Starting a Podcast: Step-by-Step Guide

starting a podcast

If you’ve been thinking about starting a podcast, this is the show for you. We will walk you through the process step by step and give you the confidence to start your podcast show.

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How to Set Up a Podcast

 If you’ve been thinking about starting a podcast, this is the show for you. We will walk you through the basics and give you the confidence you need to create your podcast. Welcome to Marketing and a Mic. We’re here each week to give you a variety of digital marketing tips, trends, and useful guides, all to help your business get results. Starting a podcast isn’t difficult, but it does take preparation. So before you grab the mic, there are several things you’ll need to get in order before you launch your podcast.



The planning process is often the most overlooked stage in making a podcast. Your podcast should be focused on one overall theme or niche AND be directed to a specific target audience. This goes hand and hand and is often missed when people launch their podcast.


Determine Your Target Audience

Along with what should podcast is about, you need to immediately be thinking about who your podcast is for. Your target audience is going to dictate the show’s concept, theme, title, topics, and everything in between. When we talk about ‘niche,’ it’s really important that you know exactly who your niche audience is. For example, will your show be for small businesses or more for start-ups and entrepreneurs? Unless you know exactly who you are making your podcast for and why you are doing it, it will be very difficult to grow an audience.


Know Your Content

You need to give people a reason to listen. In other words, each show provides a value that listeners will gain something from. What problem(s) is your audience faced with, and what solutions will you offer? We were listening to a podcast about podcasting recently, and one of the top fails they talked about was not giving listeners good takeaways. Listeners don’t just want to hear just about success, but rather talk about specific failures or challenges and provide actual proof of how they overcome these adversities.


Write Out Your Show Topics in Advance

The best thing you can do for yourself is to prepare your content upfront. Try to narrow it down to something that you expand on for many (at least 50+) episodes. However, don’t make it so broad that your audience is unclear about what you’re show is about. Our advice is to do a massive brain dump of several topics or show titles that you are very knowledgeable on. Write down at least 20 show topics to give you a good start.


Name Your Podcast

Your podcast name plays a very significant part in its visibility – with a good and descriptive podcast name, you’ll increase the chances of getting discovered by listeners. One approach is to use keywords in your podcast name that is related to your topic. That way, you are creating a searchable topic. It should be eye-catching and strategic but also broad enough to expand on your topics/content. TIP: If you’re new to podcasting and don’t have an audience yet, be careful using your own name. If you title it Mike’s Corner, but you’re a fitness podcast, it will be very difficult for new listeners to find you. Your podcast descriptions (also known as the show summary) are just as important in getting potential new listeners intrigued. Make your description clear to people about exactly what you will be offering on your podcast.


Choose Your Podcast Style and Frequency

Believe it or not, there are several formats to consider when deciding your podcast style. Do you want a co-host, interview style, panel, or solo show? Are you looking to do a more scripted story-telling podcast that has several stories within that topic, or will every episode be different? Along with your format, you’ll need to determine the frequency and length of your podcast. Depending on the style, most podcasts do well that stay within 15-30 minutes in length. If your podcast is strictly audio and pre-recorded, you’ll just need to determine how often you will drop a new episode. If your podcast is both video and audio format, you’ll need to determine the day, time, and frequency of when you will broadcast will air. TIP: If your podcast will be pre-recorded, consider recording 6-12 episodes and then dropping them all at once like a series.



Regardless of what podcast style you choose, it’s important to prepare a script and/or ‘run of the show.’ This is especially important if you will have recurring guests. When you have a script in hand, you’ll be able to record your show with ease, prevent rambling or dead airtime, and ensure all your relevant talking points get touched on. The Run of Show is the general outline of how the show will broadcast from beginning to end. This is also where you’re branding comes in.

Here’s an example:

  • Intro hook: Get straight to the point about exactly what you’ll be talking about, along with a teaser of something listeners will gain in the episode.
  • Intro Video: 10-15 second intro video with music introducing the show.
  • Episode Introduction: Introduce yourself, your podcast name, and what your show is about. Then give another brief summary about what listeners will get out of today’s show.
  • TIP: The first few minutes of your podcast are crucial, so it’s important you get straight to the point at the top of the show.
  • Main Content: This is where you will go into detail about your topic. Make sure you break this up with specific talking points, so it’s easier for listeners to follow along and digest your information.
  • Wrap Up: Summarize the key takeaways one more time. This is also a great time to talk about the upcoming episode.
  • CTA: Conclude your show by asking listening to subscribe, leave a review, or share your podcast. This is also a good time to tell listeners where else they can find you to get more information or how to contact you.
  • Outro Video: Play a brief outro video with your music to reinforce your brand one more time


You’ll need to create the cover art and logo for your podcast. Cover art is the small square image next to your name on places like Spotify or your website. General specifications are jpg or png and 3000 x 3000 pixels. If you are live streaming your podcast, you’ll need to create a branded thumbnail graphic to display on social platforms when you schedule out your broadcast. You might want to also consider a background graphic if you will be having a co-host or ongoing guests on your show.


Podcast Streaming Platform

If you plan on podcast streaming, you’ll need a platform that will record and broadcast your show to multiple social destinations. There are a lot of choices out there: OBS Studio, Vimeo, Restream, Ecamm Live, StreamYard, and so on. We use StreamYard because it’s an incredibly straightforward, easy-to-use platform and doesn’t require any software to download. If you’re looking for a more advance, high-end platform, consider Ecamm live. All these platforms give you the ability to download both video and audio versions of your podcast.


Audio Streaming Platforms

If your podcast is strictly audio base, there are also several options to choose from. Two free options that are available on Mac and Windows are Audacity and Garageband. A more high-end option is Hindenburg which offers a lot more built-in podcasting features if you’re looking for a more professional level platform.



Choose Podcasting Hosting Site

You may or may not be aware but podcast directories such as Apple and Spotify don’t allow you to upload episodes directly to their platform. Instead, you must choose a hosting site that will store and broadcast your audio files. These hosting sites then generate an RSS feed which enables your podcast to be shared with a variety of directories. There are several podcast hosting sites out there, but our recommendation is to use Buzzsprout.



Once you create your account in Buzzsprout, you’ll need to upload your podcast by clicking on upload podcast episode (see picture) or drag and drop your file. Once uploaded, add the name and description for that podcast episode. You’ll also need to upload your artwork. Make sure your artwork is clean with minimal text since it will be displayed across multiple directories in multiple sizes. Next, you’ll want to write a description for your podcast. Be sure to include the show name, episode number, release year, etc. The more complete you fill out your episode, the more visible it will make your show. A good description will tell listeners exactly what’s in it for them. TIP: Include time stamps to help listeners better follow along to key talking points within the episode. Lastly, encourage listeners to subscribe and include links to where else they can find your content. Pick a category for your podcast. It’s important to optimize how your podcast appears, and one way to do this is by picking the right podcast categories for your show.


Getting Listed in Other Directories

The great part about Buzzsprout is once you have an account and active podcast, Buzzsprout will do the work for you in getting listed in all the other directories. There are over 15 podcast apps to get listed in, but the main ones are Apple, Spotify, and Google Podcasts which is where about 95% of listeners are. To get your podcast listed into these directories, simply go to the Directories tab, click get listed under the selected directories, and then click submit a podcast to (Spotify). Some might take longer than others to authorize, so just keep checking back until it’s active. Once your directories are listed, the final step is to promote, promote, promote!


 Equipment and Platforms

The good news is you don’t need any elaborate equipment to get started with a podcast, but we do recommend investing in a good quality microphone outside of your laptop or computer. USB microphones are the most versatile and easiest to use. They come in a wide range of price points, but you can get a quality microphone for around $100.


Simple Techniques with Recording

Setting your mic up to the side, angled slightly toward your mouth, will prevent bursts of air from hitting the mic directly and can result in a smoother, more natural podcast audio. Set your microphone about 4-6″ from your mouth for the cleanest sound. Use headphones if you are experiencing echoes or sound issues.