Podcast Microphone

Starting a Podcast

Today we’re going to talk about starting a podcast. It’s about getting your voice out and telling everyone what you think about your passion.

I started a podcast because I have years of education and real-life experience in home-based and online businesses. I want to bring my knowledge to people like you. You can learn new things that help you be successful in your own businesses.

Today I’m going to show you how to start a podcast so you can be successful in yours.

Why is it important to start a podcast?

On today’s Internet there’s lots of ways to get your voice heard through blogs, videos, websites, email, and social media.

Blogs make up about 30 percent of the websites on the Internet with about 500 million total blogs, and videos are everywhere with about 31 million YouTube channels out there today.

Podcasts are prevalent today, but it is still a fairly untapped means to get your voice out there.

You can use this medium to have a direct connection to your audience, your niche market.

We’ll dive into how to start a podcast so that you can get into this untapped platform.

Let’s get into it now and talk about how you can start a podcast.

Starting a podcast can be highly rewarding for you personally as well as financially if you do it right. You must be consistent in putting your podcasts out there.

It can take five or six months to start building an active listener base once you start a podcast. You should understand it takes some time to get known in the podcasting world.

No one will know you, you’ve never been heard before, and you are brand new.

What you need to start a podcast

The great thing about when you start a podcast is that you only need to have something to talk about.

You don’t need a great radio studio to put a good podcast together. I actually like sitting at my desk in my home office when I create mine. I feel like I’m sitting at my desk having a conversation with you.

I have a decent USB mic, a windscreen, and use my computer for editing.

When I record, everyone else is sleeping or out of the house.

This helps me to feel like I am talking directly to my audience.

With the quality of my podcast, although its decent, you can definitely tell that it’s not studio quality.

Guess what? That’s great for me because it shows my audience, I’m just like you.

Another normal guy with important things to talk about.

I’m also new at this and learning along the way.

You can get listeners even when you are in this situation.

My reason for starting a podcast

I started my podcast because I wanted to get my voice out there and have conversations with people. It’s exciting to me to help people start and improve their home-based and online businesses.

With my education and experience, I can pay it forward on my podcast by giving great information and explanation. Podcasting a platform that I can provide links to my audience for great tools and resources.

I have enjoyed learning about and putting together a podcast, and you can easily do the same thing too.

People love to hear stories and we communicate our ideas to others best when we talk to people through stories.

Talking to people, although we live in a digital age, is the best method to give them ideas and inspiration.

There is a more personal connection to other people when we use words.

History of podcasts

Podcasts have been around since about the late 1960’s, that’s when the first recordings of people began on vinyl records.

When cassettes came out in the late 1970’s or early 1980’s there were more and more available to listen to.

As the digital mediums changed and more things moved online, this opened the door for more and more people to be heard.

Podcasts as we know them today hit the market around 2005. As of today, 68 million people listen to weekly podcasts with a balanced mix of men and women.

Of people that listen to podcasts, 41% have an income of $75.000 or more per year, and around 25% have a college degree.

Podcast listeners are growing more and more each year and the trend will continue.

So, this is a great time to take advantage of this trend and start your own.

If you start a podcast, you have a deeper connection with your audience and have a more personal rapport. When they listen to a podcast you are having an intimate one-on-one conversation with that person.

People typically listen to podcasts while on commutes, while exercising, and while doing things that there are no other distractions between you and your audience.

If you start a good podcast, you can turn your average listeners into raving fans, and build a following.

The nuts and bolts

You can take your listeners off your podcast and onto your website or social media. There you can get more of their attention and turn them into paying customers if that is your goal.

Podcasting is tool for someone with a home-based or online business that wants to speak directly to their customers.

If you start a podcast and build an audience, understand that you must be in for the long-haul.

What this means is that it takes some time to build an audience, and you must be consistent in posting your shows and you cannot get lazy or your listeners will go away.

This means that if you start posting shows once a week, you must post a show every week.

Think of it like your favorite TV show, you know exactly what day and time to expect the next episode. If you didn’t get your fix when you anticipate it, you move to a different show with consistency.

Your audience expects this same thing from you too.

It’s also a good idea to start with a minimum few weeks’ worth of shows and keep ahead of schedule.

That way, if you run into a situation where you have a week you can’t produce a show, you can have a buffer to allow you to catch up.

I always have a few weeks of shows done. I’m always researching new topics that I want to talk about to my audience.

Some weeks I can’t get a show produced. With the buffer, I can do a couple of shows in one week to keep me on schedule.

Costs to start a podcast

I want to jump right into the actual costs to start a podcast.  This is one of the most exciting parts to me about starting a podcast.

The average guy or girl like you or me can start a podcast with everything we need for under $200.

Everyone has a computer nowadays so I’m going to assume that you already do.

You’ll need this to do your podcast, and get a microphone with some type of stand and a windscreen.

The one I use is a simple USB mic that is a CAD U37. You can find these online for anywhere from $50 to $100.

It’s a good mic to get the job done.  You don’t need any technical skills to use it, just plug and play.

You also need a good audio recorder so you can record your podcasts, and insert things like intros and outros. These are some type of music with someone introducing you and the show.

The recorder I used is a free open-source program that you can get at www.audacityteam.org.

If you are just beginning, you can use the help function in Audacity. You can also jump onto YouTube and watch some videos to get comfortable with it.

Intro and outro

To sound more professional, you should have an intro and an outro to your show. As I described above, this some music with an introduction of the show, and a final outro letting your audience know the show is over.

 Once the show is over, use the same thing to let your audience know it is done. For a little flair, you can add radio stinger effects that enhances the opening.

I paid a guy on Fiverr only $62 to create the ones I use. Here is a link to the guy I used: FIVERR INTRO GUY

You write the script, find free music to use, send it his way and he creates them.

Podcast logo

Another thing you are going to need is podcast art that you must have to get listed on directories.

Think of this as your podcast logo and I found a guy on Fiverr that put mine together. He did this based on what I told him for $24 and this is what you see as my picture.

Here is a link to the guy I used: FIVERR LOGO GUY

RSS hosting

You will also need a place to put your episodes, and there are a lot of rss hosts out there.

RSS hosts are a place online that you download the MP3 version of your show. You add notes about the show and other information like season and episode numbers.

The one I use is Buzzsprout and they are a really good one for beginners and experienced people alike.

I found them when I first started by watching a lot of their videos on YouTube. This was when I was learning how to start a podcast.

I really like how easy it is to use this website because they have made it a simple interface.

It is easy to download episodes and add the show notes.

When you are starting and they put your podcast on places like iTunes, Spotify, and iHeart Radio.

To date, my podcast is listed on 22 different platforms including the ones I just suggested. Buzzsprout makes it easy to set them up with instructions for all of them on their website.

You see live real time stats, so you can see exactly how many times each episode has been downloaded. Buzzsprout will show you listener locations, and other things that are relevant.

As you upload each episode you produce, Buzzsprout automatically adds them to every directory you’re listed on.

Why Buzzsprout?

One of the best things I love about Buzzsprout is that you can embed your podcast right on your website. You can draw people to your podcast through promoting your own website.

It’s not essential to have a website if you want to start a podcast, although it’s definitely worth it to put one together.

The best part about using Buzzsprout is that it is absolutely free to use if you want forever.

They allow people to use their website and never pay a dime if you don’t want to.

The caveat to this though is that with the free account, your podcast episodes last only 90 days and then they remove them from your list.

On top of this, you have only two hours of download time per month to use.

When I started my podcast, I used this free version from my first podcast download. When the 90 days were almost up, I switched to a paid account.

This allowed me to get my podcast up and running before I had to pay anything.

The reason I switched to a paid account is because I want all my podcasts always available to my listeners because mine are not time sensitive.

The cool thing about Buzzsprout is that their paid version costs me only $12 per month and that’s it.

The cost of taking my wife and I to Burger King to eat.

Finally, you want to put ads on your podcast, and I do them myself using audacity to put them together.

You can either have them professionally done through finding someone on Fiverr, but I like creating them myself.

This is all you need to get your podcast up and running, it can be done rather inexpensively.

How you “do” the podcast

Next, I want to talk about the actual doing part of the podcast because this part is not difficult either.

When I first started, I was really worried about how I sounded and wanted everything to be perfect.

I didn’t like the way my voice sounded and have since learned that most people don’t, even professionals.

This is a common human problem that we all face.

As you do more podcasting, you’ll be more okay with how you sound. After some time, my editing went from a few hours down to about an hour for each show.

My podcasts typically last about a half hour per each episode. To get that half hour segment from idea to finished product takes me about four to five hours.

To set up your podcast episodes, you want to have a relevant flow of your ideas. I always start with an outline.

An outline allows you to put your thoughts in a congruent flow.

My show is broken down into two segments. The first is something I want to share with my audience to help everyone, the second is the main topic.

Each section is broken down into three subtopics that I come up with. Under each one of those is three points I want to get across about the subtopic.

Other things to put it together

I also have the cold intro, which is a quick sentence before anything in the show begins. This tells my audience what I am going to talk about in the show’s main topic.

Then is my intro music, followed by my introduction of the show.

In the introduction, I tell what we discussed in the previous episode. Then give a brief taste of what we are going to be talking about in the main topic. I tell people why it’s important for the listener to hear.

Next is the first topic and second topic with a summary for each. I end with a discussion about how the topics went for me.

I leave the show with telling my audience what we are going to be talking about in next week’s show. Finally, I leave with some sort of call to action to my audience.

I know this may all sound like a lot to many of you, but it’s really quite simple.

Using a printed-out outline makes it easy to lay everything out and start to get my ideas together and flowing.

You can easily do this too if you use this method.

If you want to get a copy of my outline, shoot me an email to [email protected] and put “Podcast Outline” in the subject and I’ll shoot one your way.

After the outline is done

Once you have an outline of your show, you can go one of two ways.

You can either start recording right now or you can take it a step further. Something I do is to write out an actual script for my show.

You may know what you want to talk about and may intimately know your subject. But putting it into words may be difficult for you as it is for me.

I tried using the outline and just talking. What I found was that my audio was full of ums, ah’s, silent moments, and incomplete thoughts.

To keep me on track I write out a script for the whole podcast, and you may need to also.

In the beginning it felt to me like I sounded like I was reading a script. As time went on, with practice, it began to sound more natural.

Also, the script allowed me to keep track of the word count. I know where the time for my show because I know how many words get to that time.

Writing a script may actually save you in production time because you have much less editing.

Once you have your outline or script, now the magic begins.

Audacity

If you have never used an audio recorder before like audacity, it can be easy to learn. They have a great help system, and you can watch some YouTube videos on it.

You want to record your show, and edit it to get out the stuff that sounds bad. Then add in your intro, ads, and outro.

After it is complete, you save it in Audacity, then export the completed show as an MP3 to your computer.

When you are only starting, you will sound like you are only starting and this is good.

Every week I learn something new about how to make the podcasts better. Most of my learning comes from Buzzsprout because they put out a weekly newsletter that gives tips specifically for Audacity.

Then you add your episode to Buzzsprout and you are finished.

Conclusion

In summary, if you want to start your own podcast, it is simple to do with minimal costs.

That’s not to say that there isn’t a whole lot of work that goes into making your podcast successful. You have a ton of work ahead of you to start and maintain your podcast.

If you’re like me and don’t have a team, you’ll be every part of putting out a great podcast.

Many people have started out like you and me that have built a great following. They now have people on their team and in their business to help.

If you are just starting, take the time to put in the hard work now to start a podcast.

Disclosure: Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.

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Go to The Underground Entrepreneur and you can listen to our show.

You can listen on a computer, phone, or tablet right from our website.

The Underground Entrepreneur

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