There are many things we may watch or listen to – movies, YouTube videos, TV shows, and, of course, podcasts. You probably know some people who have their own YouTube channel. However, chances are you don’t know many people with a podcast channel. Podcasting is a unique medium where the magic lies in the audio.
There may be many topics that you are interested in, and you may have opinions about them that you wish to share. Podcasting is a great way to get those thoughts, opinions and comments out there for the world to hear. If you do want to start a podcast, you can learn how to do so here, step-by-step.
Step 1: Think of Ideas
So, you have a topic that you are passionate about and wish to start a podcast on. That’s great! But what comes next? After finding a topic, consider what you want to say about it. For example, you may be interested in technology. What do you want to focus on? Gaming phones? Graphics cards? And what exactly do you want to say about them? Product reviews? News reporting? Tech tips? You are definitely not limited to any sub-topic, but be careful not to burden yourself with too much content, as your podcast may lose its focus.
Step 2: Decide on the Details
Naming your podcast
When thinking of a name, there are a few things to keep in mind. Firstly, it should have a strong link to the content of your podcast. Keep in mind that the name will make the first impression on your potential listeners. Secondly, make it short and catchy. Doing so will help make sure that people don’t forget it. Thirdly, try to keep it original. Doing a quick search on Spotify or Apple Podcasts is a simple way to ensure you don’t have any competitors.
Formatting your episodes
Try to keep a consistent length for each episode. 10 minutes is fine, and so is 40, but do note the lengths should not vary too much from episode to episode. Also, think of how often you want to record episodes. You could make use of the holidays to produce infrequent episodes. But if you are quite serious about podcasting, you could record an episode every week. Just keep in mind that you shouldn’t let podcasting interfere with your studies.
Creating Cover Art
The cover art is the square image that you see on every podcast’s page. My tip is to use Canva to make your cover art. There are tons of templates and the tools are easy to use, even for a beginner. Plus, you can use your school email to sign up for a free Canva Pro subscription. Try to make your cover art eye-catching and memorable. Making use of bright colours will help but do ensure that the name of your podcast can easily be read on the cover art.
Step 3: Choose a Hosting Service
A hosting service is the place where you will upload your audio file, and it will help you broadcast that file to the platforms your podcast will be accessible from (more on that later). Personally, I use Anchor. It is a free-to-use service, with simple controls, and a built-in audio editor too. You could use other services such as Podbean, Spreaker, and Buzzsprout. The details vary from service to service, but generally, it should be as simple as signing up for an account, and entering the details of your podcast.
Step 4: Write your episodes
Coming up with content
To ensure that you can easily come up with fresh ideas, it is important to keep up with news pertaining to the topic of your podcast. Covering current issues and trends and giving your opinions on them can be a segment of your episodes. You may even want to include guests in your podcast. Guests do not necessarily have to be experts or professionals. You can simply invite a friend or two over to share their opinion or have a discussion with them. When thinking of content, put yourself in the shoes of the listener and ask yourself if they will be interested in what you have to say.
It is entirely up to you how much you want to script before recording. If you don’t script your episodes at all, you are likely to stutter and forget what you want to say. On the other hand, if you just read out every word from a script, you may end up sounding very monotonous. My advice is to write/type just the main points so that you do not forget what you wish to say. The key is for you to sound like you are having a conversation with the listeners.
Step 5: Hit Record
You may want to record a short trailer (preferably under a minute) before recording your first episode. You could introduce yourself and give a rundown of what your podcast is about. It is fairly simple to use Voice Memos on your iPad or the recording app on your phone or computer to record. You may also want to record a draft first, and figure out where you can improve. After you’re done, just export the recording as an audio file and upload it onto your hosting service of choice.
Step 6: Put Your Podcast on the Platforms
After uploading your first episode onto the hosting service, you need to make sure people can listen to it. And the key to that is your podcast’s RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed. Here’s what you need to know: an RSS feed is a link that automatically broadcasts your episodes, along with details like the title and description. On the hosting service of your choice, copy the RSS feed, and enter it into the websites of the podcast platforms. On Anchor, obtaining your RSS feed is as simple as going to Settings, clicking Podcast Availability and copying the link.
Here are links that you can use to register on some popular podcast platforms:
Spotify (If you are using Anchor, there is no need to manually add your podcast to Spotify since it owns Anchor)
Step 7: Promote Your Podcast
Getting your podcast out there is only half the job, since you need to get people to listen to it. If you wish to get your friends to listen to it; just text them the link. You may also want to be present on social media by creating an Instagram account for instance, and posting updates from time to time. This is a good way to publicise your podcast and inform listeners whenever a new episode has dropped. I also suggest creating a landing page on linktr.ee or lnk.bio, so anyone, no matter which podcast platform they use, can locate your podcast from a single page.
And you’re done!
These are all the steps you need to create a podcast, from conceptualising it, all the way to publishing it. I hope you find it useful if you wish to create a podcast in the future! In the meantime, if you’d like to try listening to podcasts, here are some recommendations on a variety of topics:
- Ted Radio Hour – a podcast that takes TED Talks and turns them into compelling radio programs, exploring the ideas and concepts presented by experts in various fields.
- Serial – a podcast that tells a true crime story over the course of several episodes, each building on the previous one to create a gripping and suspenseful narrative.
- The Daily – a 20-minute daily news podcast by the New York Times that provides an in-depth look at one of the top news stories of the day, giving listeners perspective and analysis of the events shaping our world.
- BrainStuff – a podcast that explores the science behind everyday things and demystifies the world around us.
- The John Campea Show – a film and entertainment news podcast hosted by John Campea, where he discusses the latest developments in the movie industry, reviews films, and interviews industry professionals.
- The Mental Illness Happy Hour – a podcast that explores mental health and wellness through personal stories and interviews with experts in the field.
- Waveform – a technology and gadget-focused podcast where host Marques Brownlee (MKBHD) discusses the latest in consumer electronics and emerging tech trends.
- The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel – a fictional podcast that follows the story of a group of middle schoolers on a mysterious adventure.
- The Infinite Monkey Cage – a podcast that brings together scientists and comedians to explore the latest research and ideas in science and technology, with a touch of humour.
- TECH20 – my very own tech podcast that provides you with insights and discussions on the latest news and trends in the industry, and delves into the impact of technology on society.