Should You Create a Podcast?
According to recent podcast statistics 52% of Americans are listening to podcasts, 22% listen to podcasts on a weekly basis, and the average listener subscribes to seven shows!
While the number of podcasts has nearly doubled in the past year, podcasting is currently not a crowded market – there’s still plenty of opportunity to carve out a niche and grow an active listener base.
We’re thrilled you’re here and look forward to guiding you through the entire process so that your podcast has what it takes to reach new audiences, build a a fanbase, and make money.
How to Start a Podcast
You may be wondering where to begin, so we’ve broken down the entire process into manageable tasks.
The menu below shows the topics that are covered. Simply click on the headings to expand the menu and find the topics you’re interested in, then click the links to jump to that section in the guide.
We cover a lot of useful information, so we’d recommend bookmarking this page for future reference.
Ready? Let’s go! 🚀
Why Do You Want to Launch?
Building a successful podcast takes passion and commitment. Having a strong motivation can propel you through the inevitable lulls and challenges.
Here are a few reasons people decide to start a podcast:
- You want a fun hobby
- You crave new and exciting projects
- You want to make money off your podcast
- You want to build a following and engage your community
- You want to build your current brand and set yourself up as an expert in your field
- You have a passion for a subject that you want to dive deeper into
- You have a story or message that you want to share with the world
Maybe none of these reasons describes your motivation exactly, but it’s important to identify what drives you and write that down to inspire you throughout the process.
Getting Your Feet Wet
Before you commit to starting your own podcast, you might try to become a guest on a few podcasts, or apply to be an assistant on an established show. This way you can learn how more seasoned podcasters run their shows which will provide you with tips and ideas for your own podcast. Also, becoming a guest on other shows can help you create a fanbase before you record a single episode!
How to Choose a Topic for Your Podcast
Before you invest any money in your podcast project, invest time in planning and brainstorming. Ask yourself these questions:
- What are you passionate about?
- What do you know about?
- What can you bring to listeners that they can’t get anywhere else?
- Who do you imagine your audience to be?
The more specific you can be as you answer these questions, the better prepared you will be to find your audience and connect with them.
The best shows have one solid topic that all the episodes revolve around. Mining your own interests, passions, and expertise is a good place to start. Once you’ve narrowed down your topic, make a list of possible subtopics you could cover in individual episodes. If you can come up with a list of at least 10 subtopics, you know you have a good topic.
Don’t be afraid to be super-specific with your topic: the more specific you can be, the less competition you will have for listeners and the better positioned you will be to monetize on your podcast (if that is your goal). As they say in the world of marketing, “The riches are in the niches.” Here’s one example of how to narrow down a topic to a niche that can attract the passionate audience many podcasters hope for.
The Riches Are in the Niches
Eureka – you just struck gold!
After narrowing your topic down to a specific niche, a good test for how viable it actually is as a niche is to make a list of possible episode topics.
A list of episode ideas for a UFC Fighting podcast could look something like this:
- The fighters of the UFC
- Each episode could feature a different UFC fighter and their backstory
- Training for UFC Fighting
- Equipment needed for training
- Best tips for nutrition and exercise
- How to go pro
- Best fights of the UFC
- A breakdown, or play-by-play if you will, of the most popular UFC fight events – who fought them, who won, what could have been done differently?
- Could be an opportunity to chat with the winners/losers, promoters of the fights, and even fight sponsors
- The fighters of the UFC
Equipment You'll Need to Get Started
Two of the most frequently asked questions we get are “how much does it cost to start a podcast?” and “what equipment will I need to get started?”
Total cost depends on a few factors including:
- What service or company you choose as your podcast host
- The types of equipment you use
- Editing software
- Custom show art/logos
You can start a podcast for less than $200, but if you have a larger budget we can help you know where to save and where to spend.
- For a basic, bare bones setup, you’ll need:
- A computer
- USB or XLR microphone
- Software to record and edit your podcast
- Artwork for your podcast (logo, cover art, etc.)
- A podcast host for hosting your episode files
How to Launch a Podcast for $200 and Up
Can you launch a show for less than $200? Yes, but your audio and quality could suffer in your initial equipment setup.
To give you an idea of the breakdown in costs, here’s a cost-effective setup used by an RSS.com podcaster:
- They used the smartphone they already owned to record the audio with an app that came on their device
- Rather than buying a microphone and headphones, they used their cell phone’s headset
- They didn’t launch a website, and instead used a free Facebook page, and profiles on Instagram and Twitter to promote their show. Also, hosts like RSS.com give you a free podcasting website
- Using a free account on Canva, they developed a simple graphic to get their show launched
- They considered free hosting, but decided against it because of the size and storage limits. For just under $10 a month they could upload as many episodes as they wanted to without worrying about these kinds of restrictions.
- Read our post “5 Reasons Free Podcast Hosting is a Bad Idea” to learn why it’s better to pay for hosting.
- Also see “How to Choose Your Podcast Host.”
You can launch a show for less, but is it worth it?
There are some important things to note with a cost-effective setup. First, you may need to spend significantly more time editing your audio.
The sound quality using their cell phone and headset wasn’t the greatest. From background noise to echoes, dips in sound levels to stereo issues, there was a lot of time spent adjusting the audio to sound more professional and clean.
By not having a website, they missed out on some great opportunities to build their audience and grow their following. For starters, they could have been building an email list. With nowhere for fans to go except for their social media pages, all the branding was being done on borrowed platforms.
We’ve seen social media accounts get hacked, Instagram pages deleted without warning, Twitter accounts shadowbanned, and more. You don’t own any of these platforms.
An email list is something you do own, however. If your social media accounts get deleted or hacked, you can easily reach out to your list and let them know what has happened. In other words, you can bring your fans with you wherever you go!
Another thing you miss out on without a website? SEO opportunities that could yield new listeners, sponsors, and advertisers. One of the smartest things a podcaster can do is create show notes and/or transcription posts on their websites for each of the episodes they release. These keyword-rich posts are yielding new visitors who could become listeners or potential brand partners every single day.
As a result, their websites act as marketing tools for their businesses and podcasts 24/7/365.
- You can purchase a domain and website hosting for a year for about $50 depending on the provider you choose.
- Buyer beware: Although hosting and a domain for the first year might be as cheap as $50, this rate can as much as double with some hosts – be sure to read the fine print!
Launching a Podcast with a Budget of $500 and Up
If you have the funds for it, you could purchase a more expensive microphone for upwards of $500 to $1000. You could also purchase high-quality headphones that are in the same $500 to $1000 range. Some podcasters spend thousands of dollars on full studio setups, boom microphone stands, soundboards, logos, custom websites, and more. The reality is it’s easy to spend a lot!
Here’s an example of what a $500-$1000 budget might look like. Once again, this budget will assume that you already own a computer:
- For $300 you can get a one year subscription of Adobe Audition. You might wonder why anyone would pay for editing software when there are free options out there. The truth is the free software is wonderful, and is still used by many podcasters, including ones that make 6 and 7 figures a year. What prompts the pros to use Adobe Audition, however, is the desire for a crisper sound, the ability to eliminate unwanted audio elements more easily, and access to more controls to manipulate your audio.
- Until you’re in a position to pay for a website designer to develop a website from scratch, we’ll just assume you’re going to be DIYing most of this on your own.
- If you purchase a theme and paid plugins, instead of spending the $50 on the lower end we mentioned earlier, you’re probably looking at between $100-$350 for your website costs.
- Wix is a great, cost-effective option that offers an easy-to-use website builder and customizable templates.
- Using a service like 99Designs, or by hiring an independent contractor, you can expect to pay between $300 and $1300 for a logo. Your logo can be used as your podcast art as long as it fits the specs of 1400X1400 px, is a square shape and is in a JPG or PNG format
- Imagine being able to set up your new podcast and RSS feed in less time than it takes to order your favorite cup of coffee. RSS.com makes it easy, and you don’t need any technical skills to do it. Get started for free today.
Hobby podcasters may opt to go as cheap as possible, whereas brands that are already in business may choose a much larger budget. While buying more expensive equipment and accessories can improve sound quality, you may still need to spend a fair amount of time in the beginning on editing and working on the various moving parts of your show.
Keep in mind that whichever budget you choose, you can always upgrade as you go along.
Ready to move on? Then let’s go!
Visualizing Your Audience
Once you have a solid list of episode possibilities, you need to spend some time thinking about who is going to listen. Much like you want a very specific niche to speak about, you want a very specific listener in mind to speak to.
Try creating a persona of your ideal listener and define things like:
- Their age
- Their interests
- Where they are most likely to live
- Their gender
- Their socioeconomic status and so more
You can even give your ideal listener a name to help you remember who you are speaking to. As you get a better understanding of who your audience will be, coming up with ideas for new episodes just gets easier.
How to Brand Your Podcast
If your show is being created for your business, it will simply be an extension of your current brand. You’ll likely want to use the same fonts, colors, and perhaps even similar logo designs for the sake of continuity.
If you are starting from scratch, you’ll want to be thinking about things like your podcast name, the logo, colors you’ll use, images, shapes, graphics, and typography that will tell potential listeners enough about you at a glance to pique their interest.
Think of your favorite brands. What comes to mind when you think of them? Odds are you can picture their logo, you can repeat their slogan, and you can even tell when something is “on-brand” for them.
These are the types of things you should be thinking about to brand your podcast. What does your show look and feel like?
Is it friendly? Informative? Aggressive? Calming? Entertaining? Mysterious? Conversational? The answers to those questions will help you as you start to develop your brand.
How to Choose a Name for Your Podcast
For many beginning podcasters, even before they are thinking about logos, slogans, and typography, they want to decide on a name.
If your show is related to an existing brand or business, your podcast name selection could be easy. For example, suppose your business name is Coaching with Jenny. Your show could be called something as simple as The Coaching with Jenny Show.
Some podcasters choose to use their name as their company name, and subsequent podcast name. Multi-passionate entrepreneur Marie Forleo is known for her YouTube show MarieTV. When she launched her podcast, she simply called it The Marie Forleo Podcast. It was an extension of her already known brand.
Then there’s fitness and health guru Chalene Johnson. Calling her show The Chalene Show made sense because it fit with her brand that was already established.
You don’t have to use your brand’s name, however, to have a “branded” show. Here are just a few examples of branded podcasts that have completely different names:
- “.future” by Microsoft
- “The Distance” by Basecamp
- “TRAINED” by Nike
- “The Sauce” by McDonald’s
- “Houston, We Have a Podcast” by NASA
Where to start
If you choose not to use your first name or your business’s name, you can start with a blank piece of paper and a pen, or by opening a new document on your computer. Write down all the keywords related to your topic. Consider what your show is about, and what would make sense to refer to it as.
The best podcast names are:
To help you choose the perfect name for your show, we have a full post with more guidance on how to choose your name for your podcast.
Still not sure what to call your show? Try the Instant Podcast Name Generator!
Do you need a website for your podcast?
It isn’t absolutely necessary to launch a website right away, but we do recommend it for a few reasons, especially if you are planning to monetize your podcast:
- You can use a website to reach new potential listeners
- It’s great for branding
- If you mention any products that you could sell (either your own products or affiliate offers) your website is the perfect place to share the links for listeners to click and buy
- You can collect emails addresses for a newsletter, which can help you keep your audience informed of what’s happening with your podcast
Should you secure social media handles for your podcast?
Yes! In the event you already have branded handles and will be using a branded podcast name, feel free to use your current social media profiles to promote your branded show.
If you’re creating a new name from scratch, you should secure your social media handles as soon as you can so that they are ready when you are.
Try to grab a handle that is the same on every platform. If you can’t get the same handle on each platform, make sure that you include your show name in your name or bio.
A word of caution: Once you secure your handles, you’ll want to keep them fairly active to avoid losing them as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram have all been known to delete stagnant accounts.
How to Choose a Format for Your Podcast
As you are developing your podcast, one of the first things to think about is the format for your show. Some ideas include:
- Solo shows: Just you and a microphone. People who run shows on their own, even if they have guests, are responsible for everything. That is at least until they can afford to hire a team for tasks like editing, uploading the show to the host, writing show notes, etc.
- Interview series: You interviewing others
- Co-hosted shows: Two or more people working on the show together – Think “The View,” “Kelly and Ryan,” or “The Doctors.” There is not one star, but instead there are multiple people sharing the spotlight. These types of shows are great for friends that want to start a show together.
- Fiction/non-fiction: Yes, you can have a show that is complete fiction. Just make sure your audience is in the loop as to whether or not what you’re sharing is fact or fiction. It’s better to be honest about your intentions up front.
- Education series: Your show can be filled with how-to guides and lessons on your topic. Think documentary series or tutorial shows.
The format you choose could depend on a lot of things: your personality, your time restraints, your interests, how scripted or spontaneous you want the show to be, etc.
If you’re not sure which format to choose, you can feel it out until you find what works best for you. You might record a few solo episodes and then decide you would rather do interviews. Or maybe you get tired of being alone and want some cohosts to share the workload and air time with.
Remember, audiences like consistency, and want to know what they are showing up for. If you keep making changes, you could lose listeners.
How to Start a Podcast with Friends
Many podcasters develop co-hosted shows with friends or colleagues. What makes this a popular choice is that not only does it give you something fun to do with like-minded people, but it allows you to split things like the costs and the workload.
Some things to discuss with your potential co-hosts include:
- Who’s in charge of each task?
- Who will be responsible for the equipment? Will you each buy your own microphone and headphones or will one person own it all and everyone borrows it? Speaking of which –
- Where will the recording setup be located? Will you record online via a platform like Zoom or does everyone need to come to one person’s house/office to record?
- Is everyone going to be listed as a host of the show? Or will there be one host with rotating guest hosts?
- What’s the plan for the costs associated with the show? (Equipment, web hosting, advertising, etc.)
- If the show starts making money – who gets paid? What’s the split?
- What happens if one of you moves or loses interest in the show?
Be as clear as you can about things like costs and division of labor at the outset so there are fewer bases for potential disagreements in the future.
After all, if your show becomes a huge success, you don’t want it to end abruptly, ruining both your show and friendship. The more you can plan ahead for how to start a podcast with friends, the better.
Finding Guests to Interview
If you decide on an interview format, where can you find guests to talk to? There are many ways to find and connect with guests including:
- Your own network of friends, family, and coworkers
- YouTubers who share the same interests and audiences
- Other podcasts whose work intersects with yours
- Bloggers who share the same interests and audiences
- Call outs on social media platforms such as TikTok, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook
- Online podcasting groups
- Past guests on other shows
- Conferences such as Podcast Movement or Podfest
- Help a Reporter Out (HARO) – This website allows you to sign up as a publisher and post queries for experts on a wide variety of subjects.
- Other platforms like PodcastGuest.com or MatchMaker.fm
How to Create a Podcast Editorial Calendar
We’ve reached the point in our how to start a podcast guide where you need to start planning your individual episodes. You might be thinking, “Can’t I just start recording already? There’s already been so many decisions I’ve had to make! I just want to launch!”
It’s a lot, we know. But the more you can prepare and plan ahead of time, the more smoothly things will run when you actually begin recording. Creating a podcasting editorial calendar ensures that you have things to talk about each week, or multiple times a week depending on how many episodes you plan to release in a given time period.
A podcasting editorial calendar is similar to one for blogging. Only instead of blog post titles, your titles will be your podcast episode titles. Other than that, they are the same. When creating your calendar, you’ll need to know ahead of time what your publishing schedule will look like. Again, audiences like consistency. So if you promise them new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday, it’s best to deliver.
How to choose your episode subjects
To start filling out your editorial calendar, you’ll want to begin with a brainstorming session. Start thinking about all of the subtopics related to your chosen niche. If you will be doing an interview series, write down a full list of everyone you would like to interview on your show. You’ll need to start scheduling interviews and adding those dates into your calendar so you have plenty of time to record and edit your shows before they go live.
To assist our readers, we’ve created a podcast editorial calendar that you can use for your own show. To get started, simply access using the link below the calendar and make your own copy.
Looking for more ideas? Here’s a useful guide from Hubspot on how to create an editorial calendar in Google Calendar. There are plenty of options for creating your own editorial calendar. You can use a paper calendar that you physically write information into, an Excel spreadsheet, even a word processor. Try out a few things and see what works best for you. The point is you want to have an overview of 3-6 months ahead of time so you can get a bird’s eye view of what the coming days will look like content wise.
If your show is fiction, you’ll know exactly how much time you have to write new content for your upcoming episodes. Non-fiction shows on the other hand will need significant research and planning. One thing that might help is to consider what will be happening at the time you will release an episode.
For example, for the month of Thanksgiving you could implement Thanksgiving related content into your shows that will drop during that time. Consider the holidays, national events, and anniversaries that might make sense to mention as you fill out your content ideas.
How to name your podcast episodes
Many episodes will inevitably name themselves. If your show is an interview series and you will be chatting with Dr. Smith about the health implications of smoking, for example, your episode title could be something like “Dr. Smith Explores Why Smoking is Bad for Your Health,” or “Smoking and Your Health With Dr. Smith,” or even “A Conversation with Dr. Smith On Smoking”
The goal of each podcast episode name should be to focus on what the episode is about. For best results, you want to stick to 60 characters or less, and 12 words or less – just like a blog post title. You want your episode titles to be eye-catching, again like a blog title. And, bonus points if you can include a keyword or keyword phrase in there somewhere.
Recording Your First Podcast Episode
It’s now time to record your first episode. Open up a recording application and just start talking, right? Well, you could do that, but we wouldn’t recommend it. For the best quality and to deliver optimal content there are a few things you should know before you jump in and hit record.
Options for recording
You can record your podcast with an application such as Zoom or a video camera, and extract the audio. You can also use a smartphone application or one on your computer to record as you talk.
For sound quality, recording your audio directly in Garageband or Audacity will likely yield the best results. However, if you choose to use an application in lieu of recording software, you just might have to spend a little longer importing and editing your show.
Production tips - how to get the best sound quality
- Record your show in a quiet room
- Believe it or not, some podcasters record in their closets when they are first starting out to mute outside noises
- Use headphones to monitor the recording
- You can test audio by recording, and then playing back your sound to test the quality and adjust as needed
- Be cognisant of popping sounds that can occur with words that start with the letter “P” or “B”
- If you have the funds in your budget, use a pop filter to lessen those pops
- You might not want the microphone too close to your mouth
- Many podcasters say the sweet spot is to keep your microphone three to five inches away from your mouth
- Stand up to record your audio
- Practice with test recordings before recording an entire show
- Slow down!
- Some podcasters get so nervous they speed through their shows and are hard to understand as a result
- Try not to touch the surface your microphone is sitting on
- If your budget allows, purchase a boom mic stand (also called a boom arm) as these can help reduce shock noise and keeps the microphone out of your way as you talk
- Don’t fret if you have long pauses or excessive use of “ums” and “ahs” as you can edit those out. However, it’s best to try and practice avoiding “ums” and “ahs” if you can.
- As you record additional episodes and get comfortable with being on the mic, this should come more naturally
- Never sit down and start recording without a plan
- It’s best to have an outline to work from so you can stay on track with the episode’s focus
- If more than one person will be on your show, you should have a separate microphone for each of them
- Record your show in a quiet room
What about intro and outro music?
Using intro and outro music can make your podcast feel more professional. And, if you use custom music, it can help you brand your show as well. For example, an intro announcing your show name and the name of the host or hosts can aid your audience in becoming familiar with who you are. And it signals to them that this is the beginning of the episode.
An outro signals to the audience the show is coming to a close. It provides an auditory clue that either another track is about to come on, or that they can turn off their music player. An outro is also the perfect place to include a call to action, replug your show name, and mention your website or social media handles.
Where can you get music for your show?
While you can certainly look for royalty free music, it’s important to keep in mind that just because it says royalty-free, doesn’t mean it’s free to use. Some music requires paying a licensing fee, and this fee may only cover a specific number of downloads. For example, there are licenses for up to 250,000 downloads. That means if your show suddenly goes viral and hits a million or more downloads, you might have to shell out extra cash for the appropriate licensing.
Podcast Intro Music Example
The Bloggy Friends Show Intro Music:
Editing Your Show
What is the best podcast editing software?
Where to find tutorials on editing
The easiest way to find a tutorial on your editing software of choice is to type the name of the software and “tutorial” into your favorite search engine. For a video tutorial we recommend going directly to YouTube and typing in your search. Here are some of the best tutorials we found on YouTube for each of the software options we mentioned above:
- Studio One
- Music Maker
- Power Sound Editor
- Adobe Audition
- Hindenburg Journalist
How to Launch Your First Podcast Episode
Step 2. Create your account
Step 4. Click the “New Episode” button and enter your episode’s title, and description. You can also choose the season number if applicable, and add an episode number.
Step 5. Next, you’ll choose what date to publish the episode, add any relevant keywords, and upload your podcast audio file. Then, click “Publish.”
If you didn’t want the episode to go live just yet, instead of clicking “Now” under Publish, you would have clicked “Schedule.” Doing so would have allowed you to choose the time and date the episode goes live.
How to Find Your Podcast's RSS Feed
On your RSS.com dashboard, you’ll see a button that says “RSS Feed.” Simply click that button to copy your RSS feed – easy right?
Below is a quick video that walks you through each step in creating an RSS feed for your podcast.
You will need at least one episode loaded before you can add your RSS feed to most podcasting platforms.
How to Submit Your Podcast to the Most Popular Directories
Rather than reinvent the wheel, here are some links to articles either we have created or ones by the platforms themselves that tell you everything you need to know to get your podcast on various directories:
- Google Play (also called Google Podcasts)
- Wait what? You can share your podcast on YouTube? Yes! And a lot of people do. Though there is much debate about whether or not you should, the simple fact is that podcasters who choose to load their podcasts to YouTube are reaching new potential listeners. Some are even opting to film themselves recording their shows so they can provide listeners with audio and visual entertainment.
Sharing Your Podcast on Your Website
Why show notes are a good idea
Effectively, show notes are a written post dedicated to each of your podcast episodes. You can include your main highlights and the minute listeners can skip to for each of the highlights you mention, transcripts of your show, affiliate and product links, sponsor shoutouts, relevant links to your podcast guests, and more.
Not only do show notes encourage people to visit your website, they give your listeners another space to engage with you. Most podcast platforms allow user reviews, but dedicated show notes pages allow your listeners to comment on individual episodes and give feedback on the specific content of the day/week/month.
Show notes also increase your authority and allow you to continue establishing yourself as an expert on your podcast topic. If you ever do decide to sell anything, show notes pages increase your “know, like and trust factor” that might make listeners more likely to buy products and services you recommend.
SEO tips for your episode titles and show notes
We mentioned earlier that your podcast titles should include relevant keywords, and mimic blog post titles. But there’s more to SEO than a good title. Additional SEO tips include:
- Mention your relevant keywords a few times throughout your show so they are present in transcripts and highlights
- Break up your show notes with images that are optimized – add alt text and keywords to your image names
- Create pinnable images to easily add posts to relevant Pinterest boards
- If you have videos associated with your show notes, embed them into your post
- Add a summary to the top of your show notes that includes an overview of the episode, and include your relevant keywords there too
- Be sure to add your relevant keywords to your meta description of your show notes page as well
To make the process of creating your show notes posts easier on you, develop a template that you can simply copy and paste to make quick work of writing your post. If you are using WordPress, which you should be, you can even add a plugin that allows you to create post templates to take out the step of copy/paste.
A faster way to create transcriptions of your podcast is to use software or to hire a transcriptionist. Some software such as TEMI begins at just $0.25/minute. Then again, if you would prefer to have a human do it, there are transcriptionists that charge about $1/minute.
Always do your research on any personnel hires or software purchases.
Turn Your Podcast Into a Money-Making Machine
Many people who search for how to start a podcast hope to turn it into a profitable venture. It’s understandable considering they are a significant amount of work. But, you might be wondering, “Won’t it be awhile before you can really make money from podcasting?” The answer is far more complicated than you might like, but here’s what we know for sure:
We have seen people make money from their very first episode, and we’ve seen podcasters who have been in the game for years that still aren’t making any money. If you create a monetization plan from the outset, you could earn money as soon as you want to. Then, as your listenership grows, you can tweak your plan to increase your income accordingly.
Ways to monetize your show include, but isn’t limited to:
- Selling products and/or services – You would sell these offerings either as an affiliate or developing something for yourself or your business. For example, if you sell photography services, you could mention your business in every episode and share how people can hire you to take pictures and buy prints.
- Advertising – This is usually in the form of an ad placed somewhere in the show. These can be as short as 15 seconds or as long as a minute. It’s up to you how you handle advertising, but keep in touch with your listeners to make sure you aren’t using too many ads per episode. The last thing you want is for your audience to abandon ship because they’re tired of hearing ads.
- Sponsorships – Some podcasters have worked out deals to get a large brand to sponsor an episode, a season, or even their entire show. You can begin your show with a statement about the show being brought to listeners by the brand, and include sponsor information on your show notes pages.
- Crowdfunding – It’s become commonplace to set up a GoFundMe or Kickstarter account to get the “seed money” to launch a show. While it may take a significant amount of work in promoting your crowdfunding campaign, it can be a great way to start your show in the black.
- Membership model – By using Patreon for Podcasters, show creators can charge a monthly fee that allows their fans to contribute to the production of the show. Listeners can pay varying amounts to have early access to shows, private Q and A sessions with hosts, extra content, and more.
- Charging guest fees – This is probably not a good business model if your show is brand new, but for shows that are known to get millions of downloads, some hosts are now charging guests for the chance to appear on their program.
Podcast Marketing: How to Market You Show and Grow Your Fanbase
Can you believe we’re nearing the end of the how to start a podcast guide?!? We’ve covered so much, but we can’t end this post without talking a little about marketing. Even before you launch your show, you need to be thinking about promoting your show.
Here are some ideas we recommend adding to your marketing plan. This is far from an exhaustive list, but our hope is that it at least gets the wheels in your head turning.
Marketing your podcast before you launch
Before the first episode goes live, secure your website and social media handles so you can start putting out teasers. Create graphics announcing the release date, and the name of the show.
If you already have a fanbase, hopefully this will yield your first listeners. If not, we recommend trying to get on as many podcasts as a guest as you possibly can before your first show goes live. Direct these listeners to your website and an email signup page to get notified when the first episode launches.
It may also be beneficial to start blogging and vlogging about your experience preparing for launch. Start a narrative with your audience detailing who you’re interviewing, equipment you’re buying, and even your recording setup.
We’ve seen some podcasters create countdown posts on their pages and social media profiles as well. Countdowns generate buzz and build excitement.
Once your first episode is live
Share it everywhere! Post it on social media, on your website, to your email list, etc… write a blog post about it announcing that it’s live and what you plan for the future of your show. This can either be combined with your first episode’s show notes, or can be a separate post.
Write a press release and send it to your local media outlets. Who knows? It could get you on radio stations and local news.
Create graphics with quotes from the show. Develop mini videos with images and sound bytes to share on social media.
Ask people to share that first episode and subscribe. If you haven’t already made it onto the various podcasting directories, continue applying and registering your show.
After a few episodes drop
Continue trying to become a guest on other people’s shows to grow your audience. Write guest posts for blogs, Medium.com, and news outlets to promote your brand and show. Keep growing your email list and sharing on social media.
As you hit milestones, announce it to everyone. For example, “We just hit 10 episodes!” or “We’re celebrating 2,000 downloads.”
When reviews come in – share them! Post them to your website. Create graphics of them and share them on social media. Ask people to write reviews.
With every episode you release, make sure that you are stating in the episode that . Invite them to your website and email list, and ask them to follow you on social.
Once you hit 10 or 20 episodes, release a post on your blog such as “10 Lessons Learned From Releasing 10 Episodes,” or “5 Truths Revealed From Our First Guests.”
Add your podcast link to your email signature too.
Have you secured a really prominent guest? Send out a press release announcing the show and why it’s such a big deal.
Host an event celebrating the one year anniversary of your show. Or host meet and greets with fans. These can be digital or in person.
Keep releasing episodes. The more quality content you release, the more opportunities you have to get found. Basically, never stop promoting. Get on shows, invite guests to be on your show, and keep telling the world about what you’re up to.
That's a Wrap
Did you like this guide? If so, share it, bookmark it, or feel free to link back to it if you feel it it was useful. And, if it inspired you to start a podcast of your own, let us know! We look forward to hearing about your upcoming show!