Tools To Start An Amazing Podcast That People Will Love

A guide to kickstart your podcast strategy

how to start a podcast

Last updated on June 20th, 2018 at 06:11 pm

With podcasts on the rise and Google investing in doubling the amount of listeners worldwide, it’s a pretty great time to invest in starting a podcast. But, how to start a podcast? It comes in handy when you have something to say about your niche, but that’s something you have to figure out for yourself.

Starting a podcast is actually quite simple. Costs are relatively low – so low anyone could start recording podcasts at home – but doing it the right way might take some time to find out. We have gathered the best tools to start your own podcast and develop an audio-content strategy that will keep your audience coming back for more.

TL;DR:

  • Podcasts are on the rise, and it’s the best moment to start creating one
  • You don’t need much to start, try Anchor to get set up quickly
  • We’ve created a free podcast content doc for you to get you started
  • Make sure your podcasts can be found by Google by implementing Google’s Podcast requirements

First things first: what is a podcast exactly?

The word ‘podcast’ was first mentioned in an article on the Guardian about online radio, where the combination of iPods, cheap audio software and weblogs (it’s from 2004) were said to be responsible for an audio revolution. “But what to call it? Audioblogging? Podcasting? GuerillaMedia?”, questioned the author back then. Now, 14 years later, it’s clear that podcast is the term that stuck around. Podcast being pod from iPod’s and cast from broadcasting. Not all that complicated, luckily. But what are they exactly?
Podcasts can be many things. Some would define it as ‘on demand radio’, whereas Wikipedia defines podcasts as “podcast, or generically netcast, is an episodic series of digital audio or video files which a user can download and listen to. It is often available for subscription, so that new episodes are automatically downloaded via web syndication to the user’s own local computer, mobile application, or portable media player.” This definition shows some important characteristic of podcasts:

  • Podcasts are episodes
  • You can download and listen to them (or stream, which makes more sense nowadays)
  • It’s often subscription based

To me, this is what makes a podcast a podcast; I would consider it an audio-Netflix show with different season that users can subscribe to. Without the fiction though, that’d be audiobooks.

Curious to listen to some successful podcasts? Check out an episode of the Joe Rogan Experience or the Crypto Street Podcast on YouTube.

Nowadays, you can find podcasts pretty much anywhere, but the mostly on iTunes, Spotify and Google Play Music. You can even find them on YouTube. But, dedicated podcasting apps like Overcast are on the rise, making it extremely simple to listen to podcasts and even speed up podcasts so you can listen to them faster. Really.

Why start a podcast?

The numbers don’t lie. According to Nielsen, over 44% of US households have listened to a podcast – half of them at home and 22% while driving. Podcast listeners are very loyal, 80% listens to the whole episode and listen to more than 5 podcasts a week. Podcast listeners are educated, interested and will listen to the advice they hear in a podcast.

It’s an extremely effective channel that does not require visual attention. Therefore, travel and work become places where you can reach people who you normally can’t reach at that time.

If you’re not convinced by these numbers, read the piece Pacific Content did on Google’s mission to make everyone an ‘audio citizen’. By integrating podcasts into their products, podcast discovery will be much more widespread and effective than it is now.

And that’s noticable too by interest in “how to start a podcast”, if you look at the Google Trends interest over the past five years:

how to start a podcast trend
Source: Google Trends

Before you get started: Time and perseverance

Now it’s clear what defines a podcast, it’s essential to understand that starting one is easy, but getting an audience is hard. Even with Google making it much easier to discover podcasts.

As with anything that involves creating content, time and perseverance are of the utmost importance. Creating takes time, and results are never instant. You might publish, and publish, and publish and publish until you finally get some listeners. It’s like any form of content marketing, you invest time and energy to create something others would enjoy ‘consuming’. In blogging, for example, this is where most people fail: regularity. Once you feel like your content is not getting the traction you think it deserves, it’s likely you stop producing. But where 99% stops, 1% keeps going and growing.

If you’re dedicated to starting a podcast and really put time in, you’ll see the results when they’re there. Luckily, if you plan ahead and keep in mind that podcasts are episodes, you’re more likely to continue producing and less likely to quit.

Things you’ll need to start a podcast

As you can imagine, you’ll need a couple of things to get started.

Concept/theme and episode(s)

This is a major key, if the most important one: You’ll need to think of a topic for your podcast. Let’s take NicheHunt as an example:

Creating a theme and episodes within the theme really help you to organize stuff, and result in a better outcome due to preparation. Plus, it makes you think of some basics: Do I want a weekly podcast? Of monthly? And do I want guests or just talk to myself? It’s the basics of how to start a podcast. We have made the outline as pictured above available on Google Sheets (for free).

Microphones

Even though your standard Apple earbuds will do fine to record your voice. We would suggest you start by using what you already have laying around, like the standard microphone on your laptop or your earphones. If you enjoy what you’re doing and looking for more professional podcasting setup, you might want to invest in better audio.
And that’s relatively cheap as well. The Neewer NW-800 is a microphone under $20 bucks that does great noise-free recording, as does the Fifine USB microphone that’s only $21,99 – our favorite. If you’re a bit more serious, the Audio Technica AT2020 is an absolute steal at $108 dollar. The Amazon bestseller list is a good reference, or check out this article on the best podcasting microphones for every budget:

Bestseller No. 1
Fifine USB Microphone, Plug &Play Home Studio USB Condenser Microphone for Skype, Recordings for YouTube, Google Voice Search, Games(Windows/Mac)-K668
1266 Reviews
Fifine USB Microphone, Plug &Play Home Studio USB Condenser Microphone for Skype, Recordings for YouTube, Google Voice Search, Games(Windows/Mac)-K668
  • Plug and Play and Portable-Simply plug it...
  • Distinctive Omni pick-up pattern-- Noise...
  • Smooth,flat frequency response of...
SaleBestseller No. 2
Neewer NW-700 Professional Studio Broadcasting Recording Condenser Microphone & NW-35 Adjustable Recording Microphone Suspension Scissor Arm Stand with Shock Mount and Mounting Clamp Kit
1278 Reviews
Neewer NW-700 Professional Studio Broadcasting Recording Condenser Microphone & NW-35 Adjustable Recording Microphone Suspension Scissor Arm Stand with Shock Mount and Mounting Clamp Kit
  • The Set Includes: (1) Condenser Microphone,...
  • The professional condenser microphone adopts...
  • The adjustable scissor arm stand is made out...
SaleBestseller No. 3
ZINGYOU ZY-801 Professional Studio Microphone, Desktop Computer Cardioid Condenser Mic with Tripod for PC Recording, Broadcasting (Black)
36 Reviews
ZINGYOU ZY-801 Professional Studio Microphone, Desktop Computer Cardioid Condenser Mic with Tripod for PC Recording, Broadcasting (Black)
  • Condenser Vibration Pickup - The ZY-801 is...
  • Humanized Design - Desktop tripod is solidly...
  • Superior Sound Quality - The ZY-801 cardioid...

Software

Anchor
Anchor is a New York based company that launched a platform to enable people to podcast in the easiest way possible. And it works really well. Within Anchor you have the possibility to easily start you own podcast by either uploading your existing audio or recording and editing new audio:

Anchor has an app available making it possible to easily record on your phone instead of your laptop.

Besides publishing your podcast content on Anchor, the tool automatically makes the connection for you to publish content on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play Music, Overcast and Pocket Casts.

Not interested in an all-in-one solution? Check out some other tools:

Audacity
Audacity is probably the best and free audio recording + editing tool out there. It’s easily usable and available for Windows and Mac

Garageband
Garageband is free Mac software, and really works well to record and edit audio quickly. Garageband is not available for Windows.

Adobe Audition
Adobe Audition is ideal if you have an Adobe Cloud subscription. Similar to Garageband, but also available for Windows.

Distributing your podcast

There are a couple of different ways to distribute your podcasts:

If you’re just starting out, start with iTunes or Anchor – you can focus on other platforms later or use Anchor to reach them all.

Podcasting as part of your content marketing strategy

Now you’re all ready to start a podcast, how does it fit into you content marketing strategy? To some, podcasting may sound like something people could only do from a personal branding point of view. But, with Google integrating podcasts into their search results and Google assistant, think of the possibilities companies have to create good podcasts.

My approach on fitting podcasts into your content marketing strategy would be: What are people looking for and can I create a valuable answer to their question? Approach it as you would any form of content marketing. Now the format of your answer can always be different, being blog posts, video or – yes – a podcast.

You could even try using other popular podcasts to advertise your own product or service. From this angle you can approach other podcasters and try to have them talking about you.

And, as with any form of content, try filling out our podcast calendar overview to see if podcasting really works for you or your brand. It’s an easy start.

How to have your podcasts indexed in Google

If you want to make your podcast appear in the Google Search results, you can. It works on the Google Search app for now, or on Google home, but Chrome and Android will follow soon.

To get these results, you’ll have to:

  • Expose a valid RSS feed describing the podcast
  • The feed must contain at least one episode
  • The podcast must have a dedicated homepage
  • The homepage, the RSS feed, and any non-blocked audio files must be crawlable by a Googlebot

Read the full source on how to have your podcasts indexed in Google in the Google Podcast Guidelines.

The future is podcasting?

You can take our word for it: Podcasting will be bigger than ever in the years to come. Look at all the signs: Anchor apps, Google investing in podcasts, assistance-devices that need to understand language.

Starting a podcast now is an ideal moment, you’ll be right before the hype.

retro

Written by Djordi Johan

Marketing enthusiast, crypto hodler, co-founder NicheHunt.