Should I start a podcast is a question that has probably been on your mind for a while. If you are uncertain if podcasting is the right thing for you, have a look at – Why start a podcast in 2021? – Most common questions answered, but if you have made up your mind and are ready to start, let us help you out with these 7 steps for a successful podcast launch.
Affiliate Disclaimer. Before we dive into this content it’s just fair to make you aware that this article may contain affiliate links. We have standards around here, so we will never recommend a product or service that we haven’t either used ourselves (or with our clients) successfully. Sometimes these affiliate links will even get you special deals that are not available otherwise, or unlock special bonuses from us. In any case we want you to know that we really appreciate your support if you sign up for a tool with our affiliate link. Let’s dive in.
Your Podcasting Equipment
People will try to make you believe that you can’t start a podcast without a fancy studio mic, a mixer, sound proofing and so on. Let me set your mind at peace! Audio quality is important, but it can be achieved with just a few things that won’t break your wallet.
The microphone: For podcasting we recommend using a dynamic microphone, because it is great in filtering out all the tiny background noises that are trying to sneak their way into your recordings.
Find more equipment recommendations here: https://pristinepodcasts.com/resources/
Your Podcast Concept
To set yourself up for a long term successful podcast, it is important to have a solid podcast concept. For that you need to get your WHYs, WHATs and WHOs figured out as early as possible. Because when times get rough, what will keep you going is the transformation that you’re creating. It’s also what is going to attract your listeners to you time and time again – and what will make them recommend your podcast to their friends.
- Let’s start with your why? Why do you want to start a podcast? That question may seem benign to you at first, but you may be thankful later that you have taken a couple of minutes to answer it, as it can help you to keep the momentum and motivation going.
- Next is the question of what can you offer your audience? What is the value they gain that makes them tune back in time and time again? What change will your listener experience by listening to your show?
- And finally who is your listener? What defines the person that gains value from your content? What are their interests, likes, dislikes, life experiences, living circumstances, family status, mentality, culture, … Depending on your podcast try to find as many characteristics as possible to define your target audience.
Your Podcast Details
Now that you know exactly why and who your podcast is for, it is time to make some decisions. First on the list is your podcast name.
You could use your own name, a relevant keyword or an abstract name. Whichever name you choose, be sure to have a look if that name is already taken. This is a common problem and we would strongly encourage you to avoid any and all confusion by going back to the drawing board. Even if that podcast hasn’t uploaded any episodes in a while you can never guarantee that they don’t restart it again – and you are still faced with potential confused listeners.
Aside from your name the description is the next place that a potential listener will check out to decide whether or not they will give your show a shot. The first 140 or so characters should give a brief summary to the podcast that entices the reader to listen to your episodes. After that you can write another 150 – 200 words that include strategic keywords that your audience may be searching for in addition to those main keywords in your intro paragraph.will you be releasing your episode?
Type of Podcast
This one is simple. What type of show are you intending to make? Are they mainly solo episodes, or mainly interviews with one guest? Or is it live coaching that’s been recorded? Or a mix? If so, what is the breakdown of solo vs. interviews?
There is no right or wrong answer here. Creating a podcast episode can be very time consuming, especially if it is a side project, you should give yourself enough time to keep up with your publishing schedule. The value lies in consistency rather than quantity. So what will your schedule look like? Is it a weekly show? Bi-weekly? Once a month? And which day of the week will you be releasing your episode?
This question often leads to procrastination, but again there is no right or wrong answer here. The trick is to find the balance between what your audience may listen to and what you can manage for a workload perspective. Just remember that the editing alone takes around 3-4 times as long as the length of the episode.
The podcast cover design can really help you stand out from the crowd. So have a look if your podcast niche has a dominant colour or style, before starting on your own. Having a colour pallet that stands out from the rest is a simple trick that brings more attention to your podcast. More important though is that your cover design is eligible when scaled down to 100×100. To achieve that, try for a high contrast in colour between your background and title, as well as a font that is easy to read when scaled down.
75% of podcasts experience podfade (a sudden stop of publishing episodes) after only a handful of episodes are released. One of the main reasons for that is because they run out of content ideas. By planning up to 100 episode topic ideas before you start recording, you can make sure you have enough ideas for the long run. 100 may seem impossible right now, but try to start off with 10 main topics within your niche and then break down each of those into 10 topics and voila!
Recording and Editing
Speaking into a microphone addressing future listeners takes some getting used to! If you have never done so before there is no shame in practicing. Just use one of the topics you’ve prepared and start bubbling while recording yourself. It helps to imagine talking to a friend that shares your passion for this topic and you will realise after just a couple of minutes that you start to relax a little and become more comfortable talking into a microphone.
Now that you’ve made friends with your mic, let’s talk about sound quality and what you need to make your podcast sound professional. First on the list:
For recording your podcast we recommend that you simply use Audacity. It’s super easy to record your episodes (and for your guest to record their side of the audio as well).
Editing your Podcast
We DO NOT recommend using audacity to edit your podcast, because its editing tool is destructive, which means it edits the original file, so small mistakes are harder to reverse.
We work with Adobe Audition to edit and we can only recommend it.
You can get it here: https://www.adobe.com/products/audition.html
Or if you’re on a Mac you can also use Garageband:
There are great courses on how to use these programs on skillshar.com. The learning curve will be a bit steeper, but you will save HOURS on wasted time when you use something like Audacity – and you avoid the risk of losing your files by accident.
Another option is to outsource your editing, which frees up a lot of time for you to focus on your podcast content and ensures a high quality audio from day one! If you consider handing over your editing to professional audio engineers, schedule a free consultation call with us below.
Intro & Outro
The intro usually consists of some kind of intro music combined with some spoken word that introduces the main concept of the show and this is the start of each and every single one of your episodes. The outro usually also starts with your theme music and then has a very specific call to action that you’d want to make at the end of your episode.
The trailer episode is the episode you will upload to your podcast host BEFORE you’re actually launching (so that you can submit your podcast to apple podcasts). We recommend keeping this episode short (less than 10 minutes) because it is simply meant to introduce you and your show, what you’re going to talk about and why someone should listen.
Prepare to Launch
Now that all the infrastructure is in place, it’s time to prepare to launch. First you want to set a launch date. How far in the future to set that launch date depends on a number of things:
- How many podcasts do you want to launch with?
- Do you want to have a couple of episodes ready to be released before launch date to give you a buffer or do you want to take it one at a time?
- Are there any launch activities you would like to prepare? (Such as blog posts, guest appearances, giveaways, etc.)
- Do you want to create or adjust your website to accomodate your podcast?
- What platforms are you going to promote your podcast on? (We recommend to start your marketing on as many platforms as possible and as loudly as possible around 2 weeks before launch)
- Do you want to find a launch team? (Some friends with reach a lot of to help promote.)
- Is there a podcast you could come on as a guest and promote your show?
With these questions answered you can create a launch plan that suits you. But remember, once the date is announced, there is no going back! The most important part of launching a podcast is to publish the episode on time, so your audience won’t be disappointed.
Podcast Hosts & Directories
After you’ve recorded (and of course edited) your episode you will upload them to a service called a podcast host. That podcast host is going to provide you with something called an RSS Feed. That RSS Feed is what you need to submit to all of the podcast directories just ONCE and then they will automatically be notified of every future episode you upload to your podcast host.
Here are the podcast hosts we recommend:
You want to be taking care of this at least 2 weeks ahead of your launch date where possible so that you have enough time for apple podcasts to approve your show. A LOT of people use apple podcasts and NOT being on there on launch date would be an unnecessary blow.
Find out more about podcast directories here:
Podcast Directories | What are they and how do I get in?
Don’t forget to celebrate!
If you’ve made it this far, congratulations from the pristine podcasts team! It’s a big accomplishment to launch your own podcast and you should celebrate it accordingly!
You may also be interested in:
Podcast Reviews – How To Get More Reviews On Your Podcast
Make Money Podcasting – 11 Ways to Monetise Your Podcast
Ready to get serious about your podcast?
Then reach out today to get our team to take over your editing today.