How to start a podcast: The 2020 Podcasters guide

Ever listened to a podcast and thought “I could do that; I have something to say too”? Or maybe you’ve heard of others making six figures every month from podcasting.

Podcast listenership in recent times have grown tremendously and continues to do so especially within the culture. From The Receipts, to Three Shots of Tequila to 1Xtra Chat and everything in between there’s many categories and subcategories for every type of listener.

Whether you’re looking to promote your business, increase levels of engagement or just to discuss topics with an audience; creating a podcast is a great platform to share. The good news is that creating a podcast can be made easy! Even without technical skills, almost anyone can start a podcast. The question is how to make a successful podcast… But keep reading, we might have just the thing!

First Things Firsts: Cost & Effort

Professional podcasting setups can get quite complicated and expensive, but we’ll focus on the essentials and keep it as simple as possible. Step one is understanding the cost and effort required. If you’re on a budget you can get a satisfactory setup up and running for £100-200. It will have pretty good audio quality and be reliable. BUT a professional setup will cost around £1,000 minimum, possibly more. There’s always the third highly recommended option of booking affordable and easy breezy podcast sessions at Blankbox Studios. Check out our rates and services.

The ‘HOW’: What equipment you’ll need

Let’s be honest, your phone or laptop mic is just not going to cut it and neither are most cheap earphone microphones. These kinds of microphones are low sound quality and do not eliminate background noise. If you’re on a budget, USB mics are cheaper and can be conveniently plugged into your computers USB port but analog mics tend to have better audio quality but are pricier. Do your research, It’s best to invest in a good mic and start how you mean to continue! You also technically don’t need to wear headphones while recording a podcast, but I highly recommend it.

Let’s put it together: Recording & Editing 

This is the last main piece of “equipment” you’ll need. All good podcasts need editing and as daunting as it can seem, recording software can be straightforward and there are many editing software tools to choose from. Here are the most popular options for Mac and PC:

Adobe Audition is a powerful audio editing software with all the extras and more. Can be amazing if you know what you’re doing. Suitable for PC/Mac but be mindful there’s a monthly fee.

Audacity is another software suitable for PC/Mac and it’s another great premium audio editing software but for FREE. Very easy to use and tutorials are available online to give that helping hand.

Lastly Garage Band, suitable for MAC only and is also FREE. It has all the basics for most of your audio editing needs.

What Are You Talking About?!: Choose a topic/niche

There are two big questions you need to ask yourself here to determine what you will discuss on your podcast. Why do you want to create a podcast? Who is the podcast audience?

You have to identify the theme of the show and ensure each episode should stay relevant to that. The theme should be something you’re an expert on or very passionate about or ideally both! If the podcast is for your brand or company it can be a great way to build authority in your industry and market your product or services.

At Blankbox Studio we have plenty podcasters, businesses and shows already recording a variety of shows.

What’s in a name?: Pick a podcast title (And artwork!)

Your podcast name should speak to your audience. Ideally it should be pretty obvious what your podcast is about just from the title but it’s also a good idea to create and include a short description along with the title. Make sure to add keywords! This is great for optimizing your podcasts searchability on platforms like iTunes.

Can you hear that?!: Distributing your podcast

Think about the best upload schedule for your podcast; how frequent and how consistent. Maybe once a week, bi-weekly, or once a month. Just make it impactful and that said don’t just stick to deadlines just for the sake of putting content out. Your podcast will also need some artwork- an image that represents your show theme. The visual element is your podcasts first impression and will help to compete with other podcasts. This graphic should be .jpg or .png file format.

You should also decide the episode format and structure. Will it be just you a solo presenter or more than one host or with guests for interview style? Will it be structured in a narrative or storytelling style? Or a complete hybrid- a combination of a few of these? Lastly, how long will each of your episodes be? Whatever the duration, keep it consistent.

There are so many channels to upload your podcast but here are the most popular: iTunes, Soundcloud, YouTube, and Spotify.

Ready, Set, GO!: Launching your podcast

Right it’s now time to release your podcast! The launch of your podcast should be an event with generated buzz around it. You can do this by building a small audience pre-launch, that way you receive some listens and reviews immediately.

Growth: How to maximise your chances of success

OKAY! So you’ve figured out how to put episodes together, create a concept, publish and launch your first few episodes! What’s next? GROWTH. That’s next.

A great strategy to maximise your chances of a successful podcast is to first create a mailing list and regularly encourage listeners to subscribe to your podcast and leave reviews on iTunes. Another important key to your success is to be consistent. If you plan on releasing a new episode every week, do it at the same time and on the same day every week. Listeners will be expectant and that’s a good thing.

You’re all set now!