Thinking about starting a podcast? Figuring out where to start can be an overwhelming process. There’s so much info out there (a lot of it conflicting) that it can be difficult to get a clear vision of what you need to do to start your podcast.
Let’s simplify things.
In this article, you’ll find the process of starting a podcast boiled down into 5 stages. This is to give you an overview of the process, so that you know the essentials of starting a podcast, without the overwhelm.
Once you’ve decided to bite the bullet and go for it, we have plenty more guidance to help you with the technicalities. For now, though, let’s go over the 5 stages you’ll go through when starting a podcast.
Stage 1: Your Podcast’s Purpose
Before concerning yourself with microphones and guest lists, it’s essential that you get clear on your answers to these three questions –
- What do you want your podcast to help you to achieve?
- How will your podcast help you to achieve that?
- Who will your podcast be serving (your ideal listener)?
The answers to these questions will shape every single decision that you make for your podcast going forward. Even down to what your podcast will be about and what format it will be in.
For example, if you want to create a podcast that will grow your business, your ideal listener would likely be your ideal customer (or at least a section of your audience).
What are their pain points? This could be a lifelong challenge that they’ve been facing, or something as simple as they’re looking to be entertained. How will your podcast help them to make it through this struggle?
With this in mind, it’ll be easier to plan your podcast and grow it once it’s out in the world.
Stage 2: Podcast Details
Now you’re ready to dive into the details of your podcast. This means coming up with the following –
- An original name.
- A tagline that defines your offering to your ideal listener.
- Choosing a format (solo/co-host/interview, audio-only/video).
- Deciding on a release schedule that you can stick to.
- Deciding on a launch date.
At this point, it’s also a good idea to consider how you will be getting the word out about your podcast. Which social media platforms do your ideal listeners spend their time? Do you have a mailing list? Do you have a website where you can post your episodes? What kinds of content will you be posting as promotional material? And when will you be posting promotional content?
Stage 3: Podcast Assets
The next stage is planning the common assets that you’ll need to create your episodes and publish them. Consider where you’ll be sourcing these from. Will you be creating them yourself? Or outsourcing the creation? These are the assets that your podcast will need –
- An enticing intro and outro with royalty-free music.
- Standout cover artwork that’ll get browsers clicking on your podcast.
- A template for your episode show notes.
Depending on your budget or time investment, you may also consider the following –
- A cover art template that can be adjusted for episode-specific cover art (rather than just your generic show-wide cover art).
- Graphic templates for your video episodes (if you’re going down the video route).
- Additional music/sound effects if your podcast needs them.
Stage 4: Content Creation
Once everything is planned, it’s time to start creating the content that you will launch your content with. This will likely be your podcast trailer, your first month’s worth of episodes and any common assets.
If you don’t have a microphone, we recommend picking up a quality, dynamic microphone like an Audio-Technica ATR2100x or Shure MV7. You’ll also need a boom arm for the mic, and a pair of headphones. This will help you to capture professional-sounding recordings in less-than-ideal spaces. If you can find a room to record in that’s quiet and acoustically treated, even better.
If you have the budget, you may consider hiring a professional voice-over artist to record your intro and outro script, but you can do this yourself, otherwise. The same goes for editing. A professionally edited, mixed and mastered podcast will help you to stand out from the crowd.
For the best results, you may want to hire a podcast production company to help.
Stage 5: Ready For Launch!
You’ve got everything together, now it’s time to get things ready for launching your podcast. Make sure that you’ve got a launch schedule set in stone. This should include –
- Your podcast launch date (when the first episode will go live).
- Your trailer launch date (ideally 2 weeks before your launch date).
- The dates you’ll be posting promotional content.
You’ll now need to choose a podcast host to distribute your podcast, such as Buzzsprout, Libsyn or Captivate (affiliate link). You’ll need to upload your cover artwork and a description of your show, too. Check which platforms the host distributes your show to and which ones it doesn’t. You’ll likely need to sign up for Apple Podcasts separately.
Now you can schedule your trailer, your first episodes and your promotional content so it’s all ready for launch!
We hope this has given you a solid, base understanding of the process of starting a podcast. We have plenty of articles on this site to help you to get a deeper understanding of each of the stages. Or, feel free to get in touch with us for one-to-one guidance.