10 Steps to Launching a Podcast – OFM Style
Your listeners want commitment and to know that, if they invest in your show, you’ll be there for them as expected. I publish every Monday and keep myself to a strict 30 minute time limit on episodes, but some podcasts drop every other week or monthly and go from anywhere between five minutes to an 1.5 hours plus. Fair warning though, keeping up with a weekly schedule when you’re the host, producer, editor, web team, social media team, etc, is a lot to keep up with. If I could go back and start over I’d have given myself at least a week between episodes. You’ve been warned.
Step 4: Once I had a plan in place for what I wanted the show to be I worked to come up with a name and a brand. Trust me. This is important for your show. I can’t provide any evidence but my belief is that the podcast brand, mixed with my podcast host, are the reasons I was accepted to iTunes in less than an hour. Remember, there’s often more than one right answer when developing a brand, and the first answer isn’t often the best one.
Step 5: So we’re five steps in and we haven’t even pushed record yet. Unfortunately we’re still several spots away from the actual show. In order to publish a podcast you need to find a host. There are a ton of places around the web where you can do this, but I took the advice of Espree Devora, host of the WeAreLATech Podcast, that she gave me when we met at SXSW in 2017. I highly recommend looking at her take on getting a podcast started, as it’s a lot of what I followed including her recommendations for using SimpleCast as a host.
If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that I credit SimpleCast with partial credit for getting my Podcast off the ground and live on iTunes. It also got me live on Google Play Music and Stitcher ridiculously quickly
I know what you may be asking right now, though. “But, what’s a podcast host?” Essentially it is what its name suggests. It’s a place to host your individual episodes and develop them within an RSS Feed that players can use to publish your content. They also provide code to embed a player onto a website of your choosing. Needless to say, your show can die if you fail this step or choose poorly. So choose wisely.
Step 6: Figure out how you’re going to record your show. What equipment do you need to make it work? That depends on how you plan to record. I made things over complicated for myself when I first got started because I wanted to simplify it for my guests. I used a variety of different software to ultimately allow me to record in two channels (meaning I had a line of recorded audio for myself, and a line of recorded audio for my guest — I hugely recommend this as it incredibly simplifies editing and audio quality in my opinion), and provide the option to use Skype to Skype communication or Skype to Cell (requires a fee). That process went as follows:
You know what it did? It made me spend four to six hours in editing with each episode. This season I’m committed to doing less, and you know what? Leaving in those moments has made the cast better and helped it feel more authentic. Feel free to cut for time. Feel free to cut awkward breaks, or points of confusion. But, for the love of God, don’t invest yourself in making edits and cuts every eight seconds. You’ll burn yourself out like I did.
Step 10: Your Podcast is edited and ready to go. Next, you need to upload it to your host. Since I use Simplecast I’m going to explain the process I use with them.
- Give your episode a title. Don’t be cutesy with it. I did this early on and it didn’t communication anything to potential listeners.
- Choose a publishing date and time. I always publish at 00:01 on Monday morning so there’s time for the show to download for my subscribers before the morning commute.
- Write a show summary and show description. Give me details on what I’m about to hear and don’t be afraid to go into depth in the description.
- Build your search words so that your episode can be found via search in a podcast player of choice. Not sure what words to use? Try a tool like Moz to understand what people are searching for on your topic.
- Upload the episode
- Press Save
Step 10-2: If this is your first time publishing an episode I recommend preloading three episodes for release on your first day. This shows commitment to players that you’re going to continue creating content and to listeners that you’re worth investing in. It can help you get published to content providers so it’s an important step to consider when launching your podcast.
And, that’s it. Simple right? I know, i know. Not so simple. But, if you follow these instructions, you may just be able to get a podcast off the ground. It’ll ultimately mean you can define yourself as a podcaster, and, when answering the question of how you define yourself, there are few things cooler than that.
Thanks for reading, and remember to join us next week for Our Fractured Minds.