Almost anyone can start a podcast, and with many free products and services that you can use, you have the chance to launch your podcast.
However, there are challenges when you start your first podcast.
Is podcasting hard for a complete beginner?
What to Know About Starting a Podcast:
Beginners can reach their first 1000 downloads with a good strategy. Know your audience, do your research, use the right technology, and get guests on your show. Publish episodes consistently and have a great topic of interest to hook listeners and stand out from the crowd.
How Hard is it to Gain Momentum as a New Podcaster?
You will need to tap into your existing network to gain traction for your new podcast. If you already have a vast network, getting more listeners to tune in will be easier.
Don’t be discouraged if your network isn’t that big. You can begin by tapping into your immediate circle of friends and family to help you get your podcast out into the world. Unless you have the resources to outsource tasks, you’re a one-person team producing your podcast.
As long as you remain consistent in producing content, it will be easier to gain momentum. Once you commit to a schedule, it will be easier to market your product.
Consistency will take time, but it is worth the effort.
How Long Does it Take to Get the First 1,000 Listeners?
Reaching 1,000 listeners will depend on how much effort you put into podcasting.
Aside from consistency, reaching out to the right audience with exciting topics will help you get your first 1,000 listeners. If you can maintain consistency, have a good topic, and market your podcast, it is said that new shows can get a thousand listeners within eight episodes.
Recognize that reaching 1,000 listeners in eight episodes has as much to do with hard work as it does with luck and timing.
What is the Hardest Part for New Podcasters?
Most beginners are alone when building their first podcast alone.
While you might have a circle of friends to help you spread the word, you will still have to do most of the work.
That would mean preparing episodes and topics, looking for free music, recording, editing, and writing show notes, among other tasks.
Once you’ve gotten up and running, you can ask your friends and family to help you spread the word. You may also attract a few guests.
Some tasks you can outsource, such as marketing, branding, music, etc., and you’re lucky if you can also get help with the editing.
Remember that you’re operating without revenue yet, meaning you’re primarily a one-person team to save on costs.
As long as you remain consistent in your craft, you’ll eventually become more established. Freelancers may even reach out to you and ask if they can be part of the program.
Ideally, you’ll eventually get to a point where you can monetize your podcast and possibly gain sponsorships. That way, you can pay a team to help you improve.
Is Podcasting too Competitive for Newcomers Today?
While it may seem like “everyone and their mother has a podcast right now,” it is still possible to stand out from the crowd and gain popularity in this field.
There is always a hunger for new shows, ideas, or perspectives. As long as you are consistent and have a solid idea when you start, you will likely break into this world of podcasting with a lot of effort and passion for your craft.
Way before you start your podcast, make sure to listen to other shows in your niche or area of focus. For example, if you want to make a true-crime show, it is better to know your competition.
Then you’ll want to ask yourself some big questions:
- Do you have sparkling credentials that make you an authority on your subject?
- Do you have fresh and new ideas or perspectives on a tired topic?
- How can you bring something new and exciting to that area of focus that no one has seen before?
After this research period, if you find that you don’t have much new to offer or aren’t someone with credentials or work history to back up your claims, you might want to try a different niche.
Competition is steep, but it isn’t impossible to break into this industry.
What Are the Skills You Need to Learn When Starting Podcasting?
The most important skill you need to learn are:
- Recording Audio
- Editing Audio
- Writing Scripts
- Creating Show Notes
- Marketing Yourself
- Utilizing Podcast Software
- Posting Podcast Episodes (to sites like Spotify, Google Podcast, Apple Podcasts, etc.)
- Interviewing Guests
When your podcast becomes more established, you can hire people to help you with these essentials, but you will still have to manage and oversee all operations as things go forward. Taking your hands off the wheel is a big step in any business venture, so make sure you know how to do everything before you trust someone to do it for you.
Furthermore, you won’t have any income from this podcast at the beginning. Without income, paying someone else to do the work will put you in “the red” before you’ve even begun.
Doing the technical parts yourself, in the beginning, is crucial to start on the right foot.
How Much Can a Podcaster Earn?
Every beginner podcasting show starts in the red. That’s because they have to pay for equipment and offer up their time to make their first ten to fifteen episodes.
When you do start earning money, don’t expect to earn a lot right away. Top podcasters can earn thousands of dollars per episode, but realistically speaking, a new podcaster’s monthly income is between $100 – $900, mostly from affiliate sales.
Not to mention that you don’t get affiliate links or partnerships until you have a large following of at least 1,000 or more listeners per episode. Otherwise, these companies won’t think you are worth it.
If a podcaster can get sponsors, revenue will be higher. That is why it’s essential to have different income sources for podcasting.
If you’re an aspiring podcaster and you want to explore other income generators for your show, you can consider the following:
- Having a Patreon page for exclusive content and benefits, which can be a passive monthly revenue source
- Affiliate Links, which give you commissions based on sales made through the unique link you send out
- Digital goods, such as eBooks, which take time but cost little to produce
What Are the Best Growth Hacks for New Podcasters?
Your podcast might not go bigtime overnight, but there are things you can do to help it grow faster. Remember that you need to ensure engagement so that people keep coming back to your show.
Here are a few things you can do:
Have a Podcast trailer:
Having a podcast trailer hooks new listeners and gives an overview of what you’re trying to do. That way new listeners don’t have to sit through your whole first 20-30min episodes to see what you’re about.
Trailers should have details regarding your podcast, the topic, and any guests on the show. Don’t forget to add a preview of what listeners will hear. Anywhere from 30 – 60 seconds will be enough for a trailer.
Have a Call to Action:
A call to action is what you use to get your audience to buy something or follow a link to your website.
For example, if you released a new ebook, at the end of your episode you would invite them to check out the book on Amazon or your website. You may also use this part to ask them to follow you on social media and share the podcast.
You should not complicate the call to action. All you want is for your audience to take a simple step that will have a high impact at the end of the episode.
Your call to action must be motivating and encourage them to promote you. You may even use this opportunity to ask them to rate you so that you can get on top of the search results faster.
Remember to only use one call to action at the end of each episode.
Use Social Media to Promote Your Podcast:
Once you’re done editing your podcast, consider getting some highlights from the show and sharing them on social media to promote them.
You can post quotes or make audio snippets to entice new and existing audio members to check out your latest episode. If you have someone to assist you, consider getting behind-the-scenes footage during the interview to spark interest.
Remember, you don’t need to spend much to reach a broad audience. These steps are already reason enough to jumpstart your promotions on social media. Remember to be proactive in creating social media posts to bring more listeners.
Repurpose Existing Content:
The idea of repurposing content is to ensure that your previously-made episodes get good hits in the search engines.
You can make blog posts about previous episodes and interviews and post them to your website or blog. You can also make summaries of each interview and post or update them to social media with captions like: “In case you missed last week’s episode…”
You can also re-share older episodes so that the newer audience can check your previous content. If you have a mailing list, you can send older content that you think will be relevant to your subscribers.
Improve Your Podcast SEO:
Like any other webpage, search engine optimization (SEO) is essential for podcasts, as Google can now pull up podcasts in its search results. If you have the right keywords in your title, you can get to the top of the results.
Use words related to your topic that people are familiar with. The words in the description matter, too, as you only have 120 characters to use to make an impact.
Invite Guests and Be a Guest in Other Podcasts:
Having resource persons in your podcast helps bring more depth to your episodes. You can have great conversations, increase engagement and give your audience new perspectives. Having guests also introduces you to their audience.
Being a guest in another podcast is also worth looking at. You can gain new listeners as a guest, and you get to promote your show with little effort.
What Are the Tools Needed to Produce a Podcast?
It would be best if you had at least a microphone and recording software to edit the recorded material to get started with podcasting.
Luckily, you can find these tools on your smartphone and computer.
But if you are looking to step up your podcasting, especially if you intend to do face-to-face interviews, you will need to have microphones and a mixer that can connect to your computer via USB. A good pair of closed-back studio headphones will also come in handy to ensure that the sound you hear is good.
There are plenty of free options for the recording and editing software such as Audacity, one of the most straightforward editing tools, and Garage Band, popular among Apple users.
You can also use Zoom to record a podcast if you have a guest on your show. That removes the need to travel and buy additional microphones, which will only work when the connection is stable.
To help you promote your podcast on social media, you can use free apps like Canva to create digital cards to promote your podcast.
How Can I Publish my Podcast to Streaming Platforms?
Podcast hosts allow you to publish your podcasts to stream on platforms, such as Spotify and iTunes.
Some of these providers include Buzzsprout, Captivate, and Transistor.
What Are the Steps to Creating a Podcast?
So, you’ve decided to jump into podcasting but don’t know where to begin?
Here’s what you should consider:
Select a Topic or Niche:
If you’re doing a podcast in support of your business, then you won’t have a problem with this. If you’re starting one because you want to, you should choose a topic you’re confident to discuss.
Remember that starting a podcast requires commitment, so you must be comfortable having different discussions on a particular niche.
You can opt to expand later when you have established your show.
Select a Name for the Podcast:
Your name should be related to your niche but not too specific.
For instance, if you’re doing a podcast on action figure reviews, you can opt to use the word toy or collectibles so that you can cover related items.
Don’t forget to secure your podcast name on social media and even on the web.
Choosing a Show Format:
There are three considerations in choosing a show format: Length, Style, and types of Episodes.
When it comes to length, there isn’t a perfect length. For one, people consume podcasts differently. Some prefer podcasts that last as long as a drive or daily commute, while others can listen to podcasts that last for an hour.
There are even podcasts that are only five minutes long!
But to help you get the most substantial length, you should edit out or minimize off-topic conversations or monologues.
Style pertains to whether you’re doing a solo, co-hosted, or interview format. You can mix co-hosted dialogues with interviews. The nice thing about interviews is that you also get introduced to your guest’s audience. That’s another opportunity to widen your market coverage.
For episode formats, you will decide how the structure of your show would be. That means identifying when to put the advertising spots, interviews, shout-outs, and other segments of your show.
Preparing the Essential Media:
You need to produce three essential media: cover art, intro spiel, and theme music.
Cover art is crucial because that is one of the first things that should catch the attention of your potential listeners. It should say something about your show and give the audience what kind of vibe they can expect when they listen.
If you don’t have talent in designing, you can use apps like Canva to help you make your podcast’s cover art.
The intro will say a lot about you and the show. Think of it as your elevator pitch: it needs to be straight to the point while saying a lot. You can opt to do this, but you can also have someone else record it to add more impact.
There are many options for free music for the theme music that you can use, although there’s a chance someone may also be using the same song. Eventually, you’ll have the budget to buy more unique tracks or even commission someone to do a short song for your podcast.
Once you have your theme and intro, you can create templates that you can use every time you record or edit a podcast. All you need to do is lay down the intro and theme, ad spots, if any, and Save As every time you start a new session.
You can also add the usual effects to fix the tracks and tweak them accordingly.
Launch the Podcast:
Once you’ve recorded and edited the podcast, it’s time to get a podcast host.
A podcast host is a service that pushes your podcast to the different streaming platforms. There are free and paid services, but if you want the best features, it’s recommended to go for paid services to reach your audience.
These services come with analytics to help you see how each episode performs. Many recommend using Buzzsprout for its simplicity.
After signing up for a podcast host, you can upload your first episode. Ensure you have the best quality for upload and ensure that your ID3 tags are correct. Make sure that the description, summary, and episode number are accurate.
If you’re starting, you can opt to have more than one episode up so that your page doesn’t look empty and provides your audience with more content. Then they will have an idea of what to expect in the future.
Don’t forget to get the RSS feed and post to other podcast listings.
Once your podcast episode is published, don’t forget to share it with your network. If you already have a website, you can embed the episode then put segments from the transcription for better search engine optimization.
Anyone can launch a podcast, but you need to have the determination to make it happen.
It’s recommended to invest a little to have a very presentable podcast.