So you’re thinking about starting a podcast, eh? There’s a lot of good news then… People consume more podcasts than ever, not just for marketing or business topics, but even casual discussions. Aside from that, podcast advertising is growing and it’s never been easier to start one. I’ll explain the main things you have to figure out before you start…
Choosing Your Podcast Topic
Yes, you first have to figure out what the theme of your podcast will be. Look, you have plenty of flexibility but you need a starting point from which you can evolve.
Will you discuss marketing? E-commerce? Artificial intelligence? Cooking? Fitness? Health? You could talk about anything, quite literally… But it’s important to have a clear idea of the theme.
It’s also important that you are passionate about the topic. I like discussing marketing with better marketers but I would be bored out of my mind talking about farming processes. To each their own.
My tip: Start with a topic you are passionate about, a topic where you want to learn more. Invite guests the people you want to learn more from and let that passion out. It will create engaging discussions.
What Tools You Need To Start?
OK, this depends on your starting budget too.
Let’s get the hardware out of the way first… You need a decent microphone. The Blue Yeti that you’ve probably seen everywhere is certainly good enough to start. You should probably also do a video version, I will explain why later, so a 1080p or better camera is something I would recommend. Oh, and a computer that can handle recording and rendering these video interviews. Most laptops in the past couple of years are capable of this. Pretty easy, right?
Now, you will also need some software tools. You need to host your podcast somewhere so that Spotify, Apple and the rest can distribute it. I use RSS Podcast Hosting. Good price and pretty straightforward to use.
Next you need a tool to edit your podcast. No need to overthink it when starting out. Use whatever video and sound editing tool you have available. Yes, the big ones have sound engineers making sure things are perfect but you are just starting. Moving fast and learning is more important.
My tip: Don’t overthink tools. Get the minimum hardware for reasonable quality of production and use whatever software you are most familiar with to put initial episodes out. You will polish things as you get feedback.
How To Distribute Your Podcast?
This podcasting format is great to get discovered at some point… But you need to figure out your initial distribution. There’s no way around it. In short, you want to be everywhere.
That’s why I like RSS Podcast Hosting. I upload it there, then I can set up the feed to update on all other platforms.
Speaking of platforms, the top one, with over 50% market share is Apple Podcasts. Then Spotify comes second with about 20%. Those are also very easy to set up. From that point on, it’s very fragmented so if you don’t want to get lost in details, start with Apple Podcasts and Spotify.
My tip: Start with Apple Podcasts, Spotify and YouTube. Remember I said earlier you should do the video version too? Well, YouTube is the second biggest search traffic source out there. You want people to be able to discover your podcasts on YouTube. If you have the time, make sure you do highlights and clips answering certain questions.
How Can You Promote Your New Podcast?
You have the theme, you have the tools, you have the channels… The reality is that you won’t get discovered much at first. You have to think about how to promote your podcast. There’s no easy answer here. Every niche has its nuances but among all of them, there’s one constant: Influencers are a great way to get going.
The podcasts that were “successful overnight” exploded on the scene because they had a great promotional channel through a related business. For example, a daily newsletter. Morning Brew has Business Casual, TheHustle has My First Million to give 2 examples. We also have our 10k+ marketers who read Stacked Marketer.
Sure, not everyone has access to over a million active readers but you can certainly find small to medium influencers in your niche and work with them on promoting your podcast. Whether you pay them, invite them on the show or make other arrangements, it’s up to you. Don’t be scared to reach out!
Aside from that, if you are an expert for your chosen topic already, you have options like guest blogging or being a guest on someone else’s podcast too.
My tip: Make sure you set aside a small budget for testing early on, then try to increase as you improve your podcast. It might be the media buyer in me talking, but it’s hard to beat paid traffic for fast testing of a product. You will get word of mouth and search traffic after you reach a certain quality threshold and mass of regular listeners.
Look, there are 2 ways to go about it. You do months of research, spend a lot of money on tools and promotion and start a podcast that is almost perfect… That’s something only certain businesses can do, it’s not for the average podcast.
I much prefer moving fast, testing and evolving so I would recommend starting with the minimum, gain experience and improve with each episode. The biggest reason people don’t start is because they want it to be perfect and they are afraid of any small mistake. Don’t be. Start!