So you want to start a podcast?

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Podcasts are now more plentiful that YouTube channels, which is a crazy stat.  But it goes to show you how powerful podcasts are in that they enable pretty much anyone to create content on subjects they are passionate about or maybe they just want to be heard.  The barrier for entry is a lot lower than you might think.  When I first thought about starting the Farm Traveler podcast in 2019, I thought it would be a difficult undertaking. But after I took that leap of faith, I’ve now published over 180 episodes and interviewed guests from all around the world.  Podcasts are such a cool way to learn from others and share great stories. After all, everything we do boils down to stories that make us who we are.  So if you want to start a show, I’ve got seven steps that can take you from concept to published.

1. Pick a Niche

You will most likely know your niche when you are thinking about starting a podcast but try to narrow that as much as you can. For example, instead of starting a podcast on real estate, maybe try to focus it more on real estate in Panama City, Florida. Or even something more specific like how to get started flipping rental homes in Panama City, Florida. The more specific your niche, the larger your audience can grow.  It sounds odd to try to limit your content, but research has shown that listeners are wanting specific topics.

2. Pick a Show Format

Is your show going to be interview-based or just you talking? Or it will be story-based like Serial.  Pick whatever format you think works best for your show and stick with it. If your show is interview based, find guests that best fit your niche. Maybe start off asking friends, coworkers, or acquaintances that can fit that niche.  You can even have several different formats on your show. For example, Wednesdays you can publish traditional interview episodes and on Friday publish short segments about what you learned that week.  It’s a great way to spread out content within a show.

3. Record Episodes

Time to record your show! Try using free software like Garage Band, Audacity, or paid software like Adobe Audition to record and edit our episodes. There are a ton of tutorials on YouTube that show you how to record great-sounding audio, and these tutorials are of course FREE!  If doing an interview over the internet, try Zoom or Zencastr.  Zencastr offers great-sounding audio but does require users to record on a desktop instead of having the option to record on mobile like Zoom.

4. Pick a Podcast Hosting Site

Next, pick a site to manage your podcast. This is where you’ll upload your podcast episodes to be sent to podcast directories like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, and more. Sites like BuzzSprout offer free versions, but only keep your podcast live for 60 days unless you start paying a small monthly fee. But there are countless directories, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Check YouTube and online articles for reviews of these sites and pick what works best for you and your show’s needs.

5. Plan a Launch and Marketing Strategy

Launching and marketing your show are really the most difficult aspects of a podcast.  First, you will need to plan your launch. Many experts recommend publishing a podcast trailer and two episodes right at the start. This practice allows your potential audience to get a good feel for what your content is going to be like once you start to publish consistently. Next with marketing, create a podcast logo as well as any images or videos you might use to market on social media. I highly recommend Canva, because it’s both free and includes a huge range of tools.

6. Plan, Organize, and Stay Consistent!

The biggest piece of advice I can give you towards podcasting is to be consistent.  Most podcasts fizzle out after a few months because hosts are not seeing the growth they want.  Growing an audience takes time.  You are not going to magically reach a million downloads overnight.  Consistency will help you build your show and reach your audience. Stay with it, and just focus on creating high-quality content.  Remember, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.”

7. Do not be afraid to try new things

Lastly, do not be afraid to try new things with your show. Keep it interesting, but also don’t change things too frequently. If you want to freshen up your intro, music, or add Q&A segments, feel free to do that! And always engage with your audience members either on social media apps or through email marketing to see what sort of content or topics they’d like to see.

Those are my seven steps to creating your very own podcast.  Don’t be afraid to share your story and those who might go on your show.  Your audience will find you, just make great content and make it easily accessible.  Good luck and happy podcasting!

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