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How to Start a Podcast 2020 Edition

As a new year begins and with it another decade, we often create personal and professional lists of what we want to achieve in the year to come. If one of your ambitions is to start a podcast, then you’ve come to the right place! But have you missed the proverbial boat? Has the podcast ship sailed into the sunset? If you’re wondering if 2020 is too late to get into the podcasting game, the answer is a resounding “No!” It’s actually a great time to start a podcast as we’re right in the middle of podcast’s Golden Age.

So if you’re going to make 2020 the year you take the podcasting world by storm, let us be your guide. We’ve put together this helpful list of the steps you should take to start your podcasting journey in this new year.

Related read: The 10 Must-Do’s for Successful Podcasting

Step 1: Determine Your Aims and Objectives

The first step to starting your podcast is to determine your aims and objectives. You’ve got to understand your “why”. Is your podcast a personal space where you share what’s on your mind? Will you host your show in your professional capacity as a way to promote your business? Knowing the aims and objectives you wish to achieve through your podcast is important, as they are the foundations upon which you will make every other decision regarding your show.

Spend a little time in introspection and write down the aims and objectives you feel best encapsulate the reasons why you want to start a podcast. It’s important to write these down so that you can refer back to them throughout your journey. They will help keep you on track, and they could also motivate you and reignite your passion when you’re feeling discouraged or demotivated in your endeavors.

Related reads: How to Stay Motivated to Keep Podcasting

Step 2: Find Your Niche

Now that you know the “why” of your podcast, the fun can really begin! And it starts with finding your niche – that space within the industry that you’ll carve out for yourself. Using your understanding of your “why”, you now need to hone in on your topic. You may already know this straight off the bat, but a lot of podcasters, when they’re just starting out, know the subject they want to build their show on, but are not quite sure of their topic, or the unique angle or approach they will take within the subject. 

During your brainstorming, think about what your passions are, who your audience is and what type of show could they be looking for. Using this info, try and zero in on what makes you different, as this will set you apart from other podcasts and will form a key part of your marketing strategy (more on that later!) as well as determining what kind of podcast your show will be. Once you’ve found your niche – after a couple of brainstorming sessions (probably fuelled by a fair bit of caffeine) – you’ll be one step closer to dominating the airwaves with your unique spin and point of view.

For a more in-depth look at finding that topic that’s just for you, check out our post on How to Find Your Podcast Topic. It’s even got some unique topic ideas to get the ball rolling and those creative juices flowing! 

Step 3: Plan Your First Recording

Now that your niche is locked down, it’s time to record that all-important first episode! Your first episode is a big deal as it’s your entrance into the podcasting world; it’s what will get your initial listeners hooked, and just as in real life, first impressions matter! That first recording is super exciting…but it can be a little daunting. 

You may be feeling all sorts of pressure to get it right the first time, but just take a deep breath in (and let it out again!) and we’ll share all our secrets for nailing that first recording. Take a look at our article on How to Plan for Recording Your First Podcast Episode and you’ll be all set to absolutely crush (in the best possible way!) the very first episode of your show.

Step 4: The Recording Process

So you’ve followed our guide and have ticked all the boxes to ensure your first episode is a success. Great job! Now to the nitty-gritty stuff of the actual recording. Yep, I’m talking about getting the right hardware and software for the task. This includes (but is not limited to) hardware such as headphones and microphones, as well as recording software, editing software, and even organizational software to help keep you on track. 

Phew, that’s a lot! But never fear! Once again, we’ve got you covered with a detailed run-down of the Best Tools for Your Podcast Recording Process. You’ll find all you need and then some to help make recording your show a breeze. 

Step 5: Editing Your Recording

Capturing the recording is actually only half the task, you now need to take that raw recording and work some editing magic in order to achieve that catchy, slick show your listeners will love. Unless your podcast is a live show, there’s quite a bit of editing that goes into getting a great sounding podcast. Even if you’re after a ‘natural conversation’, there will always be “uhms” and “aahs”, awkward silences, and one or two mistakes that you will need to remove before you can publish an episode. 

When you’re just starting out, this can be a complicated and time-consuming endeavor and is often the area of podcasting people dread. Don’t let that be you!  We’ve compiled a list of 8 Strategies for Faster Podcast Editing that is sure to make your editing process as efficient as possible. Apply these strategies when you edit, and you’ll be amazed at just how quickly you can get this step done. Alternatively, if you’re still a little wary of waveforms, and intimidated by all the toggles, there are professional editors just waiting to turn your raw recordings into an audio masterpiece. 

For more info on this, check out all we offer on our homepage.   

Step 6: Market Your Podcast

Now that your first few episodes are ready to roll, you should turn your attention to marketing your podcast and promoting your show’s launch. There are so many options and avenues available! But what you need to focus on first is making your podcast as discoverable as possible. This simply means that you make it easy for your potential listeners to find your show. It’s really important that this step is followed, as podcasts are currently quite notorious for being a little tricky for search engines to index. We can show you How to Improve the Discoverability of Your Podcast to help make sure that your show doesn’t get lost in cyberspace! You can then focus on all the different avenues you can use to create interest around your podcast. 

First up, social media is a real ally when it comes to marketing and promotion. Create an Instagram page, a Facebook profile, and a Twitter account and hit that “share” button! You can release sneak peeks of your content by creating attention-grabbing audiograms, you could pull people in with awesome graphics and quirky quotes, or you could get people talking through sharing opinion pieces or by asking poignant questions related to your niche. Building a website to enhance your podcast will strengthen your SEO value and help build your authority in your niche, as well as getting your name out there when people search your topic via search engines. Strengthening your authority within your niche is often key to successfully marketing your podcast, and we’ve compiled 8 Strategies to Build Authority in Your Podcast Niche to show you the ropes and help get the right people tuned in to your podcast week after week. 

Related read: How to Promote Your Podcast if Marketing is Not Your Strength

Step 7: Monetize Your Podcast

Once you’ve got the other steps down, you can move on to Step Number 7: Monetizing Your Podcast. The incredible growth of the podcasting industry has not gone unnoticed by businesses and advertising firms, many of whom have turned to podcast advertising as part of their marketing strategy. These opportunities are not only open to the big names in the podcasting industry. Many small, or independent, podcasts have found great success in terms of monetizing their podcasts through advertisements. We’ve got some handy insights just for you on our post all about Host-Read Ads and Affiliate Marketing as ways to monetize your podcast. 

But advertisements are not the only avenue available when it comes to monetization. The possibilities are practically endless. How about Monetizing Your Podcast by Selling Your Own Products? Many podcast hosts have found great success using this method. Another option, once you’ve built up a little posse of loyal listeners is to consider providing a platform to monetize your podcast through donations from your audience. We can show you 3 Easy Steps to Accepting Donations for Your Podcast to get you set up in no time. 

Closing Thoughts

So there you have it, the simple steps to follow in order to start a podcast in 2020. There are so many resources available at the tap of a screen or the click of a button that there really should be nothing stopping you from launching your show this year! With the stage set for podcasts to steal the show in the entertainment industry, the time is now to get in on the action. Who knows how many people are just waiting to hear all that your show has to offer? Find that all-important niche topic, record some great content, and then get it soaring on the sound waves for the world to hear. 

Related reads: Top 10 Mistakes that Podcasters Make

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