Chances are pretty good that at least some the people you’re trying to reach are into podcasts.
According to Edison Research, 40% of Americans ages 12 and older have listened to a podcast. Almost a quarter (24%) say they listened to one within the last month.
Also, six in ten Americans are familiar with the word “podcasting.” That’s a 22% increase over the previous two years.
So podcasting is gaining in popularity. That’s a sign that it’s a great marketing medium.
In this article, we’ll explain how to start a podcast and promote it online. We’ll also help you determine whether podcasting is right for your brand.
The Stats Are In On How To Start a Podcast
There are, however, plenty of reasons why you should use podcasting to promote your business.
That’s especially true if you’re trying to reach millennials. According to AdWeek, younger Americans are turning away from blogs in favor of podcasts.
Also, Edison Research claims that podcasts take up a whopping 30% of the time Americans spend listening to audio sources. That’s even higher than AM/FM radio (21%) and owned music (23%).
Further, Midroll reports that 61% of podcast listeners say bought something after hearing about it on a podcast ad. In other words, podcast listeners are engaged.
The Best Benefit Of Starting A Podcast
The best benefit of podcasting is that you can use it to reach potential customers while they’re otherwise occupied.
Think about it: people can’t read a blog while they’re driving, but they can listen to a podcast.
Also, folks might have trouble watching a video while they’re working out, but it’s usually pretty easy to listen to a podcast with ear buds.
In other words, you can use a podcast to connect with folks in your target market at a time when you couldn’t otherwise reach them.
Podcasting gives you the opportunity to market to those who are multitasking.
Here are a few stats that Midroll collected about podcast listeners:
- 32% listen while working out
- 52% listen while in the car
- 40% listen while walking, running, or biking
- 37% listen while on public transportation
- 46% listen while traveling
How to Start a Podcast – Other Benefits
There are plenty of other reasons to start a podcast as well. Here are a few of them:
- To position yourself as an authority – You probably already know about the importance of content marketing to position yourself as an authority in your niche. Podcasting can do much the same thing with a different medium.
- To connect with your target market – Simply put, you can connect with the people in your market using audio in a way that you can’t do with text-based blogging. Remember: 38% of communication is through vocal elements. You can’t express those vocal elements in a blog post, but you can in a podcast.
- To expand your reach – As we’ve seen, podcasts are growing in popularity. If you want to increase your market share, a new podcast can help you do that.
Pick a Name
Next, you need a name for your podcast. Don’t take a shortcut here.
Think about how long you spent coming up with just the right name for your business. You should do that with your podcast as well.
Why? Because it could make all the difference.
Clever names make people want to listen. Boring names turn people off.
For example, “Ear Hustle” is the catchy name of a podcast that’s co-hosted by two inmates in San Quentin State Prison. “Terrible, Thanks for Asking” is the darkly funny name of a podcast that deals with trauma and loss.
Come up with a memorable name for your podcast and you’ll more likely succeed.
How to Start a Podcast Length of Time
Next, determine how long you want each podcast to last.
There’s no rule that says all podcasts have to run the same length of time. That’s usually a good policy, though.
As an overworked entrepreneur, you’re probably too busy to conduct an hour-long podcast every week. You’ve got other priorities.
However, you might be able to handle 10-15 minutes per week. All you have to do is come up with a few things to talk about and record the podcast.
To Co-Host or Not to Co-Host
The next question you need to answer is: should you have a co-host?
If you’re one of those people who’s not very good at speaking extemporaneously, then it might be good to bring a co-host on board. That way, you can promote your brand in a back-and-forth conversation.
On the other hand, if you’re a smooth talker, it might be best to fly solo.
You could also go hybrid: have a guest on your podcast sometimes while speaking by yourself on other occasions.
As usual, though, think about what your audience wants and respond accordingly.
How to Start a Podcast and Pick a Category
There are plenty of categories you can choose from on iTunes, including History, Sports & Recreation, and Personal Journals.
You’ll have to go through them to find the one that’s best. Make you sure you select an option that will make it easy for people in your target market to find your podcast.
Remember: some people search for podcasts by category.
It may be the case that people in your target market will respond positively to provocative, adult language. If that’s the case, then be sure to rate your podcast accordingly.
Otherwise, though, use family-friendly language and give it a clean rating.
Audio Recording Software
Next, you’re going to need software to record your awesome podcast. That software solution will also save your podcast in an audio (MP3) format.
You’ll also use audio software to edit your podcast. That way, you can take out verbal mistakes and trim down the time to something more manageable.
If you’re using a MacBook, you’re in luck. The cleverly named GarageBand app is already on your hard drive and you can use it to record and edit your podcast.
Even if you’re not on a MacBook, you’re still in luck. That’s because Audacity is an excellent podcasting solution for PCs and it’s free.
If you’re on the Adobe Creative Cloud and you have access to all apps, then you can use Adobe Audition. That’s professional grade software.
Unfortunately, Adobe Audition requires a monthly subscription. If you want to avoid that fee, go with GarageBand or Audacity. They’ll work just fine.
The Recording Process
Once you’ve got the software and hardware installed, how do you record a podcast?
It’s this simple: plug your microphone into your computer, launch your recording software, click the “Record” button, and start talking!
Really, it’s no more complicated than that.
Of course, the exact process will vary depending on which recording software you’re using. Consult the docs and do a quick “Testing 1, 2, 3…” moment before you start your actual podcast.
As we’ve seen, you’ll want to save the file in MP3 format. That’s because almost any digital device with audio playback capabilities supports MP3. It will also give you a low file footprint.
Usually, you’ll also want to use a fixed bitrate when saving your MP3 file. As a rule of thumb, go with 128kpbs.
For sample rate, choose 44.1MHz. That’s CD quality.
Setting up an Intro
You’ll also want an “intro.” That’s a brief bit of music or an announcement that includes the name of your podcast.
If you’re on a budget, you can probably get away with some royalty-free music that won’t cost you anything. Make sure you check the license, though. Sometimes, the original artist will want credit.
If you’ve got some money to spend, take a look at some of the audio logos offered by Shutterstock. Yes, there is such a thing as “stock music.”
As far as an announcement, you can just head over to Fiverr and find somebody with a radio-quality voice that can give you an intro. That’s probably all you need.
How to Start a Podcast – Should You Upload?
Yes, you need to save your file somewhere in cyberspace.
You could upload the file to your own website. But if you stream it from there, you’ll likely hit some bandwidth problems. Your hosting provider probably doesn’t allow for that level of outbound traffic.
What you’re looking for is YouTube for audio. Fortunately, there are options.
- Libsyn – One of the oldest podcast hosts. Solutions start at $5 per month.
- Blubrry – “The largest podcast directory in the world.” Prices start at $12 per month.
- Anchor – A 100% free all-in-one podcast solution.
- Pippa – A podcast hosting startup. Your first 5 episodes are free, then prices start at $12 per month.
Syndicate Your Podcast
You might be thinking that once you upload your podcast to the Internet, you’re done. Nope.
Next, you need to syndicate it.
When you syndicate your podcast, you’re making it available to people so they can listen to it. Otherwise, your MP3 file will just sit in cyberspace and nobody will know it’s there.
So how do you syndicate your podcast? Start by generating an RSS feed.
The media host that you chose (see above) will have instructions as to how you generate an RSS feed. It’s different for each platform.
The good news is that it’s usually pretty easy.
Once you have your RSS feed, you’ll submit it to a podcast directory.
A Podcast Directory?
A podcast directory is how people will discover your podcast. If you have a “Podcasts” icon on your smartphone, you can tap it now to see several different podcasts that are pulled from the directory.
Here are a few podcast directories to choose from:
- iTunes – This is a no-brainer. If you have any intention of getting serious with podcasting, you need to make your podcasts available via iTunes.
- Google Play – Google’s answer to iTunes.
- Stitcher – The second-largest podcast directory in existence.
- SoundCloud – An old favorite for podcasters.
- Spotify – Only supported by some podcast platforms at this time. Follow the instructions at the link.
Promote Your Podcast
Even if you upload your podcast to a popular directory, there’s no guarantee that people will discover it. In fact, they probably won’t.
You have to promote it.
One of the best ways to promote your podcast is to use your established marketing channels (social media, email, and your blog) to generate buzz before you upload it.
Why? Because if you can get a lot of listens right off the bat, you might get even more publicity.
When you click on the “Podcasts” icon on your mobile device, you probably see something called “New and Noteworthy” at the top. Wouldn’t it be great if your podcast could be featured in that spot?
You’ll give your podcast a better chance of appearing in the “New and Noteworthy” section if people start listening to it right away.
Here are a few other ways to promote your podcast:
- Share teasers – Post images, soundbites, and even video clips of your podcasts to “whet the appetites” of people in your target market.
- Release at least 3 episodes to start – When you’re ready to finally launch a podcast, don’t just launch one. Launch three. That way, you’ll get more listening time up front and increase your chances of getting noticed.
- Convert the audio to a YouTube video – Although YouTube is a video platform, you can upload your podcast audio to YouTube. That way, people can find about your podcast when they search for keywords within YouTube. Also, post a link to your podcast in the description of the video so people will know how to find it.
- Hold a contest – Ask people to leave a review of your podcast. Then, pick a winner from the reviewers. Send that winner a free T-Shirt, discount, or something even more valuable.
What is Podcasting and How Does it Work?
The easiest way to grasp podcasting is to think of it as audio blogging.
Each episode is like a blog post, covering a specific topic.
Podcasting has been a mainstream content channel for years now but is still growing.
In Infinite Dial’s 2017 research, they found that 67 million Americans listen to at least one podcast per month.
Additionally, podcast listening rate has been consistently growing 10 to 20% per year.
With new technology like Amazon Alexa and Google Home becoming more popular, it seems reasonable to expect this trend to continue for the foreseeable future.
One final factor to consider is that podcasting is most popular with the middle-aged and young demographic.
Screenshot from Edison Research
As the population ages as a whole, the number of podcast listeners will increase as well.
Put that all together and there’s a bright future ahead of podcasting, and it’s still a good time to start a podcast now.
A Short History of Podcasting
Radio came before television, much like how podcasting came before YouTube (and other online video sites).
Podcasting and radio are similar in a lot of ways, but podcasting really leverages newer technology.
Audio blogging in any form began back in the 1990s, but it wasn’t until 2000 when MP3 players started to include features to download and store episodic content.
In 2003, podcasting really started to take shape.
Since it required a lot of technical knowledge to create and distribute audio online, it wasn’t long before the services that allowed people to record and upload audio easier appeared.
Most notably at the time was Audioblogger.com, which allowed people to record and automatically upload files to Google’s blogging platform Blogger.
AudioBlogger.com (2003-2006) was a pioneering service that allowed users to post audio to their blog via their phone. Screenshot via WayBackMachine
Around the same time, the development of RSS feeds rapidly progressed. This was crucial for tracking new blog content, both text, and audio. (RSS feeds are still a crucial part of podcasting, which we’ll cover later in this guide.)
Also in 2003, Christopher Lydon, who was also a former NPR talk show how and TV news anchor, started recording audio interviews with notable bloggers and politicians. He then published the episodes on his blog, releasing them through an RSS feed.
This isn’t so different from what podcasts look like today.
Shortly after, in 2004, Ben Hammersley coined the name “podcasting” for episodic audio content that could be automatically downloaded and synced.
By 2005, iTunes added podcasts to their store, and podcasting has taken off from there. There are now hundreds of thousands of podcasts and millions of people who listen to them.
How Exactly Does Podcasting Work?
When I first published a podcast years ago, I was overwhelmed at first.
There are quite a few technical steps that you don’t consider when you’re only used to listening to podcasts.
So let’s take a step back and take a look at a high-level overview:
There’s quite a bit of flexibility at each of the 3 main stages of creating a podcast, which is what this guide will cover.
For now, understand that:
- You record episodes using equipment and your computer.
- Upload those files to a podcasting host.
- Then submit those episodes to directories so that listeners can find them.
Within each of those 3 steps, there are a lot of finer details that you likely have questions about:
- What equipment do you need?
- What software is best?
- Where do you get theme music from?
- How do you choose a podcast topic?
- Which host is best for Podcasts?
- Which host is best if you have a WordPress site?
- How will you get people to listen to your show?
Don’t worry, I’m going to give you a simple answer all of these questions and more in this post.
Benefits of podcasting for bloggers
You have an idea of how much work will be required now, but keep the benefits in mind as well.
As an audio blogger, your content:
- Is easier to consume for your audience.
- Can be monetized effectively.
- Can be listened to just about anywhere.
- Can reach a new audience that doesn’t read blog posts.
And if you hate writing, you’ll likely find talking much easier than writing blog posts.
You can create a podcast as its own business, or use it as an additional marketing channel to complement your existing website.
Look at Karen Erickson, Darren Rowse, Tim Ferris and Pat Flynn for examples of bloggers who have utilized podcasting to build their businesses.
Don’t expect overnight success, but one day you might be able to join the list as well. While we’re at it, LiquidWeb is a great hosting provider if you have intentions of podcasting. They’re not only resource-rich but offer a 100% Uptime Guarantee.
Step 1: Choose a Niche for Your Podcast
Just like with blogging, you need to find a niche for your podcast to fill. Something people desire to learn about that doesn’t exist.
There are 2 main situations that you can find yourself in.
The first is that you’re thinking of starting a podcast to bring in additional traffic (and customers) for your business.
This means that your general category is essentially chosen for you. It should be highly related to your business.
The second situation is that you want to start a podcast as a business, hoping to make money with it directly over time. Your category is more open-ended at his point.
But before you choose a category, consider that podcast listeners typically look to podcasts for expert advice.
Unlike blogging, where you can try to present a unique perspective as a beginner to a topic, most people motivated enough to seek out a podcast want expert advice.
So I ask you: “What are you skilled at, or an expert at?”
The alternative is to have connections to many experts that you can interview on a podcast, but few people have these. Be warned that it’s tough to get good guests if you don’t already know them, as people ask them for things all the time.
How to Validate Your Podcast Idea
You don’t want to go through all the work of making a podcast and it turns out that no one cares about your niche.
That’s why you need to validate demand.
Assuming you have a category or general topic in mind at this point, take a look at the top podcasts in either iTunes or Stitcher.
Screenshot of Stitcher, one of the largest podcast directories.
Click on the most relevant category that you see.
Each of those categories covers a wide variety of topics, for example, business has:
- Personal finance
For the specific topic you have in mind, count up how many podcasts in the top 100 of that category cover that topic.
If there’s only 1 or 2, that’s a signal that there’s low demand. It’s going to be difficult to be successful.
Typically there are 4-5 popular topics in a general category, and you want to pick one of those (because they have significant demand).
Competition is a good thing, you just need to find the right approach to your topic that helps you stand out.
An alternative method – Use search engine keywords. There’s no public data of what people search for in a directory like iTunes or Stitcher, but there is keyword data for Google.
It won’t give you a perfect indicator of interest, but it will tell you if there’s some or none.
Decide on a specific topic you want to have a podcast about, then divide that into potential niches.
For example, if I wanted to make a podcast on entrepreneurship, here are some potential niches:
- Affiliate marketing.
Then, plug these into the Adwords Keyword Planner, appending “podcast” to the end.
Screenshot via Adwords Keyword Planner
In this case, there’s interest in all those 3 niches, but e-commerce is the most popular one.
Format and Ideation
If someone already has an e-commerce podcast, how can you differentiate yourself from them?
There are 2 main approaches.
First, you can go more specific. For example, make a podcast about e-commerce marketing, or e-commerce product fulfillment.
As long as you can think of 20-30 ideas relatively easily, it can work.
The second approach is to pick a different podcast format.
Successful podcasts exist for all formats:
- Solo podcasts.
- Multiple hosts.
- Case studies.
- Short or long.
Think about the listeners in that niche that aren’t being served. How can you fill that gap?
Step 2: Choose a Name, Theme Music, and Design
There’s a lot of work that needs to be done before you start recording.
Doing the tasks in this section can have a huge effect on your success.
Your Podcast Name
Take a look at what listeners see when they browse a podcast directory:
A list of top-ranked podcasts. Screenshot from Stitcher.
It’s your title and cover art.
If your title sucks, no one will give you a chance.
Don’t try to be too clever, just pick a descriptive name that you think will sound appealing to your audience.
If you are well-known in your industry, you can put your name in the title. For example:
- The Dave Ramsey Show.
- How I Built This With Guy Raz.
- Mad Money With Jim Cramer.
These are all top business podcasts.
Otherwise, pick the main keyword that clearly describes what your podcast is about. For example:
- Planet Money.
- StartUp Podcast.
- Entrepreneurs on Fire.
- Side Hustle School.
It’s good if the remaining word(s) gives some imagery about the general approach your podcast takes.
From above, “Entrepreneurs on Fire” gives you the image that it focuses on successful entrepreneurs.
Or, “Side Hustle School” is mainly focused on educational topics.
Your Cover Art
Your cover art might be the most important part of getting the attention of browsers.
Take some time to analyze the top podcasts in your category and see what trends they follow.
Almost all of them will:
- Be easy to read, even when small.
- Have the name of the podcast.
- Have a single focal image related to the topic.
- Have a colored background.
I highly suggest you pay someone to make your cover art unless you have those skills yourself.
This is not the place to cut corners.
You can hire someone to produce a reasonably high-quality cover art from Fiverr or Upwork for not much.
If you can afford it, hire an experienced professional artist with experience working with podcasts.
Most directories share the same guidelines. Here are iTunes’ requirements:
- A minimum size of 1400 x 1400 pixels.
- A maximum size of 3000 x 3000 pixels.
- 72 dpi.
- JPEG or PNG format.
- In the RGB color space.
When viewed in a directory, your cover art will typically be somewhere between 50 and 150 px wide.
View your cover art at all sizes to make sure that it’s readable and still looks attractive before finishing.
Your Podcast Description
When someone clicks through to your podcast page, they can see your episodes, plus your podcast description.
It’s a short blurb that explains what your podcast is about, and why someone should listen to it.
This matters for 2 reasons.
First, people will click on your cover art or title, but not decide whether or not to give your podcast a try until reading the description.
An interesting description will get you more listens.
Second, your podcast page (with the description) can show up in search results (in directories themselves or in Google). You should include your main keyword, and any other relevant keywords to increase how often your podcast shows up as a suggestion.
My favorite podcasts coincidentally have a really catchy intro and outro songs.
It’s the first thing that listeners associate with your show, and they hear it every episode, so make it good!
If you’re really on a budget, you can search for free music on Free Music Archive.
Again, I’d recommend paying a small amount for professional-grade theme music. Audio Jungle has hundreds of thousands of tracks that can be cut down to use as theme music.
They typically cost under $20.
Most will say “No broadcast use”, which just means you can’t play the whole music clip, which you wouldn’t want to. As stated in the FAQ, it’s fine to take a clip from the file and use it.
If you have a higher budget you can hire a professional, who will also usually give you a voice over for your intro as well. Tim Paige is well known, but there are others as well. Expect to pay a few hundred dollars for an experienced professional.
Step 3: Pick Your Podcast Hosting Provider
If you don’t pick a reliable, good quality host, listeners might have trouble downloading or streaming your podcast episodes. This is a good way to lose listeners.
That’s why you must go with a podcast host at the very least. That’s different than a website host like Bluehost or HostGator.
Podcast hosting services are built on media servers that are designed to store large media files (your episodes) and support the high bandwidth needed for listeners to download or stream episodes.
Each podcast host has their own strengths and weaknesses.
There are 4 main things that you should consider:
- Price – How much can you afford? Generally, the more you pay, the more space you’ll get. It makes sense to start off with an introductory package and then upgrade later as you record more shows.
- Simplicity – Some podcast hosts are easier to use than others. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, go for simplicity over power.
- RSS Feed support – The hosts I recommend below all automatically create an RSS feed for you, but if you go with a different host, make sure they do as well.
- Embeddable players – How easy is it to embed a player with an episode somewhere else (do you even need this feature?). Do you like what it looks like?
- Sitebuilder – Some podcast hosts give you a site builder so you can build a complete website that can easily integrate your episodes. This may be useful or completely unnecessary for you. Others simply give you a basic podcast page that lists your episodes.
I’ve created a comparison chart below for the 5 most popular podcast hosting services:
|Host||Lowest plan price||Difficulty to use||RSS support||Embeddable player?||Sitebuilder?|
|Podomatic||$9.99/month||Medium||Yes||Yes||Yes (A basic one)|
|Libsyn||$5/month||Medium||Yes||Yes||Yes (A basic one)|
None of them is a bad choice. Try to find the one that has the combination of pricing, user-friendliness, and style that fits you best.
If you’d like a more in-depth breakdown of podcast hosting options, here’s a review of the best podcast hosting options.
Step 4: Record Your Podcast
You can finally start creating your podcast episodes.
Start by setting up your microphone.
If you just have a USB microphone, plug it into your computer and it should be recognized automatically.
If you went with an analog microphone, follow the instructions that your audio interface came from.
I’ll outline the basics of recording, and your options, for 3 main podcasting scenarios:
- Solo podcasting (just you).
- Podcasting with multiple people locally.
- Podcasting with multiple people in multiple locations (like a Skype interview).
Option #1 (solo podcast) – Record with Audacity
A solo podcast is the simplest type of podcast to make.
All of the audio software I went over in the equipment section has an option to record from a microphone.
The exact details will depend on the software you chose, but in Audacity, you pick your microphone device from the drop-down menu on the top toolbar:
With you microphone selected, you can press the circle “record” button to start recording the audio input to the microphone.
Press the square “stop” button to end the recording.
You can press the “play” button to listen to the clip you recorded and make sure that it was recording your voice.
Don’t worry if you have to repeat certain things to get them right during your podcast episode, you can always clip out bad parts later.
Option #2 (multiple microphones locally) – Use Audacity Workaround or Audio Interface
If you have 2 or more people recording locally, you’ll want a microphone for each person.
Ideally, you’ll have an audio interface that supports however many inputs you need.
This lets you record and edits multiple channels.
Unfortunately, Audacity only supports one audio input for recording at a time.
There are a few workarounds in this situation.
If you’re on Windows, use a program like VoiceMeeter (free) or Virtual Audio Cable (paid).
Here is a VoiceMeeter tutorial:
While Virtual Audio Cable is paid, it also supports more inputs.
On OSX, you can set up an aggregate device in Utilities to combine multiple inputs to record as one.
Option #3 (multiple people remotely) – Record Over Skype
Interviewing a guest over Skype is the most common podcasting situation by far.
There are 2 main options that you can pick from, both work fine.Pamela: A free, easy to use a recorder. It has a nice interface for navigating past recordings.
There is a free version, but it only records up to a maximum of 15 minutes.
The professional version is a one-time $25 fee and has no restrictions.
MP3 Skype Recorder: A very simple recording interface with a minimal learning curve.
It also has a free and paid version, but the paid version is cheaper than Pamela.
The free version works great but is not intended for commercial use, which your podcast probably falls under.
Try the free version of both out and see which one you like best.
Step 5: Editing Your Podcast Episodes
Editing audio is a lot like editing video, but simpler.
Still, all audio editing software has a learning curve, and you’ll need to commit time to learn how to use it.
If you want to avoid this, you can use a post-production service like Auphonic. They will take care of volume normalization, hum reduction, and other editing tasks for a reasonably low price.
If you want to DIY, here are the main things you’ll need to do.
Import and Clip Together Your Audio Files
First, you’ll need to import your audio clips into your editing software, like Audacity.
You do this by going to “File > Import > Audio” in the menu:
You may have multiple clips of your episode content, as well as your intro, outro, and any ads.
You can then see the profile of each clip and edit them individually or together.
To move parts around, you can highlight a portion of a clip, and then cut and paste it somewhere else (just like text):
You can also select any single track and apply effects like ‘Noise Reduction’:
Audacity has a nice little beginners tutorial that goes over how to do these.
These take time and effort to learn, but once you have them down it won’t take too long to edit an episode.
Here’s a start to finish example of editing a podcast episode using Audacity:
Export Your Episode as an MP3
If you’re using Audacity, download the installer package for the LAME MP3 encoder.
Then, go to “File > Export Audio” in Audacity to bring up a save menu:
Set the file type to MP3, and bitrate to at least 128kbps.
Your sample rate should be 44.1 kHz by default, but you can always confirm it in “Edit > Preferences > Quality”.
Once you click “Save”, another pop-up will come up that allows you to tag your audio file.
Tags are used to provide information about your file, like who made it, and what its title is.
Some directories will pull this information automatically from your host, but it’s always nice to have here as a backup.
If you’re not sure how to label tags, here’s a trick: Download a podcast you like, then right-click the file, click “properties”, and go to the “details” tab.
You can base your tags on the professionally done ones.
You can access your tags and edit them later in Audacity at any time by going to “File > Open Metadata Editor”.
You don’t necessarily need all the tags, but here are the basic ones that are good to include when possible:
- Track – Your episode number, which may be used for sorting.
- Title – Your full episode title, which will probably include the episode number.
- Artist – The name of the host(s), which is likely you.
- Album – The title of your podcast.
- Genre – Most people just put “Podcast”.
- Comment – A short description of the episode.
- URL – The URL for your show notes, or a relevant episode page.
Now you should have a fully polished episode ready to go.
Step 6: After you publish your podcast, how do you promote it?
To publish your episode, upload it to your host provider. This is just a simple file upload, and your host should give you instructions when you sign up.
Now it’s time to try and get listeners.
What you’ll need: Your podcast’s RSS feed (get from your hosting provider).
Start by Listing Your Podcast in Top Directories
When listeners browse directories like iTunes or Stitcher, they only see podcasts that have been added to the directory.
You only have to add your show to a directory once. From there, your RSS feed will update as you add episodes, and the directories will update as well.
Most directories only require you to have a single episode on your RSS feed, but it’s a good idea to have at least 5 or so. If someone listens to an episode of yours, you want them to be able to listen to more to encourage them to subscribe.
The main directories you’ll want to add your show to are:
- Google Play Music
Most are simple, you just add your RSS feed.
For iTunes, follow these steps:
- Open iTunes and go to the iTunes store.
- Click “Submit a Podcast” on the right menu.
- Log in to iTunes Connect.
- Paste in your feed and click ‘Continue’.
- Review the information and submit your podcast.
Increase Your Chances of Success With a Launch
If you’ve ever tried blogging, you know that putting up posts and then hoping people find them is a bad idea.
The same goes for podcasts.
It’s possible that you’ll get lucky and end up getting featured in the “New and Noteworthy” section on iTunes (or another directory).
But you’re leaving a lot up to chance.
Instead, you should do everything you can to “launch” your podcast and get several good reviews at the start.
Here are some ideas:
- Ask any current email subscribers.
- Email friends asking them to check out the show and leave a review.
- Join niche communities and share your show if they allow it (be transparent).
Don’t be afraid to spend a lot of 1-on-1 time to get a review at the start, they can be incredibly valuable over time.
You can also encourage reviews over time by thanking people who leave good reviews in your future episodes.
Publish on Your Website With Show Notes (Optional, but Recommended)
There’s one common situation I haven’t addressed too much.
What if you already have a website, or want to start one first before starting the podcast?
The simplest option is a WordPress site.
Many podcasters use the following podcasting configuration:
- Blubrry podcast hosting.
- PowerPress (a BluBrry WordPress plugin).
PowerPress allows you to input your podcast’s RSS feed in WordPress, and then attach podcast episodes to posts on your websites.
Most podcasts use these posts as “show notes”, where you provide links to things talked about in each episode, and maybe a transcription.
Perhaps the best thing about PowerPress is that you can upload your episodes from your WordPress admin panel, and it will upload it to your hosting automatically.
Why Is It Free?
To be honest, my original plan when I first created this course was to charge $99 for it. But as soon as I got back from the Financial Blogging Conference, I had a sudden change of heart.
I have been so blessed over the years for being a part of such an incredible blogging community that I decided to pay the community back and give it away for free.
The only thing that I ask in return is that you consider…
- Listening to an episode of my podcast and leaving me an honest review on iTunes. Click here to leave me a review
- Using the various affiliate links embedded in this tutorial to make any podcast related purchases
- Sharing this podcast tutorial like crazy!
About This How To Start A Podcast Tutorial
Using the techniques described in this course, I launched my podcast and hit the #1 podcast in all of iTunes in the Business and Marketing category within 4 hours.
Being perched on top of the iTunes charts immediately gave me a ton of exposure and as a result, my blog traffic spiked and my blog income and email subscribers have since increased over 25%.
Launching a podcast is great way to reach a brand new audience and the best part is that you can keep your listeners engaged for up to an hour or more! Podcasting has had a profound effect on all of my online businesses and I’m happy to share the exact steps I took to achieve my success in this class.
Here’s what you’ll learn…
- Where To Begin – Learn how podcasting works and the common misconceptions about podcasting
- What Equipment To Use – Learn how to start a high quality podcast with a cheap mic and free software
- How To Record Your Podcast – Tips and tricks on how to record your podcasts
- How To Edit Your Audio For Quality – How to make your audio quality sound great even with a cheap mic
- How To Tag Your Audio For Upload – How to prep your audio file for submission
- How To Submit To iTunes – Learn everything you need to get your show on iTunes, Stitcher and other services
- How To Launch – Learn how to launch your podcast to the #1 spot.
Scroll down to begin the tutorial!
How To Install WordPress To Host Your Podcast
The easiest way to host your podcast is to do so using WordPress. Not only can WordPress host your blog but it can also generate the RSS feed for iTunes and Stitcher radio. I’ve written up step by step instructions below on how to start a WordPress blog in the easiest way possible and for the lowest possible cost using a reputable webhost.
Step #1: Sign Up For A Great Webhost
The first step is to sign up for a webhost. After all, you need to have a computer server in order to run your site. Personally, I recommend Blue Host. Now it’s often difficult to tell whether a webhost is reliable or not at first glance, but I can vouch for Bluehost because I ran my online store on Blue Host for over 2 years and they were fantastic. And the best part is that they only cost $4.95 a month!
- Go to Blue Host
- Click on the “SIGN UP NOW” button.
- Choose a domain. What’s nice about Blue Host is that they will give you a domain for free.
- Enter your account and billing information.
- Choose your hosting package. You will be given a choice of 12 months, 24 months or 36 months. The longer the time frame, the cheaper it will be.
- Make sure you unclick all the stuff you don’t need. Trust me. You don’t need SiteLock Domain Security, Site Backup Pro or Search Engine Jumpstart
- Click Next. You will receive a confirmation in your email.
Step 2: Install WordPress
WordPress is by far the most popular blogging platform out there. And the best part is that you can install WordPress in a matter of just a few clicks on Blue Host
- Log in to your Blue Host account. Note: You should have received an email with your user id/password information. If you can’t find the login link, Click Here
- Click the icon that reads “Simple Scripts” under the “Site Builders” in your cPanel.
- Select WordPress to be installed
- Click on the “Install” button
- Enter your domain and fill in your blog name under “Advanced Options”. Make sure you uncheck all of the extraneous items.
Note: If you have Open Cart already installed in the root directory, you will want to place your blog in a subdirectory such as http://yourdomain.com/blog
- Agree to Blue Host Terms of Service.
- Click “Complete”. Now WordPress has been uploaded to your domain!
Step 3: Login To Your Blog Backend
Once your blog is installed, you can login by typing in the following URL into your web browser. http://yourdomain.com/wp-admin Enter in your own username and password to begin the podcast RSS feed process!