Podcast - where to start and how to set it up?
Podcast - where to start and how to set it up?

Podcast - where to start and how to set it up?

One of the best ways to reach audiences is through a podcast.

Here is a step by step guide to starting a podcast with tools and equipment recommendations, links to useful tutorials and resources.

8 steps to starting a podcast:

1. Initial planning - general idea for the podcast, the topic and name:

  • Choose a name: this is a tricky one, the name needs to resonate with the topic you focus on but should not be too restrictive.
  • Choose a topic: you need to pick a niche topic that will be specific to resonate with your audience yet broad enough to be able to produce a whole series on that topic.
  • Solo or co-hosted: decide if you might want a co-host, this could be a colleague, a business partner or a customer with whom you have synergies and can build a joint series together. Having two people hosting a show is surely more engaging than a one person show.
  • Buy a domain name for your podcast:

2. Format - things to consider:

  • Length: how long are your episodes? this should be decided based on the topic and number of guests you’d like to showcase per episode. Here is a great read to explore when deciding on how long your episodes should be:
  • Style: do you want to host interviews, do a solo or co-host a show?
  • Frequency: how often do you release a new episode, this depends on your schedule and how much time you’d like to invest in the production of
  • Difficulty: how hard is it for the general audience to follow your show. This mostly depends on the niche you are operating in and the type of listeners you want to attract and engage with. Are you targeting the wider audience or rather focus on business professionals who operate in your sphere?
  • Episode format: what structure should each episode have and how should it sound? Here are some ideas and examples:

3. Cover art creation:

The cover art of your podcast is its visual representation. It serves as the initial point of contact for potential listeners and often determines whether they decide to give it a chance.

Here is a helpful guide on creating captivating cover art for your podcast:

Here are two tools that offer podcast cover art templates:

  1. Canva: Canva is a widely used graphic design tool that offers a range of customizable templates specifically designed for podcast cover art. It provides a user-friendly interface, drag-and-drop functionality, and a vast library of graphics, fonts, and images to create professional-looking cover art.
  2. Adobe Spark: Adobe Spark is an online design tool that allows you to create visually appealing graphics, including podcast cover art. It offers a selection of customizable templates, typography options, and the ability to add images and branding elements to create unique and eye-catching cover art.

4. Intro & outro royalty free:

  1. YouTube Audio Library: YouTube offers a vast collection of royalty-free music that you can use in your podcast. The library includes various genres and moods, allowing you to find the perfect intro and outro music for your show.
  2. Free Music Archive: Free Music Archive is a platform that offers a wide range of royalty-free music options. You can search for music by genre, artist, or mood to find suitable tracks for your podcast's intro and outro.
  3. SoundCloud: SoundCloud hosts a community of musicians who share their music under Creative Commons licenses. You can find a diverse selection of music styles and genres, making it a great resource for discovering unique intro and outro tracks.
  4. PremiumBeat: Although PremiumBeat offers paid royalty-free music, it provides high-quality tracks with a professional sound. You can browse their extensive library for suitable intro and outro music options that align with your podcast's theme.
  5. Epidemic Sound: Epidemic Sound offers a vast library of royalty-free music across multiple genres. While it requires a subscription, it provides access to a broad range of high-quality tracks that can enhance your podcast's intro and outro.

5. Equipment recommendations:

  1. Microphone: Audio-Technica ATR2100x-USB or Samson Q2U. Both are affordable dynamic microphones that offer excellent sound quality and versatility. They have USB and XLR connections, allowing you to connect directly to your computer or use an audio interface if desired.
  2. Headphones: Audio-Technica ATH-M50x or Sony MDR-7506. These are popular choices among podcasters for their accurate sound reproduction and comfort. They provide good isolation and help you monitor your recordings effectively.
  3. Pop Filter: Aokeo Professional Microphone Pop Filter. This inexpensive accessory reduces plosive sounds (such as "p" and "b" sounds) and helps improve the overall quality of your recordings by minimizing unwanted noise.
  4. Boom Arm or Mic Stand: Heil Sound PL-2T Overhead Broadcast Boom or Neewer NW-35 Adjustable Microphone Suspension Boom Scissor Arm Stand. These sturdy options allow you to position your microphone at the ideal height and distance, enhancing your recording setup.
  5. Audio Interface (optional): Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (3rd Gen) or Behringer U-Phoria UM2. If you prefer using XLR microphones, an audio interface is necessary to connect them to your computer. These models offer good audio quality and reliable performance at an affordable price.

6. Audio recording & editing:

  1. Audacity: is a popular free and open-source audio editing software. It offers a wide range of features for recording, editing, and mixing audio. While it may not have the most advanced capabilities, it provides a solid foundation for podcast production.
  2. GarageBand: is a free digital audio workstation for macOS and iOS devices. It offers a user-friendly interface and powerful editing tools, making it a great choice for beginners or those on a budget.
  3. Adobe Audition: is a professional-grade audio editing software. It offers a comprehensive set of features, including multitrack editing, advanced noise reduction, and audio restoration tools. While it comes with a subscription cost, it provides exceptional quality and flexibility for podcast production.
  4. Reaper: is a reasonably priced digital audio workstation known for its customization options and efficiency. It offers a generous trial period and affordable licensing options, making it a cost-effective choice for podcasters seeking professional-grade tools.
  5. Soundtrap: is an online music and podcast creation platform that offers a range of tools and features for recording, editing, and collaborating on audio projects.
  6. Podcasters.Spotify: is a platform and set of tools provided by Spotify specifically designed for podcasters. It offers a range of features and benefits to enhance the podcasting experience. This tool also allows analytics.

7. Submission process for Spotify and Apple:

For Spotify Podcasts:

  1. Sign in or create an account on Spotify for Podcasters (podcasters.spotify.com).
  2. Click on the "Get Started" button and fill out the necessary information, including your podcast details, artwork, and RSS feed.
  3. Verify ownership of your podcast by choosing one of the available verification methods.
  4. Review and submit your podcast for approval. Spotify will review your submission, which may take a few days.
  5. Once approved, your podcast will be available on Spotify for listeners to discover and stream.

For Apple Podcasts:

  1. Create an Apple ID if you don't have one, or sign in to your existing Apple ID at podcastsconnect.apple.com.
  2. Click on the "+" button to add a new show and provide the required information, such as show details, artwork, and RSS feed.
  3. Validate your podcast's RSS feed by following the provided instructions. Ensure that your feed meets Apple's specifications.
  4. Submit your podcast for review. Apple will review your submission, and it typically takes a few days to process.
  5. Once approved, your podcast will be listed on Apple Podcasts, allowing users to find and subscribe to it.

Please note that both Spotify and Apple Podcasts have specific guidelines and requirements for podcast submissions, such as appropriate content and artwork specifications. Ensure you adhere to their guidelines to increase the chances of a successful submission.

8. Promotion strategies:

  1. Leverage your existing network: Start by promoting your podcast to friends, family, colleagues, and followers on social media. Encourage them to listen, share, and provide feedback. Word-of-mouth can be a powerful tool for spreading awareness.
  2. Optimize your podcast for discoverability: Use relevant keywords in your podcast title, description, and episode titles to improve searchability. This will help potential listeners find your podcast when searching on platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Google Podcasts.
  3. Create compelling podcast artwork: Design eye-catching and professional podcast cover art that reflects the essence of your show. It should capture attention and entice potential listeners to click and explore further.
  4. Cross-promote on other platforms: Utilize your existing online presence to promote your podcast. Share snippets, highlights, or behind-the-scenes content on social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. Encourage followers to check out the full episodes on your podcast platform.
  5. Collaborate with guests and other podcasters: Invite guests on your show who have their own following. When they share the episode with their audience, it can expose your podcast to new listeners. Consider guest appearances on other podcasts as well to expand your reach.
  6. Engage with your audience: Encourage listener engagement by creating a dedicated email address, social media accounts, or a website for your podcast. Respond to comments, questions, and feedback promptly. Building a strong connection with your audience helps foster loyalty and can lead to recommendations.
  7. Seek podcast directories and communities: Submit your podcast to various podcast directories and communities that cater to your niche. This can increase visibility among listeners who actively seek out new shows to listen to.
  8. Utilize SEO techniques: Optimize your podcast website or episode descriptions with relevant keywords to improve search engine visibility. This can attract organic traffic from search engines and increase your chances of discovery.
  9. Seek out podcast interviews and media opportunities: Actively pitch yourself as a guest on other podcasts or seek interviews with media outlets relevant to your niche. This exposes you to new audiences who may be interested in your podcast.
  10. Consistency and quality: Maintain a consistent release schedule for your episodes and ensure they provide high-quality content. Consistency builds audience trust, and quality content keeps listeners engaged and encourages them to share your podcast.