Everything you need to start a podcast: sure, it’s a lot, but with the right resources – like the ones I’ve put together for you in this podcast kit – you’ll be way ahead of the curve!
Think of this ultimate podcast kit like your unfair advantage. You took the time to research, review, and land here, and therefore I know you’re serious about starting a podcast.
So let’s start at the very beginning: your podcast idea.
Your Podcast Idea
It all starts with an idea: your podcast topic.
But the idea phase of starting a podcast isn’t JUST about coming up with a topic to focus on.
The idea phase of starting a podcast includes:
- Figuring out where podcasting fits into your business (and life)
- Getting proof of concept
- Defining your podcast avatar (your ideal listener)
- Discovering your niche
- Deciding on format, frequency, and length, and
- Naming your podcast
In order to set yourself up for success on your podcasting journey, it’s important that you prepare mentally for what’s ahead and commit fully to your journey.
Creating and growing a podcast is a marathon, not a sprint. Your mindset towards podcasting has to align with that. So ask yourself:
Why do I want to create a podcast?
Don’t let yourself off the hook on this one – go deep. Why do you really want to create a podcast?
Where podcasting fits
Until you understand where podcasting fits into your business and life, it’s going to be difficult to map out what creating and growing a podcast looks like for you.
- What are your current commitments?
- What expectations do you have for your podcast?
- Where does podcasting fit into your current business goals?
Take time out to actually answer the questions above, and once you have, commit to your podcasting journey and the time, energy, and resources required to get to where you want to go.
Getting proof of concept
Once you have your podcast topic or idea nailed down, it’s time to get proof of concept.
If you haven’t come up with your podcast topic or idea, be sure to check out Free Podcast Course, where we’ll walk you through the specific exercise that will help you confirm your podcast idea!
Start by typing your podcast topic or idea into Google.
What comes up?
If you see a similar topic being discussed already, that’s awesome! THAT’S proof of concept!
If you don’t, that’s okay – we haven’t exhausted our resources just yet. If you weren’t able to find anything searching Google, try the iTunes Store, Amazon Books, and YouTube.
Once you’ve found someone else out there who is already focused or talking about the same topic you want to cover on your podcast, do some research!
Ask yourself the following questions:
- How do they present their topic? (serious or funny; via video or audio; broad topics or super specific)
- What do you like about the way they present their topic?
- What don’t you like about the way they present their topic?
Given your answers, how will YOU present your topic in a unique way?
Defining your avatar
Your avatar is your ONE perfect listener for your podcast, and once you define them your podcasting journey will become a whole lot clearer – and easier.
Making decisions around your format, frequency, and the length of your episodes – these are all questions you should be asking your avatar.
What would they want?
We put together an exercise for defining your avatar that will be incredibly helpful as you continue to move towards your podcast launch.
Discovering your niche
Focusing in on a niche is what will allow you to stand out.
…let me guess: you feel like having a broad topic or a wide scope will allow you to attract more listeners.
Am I right?
I know that’s how you feel because that’s how nearly everyone feels when they’re getting started.
I’m here to tell you this is the wrong approach.
When you try and talk to everyone, you end up talking to NO ONE.
It’s time to go one inch wide and one mile deep – niche until it hurts!
Deciding on format, frequency, and length
As discussed above, deciding on things like format, frequency, and episode length should heavily involve your avatar.
Considering what they would want based on what you know about them, their habits, and their struggles is key to creating content they want and need.
That said, there are other considerations to keep in mind as you go through each of these decisions.
Naming your podcast
Your podcast name should clearly communicate to your listener what they will get when they tune in to your podcast. You want to be sure this is very clear, otherwise you’ll have people trying to guess whether they should tune in.
Your podcast name should also consider any keywords or phrases you want to rank for. While this isn’t an absolute must, it can be helpful.
Once you’ve come up with a few options for your podcast name, put them to the test!
- Is the URL available for any of them?
- When you share these names with your friends, do they “get it”?
- Is someone else already using one of these names for something else?
Once you’ve confirmed your podcast idea, have reviewed how podcasting fits into your business (and life), and you’ve covered the foundational work that’s required to grow a podcast, it’s time to work on your podcast setup.
Your Podcast Setup
Sounds pretty important, right?
Yes, your podcast setup is incredibly important because the tech you put in place is what will support your podcast production – and it being available to the public.
The podcast setup phase includes:
- Choosing your podcast equipment
- Deciding which software you’ll record and edit your podcast with
- Practicing recording and editing your podcast
- Finding a podcast hosting platform that’s right for you
Podcast equipment and software
Podcast equipment and software don’t have to be scary. Unfortunately, a lot of people like to make it seem that way.
We’ve put together a complete list of our top podcast equipment and software recommendations to help you make the best decision for your podcast.
Wondering about a piece of podcast equipment or podcast software that we don’t have on our list of recommendations?
That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not a good piece of equipment or software.
That said, as the list name suggests, if it’s not on our list, then we don’t recommend it.
Great rule of thumb: if you’re currently using a podcast microphone or a great software tool, and you like it, then keep up the heat!
Recording and editing your podcast
A question I get a lot is “How can I become more comfortable on the mic?”
The answer: Get on the mic.
Recording and editing might feel really awkward at first. You’ll likely stumble over your words and mess up a lot if you don’t have a podcasting or broadcasting background.
When I recorded my first episode it was terrible! But I got on the mic again, and again, and again.
Now I’m a pro when it comes to recording a podcast.
Same goes for editing.
The first time you open up your podcast software and hit record, then stop and try to edit, everything is going to seem foreign. You won’t know what keys to use or what functions are available to you.
Again, that’s okay, because with time, you’ll learn.
In fact, once you have the hang of editing your podcast episodes, you’re going to laugh at the times you had no clue what you were doing!
If you love video tutorials, then we have dozens that walk you through recording and editing your podcast in all 3 major software platforms we recommend: Adobe Audition, GarageBand, and Audacity.
These video tutorials – along with endless resources and a community of 3,400 other podcasters who are there 24/7 to help support you – can be found inside of our online membership, Podcasters’ Paradise.
Feeling overwhelmed by the many podcast hosting platforms available?
Don’t worry, we’ll make it super easy for you! There are two great options, and you’ll want to jump into one or the other based on your current needs.
- Podcast Websites
Libsyn is purely podcast hosting – no bells or whistles (just amazing stats and support), plus you’ll get the rest of this month and next month FREE with our promo code: FIRE. Sign up at Libsyn.com.
Podcast Websites is your all-in-one website and podcast hosting platform. So if you’re starting from scratch and need a website (note: all podcasters will need a website if they don’t already have one), then Podcast Websites packages a lot of great things into one bundle.
You can learn more about Podcast Websites and sign up for a completely free one-on-one chat (to be sure it’s a great fit for you) at PodcastWebsites.com/book-a-one-to-one.
Now that you have your podcast setup outlined, it’s time to dive into creating your podcast.
Creating a Podcast
It’s time to get your hands dirty: creating a podcast is the heavy lifting part. This is a critical phase on your way to launching your podcast because after this comes launch.
The creation phase includes:
- Designing your podcast artwork
- Figuring out an episode flow
- Recording your podcast intro and outro, and
- Recording and editing your first 3 podcast episodes
Designing your podcast artwork
Designing your podcast artwork is definitely an important step in the process of creating a podcast. But it shouldn’t be the thing that holds you back from getting to launch.
That’s why we put together this super handy guide that includes the 5 things your podcast artwork must have.
We’ve also included all of our favorite resources for creating your podcast artwork based on whether you want to do it yourself or have someone a little more creative take care of it for you.
Figuring out an episode flow
I LOVE systems, and I especially love systems when I know, once set up, will save me a ton of time.
Feel the same way?
Okay, I get it – maybe you don’t love systems as much as me (not many people do), BUT: trust me on this one… Putting together simple checklists, outlines, and templates you can use over and over again will end up saving you so much time!
And that time saved? I’ll let you decide what you spend it on :)
You can check out our podcast flow to jumpstart your brainstorming, but remember: this is your podcast, so make it your own!
Recording your podcast intro and outro
Your podcast intro and outro is primo real estate: it’s the first and the last thing your listeners hear when they tune in to your podcast.
Make it count!
There are a couple types of podcast intros and outros:
- Constant intro and outro
- Rotating intro and outro
Your constant podcast intro and outro should include a brief description of what it is you provide through the podcast, like this:
Welcome to Kate’s Take, where you’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at how John and Kate run a 7-figure business! Are you prepared to IGNITE?!
This verbiage will of course vary depending on whether you’re creating your own intro and outro or having someone else create it for you.
We recommend Tim Paige if you want someone else to create it for you; and we recommend AudioJungle as a great resource if you’re looking to create your own (you’ll find tons of royalty-free music to use there.)
Your rotating podcast intro and outro should include a strong call to action. A good place to start is to rotate several different intro and outros so you can track and measure which are performing best.
Some examples of a podcast intro and/or outro:
- Hey Fire Nation! If you’re looking to create your podcast, then I have a free course that will guide you ever step of the way. Head over to FreePodcastCourse.com and IGNITE!
- One of the most powerful marketing tools in my business? Funnels. If you’re ready to create a funnel that converts for your business, head over to FunnelOnFire.com to start your free course today!
- I’m constantly looking to improve the content I share with you here on this podcast, so I’d love to hear from you! What’s one of your favorite episodes and why? Shoot me an email and let me know: [email protected]!
Your rotating call to action doesn’t have to be to a free course or a funnel. It could be to follow you on Instagram, or to reach out to you via email and provide feedback.
Remember: test, test, test! These calls to action are critical because it’s what will encourage engagement and action from your listeners.
Quick note: The rotating intro is typically placed right after your constant intro; the rotating outro is typically placed right before your constant outro.
Recording and editing your first 3 podcast episodes
Your very first podcast episode should be episode 000: your intro episode.
In this episode you’ll give an overview of who your podcast is for, what it’ll be about, and a brief background about you.
This episode should last about 5-8 minutes and focus on the benefits available should your listener decide to subscribe and come back for more.
Include information like:
- Why you started the podcast
- Who the podcast is for, and what your listeners will walk away with
- What the format and frequency will be
The next 2 podcast episodes will be regular episodes. Depending on whether you’re doing an interview podcast or a topic based will determine what your next steps are for recording your first 2 regular episodes.
If it’s interview-based, start reaching out to those you feel would be great guests for your show.
When you reach out to them, be sure to let them know what’s in it for them, and why you think they’re a great fit.
If it’s topic-based, start a list of potential topics, get your episode flow out and ready, and get to work!
We’ll talk more about why we recommend recording these 3 episodes up front in the launch phase.
You’re so close!
Just one more phase to go and your podcast will be live in iTunes! Now that you’ve finished creating your podcast content, all that’s left to do is launch your podcast!
Launching a Podcast
Launching your podcast is an exciting time! But don’t pop the champagne just yet… You still have several critical steps to take as you prepare for your podcast launch.
The most important thing now is that you focus on gaining momentum – and keeping that momentum rolling.
The launch phase includes:
- Putting together your podcast launch strategy
- Getting your podcast website up
- Starting a presence on social media
- Submitting your RSS feed
Your podcast launch strategy
We recommend launching with 3 episodes: episode 000 (your intro episode) and 2 regular episodes.
This is so when people find your podcast, they know exactly what to expect – plus they have a good taste of what’s to come without having to wait until your next publish date.
Also, launching with 3 episodes will help you get some initial momentum going: 3 episodes = 3x downloads. And from what we can tell, Apple Podcasts (iTunes) factors your downloads in the last 24 hours into its algorithm when featuring podcasts in the New & Noteworthy and What’s Hot sections.
We caution against launching with more than 3 episodes, although we highly recommend having at least 1 month’s worth of content in the bank when you launch. This will prevent you from falling behind on your release schedule.
Another great idea for your launch strategy is to enlist a launch team: a crew of 5-10 people (friends, family, colleagues) who are all-in and ready to support you once your podcast launches.
That means they’ll tune in, leave you a Rating & Review in iTunes, and share your podcast with their friends.
Last but not least, it’s a good idea to have some type of plan in place to announce your podcast when it goes live.
If you already have an email list, a social media following, or an online community who you know would be interested in your podcast, be sure to let them know when it goes live!
Your podcast website
Your podcast website is an important component of your overall podcasting strategy because it’s a space you OWN.
Social media is great (we’ll talk about that next), but you don’t own your profile, nor do you have any control over what Facebook decides to do next week.
But your website: you own your website.
This will become your home base: a place you can send your listeners to learn more about what you have to offer, opt in to your email list, and discover resources and partnerships you want to share with them.
We already mentioned Podcast Websites as a great all-in-one podcast website and hosting solution. They have templates, support, and a great stats dashboard that will give you everything you need.
Another option would be to host your site with BlueHost.
Social media for your podcast
There’s a crazy strategy out there that I really don’t like: it’s the “be everywhere” strategy on social media.
Why don’t I like it?
Because it’s impossible to actually show up everywhere – and by show up, I mean be present.
My recommendation: choose ONE social media platform where you know your avatar will be hanging out at. Start to build a following, provide value, engage, and get into a consistent rhythm where you’re posting and connecting with others daily.
Once you feel established and have a system in place that will help you be present on that platform consistently, THEN you can consider adding another.
You should go out and get your “handle” established everywhere, but don’t try to be everywhere in the beginning. I can guarantee it will only cause overwhelm.
Submitting your RSS feed
This is exciting: submitting your RSS feed (from your podcast hosting platform) means you’re ready to launch!
You’ll want to submit your RSS feed to the major platforms first:
- Apple Podcast (iTunes): itunesconnect.apple.com
- Stitcher Radio: stitcher.com/content-providers
- Pandora: submit.pandora.com
- Spotify: podcasters.spotify.com (beta)
Once you submit your RSS feed, it can take anywhere from 24 – 72 hours (and sometimes longer depending on the platform) for your podcast to be approved.
Once your RSS feed is approved, you’re all set!
Now all you need to do is continue uploading your podcast episodes to your podcast hosting platform and schedule them for release.
Beyond your podcast kit
Congratulations, you’re prepared for launch!
With this podcast kit in your pocket, your podcast launch is within reach. We hope you’ll continue to use this podcast kit as a resource throughout your podcasting journey.
Looking for a complete step-by-step guide that will hold you accountable and remind you to check all the blocks in this podcast kit – and more?
It’s called The Podcast Journal: Idea to Launch in 50 Days!
The Podcast Journal takes every single step we just covered and lays it out for you inside of a physical journal. With exercises, video tutorials, and a private Facebook group for accountability, The Podcast Journal will help you get to launch on the fast track!