You probably know by now that podcasting has completely taken over.
I myself have not only started two podcasts (one was kind of a bust) but plan on producing for Erika on hers, as well as starting another for Free From 9 to 5 as well.
I wanted to create this post on breaking down exactly how I would go about starting a podcast from the ground up.
Now, let me be clear…
I’m kind of on the journey as well.
I’m not making millions of dollars from my podcast.
But, I’ve definitely noticed the smoothness of it the second time around from my first go at it two years ago.
My first podcast was Friday Happy Hour and I really enjoyed it, for better or worse.
I wanted something that I could interview other entrepreneurs with, and Friday Happy Hour was just that.
Some of the issues I found with my first podcast attempt included the name.
You see, as much as I believe in consistency, I also don’t like being held down to a schedule based off a name.
So because the name, though catchy, had Friday in it, I was basically forced to have to interview others and get content out every Friday.
I know, that doesn’t sound that crazy or demanding, but at the time, it kind of was.
This was probably a clear cut indication that I wasn’t really ready to start a podcast at the time.
Also, I would say the other problem I ran into was my questions.
I fucking love meeting new people.
I love chatting with others, getting to know them, their likes, dislikes, all of that.
But, I decided to essentially lock myself down to 10 repetitive questions every episode and it started to feel kind of stale.
If I could recommend something to the old me, or you even, I would say to have guidelines but to really free flow it.
Have questions sure, but don’t just ask, get an answer, and move on.
Dive into each response you get, and really just see where it takes you. It makes it feel and sound more authentic and who knows, you might get some responses from your guest that nobody else has been able to get.
Lastly, the editing was a pain in the ass.
Both from a platform standpoint (Audacity) and sound effects as well.
I used Fiverr at the time and had someone design an intro for the podcast.
I will say, I didn’t hate it, but it didn’t fire me up either.
If it doesn’t fire you up, it’s probably not going to fire up your audience as well.
I used Audio Jungle this time around and it was so much better.
But more on all of that later…
What I found starting my second podcast was that I was much happier with just about everyone of those previously mentioned frustrations.
I loved my new intro, created a different format of interviewing, and made it so I had no schedule whatsoever.
Obviously I want to be consistent, but the title and niche of the podcast allow for flexibility.
So you’re probably wondering, how do you get started?
Well, there’s about 7 steps I can think of to get the ball rolling…
- The purpose of your project
- Committing to doing everything it takes.
- Choosing a topic.
- Define your show description and branding.
- Setting everything up and testing your equipment.
- Create a plan for your all of your episodes.
- Record your episodes.
- Edit and publish your episodes.
- Launch your podcast
So, lets start with finding the purpose of this project.
Are you looking for it to be a main moneymaker?
Are you looking to go more of the Russell Brunson direction where it’s just content that helps with the overall objective of sales and signups?
It’s really important to get these answers because both formats work.
Do you want to go after sponsors?
Or, is this going to be something where you talk, and then plug in quick snippets of you pushing an affiliate opp.
For me, I like both.
But, currently, I’d say that Recap Rinse Repeat (my new podcast) is going to be more of a main moneymaker.
So if we circle back, you have to decide what the purpose is of all this.
Next, you need to commit.
I know, it’s really easy to think you’re committed.
But podcasting is not easy, not at all.
It’s so much more than just talking with someone, recording it, and sending it out to the public.
I mean… if you want people to actually listen to your shit anyway.
Everyone has a life.
Moving on, lets cover the topic of your podcast.
My first podcast was about interviewing entrepreneurs. To be honest, when Free From 9 to 5’s podcast gets launched, it’ll be a very similar topic.
My second podcast though, for Recap Rinse Repeat, is about recapping sports and pop-culture.
Big change right?
It really all depends on what fires you up, and like stated before, what you can commit long term to.
Next, we tackle getting the description laid out and branding as well.
Really define what your podcast is, who it targets, and figuring out the branding/artwork of it all.
It was so funny, as most of you know, my wife is a graphic designer. She’s actually much more than that, but for the sake of this blog post, she’s a graphic designer.
I was waiting for her to help me with the logo of Recap Rinse Repeat, but she was super busy.
I was so pumped up about the whole project, and had such a clear idea about what it was going to be, that I really broke it all down by myself, AND decided to design the branding as well.
Yeah, the hippo logo of him flicking shit everywhere with his tail, that was all me.
So you know what your podcast is going to be about, but really break it down via description, and then figure out some eye catching branding.
If you don’t have a graphic designing wife, first of all, step your game up, and second of all, use Fiverr.
Moving on, you’ve got to test your equipment.
Sounds pretty self-explanatory, but whats easy to do, is easy not to do.
The program I use for recording is Screen Flow. It works well for both videos and podcasts. The editing is very user friendly, and we just fell in love with it.
One knock on Screen Flow is just that you want to make sure if you’re bouncing back between creating courses or filming videos AND podcasting, that you have the correct boxes checked because both Erika and I have gotten in trouble with that.
Nothing more frustrating than thinking you’re filming a video and the video box was never checked.
The next important piece of equipment is definitely a microphone.
For me, it was an easy choice.
We went to Best Buy and got ourselves a Yeti Microphone and it has been an absolute game changer for the sound quality.
My first podcast, I didn’t use a mic.
For obvious reasons, this was a terrible idea.
So that’s about it as far as equipment for myself when it comes strictly to podcasting…
… I’m assuming I didn’t need to mention the fact you should probably have a computer.
Anyways, moving on…
Next, creating a plan for you episodes.
My recommendation is if you’re doing the interview format, do it weeks ahead of time.
Pick a day or multiple days where you do nothing but interviews, get it all out of the way, and now you have plenty of time to edit content and start getting it out consistently.
Some of the top podcasts I follow, who do the interview format, are usually doing their podcasts a week or 2 ahead of time. Sometimes even longer.
For myself, since it involves current events with sports and pop culture, I’m pretty limited. But, I like it because the stories are fresh and the listeners love getting early perspectives on topics they care about.
Now, recording episodes.
I don’t think too much is needed on this other than to make sure you’re in a quiet space.
We have a high rise out here in San Diego and you can hear cars driving by, and of course the noisy neighbors can be a problem.
I swear they wake up, smoke crack, and then decide to move furniture around all day.
No but seriously, make sure you have a quiet office, or room in your home that you can do recording.
Also, if you’re interviewing someone, make sure they are also in a quiet room, dog isn’t near them, phone isn’t on, all that fun stuff.
Distractions can be a total pain in the ass, not just for the host, but for the listener as well.
Some of my favorite podcasters have had slip ups, and you will have them as well. The goal is to minimize it.
Sometimes though, if you’re interviewing someone, and they could only call in, then you have to deal with the background noise or shitty quality of their phone, and that’s just life.
It doesn’t completely ruin the interview/podcast so don’t sweat it too much if that’s the only format someone is available for your show.
I mentioned this earlier, but as far as editing your podcast, I use Screen Flow.
It takes some time getting used to how to edit, but there’s actually pretty good YouTube videos on how to fade sound in and out.
I think explaining how to edit via blog post would be kind of a pain in the ass, but it’s essentially pretty straight forward.
My recommendation is to just mess around with it, or go to YouTube University, pull out a pen and a pad, and do some quick studying.
Just make sure you’ve got your intro/outro music, any transitional sounds you plan on using before or after you plug your affiliate/sponsors, and you should be fairly good to go.
Lastly, launch your podcast.
Make sure you have social media accounts, and accounts with media platforms such as SoundCloud, iTunes, Spotify, and pretty much as many as you can get your hands on.
The nice part is, if you set it up with SoundCloud first, you can actually sync it up with all of the other platforms (if approved) via the RSS feed.
The RSS feed will be a link that will allow all new episodes you put out, to automatically upload with different platforms you’ve gotten your podcast on.
So when I post an episode, I automatically pop up in like 5 different platforms which really helps.
You have to understand, people aren’t all wired the same way.
Some prefer different platforms and you want to make sure they all have access to your podcast.
As for linking it to your website, I use the Smart Podcast Player which is not only inexpensive, but easy to customize as well with their step by step videos.
I hope this has been what you were looking for when it comes to launching a podcast.
Remember, it’s not easy, but very worth it if you can follow those previously stated 9 steps.
Let me know if you have any questions below and I’ll make sure to get them answered.