the complete Guide for creating podcast for beginners
What does podcasting mean to you as a business owner? Or as a content creator? And why should you put some serious thought into start creating your own podcast?
Both podcasting and blogging have been around for ages. However, in recent times, the number of people consuming podcasts have grown in leaps and bounds. And there’s a good reason for this growth.
Podcast launches happen all the time. Some manage to ‘wow’ their audiences from the get-go, while most end up not getting any attention at all (apart from family and friends).
So, how exactly do you launch a successful podcast? That’s what you’re going to learn in this complete guide - Creating Podcast For Beginners.
Before we get started, here's the reasons why you should start a podcast:
- It builds trust faster
- Promote yourself
- People can gauge your personality
- You can easily repurpose your podcast content
- It’s easier to consume
- It’s relatively easier to create and market
- You can grow your network faster
- Become a thought leader in your industry
- Low entry barrier
- Get sponsorship
1. PICK THE RIGHT NICHE
Some people may say niche selection isn’t important, it’s your podcast and you’re free to talk about anything you like. However, if you want your podcast to be successful, and you want the right people tuning in, then you need to settle on a niche.
People trust experts. If your podcast deals with everything under the sun, you’re not really positioning yourself as an expert, you’re just another jack-of-all-trades.
So, if you want to make the most of your podcast, then you better pick a niche you’re an ‘expert’ in or at least something you’re deeply interested in!
Here’s a technique you can use to figure out the right niche for your podcast.
Step 1: Write down your interests and passions
What are you passionate about? What topics interest you the most? What industry are you most knowledgeable about?
Come up with a list of 5-10 potential niches. This step is extremely important because if you choose the wrong niche, then sooner or later, you’re going to lose interest in continuing your podcast. You’d run out of ideas to keep your show going.
Your disinterest and lack of passion are going to be evident in your show. People are astute listeners – most of us can tell when someone’s passionate about a topic or not. So, if you want your podcast to succeed, then you need to get this step right.
Step 2: What problems can you solve?
Write down the problems you can solve in each of the potential niches you’ve identified in Step 1. You can come up with possible problems off the top of your head (should be easy if you know the topic).
But if you need more ideas, then there are tons of resources you can check online.
You can go on Quora or Yahoo Answers and check out what kind of questions people are asking in your potential niches. Visit forums and social media groups as well. These places provide lots of free information for anyone willing to look!
You can even use Google Suggest and other keyword tools to determine if people are searching for solutions to specific problems.
Step 3: Figure out your competition
Whatever niche you decide on, you’ll most likely have some competition. Now, there’s no need to be afraid if you want to go after ‘saturated’ or high competition niches.
Figure out what everyone else is doing and see if you can come up with your own angle! That ‘angle’ will be your edge, it will help you stand out from the crowd.
Check your competitor’s podcast. How many followers do they have? What topics are they covering? Do you think you can one-up them and do a much better job?
Step 4: Choose the right niche
Some people may say Step 4 should be devoted to checking if a niche is profitable. However, in most cases, this is unnecessary. Because with podcasting, there are many different ways you can monetize your podcast.
We’ve covered monetization in another article, but for now, you should know that selecting your niche and growing your audience are two of the most important things you should work on first.
In short, monetization is something you shouldn’t worry about when you’re just starting a podcast.
With that said, the information you collected in Steps 1-3 should now give you an idea of your perfect niche. You probably have your gut telling you which niche is right for you.
Whatever it is, the important thing to note is that you MUST enjoy talking about your topic. Otherwise, you run the risk of losing your motivation to continue with your podcast a few weeks or months from now.
Take the time to figure out the right niche for your podcast, and you’ll be increasing your chances of success later on.
2. HOW MUCH DO YOU NEED TO START YOUR OWN PODCAST?
If you think you need to come up with hundreds or thousands of dollars to get started with your very own podcast, then you have another think coming.
You may be surprised to find out you only need a small investment to set up your own show! Here are some of the most essential things/resources you need to get started:
You can use your computer’s built-in microphone, but you’re most probably not going to like how you sound. You can also use the microphone that comes with your earphones or headset, but they’re only going to be marginally better than your computer’s built-in microphone.
For best results, it’s highly recommended you consider buying a good quality microphone that’s made for podcasting. Some of the best ones, like the Audio-Technica ATR2100 cost less than $70.
You don’t want your d’s, g’s, b’s and p’s (called ‘plosives’) blowing into your microphone and degrading your audio quality. The solution to this is you can put a pop filter in front of your microphone. These normally cost well under $10.
Audio Editing Software
Your podcast won’t be complete without the right audio editing software. In this article, I’m going to share with you the top tools you can use to edit your podcast episodes.
Audacity (Windows, MacOSX, Linux)
Audacity is one of the most recognizable names in the audio editing world. And it’s for good reason, too. The software is free, open source and can run on multiple platforms.
While there’s a bit of a learning curve involved and it doesn’t look as pretty as many high-end options, Audacity is sure to get the job done. You can record and edit your entire show on this bad boy, and you’ll end up with audio some people will never think was edited on free software!
Ocenaudio (Windows, MacOSX, Linux)
Ocenaudio is another free, open source and multi-platform audio editing software. However, the difference lies in that Ocenaudio is geared towards users who aren’t all that technically inclined.
Admittedly, Audacity can be intimidating with the number of features jam packed into the software. For those averse to complex-looking interfaces, Ocenaudio may be a better choice for you.
Another benefit to using Ocenaudio is that it promises to efficiently handle large files thanks to its advanced memory management system.
If you’ve got a Mac, then there’s no need to download the cross-platform software Audacity or Ocenaudio. You can simply download GarageBand if it’s not already pre-installed on your Mac. This software has a ton of features included, and to top it off, the interface looks really sleek and sexy (which is typical Mac).
Garage Band is designed to be newbie friendly, so the whole system is pretty intuitive. If you’re not sure about some functions, there are tons of videos on YouTube that can help you out.
WavePad (Windows, MacOSX)
WavePad is a full-featured editor which runs on both Windows and Mac. If you want to check out how this program works, you can download the free version to try it out. Note, however, that the free version is for non-commercial use only.
So, if you’re planning to monetize your podcast, then you should upgrade to the premium version. Paying for premium will give you access to additional effects and even more awesome features!
Podcast hosting Service
You don’t want to just upload your podcast audio files to your regular web hosting server. This is because audio files can become quite large in size and can cause problems with your web host.
For your peace of mind, using a podcast or media hosting service.
Here are some of the benefits of hosting your show on a media hosting service.
Podcast RSS feed
Podcast hosting services are made for hosting audio files. In fact, they are optimized specifically for podcasts! This means they have built-in, validated RSS feeds and are compliant with all major podcast directories, making the submission process extremely easy for their customers.
All you need to do is grab your RSS feed’s link and paste it into the podcast submission form on Apple Podcast, Google Music, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn, PodBean, SoundCloud, etc.
When you upload a new episode to your hosting account, then all directories where you’ve submitted your RSS feed will automatically receive the update. Your followers will also automatically receive your new episodes on their favorite devices!
Another important benefit of hosting your podcast with a media/podcast hosting company is you get access to your show’s statistics. This is something that’s missing from web hosting companies.
Depending on the company, you’ll gain useful data about your podcast audience. You’ll get info like total and unique downloads, the apps your listeners are using to tune in to your show, your traffic sources, the geographical location of your listeners, and so much more!
You don’t get detailed information like this from your web host. So, if you’re planning to get brands or businesses to sponsor your show and they ask you questions about your audience’s demographics, you won’t know what to say. But with a dedicated podcast hosting service, you’ll know the answers with just a few clicks!
If you don’t have an existing blog or website, then don’t worry. Many podcast hosting companies include a free podcast page. This is the place where information about your podcast lives – you can add your banners, your show notes, your social media channels, etc.
The good news is, if you already have an existing blog, then you can link from your podcast page to your blog – this is great for your blog’s SEO!
Your podcast page will also include a free media player. People who visit your site from social media or Google can easily stream your show in their browsers. They also have the option to download, subscribe, and share your podcast.
Of course, pricing is an important factor when it comes to choosing a suitable host for your podcast. The good thing is some hosts offer a free plan to those wanting to get their feet wet with podcasting.
A good example would be BuzzSprout which allows you to upload up to 2 hours of audio each month. Now the caveat is that a free plan can seriously limit your podcast’s growth and they’d only be hosted for a short period of time.
If you’re serious about growing your podcast, then it’s best to subscribe to a paid service. Basic plans can go as low as $3 on PodBean and $5 on Libsyn. If you need more storage or bandwidth, then you can simply move up to the next pricing tier with no downtime in hosting.
3. EMBED YOUR PODCAST IN WORDPRESS WITH SHOWNOTES
If you haven’t started using show notes for your podcast episodes, then you better read this entire article. Today, you’re going to learn the top 5 benefits of podcast show notes:
Show notes add extra detail and create more content for your audience
Podcast show notes are great for people who prefer to read or scan text rather than listen to an entire audio file. Making good notes allows your audience to catch up on details they might miss.
So, if you want to establish and maintain a good connection with your audience, make sure you welcome them with well-written show notes.
It’s great for your site’s SEO
Show notes are great for SEO because it helps search engines index your content. This means that there’s a possibility your content will move up in search results.
So, if someone searches for something on Google and you happen to provide the kind of content they’re looking for, then Google is going to include your post in their search results.
The more SEO-optimized your content is, the higher the probability that your content will move up in Google. This will ultimately lead to more people discovering your podcast, and your brand in general!
It helps you market your podcast
Uploading your podcast show notes on your blog will help you promote your show to even more people. You can add social media sharing buttons and add a call to action on your show notes to ask people to share your post. Make it easy for them to share your content.
Add notable quotes from your show and upload eye-catching graphics that summarizes your content. You’ll be more likely to get social media shares this way!
You can insert affiliate links in your show notes and earn some nice income on the side
You can earn additional income through your show notes while providing additional value to your listeners. When you write your notes, mention your recommended tools, software, books, websites, etc. that your listeners can access later. Add your affiliate links.
When people buy your recommendations, you’ll get a commission!
A word of advice though: many affiliate networks require you to add an affiliate disclosure when sharing affiliate links.
You can link to your other episodes
Another awesome benefit of using show notes is that you can link to your past episodes and basically cross-promote your entire show. This is particularly helpful for people who are new to your show. This technique is great for your site’s user experience!
4. HAVE A VISUALLY ATTRACTIVE ARTWORK AND CATCHY INTRO FOR YOUR PODCAST
This probably sounds minor, but the reality is, people who aren’t already following you are going to judge you based on how your podcast artwork looks like, your podcast show title, your description, etc.
Your intro also matters, don’t make it too long. Make it short and sweet and ensure it does the job of letting people know what your show is all about.
Intro/outro for your podcast
Most, if not all, good podcasts have an intro and outro in place. If you know what you want your intro/outro to sound like, then you can certainly do it on your own. However, if you’re strapped for time, you can hire a freelancer on Upwork or Fiverr to do the job for you.
Let’s say you have a 20-minute weekly podcast.
The first minute will be allotted for your podcast’s intro. Then in the second minute, you give a short introduction and welcome your listeners to the show.
Then from minutes 3-10, you talk about your first topic, and then from minutes 10-19, you talk about the second topic. Then on the very last minute, you bid farewell and thank the listeners for tuning in, then play your outro.
Create the Artwork for Your Podcast
You can also create your podcast’s cover art yourself. You can use software like Canva or Photoshop to create it. However, if you’re not so artistically inclined and you don’t want your art to look like it was done by a 5-year old, then consider outsourcing it to graphic artists.
The good news is this doesn’t have to be expensive at all!
Here are the requirements for your podcast artwork:
- Minimum 1,400 × 1,400 pixels (maximum 3,000 × 3,000)
- RGB color space (not grayscale, CMYK, 8-bit indexed, or transparent)
- Hosted on a server that supports HTTP HEAD requests
- JPEG or PNG file format (JPEG is more highly recommended)
5. Prepare A Draft Or Outline Of Your First Few Episodes
Plan out what your episodes are going to cover so you stick to a theme, and your audience knows what to expect. Here's 3 ways to organize your podcast
Use a podcast content calendar
An editorial or content calendar is ideal for organizing your podcast content. You can plan your episodes for months (or even years) in advance! A calendar will help you make sure you don’t run out of topics to talk about.
If you need to revisit a topic you’ve already covered on your show, you can do a more in-depth episode on the same topic, so your listeners who’ve already heard the first episode will still find some value in the new one!
A content calendar will help you look at your show from a bird’s eye point of view, and you can see whether or not your episodes are still aligned with your original goals.
Create an outline or write out a script
Some podcast hosts prefer using an outline while some prefer reading a script. Whichever option you choose, know that both will help provide structure and organization to your episode. You’d know exactly what you’re going to talk about on your show.
Use a podcast show clock
Used commonly in radio shows, a show clock isn’t used often in podcasts. However, there are a lot of benefits to using a system like this. For one, you know what’s going to happen in every minute of your show.
4. Record and upload a few episodes
Before you launch your podcast, you need to have a few episodes under your belt. This is so you don’t leave people hanging. People often binge-listen to new podcasts, so make sure you have content that will keep them busy for a few hours.
6. 10 SECRET METHODS TO GROW YOUR PODCAST AUDIENCE
You spent a lot of time thinking about what gets talked about in your show. You want the best for your listeners. But, when you hit publish and check your stats a day later, you see only 10 people have listened to your latest episode.
Sounds depressing, right?
All that hard work with nothing to show for it. If you want your podcast to succeed, then you need to grow your podcast audience. Here’s how:
1. Promote Your Podcast Everywhere
Your podcast is up and just waiting for people to start tuning in. Promote your podcast on your blog, email your subscribers, post about it on your social media channels. Consider paid ads as well just to get the ball rolling!
2. Submit To Podcast Directories
It’s highly recommended you upload your podcast to a dedicated podcast hosting service. Most of these companies offer benefits that website hosting services just can’t match.
One of those benefits is they make it easy for you to submit your show to the top podcast directories.
3. Repurpose your podcast content
Podcasts may be in audio format, but the ball doesn’t have to stop there. Turn your podcast content into blog posts, infographics, videos, social media graphics, and so much more!
4. Video yourself while recording your podcast
Let your followers see you live in action. They’ll appreciate the sneak peek. Best of all, you can reach new audiences on YouTube and wherever else you upload your video.
5. Let your blog subscribers know about your podcast
Don’t keep your blog subscribers in the dark. Rather, let them know you’ve got a new episode out and invite them to listen to it when they have time!
6. Post an update on your social media profiles
Everyone’s on social media nowadays. Show people your social side and encourage them to listen to your podcast.
7. Interview experts in your niche
People love being recognized as experts. So, reach out to them and ask if they’d be willing to be interviewed. They’d be more than happy to promote your show to their followers, too!
8. Guest on more popular podcasts
If you position yourself as an ‘expert’ in your niche, you’ll have people reaching out to you to interview you. Don’t turn them down. Take the opportunity to prove your expertise and get people curious enough to follow your own show!
9. Advertise on social media
Organic social media traffic is possible, but it usually takes time. If you want to get the ball rolling, consider paying for ads. Facebook and Instagram are relatively cheap and you can easily target the right audience!
10. Create show notes or transcripts of each episode
Upload the show notes or transcripts to your blog, and make sure you optimize it for search engines. You just may see an avalanche of search engine traffic soon!
7. LASTLY ADD A CALL TO ACTION FOR YOUR PODCAST
There’s a reason why you decided to start a podcast. Whatever that reason may be, you need to make sure your podcast episodes’ call to action (CTA) will help you achieve your goals.
You don’t want to just say “thank you for listening” and then call it a day. No, you actually need to tell your audience what you want them to do so you can reach your goals.
There are many different kinds of calls to action you can use in your podcast. However, it’s important to note that your CTA can change from episode to episode depending on how far along you are in your podcast journey.
For instance, if you’re just starting out and you’re looking to grow your audience, then your CTA can be something like asking your listener to subscribe to your podcast and then help promote your show on social media.
When you’ve got a good number of followers, and you’re now looking to monetize your podcast, then you can start promoting your products or your service to your audience.
Whatever your call to action may be, make sure you spell it out for your audience. Make sure what you’re asking them to do is relatively easy. Don’t make them jump through hoops. If necessary, repeat your CTA a few times during your show (but not to the point of annoying your listeners).
For best results, tell them how they’re going to benefit if they follow your CTA. Some of your avid fans will do as you say with no questions asked. However, for the most part, the great majority of your audience will be asking “What’s in it for me? Why should I follow this guy’s call to action?”
This is especially true for CTA’s involving buying products or subscribing to services. You want to soften the ‘blow,’ so to speak. You don’t want people getting scared of committing to something they’re not ready for yet.
Always put your audience’s needs before yours. You’re there to serve them, to help them reach their goals or to address their pain points. Sure, you want to get something out of the relationship too, but if you want to gain something, you need to give a ton of value first!
Podcasting is one of the most powerful mediums to connect with your audience. It allows you to make deeper connections with current visitors, get broader exposure, and get more connections and opportunities. In the end, all of these things will help you to make more sales.
Many people consider starting a podcast but never follow through. A big reason for the lack of a follow through is a lack of know-how. But now that you know the exact process for creating Podcast, you no longer have an excuse!
Start following these steps as soon as possible and get your podcast up and running!
Once you do, feel free to post it in the comments below to show off!
To your Podcast success:
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