This post aims to show you how to start a podcast for free through seven steps. I want to help you discover how to take advantage of the podcasting industry that continues to grow day after day.
Indeed, a study conducted by Edison Research shows that over the past four years, the number of American citizens who listen to a podcast each week has grown 100%. More than 67 million of the United States residents listen to podcasts every month.
Whether you are a business, a non-profit organization, or an individual, it can be an excellent time to take advantage of the opportunities provided by this industry and start creating episodes about the topics you are passionate about.
You will find in this guide the step to follow to launch your podcasts and take advantage of this exciting new medium. It is a great way to build fascinating connections with your audience all around the world.
Contrary to social media, podcasts are an excellent way to engage your listeners by offering them quality content. Podcasts can even be more convenient than blog posts because people can listen to them while doing their day to day activities.
If you are interested in starting a podcast for whatever reason, the podcast, I advise you to take the time to read this article entirely. It contains crucial information that will enable you to take advantage of this industry correctly.
Step # 1. Design Your Podcast Ideas
Here, you will first need to determine the reason for starting your podcast. It may be that you want to generate leads for your best affiliate programs, share important messages, hobbies, etc.
Whatever the reason, you will need first to choose your Podcast’s title, format, theme, length, etc. You can create podcasts on various subjects you are passionate about; the only limit is your imagination.
Ask yourself, “Why you are starting a podcast?” and “What it is about?” Once you find answers to these questions, you will be in an excellent position to start the process of creating your podcasts. You can even do some research online and find documents about creating a podcast for beginners.
What is your podcast about?
Make sure to choose interesting podcast topics about something you are passionate about or fascinated to research and discuss regularly. You will then need to do some market research to see if there are already other related podcasts. You can use platforms such as Apple Podcasts.
Once you find episodes related to your topic, take the time to listen to them. Also, determine what they are about and what you can do to improve them.
The best format for a podcast
Podcasts can be in different formats, such as a single host, scripted stories, in-depth interviews, and many more. The most important thing is to make sure the format fits what your podcast is about. You must also be comfortable with that format.
Hereafter are common (not all) podcast formats:
- Interview podcasts – They are about a single host who interviews people in a specific industry.
- Scripted non-fiction – These are mostly serial podcasts with a unique theme for a full season.
- News recap – They are shows that recap the news in a particular industry.
- Educational podcasts – They are scripted non-fiction episodes whose purpose is to teach their audience.
- Scripted fiction – They are similar to radio dramas, often scripted and highly produced.
As to how to pick the name for your podcast, choose something catchy and relevant to facilitate the ranking.
Apple shows the podcast best practices, and advises you to avoid stuffing your title with keywords, make the title is easy for people to find your show.
How long should a podcast be?
If you do some research, you will find that there is no optimal length for a podcast episode. One can be 20 to 30 minutes long, while others such as audiobooks average about two hours.
In other words, your podcast should be as long as it needs to be, without being any longer. Just avoid rambling segments, annoying questions as well as something without added value to your audience.
Step # 2: Purchase Recording Equipment and Software
Podcasts are fantastic because they have such a low barrier to entry. You can learn how to record a podcast with audacity with your iPhone headphones and grow your way into a $20,000 podcast studio.
Just remember, your content is the most crucial part. Nobody listens to a boring podcast only because it has excellent sound quality.
The Best Podcasting Equipment
Picking the best podcasting equipment can get confusing, especially if you don’t have a background in audio recording. To make it easy, we put together a podcasting equipment packages based on the number of people who are recording.
If you want equipment for one person set up, you can buy Audio-Technica ATR2100 for $65 and a Foam Cover for $ 3. As for two-person setup equipment, it will cost you around $ 300. It is composed of two Audio-Technica ATR2100 for $65 each, a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 that cost $160, and two Foam Cover for a total of $ 6.
Also, you will need some accessories such as Rode PSA1 Boom Arm for $100, On-Stage MY420 Shock Mount for $35, Audio-Technica M20x Headphones that will cost you $50 and a Newer Pop-Filter for $6. Thus, a total investment of $ 191 for accessories.
The Best Podcast Recording Software
As for the best podcasting software, it will enable you to make some edits and adjustments to get the best sound quality possible. You can do this on your Android phone or iPhone, but they have small screens not optimized for sound editing.
Therefore, it is better to find an additional budget to invest in podcast editing software; the cost is affordable. The recommended software is Audacity, which is a free and open-source audio editor. It integrates pro-level features.
Audacity has versions for Apple, Windows, and Linux computers, but there is also steep learning. You will need to find videos and online tutorials to help you. There are other podcasting software to use, such as GarageBand, Hindenburg, Alitu, Adobe Audition, Descript, etc.
Step # 3. Recording The First Podcast
If you want to become an excellent podcaster, you will need to listen to podcasts. To write a good podcast outline, avoid the biggest mistake that many new podcasters often make: they tend to ramble.
To fight against this tendency, write a podcast outline. Take at least 15 minutes to sketch out an episode with bullet points; such a process will lead to a significant improvement. In case you work with a team of co-hosts, share the outline with them to ensure that you are on the same page.
To pick the best place to record your podcast, think about flat surfaces, they almost always mean a more reverberant sounding recording. A quiet and large room with plenty of space around you is better to use.
If you can’t find such a space, try to find one with fewer reflective surfaces or lots of material that can absorb or diffuse the sound. Specialists in the podcasting industry say choosing a proper place to record episodes is more critical than picking the right editing software or headphones.
Make sure you have all the required conditions and equipment to record cleanly audio. It will make the technical aspects of editing and mixing in the next step much easier.
To set up a microphone for a podcast, you will need to connect it to your computer or audio recording device. It is better to have a USB microphone if you are not used to audio equipment.
Step # 4. Edit and Export Your Podcast
The next step is about editing your podcasts; your content goals will guide you through the process. Many podcasters use intros at the beginning of their episodes. You can skip your episode into or create a custom intro with a voiceover and music.
If you want to use a voiceover, you will do better to hire a voice actor on Fiverr to record your introduction. Make sure you have a correct license or use royalty-free music if you include music in your show.
To edit your podcast episode, you can use the following tips:
- Use crossfades between clips – Make sure you insert a crossfade to join adjacent clips, every time you cut a clip/region in your DAW. It will avoid the distracting pops or clicks in your published show.
- Pay attention to your breath – It’s crucial to pay attention to where you take breaths between sentences to avoid hiccup or double-breath effect.
- Trim false starts and filler words – The way you begin a sentence can help trim time and make the sound more eloquent.
After the editing of your episode, you will need to export and optimize your audio file. However, you can skip this section if you host your podcast on Buzzsprout, this platform will do it automatically every time you upload a new podcast.
As for the best file type and bitrate for a podcast, many podcasters prefer to export their episodes in mp3 format. It ensures compatibility with most podcast apps. Just set the bitrate to 96 kbps mono for spoken word podcasts and 192 kbps stereo for podcasts that feature music.
Step # 5: Uploading Your Episodes to The Podcast Host
Now that you have finished creating your podcast and have a final audio file, the next step is to make it available online. For that purpose, you will need to find the best podcast hosting services. You can find hereafter the main reasons a reliable podcast host is useful.
Bandwidth – You need to avoid the downtime of your website every time you publish a new podcast.
RSS feed – It is possible to generate your RSS feed, but the process can be time-consuming. Also, in addition to the RSS 2.0 specifications, you will need to add different tags and fields for directories such as Apple Podcasts.
Embed players – In case you have a website or blog, it is crucial to have an easy way for your visitors to play your episodes from your web pages. In many cases, your listeners will subscribe to your podcasts in their favorite podcast app once they listen to a few minutes.
Social sharing tools – Social networks such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook have their ways to share audio files on their platforms. Make sure to share your episodes properly so that people can play from these social media easily. It will enable you to grow your audience.
Why Hosting Your Podcast With Buzzsprout?
When the owners of Buzzsprout launched this platform, they had in mind to target churches and non-profits organizations. However, this podcast platform become so popular that many other people asked for help to start a podcast business.
It for this reason that in 2009, they launched Buzzsprout as an easy way to host, promote, and track your podcasts. You can find hereafter some of the features and benefits this podcast host will provide you with.
- Reliable podcast hosting services.
- Easy podcast uploading and scheduling.
- Podcasting statistics.
- Possibility to publish your episodes to the main directories such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, etc.
- Buzzsprout will provide you with social sharing and visual SoundBite. You will get Buzzsprout WordPress Plugin.
- You can edit and add links to show notes.
- Buzzsprout integrates Automatic mp3 file conversion and ID3 tagging.
- The platform is customizable for podcast player to embed on your website.
- Buzzsprout will allow you to start your podcast free of charges for 90 days.
Step # 6. Listing Podcast in Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, and Spotify
Once you have hosted your podcasts and generated your RSS Feed, it will be the time to let the entire world know about them. It means that you will post your episodes in the largest podcast directories that are Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify.
Some people think Apple Podcasts can host their files, but it is a misconception. Apple Podcasts is instead a directory. It is like an address book that can let your visitors know where you live. They can not find you if they don’t have your address book.
Therefore, listing your podcast in these directories will ensure that your audience all around the world will find your episodes when they search for them online. Getting into these directories is the most crucial step in marketing your podcasts.
Also, even though some people recommend listing your podcasts on iHeart Radio, SoundCloud, Google Play, or other podcast directories. They are not as important as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts.
Step # 7. Keep Improving Your Podcasts
The last step of this article that described how to start your podcast free is about improving your episodes. Several people from many parts of the world want to launch podcasts every day.
However, few of them will realize such a goal, especially if they don’t find information like the one of this article. Thus, I advise you to keep learning and improving your shows as you launch new ones.
You can use the following resources to continue growing and become successful podcasters.
Guides to help you keep learning the podcasting industry – These are in-depth documents that will help you get out issues you may encounter during your podcast journey.
You can do further research online to find them. They cover various topics such as recording long-distance interviews, creating your podcast cover art, building your website, and many more.
Podcast community group – It is useful to join the online communities of podcasters. It is a way to interact with experienced people in the field and learn a lot from them. Also, you can get recommendations, ask questions, and stay up to date with changes that occur in the industry.
You can sign up for the Buzzsprout Podcast Community Group on Facebook. It is a place to share podcasting best practices, ask questions, bounce ideas off each other, and many other useful connections.
Connect with your podcast listeners – People that listen to your podcasts will give you feedback to enable you to improve them. It essential to build and maintain good relationships with your audience wherever they live in the world.
Also, you will need to be informed about the industry news regularly. It will enable you to get advice from experts in the field. You can use Podnews for day to day Podcast News, Buzzcast for the Industry News, or 5 Minute Mondays for Podcast Tips.
My Final Thoughts
It is the end of this post that tried to describe in detail how to start a podcast for free. If this field is of interest, you can go ahead and open a free account at Buzzsprout.
This company will provide you with everything you need to create and host excellent podcasts. You can even monetize your episodes and make them the primary source of your online income.
Buzzsprout will let you use its services freely for 90 days without paying a penny. You will then upgrade your account if you want to keep using its services. The basic package costs $ 12 per month.
As a premium member, you will get a $20 Amazon Gift Card, which will be sent to your account after your second monthly bill is paid.
You will also earn the same $20 Amazon Gift Card for every premium member you refer to the company that stays in good standing for two consecutive months.
>> Start a Podcast, Free for 90 Days, at Buzzsprout.
Finally, before I leave you, I would like to thank you for taking the time to read this article. If you have some questions or comments, you can leave them at the bottom of this page.
I will be more than happy to get back to you as soon as possible.