Are you inspired every time you listen to a podcast? Do you have the itch that maybe hosting a podcast is your calling? It’s like you can almost hear your own voice sharing ideas, questioning what’s out there, and making the world a better place, or at the very least, entertaining someone! If what’s holding you back is that you don’t how to start a podcast, read on because we’ve got all the goods to help you get started!
The magic of podcasts
Podcasts are an amazing medium. They transport listeners to the dark minds of society, open awareness of social injustice, and share amazing stories of humanity. Podcasts allow hosts to share feelings and ideas while listeners gain new perspectives and insights on life. They can help you fall asleep and they can break down your favorite TV show. If you can think of it, there’s probably a podcast related to it. And probably more than one.
That’s part of the beauty of podcasts, too. When you are wondering how to start a podcast, it all begins with that idea. That calling of a topic to discuss. Even if it’s already out there and you can bring a new perspective, you’ve carved a place out for yourself. Let’s take a little peek into relationship podcasts, for example.
Relationship podcasts, just for fun
So we are looking at relationship podcasts. What do you think of when I tell you that? Probably all of our readers thought of something different. From dating to dating apps to dating in your 20s to dating in your 50s. Some of you probably thought about breaking up or working things out or when not to try to work things out. Or you thought about sex and intimacy. There are podcasts about marriage, single life, family life, babies, and weddings. You can listen about balancing romantic relationships with friend groups and work. Anything you want to know about a relationship, you can find it in a podcast.
The thing all these relationship podcasts have in common is that their hosts figured out how to start a podcast and then they did it. And you can, too.
How to start a podcast, step by step
Let’s start at the very beginning. Before you can do anything, you need a topic. And it needs to be a narrow topic. Check this out from this article in Rolling Stone:
“There is a lot of competition for people’s attention,” says Jake Brennan, the host of “Disgraceland,” a true crime podcast that explores the criminal underbelly of the music industry. “I wanted to start a music podcast that was unlike any other music podcast. Thankfully, I love crime novels so getting to ‘a rock ‘n’ roll true crime podcast’ wasn’t that difficult.”
So Jake Brennan didn’t just take music or simply go with true crime. He found a great niche to combine the two. And he took two things he loved and combined them to create something fabulous and provocative.
So our first step on how to start a podcast is…
Choose a topic
This should be an organic process. If you love to cook and all you can think about is your next muffin recipe, maybe you’d be great with a cooking podcast, but then narrow it down. Think about how you can find your niche in the world of food and cooking podcasts. Chowhound.com shares a great list of podcasts about food. Looking at what’s already out there is a great way to help narrow down your topic. This piece from our own Bunny Library shares some great topics and genres, too.
See if there is something similar to what you want to do and how you can make yours different. As you scroll through the lists of great podcasts, let yourself brainstorm. So you love muffins – do you have a small kitchen? Maybe go with baking in small spaces. Or small batch baking. Or baking as a way to share community. You could take it on a gluten-free or vegan tangent and then branch out to those communities beyond baking muffins. See how you can combine a couple of things you’re interested in, like Brennan above, and come up with something unique and captivating.
Don’t be afraid to be bold with your topics, either. Sure, we’re talking about a pretty neutral topic here, like baking, but if you feel called to discuss something big, a podcast is the perfect medium. Think of all the podcasts for women right now, or social inequality, or education reform. You can touch on politics, acceptance, and injustice. Go bold if that’s your calling. Don’t be afraid.
Choose a format
Now that you have your fabulous topic, let’s think about the format. Podcasts have a lot of formats, and part of the fun when it comes to how to start a podcast is figuring out what’s going to work best for you and your audience. Here’s a little sampling of some different formats you could play around with:
- Single host – Here is where you do the talking. If you’ve got the gift of gab, this could be for you. This is a great storytelling format.
- Multiple hosts – Do you have a great friend who you vibe really well with? Do you get each other and have great banter? You could cohost with your friend and have smart conversation as well as provocative challenges for one another.
- Guests – Are you going to bring guests on? Maybe experts in the field to interview or share their story? This is a great way to break up your episodes and share new perspectives and stories.
Then you have to also think about these things:
- length of each episode – your episodes should have similar lengths; it simply helps your audience
- how often you release an episode – are you going to go for weekly episodes, biweekly? Whatever you choose, be consistent so your audience can count on you
Come up with a name and brand
Oh, the fun keeps coming! Now you get to choose a catchy name and a brand. Your brand is going to encompass your podcast cover art, logo, colors, and more. This is what is going to pull your listeners in and keep them. Check this out:
Your podcast cover art is the first thing many of your potential listeners may see. Think about them scrolling through the pages of podcasts, looking for that new, perfect podcast to listen to. Maybe they’ll even subscribe to one or two. And then they see your cover art. They pause and then tap it. Your podcast is just what they imagined, all just from noticing your cover art. Soon they are loyal listeners, sharing stories of your podcast with their friends and recommending it to co-workers. Again, all from your cover art.
Your brand and the visual aspect of your podcast are what will catch the attention of potential listeners. When you are choosing that name, make it something that speaks to y our topic. Sure you want something creative, but you also want something that mentions what you’re talking about.
Here are a few titles we love (and we’re sticking with our food and relationship genres) :
- Home Cooking
- Just Break Up
- Why won’t you date me?
- The Food Seen
- Gastro Pod
- Modern Love
Get it? These names draw up some idea of where the podcast is going, but also add a bit of cheeky fun to them. So have some fun with naming your podcast, make it kind of clear what you’ll be talking about, and give it room to include a variety of shows.
Now for recording
Whew, now it’s time for recording, even though we’ve already done quite a bit of work.
Space and Equipment
You’re going to need a quiet space for recording your podcast. Maybe your friend’s basement or even your car. Many hosts create a recording room all DIY. Just make sure you’re listeners won’t hear your dog barking or traffic going by. It’s also important to do a whole show in one sitting. Things like voice quality will be apparent from day to day – think allergies or cold weather or drinking too much the night before. So be comfortable where you are so you can record a show in its entirety.
As far as equipment goes, sure you could get by with a mic and a computer, but some podcasters like more bells and whistles. Remember, you can always add on once your show gets going. In fact, you can often hear advancements in recording quality from listening to a show’s beginning to current status.
Your show needs top-quality editing before you publish it. No one wants to hear bad quality audio or too much stumbling or backtracking in conversation. Your sound should be smooth, your conversation cohesive, and your content captivating. So figure it out before you record, maybe have a script to get you started, and then edit away. You may end up cutting a lot out, even if it’s good, to stick to your time frame. Make sure to deliver what you promise, though. And that’s where an intro comes into play.
Intro and Outro
These pieces of your podcast let your listeners know what the show will be about and provide nice closure. They bookend your show to create an experience. You can add music and credits here, too. Think about your favorite tv show. That intro sets the stage, gets you in the mood, and the outro closes up the experience and allows you to move on. Yet, stays with you just a bit.
Keeping it cohesive when learning how to start a podcast
A big takeaway is keeping your podcast cohesive. It should make sense and stick to your original topic. See how we’ve come full circle? We’re back to that topic! Sure, there’s a lot to think about, and we haven’t even touched on publishing or advertising, but this is the beginning of how to start a podcast. You can be on your way!
Do you want to start podcasting? We can help you! Submit your first project now. We’d love to help you with any of these steps so please reach out to us at Bunny Studio! Let’s get started! We can’t wait to listen!