Because of the global pandemic many people are working from home – and podcast listeners are growing every day. This is a great time to start your very own podcast.
You don’t need a ton of money, and it isn’t really that technical to do.
I’ll cover everything you need to know in this how to start a podcast from home walkthrough. That’s all you need.
But why would you want to start a podcast?
If you have a website or a store, a podcast can be a very good way of getting people to come to your website or store. You can direct your listeners to your website at the end of your podcast episodes.
Also not unimportant: you could actually make money podcasting.
There are even podcasts out there that have ‘working from home’ as a topic! Talking about seizing the moment! Let’s get straight into it.
In this blog post, I'm going to cover the following:
- Do your podcasting homework
- Choose the perfect format
- Choose the right equipment
- Work with a co-host
- Record a pilot
- How to edit and upload your podcast
Let's dive straight in, shall we?
Do your podcasting homework
Planning your podcast is going to take time. A lot of time. You should take your time working on the planning of your podcast before you even start recording.
It’s very useful to have a concept in mind before you even start thinking about recording your first episode. Try to think of the name and what subjects you want to talk about.
Also think of the format you’d want to use and how long you want your podcast episodes to be. Here are some other things you should be thinking about.
Identify goals for your podcast
What made you want to start a podcast? Is there anything that you want to achieve with your podcast? Do you want to give information about a topic that you know a lot about?
Or do you want to get advertisers so you can make some money? It is important to think about what you want to do with your podcast because: without a goal, you can’t score!
Pick a theme or topic for your podcast
Think about a theme for your podcast. What do you want to talk about? If you think of a theme, also check if there is enough for you to talk about. Make sure you have enough content for at least 10 episodes.
Once you have a topic in mind, do some research on how well podcasts with a similar topic do. Count how many podcasts there are in the top 100 on the streaming platform that you want to use. It might be less than 3, that means that there is not a lot of searches on that topic. It might mean that there is no demand for that topic, it might also mean that there are not a lot of podcasts out there with this specific topic.
Competition can be a good thing, if you find the right approach to the topic to help you stand out.
If you cannot think of any topic that you want to use on your podcast you could use search engine keywords. This way you will see what people are searching for the most, and you can fill that demand with your podcast.
Give your podcast a catchy name
You need people to click on your podcast when they see it on their apps. If you want people to click on your podcast faster, think of a catchy name. What would get people interested? What would you click on?
Your podcast name ought to address you and your crowd. Preferably, audience members should understand what the podcast is about from the name alone. Having an extremely expressive name can help.
However, this isn’t altogether important, since most digital broadcast stages incorporate a “hook” or short description next to the podcast name. This enhances your digital broadcast’s accessibility on platforms, for example, Apple Podcasts or Google Play.
Choose the perfect format
It is also important to think about the format of your podcast.
What would it be like, and how would it be structured?
Will you have people that you interview?
Are you doing it solo?
Or maybe you want to have more than one host. You could also pick a hybrid and combine all of the above.
Pick a good length
Think about an appropriate length for your podcast. How long do you want your podcast to be? It is always a good idea to have your episode length be consistent so people will know what to expect. If you make your episodes 30 minutes long, it might be easy to listen to when people are working out daily.
Set a schedule
If you want people to listen to your podcast regularly, it’s a good idea to publish your episodes on a consistent schedule. Once you have loyal listeners, they will expect to see a new episode based on the schedule that you choose. If you do not upload on the regular dates, you might start losing listeners.
Choose the right equipment
Having the right equipment is a big part of turning your podcast into a success. Nobody wants to listen to a cracky ol’ sound.
The only thing that you really need is a microphone. A good quality microphone doesn’t have to cost you a fortune, but if you pick the right microphone it could really help you improve the audio of your podcast.
However, a good microphone does not a good podcast make. It’s all about the content. No good content = no listeners.
It’s very handy to use a headset too, so you can cancel out the noise from outside, and you will only hear yourself, your guests and/or your co-host talking. It might get very distracting hearing your neighbors argue, or pull up in their noisy cars.
There is a lot of software out there that can help you with your audio recording needs. It’s useful to you to research different types of software and see if they will fill your podcasting needs.
I have read about a lot of different types of editing software. I found so many different sources about podcast software, and most of them specify between macOS and Windows. That’s why I made that distinction as well.
If you use macOS, the most common software to use is Garageband. This is a free DAW for Mac users. Sources say that you can use this if you are a beginner or if you’ve been making podcasts for a long time.
Windows users can use Audacity. You can use this as macOS user as well. It is often used for podcasts, but it can be confusing to use at first.
Work with a co-host
Because of the global pandemic it might not be the best idea to work with your co-host in the same room. So how do you go about creating a podcast with a co-host if you are not in the same vicinity?
What software is best for long-distance recording?
You should think about software that can help you record long-distance. Think about using Zoom for example. Zoom had a good audio recording quality, and it’s also very well known. Eventual guests on your podcast may already know how to use it.
Record a pilot
Once you are done with all the preparations, it’s finally time to start recording your first, pilot, episode. It’ll be your first real step in this how to start a podcast from home.
Things to think about
If you start recording your episodes it might come in handy to have an outline of what you want to tell. This way you will know what you want to tell and there will be no awkward silences that you need to edit out later.
Pick a spot in your home where you will not be disturbed. Try to find the best place in your house where there is the least outside noise. Once you find the best spot you can start recording.
If you finished your recording it might be fun to think about some other things. Things like: Do you want to use a theme song? Can you create this theme song yourself or do you need to find someone to make it for you?
What kind of artwork do you want to use on the streaming platforms? Is this something you can create? And how will you make your artwork stand out?
I will get into this right now.
Do you want to use a theme song?
Some of the most popular podcast have a very catchy theme song. It is the first thing that listeners will associate with your podcast, so it is important to make it catchy! If you don’t know how to make your own theme music, you could start by searching on the Free Music Archive. Here you might just find the perfect theme song for you podcast.
Podcast artwork for uploading on streaming platforms
Your podcast artwork makes you stand out on streaming platforms. That’s why it’s important to make sure your artwork is looking good. Do not dismiss this side of podcasting, as it could make or break your podcast. Listeners will not click on your podcast if they do not like the artwork. If you can create your own beautiful artwork that is very nice, but if you can’t, you might want to think about spending some money on a professional that can help you with this.
Tips to make your artwork stand out
- Make sure that the artwork that you use communicates the topic of your podcast;
- Have your designer (or if you do it yourself) design the artwork in different sizes. Different streaming platforms accept different sizes of artwork;
- Use images rather than words;
- If you have to use words, research what fonts work best.
How to edit and upload your podcast
You will need to commit time to learning how to edit your audio files. There are many ways to edit your audio, and you will need to find the best way that works for you.
Create an intro
Maybe you want to start your recording each time with your intro. You could also create an intro in advance that you can use every time, so you don’t have to waste time on recording and editing your intro every episode.
What is the description and category of your podcast?
There are many categories that you can choose from on different streaming platforms. Where does your podcast fall under?
Where do you upload your podcast?
There are many different platforms where you can start uploading your podcast. These are the most common ones to use.
How to start a podcast from home on Apple Podcasts
This is the largest platform for uploading podcasts. If you only want to upload your podcast to one platform, you should definitely choose this one. For help on starting your podcast on Apple Podcast, see their ‘Podcaster Support’
How to start a podcast from home on SoundCloud
SoundCloud might not be the first platform you think of when you think of podcasts, but you can definitely reach a big audience here. If you need assistance on starting your podcast on SoundCloud, see their website.
How to start a podcast from home on Spotify
Spotify is also a platform that’s, like SoundCloud, usually used for music. It it’s however an up-and-coming platform for podcasts because of its previous music streaming popularity. Need help on getting your podcast on Spotify? See their help page on starting a podcast on spotify.
How to start a podcast from home on Stitcher
Where Apple Podcasts is the largest platform for uploading podcasts, Stitcher is number two. It has a huge following and you could reach a huge number of listeners here. If you want to know more about starting a podcast on stitcher, see their how to page.
How to start a podcast from home on YouTube
There are many podcasts to be found on YouTube. You do need to make a video file, because YouTube doesn’t accept audio files. You could, for example, use your artwork as a background and just keep the audio files.
I want to sum it all up into 6 tips so that you can turn your podcasting dream into reality:
- Just start. You will always be able to think of reasons NOT to start a podcast, like missing equipment or knowledge about the software, but if you just start you can work from there.
- Preparation is key. Make sure to be knowledgeable about the topic that you want your podcast to be about. This way you can ensure that you will tell the right things and, if you have guests, you ask the right questions.
- Share your podcast with the world! You want a lot of people listening to your podcast, so share it wherever you can. Social media is a good way to start sharing your podcasts.
- Try to have a natural conversation. Don’t always stick to the questions that you thought of beforehand, try to ask questions based on the answer that your guests give.
- Call to action. Don’t just end your podcast, make sure you put in a ‘call to action’. Get people to subscribe to your podcast channel, or think about giveaways.
- Listen and learn. Always listen to your own podcasts. This way you can hear certain flaws, or things that you didn’t like and improve on them.
That’s pretty much it for me. Now, go create that podcast and share your link in the comments below. I’ll definitely check it out!