Starting a Podcast

Podcasts have come a long way since they first gained notoriety back around 2004. As a catchy combination of the words “iPod” and “broadcast,” the podcast has defined itself as a more specific form of radio that can be streamed online (or from any of your personal devices) as .mp3s.

Similar to how SoundCloud has given an opportunity for lesser-known artists to self-publish music and gain a more niche following online, podcasts have allowed independent speakers to build platforms that may not have gotten any radio play otherwise. This individualized approach has allowed listeners to really hone in on personalities that speak to them in the way of content, topics, and additional benefits like actually being able to get in contact with the podcast owner.

Many podcasts have become successful enough for the creator to live off the revenue generated, while others use podcasts as a creative outlet, or as a marketing method for their brand. However you wish to go about using yours, here is what you need to know to get started.


What Will Your Podcast’s Topic Be?

If your only reason for starting a podcast is to hear the sound of your own voice, you should probably reconsider this option. Podcasts amount to a lot of time spent with growth, modifications, and building an audience capable of monetizing your time.

Ideally, your topic(s) should reflect something you’re:

  1. Passionate about and feel will assist others by listening
  2. An expert or professional in the subject and have valuable information
  3. An excellent story teller and can entertain people
  4. A comedian and can use the podcast to reach a new audience
  5. Love music and want to run your own radio station (Careful, this requires licensing for radio play)

Like any creative endeavor, you have to be willing to mold to what will get you subscribers, or will help your business. I’m all for staying true to your purpose, the main point is to pay attention to which content is working and which isn’t by using analytics.

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What You’re Going To Need

1. Artwork

Every podcast is listed with an ‘album cover’ and usually the best podcasts also have professional artwork to get noticed easier.

2. Equipment

Audio production can be trickier than video simply because it’s a method of recording most of us haven’t done on a regular basis. Making your Podcast sound good comes down to clarity and editing.

3. Computer

Running a podcast requires a lot more than just your phone. If you’re using a laptop look into what kind of audio ports are available in order to select your microphone. Common audio inputs include USB or Firewire.

4. Portable Recorder (Optional)

For those of you wishing to record your podcast anywhere, having a portable recorder is an excellent option. Many will also support XLR audio inputs for using professional microphones.

5. Microphone

Any microphone will work, but quality is highly important. There are many cost-effective microphones available in the market today.

6. Audio Editing Software

A good podcast requires recording multiple takes, and then selecting the best audio to edit into a final version. Some good software options include:

  • Audacity
  • Adobe Audition
  • Garage Band

Once you have your podcast script, the equipment, and the editing software you’re ready to start recording!


What To Do Once You’ve Recorded and Edited The Podcast

When it comes to running a successful podcast, there are two sides of the process to maintain: creation and marketing. Everyone would love to finish recording, upload, and allow the content to do the work, but like any broadcast you have to seek out new listeners by advertising your show. In order to attract the most listeners, implement the following strategies:

1. Publish at least 3 times a week for the first two months

iTunes will allow a new podcast 8 weeks to sit in the New and Noteworthy section, making it important that your content is consistent, and that you have enough volume to attract new listeners. Once you have some new episodes on iTunes, makes sure to get support from friends on social media by asking them to download your new episodes.

2. Choose a title no one can ignore

Think about it, every single article, book, news headline and Facebook status begins with a short phrase intended to captivate our attention. This is the first trick to getting listens in the Podcast world, and a skill you’ll need to strengthen.

3. Focus on iTunes, market on SoundCloud

iTunes has terrible analytics: No clue where listeners come from, how many subscribers you have, all you get is total number of listeners over time. However, iTunes still controls the market on most popular podcasts and this is where you’ll get the most listens.

SoundCloud has continued to grow and will allow you to see where your listeners are coming from. It’s a good idea to use both platforms and utilize SoundCloud’s analytics as a way to see which social platforms help the most.

4. Share, share, share

Your Podcast will thrive on downloads and so take the ball into your court and share with as many people as humanly possible. Post on social media, send out email blasts, drop links on people’s walls, etc. Attract more podcast listeners by creating a website for your podcast.

Have you had success with a podcast? Share your tips in the comments below!

Jeremy Jensen is a Professional Photographer and Freelance Writer based in Lake Tahoe, CA. His work is centered around photojournalism, nature and music, but also loves any opportunity to work with people. To view his portfolio or to follow him on Social Media visit