9 Simple Steps to Have Your Own Podcast Published… Today… for FREE!

I get asked almost daily how to set up a podcast and get it published to Apple/iTunes…

➡ Let me preface this by saying I don’t consider myself an expert in podcasting, but I do intend to share with you some of the lessons I’ve learned in hosting and producing podcasts for a few clients (and now getting ready to launch the Mo Show where I’ll be interviewing thought leaders across various industries).

Below, I’m going to outline the basic steps you can follow to get up and running (as well as a few advanced options for those who are ready to dedicate more time to the production of their podcast)..

Before we jump in, I think it’s important that you need to understand these 2 things:

  1. Don’t expect to get rich quick from podcasting. It takes time to build your audience and obtain advertisers and sponsorships. ⏳
  2. Although podcasts are primarily audio, recording and producing episodes consistently takes time and energy. 🔋

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s dig in…

With almost every project I’m involved in, I like to begin by reverse engineering the process and getting clarity on who is going to be consuming this content…

Introducing Your Avatar… 👤

The relationship you develop with your avatar is an important component to creating value that is going to improve their life.

For starters, here are a few questions to ask about Your Avatar:

  • Is it a male or female? 👨‍💻
  • How old is he/she? 👵
  • Does he/she have a daily commute to work/school? 🏎
  • When and how does he/she listen to podcasts/audiobooks? 🎧
  • How does he/she decide what to listen to? 👨🏻‍🏫 (Who are the trusted influencers that are recommending content to him/her?)
  • What are his/her pain points? Biggest frustrations? 📛
  • What excites him/her? What opportunities are in front of him/her? 😲
  • What value can you bring to his/her life? What problems can you help him/her solve? 🤔

NOTE: After going through these questions, I like to give my avatar a specific name. This could be a combination of the first/last name of multiple people that you know personally that fit this avatar’s description. This may help you trigger the attitude and makeup of this individual.

Image result for ask levesque

In many cases, you’ll have multiple avatars, or listeners who fall into multiple ‘buckets’ as Ryan Levesque explains in his book Ask. (Click here to get a copy of Ask for free + $12.99 S&H and discover the science of finding out exactly what your prospects want.)

If you have multiple avatars, be aware of that as you create your content so you can speak directly to each.

We’ll go deeper into this in another post… Right now you can click here to download an editable PDF worksheet that I use to define and learn more about specific avatars, and how we can best serve them.

Once you have clarity on who your avatar is, let’s define your topic/niche… 💪

Passion isn’t enough to maintain a successful podcast. You need to find a topic that you are obsessed with, and that you have unique perspective or abilities that you can bring to the table. (Think about what you are doing, reading about, and researching in your ‘free’ time.)

If you want to develop a podcast about coaching volleyball, then your avatar is probably a volleyball coach… Your topic is coaching volleyball… Now, it’s time to go find exactly what volleyball coaches need help with and develop a niche that sets you apart. 🏐

If you’re still not sure, you could get started by interviewing guests who you know can provide value & solutions for them.

Don’t be discouraged by the amount of podcasts that already exist. If podcasting wasn’t an effective way to reach and impact people today, everyone wouldn’t be allocating such an immense amount of resources to doing it.

Get clarity on your avatar. Pick your topic. Define your niche. Get started creating unique, valuable content.

Make it personal. Be yourself. Get 1% better each episode… and most importantly, have fun with it! 😎

Ok, so what equipment is needed? 🎤

Not as much as you think. (Actually, you could get started right now with nothing more than you already have right in front of you.)

I would recommend at least getting a quality microphone.

If you wanted to get started right now, you could do it with…

Basic: The Built-In Microphone on Your Laptop -or- Voice Memos on Your iPhone

Listeners will be able to tell a difference between the quality of your audio so if you’re serious about this, I’d suggest investing in…

Advanced: Audio-Technica BPHS1 Broadcast Stereo Headset with Dynamic Boom Mic ($200) + Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (2nd Gen) USB Audio Interface with Pro Tools ($150)

This headset mic plugs into the USB mixer and then the mixer plugs into your computer via USB. (There are several other options available, more sophisticated soundboards, etc… I am simply recommending what I believe is the best quality and portable for easy travel, when needed.)

And, what to do after plugging the microphone in? 💻

Along with a wide variety of microphones, there is also several different options to choose from when it comes to which software to use for recording and editing podcasts.

Basic: Audacity (FREE!) -or- GarageBand (Mac)

Advanced: Adobe Audition (Free Trial, then $20/month)

Once your software is installed, connect your microphone to your computer and open the software. Ensure your microphone is selected as the input device and record a test audio file. Export the audio file as .mp3 and save to desktop. Double-click the .mp3 file and, if the file plays correctly, you’re good to go start recording your first episode.

NOTE: Each software looks and feels a bit different. Each of them will have basic record and playback functions. (Audacity’s interface is not visually appealing, but it does work with all audio file formats and they have a download for Windows as well.)

To add music or sound effects, drag-and-drop those audio files into your software and they will be rendered on another track above or below your primary audio track. (For starters, you can Google or YouTube ‘royalty free’ music to include with your podcast. Some of these will include free downloads, while others will require buying a license for.)

If you’d like to interview guests on your podcast, here are a few options:

  • Skype (using a call recording software such as eCamm)
  • BeLive.tv (broadcasting live on Facebook, then downloading the video file, and stripping the audio to be used on podcast)
  • Zoom (recording video interview, then downloading the video file, and stripping the audio to be used on podcast)

However you choose to record the interview, you can then drag-and-drop the interview into your audio editing software to use the audio file.

The next step is coming up with a relevant and accurate Title for your podcast… 🎙

Ok, so let’s assume you’ve got your first audio file ready to go. Now, you need a title for your Podcast as a whole, as well as a title for each episode…

Your title should give the listener an idea of what your podcast is about, and you’ll also want it to appear in relevant search results… so if the podcast is about coaching volleyball, it is important to include the words ‘Coaching’ and ‘Volleyball’ in the title or subtitle…

To add some creative, take some time here to explore your niche and what distinguishing factors does your podcast have that set it apart from the rest.

OPTIONAL: Crowdsource your title. Come up with 3-4 titles that you like and then put together a Facebook or Twitter poll or use a Google Form/Typeform to get some input from your existing audience. Remember, it doesn’t really matter what you like if it doesn’t resonate with your audience.

Once you’ve got the title, now you can whip up a podcast image! 🖼

You’ll want to have a good looking image that represents your podcast as it will be seen frequently throughout the user experience, and can be used to grab their attention when scrolling through various podcasts.

Your podcast image needs to be 1400 x 1400 pixels, saved in .jpg format, and easily read at small sizes.

I’d recommend including a relevant image of yourself (the host), or background image that helps make the connection (if volleyball, could use a volleyball court or action shot in background).

Basic: Canva (FREE!) -or- Hire Someone on Fiverr.com ($5)

Advanced: Adobe Photoshop ($20/month)

Once you’ve got the image done, you’re getting close…

And where is the podcast hosted? 🏠

Basic: SoundCloud (FREE!) -or- PodBean (FREE!)

Advanced: Both SoundCloud and PodBean offer Advanced Paid Features

Regardless of which host you choose, when you join, you’ll enter the Title of your podcast, upload your podcast image, and then upload the .mp3 audio file of your first episode.

Once you get your podcast’s RSS feed URL from the host, you can then submit your podcast to Apple Podcasts. After submitting to Apple Podcasts, it will take 1-2 days to get approved and start appearing inside of the Podcasts app.

Other platforms you can submit your podcast’s RSS feed to include: Stitcher, Blubrry, and Google Play.

Personally, I sync my podcasts posts on my WordPress website to Apple Podcasts and Google Play (for those Android users) with the Blubrry PowerPress plugin. If you have a WordPress site, this is a great option. If you don’t have a website, using SoundCloud or PodBean above will work!

How will people find your podcast? 🧐

This is where many podcasts end up…

They go through the above and publish their first few episodes, but no one is listening…. (It’s the same problem as when someone creates a product, puts it on their website, and hopes people will find it. I’m pretty sure that’s referred to as ‘Hope Marketing’ and that’s not a very reliable strategy to make a difference in the world.)

After each of your podcast episodes is published, I highly suggest you post audio preview clips, corresponding images, quotes, etc… to your social media platforms with links to go listen to the full episode. (If you’re interviewing guests, be sure to tag them in your posts so that they can share with their audiences as well.)

Here’s an example of a short video clip I tweeted from a podcast interview on the Mo Show (with the link included to listen to the full episode):

If you have an e-mail list, you can send an e-mail to your subscribers with a summary of the episode, timestamp the main topics discussed, and incentivize listeners to engage with you (or the guest) on social media after listening.

Including a call to action at the end of each episode is a great way to collect reviews and feedback.

(Obviously stacking Facebook Ads on top of this is a slam-dunk content strategy to attract the right listeners but we will explore that further in another post.)

And, how will I know if anyone listens? 📊

To view the number of downloads each of your episodes is getting, you can view the insights and analytics provided by your host (SoundCloud, PodBean, etc…). There will be a page inside of your account that features this information.

Obtaining advertisers and sponsorships typically is based on the number of downloads each of your episodes is receiving. Once you are consistently getting 5-10k downloads per episode, you will have opportunities to monetize the podcast by including pre-, mid-, or post-roll ads that could be anywhere from 15-45 seconds long and either read by you (the host of the podcast) or the advertiser.

Another type of revenue stream is the prominent ‘Featured by’ or ‘Brought to you by’ sponsor who can receive recognition in the podcast logo and inside each episode.

Organic endorsements tend to be the strongest and most effective, and can be commission based. Nailing this goes back to identifying your avatar and what types of products or services are relevant and would they benefit from… (i.e. A volleyball coach may be interested in volleyball training equipment, apparel, tournaments, recruiting tools, etc…)

You can then reach out to a potential sponsor (Instagram DMs work well for this!) and inquire about an affiliate program, or possibly getting a boosted commission for featuring them on your podcast. If you perform well with that approach, they will keep coming back to you with other exclusive offers and might eventually lead into a paid sponsorship.

How often should I post? 🗓

More than you are right now. ☺

This question comes up all the time. There is definitely an art and a science to this, and the episode frequency falls much more into the ‘art’ side. I am big proponent of ‘split-testing’ or experimenting to see what produces the best results. Different podcasts elicit different frequencies.

To begin, I would suggest 1-2x per week for the first month. Use listener engagement and feedback to gauge what they like, what they don’t, what they want more of, suggested guests, etc…

When you want to publish a new episode, you repeat the recording and editing processes above, and then upload the exported .mp3 file to your host and it will appear on all of the platforms to which you’ve submitted your podcast’s RSS feed URL.

Apple Podcast 🔗 Hack:

When you get your podcast URL from Apple Podcasts (find your podcast in the app and click ‘Share’), that URL will look something like this:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mo-show/id1295855839?mt=2

By default, that brings you to the Podcasts app home screen… (which is not exactly where we want them to go)

If you simply add “&ls=1” to the end of that, the link will take you directly to your podcast inside of the app… So, the URL you’d want to send/post will look like:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mo-show/id1295855839?mt=2&ls=1

(I got that one from Daniel J. Lewis of The Audacity to Podcast… If you’re serious about podcasting, I highly recommend you check him out… He’s got a ton of great stuff, including this free checklist on ’20 Things You Should Do Before Recording Every Podcast Episode’!)

⌨ Curating Content + SEO Optimization:

Another way to maximize your podcasting efforts is to have your episodes transcribed into text to include in the post, description, social media quotes, etc… This will also enhance your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) by featuring keywords and having the spoken word available for indexing by search engines.

You can use a service like Rev to get your audio files transcribed for $1 per audio minute (and they’ll typically get it turned around in < 12 hours with 99% accuracy)!

👉 The Bottom Line:

If you’re just getting started, I’d recommend following these basic, easy setup options to get your first 4-5 episodes live before you invest in additional podcasting equipment:

  1. Define your avatar, niche, topic, and prepare for your first episode.
  2. Open up Audacity.
  3. Record your first episode.
  4. Get a free SoundCloud account.
  5. Upload the .mp3 file of your first episode to SoundCloud.
  6. Create a 1400 x 1400px podcast image in Canva.
  7. Submit your podcast’s RSS feed URL to Apple Podcasts.
  8. Post a link to listen to your first episode on all of your social media platforms.
  9. Check your download stats in SoundCloud.
  10. Create 1-2 new episodes each week for 1 month.

If you’re committed to consistently producing valuable content and want the best of the best, then I encourage you to start with the following:

  1. Go invest $350 on Amazon to get this headset micthis mini USB mixer.
  2. Until it arrives, go to work on defining your avatar, niche, topic, and preparing for your first episode.
  3. Decide on a name for your podcast. (Don’t worry, this can easily be modified later on.)
  4. Start your Adobe Creative Cloud free trial (and download Audition + Photoshop).
  5. Create a 1400 x 1400px podcast image in Photoshop.
  6. Create a free SoundCloud account or install the Blubrry PowerPress plugin on your WordPress website.
  7. Record and edit your first episode in Audition.
  8. Export and upload the .mp3 file of your first episode to SoundCloud or website.
  9. Submit your podcast’s RSS feed URL to Apple Podcasts.
  10. Post a link to listen to your first episode on all of your social media platforms.
  11. Check your download stats in SoundCloud/WordPress.
  12. Create 1-2 new episodes each week for 1 month.

I’d love to listen to your first episode when your podcast gets published!

Please Tweet a link to your first episode @MattMorse_17 and I’ll be sure to give you any further suggestions or feedback.

 

P.S. Here are the links to a few of the podcasts that I listen to on a regular basis:

 

P.P.S. This is the 5-question framework I’m using for Mo Show podcast interviews:

  1. What is your competitive advantage that separates you from everyone else?
  2. What is the biggest challenge you are facing right now?
  3. What is one thing you have done (or are doing right now) to build your brand?
  4. What is the one thing you wish you knew when you were getting started?
  5. What are you most excited about in the next 6 months?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.