Updated: May 31, 2020
I spent hours searching the internet to figure out how to launch my podcast. I created this toolkit so you don't have to!
PODCAST LAUNCH TOOLKIT
+ Questions to ask yourself
+ Podcast development
+ Hardware and software
+ Hosting platforms
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF
When I launched She's So Cool in January 2019, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I had been listening to podcasts for years and didn't realize how much work my favorite podcasters were doing in order for me to have the privilege to press play on their episodes.
Before you commit to starting a podcast, here are some important questions to ask yourself.
+ Why do I want to start a podcast?
The more you believe in the mission, vision, and purpose of your podcast, the more likely it is that you will persevere when times get tough (like when you have to re-record an episode or when you lose progress on your editing and have to start from scratch).
+ Who is my target audience?
It's important to know who you are creating the podcast for. This will help you create content that will keep them coming back for more.
+ Am I creating a podcast purely for fun or am I creating a podcast to (eventually) make money?
The answer to this question may change over time, but it's a good idea to know your intentions upfront.
+ Am I willing to put in the time and effort to learn how to record, edit, publish, and market a podcast?
The answers to this are critical for the success of your podcast (and to prevent burnout or resentment). You will need to consider several factors to determine how this will look for you and your podcast. See the podcast development section below for clarity.
Below you will find the pros and cons for the different factors to consider when developing your podcast.
Pros: complete creative freedom, no schedule conflicts
Cons: all work falls on host unless they hire others to edit or market
One host with guests
Pros: complete creative freedom, someone to talk to
Cons: guests may cancel, scheduling may be difficult at times, must find guests
Pros: someone to talk to, someone to share the responsibilities
Cons: scheduling may be difficult at times, different levels of commitment
Three or more hosts
Pros: people to share the responsibilities, multiple perspectives for the audience
Cons: scheduling may be difficult, more complex editing
Pros: clear direction for each episode, transcripts for your audience
Cons: time consuming, voice may sound robotic when reading
Pros: gives the audience access to a unique conversation with the guest
Cons: more complex editing, screening guests can be time consuming
Pros: the audience will be able to connect with the hosts more easily
Cons: editing can be more difficult, hosts need to be on the same page
Pros: shorter episodes, audience relies on a consistent routine
Cons: requires a lot of content, may cause burnout
Pros: standard podcast schedule, manageable release schedule
Cons: may be difficult to sustain without batch recording
Pros: provides more time for recording and editing
Cons: audience may be confused by release schedule (unpredictable)
Pros: provides more time for content creating, recording, and editing
Cons: audience may want content released more frequently
Pros: podcast production whenever it suits your schedule
Cons: audience doesn't know when to expect new episodes
HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE
Once you've decided to host a podcast, check these recommendations for beginner podcasting hardware and software. Once you pick which type of software you want to use, I have provided some online tutorials.
Beginner Audio Recording Hardware: Microphones
Budget: Cell Phone
Mid-Range: Samson Q2U - $50 to $90
Can use with laptop and with iPhones and iPads via Apple's Lightning to USB Camera Adapter or Androids via a Host OTG cable
Higher End: Blue Yeti - $80 (refurbished) to $150 (full price)
Beginner Audio Recording Hardware Accessories
Computer: Acer Aspire laptop - $300 to $350
Headphones: Vogek - $15
Bluetooth Mouse: VicTSing - $12
Pop Filter: Samson Q2U - $8 to $15 or Blue Yeti - $3
Beginner Audio Recording & Editing Software
Cell Phone: Anchor - free
Mac or PC: Audacity - free
Mac: GarageBand - free
Mac or PC: Adobe Audition - $21 to $32/month; $240/year
Beginner Audio Editing Resources
Cell Phone: Anchor - recording and editing tutorial
Mac or PC: Audacity - recording and editing tutorial
Mac or PC: Adobe Audition - editing and workflow tutorials
In order to distribute your podcast to all the different podcast apps, you must have an RSS feed on a hosting platform (or your website).
I did a ton of research when deciding which platform to host on. Below you will find the different factors to consider when choosing your platform.
I am not going to give a breakdown of the different hosting sites because you can find that information here and here.
At the bottom of this section, I am going to suggest the hosting site I use (Whooshkaa) because (1) because it is the only hosting site I have used, (2) I have had a great experience with it, and (3) you'll rarely see it on the many lists found on the internet.
Using a hosting platform can range from $0 to $200 per month. The price varies primarily on storage limits, statistics and insights, the number of podcasts, and the number of admins on the account.
Each hosting platform has different storage and bandwidth limits. Some platforms base their limits on number of hours, number of GB, and number of downloads per month.
Some hosting platforms make it easier to distribute your podcast to the major podcasting directories.
A few platforms blast your show out with a little more than the click of a button, whereas others require you to manually apply for permission to host on the varying directories.
You can find more information about this here.
Some hosting platforms provide better customer service on the higher tiered accounts. If you need extra help from your platform, you may have to pay for it.
- Free account application - includes one show with unlimited episodes, major platform distribution, support documentation, and one admin
You'll need a podcast name, a clear vision, and podcast cover art.
I recommend you create a 30 second to 2 minute trailer because you must submit an audio file before your show gets approved by each podcasting directory.
Depending on your episode release schedule, it may benefit you to batch record several episodes before you launch so you aren't hustling to get an episode out when life gets busy.
PODCAST LAUNCH CONSULTING
If you're hoping to launch a podcast and need some additional guidance, apply to work with me.
I'd love to help you get your show in the ears of your dream audience!
Good luck and happy podcasting!
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