You want to know to start your own podcast? First step: take a deep breath.
You’re gonna love it, but, make no mistake–it takes work.
Honestly, podcasting takes more planning than anything else.
That’s why today I wanted to explain how to start your own podcast with a few simple steps.
How to Start Your Own Podcast: 8 Tips for Starting a Podcast
Topic planning, scheduling, equipment, promotion – get the idea? Getting everything in order before jumping in is key to running a successful show.
1. Get Your Equipment and Space in Order
First, we need equipment and a dedicated space. Our space needs adequate soundproofing, a decent table, and a mic for each guest.
The costs of renting a studio space every time we want to record can add up fast. Instead, I recommend setting up a space in your house. It’s not hard with the right material.
In terms of a table, each guest should be able to sit far enough apart so the mics don’t pick up other people speaking. We also need to ensure the chairs don’t create any background noise from rocking or rolling.
Finally, we need the right equipment like microphones, headphones, and a pop filter. The basics.
2. Schedule Your Guests and Topic
A lot of newbie podcasters tend to ad-lib their shows. While a flowing conversation is right sometimes, it’s also too easy to digress and let the topic get away from us.
We’ll want to nail down a dedicated topic for each show so we don’t fall too far off track. Plus, we can always spread multiple topics out over more shows.
Once we decide on a specific topic, we can then start researching and reaching out to potential guests for the podcast episode. Guests are cool because they add some authority to our podcasting and can help with promotion too.
3. Write Out a Loose Script
Scripts are a smart idea to keep the conversation on track. Some guests and experts in their field are prone to rambling so a script can help us remember to jump in and take control of the conversation.
What do we mean by ‘script’? Does that mean that every single word you say when recording has to be written out beforehand? Unless you are recording a scripted drama or quoting someone else’s words, no. When you hear people refer to a script–they mean a written roadmap. This could be as simple as an outline. It also could include interview questions that you would write out in advance and read word-for-word, if that helps. A sponsor might provide you ‘copy’ to read word for word. Quoting someone else would require accuracy, therefore you’ll want access to that text. All that falls under the word ‘script’ as we use it in this context.
Tools like Podcave are especially useful for planning every moment of the show and keeping the conversation on track.
4. Keep a Laptop Handy
When we need a specific video or answer from Google, an open laptop in front of us is a must.
If you are recording with a guest or co-host using a VoIP service such as Squadcast, try to use a dedicated computer just for that. Pro tip: use a wired ethernet connection for internet service. You don’t want an unstable wireless internet connection for that. A family member playing Fortnite or streaming a movie as you record will certainly tax your internet connection. Ask me how I know!!
Use a separate laptop for searches and referencing notes and patch that laptop into your mixing hardware so that you can trigger audio and video clips from it if need be.
5. Test Your Equipment, Sound, and Technology
When I’m working with a new studio or fresh equipment, I like to do a quick dry-run of my show without my guests. I’ll make sure the equipment all works as it should, the mics aren’t picking up background noise, and the software is recording everything properly.
Nothing is worse than recording a two-hour show only to realize it’s filled with heavy breathing, barking dogs, or lord knows what kind of problems. A dry run also helps me familiarize myself with new software so editing and tweaking is a breeze when it comes time to record the real thing.
6. Create a Logo and Colors
Even if the podcast is just for fun and I don’t intend to monetize it, I still care about my branding. Why? Well, nailing down a logo and colors keeps things consistent. Plus, it helps listeners identify my show and get a vibe for what to expect.
I also remember that every platform I intend to upload the show needs a logo in the right size. Spotify, iTunes, SoundCloud – they all have unique size requirements.
The most important thing is sticking to the colors I pick. Fans will get confused if we change our logo or colors all the time. I like Canva because it’s free and lets me create some professional-looking graphics with minimal time and effort.
7. Record, Edit, and Add Music to Your Podcast
Here’s where the magic happens. We want to remove any gaps with breaks in the conversation, minimize any background noise, and make sure all the voices are consistent volumes.
If we notice some conversations run on too long and don’t add much value to the show, we can simply edit them out.
We’ll also want to add our intro and outro music. Keep in mind music licensing is serious business. Using unlicensed material from our favorite bands puts us in violation of copyright infringement. Podcave can hook us up with 100% legit music for our show.
8. Promote Your Material
Finally, we need to spread our finished show to the masses. Ideally, we want to target people who would be most likely to enjoy our show rather than as many people as possible.
Consider this: most podcasters rely completely on social media platforms to market their show and engage with fans. The problem with relying solely on that is the varying algorithms platforms use that limit audience reach. The solution: build email and text databases of your fans and communicate with them directly.
Search engine optimization comes in handy here. Podcave can also help us get our show on the right channels where people can find it.
That’s How to Start Your Own Podcast. Time to Jump In
Now that we’ve gone over how to start your own podcast, all that’s left to do is give it a shot. I should warn that problems are inevitable – it’s just how podcasting works. Nothing ever runs without a hitch. With some time and practice, however, it gets a lot smoother.