*Last updated – January 2020
So, suddenly you decided to start a podcast on your own and no one can ever stop you on doing it. But, you’re wondering what are the best tools, practices and ideas on starting a creative podcast?
Don’t look more further, because I will teach you the best tools, tricks and the most fancy ways to start a podcast (or maybe not too fancy. Lol) whether you just want to create a meaningful content, build a personal brand, add a new skill into your arsenal, start or grow a business, sell a product, service, or idea. I got you covered!
Let me help you start your podcasting journey by getting the essential tools and knowledge to start it from ground-up. So, I hope this will be very helpful for you on pursuing this great opportunity ahead of us.
Hey, it’s me Jaychrist!
I’m the host and producer of The Design Life Show (TDLS) — It’s a personal talk-based podcast for creatives. I produce meaningful content every week for my personal brand since 2015. But, I’ve been in the creative industry as a freelance creative designer since 2010.
I started my career after working in some shitty jobs like working in a factory (I respect the job, the people I worked with, and I do not intend to degrade people.) I call it shitty because of the work environment, I worked there under poor conditions, and with low income.
After realizing my health and happiness were more important. I left the job, got back in school, and work my ass off to build my creative design business as a side hustle. Fast forward after a few years, through a ton of courage and hard work, I’m now a designer, podcaster, speaker, and maker of meaningful experiences from print to digital products.
Throughout the years, I found the sweet spot of helping others while pursuing my passion. So, I thought, why not give you my POV and the knowledge I gained since I started producing my very own podcast from ground-up. There’s nothing better to explain how to start a podcast than this so I hope you enjoy.
What is a podcast?
The Three Main Types of Podcast
N1. Storytelling — This is a type of podcast where the host/s has a pre-written scripts on a specific topic, typically a fiction or nonfiction and it’s up to the host if he likes to write the whole script or just a list of guidelines during the episode.
N2. Informative — Podcast like this is heavy in storytelling elements, and other likes to cover current trends or news within their target niche.
N3. 1-on-1 Interviews — TDLS is derived from this type of podcast. Most of the time, it includes a host and a guest talking about a certain topic that can be beneficial for the audience or the listeners.
Why you need to start a podcast?
I’m quoting what Ryan Helms said on this. He is a good friend of mine and one of the best Podcaster I know out there, what he said is “There is no better time to start a podcast than right now. It’s still like the gold rush of bloggers was back in 2007-2010 and there are tons of niches still yet to be claimed but they are getting snatched up quickly.” In other words there’s a lot of white space to be fill-in.
And, I couldn’t agree more on that. He is really right about it, I believe that podcasting is the new blogging. Doing a blog since 2015, really works wonders not only for my career but, also for my life, and business as well, while podcasting become the best amplifier of my brand voice since I begun podcasting last March 2018.
What you need to start a Podcast?
When it comes to it, the only thing you ACTUALLY need to start a podcast are a cell phone or computer, an internet connection, and your creativity. And of course, a topic that you love to talk about every single time of your life.
The typical workflow of a podcast is Ideate, record, edit, upload. See diagram below for your reference.
Getting Started On Creative Podcasting: Ideation & Outline
How to pick a right niche?
How to find a guest for your podcast?
Now, you know your avatar and you have your target niche. But, you’re still wondering how to find the right guests for your podcast?
In the beginning, it’s hard to know where to find those people who can really bring value through your podcast but, if you dig deep and look back a little bit, you’ll realize that you already find what you’re looking for.
For my case, I start on my existing and very small connections and the most useful platform on finding my guests is through my Facebook profile. I literally message everyone that I know that in the position to be on the podcast and that’s how I started.
The first thing that came into my mind when I’m really into podcasting is to re-connect to the previous clients that I admire because, of their contribution to the community. Another way that I really love doing is to attend an event like local meetups, social gatherings, and founders meetup or anything that is related to my niche. I’d connect with them and tell them about the podcast and ask them if they’re interested to be one of my guests. Pretty straightforward but, it’s works well for me.
One thing to keep in mind, is you have to go out there and really build a genuine connection. It won’t work unless if you really value and respect the time of your guests. Ask them with kindness and just offer an upfront value, nothing more nothing less.
Crafting your email is really important…
Always, remember that the golden key to get a commitment with your guest is through their email. Emailing them a short but sweet details about your podcast can do works wonders and will build more integrity in return. Cause, you’re contacting them directly and it feels more personal.
If you’re still confused on how you can craft a great email to invite a guest for your podcast see the email that I crafted below. Feel free to make your own by referencing it.
During this process, I included a link of my Calendly or you can also use Acuity which you can also embed it directly to your site, whatever works for you so that you can point people there or they can schedule a time just easy as ABC.
Keep in mind that, you have to make these a positive experience not only for you but, for your guests as well. You’ll never go wrong if you provide genuine intentions even just via email.
What equipment’s do you need to start a podcast?
N1. Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Studio Package contains: Scarlett 2i2 USB audio interface (can insert upto to Mics), 1 Condenser microphone, 1 headphone, 1 10′ XLR mic cable, and a mic stand clip. See it here.
N2. Audio-Technica Atr2500-Usb Cardioid Condenser Usb Microphone. See it here.
N3. Samson GO Mic Mini Portable Recording Condenser Microphone. See it here.
Computer / Laptop
N1. Asus Laptop with processor Intel Core i5, 4GB RAM, and windows 8 genuine
N2. Desktop Computer with AMD FX(tm)-6100 Six-Core Processor, 23 inch LG Monitor, 12 GB RAM, and Windows 10 genuine.
Audio Editing & Recording Softwares
N2. Adobe Audition
N3. Pro Tools
Audio / Video Communications softwares (Remote interviews)
N3. Google Hangouts
Extras for audio quality
N1. Microphone Boom
N2. Microphone Shock Mount N(check your mic size)
N3. Sound Deadeners
How to record and edit a podcast?
I wanted to make my podcast more personal as much as I can, that’s why I always encourage my guests to talk with me upfront or in-person but, guesting the most busiest creative entrepreneurs in town is harder more than I think of. So, I decided to give them two options. Before the interview I’ll ask them, if they want to conduct the podcast interview in-person or remotely which I added on FAQs page of the website. Check how it works.
Some of the great episodes I published, were recorded in a sound-treated room, pizza shop, co-working spaces, coffee shops and even inside the car. But, if my guest has a really far locations and both of our schedules wouldn’t match. We’re doing it via remote interview using Zoom, it’s a audio/video communication software similar to Skype.
I love using it because, it has a built-in feature where you can record your conversation during the call. But, for some extra notes; If you are also recording or streaming video during the podcast session, you will need at least 50+ Mbps download speed. For the best quality, I would recommend 100+ Mbps.
If you are unsure how to record a podcast remotely you can check this very useful guide from descript.co. It’s a super useful guide to get it right the first time. Check it here.
For recording and editing, I’m currently using Audacity. It’s 100% FREE and I love how easy to use it and the features are really good. Sometimes, I use Adobe Audition when I have more time to finalize it, and improved the audio quality. But, most of the time I’m just using it to match the loudness or set the standard maximum levels of the audios. Check this great guide for you to start on editing your podcast using Audacity.
How to distribute a podcast?
Before distributing your podcast to major podcast directories or other channels. I highly encourage you to have at least 3-5 episodes ready to publish. It’s a good idea to have a stock of recorded episodes as well so, you can keep the podcast running if there’s uncertain things happened along the way.
Keep in mind that, you’ll not just be doing the scripts, podcast editing and distribution but, the marketing as well. So, having a nice set of episodes that ready to be publish is a good idea. So, you’ll have more time to focus on some other stuffs that needed your attention.
Once you’re ready to take your podcast journey and you’re ready to throw your value bombs out there. You have to consider the audio hosts before connecting it to major podcast directories you’ll be needing an RSS link for this (you can get your RSS feed through your chosen podcast hosting provider). What is a podcast host? Keep reading.
Before, I give you my personal recommendations and the hosting that I’m using. You need to understand first, what is a podcast host? — A podcasting hosting service is a requirement to have your podcast accessible to the largest market of listeners. They provide the platform so that you can upload your audio file and input the key characteristics of your show and each individual episode. You need to have a Podcasting Hosting Service (PHS) in order to distribute your content in different podcast directories.
What is the best Podcast Host?
For my podcast host, I’m using Soundcloud. Why? First, is the design of the platform. I really love the user interface, you can install the app on Android or IOS (inclusivity), good analytics and it’s very easy to use.
Some other factors that you might want consider on using it are; Unlimited storage, You own your contents, you can edit, remove, or add whenever you want. Also, you can gain organic audience because of the large community, and as far as I concerns the company stability is really great as of the moment so, you don’t have to worry about future circumstances. The price of the premium tier is starting at $16 or around ₱900.
Other podcast host that I’ve check out are:
N1. Simplecast: $12, Unlimited storage, Simple and easy to use, great analytics and cool embedded player
N2. Lybsyn: $5 – $60, 50-800 MB storage, Most well known, Trusted w/ little issues and Interface is dated.
N2. Anchor: Free, Unlimited storage, mobile friendly, recording feature via smartphone, growing popularity. Although it’s very popular app the reason is very obvious because, it’s FREE. Just be very careful about it because they own your contents. If something happens in the long run you won’t be able to retrieve it.
How to promote a podcast?
Obviously, you need to get your word out there about your new adventure. So, what’s next?
Although, the podcast is only on audio-form doesn’t mean that you can’t get creative about how you promote your show. This is how you can maximized the power of social-media channels and other creative tools that you can use on creating snippet’s of your podcasts.
Wait.. Do I need a website?
In podcasting, you can create a podcast without website. But, for me it’s still the most important part of your brand. So, I’m very big about having your own website / personal website, and I’d recommend you to invest on it. It’ll be very beneficial in the long run on optimizing your visibility with SEO especially if you’re creating content consistently.
Other technology that is coming our way and gaining some popularity is the Voice Search. That’s why another thing to consider is, the correct way of setting your website. I really think that there’s a BIG positive ROI in 2019 if you are able to implement these things correctly. Some few notes that I wanted to point out when setting a website are: The content should be optimized and SEO friendly, the URL should be HTTPS (SSL), having a lock icon can add more integrity, and can gain more visitors in the long run.
With all that being said, please don’t be discourage to get started in podcasting. I just stated my opinion about this and it’s all yours on how you will handle it. You’ll always have a choice.
For social-media channels, I think using Facebook page is still good but, you have to give more effort by using your personal page as well, if you aim to promote your content organically. It’s advisable now due to some drastic changes with their algorithms. Other social-media channel to consider are Twitter (I always share witty quotes using this), Instagram (I share my backstory here, and other great pictures that I have). Lastly, if you can optimized your LinkedIn Profile do it NOW so, you can have a great professional connections within your industry.
With all that being said, just remember that you can be creative, and be more intentional when using this channels. The more organic approach you’re using with your growth the bigger the positive ROI for you in the future. Every community has different culture, rules and terms so, be more aware with that, the next time you post something about your content. You can also check www.headliner.app for creating creative content for your podcast.
Here’s some creative examples if you want to share and promote your content for social-media channels.
How to get podcast ratings and reviews
Having a rating and reviews on your podcast is one of the best ways to reach more people, that’s why it’s a must-have on any kind of creative works you are doing.
For podcasting, there is really only one platform that matters the most to have reviews and that is Apple Podcast. Many people will have more interest in your podcast, or more likely get curious of what you can offer if there’s a social proof, that’s why reviews are really important.
So, how do you get reviews in the beginning?
Step 1 is by asking your friends and family
Like what I always said, it doesn’t hurt to ask, the important part of asking for an honest review is that you’re lowering your pride and you’re just being human. Don’t feel bad about these somewhat inauthentic reviews, most of your fellow Podcasters are doing it or have done it in the beginning. It’s very important to have a rating so, that visitors in your podcast will more likely to leave a review or spend time listening to your work if they find some good comments about your podcast.
Step 2 is by asking your podcast guest for reviews
Asking your podcast guests for reviews will be easier cause, you already build a connections in the first place and they are not strangers anymore. Somehow, they’re paying you a good feedback by featuring them into your podcast.
Ask them to leave an honest review about the experience they had on your podcast. Did they enjoy it? Do they learn something new and found it really valuable for the community you’re serving? Keep in mind to ask these questions when crafting an email for your guests.
Despite that Apple Podcast being the only place that has a review really matters, they surely don’t make it easy for people to leave reviews. For this reason, I provide very clear instructions on how they can do this. I typically ask them to leave a review about 2 weeks after their episode has gone live. Below is the exact template that I send out to every one of my guests. Feel free to copy it.
Typically, most guests are more than happy to help you out and providing the clear instructions will only keep them away from the confusion so that they can actually do it.
Before I started providing that detailed email above, I received several emails from people telling me they could not figure out how to leave a review, so be sure not to skip that part.
Step 3 is adding a Call To Action (CTA)
A key to getting more podcast reviews is to include a Call To Action (CTA) somewhere in the episode intro or outro. This may not drive immediate reviews but it will remind your audience that if they are enjoying the episodes, a way to support the podcast would be to leave a review. If you are providing truly valuable content then your audience will take you up on this offer as a sign of appreciation.
How to track iTunes Podcast Rankings Using Google Spreadsheet?
Now, I’ll show you how to do it and feel free to check the sample spreadsheet I created for my podcast ranking here. This process is focuses only on tracking your own podcast but, if you want to steal your competitors ranking you can do it too. You just have to repeat the process all over again with a different RSS Feed.
Getting the RSS Feed to follow on iTunes
This is the Format for the RSS Feed:
How to make money in podcasting?
Before we dive into this topic, I want to set your mind first, that if your main intention on starting a podcast is to obtain more money, then maybe it’s not the right platform for you. For me, money is just a fuel to make these things happen but, it should not be the main driver to get started on your podcast journey.
So, for me the best model I’m using right now to keep this podcast running is through one-time donations or via Patreon. I created a donation page where I published my intentions and reasons why I keep doing this podcast. You can check the page right here. But, again there still a lot of ways/strategies to make money using the podcasting platform like driving your audience directly to your products/offers, content partnerships, affiliate revenue or promoting other products that aligned with your vision as a creator and all that good stuff. You can check this awesome quick guide here on how to monetize a podcast which I find extremely useful for anyone who want’s to monetize their podcasts especially for beginners.
Additionally, I love this guide as well published by the awesome guys of DJ City. They have a great guide on how to start and monetize your podcast, I’m quoting this line from their Ultimate Guide To Podcast — “Podcasts also provide you with the potential to drive traffic back to your website or online store. ” These are some of the things that I’m doing and experimenting right now and it’s working magically for my growing business. If you’re keen to learn more, go check the complete guide here.
Just keep in mind that you need to respect your audience and give them the power to choose on how they can consume your content without making them as your money machines or getting them annoyed with lot’s of ads or clickbait tactics, it’ll always boils down on how you position yourself with the right intentions in mind, how you speak your own truth, and how you apply it in actions.
Podcasting is now offering great opportunities to design the life you’re really wanted, and the future you really deserve. But, it’s should find you working on something great. So, if you want to create a podcast, if you ask me when is the best time, I’d tell you that the best time is “RIGHT NOW”. I can’t guarantee you to be the richest man like Jeff Bezos anytime soon. But, I can guarantee you that you’ll learn a lot of great things and it’ll give you the best experiences of your life.
Hopefully, this article has given you the blueprint on how it’s not only possible but practical to start a podcast of your own, and motivate you to get started on pursuing your passion as well. I hope you enjoyed and I can’t wait to see what you can create.
Find me at:
Thanks for reading and stay awesome!
PS: If you want to start a podcast and grow your own podcast brand without any hassle, I would love to help. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “podcasting” or schedule a FREE consultation using this link. Let’s talk about on how I can help you achieved your creative freedom. Talk to you soon!