There are podcasts on every topic imaginable from dating and parenting to true crime (one of my favorite genres) and celebrity interviews. Wondering how to get started? Here’s everything you need for starting your own podcast.
Starting Your Own Podcast
Podcasts are the new blogs, or at least it seems like they are. According to Podcast Insights, there are currently over 630,000 podcasts out there with 525,000 active and 18.5 million episodes.
Pick a Topic
The first step to getting started is figuring out what you want to start a podcast on. It sounds simple… but that’s not always the case.
There are podcasts on every topic under the sun out there, so peek around in podcast land and figure out what kind of podcast you want to start. And don’t worry about shying away from topics that already have podcasts. If there are podcast in the space, that means there’s an audience there, that bodes well for you!
Create a Plan
Before you even think about recording, you need to make a plan. Create yourself a schedule of episodes, if you’re planning on having guests make yourself a list of who those could be.
Start planning out what your first year is going to look like and figure out where you’re going to get the time and money to start it. Most podcasts don’t make it past the first seven episodes but having a full-fledged plan can help you beat those odds.
Create Your Podcast
All of that picking and planning is great, but production and post-production are where the real podcasting work gets done. If you’re going to start a podcast, you’re going to have to figure out how to record (hint: you can use a simple program like Garage band) and edit your podcast.
Recording is the easy part once you figure it out. Logistically speaking, you’re going to need a microphone for each host. There are a lot of really nice podcasting microphones out there, but the one I regularly use is worth less than $30. No kidding. And you’re going to need a laptop or phone to record on (which needs to be compatible with your microphone) and a program to capture it.
If your podcast has more than one host, or you’re bringing on guests this is where things can get a little more challenging. I highly recommend recording remotely as I find it’s easiest for my clients because programs like Zencastr exist. But if you want to record in person, you’re going to need a recording device or a mixer.
Once you have your podcast recorded, it’s time to edit it. Hopefully, there won’t be much to do and if you don’t want to you don’t have to do heavy editing, but you’ll likely want to add music in!
Promote, Promote, Promote!
One of the number one questions I hear from podcasters is how do I get more listeners? And the simple answer is: promote! Granted, it’s not actually that simple, there is a lot more that goes into the marketing recipe than just posting and promoting but it’s a great way to start.
Marketing can be overwhelming, so try just to do a few small things to promote. Once you get the hang of it, you can expand. I recommend sharing your episodes on your social media channels and perhaps with your friends and family (if you’re comfortable). Once you’re ready, you can try to grow your own podcast social media, email list or fan base!
The Podcasting Budget
I often get asked: how much does podcasting cost? And it’s a fair question; some people think we just pop out our phone and stop to record, while others think we rent studio time and to it professional, neither is true. But it’s hard to explain the actual costs of podcasting because they vary depending on your show. So, I thought I’d hammer out a brief overview of our show:
Note that this is a super quick overview that I’m doing from memory, I can’t promise these numbers are exact.
Show Overview: True crime and paranormal comedy podcast based on historical stories.
Release schedule: Approx. 46 episodes per year (36 public releases; 10 Patreon only) runs seasonally Sept/Oct to May/Jun
Run Time: 45 minutes to 1 hour
Time commitment: Research/Writing 5 to 7 hours; Recording 1 hour; Post-production 2.5 hours; Marketing/Promotion 1 hour (but it could definitely use more)
Equipment Costs: $250 (4 microphones, 1 mixer, odds and ends)
Yearly Costs: $100 (music, website)
Monthly Costs: $20 (hosting)
Relatively speaking, podcasting is inexpensive, but there still are costs associated with it. It’s not the most expensive of hobbies, and it can be a source of income if you’re headed in that direction, but overall it’s not really cost prohibitive.
That said, podcasting costs (and time commitments) vary from podcast-to-podcast. An interview-formatted show likely won’t take 5 to 7 hours weekly to research and write, but a show that’s based on a fiction script might take two or three times that to hammer out the script for one episode.
Should You Start a Podcast?
At the end of the day, I love podcasting. I think it’s a great way to tell stories (which I love to do), share a passion with the world and have a little fun. I’ve been podcasting now for a few years (though only one year with my current podcast), and I’ve had a blast.
Do you podcast? What are your best tips and tricks?
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