Whether you are a hobbyist or professional, this guide is going to show you how to create a podcast for free from scratch and take advantage of this fastest-growing way to reach your audience, wherever they are in the world.
Indeed, statistics show that more than 144 million adults in the United States where using the podcast in 2019, and this figure has almost tripled compared to 2018.
Many successful online marketers also use podcasts as a way of promoting their products and services online. They would have spent a budget of nearly $500 million on the podcast marketing method in 2018.
You, too, can use this online advertising method if you want to make a part or full-time income online. It can be one of the best ways to attract customers and boost sales.
This step-by-step guide is going to show you how to start your podcasts and get them running in no time, no matter whether you are an individual or an online business owner.
Disclaimer: This article may contain affiliate links that will earn me a small commission at no cost to you. The proposed tools, software, and equipment will allow you to start your podcasting activities right away and become a successful podcaster.
Start by Identifying Your Target Audience And Their Needs
The nature of your podcats will depend on the audience you want to address; you will first need to identify the needs of your market segment. Once you know the problem they face, you will then propose the appropriate solutions through your episodes.
From the start, you will need to have a clear understanding of the content you want to provide to the public, and this must align with your business perspectives and interests.
As an example, the image below shows a daily NBA podcast called the “Starters,” which is one of the most successful NBA podcasts in the United States.
If you want to target the right audience, try to find a solution to the problem they feel or want to solve. For instance, you can wish to target the basketball lovers, and in this case, you will need to talk about the latest matches, the scores, the stars, and maybe predict the winner of the season’s crown.
In case you are an affiliate marketer like me that promote affiliate products belonging to different merchants, your podcasts should probably talk about the best affiliate marketing training platform.
Also, given that many people from all parts of the world are looking for the best ways to make money online, you can create other podcasts that talk about the best money making affiliate programs.
You can make a list of such high paying affiliate programs and present them in a single show, but it is also possible to go deep and create a particular episode for each program or product you want to promote online.
The idea behind is to provide to your audience content that takes into account their needs; it is the best way to catch their attention and engage them.
Providing Value to The Public and Catching Their Attention
As said in the previous section, you need to give value to your targeted audience, provide them with the reason to listen to your podcats, and take action.
Available statistics show that 80% of listeners listen to an entire podcast episode. People will listen to your full podcast and help you to make it viral online as long as your content is beneficial, valuable, and enriching to them.
Also, be aware you are in a competitive niche, you must try to outrank your competitors by trying to catch the attention of your listeners from the first listen.
Make sure that listeners become long-time subscribers and come back for more. Promise your public to provide them value and enriching content; they will become loyal listeners and enable you to become a successful podcaster.
With so many episodes online, people are sometimes confused about what to listen to or not. Statistics say that 65% of non-listeners say they find it difficult to know from where to start looking.
It is for these reasons that your messaging and value proposition must be transparent from the beginning. You need to produce podcasts that help people to learn about the subject of their interest and invite them to stay engaged.
Choosing the Title of Your Podcast
It is crucial to give an attractive name to your podcast. Specialists in the podcasting industry say that five seconds are enough for a person to decide whether he is going to engage with your podcast or not.
A catching name will avoid your podcast from being rejected by the public before even taking the time to listen to its content.
It is frustrating to make every possible effort to create the perfect podcast and find it rejected by a majority of listeners because of its sucking title. Do your best to avoid such a situation by following some of the following tips.
Make your podcat title informative
It is crucial to ensure that the title of your podcast is clean and provide proper information to people it is addressed.
Just try to incorporate the background inside the title, the target audience, as well as the subject matter. Also, add essential keywords for the best SEO results.
Make the title unique
Choosing a name that overlaps with another one can confuse the listeners and divert them to your rivals’ episodes. It is the reason you need to be careful and choose a unique name; this will avoid creating problems for the future.
The name must be understandable
Even though it is natural to stand out and carve a niche for yourself, always take into account that your customers must understand the title of your podcast quickly. Avoid ambiguities that can harm the viability of your podcasts.
The name should be succinct
Although the title of your podcast can have up to 255 characters, it vital to make sure that you have the attention of your customers by making it as brief and understandable as possible.
Make the title creative
A podcast title must unleash your creativity and a name. Choose a title that catches the interest of the targeted audience long enough to get them hooked on to the station.
A podcast title can be an opportunity to describe what you are offering to the public. The more straightforward and descriptive your podcasts’ name will be, the more your audience will stick around and listen to them.
Given that people use a specific keyword to search online the solutions to their needs, a descriptive title name is easy to search and locate.
If, for instance, you are looking for the best equipment, you will likely search into Google the term ” what is the best podcasting equipment.”
It is possible to name a podcast using the name of its author. Listeners will likely type in the title to get to what they are looking for since they already know what they want and who you are.
However, if you don’t have a following yet, it will not be worth to name your podcast with a self-titled. Think about it and choose the title accordingly.
What Should Be the Length of Your Podcasts?
If you want your podcast to have the maximum impact and make it available to listeners quickly, it is better to keep it short and concise. Do not forget that all excess is bad.
Most people say that listeners can hang around for 20 to 25 minutes, but this can only work if they get hooked on something and don’t leave halfway through.
However, depending on the subject you are talking about, a podcast can have its particular playing time. Just work out what is best for you without imitating others.
Also, don’t forget to keep your listeners engaged toward your episodes if you want to succeed in the podcasting industry.
Another question that many people ask is how often they should stream their podcasts. The answer is that the streaming sessions don’t have to be too far apart as people don’t like to wait very long. The sessions shouldn’t also be too close to avoid the run out of content ideas.
Therefore, it is up to you to spread out your podcasts sessions in a way that maximizes the impact on your listeners and keeps them engaged as long as possible.
Some people prefer to release a podcast every week, while others go every month. It will all depend on your availability and the goal you want to rich.
Just define your podcasting goals and set a plan to rich them by producing quality podcast content that meets the needs of your targeted audience.
Don’t sacrifice the quality over the quantity as some people are tempted to do. They think that they can make a lot of money with more episodes when it is not often the case. Listeners don’t like repetitive things, and it is always better to go for quality than the quantity.
Choosing the Right Format for Your Podcast
As is the case for the content that you provide, deciding on your podcast format is an essential factor to take into consideration. There are many formats you can choose from.
The most popular format is the 1:1 interview, but you can explore many other types. Before doing so, you will need to determine why you need to choose a podcast format and if it is possible to keep changing and alternate between the available types.
The specialists in the industry say that keep changing and alternate between the available types of format can end up causing more harm than good.
Listeners like consistency and align themselves with the format; they know what to expect and don’t like surprises. If people have listened to a given format yesterday and discover a new one today, they might get confused.
Statistics show that 92% of people trust the word of family and friends over company advertisements. Also, 74% of consumers would rate word of mouth as an active influencer for customers.
It is the reason you need to keep consistency in content delivery; it will distinguish you from the mass and makes you a successful podcaster.
The most podcast formats ideas you can explore are interviews, educational, conversational, solo voiceover, and storytelling.
As for the question of whether you should use a co-host or remote guests, the answer requires some planning on your part, and you can refer to the following flowchart.
The Best Podcast Recording Software and Equipment
When you have the right equipment and editing software, the podcast can be an easy task. These tools will enable you to provide your listeners with the best quality podcast content.
Make sure your podcasts’ sounds do not distract your public. Avoid the p-pops, hissing, murmuring, screeching, and distortion creeps that can occur inadvertently.
Also, you will need to avoid the fluctuation of sound levels. It is the best way to impress your listeners and show them that you are are a professional podcaster. In such a case, they will stay focused.
The right editing and recording software must eliminate background noise, ensure clarity, avoid the sound’s fluctuation, and enable you to accompany your podcast by the best music.
Also, the choice of recording and editing software will depend on your podcasting goal. You can use GarageBand if you are a starter that doesn’t have money to invest in paid tools. This software is for iOS and Mac.
As for people that want to storytelling, they can use use the Hindenburg, Pamela, Anchor.fm, Alitu, or Audacity. All these recording and editing software are of excellent quality.
They are all highly automated and used by several successful podcasters. You can also check this review if you want to choose the best podcast hosting platform.
Do not forget that the best recording and editing software will enable you to add audio effects, mix tracks, cut and splice audion, convert files into an appropriate format, and publish your episodes.
A quality recording and editing software must also allow you to connect the produced podcasts to your WordPress website.
As for the podcast equipment, we can summarize the best as follow:
- A Condenser Microphone such as the Blue Yeti USB Microphone, it is for a single user.
- A Dynamic Microphone such as the Audio-Technica ATR2100, it is for multiple users.
- Headphones: The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x will cost you around $150.
In summary, your equipment and editing software will depend on whether you are a beginner or professional in the podcasting industry. You can watch the video below that talks briefly about the best podcast equipment.
A beginner needs a simple and easy to use free podcast recording software such as GarageBand that will enable you to learn the podcast ins and outs quickly.
Several successful podcasters are using Buzzsprout to host their different shows. It is the best in the industry, will enable you to start your podcasting activities for free and will provide you with a free $20 Amazon gift card.
Creating a Podcast Script
A perfect script will enable your podcast content to reach out to your public easily and engage them holistically. Successful podcasters take the necessary time to perfect their podcasts.
You can find hereafter the tips for creating the best podcast scripts:
- Reading Versus Speaking – People don’t like dreary and drab speeches. The best way to engage your listeners is to use conversations where both parties can easily make their points. If you want to read out and take cues from a script, avoid to make your text stiff and upright. Also, use words that sound natural and try to align with your personality.
- Be brief – Even if your topic is of great interest to your listeners, try to be short and concise, they will appreciate what you offer them and stay engaged.
- Flexibility – Given that talking at length about a topic can be a difficult task, try to be flexible about what you are talking about. This will allow achieving the maximum fluidity of speech. Don’t forget to read up and master in advance the topics that you want to talk about. Also, add the topic headings in your script; they will act as cues and allow you not to miss out on any relevant topic.
- Improve – All podcasters don’t have the same tone, voice, and ability to speak conversationally, avoid trying to imitate your rivals, and stick on what you feel most comfortable with. Also, make sure to use a well-planned script.
Speaking Into the Microphone
It is not easy for many people to talk into a microphone, even the most experienced podcasters will confirm that. As a starter in the podcasting industry, you will need some time to learn all the ins and outs and get acquainted with the industry.
You need to master the way of speaking on a microphone and avoid to be too slow or too fast. Also, try to avoid the wrong sound levels.
To weed out weaknesses in your microphone recordings and speaking ability, you can put into practice the following advice.
Slow down Your Voice – Avoid to speak too quickly as do many new podcasters. They are not capable of maintaining their speak and speed at a suitable level. They also tend to freak out and speed up the pace of talking.
When speaking, try to exude composure and calmness. It is vital to take deep breaths and pause at proper stages while talking slowly and clearly. In such a way, people will understand all the parts of your speech quickly.
Pause – It is essential to know when and how to pause while delivering a speech is the hallmark of a great orator. This is what distinguishes professionals from novices speakers.
Pausing at the right times will enable you to gather your thoughts, and emphasize what is vital to your listeners. It will also allow them to reflect and gear up for the next part of your speech.
Speak naturally – There is no need to shout or stop talking in the middle of a sentence. Just try to be confident while speaking with the right tone and pace.
Use positive vibes – It is vital to exude confidence and let off the right vibes when recording your podcasts. Be full of life, upbeat, and avoid hesitations.
The best way to handle such a situation is to speak as if you were talking honestly to one of your close friends or family member.
Pay Attention to Your Voice – Another thing you need to take into consideration when speaking into the microphone is your voice.
A study by the University of Glasgow has concluded that an individual’s level of accuracy and reliability can be assessed based on how they pronounce the word “Hello.”
As an example, if an advertiser is too apologetic during its sponsored ads, his listeners are going to feel as he doesn’t have confidence in the product he is promoting.
Also, in case you are too aggressive in your sales pitch, potential customers will think that you are trying to push the product down their throats.
As a result, both methods are not suitable for business. The best way is to elicit the right response in your listeners, excite, and inspire them to follow you.
Do not forget to check on your voice and listen to how it sounds consistently. Doing so will enable you to discover the necessary modifications to bring to it and allow you to get better over time.
Also, make sure the microphone is working and recording accurately when speaking into it and check the recordings multiple times before finalizing your audio files.
Choosing The Free Podcast Music Intro
Even though it is not necessary to have music in your podcasts, some successful podcasters recommend using music as it can create engagement from listeners.
It will all depend on the nature of your shows. Your podcasts can be conversational and more focused on aspects like war, fight against discrimination, politics, and so on. In such a way, you don’t need to use music.
However, you can still use music during intermissions to avoid people losing interest and focus during quick breaks. In such circumstances, people need to listen to some music to rest their minds for a moment and digest what they have just heard.
Also, music works well for the intro and outro of your podcast. You can even make the trademark and copyright of short jingle or sound effects as part of intellectual property.
It is possible to use paid or free music, but the owner must allow you to use it in a way you want. Make sure you have the proper license from him. Also, if you are creative enough, you can create and copyright your own music and get your listeners excited about your show.
How To Choose Cover Art For Your Podcast?
The proper cover art can help your podcats to be appreciated by your targeted audience and get more sales if your promoting products or service online.
Given that Apple Podcasts is the most popular directory for podcasts, you will need to put your podcast feed on this directory.
This will enable you to get maximum visibility, and it is the reason your cover art must meet the following specifications:
Must be communicative – You need to ensure that your cover art conveys the proper message to your public because it is the quick way of communicating with them. Make sure to inform your selling point visually before you go into the details.
The cover art must be brief – Your cover art must be typically associated with your podcast’s title. If you want the title to be memorable, try to use not more than six words as recommended by experts in the industry.
Select the cover art fonts wisely – Another thing to point out is that the fonts convey a lot about your podcast’s tone. Take the time to choose them carefully because the right fonts can invite your listeners to focus on the message your cover art is trying to say.
These are some tips you can use to create perfect cover art for your podcast; they are not exhaustive because there are many others.
The right cover art will captivate the attention of your listeners, turn them into long-term loyal fans or customers and enable you to monetize your shows if you wish so.
If you want to make your cover art yourself, you can use a free online tool like Canva, but it also possible to get someone makes it for you using a marketplace such as Fiverr.
How to Publish a Podcast?
Once you have created your podcast, you will want to make it available online so that your audience can see it, no matter where they are in the world.
Hereafter are two ways of publishing your podcast:
Use a podcast hosting platform – There are many sites you can use to host your podcasts, the most popular are Buzzsprout, Podbean; Blubrry, Libsyn.
Most of them offer many benefits, such as free trials, numerous SEO, marketing options, unlimited storage space, and bandwidth, etc.
Shared Hosting – You can also use the shared hosting, but this podcast hosting method can be a source of some problems. For example, you will not have control over the server crashes or downtime. If something goes wrong, your show will not be seen by the public, and this can lead to huge losses.
You can publish your episodes to podcast directories such as iTunes, but the many experts in the industry recommend the use of podcast hosting service. You can read this post if you want to discover other podcast hosting companies, but Buzzsprout is still the best.
The owners of this company offer their customers the following benefits:
- Unlimited storage space and bandwidth
- Automatic RSS feeds
- Mobile apps for iOS and Android
- Excellent customer support
- Store your files (including ID3 tags and mp3 files)
- Publish your podcasts.
Ways To Grow Your Podcasts
As for ways to grow your podcast business and sustain it in the long run, you can use the following tips:
Demand for reviews – Asking for reviews during your show will allow you to get more subscribers and increase your customer base. The more the number of listens will increase, the more your potential market will grow.
Keep Constance – This is another way to grow your podcast business; try to create podcast consistently to keep your audience focussed on what you are offering them.
Also, stick to the publishing calendar. If, for instance, you are producing podcasts every week, don’t break and keep doing that. Changing your publishing frequently may end up confusing your listeners.
Use incentives – This is another strategy used by several online marketers; it consists of offering rewards and other incentives to your public and invite them to subscribe to your shows.
If you have a budget, don’t miss to use this method and offer contests or handing out gifts to your most regular listeners. It will impact your business positively.
Use a variety of platforms – Using many channels will enable your podcast to reach as many people as possible from all parts of the world.
Make sure to publish your podcasts on iTunes, TuneIn, Spotify, Google Play, and Stitcher. It is also possible to promote your podcasts through social media channels.
Statistics show that 73% of business owners say that social network marketing through Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter has improved their business significantly.
Use email marketing campaigns – Email marketing campaigns will help you to grow your podcast channel; statistics say that this online adverting method has a return on investment of $44 for every $1 invested. You can click here to choose the best email marketing company.
How To Monetize Your Podcasts With Affiliate Marketing?
Ther are many ways to monetize your podcasts with affiliate marketing. I am going to show you only five methods in this article. You can do further research if you want to learn more about the subject.
Sell/ Promote Affiliate Products
There many profitable affiliate products and programs you can join for free and start promoting them using affiliate links that will be provided to you.
Every time you make sales through these affiliate links, you will be rewarded by an affiliate commission. Just direct your listeners to the specific affiliate link. It is a vital type of marketing.
Interview the Product Owner
This is another common way of monetizing a podcast; all you need is to reach out to someone who is launching a product online.
You can, for example, go to Amazon, look at the books that are to be released soon and prepare great interviews with the owners. Authors will accept such a proposal because they are looking for opportunities to promote their upcoming books.
They will then provide you with affiliate links about these new products, and in the course of the interview, make sure to share the links with your listeners.
The interview doesn’t need to be too long; you can do a small podcast or a quick segment of two to ten minutes. This can be an effective way to make money with your shows.
You can take the time to describe in your podcast a given product and the benefits it can bring to your listeners, but it is not recommendable to do it in every episode. Just do it in eight out of ten podcasts.
You can, for example, choose a product that you are using and dedicate an entire podcast to talking about that product. It can be general guidelines product review, and you can do it as you would do for a blog post.
In such a review, don’t forget to share the benefits of the product, what you don’ like about it or its limitations, who the product is for, and who it is not for, etc. You can also share some results and testimonials about the product.
You can share some tips of the week or tools with your listeners in your podcasts, as do some great online marketers. They have a one to three-minute segments in their podcasts where they talk about a specific product.
Also, they refer to their affiliate links most of the time. As you can see, sharing tips can be an excellent way of fitting in a mini product review into a podcast segment. The method works well with tech products, gadgets, and tools whose cost is under $99.
Another great and simple way to monetize your podcats is by inserting ad segments. Just make ads that are direct to affiliate links.
The ads can consist of a spot of 30 to 60 seconds; you can also use music or voice over that goes to your affiliate link. Instead of doing an advertisement for the product, direct them to your link.
My Final Thoughts
It is the end of this article that has talked in detail about how to create a podcast for free from scratch. I hope it will help you to start your podcast activities and make a full or time income combining the podcast industry with other online opportunities such as affiliate marketing.
If you want to build a loyal online audience, I advise you to start creating your podcasts as do several other successful podcasters. You can go online and take inspiration from them.
There are endless opportunities you can talk about in your shows and make money online, no matter your topic of interest.
The potential market is so big that you will find your piece of the share, and it is up to you to fill the void and cater to your audience’s needs.
Given that there are many rivals in the market, you will need to distinguish yourself by offering your listeners something unique and different. Catching their interest will enable you to increase your market share in your niche progressively.
Also, don’t forget to use the right equipment to record your episodes, name them correctly, plan the right advertising strategy, and always be consistent.
You will also need to be patient because monetizing your shows can take time, as is the case for a blog, but it is worth waiting and stays committed.
Several successful podcasters are using the Buzzsprout hosting site to make a full-time income online, and I recommend you get started with it today.
Its owner will provide you with a free $20 Amazon gift card, and this can be a good starting point in the make money online world.
Finally, before I leave you, I would like to thank you for taking the time to read this creating a podcast for beginners guide. If you have some questions or comments, you can leave them at the bottom of this page.
It will be a pleasure for me to get back to you as soon as possible.