Guest blog post by Jenna Monaco of Spark Intention Podcast.
So You Wanna Launch A Podcast? Hey there, I’m Jenna Monaco, host and creator of Spark Intention podcast. Daily, I get questions on how to launch a podcast. The short answer: google it or watch a Youtube tutorial. I know that sounds mean, but hang with me for a second. Google University is my favorite place to find out information on something I don’t know! Even as I write this, I’m cross checking with my dear friends, Google and Youtube.
The beauty of Podcasting is this:
There are tons of ways to get started and many of them don’t cost much.
Podcasting, once you’ve got the basics down, is rather easy.
If you do interviews, you make so many incredible connections and friends!
There are tons of ways to get started and that can be overwhelming, so that’s why I’m here! Simple is often times better.
… I don’t have a number two. Podcasting is awesome!
Okay, so let’s get into the meat and bones here.
There are five things you need to be considering when you start your podcast:
1. The Marketing/Business Side of Things
2. The Technical Side of Things
What do you mean by business/marketing?
The more clear and concise your messaging is (in anything you do) the better. If it’s not clear what you’re talking, or who you’re talking to, it’s going to be tough to gain a following.
Exercise: Think about your favorite influencers, Instagram accounts, or podcasters? Ask yourself WHY you follow them and love them? What problem are they solving for you? What interest are they entertaining for you? This is KEY.
From there, ask yourself these questions:
What is your mission/message?
What type of Podcast will you be? Entertainment, Informational, Inspirational?
Target Market: Who is your ideal listener?
Guests? Do you want them? If so, who are some of your ideal guests?
And the one that trips everyone up… Your name! Tip: choose a name that your ideal listener would be searching for.
Ex. I chose Spark Intention because my ideal listeners are in the self-help/personal development world. The key words “Spark” and “Intention” are something they might search when looking for a new podcast.
Pro tip: Set a timer for 10 min and jot down a bunch of names. Don’t dwell on this forever. Messy action is better than no action at all. Podcast names CAN be changed if down the road you want to change it.
What do you mean by technical?
There are a few things you’ll need to start your podcast:
You can use your apple headphones if you’re an apple user. Not the best sound quality, but that’s how I got started and it did the job just fine! If you want to get fancy with it, you’re going to want to look for two things in a mic, compatibility and how it picks up sounds (your voice and everything else around you). MKBHD has an incredible video on my favorite, the blue yeti that I highly encourage watching here.
You can find all of my favorite podcast equipment here.
Garageband for apple users works just fine.
Phone - I’ve heard of others using the voice memo app on their iphone.
Zoom (for interviews)
This site is necessary to create your RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed.
The RSS feed is a link that you put into iTunes connect (will get into what that is in a min.) iTunes Connect will, from then on out, use that link to feed any new episodes you upload from your hosting site to iTunes. This RSS feed is also how other listener sites such as Spotify, Stitcher, and Google Play Music get your podcast.
In short: upload your new episode to your hosting site, and the RSS feed takes care of the rest on it’s own.
Paid Hosting Sites
Libsyn- one of the oldest hosting sites for podcasts. Easy to use interface and great help center.
Blubrry - you can also create a blog on here if you don’t already have one and it can be a one-stop-shop.
Podbean - for the podcaster and their audience
Free Hosting Sites
Click here for a more comprehensive list and pricing.
Once you’ve done all that and you’ve recorded your first episode, you’re ready to submit your podcast to iTunes for review!
Pro Tip: Make certain that your photo is the right size. This is SO important I cannot stress how much cover photo size matters!
Publishing Your Podcast
Go to iTunes connect
Enter in your RSS feed and click “Validate”
Wait… it takes a few days because they have real people listening to these podcasts. They’ll send you an email when you’re all set!
And from there, you can podcast to your little heart’s content!
Monetizing Your Podcast
Podcasters can and do often make money! Especially if they are really popular.
Ever been listening to an episode and they interrupt it for a sponsor? They’re probably getting paid for that mildly inconvenient interruption in their broadcast.
The most common way to go about this is to pitch yourself to companies.
I’ve heard of people reaching out to be sponsored before their podcast even launched. You can do this once your podcast has gained traction.
Or, maybe the intention for the podcast wasn’t necessarily to make money, it was just to create community and create something. That’s okay too! You can always decide to monetize on it later or keep it as a fun side project. There’s no right or wrong.
Launching Your Podcast
Launching can be as big or small of a deal as you want to make it.
The truth about anything when you launch is that people don’t know if you don’t tell them, and they forget if you don’t remind them. We are consumed by so much content all the time, that you have to make it your job to remind your followers what you’ve got going on!
If you’ve got quite the following already, expect that the podcast is going to be BIG because you’ve already cultivated a loyal following through other means.
If you don’t expect the podcast to be a means of people finding and connecting with you!
Either way, launching a podcast is a big deal so give it some love!
Things I did:
IG and FB LIVES to announce the big news that I had a new podcast
Posts about new episodes
IG STORIES about recording new episodes
Put the podcast link in your bio or linktree on IG
Growing Your Audience
Whether you’re in this for a new income stream or not, you do want to reach listeners. The best way to do this is through ratings and reviews. The more ratings reviews you have, the more visibility you get. Ratings and reviews tell iTunes, hey look, this podcast is something people are interested in.
Ratings and reviews is just one way to get your podcast out there though. When you have guests on the podcast, it becomes a win win for both the podcaster and interviewee. Guests who appear on your podcast open up their entire following to you and vice versa. You don’t have to have a guest every week, but it is another way to grow!
Lastly, and most importantly, you’ve gotta be consistent.
Picture this. It’s Monday night. The Bachelor is on. You’ve got your glass of wine and you’re tucked in with your fuzzy blanket and your dog. You turn on the TV. And there’s no bachelor. They just decided not to air it today. Night. Ruined. I’m pretty sure Twitter would just break.
Whether you have one follow or one million. People want consistency! They look forward to you and your show and what you’re offering. Treat your show like it’s the freakin bachelor.
PRO TIP: Batch your content. Batching content means that you spend an entire day recording podcast episodes for the next 4 weeks. You edit them all, upload them to your hosting site, and then, if you hit a snag one week, it’s okay because you’re episode is already done.
I know this was a lot, but you’ve got this. Any questions you have, I promise you Google and Youtube have an answer for! And of course, you can always reach out to me.
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