I remember those days in the summer of 2015, when I started my blog; I was thinking about creating a podcast if I wanted to position myself as a reference in digital marketing and as an internet business consultant.
I knew I had to do something else within my content strategy. There is a lot of very good content, like the one on this blog, and competing with professionals and referents who have more authority and web positioning becomes difficult.
I spent several days researching different podcasts and podcasters, both Hispanic and American, to make sure where I was going to go and what my strategy would be.
I remember that I had many fears and I didn’t know how it was going to turn out, but I really had to try, as they say, “putting all the meat on the grill” .
Today I can say that it was a great success to create my Digital Entrepreneurs podcast . It is one of the best things I have done to differentiate myself in my profession.
In 2 years and 6 months since I launched the podcast, it now has 121 episodes and has surpassed more than half a million downloads , with only one episode a week . My podcast is one of the most listened to on iTunes in its category.
One of the mistakes that is made in the content strategy when you start a project on the internet is that you want to be everywhere : have a blog, be on YouTube, on all social networks , launch a podcast, live on Facebook Live and everything that comes to mind to get visitors and customers.
But, as is already known: he who covers a lot, squeezes little .
As a tip if you are just starting out, I will tell you to use a main channel . Focus on a strategy and give everything to gain visibility and position yourself as an expert in your market niche; the other channels, or do not have them or take it easy. You will see how customers and sales will end up coming.
In this post I am going to explain the necessary steps to make a successful podcast; You can also download the step-by-step guide to creating a successful podcast as a PDF here .
1. How to find interesting topics for your podcast?
All podcasters face one day to choose the theme of our podcast; It is something that creates us a little insecurity and it is not for less. We sense that it is key to being successful with our podcast and we do not want to fail.
The essential thing is to choose a topic that you are passionate about ; the podcast requires a lot of time and dedication. You will have good moments and not so good moments, but if you are passionate about what you do, you will persist.
You will have competition (guarantee that there are listeners), although less than with a blog and to be unbeatable you have to love what you do if you want to be successful with your podcast.
How to come up with great ideas for a podcast
There are topics that are listened to more than others, which are of more popular interest, such as podcasts about television series. But it is not about that, unless your business is related, or you do it simply as a hobby.
Making a podcast is a good marketing strategy to drive listeners to your website, where the conversion happens. That is why the theme of the podcast has to be aligned with your online business.
My podcast, Digital Entrepreneurs , is a digital marketing podcast for entrepreneurs . I am interested in entrepreneurs to help them in terms of marketing.
You have to choose a topic that has enough listeners, but that is not so generic that you have a hard time converting these listeners into customers . In the end, users buy from experts and for that, the more you focus on a theme, the better.
Digital marketing covers a lot, but if we focus on digital marketing for entrepreneurs we are already declaring our intentions; It’s not for everyone, but it’s still a big niche.
Keep in mind that the less public your topic has for the podcast, you will have fewer listeners but, in return, also more loyal users , just as it happens if you have a blog.
How to define your ideal listener
To achieve optimal results, it is very important to define the profile of the person who is going to listen to you in order to offer them content that really interests them: that resolve their doubts, problems, fears…
You have to speak to your ideal client and keep them in mind when creating content .
- You can address a man of about 35 years, married and with 2 children.
- This man works in a small company, with an average salary and wants to start a business.
This does not mean that single 25-year-old men and separated 30-year-old women will not listen to you, but it will be to a lesser extent.
It is interesting that you investigate where your ideal client looks for information, what other podcasts he listens to, what blogs he usually reads, what things concern him, what income he has. The clearer you have the profile of your listener, the better focused your content will be and the better you will connect.
I’m not going to go any further on this point because I’m sure you know what I mean.
2. What equipment do you need to create a podcast?
To start a podcast you do not need a large recording equipment , or special rooms. Starting with a podcast I’m sure you can do it right now with your current team, another thing is the minimum knowledge to carry it out.
Simply with a computer, more or less current , with storage capacity, smartphone-type headphones with a microphone and free recording software , you can start recording your podcast.
Affordable quality hardware for recording podcasts
As soon as you can get a quality headset and microphone, much better.
The headphones are not the most important thing and they do not interfere with the final result, choose ones with which you feel comfortable and nothing more.
The audio is very important in the podcast; you have to be listened to well; if not, it is easy for the listener not to finish listening to the episode and even not to want to listen to you again, because they have to make unnecessary efforts.
That said, we are going to look at a range of microphones that can be very useful for recording a podcast with sound quality.
There are many types of microphones. I am going to distinguish between the two basic options: USB microphones and XLR microphones that have an analog connection that a mixer needs, for example: Behringer 502 and the corresponding XLR cable .
Without going into details, suffice it to say that XLR microphones are, traditionally, the most professional option , but also more expensive and complex because they require more, in addition, additional equipment (cable, mixer, etc.).
USB microphones have the great advantage of their simplicity thanks to the USB connection and there are cheap ones with quite acceptable quality. In addition, the offer of models does not stop growing and they are increasingly professional.
And then an interesting intermediate option is also to consider a USB mixer for XLR microphones like the Behringer Q802USB .
Recommended USB microphones between €40-€200
Among the USB microphones, I can recommend these, from cheapest to most expensive. The exact prices vary, so click on the links to see the exact price at each moment.
- Fifine K669B: simply a microphone with a spectacular quality/price ratio, it will cost you even to differentiate it in quality from the most expensive on this list, which is the Rode.
- Blue Snowball – This is a very popular entry level USB condenser microphone and pretty good quality for the price. A classic among microphones for podcasters and youtubers.
- Blue Yeti: It is also a condensing microphone, very popular among American podcasters. It is the one I use and personally I love the design and it has a very good audio quality. The price is a bit high, around €150 and only with a USB connection.
- Rode Podcaster – A very good quality dynamic microphone. The USB Podcaster is considered equal to or better than the Blue Yeti. My opinion is that it is clearly a step above. The price is around €150-200.
Recommended XLR microphones between €20-€350
- Behringer XM8500 – One of the quality XLR dynamic microphones for very little money. It is a microphone that has a price of around €20.
- Rode Procaster – A very good quality dynamic microphone. The price is around €150.
- Heil PR40: dynamic microphone and used by many of the top podcasters in the US. It is the best in sound quality; It is priced around €350. I don’t think a microphone with these characteristics is necessary when you have very similar qualities at a more affordable price.
And an important piece of advice: before making your purchase decision, browse YouTube a bit and look for reviews of the models you are considering.
There are a large number of them and it is very useful to be able to hear how the various models sound with different voices and settings.
Highly recommended accessories for very little money
There are two highly recommended accessories that you will see almost all podcasters use (you can see them in action in the video above):
- A pop filter . There are certain sounds when speaking that produce a lot of air movement; the microphones pick them up as small impacts and make the recordings very ugly. They are known as “pops” and are produced, for example, when pronouncing the “p”. A “pop filter” is a typically round black screen with a small cloth that cuts the sudden movements of the wind produced by these sounds.
- A telescopic arm to hold your microphone. If you experiment with the sound, you will see that it changes a lot depending on the distance from your mouth. There is an optimal distance that will give you the best sound. It depends a bit on each microphone, but it will normally be around an inch from your mouth. A telescopic arm allows you to maintain that distance in a very comfortable way.
Software (programs) for creating and recording podcasts
As for the software, we have free applications for recording and editing. I know a few, but Audacity is the one I’ve always used and the one that you could say is used by the vast majority of people who have a podcast.
There are therefore different options:
- Audacity : The most popular application to record, edit your podcast and make it perfect. Noise removal, normalization, equalization and a long etc., that will not disappoint you.
- GarageBand : If you have a Mac it comes bundled with the apps, try it out to see the differences and use the app you feel best with.
- Adobe Audition : This option is paid, for about €24/month. I think it is not necessary to have Audacity, but Adobe Audition also offers you a free trial for a limited time.
3. How to produce a podcast
So far we have seen what is necessary and now it’s time to get down to work. This is when we start to procrastinate, usually due to insecurity and fear .
To me also the same thing happened; I wasn’t sure if my voice would be liked, if what I was going to transmit would end up hooking my target audience,… and one begins to doubt.
The only way to start is to launch yourself, take a look at my step-by-step podcasting course, to help you from the beginning.
Surely when you start there will be some things you don’t like, but you will correct them little by little. You have to take action and get started. The earlier you start, the better; possibly in your market niche you have almost no competition, take advantage of it!
Planning of the episodes
It is very important to have a good planning of the episodes of the podcast if we do not want to be stressed and suffering all the time. My recommendation is that you have at least two retention episodes , in case something unforeseen arises and you have to pull these episodes.
Our podcast must have a format, duration and periodicity that we must be clear about before starting to record.
You have to define if you are going to speak alone or are going to do interviews. Although it can also have a mixed format.
The important thing is that it is well defined, for example: on Mondays you interview and on Thursdays you speak alone.
The podcast can be 10-20 minutes long if it’s just you talking, or 30-60 minutes if you’re doing interviews. Take this as something indicative; It will also depend on the theme.
Periodicity is very important so that your audience knows when you will have new episodes. I advise you to start from less to more; if you want to do two episodes a week, depending on the format it’s going to be hard to do.
Conducting 50-minute interviews with other professionals in your market niche is not the same as recording yourself for just 10 minutes.
If, for example, you want to do interviews on the podcast , start with a weekly or fortnightly interview; if you later see that you have time and desire to expand it, you do it, and not the other way around.
How to record your podcast episodes
You will record the episodes of the podcast with one of the programs that I have previously mentioned. You will bring a script or structure of the episode that you are going to record, whether you speak alone or do interviews.
In the beginning, take it all down and you will be calmer; once you feel more confident and loose, try to have a structure of the points to be discussed and this will serve you well. It is something that you will see as you progress.
These are the parts that each episode of the podcast should carry:
- Intro: This part is where you introduce yourself and the content of the episode . You can also take advantage of monetization -oriented things like advertising your services and promoting a sponsor. You can have it recorded beforehand and add it to your episodes. It shouldn’t take more than 2-3 minutes.
- Body : development of the topic to be treated.
- Outro: goodbye until the next episode and, if you want, you can also include a call to action, such as subscribing to your blog. You can also include your sponsorships here. This part can also be engraved and added at the end.
How and why to edit the episodes
Editing is essential and, furthermore, it gives you peace of mind knowing that if you make a mistake, which there will be, you can correct it in the editing process.
When you start recording, it’s like when you start writing: if you want to let your creativity flow, you must speak naturally, without fear of making mistakes.
Later in the editing process is when you will eliminate background noises, irrelevant, repetitive bits, annoying fillers, the neighbor’s dog barking, the postman calling when you are recording and whatever else comes to mind.
Think that, if you do interviews, the interviewee or you yourself can go half blank, or someone is wrong, so it gives a lot of peace of mind for both of you to know that all this can be corrected.
4. How to publish a podcast
Once we have our episode ready, we have to upload it to our hosting and to the most important podcasting platforms . The same hosting where we have the web will not serve us .
Although you could upload it to your website, it is not recommended at all because of the space it occupies, but the most important thing is because you will consume the bandwidth offered by your hosting provider very quickly, as soon as you start to have considerable downloads.
This does not mean that you do not have it to listen to on your website; you can paste the code offered by any hosting or platform to embed it in your website. In addition, there are plugins for WordPress such as PowerPress that will help you in this task.
Anyway, it is very easy to embed episodes from the big platforms on your website. They already provide you with the code you need. Here you can see the example of the interview I did at the time with Berto in my Podcast embedding the episode published on SoundCloud:
Creating the image of your podcast
The cover of the podcast must have a good design, be attractive, convey the essence of your podcast and have special measures so that you can upload it to your podcasting platform.
Do not include a lot of text, fonts that are difficult to read,… and think that it has to look good , both in large and small format. The size to get along with iTunes should be a minimum of 1400 x 1400 and a maximum of 3000 x 3000 pixels.
If you are not good at creating a cover, I advise you to have someone design it for you. If you are on a very tight budget, there are even extremely cheap options like Fiverr where jobs are offered starting at about $5. Do not expect dazzling designs, but you can get “worthy” results to start with.
Options for hosting a podcast
We have different free and paid options. I personally use Libsyn, a paid hosting used by the great American podcasters and with affordable plans.
Hosting like Libsyn gives you more detailed stats, more control over your episodes, propagation to different podcasting platforms, and a few more details , which are interesting if you’re serious about your podcast.
All podcasting platforms that have hosting, like iVoxx , Spreaker or Soundcloud, for example, will allow you a limited number of episodes for free, except iVoox, which has no episode limit.
Then there are platforms/directories only, that do not host your podcast content, such as iTunes and Stitcher . Here we will directly indicate our RSS feed.
How to upload your podcast to iTunes
We must have an iTunes account, before requesting the inclusion of your podcast. Make sure you have three episodes in your chosen host and a good cover with the correct measurements.
We go to the iTunes “podcast” option and click on the link that says send a podcast. Once inside, it will ask you for the URL of your RSS feed; on the hosting where your podcast episodes are you will find this RSS feed.
They can take about 7 days or so to answer you and include your podcast in the iTunes directory; Be patient.
How to upload your podcast to iVoox
Both in iVoxx, Spreaker, Soundcloud and any other platform, you will have to open an account following the steps of each application, but they are all very similar.
It’s very simple: you must leave your data, program name, description, choose the corresponding plan and start uploading your podcast episodes.
That you use an accommodation does not mean that you cannot be in the others . You can have your free accounts in all of them and pay only the platform that you have chosen as the main one.
How to upload your podcast to Spotify
To upload your podcast to Spotify, you have two ways to do it:
- Fill out an acceptance form, which does not give you many guarantees.
- Have an account on certain sites like: Audioboom, Libsyn , Podigee , PodBean, Blubbery etc.
The acceptance criteria through the form are not clear and you will most likely not receive a response; what does work in the next 24/48 hours is having one of the above accounts; see full list.
5. Launch and gain visibility for your podcast
Once you have about three episodes ready, it’s time to launch your podcast. Don’t start with just one episode ; you have to have some “chicha” to start having subscribers to the podcast and new visitors and subscribers to your website.
The first episode should be introductory , where you explain the reason for your podcast, who is going to help, the theme, format and frequency. It is the moment to connect with your public and that they begin to be interested in you and to follow you.
If you have just started you will have few listeners, but if your work is good, you will see how in a few months you will begin to have a good community that follows you every time you publish a podcast.
If you have money to spend, you can get new listeners by running well-targeted ads on Facebook Ads .
To quickly gain visibility and authority, I advise you to interview experts and influencers in your sector , write on other blogs and get interviewed on other podcasts related to your topic.
Every time you post a new episode, you have to spend some time promoting it on social media and getting new subscribers to your website and podcast.
6. Monetize your podcast: how you can earn money
One of the questions I get asked most often is how can you make money with a podcast . In an audio there are no links, sales pages, telephone,… and it is more complicated to sell, but it can be done.
Here I am going to give you a brief overview, but to learn more about the best monetization strategies for podcasts, take a look here:
I highly recommend this reading, among other things, because, apart from learning how it is done, you will be surprised at the amounts that can be earned and you will see examples of who the podcasters are who have achieved such spectacular levels of success. .
As a very brief brushstroke, it can be summarized as follows:
Our challenge is to get listeners to our website , where the conversion will take place.
A podcast can be monetized just like a blog with:
Products, infoproducts and services
Cold selling is very difficult; initially you have to seduce your listener to visit your website because you are going to give him a gift (the typical lead magnet ), or you can take him to a training, to get his email and start building trust before trying to sell anything.
In many of the interviews I do on my podcast, there is a space promoting the interviewee’s product where I am an affiliate and receive a commission if the sale occurs.
I have to say that if you don’t offer real value in the interview and it’s just promotional, it won’t do you much good.
As your podcast begins to gain visibility, it is time to look for a sponsor that covers expenses and leaves you with a good peak at the end of the month.
They will ask you for statistics of your hosting to see the downloads you have and an amount will be agreed, which is normally per episode. In my podcast I have two sponsors.
Podcasting is a good channel to attract your audience to your website. Today, when there is so much written content, you have to try other strategies such as podcasting.
If you are going to create a podcast, do not do it to test or you will not have results. It is very important to invest the effort and time to do it well and the periodicity, if you want a loyal audience. Do not fail them and they will not fail you.
Follow all the steps above and, if you want me to take you by the hand, you have my podcasting course with step-by-step guided video tutorials . A platform with access for life, where you will learn everything you need to become a successful podcaster.
I hope you liked this post and, anything, I’ll wait for you in the comments ?