Beginner’s Guide: How to start a Podcast

In Australia, around 3 out of ten of us are avid podcast listeners with half of that number listening to a podcast at least once a week. 

So naturally, one of the most popular requests that have come through to Outsourcing Angel this year has been “Can you help me start a podcast?" Thankfully, we’ve got a number of  Dedicated Virtual Assistants in our team experienced in launching successful podcasts for their clients.

… and since sharing is caring, we asked them to summarise their steps on how to get started so we could put together this step by step guide on ‘How to start a podcast’.

We even used these tips ourselves to launch our very own podcast – The Kind Boss – so make sure you check us out and subscribe too. 

The Kind Boss Podcast is Outsourcing Angel’s Podcast hosted by our CEO and Founder Linh Podetti.

Every Wednesday on the podcast, Linh interviews inspiring ‘Kind Bosses’ to learn more about their story and how they’ve succeeded by being kind.

Step-by-step Guide: How to start a podcast

Step 1: What is your purpose?

There are podcasts now for everything from business advice to pop culture, so what is your podcast going to cover?

Knowing your purpose and concept is the most critical step on getting started. Once you nail this, the next steps will come to you easily. Here are the key questions you should ask yourself:

  1. Why do you want to start your podcast?
    Is it to generate leads for your business? To position yourself as an industry leader? To share an important message you feel that others need to hear? Or is it just for fun?
  2. What topics are you passionate about?
    Think about a topic that you’re experienced in that you could talk about in length whilst adding value to others. You can then break this down into a list of segments and/or episodes as you begin to brainstorm all of these topics.
  3. What are your favourite podcasts and why do you enjoy listening to them?
    Think about the reasons why you’re loyal to particular podcasts and write them down too. Is it the presenter’s delivery and energy that entertains you? Is it relatable and conversational? What is it that keeps you coming back?
  4. Who is your Target Audience?
    Who do you want to inspire or educate? Can you create an avatar for your audience (e.g gender, age, demographic, interests?) Doing this helps you understand how to build a dedicated audience by communicating specifically to this niche. 

By asking yourself these questions, you will be able to have a clearer understanding of your podcast concept, end goal and who you want to cater to. 

Step 2: Define your Podcast Format, Length & Schedule

Podcast Format

If you’re a true podcast fan, you’ll know that there are different podcast formats to choose from. In summary they are: 

  • Single host format: You are the solo host and discuss topics on your own. 
  • Co-host format: You have a co-host to bounce ideas and topics off each other. 
  • Interview format: You invite guests and ask them questions. 
  • Roundtable format: You have a small group to discuss different topics and ideas.
  • Variety: You switch between formats for different episodes. It’s still important to be consistent with your format so you may choose to alternate between 2 formats each week so that your audience knows what to expect. 

Over time, your podcast may evolve and you’ll change your format accordingly – but it’s always good to start with one of the above. 

Podcast Length

Most podcast shows are consistent with the length of their show and the normal ranges are between 30min to 60min podcasts. 

If you’re unsure of your podcast length, scroll through your favourite podcasts that discuss similar topics to you and look at their podcast length to give you a starting point.

Whichever podcast length you go with, just make sure that your listener is entertained throughout the entire podcast with value-adding and digestible information.

Podcast Schedule

Don’t make the mistake of getting excited about your podcast and releasing TOO MANY episodes, you’ll find that one of the following things will happen: 

  • You’ll quickly run out of topics to discuss
  • Your audience is fatigued and can’t keep up with your episode releases (who has time to tune into a daily podcast anyway?)
  • Your staff members are fatigued from the constant editing and uploading so the quality of your podcast falls through the cracks
  • You’re not giving your podcast enough time to promote the episode. When releasing your podcast episode, you should be circulating this across other platforms to so you can build excitement and downloads

Most podcasts release episodes weekly and this is a great starting point for podcasts that are 40 to 60mins in length.

If your shows are shorter, you could consider releasing episodes twice a week.

Whatever it is that you choose, make sure to choose a particular day of the week and stick to that release day. This gives you the opportunity to preface to your audience when they can expect the next podcast e.g “Make sure you tune in next Wednesday for the next episode of this podcast!”

Podcast Equipment

If you’re new to recording equipment, you might find it overwhelming or assume that you need to spend a lot of money on top tools. However, our friend and Professional Podcaster Tim Beanland has consolidated a list of podcast equipment for each budget type in his latest eBook.

Equipment to Start a Podcast on Any Budget by Tim Beanland will offer you the following: 

  • Recommendation For All Budgets to get a start with equipment that you are comfortable with.
  • Start Your Podcast reduce the time wasted on researching equipment and get into the important part starting your podcast.
  • Equipment Tested all gear recommended is equipment that I have personally used and tested over 2 years of podcasting.

Step 3: Brand your show

Branding your show is important for both visual and written content including:

  • Podcast artwork:  This is a key part of your brand recognition and it’s important to use this same artwork across the different channels you plan to host your podcast. Design your artwork for 3000 x 3000 but keep in mind that it will appear as 10x smaller in your podcast channels, so don’t overcomplicate it and make the text and image clear and easy to read (see our Graphic Design examples below)
  • Website landing page: If you have a website, it’s important to create a landing page telling people about your podcast with links to listen and subscribe.
  • Social Media Posts and Schedule: To maximise your reach you should be promoting your podcast across all social media platforms. It’s a good idea to create image templates for social media posts promoting the podcast and incorporate it into your Social Media Schedule (see our Social Media Examples below)
  • Naming conventions: Consider how you will title and categorise your podcasts. You should think about how you would like to name your podcast titles across all platforms e.g [Podcast Name] [Episode Number] [Name of Guest] [Topic]

These are all things that your Dedicated Virtual Assistant can help you with. 

Step 4: Create Topics

Once you have a good idea of who your audience will be and what brand your podcast will carry, you should be able to start thinking of topics to share.

When brainstorming on topics, it’s always best to have a good bank of ideas ready. Don’t just create shows on the fly, instead we recommend creating a calendar and listing out any key dates/events that are relevant to your podcast theme. 

For example, if your podcast is about relationships, in February you might want to have themes around Valentines Day.

The calendar is a good way to get started and plot it in your ideas. Things may change as you go but start with a calendar, key dates, then plot in the topics you’re most excited to talk about or are most relevant to your audience at that period of time. 

If you need assistance in setting up this calendar and filling out your ideas, our Dedicated Virtual Assistants can help you with that too.

Step 5: Create your guest list (if you’re planning to interview guests)

This step is relevant for those that are planning to interview guests on their podcast show. Start with a list of your 1st connections (your lowest hanging fruit) and list down their:

  • Name
  • Title (how you would introduce them on the show)
  • Why you want them on the show

Then you can start prioritising the list by who you would like to speak to first and match them into timeslots in your podcast calendar.

Step 6: Start writing your podcast and email scripts

When we say scripts, we don’t mean the script for your podcast, we mean the script for important elements such as:

  • Podcast Intro
  • Intermission
  • Podcast Outro

You should also prepare the following scripts in preparation for reaching out to Podcast Guests (if you plan to have guests):

  • Podcast Interview Invitation
  • Podcast Reminder Email
  • Podcast Thank You Email

Once all of these are in place you can start inviting your podcast guests for the show either directly or you can ask your Dedicated Virtual Assistant to use your email scripts to reach out to podcast guest list (prepared in Step 5).

Step 7: Start recording your podcast episodes

When you have a good bank of topics, you’re ready to start recording your episodes

Once you’ve downloaded Tim’s free eBook with a list of all the podcast equipment you need suited to your budget, this step should be easy from here!

Before you start recording make sure you consider the acoustics of your surroundings and how it can affect your recording. Here are some of the key things to look out for:

  • Make sure you’re somewhere quiet without noise and distractions
  • Avoid reverberant large spaces with hard and flat surfaces that can cause echoes. Instead,  set-up (if you can) on carpet or somewhere with padded surroundings
  • Be consistent with the position of your mouth relative to the mic when you’re recording. Sometimes during conversations you naturally want to move around or drift away or towards the mic but this can impact the quality of your sound.

Step 8: Edit your podcasts

Once you’ve recorded your episodes, you’re ready to get them edited! Editing podcasts can be a lot of work and doing this yourself can be extremely time consuming if you’ve never done editing work before.

So if you’re looking for an editor, we also provide podcast editing services to people who want to build a brand through voice-driven media. If you want to hire a podcast editing Virtual Assistant, feel free to reach out to us.

Step 9: Sign-up to podcast platforms

When you have episodes ready to go, you’ll need a platform for people to listen to them. Here is our list of all the podcast platforms we created an account with for The Kind Boss podcast to allow listeners to subscribe on any of these channels: 

In addition to these platforms, you must also set-up your RSS feed by creating an RSS Podcast Account here to allow your devoted fans to follow your feed.

If you’re feeling a bit daunted by all these tasks, our Dedicated Virtual Assistant can take care of that for you too.

Step 10: Promote your podcast

To drive listeners to your podcast, you’ll need to develop a solid Marketing Strategy. These are the platforms you should take into consideration beyond the platform podcasts: 

  • YouTube: Turn your podcast audio into a YouTube Video and upload it to your channel with links to your podcast
  • Facebook and Instagram: Share a snippet of your podcast on Facebook and Instagram via posts and/or stories. For The Kind Boss Podcast, we create Social Media Videos of the best snippets of the podcast using an eye catching template to showcase the audio, here’s an example:

LinkedIn: We share our Podcast link and snippets on LinkedIn throughout the week

  • Twitter: If you have an active Twitter page you can share a trackable link here too.
  • Website: On your website you should transcribe your podcast audio into text and share it as a supporting blog article.
  • Email Campaign: Promote this to your database in an upcoming Email Campaign to get the most reach out of your followers.

If you have invited a guest on the show, make sure to share all of your Marketing Assets with them to make it easy for them to cross-promote your podcast on their channels too.

And of course, if you don’t have time for these then our Dedicated Virtual Assistants can take care of these for you.

We hope that this step-by-step guide gave you a good idea on how to start your podcast and set yourself up for a successful launch.

If you need assistance or have any questions, feel free to book in a FREE Discovery Call with our Outsourcing Specialist to have all your questions answered.

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Start outsourcing to us today and we will help you tick off that long to-do list!

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