People are hopping on the podcast train quicker than ever. As the following for podcasts increases, now is the best time to start a podcast for your business, brand, or a personal hobby.
We know you hear about podcasts frequently from here and there, but the path of starting your podcast still seems vague for you. We also know that obtaining expensive audio recording equipment is one of the factors that might hold you back.
Put all fears and uncertainty aside!
In this article, we explained how to start a podcast in the easiest possible way. You do not need any equipment or skills to work with professional audio editing software. If you have an internet connection and a laptop nearby, that’s enough.
Here are the steps to start a successful podcast
- Understand the industry you are about to enter
- Make sure to come up with your WHY for starting a podcast
- Choose your preferred podcast topic
- Come up with a show format
- Decide your podcast’s name
- Develop unique podcast graphics
- Write the script for the first episode
- Record your first show
- Apply the necessary editing and adjustments
- Publish your podcast on the right platforms
Understand the industry you are about to enter
Mastering the technical aspects of starting a new podcast should not be your priority at the initial stage.
It's essential that every newbie in podcasting has a thorough understanding of the field they are about to enter.
Knowing the market size, key players, competition, tendencies, and many other insights of the podcasting field will help you better navigate the opportunities you have here.
So, let's look at some of the critical aspects you should know about the podcasting market.
What is the hook of podcasts?
Podcasts are a great way to develop a genuine bond with your audience. Instead of the passive connection you make through social media posts or pictures, podcasts allow you to engage your audience with dynamic and unique audio content.
Podcasts have been around for almost two decades. However, their popularity started in the last five years. Here are some of the factors that influenced the podcasting boom the most:
1) Podcasting is a relatively effortless way of content consumption. For most, especially those in the US, listening to podcasts is done in parallel with daily chores, such as driving, cooking, etc.
2) Technological development in the audio industry helps target podcast listeners better. For instance, Spotify's streaming media intelligence technology allows advertisers to reach their target audience with their desired content by hyper-contextualizing their information.
3) Traveling restrictions and forced indoor stay during the pandemic was another reason people became more inclined to engage innew ways of content consumption and entertainment.
Podcasting market quick overview
In 2021, the global podcasting market size increased by more than 31,1% compared to 2020, and this trend promises to remain consistent until 2028.
In terms of geographical distribution, podcasts are primarily popular in:
1) North America
3) The Asia Pacific
4) Latin America
5) The Middle East and Africa
In terms of countries, podcasts are more popular in the US, Canada, UK, Nordic Countries, China, and South Korea.
The US has the largest market share in terms of podcast consumption. Notably, more than 60% of the US youth(aged 16-34) listens to podcasts every month. In 2021, monthly podcast listeners in the US will increase by 10.1%, reaching 117.8 mln people. For a better insight into the podcasting industry, read our blog on the newest podcast statistics.
Make sure to come up with your WHY for starting a podcast
It all starts with purpose. Once you know why you want to start podcasting, you will find the ways to reach your objectives easier. All the steps listed below strongly depend on the goals you pursue with your show.
Before we dive into the fun stuff, such as choosing a podcast name, format, and length, let’s first examine key subjects at hand.
Starting a personal podcast
People start podcasts for a lot of different reasons:
1) Many podcasters start shows to genuinely share what they love and build loyal communities over the ideas they believe in.
2) Some podcasters establish a large audience and utilize it to advertise products and services.
3) Podcasting is also an excellent way to grow your network, especially if you do interview episodes and host guests often
Creating a podcast for business
For businesses, podcasting has increasingly become a new must-have platform for a good digital presence. Being absent from podcasting platforms means losing a large portion of the audience, who are potential customers for a company.
Podcasting is a significantly more accessible and cost-effective medium for communicating business messages. Your company does not have to spend a lot on preparing and publishing visual content, because the main format used is audio. Even with the latter, AI-powered podcasting platforms save additional resources on audio recording and editing equipment.
Podcasts are also an excellent tool for promoting corporate culture inside and outside the organization. The topics of corporate podcasts revolve around the organization, its people, values and policies, and other aspects that highlight the culture. There are two ways to go about corporate podcasts: internal or external podcasts. With internal podcasts, the shows are recorded only for the company's employees and are distributed through internal communication channels. When organizing external podcasts, you also distribute your podcast through public platforms, targeting larger audiences.
Choose your preferred podcast topic
Just like a blog, you will need to have a clear-cut concept to base your podcasts around. You’re free to choose any topic you’re passionate about. From history, pop culture, neuroscience to a fictional town where aliens are friends with the Yeti—there are shows about everything you can think of and even beyond.
The only limit to a podcast is your own imagination.
In podcasting, authenticity is one of the critical factors. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you start your podcasting channel picking a topic a which you’re either knowledgeable or passionate about
In this case, the audience will have bigger trust in the content you deliver, and it would be easier to build a community of loyal listeners.
If you develop ideas for a podcasting channel of a business, choosing the topic is more straightforward. You should talk about the hot trends and challenges of your industry and showcase your company’s competency in solving those issues.
Consider what’s loved and popular among podcast listeners
According to the podcasting data, the best performing podcast genres of recent years include:
6) True crime
Source: Grand View Research
Don’t forget about your audience’s age
For older listeners (ages 55+) news is the go-to, while the younger generation aged 18-34 prefers more entertaining topics on society & culture. Comedy is a dominating genre for almost all age groups.
Your topic can be as light as celebrity news or as formal as discussions about recent political events. The only rule you will have to adhere to is to be enthusiastic about whatever you choose.
Come up with a show format
There is a wide range of podcast formats to choose from. Some are solo shows, while others engage duets or even groups of people. . Regardless of what you choose, you will need to stick to something you are comfortable with.
If you are a fan of improv and banter, you can bring on a co-host. If you are an extreme planner, begin with something more scripted. Here are some of the popular podcast formats you can choose from.
Source: Grand View Research
A Single host talks on the chosen topic in every episode.
Because of the format's simplicity, it's the favorite of many starting podcasters. With solo podcasts, you’re entirely in control of the planning process.
On the other hand, solo podcasts heavily rely on the charm of the podcaster. It's hard to keep the audience constantly engaged when there is only one person speaking. So it’s good to spice it up and add more interactivity, with podcast music, intro, and outro elements and sound effects.
Podcasters talk to a new guest on each episode. This is one of the most common formats, especially popular in B2B marketing podcasts.
If you choose to record interviews, you should learn to balance between allowing your guest to take the lead and knowing when to step in.
The interview format is one of the most entertaining.. By interviewing different guests, your podcast will never get mundane.
Several podcasters gather and talk on the same topic.
This is considered one of the most organic types of podcasts. Usually, the show is more engaging because the hosts have different perspectives on the podcast topic. In this case, their debates over controversial topics add intrigue, making the show more interesting.
Don’t forget to decide on the podcast duration.
Usually, shows vary anywhere from 20-30 minutes to 2 hours. However, if you’d rather deliver shorter podcast episodes and do it more often, you can consider recording microcasts.
These mini-podcasts last up to 15 minutes and allow you to switch topics quicker. The duration of your podcasts also influences your publishing schedule. Longer episodes will usually require you some 3-4 days to prepare, so you definitely won’t be broadcasting as often.
Both have their advantages, so the final decision is after you.
Decide your podcast's name
Some guides will advise you to decide your podcast's name as the first step of your podcasting journey. But not us. You should come up with essential components of your podcast first, as the better you know the product, the easier you can describe it.
When choosing your podcast name, remember that you do not have to be extraordinarily creative at all. There are many podcasts, the names of which can impress you, but the content will leave you indifferent, and vice versa.
Therefore, as a priority, try to come up with a name that will describe your podcast in the most precise way. It can be humorous, abbreviated or worded simply. Just keep in mind that your podcast name should be associated with its content.
Although you’re free to unleash your creativity, there are a couple of approaches that can help you with choosing a proper podcast name.
Creative names usually emerge as a result of clever wordplay. If you manage to invent a truly creative name, that will most probably make listeners stop by when they come across your podcast for the first time. Also, that will be a sign that the content is most likely as creative as its name. You can use several techniques to develop a creative name, such as using metaphors and puns, foreign words, making jokes, etc.
As the name suggests, descriptive podcast names are all about the podcast content. This is a simple option, which will save your time and increase your podcast’s searchability. You can also include your initials as a descriptive name of the podcast—for example, the Ezra Klein Show.
Make sure you do not plagiarize. Even if you created the name from scratch,someone else might have already used it for their podcast. Therefore, make sure you do good research. Search your chosen name on podcasting platforms and Google to make sure your podcast name is original.
Develop unique podcast graphics
Once you have recorded your podcast and edited it, it is time to work on your artwork. Although great episode content should remain your primary focus, podcast cover art is the first thing potential listeners see in Apple Podcasts or social media.
Listeners should be able to understand what your show is about from a single glimpse at your cover art. The rule of not judging a book by its cover does not apply here, cause that’s the first thing a potential listener sees.
Podcast artwork should be able to demonstrate the subject of the podcast visually.
For example, the podcast graphics of “The Line” clearly illustrates that the show covers war events.
Your artwork should be available in different sizes as you’ll be using it for several mediums and platforms. The artwork must look good even at 55 x 55 pixels. With that being covered, be wary about using too many words on your cover. Ideally, you should not exceed four words. Also make sure that it is readable even in small sizes. Stay consistent with your podcast artwork as it will be a part of your vast branding image.
Write the script for the first episode
No matter you are planning things in your head, it’s always good to have a written script. Very few podcasters can record the entire show without a supporting document at hand. Writing a script is one of the main steps towards materializing your creative ideas. How you develop your podcast script depends on the message that you’re trying to get across and your target audience.
The main components of podcast scripts
Scripts usually contain the following parts.
1) Introduction:welcome your listeners, tell something about your podcast, or start with any other type of introductory information. If you’re not doing a solo podcast,include a guest introduction right after the general one.
2) A sponsor message: introduce your sponsors or their promoted products and services if you’re including an advertising deal. Sometimes the advertisers will give you the message or leave it under your responsibility.
3) Segue: include a switch point between the different parts of your episode. This helps you connect not tightly related parts of your podcast and make smoother transactions. Anything can serve as a segue: a sound, music, a phrase, etc.
4) Outro: sum up the content of your episode and prepare the listeners for the next one
5) Call To Action: invite your listeners to take action. This can be subscribing to your channel, following your social media accounts, or anything else.
Include delivery notes
Delivery notes will help you read your script with a better delivery. You can mark the text with your own signs as long as you understand their meaning. Here’s one way you can do it:
If this looks too complicated to you, don’t worry; you can do it your own way. Don’t forget to rehearse it before the actual recording.
Record your first show
Here is when you eventually get to see the result of your long preparatory activities.. You finally have all the ingredients for your podcast, and now it’s time to work on the actual thing.
Forget about any fancy equipment you thought you’d need for recording a podcast. If you have a laptop and internet connection, consider yourself fully equipped for recording a professional quality podcast.
Create an account at Podcastle.ai
Podcastle is an AI-based podcasting software. It allows you to record and edit high-quality podcasts with built-in tools. The user-friendly interface will help you produce podcasting shows without needing any skills in audio production or editing. If you completed all the above-described steps and have your final script ready, you can start recording it right away.
Create a new project
Once you log in to your registered account, you land on the dashboard, where you can record projects. Here you can see all the options you have for creating a podcast:
You can Record a raw podcast inside the tool and make the necessary adjustments later. You are encouraged to choose a relatively quiet place for recording. However, if you cannot find the perfect spot, you can remove background noises from your podcast later.
You can also Upload audio recordings on some of your devices and edit them inside the software. You can cut it, or change the speed of the audio, add sound elements, etc. Or you can upload an external file you want to merge with your recording.
Podcastle’s Revoice feature allows you to voice your script with AI voice skins. In other words, you get the software to read your podcast script instead of you. The voices are designed to mimic the speech of people of different ages and genders, to make your podcast sound authentic.
You can also record remote interviews with your guests, regardless of their physical location. With this feature, you can record separate audio tracks for each of the participants, merge them, and adjust voice tones.
Edit and adjust
As you already know, your podcast episodes should have musical elements and audio effects for a more dynamic sound and smooth transitions.
Let's go through Podcastle’s main editing features you can use.
Basic audio editing
The simple adjustments such as speeding up some parts of your podcastor cutting out the unnecessary ones affect the show's overall quality and improve your listeners’ experience. Podcastle’s Audio Editor tool allows you to split your podcast into several separate parts, change the speed of the sound, and organize trimming.
Improve the sound
The background noise or other disruptions are problematic for most podcasters; even when you think you are recording in a very quiet room, the audio may not be as clean. With the Magic Dust tool, you can lower or amplify voices or remove the background noise with a simple click.
You can access royalty-free music tracks inside the project dashboard. The tracks vary in duration so that you can use them as intros & outros or as background music for the advertising segments.
Publish your podcast on the right platforms
We are approaching the finish line!
You are done with podcast recording and editing, and there is one step left to prepare your podcast for publishing. In your project dashboard, press Export at the upper right corner and choose the Exporting as audio option.
Collect all the elements for your podcast, such as its cover, name, description, etc., and head over to the popular podcasting platforms to publish your show.
It’s essential to promote your podcast in the right places.
Podcasts have dedicated platforms where the audience comes to consume audio content. Those platforms are called podcast directories, and it’s best to publish your podcasts here.
There are numerous podcast directories out there. Here are the most popular ones:
1) Apple Podcasts
The Apple Podcasts and Spotify are currently the two leaders in the podcasting platforms. Moreover, in 2021, Spotify surpassed the all-time podcasting classic Apple Podcasts, and according to the predictions, will become a leader in the podcasting industry in the upcoming years.
Aside from these two, here are a few other platforms to publish your podcast.
1) Google Podcasts
6) Pocket Casts
For more insights on each of those platforms, read our detailed blog on where to publish your podcast.
By the time you get to this part of the article, you should have all the points needed to set the foundation for your show. So, bearing all these tips in mind, it’s time to get experimenting!