Every influencer and individual interested in producing content, building a brand, starting or growing a business, selling a product, service, or idea should learn how to start a podcast on iTunes, Soundcloud, Spotify, Sticher, iHeart Radio, Google Play, and any other platform offering the real estate. It’s a massively important space that I constantly get asked about so I decided it was time to put this article out.
I have been preaching the power of podcasts and voice technology for the last 18-24 months. Podcasts and audio-first consumption are clearly exploding, and they’re one of the best ways to get started creating content for your business, product, service or brand. I recently wrote an article on “The Rise of Audio and Voice” that you can read to understand my $.02
As multitasking culture continues to grow, podcasts take on a more important role in our everyday life. We all care about our time and if there’s a way to save some, we’ll do it. Just like music or audiobooks, podcasts can be consumed while doing laundry, going to the gym, washing the dishes, or just relaxing. They’re a great way to learn something new, catch up on news, or be entertained.
I get dozens of emails each week asking me how I produce the GaryVee Audio Experience, my Alexa Skills, and my newest addition #podSessions which is a new show made directly for my audio experience. I thought I would have my audio engineer Seth give you his POV and the knowledge he has gained since producing my podcast firsthand. There’s no one better to explain how to start a podcast than him so I hope you enjoy 😉
Hi – I’m Seth!
I produce Gary’s podcast The GaryVee Audio Experience, as well as his Alexa skill,GaryVee 365, and other projects within the VaynerX world. I’ve been playing with audio since high school, majored in it in college at SUNY Purchase, but really learned everything through trial and error. If you’re just here looking for the list of gear I use, it can be found HERE. To get you thinking about how you can scale your content, here’s how we approach the podcasts.
What is a Podcast?
A podcast is inherently a piece of digital audio content that’s available for digital download or streaming consumption.
What You Need to Start a Podcast
When it comes down to it, the only things you REALLY need to start a podcast are a cell phone or computer, an internet connection, and something to talk about 🙂
The General Workflow:
Ideate, Record, Edit, Upload.
1. Starting a Podcast: Idea and Outline
One you have a topic in mind, before you jump in & start to record, take some time and think about how you want your show to flow. Is it segmented? Is it just you, or you and a friend? Do you have guests? Remote interviews? Is it more like a talk show? You should start to think about a cadence, so your listeners know when to expect the next episode – weekly? Monthly? Once you’ve nailed this down, move on.
2. Starting a Podcast: The Basics
YOUR CELLPHONE 📲📲📲
The absolute easiest way to start a podcast if you have a smartphone, is an app called Anchor. Anchor is a relatively new app, that lets you create a podcast with just a few clicks, but it’s also more than just a podcasting app. Right now they’re trying to revamp the audio space, providing the space for you to have your own talk show, utilizing short form audio, long form audio, music, and more. You can interview your friends directly in-app, and even publish to iTunes. Create an account with Anchor, start recording, and then follow their instructions to distribute your podcast across their & other platforms.
3. The Equipment you Need to Start a Podcast
When it comes down to it, you really only need your cell phone to record, but higher quality audio is always much, much nicer to listen to, so I’d recommend getting some audio equipment if you are thinking about becoming serious. This kit is a great example of a starter kit, and it’ll allow you to record with up to two microphones at a time. You’ll record directly to your computer from the Focusrite interface, using the two Audio Technica mics.
An alternative to the Focusrite interface would be this Zoom H4n, which records to an SD card, instead of a computer. You’ll plug the mics directly into it, and then put the SD card into your computer to get the raw files off after recording.
4. Recording and Editing a Podcast
Audacity is my favorite free audio recording & editing software, but you can also use GarageBand if you have an Apple computer, or Adobe Audition if you’re rolling with Creative Cloud. Recording & editing is extremely similar across all three of these platforms but I’ll focus on Audacity mainly, since it works on Mac or PC. Plug your audio interface to your computer. Plug the mics into the interface, and set up Audacity to record from them. Then, hit record and start talking! This guide has a good tutorial of things to watch out for in Audacity when recording, and how to fix things like plosives and other odd noises. Once you’re done recording, you can start to edit. When editing, focus on cutting up any awkward silences (unless you’re into that) and anything you don’t want in your final cut. Then, export the file. If you’re using Audacity, you’ll need to read this to export as an MP3.
5. How to Distribute a Podcast
Before you publish your podcast, it’s a good idea to have 3-5 episodes ready to publish at once, especially for iTunes, to get your listeners hooked. It also gives you a little bit of lead time to create new content.
Once you’re ready to publish your podcast, you’ll want to upload it for everyone to hear. The two main components here are the distribution / hosting service and podcatchers. The distribution / hosting service hosts your files for anyone to download, and generates an RSS feed that “podcatchers” (like iTunes) read to know where to download the file from & information about the podcast. Each distribution platform will essentially do similar things, but you should read up on each to decide what fits your needs best.
The Best Distribution & Hosting Services for Podcasts:
- Anchor – The all in one solution for creating and distributing a podcast
- Libsyn – This is what we use for Gary’s podcast
- Shoutengine – Awesome for just starting out
- Pippa.io – A new startup focusing on an easy entry into the podcasting space
- Simplecast – Another low-cost alternative that’s worth a look
- A lot of podcatchers like Overcast will automatically begin to show your podcast once iTunes has accepted it, but here are a few podcatchers that you’ll need to manually sign up and submit your RSS feed for:
- iTunes – This should be your first move. It’s a little more in-depth, but definitely the most popular.
- Spotify (This process is a little different although Anchor and Libsyn currently support it)
- Google Play
Prior to posting daily, Gary’s podcast was a collection of randomly posted keynotes & #askgaryvee episodes that were being published without any set or expected cadence. The decision to post every single day grew the podcast to become a consistent TOP 100 overall podcast in iTunes, and a constant top 10 in iTunes business, growing from an average of 100,000 downloads a month to around 5 Million downloads a month.
How to Promote a Podcast
Now, obviously, in order to be heard, you’ll need to get the word out about your new podcast. Just because the content is in audio-form doesn’t mean you can’t get creative about how you promote the show. You should be promoting it across every social channel possible by utilizing all the digital tools you have at your disposal.
Podcasts are still one of the most important white spaces to build your business or brand. The cost of starting one is practically zero (granted, you have a smartphone and access to WiFi) and you can easily get the ball rolling with just the bare basics. Gary had me write this article to give you the blueprint on how it’s not only possible but practical to start a podcast of your own. I hope you enjoyed and I can’t wait to see what you create.