How to Start A Podcast in 2019 From Scratch: A Thorough Guide
In case you are searching for a guide on how to start a podcast in 2019, you have landed in the right place!
The process of launching your own podcast isn’t as hard as many people think, but there are some things that you need to keep in mind before you start. In this report, we’ll guide you through every step of the procedure--from picking an appropriate name and topic to promoting your podcast, so you aren’t left wondering.
Why should you start a podcast in the first place?
Podcasting is a media tool characterized by less competition and challenges compared to popular media platforms like blogging. The numbers literally speak for themselves. There are currently more than 440 million blogs, whereas there are just 770K podcasts available online up to this moment.
This is why podcasting makes an excellent opportunity to express and promote yourself, and we are about to tell how exactly how you can make it, just like we already did.
Here are all the essential steps to start your own podcast from scratch!
Your Podcast - Planning Ahead
This is the first step that is often ignored, but it’s actually quite important. You ideally want to spare some time and energy to build a solid plan before you can jump to the next stage.
So take your notebook or a notepad and start noting down all the essential details of your podcast, just like the pros do already. We are about to tell you which are these details in a while.
Picking a podcast topic/niche
Of course, you need to choose a specific topic or niche to focus on when starting your own podcast.
The secret here is not to go for something too broad or general but not too specific either--it ideally should be something that you can dedicate a hundred or more episodes about and something that you really know and enjoy to research as well.
For instance, instead of choosing the topic of “outdoor activities," you could start a podcast on fishing or even more specifically “lake fishing."
You may build on your topic later as you gradually gain ground and popularity.
Choosing a podcast co-host (optional)
In some cases, things can become easier and much more familiar if you get a co-host on your side. This could be a friend, relative, or business partner who shares this common interest with you.
Having a co-host will help make the conversation between you and your audience more stimulating and “live” and help you keep track of the process, as you both share your points on a particular topic.
And another benefit is that you’ll also cut the work in half as they can help you with editing, publishing, and promoting your podcast, among other things.
However, you ideally want to work with someone that can stick with you long-term and not someone who will quit after just a couple of podcasts. There are no official rules or guaranteed to this, though. If your co-host suddenly quits, you may still go solo without them.
You may also go solo and pick a co-host at a later point. It’s up to you…
Naming your podcast
Some names that are more popular than others. If you scroll down the top Apple podcast chart list, you’ll gain an idea of which names seem to do better than others in the same niche.
Some are pretty explanatory while others don’t tell much about what the topic is about, and some are even irrelevant.
Unlike your topic which should be more specific than broad, your name should be a tad more general, so it’s more easily recognizable. For instance, instead of going for “Houston Lake Fishing,"you could choose something like “Lake Fishing Adventures” as you don’t want to limit yourself in one particular area or thing.
Once you find your podcast’s name, the step that comes next is purchasing a domain name from an online hoster. You may get it for free with Bluehost, but if you want to enjoy additional features and perks e.g. change your domain name anytime, you may want to invest in a paid hosting package.
Length of your podcast
There are a bunch of so-called experts out there who swear by a certain length over others. The thing is, from our experience, there is no rule for such matter.
There is no need for starting a 28-minute podcast because you’ve been told that this is the average time of airplay or try to limit yourself to a brief podcast which lasts less than 60 minutes, in fear of people getting bored and hitting the stop button.
However, you should avoid dragging your podcast out for too long as you’ll risk going off-topic.
Creating your style
Interview podcasts are quite popular, but that doesn’t necessarily imply that you have to do one as well.
You may choose to do solo shows for the first half or one time and go for an interview on the second half of your show or in another show altogether.
The great thing about hosting interviews is that they manage to catch the attention of new listeners, especially if the conversation is semi-prepared (your co-host has a list of the questions you’ll be asking in advance to prepare themselves).
Honing the format of your episode
An episode always follows a specific format, but it doesn’t have to be the same every time.
For instance, it may feature:
- Intro Music
- A welcome message
- A teaser
- An interview
- An ad
- End music
Keep in mind that you want to appeal to both new and repeat listeners, and your format should satisfy both. That said, treat your podcast like any other brand deliverable and create audible brand elements that you repeat every time.
Preparing your Podcast
Now that you have picked your topic, name, and format, you need to sort out a few other things as well before finally publishing your first podcast.
Create distinguishing cover art
Your cover art/image is the first thing people will notice as they navigate through a list of podcasts. Therefore, it would be wise to make it look interesting yet relevant to your topic.
You can start designing your own from scratch using a cover art designing tool, or if your pocket allows you, you can invest in an expert designer to do it for you. You may start working on default templates and personalize them later.
Hire a professional to voice your intro
There are some places online that you can order professional voiceover services at an affordable cost. A voiceover service is not mandatory, but it will help add some credibility to your words as people tend to trust more folks that are being introduced by others (who sound good and know how to make proper intros).
Select your opening music
You may find some royalty-free music clips that you can use for free to open your show. If you are looking for something more specific and different than others, you may search in a platform that features thousands of intro music clips to choose from. These don’t typically cost much, and you won’t need an unlimited subscription as a couple of audio clips are enough in most cases.
Get a good microphone
Quality microphones don’t have to cost a small fortune. There are microphones like Audio Technica ATR2100 or Tonor USB microphone set which cost under 99 bucks and are packed with extra features as well, e.g audio editing software.
Look ideally for a complete kit instead of purchasing everything you need separately as this will save you more money and time.
Prepare a list of your guests
If you host an interview show, it would be wise to prepare a list of the guests that you wish to host on your podcast. Then, start contacting them for availability.
You can also share with them your calendar online so they can choose an available spot and save you some precious time communicating back and forth. You can also tell them to share specific details such as their Skype name to jot in your notes section so you can talk to them later.
Recording & Editing Your Podcast
One of the most essential tools of course when launching your podcast (besides your mic) is your recording and editing software. In nearly all cases, you’ll have to spend several minutes or hours to edit and perfect your episode.
Audacity is perhaps the most popular and free open-source option for starters but you may try Adobe Audition’s and GarageBand which are also free in their basic form, but you may pay a few extra bucks to enjoy additional features.
Generate a Template
If you don’t want to go through the same process every time, you should generate a general template you can use for all future episodes.
This means getting your intro and intro music already sorted, leaving some room for ad spots, and of course some space for interviews interchanged with your own voice solo.
Remember that this may differ based on the actual format of each episode, and you want to generate something that fits your needs.
Your template can be created in your audio editing software and you can change it anytime. To use it, just click Open, and then Save to save all the files in your device for future use.
For solo episodes
If you will record a solo episode or just an intro to an interview, simply choose your default audio track in your template and hit the record button to initiate the process.
For 2+ hosts
In case you’ll feature 2 or more people and interviews in your track, here are the steps: Track-Configure Track Header and ticking the Record Enable.
This will allow you to use multiple tracks to record at the same time and each track will come with the Record Enable option. It’s not hard at all…
For remote interviews
Many folks use Skype for recording interviews remotely. One of the easiest methods to record remote interviews is Pamela (For Windows OS) and Ecamm Call Recorder (For MAC users).
However, if you wish to get a higher audio quality or record files for two individual guests, you may use extra tools designed for remote recording or even allowing guests to connect through their phone.
Once you complete the recording process, you will end up with two extra different tracks that you will arrange on top of each other in your template e.g intro music, podcast audio, my interview, guest interview, ad post, Outro music.
Keep in mind that the podcast track will be used for solo shows while the Interview tracks for interview episodes.
Editing Your Episode
There are a few things that you can easily configure once (using your template) so you can ensure a good sound in every episode.
As everyone’s voice is different though, the configurations will differ as well. However, there are some basic settings that work with most cases. Here are the basic steps if you are using garage band:
- Choose the audio track you wish to edit
- Click anywhere to an empty space in the Plug-ins menu
- Choose the option Dynamics-Compressor
The compression setting here will normalize and balance the volume of loud sounds and quiet sounds used in the same track and it’s generally a good basic setting to use. You may choose different compressor details e.g ratio, attack to find one that works best with your track.
If you want to add an Equalizer effect to optimize the sound of your podcast, here are some suggestions (if you are using garage band):
Choose EQ button (In the Smart Controls Panel) and then Chanel EQ
Some suggested settings for starters:
- 5400 Hz: +2.5dB, Q: 0.71
- 3400 Hz: +0.5dB, Q: 0.7
- 930 Hz: -0.5dB, Q: 3.20
- 500 Hz: -1.0dB, Q: 0.71
You don’t have to know exactly what these are all about -we are just giving you an example that works for a start if you wish to optimize your audio levels.
Launch your podcast!
Choose a podcast host!
Once your audio is ready, Choose a company/platform where you’ll host your podcast and access important statistics and features to maximize your presence. Some good options include: Buzzsprout, Transistor, Podbean, Simplecast, and Castos. Most of these options come with a free trial so you can try them out first before proceeding to a paid subscription plan later, which is $12/month on average.
Upload your first podcast/show
Some hosting platforms allow you to easily upload your new episode with a click of a button e.g “Upload Now” or “Upload A New Episode”. And the beauty of this feature is that they will automatically apply some processing settings for you so you don’t have to.
The only basic stuff you have to feel is the name of your episode, a brief description, an episode number, and a publish date.
You may also use a template for your episode description with the same intro and ending e.g subscribe and like us on X. Click save to save your default description and use the same template for each new episode.
It is suggested that you launch a show with more than 1 episodes so listeners don’t have to wait for more episodes.