Your friendly neighbourhood Podcast guide to build, grow and monetize a Podcast
If you don’t have a Podcast yet, you’re missing out on a goldmine of opportunities to scale your brand or business in 2022.
Now, Podcasting is not a newborn. It’s been buzzing around us for a decade. But it has suddenly boomed in the 4–5 years.
Heck, USA alone has over 160 million listeners today. Imagine if you could get a bite of even 1% of these listeners. Tastes sweet, doesn’t it?
That’s exactly why you need a launch a Podcast. Don’t sweat over it. You won’t need a big investment or mortgage or future dreams to start a Podcast today.
In this blog, I’ll cover in-depth the exact process of launching a Podcast, step-by-step, from choosing a Podcast topic to releasing your first Episode online.
So without further ado, let’s get started.
What is a Podcast and Why Should You Start One?
A Podcast is a content type, preferably audio, where you talk about something you like or have expertise in.
Let me make it simpler.
You read blogs. You watch videos. You listen to Podcasts. Get it?
Podcast is an audio form of content which is found on platforms such as Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify and many others.
Guess one major benefit Podcasts have over Blogs and Videos.
One doesn’t need the device in their hands. They can just play it in their earphones or on a speaker.
Coming over to the reasons behind launching your own Podcast. Let’s look at a few.
- Building or growing your Personal Brand
- Scaling your Niche business
- Building an extra source of income
- Building networks and connecting with people
If your goals align with either of these then you’re up for an exciting journey where you build an empire by talking about what you love.
Some Podcasters consider it a Business Model, others like keeping it casual. It’s your choice. But you better enjoy the entire process while you’re at it.
Let’s move on to the next part where I debunk some Podcasting Myths for you.
Debunking Podcast Myths
“Podcasting can only be taken up by experts or professionals in a particular field”
Wrong. There are literally millions of Podcasters who took up Podcasting because they genuinely want to share their opinions and thoughts with other people with similar interests.
Such Podcasters talk on a topic out of the hobby and not because they are experienced professionals with a degree at their disposal. They enjoy the process and realise that there are a bunch of people who love listening to them.
“Podcasting cannot be turned into a Business”
With the help of affiliates, sponsors, support links and email lists, I’ve seen people replace their full-time jobs with Podcasting. There might be clients among one’s Podcast listeners, in need of consulting or some work.
A Podcaster might launch an online course, ebook, academy or workshop which can be promoted on their show. This gets them leads from the show itself. Overall, Podcasting can definitely be turned into a business model.
“Maintaining a Podcast is expensive”
Absolutely not. There’s a module inside Pat Flynn’s “Power Up Podcasting” course where you can get all Podcast tools and equipment for under $100. That’s quite affordable.
Additionally, you’ll have to pay a small fee to your Podcast Hosting service to keep your Podcast running. I recommend BuzzSprout. I’ve been using it for a while now and have watched my show grow exponentially with it. BuzzSprout just charges $12 per month.
Now that I’ve busted a few major myths about Podcasting, let’s get into the step-by-step process of launching your Podcast from scratch and getting your first Episode aired.
Step 1 : Choosing a Podcast Topic and Name
A podcast topic refers to the subject on which you’ll talk on your Podcast. But before we get into some really popular Podcast topics, let’s look at the WHY and HOW of choosing a Podcast topic.
Choose a Topic that Interests You
A topic you know can pull listeners and make them plug in their earbuds just to tune into your show. Choose a topic you could talk about for hours.
Specific > Generic
Keep your topic specific. There’s no pressure but if you really want a dedicated group of listeners who would not just listen to your episodes but even go to the extent of buying products you launch or promote, then I suggest you niche down.
Let’s look at an example.
Generic : Entrepreneurship
Specific : Entrepreneurship for students in high school or Entrepreneurship for Moms
Go specific and gather a targeted audience who is genuinely interested in your Podcast. Don’t worry, there are many out there waiting for you to launch your Podcast show.
Here’s why I don’t recommend choosing a generic niche — There are Podcasters who stepped inside the ‘generic’ niche long before you knew Podasting even existed.
They built their personal brand and their listeners put their trust in them. So if you chose a generic niche, why would people prefer you over that podcaster? That’s a major downside of going generic.
Anyway, let me help you choose a Podcast topic now. Answer these four questions and you’ll be well on your way to choosing a topic that’ll draw a lot of listeners.
- Which topic makes you stop everything and start sharing your opinion with others?
- Do you have any personal reason to choose that Topic? If so, what is it?
- Can you keep talking about your chosen topic for at least 2 hours?
- Why would anyone be interested to listen to you talking about your topic?
Answer these and you’ll have better clarity about your niche.
Let’s proceed and look at 3 factors to help you niche down on your topic.
- Location — Are you targeting a specific country, city, state or region?
- Age — Are you targeting children, teens, young adults, adults or the aged?
- Profession — Are you targeting entrepreneurs, engineers, doctors, lawyers, accountants, corporate workers or people from some other profession?
- Language — Are you targeting people speaking a certain language?
Once you niche down on the type of listeners you want for your Podcast, you’ll grow faster.
Don’t stress out about coming up with a Podcast name. Let’s look at what others have named their Podcast shows. This will give you ideas on how to name yours.
- The Tim Ferris Show
- The Smart Passive Income Podcast
- Online Marketing Made Easy
- On Purpose with Jay Shetty
- The Daily Mastery Podcast by Robin Sharma
- Hidden Brain.
Every Podcast name can be templatized. Wanna see how? Let me demonstrate with a few examples.
- The [Your Name] Show
- The [Topic] Podcast
- [Topic] Made [Adjective]
- [Topic] Podcast by [Your Name]
See? Not really hard now is it? And just so you know, every Podcast name I listed above is among the top 50 shows today.
Step 2 : Choosing a Podcast Hosting Service
A Podcast Hosting Service is a Home to your Podcast show. It hosts, stores and uploads your audio files on the servers to be released globally as ‘Episodes’.
You’ll find Paid and Free Hosting on the internet. Let me help you choose which one’s perfect for you.
- If you’re planning to pursue Podcasting as a side hustle or a part-time project, I’d suggest you begin with a free hosting service like Anchor or RSS, and shift to a paid one later.
- But if you’re really serious about Podcasting and taking it as a full-time project, go ahead and get a paid hosting service to enjoy all benefits of launching, growing and monetizing your Podcast.
Free podcast hosting services usually have their watermark on the audio player and have more control over your show than you do. So make your choice wisely.
Most Podcast hostings offer in-depth Analytics and Monetization options as well.
Analytics will show you which locations you get listeners from, what devices they tune in from and the number of downloads each of your episodes gets.
Monetization feature lets you earn money from your Podcast show in a variety of ways. The most popular ones include Affiliate offers, Sponsors and Support links.
I use BuzzSprout as my Podcast Hosting service for my show — The Uncensored Society Podcast. I had to shift from Anchor to Buzzsprout because of the following reasons.
- Gave me more flexibility to customize my Podcast player
- Provide a premium listening experience
- Generate transcripts
- Better monetization options
- Submit my Podcast to a larger number of directories.
Overall, I’ve even noticed my Podcast getting more downloads under BuzzSprout. You can have a look at my Podcast here.
But let’s look at WHAT exactly a Podcast Hosting service does for you and WHY should you get one in the first place.
When you record your Podcast episodes in an audio file, you’ll need to upload it somewhere to get it live for everyone. You can’t directly upload it on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.
A Hosting provider helps you with it. Upload your audio file inside your Hosting provider and it’ll automatically upload to Podcast directories of your choice, such as Google Podcasts and Apple Podcasts. Now your episode is live.
Need help choosing the best hosting provider which suits your needs? Read my detailed guide on Podcast Hosting Providers.
Step 3 : Pre-Record your Podcast Episodes
Try pre-recording your Podcast episodes for the next 3 months in advance. This will help you focus on something else that needs your attention. Recording an episode right before releasing it is not a good practice.
Any minor technical issue could ruin your recording and end up delaying your release date, which isn’t healthy for your Podcast growth.
But don’t worry about scheduling your episodes beforehand. Mostly all hosting providers let users schedule them to be released on dates decided by you. Helps you stay on the safer side.
But don’t release either of your Podcast episodes yet, we still have to cover a couple of other necessary steps. Let’s look at the next one.
Step 4 : Create Your Podcast Cover
Ever noticed the image that made you click the Podcast and tune in? Well, it’s called a Podcast artwork. In this Step, I’ll show you how to create a Podcast Artwork or outsource it.
Use Canva to create your Podcast Cover
Canva is an all-in-one designing tool which helps creators design literally everything online. The “everything” includes a Podcast Cover as well.
It’s free to download and use. However, if you need better design options, I suggest you opt for its paid plan. The best part? You get a 30-day free trial to test its premium features.
Canva offers thousands of templates which can be tweaked to create an entirely new design. I suggest you do the same with your Cover.
Search for “Podcast Cover” inside Canva’s search bar and select the template you like. Change its colours, add your image, tweak patterns and customize it your way.
If you need help using Canva, you’ll find dozens of YouTube videos on it.
Outsource your Podcast Cover
If designing is not your thing, don’t worry, you can simply outsource it to a freelance designer for literally as low as $5. Fiverr and Upwork are great marketplaces to find freelancers who’ll get a Podcast Cover made for you, the way you like it.
We’ve got your Podcast cover ready. Next, let’s look at your Podcast Bio and why you need one.
Step 5 : Write your Podcast Bio
A Podcast Bio is a block of text which tells listeners exactly what can they expect from your Podcast. I’ll list a few questions you can cover in your Bio.
- Introduce the Podcast Host(s)
- What does your Podcast talk about?
- Why should someone subscribe to your Podcast?
Although answering these in your Bio is optional, if you want more listeners for your show (which we all do), make sure you include them to get more conversions.
You can easily write a Bio inside your Podcast Hosting service.
Alternatively, you can outsource it and have someone else write it for you. Similar to what I covered above in “Create Your Podcast Cover” section.
Before moving on to the next topic, here are two things to note when writing a Podcast Bio.
- Keep it brief. The ones visiting Podcast are listeners, not readers.
- Write an optimized Bio. This means you should look out for keywords which will help you with SEO and ultimately increase your Podcast ranking. Know more about Podcast SEO here.
Next, let’s look at the type of Podcast you’d like to run.
Step 6 : Decide your Podcast Format [Interview, Solo or Mixed]
What kind of format do you prefer? Do you want to interview other people in your industry or go solo? Or do you wish to do a mix of both?
My Podcast is an Interview based Podcast where I invite Entrepreneurs to my show.
However, Interview based Podcasts have an upper hand when it comes to the visibility aspect of a Podcast. When you invite Guests to your show, it’s obvious they will share your interview episode with their audience. You get an additional source of listeners from it.
Nevertheless, do what you feel makes you comfortable. There’s no hard and fast rule about Podcasting anywhere. Remember, you must enjoy it and stay genuine. You’ll eventually get listeners if your show interests them.
Step 7 : Get your Podcast Tools and Equipment
No one likes listening to people where there’s a boatload of background noise coming through their mic. Earphones or just headphones mics would push away your listeners and set a bad first impression.
So go ahead and invest in a few Podcast tools and equipment which will not just make your listener’s experience incredible, but even help you become organized and sound professional.
You can Grab my Free Ebook which enlists 10 tools and equipment perfect for Podcasters.
There you go. You have everything set up. All you need now is to hit the “Publish” on your first Episode and get it out there. Don’t forget to share it with your friends, family and social network.
To summarize, here’s everything you need to launch your Podcast and release your first Episode on the Internet.
- What is a Podcast and Why should you start one?
- Debunking Podcast Myths
- Choosing your Podcast Topic and Name
- Choosing a Podcast Hosting Service
- Pre-Record your Podcast Episodes
- Create your Podcast Cover
- Write your Podcast Bio
- Decide your Podcast Format
- Get your Podcast Tools and Equipment
Now passing it over to you.
Which one did you find the most exciting? Was it choosing your Podcast name? or creating your Podcast cover?
Either way, let me know your answer by dropping a comment below.