How to Start a Podcast: Every Single Step for 2022 - Deepstash
How to Start a Podcast: Every Single Step for 2022

How to Start a Podcast: Every Single Step for 2022

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Planning Your Podcast

There are two big questions you need to ask yourself here:

  • Why do you want to make a podcast? That's important to keep in mind so that you can stay motivated, even when you're finding it difficult to get a show out.
  • Who are you making this podcast for? A lot of smart people talk about creating listener personas or avatars. It's a good idea, sketching out exactly who it is that you'd like to listen to your content. That persona is something to keep in mind every time you plan an episode.


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Having An Audience Before Starting A Podcast

If you already have an audience built around something other than your podcast, then it's a good opportunity for laying the foundations of the show's fanbase.

  • During the planning stages, you may opt to survey your audience, to find out their current pain points and struggles. This could help you shape your content, going forward.
  • You might even choose to find out a bit more about them. This could be anything from demographics and location, to what other podcasts (if any) they enjoy listening to.


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Having No Audience Before Starting A Podcast

Most podcasters kick things off by talking “into the void”.

Here's some good news: surveys show that potential new listeners don't care if they've never heard of you. In fact, it's the least important factor they'll consider when weighing up whether or not to hit play.


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Give Your Audience a Reason to Listen

Whether you're providing information that will help someone to lose weight, or doing a really entertaining interview with one of your favorite authors you're providing value for your listener.

Not only have you given them a reason to listen, but you've also given them a reason to come back for more. It's important to think about this in the planning stages. Can you write down 10-15 potential episodes that you think your target audience would love to listen to?


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Naming Your Podcast

  • Option 1 – The Clever Name: You might think of a really clever name for your show. But remember that people need to be able to find it when they’re searching for information about your topic.
  • Option 2 – The Descriptive Name: The searchable choice is to simply call your podcast what your target audience is searching for( for example, The Fitness Podcast).
  • Option 3 – Using Your Own Name: This is pretty much a no-no unless you’ve already got an audience. You can incorporate this into your show’s name along with something descriptive (‘Rock Climbing, with Mike Smith’).


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The Lenght of A Podcast Episode

Ultimately your episode lengths should be decided by two things.

  • Your content
  • Your audience.

How long does it need to be to get the message out? If you asked most podcast listeners, a “short” episode would probably be anything under 15 minutes. And a “long” episode would probably be anything over an hour.

Many will reference the time of the average commute (said to be around 20 minutes) as a good length to shoot for. But anything from 20 up to 45 minutes seems to be within the “sweet spot” for an episode length.


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How Often Should You Release New Episodes?

The best schedule is normally the most frequent one that you can stick to, on a regular basis. So, if you can only manage once a month, that’s fine. If you can manage every 2 weeks, even better. If you can manage weekly, then that’s great.

You can still have a big impact with a fortnightly, or monthly show, but people plan their lives around what day of the week it is. It’s the routine at the forefront of our lives, and tapping into it can be powerful.


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Choosing Good Episode Titles

Just like choosing a name for your podcast, choosing good, searchable, descriptive titles for your episodes is important.

  • The biggest mistake when it comes to naming your episodes is to call them “Episode 1”, “Episode 2”, and so on. Nobody’s going to know what to expect if they listen.
  • Make it clear to people what they will get from listening to your show. And make sure that you are delivering in the episode what you promised in the title.

The extra benefit of this is that Apple/iTunes allows searching by episode name. 


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Choosing a Podcast Format

The common types of podcast show formats:

  • The Solo Show
  • The Co-Hosted Show
  • The Interview Show.

There are a bunch of other formats that aren't so commonly used but might well suit you.

For example:

  • Roundtable – One regular host and a number of guests, talking through one specific topic
  • Documentary – A narrator walks you through a range of interviews, conversations, and on-location clips to paint a picture
  • Docu-Drama – Offering learning and info, but in an entertaining way.


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Recording Equipment

The bare minimum you need to record a podcast is a computer with a USB microphone and access to the internet. As a general rule, though, the more limited and lower cost of your setup and equipment, the more limited the sound quality of your show will be.

Simple USB microphone setups can give good results if you choose the right mic. Plus, you are much better to get started and see whether you enjoy it before forking out big sums of money on audio equipment.


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Recording & Editing Software

When you plug your USB microphone into your computer, you will need some software to actually record and edit the audio. There are a few options for this: 

  • Audacity: a good quality, free-of-charge audio editing application. For the majority of people, it caters to all your podcasting needs.
  • Adobe Audition: Pro-level production tool – steep learning curve, but great workflow, and feature-rich. It's available through a paid subscription.
  • Alitu: The Podcast Maker: the easiest possible experience. This is a web app that can automate audio cleanup, adding music and publishing to your host.


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Scripting your Show

The intimate nature of podcasting is far more suited to being a conversation, as opposed to a sermon. So try to wean yourself off a fully scripted show with bullet points of everything you want to cover. This will become easier over time with practice until eventually writing a full script will seem unnecessary.

The way you open and close your episodes is really important too.


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Music for your Podcast

  • There’s no rule to say your show must have music, but many podcasters stick some at the beginning and end to add that extra layer of professionalism.
  • You don’t want to have a piece of music playing on its own for any longer than 10 seconds. If you do this, it can really start to grate (especially for binge listeners) and you're going to train your audience to start hitting the skip button.
  • There are many websites that have music you can legally use on your podcast. This type of music will usually be referred to as royalty-free, stock, or library music.


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Publishing Your Podcast

Cover Art. Having attractive cover art that stands out is vital when your show lines up against thousands of others in the Apple Podcasts or Spotify directories. 

Choosing Your Podcast Hosting. You’ll need a podcast hosting account, sometimes called a media host. Media or Podcast hosts are services that store your audio and allow your listeners to listen, download, and subscribe to your podcast.


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Submitting to Directories

These are the places where listeners can discover, subscribe to, and download it.

Any good host will have a decent set of auto-submit or guided-submission tools. So, they make it easy to get your show into Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and other popular spots.

One common misconception when learning how to start a podcast is that you upload your podcast to places like iTunes. This actually isn’t the case. You need to sign up with a media hosting service to host your audio files, and you can either have a website set up on their site to deliver them, or place them on your own website.


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Never give up. Always find a reason to keep trying.

George I.'s ideas are part of this journey:

The Podcasting Ecosystem

Learn more about podcasts with this collection

The importance of networking in podcasting

How to grow your podcast audience

How to monetize your podcast

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