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How to start your own podcast
Podcasts are a huge deal right now. There are 850,000 active podcasts in the world covering almost every topic you can think of. They’re a great way to broadcast yourself to a global audience, pick up listeners and even monetise what you make.
The good news is that you can make them from home without a lot of expensive equipment or expertise. So, if you’ve got a good idea and want to broadcast yourself, follow our guide and get podcasting!
Step 1: Come up with a brilliant idea
What’s your podcast going to be about? Pick is something you are passionate about or have a little expertise in. Both these things will come across to your listeners and keep them coming back for more.
For inspiration, check out Apple Podcasts’ chart for popular podcasts. This will give you an idea of what people want to hear about. But don’t just copy what you think will work. Just because people like True Crime podcasts, for example, they won’t subscribe to yours if they think they can get the same content done better elsewhere.
It’s a crowded market – so try to stand out.
Step 2: Think about format
Now you’ve got your idea, how’s it going to work? Will you be the only presenter, or will you present it with someone else? Will there be guests and interview? Will it be scripted or conversational? Long or short episodes?
There’s no right answer to this. There are successful podcasts that are radically different in length, number of hosts etc. What’s important is that you decide what’s right for you.
Step 3: Get some equipment
The next thing you need to do is get your tech. There’s no need to build a studio in your shed, either. You could even find a quiet room and record and edit the whole thing on your phone. But, for consistent quality and the best possible sound, we’d suggest getting a few things.
- Laptop or computer to record on
- USB microphone
- Some basic headphones.
After that, it’s up to you. You could spend as little or as much on equipment as you like.
Step 4: Learn the techie stuff
Podcasts don’t need to be editing masterclasses, but it’s a good idea to learn a bit of basic editing if you’re planning to produce your own show.
Audacity or Garage Band are two examples of free editing software that you can download and use easily. They’re intuitive but you’ll find free tutorials for them on YouTube or you can look for paid classes online.
And there are premium options too – Adobe Audition or Pro Tools are both great.
The idea of learning editing might seem daunting, but don’t worry. You’re likely only editing one or two vocal tracks. The great thing about podcasts is how simple they really are.
Step 5: Find a platform
There are no shortage of popular podcast platforms, which range from free to paid. The point of a podcast platform is that it makes distributing your podcast to all the major places people hear podcasts (think Spotify or Apple Podcasts) so much easier. This means that you’ll be much easier to find.
Libsyn and Podbean are two popular options. Another good shout is Anchor, which has a great mobile app and even offers editing functions.
Step 6: Set up on social
Part of building an audience is being visible. That means letting people know where you are. That could be as little as registering a podcast email address right up to building a website.
A happy medium is setting up a Facebook or Twitter account. That way, people who are interested can discover your podcast and follow you for updates and new shows.
Hopefully you’ll pick up some regular fans. It’s great to have a place where they can give feedback and talk about the show, building a community in the process. This will create a buzz and you’ll be rewarded with some loyal listeners.
Step 7: Be consistent
Once you’ve launched your pod (remembering to send out a message to everybody you know with a link to drive up listens) it’s all about consistency.
Your podcast could be daily, weekly, monthly… whatever. What’s important is that your subscribers get their podcast on time at regular intervals. That regularity will carve you out a little place in their lives. Once you become a small part of their routine, they’ll keep listening.
Step 8: Don't be afraid to ask for help
And what about approaching sponsors? Should you set up a Patreon account for listener donations? How do you get guests? A lot of these questions will come up as you’re producing your show and as your audience starts to grow.
The great news is that there are loads of forums where you can ask the advice of fellow podcasters and they’re super helpful. Check out Reddit or Facebook and you’ll find plenty of support groups.
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