How to Start a Podcast

 

How to Start a Podcast:

  1. Decide on a Topic.

The narrower the topic, the better. For instance, “Horror Movie Reviews” or “Explaining X-Men Continuity” are great ones. You can target a specific audience. Multiple narrow topics also works well, e.g. “Gaming Reviews, Anime Reviews, Comics News, TV Show Reviews,” because you can target each specific audience. Having a podcast with a broader topic is fine, but it is much more difficult to find a core audience.

  1. Name It.

It doesn’t have to be something amazing or clever. Just something that people will remember (you don’t want people to forget the name of your podcast). You can change the name of your cast, but if you have built up an audience, you don’t want to change it.

  1. Find a Co-Star.

It is HARD to do a podcast by yourself unless you are very good at delivering  a monologue. Solo podcasts tend to wander off-topic (as there is no one to keep you in check) and tend to be very one-note. You can do it, but it is hard. A good rapport between the hosts of a show can make your show WAY better!

  1. Decide on a Format.

This can always be changed later, but at least you’ll have something to guide you through the first few episodes. Also, I find people are much more likely to listen to shorter podcasts (between 30-60 minutes). We try to keep ours under 75 minutes, but sometimes we go over (We have a lot to talk about, damnit!), and some of my favorites run as long as two and a half hours. I am reluctant now to check out new shows that are longer than 90 minutes, though, just because I have enough trouble keeping up with all the podcasts I like already.

  1. Get Microphones and Audio-editing Software.

Blue microphones are decently cheap with good quality. The Blue Snowball sounds pretty good and can be found on Amazon for around $75 dollars, probably for less on ebay. We use the Blue Yeti, which is a bit more expensive but has amazing sound. As far as editing software, Audacity works fine for me, and it’s FREEEEEEEE! There are tons of options for mics and software, these are just the ones that I use.

  1. Find a Site to Host Your Show.

I use SoundCloud. Other options are Libsyn and Podbean. I’m sure there are more.

  1. Take a Deep Breath. Relax. You Good? NOW RECORD A SHOW!

The first show is always hard. Some casts do a pilot Zero-episode to get their footing before recording the first episode they want. We didn’t, and the first half of our first episode is just a bit slow, but we figure it out fast, and the second half is really, really funny (Like hilarious, go listen to it). My best advice is to try to relax, and just have fun with it. Stiffness = bad, banter = good. Also, you will make mistakes. It happens. Don’t let them slow the podcast down, just call them out, laugh about it, and move on. Once you get that first episode done, the rest are much easier.

  1. Now, Submit Your Show on iTunes.

It’s not that hard, just be patient and follow all of the instructions.

  1. Probably Should Get on Google Play, too.

Because that’s a thing now (it’s new). So do that too.

  1. Make a Schedule and STICK TO IT.

If you say you’ll be weekly, be weekly. Don’t skip a show. If you say you’ll be once a month, be once a month. If you think you will miss a week, just say that in the previous episode! Or record a little thing on your cell phone with the Soundcloud app (if you’re using Soundcloud) apologizing for the missed show. People look for their regular content when they expect it. If they see it’s missing, they might forget the next week. If they see you missed three weeks, they might stop checking all together. The one thing all podcasts that last have in common is consistently putting out content.

  1. Market on Your Preferred Social Media Platform.

I like Twitter because it’s super easy and I suck at Facebook and Tumblr. There are also a ton of analytics available for Twitter, like when your followers are online. I hear Pinterest is good if you know how to use it. Also, don’t spam your followers. Put out content that people will want to see that isn’t your show in addition to talking about your show. Interact with people. Make friends. It’s fun!

  1. Don’t worry about making money right away.

If you want, you can make a Patreon account to put up with your first episode. You probably won’t make much, though. My advice would be to build up a following before asking for money. Do it for the loooove. Then again, money is good to have. Ads and other revenue can come when you hit around 10K hits on your show per month. Money will come later, though. Worry about building up an audience, first.

  1. Keep on Truckin’.

Do they say that in other places besides the Midwest USA? Anyway, just keep going. VERY FEW podcasts go viral, especially right away. We were at it over a month (and five episodes) before we had 100 listens, and I’m pretty sure a good chunk of those were our parents/girlfriends. Keep on going. One of my favorite shows has been at it for years. They do it for the love of their topic, and because they have a good time with it. Just keep going!

  1. GOOD LUCK!

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