Episode 66 - Podcast basics

Starting a podcast can seem very overwhelming, but it's actually easier than it appears. In this episode, we discuss how to start a podcast, what equipment you'll need, and how to get it out to the world.

Before you start recording

  1. Listen to other podcasts to see what is out there. Take note of the format and length of the show.
  2. Determine what your topic will be. Don't be tempted to over niche your podcast or else you might run out of show ideas. We suggest having a 52-week content calendar to make sure you can at least brainstorm a year worth of topics.
  3. Decide who your ideal listener is. This will help create content your audience will love.
  4. Determine how frequently you will put out new content and estimated show duration. It's better to start with a less frequent schedule as you get your feet wet and increase the frequency if you wish. Don't promise a daily show upfront if you aren't sure that you can deliver that each week. You can always increase your frequency but it is more difficult to decrease your frequency because you have set expectations.
  5. Show format: interview or topic based; solo or co-host.

Podcast Essentials

When you get started, these are the essential things you need to get started:

  • A name for your show. You can use your name or create a brand. Make sure that there is no other show out there with that name if you are developing a brand.
  • Artwork for your show. iTunes requires 1400 x 1400 for your artwork at a minimum and 3200 x 3200 maximum. Artwork is important because if the iTunes curators do not like your artwork, you will not make the top of the iTunes charts. 
  • Make sure you have the rights to use the art work and any music you use in your show. If you purchase royalty free music, keep the invoice forever in case there is ever a dispute. 
  • A computer to record and edit your show. You can use your phone or tablet to record but there isn't great editing software available on those platforms yet.
  • A microphone with good sound quality. We started with a Blue Yeti. We then got a mixing board and moved to ATR 2100 microphones. You can also use a good headset microphone, like the Logitech headset that I use for my YouTube videos.
  • Recording software. We use Audacity for the PC. For Mac, you can use Garageband. You can also use Adobe Audition. To save storage space, you want to record in mono, not stereo. You can always split to mono after recording.
  • Podcast hosting. Do not use your website hosting for your podcast because it is a violation of the terms of service. iTunes does not host your podcast. It is just a service that allows people to access the RSS feed. We use Libsyn, which starts at $5 per month, but if you are going to publish weekly it will probably cost you about $15 per month. 
  • Sign up for iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, iHeart Radio, and other services. This will allow people to find you on those services. Allow up to 72 hours for iTunes to accept your show. You must have shows recorded and uploaded to your podcast host before you can be accepted by iTunes. Many apps, especially for Android, use the iTunes feed.

How do I get into New and Noteworthy on iTunes?

We get this question a lot. Before your show goes live, you need to start building buzz for your show. Getting reviews is key to getting access to New and Noteworthy. Have a core group of people who are committed to reviewing your show on the first day. Our show was able to hit New and Noteworthy on day 1 because we got 20 reviews on the first day. On the first day, you are launching. Treat it like a launch. You should also go live with at least 3 episodes. This will help increase your downloads for launch week, which also helps.

Have fun with your podcast. When you have fun, even with a serious topic, your audience will hear that in your voice. 

Final Thoughts

If your goal is to make money directly from your content, podcasting is probably not the way to go. It's much easier to monetize YouTube. A podcast is a great way to build an audience, build trust, and promote your products and services. 

Make sure to promote your content. We use Edgar for this because we can build libraries and automatically recycle our content. 

If you have questions, join our Facebook group.

Other mentions

Podcaster's Paradise by John Lee Dumas

Remodeling Clay Podcast

Lena Elizer (our logo designer)

Levelator 2 

Worldbuilder's Anvil (Jeff's other podcast)

 Listen to the show on iTunes, Stitcher, YouTube, Google Play Music, iHeart Radio, or with the player below

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