Have you ever wanted to create your own podcast? Podcasts are one of the most popular forms of content available today. According to Online Marketing Institute:

  • 44 percent of Americans have listened to a podcast (124 million people)
  • 26 percent of Americans listen to podcasts monthly (up 24 percent from 2017)
  • 32 percent of Americans ages 25-54 listen to podcasts monthly
  • 48 million Americans listen to podcasts weekly (up 6 million from 2017)
  • Podcast listeners consume an average of 7 different podcasts weekly
  • 80 percent of podcast listeners consume “all” or “most” of each episode
  • There are more than 550,000 podcasts available today

Podcasts are an incredibly powerful tool for marketing and can make your brand stand out amongst the rest. While creating your very own podcast may seem complicated, it is worth your while and we’ll help you get started by reviewing the first steps in the podcast creation process.

Step 1: Develop a podcast concept

What do you want your podcast to be about? You can create a podcast about anything, but if you are looking to grow your brand, pick something complementary to what you do. For example, Three Girls Media has its own podcast called, Two Minute Marketing Tips hosted by CEO, Erika Taylor Montgomery. In this podcast we share quick marketing tips to help brands grow and evolve. This aligns with our brand core values and allows us to show off our expertise in this realm.

To pick a podcast topic, you need to evaluate what your goals are. According to Buzz Sprout, the most common goals are:

  • To generate leads for a business
  • To be recognized as a leader in an industry
  • To share an important message
  • To have fun

After you evaluate your goals, be sure to pick a topic you are passionate about. You can pick a broad topic like marketing strategy, or something more specific like video marketing. Whichever you choose, make sure you pick something you care about so you can put enough energy into the project.

Once you have your goals and topic in order, you can start brainstorming some ideas for names. Pick something creative and catchy in order to entice new listeners. Apple’s advice for naming is as follows:

“Pay close attention to the title, author, and description tags at the channel and item level of your podcast. Apple Podcasts uses title, author, and description fields for search. The metadata for your podcast, along with your podcast artwork, is your product packaging and can affect whether your podcast shows up in relevant searches, and how likely users are to subscribe to it. Make your title specific. A podcast named Our Community Bulletin is too vague to attract many subscribers, no matter how compelling the content.”

Step 2: Establish A Target Audience

Regardless of how good your podcast is, if no one listens to it, it doesn’t matter. According to the Podcast Host:

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How do you establish a target audience?

“The thing is, unless you know exactly who you’re making your show for, and why you’re doing it, you’ve got no chance of growing an audience. If you’re coming at it from a business point of view, and you’re (for example) a personal trainer who wants to make a health and fitness podcast, then your target audience might be people who are interested in healthy eating, weight loss, exercise, or bodybuilding.”

Step 3: Create a format

What kind of format do you want your podcast to be? Do you want it to be a narrative driven podcast, do you want to have friendly banter with a cohost, or do you want to have a panel discussion?

According to Buzz Sprout the most common podcast formats are:

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What kind of format do you want your podcast to be?

  • Interview podcasts: These podcasts feature a single host who interviews individuals within a particular industry. Examples: The Joe Rogan Experience, Fresh Air, and Trained by Nike.
  • Scripted non-fiction: Typically, serial podcasts that have a single theme for a full season. Examples: Serial, Slow Burn, and Hardcore History.
  • News recap: A format that summarizes the news within a specific industry. Examples: The Daily, Kickass News, or Planet Money.
  • Educational podcasts: Scripted non-fiction shows that focus on teaching their audience. Examples: Stuff You Should Know, Hidden Brain, and TED Radio Hour.
  • Scripted fiction: These podcasts are similar to radio dramas and are often scripted and highly produced. Examples: The Magnus Archives, Limetown, and CARAVAN.

Another format question you have to ask yourself is how long do you want your podcast to be? The great thing is, there is no right answer! Podcasts can be however long you want them to be. For example, our podcast is anywhere from 2-4 minutes, but some podcasts like hardcore history are 4-6 hours!

The last thing you need to consider when it comes to format is schedule. Just like with everything else you post online; you need to be consistent. As we always say, content is king, but consistency is queen. Create an attainable schedule that you will always be able to follow through with.

Step 4: Determine What Equipment You Need

Podcasts have a low barrier to entry.

According to Buzz Sprout, “Podcasts have a low barrier to entry; if you want to start a podcast, it’s relatively easy to begin the process with little overhead or experience.”

While you can start a podcast with just your phone, a pair of headphones and mic, that won’t give you the best quality.

First off, I recommend using your laptop or desktop to record the podcast. This gives you more control over the recording systems.

For truly high-quality audio, you will need to purchase a microphone. There are a ton of high quality microphones out there, and if you want a great list of options, check out this article by Podcast Insights.

Step 5: Choosing the right Software

To create the best podcast, you will want to invest in a recording and editing software. While you can edit on your phone, we highly recommend using a dedicated editing software. The good news is that editing software for audio is relatively cheap and easy to find.

My personal favorite software to use for recording and editing is Adobe Audition. It is very easy to use and doesn’t require a massive skill set. You can record and edit in one program and it makes it easier to consolidate files and stay organized.

Buzz Sprout also offers some alternatives.

  • Audacity
    • Audacity is a free and open-source audio editor. Open source editors allow users to make changes to the original code easily. You can customize your user experience and make improvements where you deem necessary.
  • GarageBand
    • GarageBand comes pre-installed on most Apple computers. If you don’t have it, you can easily download it for free. We think GarageBand is a more intuitive interface than Audacity. There are versions for macOS and iOS, but it is not available on Windows computers or Android phones.
  • Hindenburg
    • Hindenburg is a pro-level audio editing software for radio and podcasts. It isn’t as cheap as Audacity, but it offers a lot of built-in podcasting features. Try starting with a 30-day trial of the Hindenburg Journalist version.

If you have a co-host or a panel that cannot meet at one location, you can each record separately, and then edit the audio together. You can also use tools like Zoom and Google Hangouts to set up meetings.

Step 6: Create an Outline and Record Your Episode

When you are ready to record, create an outline for your first episode. This will help you stay on track and according to Buzz Sprout, “Rambling is one of the most common mistakes new podcasters make, and the best way to fight this tendency is by writing a podcast outline. You don’t have to write out your podcast verbatim, but even taking 15 minutes to jot down a list of bullet points will make a dramatic improvement in the flow of your episode. If you’re working with a cohost, share the outline with them so you can work on it together. Now you’ll be on the same page and prevent your conversation from going down a rabbit hole.”

After you write your outline, pick a quiet place to record, set up your equipment and record your episode. Remember, every podcast has a few bad episodes so don’t put too much pressure on yourself, just record naturally and enjoy the process.

Bonus tip: Grab a glass of water before you start to record, your voice will become dry after talking for long periods of time, and a glass of water will help you tremendously.

Step 7: Edit and Upload Your Podcast

Once your recording session is complete, the editing process begins. Organize your files, and make sure you edit for content, and then distractions. Editing can become immensely time consuming but staying patient will pay dividends in the long run. Once you’re happy with your final product, export it and upload it to the platform of your choice. You can upload it SoundCloud and Spotify relatively easily, and you can also upload it to YouTube, but keep in mind you will need a video file.

Each key element of a podcast can and should be optimized for reach and engagement.

Step 8: Optimize Your Podcast

The last step in the podcast creation process is optimizing. Creating artwork, hashtags and categories will help grow your podcast and push it to other people.

Content Marketing Institute outlines it well: “Each key element of a podcast can and should be optimized for reach and engagement. It all starts with the show title, which should be unique, memorable, relevant and of course, keyword optimized. Next up is the show description: which should be descriptive, yet intriguing and keyword infused. One element podcasters typically doesn’t spend as much time thinking about is the show category. It’s an important decision and should be researched before finalizing. The trick is balancing topical accuracy with the desire to maximize visibility with potential audiences. Most podcasts pick a category and stick with it, but flexible show formats may consider unique categories for each podcast. Don’t forget the small elements that provide polish, like introduction or transition music.”