Podcasting has become a popular way for people to share their thoughts, ideas, and stories with the world. There are an estimated 2.5 million podcasts on Apple Podcasts and whilst this might sound like a lot, it’s a tiny number in comparison to the 114 million active YouTube channels.
So, there really is room for new podcasts to jump in and find success.
If you’re a female business coach or entrepreneur, you likely understand the value of having a strong online presence.
And if you’re looking for a way to take your online presence to the next level, starting a podcast can be an excellent option. With the rise of podcasting in recent years, it’s become an increasingly popular way to share knowledge, build authority, and connect with audiences.
However, starting a podcast can seem daunting, especially if you’re new to the world of podcasting. That’s why I’ve created this comprehensive guide that takes you through the entire process, from generating ideas to launching your first episode. Whether you’re a complete beginner or have some experience with podcasting, this guide will give you all the information and resources you need to start a successful podcast that resonates with your audience.
Why start a podcast?
Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of how to start your own podcast, let’s first take a moment to explore why podcasting can be so beneficial for your business as a coach and entrepreneur.
First and foremost, podcasting is an excellent way to share your knowledge and expertise with your audience. Whether you’re providing business advice, sharing personal stories, or discussing current events, podcasts allow you to share your unique perspective in a way that’s engaging and accessible.
Podcasting can help you build authority in your industry. By consistently producing high-quality content that resonates with your audience, you can establish yourself as an expert in your field, which can lead to more opportunities for speaking engagements, partnerships, collaborations, and signing more clients.
But perhaps the most significant benefit of podcasting is the opportunity to connect with your audience on a deeper level.
Unlike other forms of content, such as blog posts or social media updates, the long-form content of podcasts allows you to create a more personal connection with your listeners. By speaking directly to your audience, you can establish a sense of trust and familiarity that can be challenging to achieve through other means.
So, whether you’re looking to share your knowledge, build authority, or connect with your audience, podcasting can be a powerful tool for achieving your goals. In the next section, we’ll start exploring how to turn your podcasting idea into a reality.
Brainstorming your podcast idea
The first step in starting your own podcast is to come up with a solid idea for your show.
While this might seem daunting, there are a few simple steps you can take to generate ideas that resonate with your audience and align with your business goals.
Start by asking yourself the following questions:
- What do I want to achieve with my podcast?
- Am I looking to share my expertise in a specific field?
- Do I want to interview influential people in my industry?
- Am I looking to create a space for meaningful conversations about a particular topic?
Once you have a clear idea of your goals, it’s time to start brainstorming potential podcast topics. Consider what you’re passionate about, what you’re knowledgeable about, and what your audience might be interested in hearing.
You can also research popular podcast topics in your industry or niche and look for gaps in the market. Are there any areas that are underrepresented or that you could approach from a unique angle? This can help you create a show that stands out and attracts a loyal following.
Finally, don’t be afraid to get creative with your podcast format. While the traditional interview-style podcast is popular, there are many other formats you can explore, such as solo shows, roundtable discussions, or storytelling podcasts.
By taking the time to brainstorm your podcast idea, you can create a show that’s both unique and compelling, and that resonates with your audience. In the next section, we’ll explore the technical aspects of starting your podcast, including the equipment and software you’ll need.
Pro Tip: Before you go any further, list out at least 20 episode ideas. If you struggle to list out 20 ideas, you’ll probably struggle with long-term content for your show.
Finding your podcast niche
If you want your podcast to stand out from the crowd, you need to find your niche.
Your niche is the specific area or topic that your podcast will focus on. By finding a well-defined niche, you can create a podcast that resonates with your audience and helps you build a loyal following.
Here are my tips for finding your niche and creating a podcast that stands out:
Draw on your expertise and passions
Think about the topics you’re passionate about and knowledgeable in. What unique perspective or expertise can you bring to your podcast that will make it stand out?
By focusing on your strengths and what you love, you can create a podcast that’s authentic and engaging.
Identify your target audience
Consider who your ideal listener is. What are their interests, pain points, and challenges? What do they want to learn or hear about?
Understanding your target audience means that you can create content that speaks directly to them.
Look for gaps in the market
Research other podcasts in your niche and look for areas that are underserved or that you could approach from a unique angle. Is there a topic that hasn’t been covered in-depth? Is there a format that hasn’t been explored yet?
Identifying gaps in the market can help you create a podcast that stands out. The gap doesn’t have to be huge, nor does it mean that your topic has never been talked about before. But considering your unique point of view on the topic could fill a gap in how the topic is normally covered.
Use online tools, such as Google Trends and social media analytics, to research popular topics in your niche. You can also survey your audience or conduct interviews to get a better understanding of their needs and preferences.
Test your niche
Once you’ve identified your niche, test it out by creating a few episodes or recording a pilot. This can help you gauge interest and fine-tune your approach before launching your podcast.
By finding your niche and creating content that speaks directly to your audience, you can create a successful podcast that resonates with your listeners and helps you achieve your goals.
Naming your podcast
Naming your podcast is one of the most important decisions you’ll make as a podcaster.
Your podcast name is like a first impression – it’s the first thing listeners will see and hear, and it can make or break your show’s success.
Here are some tips to help you choose a name that’s memorable, meaningful, and easy to remember:
Keep it simple and descriptive.
Your podcast name should give listeners an idea of what your show is about, without being too obscure or cryptic. Avoid using inside jokes, puns, or overly clever wordplay that might confuse or alienate potential listeners. Instead, focus on clear and concise language that communicates your podcast’s value proposition.
Make it easy to remember and spell
Your podcast name should be easy to pronounce and spell, so that listeners can find and share your show with others.
Avoid using complicated or obscure words, or names that are difficult to spell or remember. Keep it short and sweet, and try to make it catchy or memorable.
Consider your audience and brand
Your podcast name should reflect your target audience and your brand values.
Think about what kind of language, tone, and messaging resonates with your listeners, and choose a name that aligns with those values. If you’re a business coach or entrepreneur, for example, you might want to use your name or brand in the podcast title.
Avoid common naming pitfalls
These include using names that are too similar to other podcasts or brands, using copyrighted or trademarked terms, or choosing a name that might limit your show’s growth or potential.
Choosing a podcast name is a fun activity, and a good name helps to set your show apart, resonated with your audience, and helps you achieve your podcasting goals. So take your time, be creative, and have fun with it!
Choosing your podcast format
Choosing the right format for your podcast is crucial for both engaging your listeners and meeting your own goals as a podcaster. There are several different podcast formats to choose from, each with its own pros and cons.
Here’s a brief rundown of some of the most common podcast formats:
In this format, the host interviews guests on a particular topic, issue or industry.
An interview format can be great for building relationships with industry experts, sharing insights and opinions, and offering valuable insights to your listeners.
Solo show format
In this format, the host presents their thoughts, opinions, or expertise on a particular topic or theme.
The solo show format can be great for establishing yourself as an authority in your field, building your personal brand, and connecting with your listeners on a more personal level.
Panel discussion format
In a panel discussion, the host and a group of guests discuss a particular topic or issue, offering multiple perspectives and insights.
A panel discussion can be great for creating lively and engaging conversations, encouraging debate and discussion, and providing a wide range of insights and perspectives.
Narrative storytelling format
In this format, the host tells a story or shares a series of interconnected stories, often with music, sound effects, and other audio elements.
Narrative storytelling can be great for creating a more immersive and engaging listening experience, building suspense and tension, and offering listeners a unique and memorable experience.
Choosing your format
When choosing the right format for your podcast, consider your goals, your target audience, and your own strengths and interests.
Think about what kind of content you want to create, how you want to engage with your listeners, and what kind of format will best suit your style and personality. And remember, there is nothing wrong with trying out a few different formats to see what you and your audience prefer.
There’s also nothing wrong with mixing it up. For example, in The Confident CEO Podcast, there is a mix of solo and interview formats depending on the episode.
Some things to keep in mind when choosing your podcast format include your ability to consistently produce quality content in that format, the potential for growth and monetisation, and the ability to differentiate your show from others in the same niche.
Creating your podcast artwork
Creating good artwork for your podcast is an essential step in establishing your brand and attracting potential listeners.
Your artwork will serve as the visual representation of your podcast and can help you stand out in a crowded market.
Here are some things to keep in mind when creating your podcast artwork:
- First and foremost, your artwork should be eye-catching and attention-grabbing. It should reflect the tone and subject matter of your podcast while also being visually appealing to your target audience. Avoid using generic stock images or overused design templates, as these can make your podcast look unoriginal.
- When designing your artwork, consider using bold colours, high-quality images, and clean, simple typography that is easy to read.
- Make sure that your podcast’s name is clearly visible and easy to read, and that any other text or graphics complement the overall design.
- In terms of dimensions, most podcast artwork should be a square image that is at least 1400 x 1400 pixels in size. This is the minimum requirement for most podcast platforms, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts. It’s also important to note that your artwork should be in a high-resolution format to ensure that it looks good on all devices.
- If you don’t have design experience, consider using online design tools such as Canva, or hiring a professional graphic designer to create your artwork for you. Just remember to communicate your vision and brand identity clearly to ensure that your artwork accurately represents your podcast.
Plan and outline your episodes
Once you have your topic and format, it’s time to start planning and outlining your episodes. Planning will help you stay organised and ensure that your episodes have a clear structure and flow.
Start by brainstorming ideas for each episode and creating a rough outline of the topics you want to cover.
Then, break each episode down into segments or sections, such as an introduction, main topic, and conclusion. This will help you stay on track during recording and editing, and make it easier for your listeners to follow along. Don’t forget to include any necessary research or guest interviews in your planning process.
Writing your show notes
Writing show notes for your podcast is an important step in building your audience and providing additional value to your listeners. Show notes serve as a summary of each episode and can also provide additional information, resources, and links to your listeners.
Firstly, show notes are a way to give listeners a quick overview of what they can expect to hear in the episode. This is especially important for potential new listeners who may not be familiar with your podcast. Your show notes should include a brief summary of the episode, the guest’s name (if applicable), and any key takeaways or highlights.
In addition to providing a summary of the episode, show notes can also provide additional resources and links for your listeners. This can include links to relevant articles, books, or websites, as well as any products or services that you mentioned in the episode.
By providing these resources, you’re adding additional value to your listeners and giving them more reasons to engage with your podcast.
When it comes to writing show notes, aim for a conversational tone that is easy to read and understand. Use bullet points and subheadings to break up the content and make it easy to scan. Consider using images, videos, or other multimedia to make your show notes more engaging and visually appealing.
Optimising your show notes for SEO (search engine optimization) can help your podcast rank higher in search engine results and attract more listeners.
To optimise your show notes for SEO, include relevant keywords and phrases that relate to the topic of your episode. You can also include meta descriptions and tags that describe the content of your episode and help search engines understand what your podcast is about.
Equipment and software needed to start your podcast
Before you launch your podcast, you’ll need to invest in some basic equipment and software.
While you don’t need to break the bank, having high-quality equipment can make a big difference in the overall sound quality of your podcast.
Here’s a breakdown of the equipment and software you’ll need:
A high-quality microphone is essential for producing clear and crisp audio. While you can use the built-in microphone on your laptop or smartphone, investing in a dedicated podcasting microphone can help you achieve a more professional sound.
My personal favourite and the one I use for both of my podcasts is from Blue Yeti.
While not strictly necessary, having a good pair of headphones can help you monitor your audio while recording and catch any issues before they become major problems.
Headphones are my biggest concern and unlike other podcasters, I’ll happily use either my Skull Candy or Apple headphones.
Audio editing software
Once you’ve recorded your podcast, you’ll need to edit and produce it.
These software options allow you to trim and splice audio, adjust levels, and add effects such as music and sound effects. My personal favourites and ones that I use are Garageband and Descript.
Once your podcast is edited and ready to go, you’ll need a hosting platform to distribute it to various podcast directories, such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts.
These platforms allow you to upload your episodes and distribute them to various podcast directories, as well as provide analytics and other useful features.
When choosing equipment and tools, remember that more expensive doesn’t always mean better. There are plenty of free and freemium products that work just as well as the high-ticket items!
Recording and editing your podcast
Now that you have your equipment and software, it’s time to start recording and editing your podcast.
While the process may seem intimidating at first, with a little practice, you’ll be producing high-quality episodes in no time.
Here are my top tips for recording and editing your podcast:
Set up your recording space
Find a quiet space with minimal background noise to record your podcast. Make sure to turn off any fans or other noise sources, and consider investing in soundproofing materials such as acoustic foam or blankets if you feel the need to.
Test your equipment
Before recording, make sure to test your microphone and headphones to ensure they’re working properly. Record a short test clip and play it back to make sure everything sounds good.
Write an outline
To keep your podcast on track, it’s helpful to write an outline of the topics you’ll cover and the points you want to make. This will help you stay focused and ensure that you cover everything you want to in each episode.
Some podcasters like to have super in-depth outlines, or even full scripts to help them record an episode. Others just like to have some keywords or bullet points written down as prompts.
There’s no right or wrong way to create an outline, as long as it works for you and your podcast recording process.
When you’re ready to start recording, hit the record button (if you forget and host an episode without recording it, trust me, you’ll never make this mistake again!!) on your audio software and start talking.
Try to speak clearly and avoid long pauses or filler words such as “um” or “uh.” If you make a mistake or stumble over your words, simply pause and start over.
If you do make a mistake, I like to count to 5 silently before continuing. This creates a flat line in the sound wave and makes finding the section to cut much easier when editing the sound file.
Edit your recording
Once you’ve finished recording, it’s time to edit your episode.
Use your audio editing software to trim any dead air, remove mistakes or stumbles, and adjust the levels to ensure consistent volume throughout the episode. You can also add music or sound effects if desired. If you feel intimidated at the thought of editing audio waves, Descript is an amazing tool that enables you to edit video and audio using your script which is transcribes onto the screen. It’s really easy to use and is a game-changer when it comes to editing.
Export and upload
Once you’re happy with your edited episode, export it to an MP3 file and upload it to your podcast hosting platform.
Make sure to add episode titles, descriptions, and artwork to help listeners find and engage with your podcast.
Hosting your podcast
Once you’ve created your podcast episode, you need to host it somewhere so that people can listen to it.
You can host your podcast on your own website or server, but this requires technical knowledge and can be costly.
Podcast hosting platforms
When choosing a hosting platform, consider the cost, storage limits, and features offered by each platform. Some platforms offer free plans with limited storage, while others charge a monthly fee for more storage and advanced features.
Once you’ve chosen a hosting platform, you’ll need to upload your podcast episode to the platform. This typically involves uploading your audio file, adding episode details (such as title, description, and artwork), and setting the release date.
Submitting your podcast to directories
After you’ve hosted your podcast, you need to submit it to podcast directories so that people can find it and listen to it.
The main players in the game include Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and iHeartRadio. Your podcast hosting platform will give you instructions for submitting your podcast to these directories using an RSS Feed.
This is a one-time process and means that every time you upload a new episode to your hosting platform, it will be pushed out to each directory that your podcast is hosted on.
I always recommend getting on as many podcast directories as possible to improve your reach but as a minimum Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Statistically, more people listen to podcasts on Apple Podcasts than on any other podcast directory; this is followed by Spotify.
When submitting your podcast to directories, you’ll need to provide information such as your podcast name, description, and artwork. You’ll also need to select the appropriate category and tags for your podcast.
To optimise your podcast listing, make sure your podcast artwork is high-quality and eye-catching. Use relevant keywords and phrases in your podcast description and tags to help people find your podcast when searching for related topics.
You can also encourage listeners to leave ratings and reviews, which can improve your visibility in the directories.
Launching your podcast
Congratulations, you’ve recorded and edited your first podcast episode!
Now it’s time to launch it and start building your audience.
Having launched two of my own podcasts, these are my top tips for a smooth and successful launch:
Choose a launch date
Set a launch date for your podcast and start promoting it at least a few weeks in advance. This will help build excitement and ensure that people are ready to tune in when your first episode drops.
Create a trailer
Before launching your first episode, consider creating a trailer that gives listeners a taste of what’s to come. This can be a great way to generate interest and build anticipation for your podcast.
Encourage people to subscribe to your podcast now so that they’re notified as soon as your first episode drops.
Promote on social media
Use social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to promote your podcast. Share teaser clips, behind-the-scenes photos, and other content that gives your audience a sneak peek into what they can expect from your show.
Remember, you don’t have to be everywhere. Figure out 1-2 platforms where your target audience hangs out and make stand-out content to promote your show on these platforms.
Submit to directories
Submit your podcast to directories like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts to make it easy for listeners to find and subscribe to your show.
Network with other podcasters
Join online communities or attend events for podcasters to network with other creators and get tips on growing your audience. Facebook Groups can be amazing for finding like-minded podcasters. However, I suggest avoiding the groups where anyone can promo their show as in a lot of cases you just end up getting spammed by ‘promoters’ who aren’t genuine and offer to up your listenership for a crazy low amount of money.
It’s a load of rubbish and not worth your time.
You’re better off engaging in groups where self-promo is only allowed on certain threads/days of the week and instead engaging with people to build valid and genuine connections.
Growing and monetising your podcast
Now that you’ve launched your podcast and started building your audience, it might be time to focus on growth and monetisation. I say ‘might be,’ because not every podcaster wants to monetise their podcast; and that’s ok.
One effective way to grow your podcast is to collaborate with other creators in your niche. This can include guest appearances on other podcasts, cross-promotion on social media, or even co-hosting a new show. By partnering with other creators, you can tap into their existing audience and attract new listeners to your own podcast.
Another strategy for growth is to invest in advertising and promotion. While this can be expensive, it can also help you reach a wider audience and attract new listeners who may not have discovered your podcast otherwise.
Consider running ads on social media, partnering with influencers, or even advertising on other podcasts in your niche. Podcasters have found varied success with this, but, before investing in social media ads, I would highly recommend ensuring that you have researched a strategy that works for you and you aren’t just chucking money at Facebook.
When it comes to monetising your podcast, there social media ads aren’t the only option. Another common ad strategy is to run ads within your podcast episodes. This can be done by having a pre-recorded advert that you insert at the beginning, middle, or end of your podcast episode. These ads could advertise products and services from companies that you’ve partnered with.
Finally, it’s important to engage with your audience and build a community around your podcast. This can include hosting live events, creating a dedicated Facebook group, or even just responding to listener emails and social media messages. By building a strong relationship with your audience, you can not only retain existing listeners but also attract new ones through word of mouth.
Overall, growing and monetizing a podcast takes time and effort, but with the right strategies, it’s possible to build a successful show that generates revenue and attracts a loyal fanbase. Keep experimenting, learning, and refining your approach, and don’t be afraid to take risks and try new things along the way.
Need some help starting your podcast?
If you’re feeling overwhelmed or unsure about how to start your own podcast, I’ve got you covered.
The Confident Podcaster is designed to provide you with expert guidance on everything from crafting engaging content to promoting your podcast to a wider audience.
With this course, you’ll gain access to insider tips and the tools you need to take your podcast to the next level. Enrolling in The Confident Podcaster will empower you to create and grow your very own podcast with confidence. Click here to find out more and to enrol today.
Starting a podcast can seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and guidance, it can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience. In this comprehensive guide, we’ve covered everything from generating podcast ideas to submitting your podcast to directories.
Remember, finding your niche, creating quality content, and promoting your podcast are key factors in building a successful podcast. Make sure you choose the right equipment and hosting platform for your needs and take the time to create high-quality artwork and show notes.
With dedication and persistence, your podcast can grow and reach a wide audience.
So, what are you waiting for?
It’s time to start your podcast and share your voice with the world! Use the tips and strategies outlined in this guide to learn how to start a podcast, and take the first step towards creating a successful podcast that resonates with your audience.