How to Launch a PodcastYou have a great idea for a podcast, but now what?
A phone or computer that can record audio (basic)
You can record good audio with just your iPhone or Android. If you use Anchor.fm as your podcast host (see more on podcast hosting below), then you can record right onto Anchor.fm using their app. Another great free recording app is Rode Reporter. If you use Rode Reporter, you will have to download your audio and upload it to your podcast host (they don’t offer podcast hosting services like Anchor.fm does).
You’ll want a decent pair of headphones that you can use to assess your audio when listening back. That way you can catch any background noise. Basic headphones will be fine but when you start going pro, you might want to invest in something more reliable.
Microphone with a pop filter (highly recommended!)
When starting out, I would recommend that you either use your phone or computer microphone before you invest in something more expensive. Then if you want to get more serious, consider a good USB microphone that you can plug right into your computer. Here are some of my recommendations on USB mics that I’ve used in the past:
If like me, you pop those p’s then consider purchasing a pop filter or sock for your mic.
Eventually, depending on your budget, you might want to invest in a high quality XLR microphone.
Soundproof room (a very nice to have!)
This is obviously a little more challenging! Check to see if your local library has a recording studio that you can book. Or is there a community radio station that will allow you to rent their studio for an hour? If not, never fear! Many of us podcasters record at home including myself. Clothing closets and even bathrooms can sometimes be a good place to record!! (Make sure to test it out first). If you don’t have access to a soundproof room, then get acquainted with the noise reduction tool on your editing software!
Editing Software + Podcast Hosting
Recording & Editing Software
- Adobe Audition – subscription based.
- Hindenburg – one time fee. Starts at $125 USD.
- Reaper – one time fee. Starts at $60 USD.
You’ll find video tutorials on all of these on the internet. Editing can take time and patience! If you have the budget, then you might want to take a good quality training course or hire a professional to edit for you.
If you need to record your interview virtually, then consider these awesome tools:
If you want your podcast to be on all of the big podcast players such as Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, etc. then you need to sign up for a Podcast Host. Your podcast host will generate a specific RSS feed for your podcast. You will then submit the URL for your feed to all of the big podcast players. Different podcast hosts offer different perks for example: a page that you can use to promote your podcast (if you don’t want to create your own website); podcast statistics; live podcasting; advertising and more. Take time to do your research to make sure that the host you sign up for offers everything that you need.
Ready, Set…Take Action!
Write the script for your teaser
Write it, read it out loud 10 times, run it past your friends and family, make adjustments.
Record your teaser
Listen back, critique, re-record. Do this as many times as you need.
Edit the audio
Some hosts such as Anchor allow you to clip your audio. Remove pauses and crutch words such as “ums”. You can also download free audio editing software such as Audacity. I would recommend that you learn how to use the clipping, noise reduction and normalize tools. You can find lots of free Audacity tutorials on the internet.
Add intro + outro music
Be mindful about the music you are using. Do you have the rights to it? If not – DON’T USE IT! You can purchase music from websites such as melodyloops.com or audiojungle.net. Do you have a talented musician friend? Ask them if they would create a tune for you and make sure to credit them!
Create your podcast artwork
Apple Podcasts requires that your artwork be a minimum of 1400 x 1400 and a maximum of 3000 x 3000 pixels, 72 dpi and in jpeg or png format. If you are not a graphic designer, use the website Canva to help create your artwork. Canva offers lots of great free templates and stock photos. I honestly don’t know what I’d do without Canva!!
Write your podcast description
Write a short description of your podcast outlining the premise. Use keywords to make your podcast is easily searchable.
Upload your teaser to your podcast host
Include your artwork + description.
Submit your podcast to podcast players
Using the RSS feed from your host, submit your podcast to Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and all of the podcast players. Your podcast host might do this automatically for you which is a bonus! Some players might even add your podcast automatically once it’s been approved by Apple. Note that it can take a while for Apple to approve your podcast.
You are pretty much ready to launch your podcast! Now all you need to do, is get it out into the world!
Market Your Podcast!
Share it with your network!
Send the link out to all of your family + friends in an email and ask them to subscribe.
Post it on your social channels
Share the link on your social media profiles + accounts along with the artwork. Ask your followers to subscribe.
Use your email list (if you have one)
Do you have an email list? Then send it out to all of your followers asking them to subscribe – and perhaps even ask them for a review.
Start networking outside of your normal circles
Join podcaster networking groups (look for them on Facebook or Meetup.com) and tell other podcasters about your show. Can you cross-promote? Start networking with people in your industry and tell them about your podcast. Could you get them on for an interview?
Reach your target market
Who is your target listener? Create an “ideal listener profile” and figure out where and how they spend their time. Reach out to them and ask for feedback on your teaser then adapt your episodes to suit their needs and wants.
Optional things you can to do to help market your podcast
If you have the time, energy and budget, then here is a list of additional things that you can do to help market your podcast.
Buy a domain name
Depending on your podcast host, you might be able to redirect your domain name to your podcast page set up by your hosting service. If preferred, you can use the domain name to create your own website. There are many companies that you can buy a domain name from such as Dreamhost, Go-Daddy and NameCheap.com. Both Dreamhost and Go-Daddy also offer website hosting (which is different from podcast hosting).
Create a website for your podcast
This is not mandatory but is useful for marketing. Most podcast hosts create a page for your podcast that you can use to promote your podcast. Podbean evens offers numerous templates that you can choose from. However, you might feel that the templates don’t fit with your brand. In that case you might want to consider building your own site. With your own website, you can work on your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) which will help your podcast be more easily found on the internet. Consider using a website builder site such as WordPress, SquareSpace or Wix as they have easy to build tools, so you don’t have to be a web developer! However if you want something a bit more complex and specific, then reach out to a talented web developer who can help you build a pretty awesome site!
Create an email list
Creating an email list is a great tool if you want to have more direct contact with your followers. You can collect emails by adding an opt-in form to your website. Then you can create a newsletter each time an episode is released – that way your subscribers know to go listen! You can also send them special offers, or information on your guests or live events. Start with free email marketing options such as Mailchimp or Zoho. They allow you to have a certain number of subscribers before you have to pay.
Create a YouTube Channel
Some podcasters have found that posting their shows on YouTube has helped them reach a larger audience. Some hosts, such as Podbean, allow you to automatically publish your episode to YouTube. The video will appear as a waveform. I recommend creating a nice YouTube thumbnail, which you can do using Canva. If you use web conferencing software such as Zoom or Skype when recording interviews or with a co-host, then why not check to see if your guest or co-host is ok with you posting the video to YouTube. This will make the videos more watchable!
Transcribe your audio
You can use websites such as otter.ai or software such as Descript to transcribe your audio. Posting your transcription to the episode page of your website (if you have a website) can help with SEO. Alternatively, you could edit the transcription and use it to create a blog post on the topic of the episode. Transcribing can take time, even with tools such as otter.ai and Descript. If you have the budget, then check out rev.com where you can pay to get your audio transcribed. If you have a YouTube channel, you might want to update the subtitles on your YouTube video with your updated transcription as the automated subtitles are often not accurate.
Launching a podcast can be fun but I have to warn you, it’s a lot of work! Test it out first by going through the process of launching your teaser, then perhaps a couple of episodes. Figure out the tasks that you like doing. If you have the budget, outsource the things that you don’t like doing or don’t have time to do. Stay consistent with your posting. Let your fans know when to expect your next episode.
It can all seem a little overwhelming! So I’ve created an easy to use How to launch a Podcast checklist that you can go through when you are launching. Click here to sign up for my mailing list to receive your free download.
If the process of launching seems too overwhelming for you then click here to sign up for a free 30-minute consultation to find out how I can help you launch a podcast!
If you are ready to continue your podcast journey then check out my next blog post on how to keep your podcast consistent.