow Friday.” List other podcasts and use the hashtag. It will get retweeted and you’ll find yourself on tons of lists linked to the hashtag. Other common hashtags are #PodernFamily and #PodcastShuffle.
  10. Audio swaps and guest spots: This is one of the best things you can do to grow your show. Reach out to fellow podcasters to see if they are willing to do an audio swap or be a guest on your show. An audio swap is when a 30-60 clip of your show is featured on theirs and vice versa. If someone plays your clip or you do a guest spot on their show, advertise that episode for them (and for you).

And last but certainly not least, don’t forget the people who help you: Always show love to fellow podcasters, listeners, editors/producers, music creators, etc. Give credit where credit is due. While this list is by no means exhaustive, we hope you are able to find a few takeaways that will help you focus your time and attention surrounding successfully marketing your podcast. Vanessa’s success may not be your success but we strongly believe that by implementing some of these steps you too will be able to find some success in marketing your podcast.

As we mentioned, knowing how to start a podcast can be a daunting and overwhelming task. Thankfully there are many great resources out there for those just getting started. We hope that this guide gets you well on your way understanding the steps to starting a successful podcast. If you feel like you could use additional resources you can check out our resource page or email us at [email protected]


Related Resources:


podcastingBy: Jacob Bozarth

As President & Co-Founder of Resonate Recordings, Jacob leads the team & oversees all sales & marketing initiatives. Jacob can often be found recording, producing, & mixing many well-known podcasts when he is not spending time with his family in Louisville, KY.