Looking for a little help when it comes to starting a podcast? Well, there are plenty of resources out there to help with that. Our blog is definitely one of them, so you are in the right place. But the fact remains that there are plenty of other resources, from YouTube videos, to blogs, and even podcasts, that can all tell you how to start a podcast.
And that’s great. If you’re just looking for tips for starting out, you’ll find that in spades all across the World Wide Web.
But…if you’re for the best practices for starting a podcast then you have definitely come to the right place!
Over the years in the podcasting space, we’ve learned what works…and what doesn’t…when it comes to successfully starting a podcast.
And we’re sharing it all in this post.
Consider this our definitive guide of the best practices for successfully starting a podcast.
Check it out! And let’s help you successfully launch your podcast!
Best Practices for Starting a Podcast
Carefully Consider Your Topic
If you’ve read even a couple of our posts, you’re going to know that we always give pretty similar advice when it comes to a podcast topic and niche. And this advice goes along the lines of “hone your niche” or for a catchy phrase, “niche down”. But it all boils down to the same thing.
A successful podcast is one that has a clear, well-defined niche.
But there is another facet to consider when it comes to the best practices for successfully starting a podcast.
You also want to carefully consider your topic. Specifically, you want to be sure that you’ve picked a topic that can last. You don’t want to “niche down” so well that you’re left with a topic that only has enough substance for a couple of episodes.
You want a topic that has enough depth to give you seasons’ worth of content. And the foundation of this is laid as you’re just thinking about launching your very own podcast.
So, best practice? Find a topic that is focused and specific, and will allow you to really carve out a space in your niche. And, make sure that that topic has really long metaphorical legs that will allow you to keep podcasting for the long haul.
Equipment for Starting a Podcast
Ok, now let’s talk podcast equipment.
Again, there’s plenty of great resources out there that will help you zero in on the best podcasting equipment on the block. We’ve got all sorts of posts on the topic, too.
But when it comes to Best Practices, our advice is this. Find that quality mic that meets your needs, and then learn everything you can about it! Specifically, find your mic’s sweet spot. Depending on the mic you end up choosing, there should be at least a couple YouTube tutorials that teach you how to get the best out of that specific mic.
Watch these, and learn all about your mic. Then use that knowledge when you record. This will ensure that right from the start of your podcast, you’re putting out high-quality episodes. Something that is so necessary with all the competition.
Get your audio right, right from the start, and you’ll be well on your way to successfully launching your podcast!
This is another element of creating a high quality podcast – the right recording environment.
Our Best Practice here is simple. You want as much control over your recording environment as possible. Creating an Instagramable set-up is one thing, but if it’s producing echo-y recordings, it really doesn’t matter how great it looks!
When it comes to your recording environment, bigger isn’t better. You ideally want a smaller space, that’s carpeted, with curtains on any windows, and isn’t heavily affected by outside or ambient noises. But if you simply remember that you want an environment that you have as much control over as possible, you’ll steer yourself in good stead and be able to capture recordings that are beautifully full and rich.
Here’s a best practice we don’t believe is applied nearly enough! If you want to start a podcast successfully, then you have to be realistic when it comes to your publishing schedule. It’s all good and well to start out pumped up to put out two episodes a week, but if your podcast is a side hustle, and you have a jam-packed schedule already, realistically two episodes a week is not going to be sustainable.
You should never underestimate the amount of time it takes to produce a quality podcast. There is a LOT to do! You’ve got content creation, recording, interviews, editing, and promoting that you have to do consistently. It’s not a quick process. Not by a long shot.
And so you really need to consider how often you can realistically put out a high-quality episode consistently.
Because, in our books at least, a podcast launch can only really be considered “successful” when the podcast that is launched is one that lasts.
It’s a matter of quality over quantity…
From our experience, what we often see happen is that there is a great surge of momentum as a podcast host launches their podcast. They put out their first few episodes at launch. And for a couple of episodes, they’re hitting their publishing schedule. But slowly yet surely, there’s a couple extra days between episodes. Life and other responsibilities get in the way, and that gap gets bigger and bigger, and eventually, there are no new episodes coming in.
That is podfade, my friends. And it’s a very real phenomenon that happens to so many podcasts!
We’ve got a full post where you can read all about it: Podfade: What It Is and How To Avoid It. But one key way to avoid this happening to you and your podcast is to really consider your schedule.
It is far better to put out one, high-quality episode once a month, than to try to do too much too quickly and for your podcast to come to a grinding halt.
Now, let’s talk about some Best Practices when it comes to successfully launching your podcast.
Best Launch Practices for Starting a Podcast
Launch with Multiple Episodes
Again, this is another often underutilized best practice. But it actually is super vital to launching a podcast successfully and helping you gain traction beyond your launch.
The bottom line is that one episode is simply not enough time to form a connection with your listeners. And it’s making those connections with your audience that are so key to building a community around your podcast and helping you create a podcast that will last.
You need to give listeners a couple of episodes right at the beginning so that they can get to know you, and get hooked on your content, your personality, and the unique combination of all that you bring to the table. And you just can’t do that with one episode.
So as you’re planning your launch schedule, you need to factor in the time to have multiple episodes ready come launch day.
We also see too few new podcasters launching their show without any sort of build up. They’re then pretty disappointed when the listener and download numbers are so low. And we get it. It’s disheartening. You’ve been so excited to launch your podcast! And then when there’s little to know traction on your first couple of episodes, it can feel like a whole load of “wha wha whaaaaa”….(you know the sound effect I’m going for, right?)
Basically, it’s a big letdown. And can often kill the podcasting momentum you had as you launched. You were so excited as you launched! So why don’t the numbers reflect that?
Well, then the question we ask is, did you create the opportunity for the excitement to build for your listeners? In other words, did you use your social media platforms, your family chat groups, your email newsletters, good ol’ word-of-mouth, and any other form of advertising you can think of to let people know you’re launching a super cool podcast?
This is such a key part to a successful podcast launch! You want people to “show up”, but you have to tell them that there’s something to show up to!
So be sure to create some great buzz around your show as you get ready to launch.
Have a Social Media Strategy
And finally, our last Best Practice for successfully launching a podcast is to have a social strategy. You can’t just periodically post about your podcast and hope for the best.
If you want traction around your podcast – your brand – then you’re going to need to have a very strategic social media strategy. Much like brands and business use to build a following, so podcast hosts need to be doing the same for their podcast.
A great podcast is amazing! But in all honesty, it’s not really “successful” unless it’s reaching its intended audience. And one of the best ways to do that is to be really strategic with your social media marketing.
Treat your podcast like a brand, and use your social media platforms to promote it as such.
While there are plenty of amazing “How to Start a Podcast” guides on the internet (our blog also has a few…hint, hint) what is often lacking is that little ‘extra’ to help you really make all the great advice work.
With these best practices for successfully starting a podcast, we’ll help you position your podcast to find that lasting success.
Use this guide to really tighten up the steps leading to your podcast launch, and you’ll have everything you need to not only launch with success, but to experience success in the podcast industry for the long game.
Looking for specific tips for launching your podcast? Ask us below!