Lately, I have found myself listening to a myriad of podcasts on my daily commute.
After discovering that podcasting has become an emerging form of entertainment and subsequently starting a podcast with a friend of mine, I have noticed that the most commonly asked question about podcasts is simply, “How do I start?”
How do you start a podcast as a beginner?
To start a podcast as a beginner, you must brainstorm ideas for niche, purchase your equipment, and complete the necessary practice to finally get started.
If you have ever been interested in starting your own podcast, but you weren’t sure where to even start, you are in luck.
Keep reading for the full beginner’s guide on how to begin your podcast.
Beginner’s Guide to Podcasting
The beginning of your podcast journey will probably be the easiest but the most expensive.
When it comes to starting a podcast there are a few things you must consider before jumping head first into the podcasting world.
How To Start a Podcast as a Beginner:
- Brainstorm Ideas
- Buy the right equipment
- Get the right podcast software
- Practice before you go live
- Stay consistent
The easiest part of the process is deciding that you want to make a podcast and brainstorming about how you will execute it.
Buy the right equipment
There is plenty of equipment to buy prior to getting started. It is recommended that you research different microphones and equipment before you make your purchase.
You may want to shop around a bit for the one that fits what you need perfectly because podcasting equipment can be expensive.
Creating a podcast right away and becoming successful easily without the investment of both time and money is not podcast a reality.
The actual reality of the situation is that you must spend money in order to potentially make money. The key word is potentially, and it takes much time and hard work to start making money.
After you do your research on podcasting equipment, you can then purchase the tools you need to record your first podcast.
Focus on the niche you decide on and find something that makes your podcast different from the rest.
Practice before you go live
Practice makes perfect. One common mistake that many podcast beginners make is hopping onto the microphone and recording yourself talking.
It is possible that this could lead to a fantastic podcast, but it will most likely not sound as good to you when you play it back as it did when you were saying it.
Practice a couple of vocal warmups beforehand and figure out a game plan for your podcast.
Write down a list of topics that you find interesting; these topics can range from funny parenting stories to serious political issues.
The amazing thing about podcasts is that it doesn’t matter if someone else has a podcast that discusses similar topics. You can talk about whatever you want.
Somewhere someone is bound to have similar interests to you, and people love listening to other people with similar interests that they can form a connection with.
When you have decided what you want to talk about, take a step back and think about all that podcasting entails and decide if it is something that you are willing you dive into face first.
There are no shortcuts. You already know that you have to invest money into your endeavor, but the two things you have to invest even more than money are time and dedication.
You must be dedicated to your podcast in order to continually help it grow and improve.
Podcasting has a very competitive environment. Without complete commitment and consistency, your podcast cannot and will not succeed.
Above all else, you should be having fun creating your podcast. Having fun creating the podcast keeps you focused while it takes time to build up your audience.
You may feel as if you are talking to yourself, but the work will pay off. The saying, “Rome wasn’t built in a day” can be applied here.
Even if you hit a few rough patches, it doesn’t mean you’ve failed. Keep pushing forward.
It is important to remember many of your favorite podcasters more than likely had a rocky start and may have even run into the same problems that you are encountering.
When struggling with starting up your podcast, the best advice to remember is to take a step back for a moment, clear your head, and then look at the problem from a different angle.
It all comes down to experience. The more and more you practice with your equipment, the better you will be at troubleshooting and climbing over any hurdles that hinder your podcast’s performance.
Suggestions to Help Get You Started With Your Podcast
Here are a few ideas to help you gain a better understanding of the process you can go through to get your podcast started.
Podcasting Tips for Beginners:
- Have a set format
- Come up with interesting topics and a catchy name
- Make your podcast stand out
- Be realistic with your expectations
- Promote each episode on social media
- Be committed
Have a set format
It is important to decide your podcast’s format, whether it’s a panel of several people talking or a solo conversation between podcaster and audience.
If you aren’t sure what format you like the best, record an episode in each format to see which one feels more natural.
Come up with interesting topics and a catchy name
You need to come up with an interesting topic for your podcast. What is the central topic or focus of your podcast?
You decide! You should also come up with a catchy name. This is very important. The name of your podcast is, essentially, the name of your brand.
Try to pick something different and unique only to you. You don’t want it to have a name that blends into obscurity alongside other podcasts.
Make your podcast stand out
Make it stand out! If your podcast is focused all on gaming and its industry, don’t call it “Talking About Video Games.”
Add your name or your theme into your podcast name, like “Retro Game Cabinet” or “John and Jane’s Basement Ramblings.”
Be realistic with your expectations
Be as realistic as you can while also managing your expectations.
Remember, creating a podcast doesn’t mean instant success and fame; if you start podcasting with the wrong mindset, you won’t get very far.
Promote each episode on social media
After you release your first episode, promote it on every form of social media that you can. Don’t be ashamed to ask your family and friends to spread your podcast’s name around.
Word of mouth is the best form of free advertisement.
I can’t stress this enough; you must commit yourself to your podcast.
Your podcast will not succeed if you don’t commit yourself 100 percent to your podcast. You won’t ever succeed if you only put in the partial effort.
Commitment and consistency are essential to creating a podcast.
Getting Ready for Your First Podcast
After you’ve laid all the groundwork for your podcast, it’s time to sit down and actually start putting your plans into action.
First, you will need to come up with ideas for your audio.
Write down a bunch of different ideas on a board somewhere to brainstorm, or decide on three ideas and make outlines for each, so you can choose your favorite one.
Your ideas should focus on the podcast niche that you have decided on. This keeps your audience interested because they know what to expect from you.
As you grow, keeping your topics related to your niche will allow your brand to possibly grow into the expert in your particular niche!
When you record your first podcast and upload it online, do not get discouraged if it takes a few, or several, months to gain traction.
Advertising and sharing your podcast are vital at this point in your podcast journey.
It is important to be realistic with yourself while learning to manage your expectations. We all want to have a successful podcast that has millions of listeners, so we can quit our day jobs.
That, unfortunately, isn’t realistic for a podcast’s beginning.
More than likely you won’t have thousands of views on your first couple of episodes. It takes time to grow an audience.
Do not get discouraged by internet trolls and harsh words and criticism. Keep on pushing to improve your podcast.
However, do not discount all criticism – some of it can help make your podcast better.
If you are passionate and put in the work, you will see your podcast’s popularity grow as more and more people begin to tune in due to recommendations from your current viewers.
Remember that your most important viewers will always be your first ten.
Remain committed throughout the bumpy beginning of starting a new business and stay consistent with your publishing schedule.
If you continuously miss the scheduled day for your episodes, your listeners will slowly start to lose interest and shift their focus onto a similar podcast that updates with new episodes on a consistent basis.
It’s okay to fall behind occasionally because life does happen, but don’t let it become a habit.
You can work pro-actively and pre-record certain episodes a few weeks ahead of time just in case something comes up so you can still update your fans.
Always keep these two important words in your head – commitment and consistency.
There are plenty of beginners who all have interesting ideas, but their podcasts fail due to their unrealistic expectations and lack of commitment.
Now that you are consistently updating your podcast with new content and beginning to generate a consistent number of fans that listen and love your podcast, you are ready to move onto the next step.
Tips For Making Your Podcast “Blow Up”
When you have gotten a natural flow going and have generated a few loyal fans, it is time to work on expanding your podcast’s reach.
How do you make your podcast become bigger and better? This is, quite frankly, the hardest step in the entire process:
- Ask for help from people you know
- Always promote your podcast online
Don’t forget to always ask for help from your friends and family. You can ask them to promote your podcast to their friends and family.
Don’t be embarrassed or feel like you are bugging your friends and family. Chances are, they are already promoting you because they believe in you.
You have made it this far by being honest with yourself and your viewers. There is nothing to be embarrassed about. You have worked hard to get to this moment.
Your friends and family will support you. At the end of the day, they are your first and most loyal fans.
You can also promote your podcast through social media. You can even hire someone to promote both you and your podcast to help spread your name around.
However, hiring a promoter or an assistant is not within everyone’s budget. This doesn’t mean you can’t reach out to people on social media and promote yourself the old fashioned way.
How To Make Money From Your New Podcast
Eventually, it is possible that you will have become extremely successful.
You could have tons of listeners and major companies reaching out to you with business inquiries regarding partnerships and potential sponsorships.
It’s at this time that you start making money with your podcast.
How To Monetize Your New Podcast
- Reach out to specific brands or companies. Be prepared to present them with a proposal that shows them why a sponsorship with your podcast is a good idea and how it can prove to be beneficial for both yourself and the sponsor.
- Set a realistic price for potential sponsors to buy an advertisement spot on either your podcast’s website or on the podcast itself.
- Handle your sponsors professionally. Remember they are spending money to fund your show because it will help promote their brand as well as your own.
- Get a producer for your podcast so you can share the workload with them. Once you’ve reached the level of making money with your podcast, the workload is usually heavier.
- Read contracts presented to you by companies carefully. Maybe even ask your producer to look it over, so you aren’t selling away your creative rights to the podcast.
You want sponsorships that will give you money for reading their advertisements. You don’t want to accidentally sign away to over the creative control of your own podcast.
There you have it. With these last few steps, you have reached the end of the beginner’s guide to starting a podcast.
I hope aspiring podcasters everywhere can read through my article and find help in their own pursuit of creating a successful podcast.