Are you looking for a step-by-step guide about podcasting for beginners? Especially now, when podcasts are one of the top-performing content marketing tactics.
And podcast hosts make the most out of it! Currently, there are more than 2M podcasts out there. But that does not mean that the market is oversaturated. Just under a third of podcast listeners will enjoy a podcast at least once a month.
If you are thinking about becoming a podcast host, then this article is for you. We are going to dig deeper in the art of podcasting and offer you insightful tips on how to start your journey!
How to Get Your Successful Podcast Started
Are you ready to start podcasting? We have put together a few tips meant to smoothen your podcasting journey. From creating and promoting your podcast content to choosing the right hosting platform, you will find your answers.
Here are the steps to start a podcast from scratch:
- Choose a Niche and a Podcast Name
- Create a Perfect Format for Your Podcast Episodes
- Find Great Guests for Your Podcast Episodes
- Select Necessary Podcasting Equipment
- Record and Edit Your Podcast in the Simplest Way
- Upload Your Podcast
- Promote Your Podcast
- Get Inspired from the Popular Podcasts
1. Choose a Niche and a Podcast Name
The first step in starting a podcast is to pick your topic and create a name. Choosing the topic should be easy. One of the first rules of podcasting as a beginner is that you should talk about topics that allow you to be insightful and provide information that your target audience isn’t familiar with yet. After all, people listen to podcasts because they want to learn from industry experts.
So think about what you’re passionate about, what you’re best at, and who your target audience will be. These are the three main aspects you should establish before creating your podcast.
If you need more help with finding the right industry, here are 10 examples of podcast niches you might want to focus on:
- Business Coaching for SMEs
- Personal Finance
- Health & Fitness
- Society & Culture
- Music & Sports
Then you need to pick a name for the podcast. This can be challenging as you need something unique and attractive. Though many podcasts simply create a title of the topic plus the name of the host or co-host, others have more unique names.
Here are some tips on how to choose a name for your podcast:
- Go for a short and catchy name
- Don’t be overly specific
- Make sure it’s in line with your story and tone of voice
2. Create a Perfect Format for Your Podcast Episodes
Now that you know in big lines what your podcast will be about, you need to create the perfect format for your episodes. This is where many new podcast hosts fail. They don’t have a regular format that successfully captures the attention of their viewers through engaging segments. The secret of a high-quality podcast lays in the ability to design a podcast format that sets you apart from your competitors and inspires a sense of anticipation from your viewers.
Here are some of the elements you need to pay attention to when designing your podcast format:
- Episode Title & Cover Art
- Sponsor Breaks
- Release & New Post Date
A. Episode Title & Cover Art
To make sure your audience tunes in for every episode, you have to master two essential skills:
- Coming up with catchy titles
- Designing appealing thumbnails
Think about an umbrella concept that will summarize all the ideas discussed in that specific episode and express it with both words and visuals.
One of the top tips is that you prepare a script for each episode. This should include intros, guests introductions and questions, an outline of your main topics of discussion, goodbyes, and any other notes you might need to stay on schedule and provide quality content for your audience.
As a podcast host, you need to invest time in creating the best content for your target audience and keep them engaged from start to finish.
You should also think about the length of time your episodes are going to be. There is no ideal length for a podcast, but statistics show the average podcast length is about 36 minutes.
D. Sponsor Breaks
You should also look at how you’re going to add sponsor breaks into the podcast. Advertising is an important way for you to earn money, and they’re effective. About 38% of podcast listeners have bought a product that has been advertised on a show they’ve listened to.
In addition, you should look at how you’re going to end each podcast episode.
Here are three outro ideas:
- Inform your audience about the next podcast show
- Promote your previous podcast shows
- Redirect your audience to a guest/featured sponsor
A call-to-action at the end of the episode allows you to engage your audience. You should always look to remind your audience about subscribing to your social media, the podcast, and even a newsletter. Moreover, you can always have a generic outro with royalty free music, that can make the listeners remember you more easily.
F. Release & New Posts Date
Another aspect to consider when developing a podcast is your posting schedule and release dates. While some podcasts make a success of releasing a new episode just once a month, ideally, you want to publish new content every week.
You should also choose what day is best for your audience and you. Research has shown that posting a new podcast on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday will often yield better results.
3. Find Great Guests for Your Podcast Episodes
An effective way to increase your podcast visibility is by inviting guest speakers in your episodes. Guests have numerous benefits for your podcast:
- Larger Audience Share: Guests bring their audience with them. A high-profile guest will advertise their presence on your podcast. This will bring new audiences to your podcast. More listeners will increase the value of the advertising spots.
- Proof of Expertise: Being connected to experts in the field shows that you have some expertise of your own.
- New Perspective: Guests can bring new valuable insights and provide a different perspective. Their professional knowledge is a sum of experiences that you can’t compare to a couple of weeks of doing research on a topic.
Tips on How to Find Guests for a Great Podcast
Finding guests can be challenging, especially for those who are just starting a podcast. Normally, you have to have some established connections to industry experts in your field to get them to be a guest on your podcast.
However, that doesn’t mean that, as a new podcaster, you can’t attract some guests. Here are the main tips that will help you find relevant podcast guests for your audience:
A. Think About Your Personal Network
You might be able to reach out to some industry leaders from your network and get them to appear on your podcast. For instance, some people in your local community might be willing to appear on your show. Let’s say you want to record a podcast about the current state of hospitals—what better guest to have than a local doctor?
B. Use Email and Social Media
You can use email marketing or even social media to get in touch with and find some new podcast guests. Make sure you appear professional when launching invites.
And encourage your guests to mention your podcast on their social media channels! While the returns might be smaller, these guests can still bring in new audiences to your podcast through their social media channels.
As soon as you start to get some attraction, you will notice that the guests that will be willing to appear on your show will increase. They will also bring in new audiences.
C. Focus on People Aligned to Your Brand
Make sure the guests align with your image and bring value to your podcast. You don’t want to interview guests that go against your values can affect how your audience perceives you in the long run.
4. Invest in Podcasting Equipment
Now that you have defined the most important details about your podcast, you need to think about how you’re going to record and edit your content. For this, you will have to invest in the right equipment for the job.
Here are the tools you need to start your podcast!
Sound quality is an essential aspect of a good podcast, as it is, in fact, an audio-first content format.
The first thing that you need to do is to decide upon the best recording equipment. This will require you to have a good microphone. This mic shouldn’t be something that is just embedded into your computer. While this is cheap, affordable, and easy, it can also lower the quality of your sound.
There are lots of mics that are available, and they’re not too expensive. They will also connect to your computer.
The next piece of equipment that you will need is recording software. Some options are free, but again, some of the best options to record audio are premium subscriptions.
Good recording software will collect sounds from more than one source, store audio files, and compile them into a single track for your editing.
Some podcasts are recorded in two separate tracks, through a mobile device or voice chat like Zoom or Skype. If you are recording in this manner, check that your recording software can collect separate tracks for you.
Post-production is equally important for your podcast. Therefore, you also require some type of podcast editing software.
Audio editing software is vital because you might need to insert adverts, add outro music, cut out certain segments within the content recorded, and insert your introduction.
Podcast editing can be one of the most challenging aspects of podcasting. It requires attention to detail, a lot of time/dedication, and skill. You might want to practice with some editing software and ensure that you get the quality you want.
5. Record and Edit Your Podcast in the Simplest Way
Recording and editing your podcast is the next part of the process. It is best to ensure that this part of the process is done as simply as possible. You don’t want to have an overly complex system that makes it harder for you to edit the track later on.
For example, having you and your guests in the same room or talking through a chat app, such as Zoom or Twitch, is really simple. It is the most preferred option, and for a good reason: audio quality.
Avoid sending your guests questions ahead of time, and allowing them to record their answers separately. This makes for a hard time editing. And you will have to record your segments at a different time.
For better audio quality, be sure that you run a couple of tests before you start to record your podcast.
Testing allows you to ensure that you know how to use the equipment and that you get ahead of any issues that might affect your performance. For instance, you might notice that your USB microphone doesn’t work with your software, or your editing software can only manage simple operations.
Another podcasting tip is to record a few episodes in advance. This way, if something intervenes, you’ll still have a new episode coming out that week. A good rule of thumb is to be at least three episodes ahead, if not more.
6. Upload Your Podcast
The next step is for you to upload and distribute your podcast—it’s time to focus on choosing the platforms that are best suited for your target audience and podcast format. When it comes to the number of listeners, Apple Podcasts is the industry leader.
Besides Apple Podcasts, there are other podcast hosting sites options where you can upload your content, such as Spotify, Google Podcasts, or SoundCloud. Remember that, there is no reason why your podcast can’t be hosted in more than one location—increase your reach by publishing your content on the platforms your audience uses the most.
Numerous podcasters have two or three hosting platforms where they host the podcast. For example, if you are also providing video podcasts, you might as well share them on YouTube.
|Pro Tip: When you upload your podcast, make sure your internet connection is stable. This way, you will be able to avoid further audio quality issues.
7. Promote Your Podcast
Now that the new episodes are up, it’s time to promote your podcast!
Start by setting up dedicated social media channels and and a website to advertise your podcast episodes. In order to make your podcast visible, create evergreen posts about your podcast content and schedule them to post regularly to ensure you are constantly promoting your episodes.
Use SocialBee to create, schedule, and post all your social media content from one place.
Building a podcast site with an RSS feed is also an important part of your brand. It allows you to be found through a quick search and gives you a platform to monetize your episodes. On your website, you can also add blog posts, scripts of your podcasts, or any other tools of content marketing.
In addition, you will want to build an email marketing list. Every time a podcast is published, you should send out a newsletter to your subscribers. This will encourage them to automatically listen to your podcast episode. Email marketing is one of the best performing digital marketing channels, with a ROI of $44 for every $1 spent.
8. Get Inspired by Popular Podcasts
There are several successful podcasts that you should listen to. These are excellent examples of how the podcasting for beginners steps and tips above can help you.
Research is key, so it’s time for you to start listening to podcasts! Get inspired from their podcast format, guest speakers, or even topics of discussion if they are active in a niche you think of joining.
Here are some successful podcast suggestions you might get inspired from:
Social Media Marketing with Michael Stelzner
Social Media Marketing with Michael Stelzner is hosted by the Social Media Examiner’s founder, Michael Steizner. In each episode, he holds a 45-minute conversation with a guest. They provide insightful advice about social media and marketing.
It is important to note how this podcast uses guests to create interesting content, but also to build expertise. Take a look at some of their recent episodes:
Social Pros Podcast
Convince and Convert is a brilliant learning ground for those wanting to start a new podcast, one of their most successful podcasts being the Social Pros Podcast. As their motto says, they provide “real insight on the real people doing real work in social media”. By listening to this podcast, you’ll learn insider secrets about how large organizations like Ford, Dell, IBM, ESPN, operate, and measure their social media programs.
Here are some of their most recent podcast episodes:
Ologies by Alie Ward
Alie Ward hosts the weekly scientific podcast Ologies. Ward interviews a new “ologist” from a different scientific discipline each week. “Ask smart people stupid questions,” says the show’s tagline. And this is what Alie is doing! She is breaking complex ologies in simple and understandable ideas alongside her guests. Nevertheless, the podcast is frequently ranked among the top three science podcasts on Apple Podcasts.
There are just some topics covered by Alie’s podcast:
Are You Ready to Become a Podcast Host?
Now that you know how podcasts work, it’s time to get to practice. Podcasting is a great way for you to get your brand out there and can help you generate revenue. However, you need to make sure that you have the plan, tools, and skills to successfully become a podcast host.
Use the podcasting for beginners steps above to help you on your journey and start recording your first podcast! And don’t forget about the 14-day SocialBee trial aimed to smoothen your podcast promotion experience!
Promote Your Podcast on Social Media with SocialBee!
About the author: Georgi Todorov is the founder of ThriveMyWay, a place for online entrepreneurs, bloggers, SEO specialists, and freelancers to find success in their own way.