If you’re a podcast lover, you’ve probably anecdotally seen (or heard) more and more podcasts are popping up each month on a range of new topics and themes. With hosts now ranging from business leaders, celebrities, and brands, it seems everyone wants a slice of the audio pie.
This is understandable, seeing that the podcast industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the creative space. Not only are more and more people listening to podcasts, but it’s never been easier for companies to cut through the noise with targeted ads to their niche audiences. With around 1 in 4 Brits listening to podcasts, which equates to around 15 million people, the entire podcast industry is estimated to be worth $4 billion dollars by the end of 2024.
However don’t let these stats scare you about becoming part of the exciting podcast world! Podcasting always has room for more hosts, conversations, and thought episodes. If you’ve been dreaming of getting your message out there to the world, our handy 5 point guide will tell you the basics of setting up and launching your own podcast - all from someone who's been there and done that.
Be passionate about your topic and why you’re doing a podcast.
Podcasting is a competitive market, but what makes it so exciting is that anyone can do it. You just need to be passionate about your subject and know why you’re doing it. If you’ve never watched an episode of Love Island, or played a game of Chess, then doing a 5 part series critiquing either of these subjects is bound to result in failure - no matter how trendy or trending - your subjects are.
This sounds like an obvious thing, but podcasts are all about putting your thoughts, interests, and opinions, into the forefront, and is what will make audiences listen more and engage with you. If you’ve got no idea about your subject, then chances are your audience will be able to tell! Pick a subject you love and put your own spin on it. There’s also no need to be super broad to catch everyone - niche subjects and opinions will help you carve out an engaged audience.
Choose a loose outline and decide who will say what and when.
Are you going to have weekly guests? A co-host? 5 episodes a series? No series?! These are all decisions you can make in the run up to recording. If you decide to have a co-host, do some practice conversations beforehand and make sure you know the general ‘flow’ of your show. By no means are we saying ‘have a script’ but make sure you know the rough outline of the conversation, or any particular segments you want to have. This is especially important if you have a guest as well, as whilst people can forgive a bit of overlap, but simply recording a conversation where everyone shouts over each other doesn’t sit well with audiences and plus makes it difficult to edit.
The more thought you can put into the prep of the show, the easier it is to record.
Decide the look and feel of your podcast to help it stand out
This is the fun bit! Designing the look and feel of your podcast is what brings it to life and is the perfect way to showcase your creativity. Artwork and branding also signifies the quality of your podcast overall and it’s worth noting that good artwork can build an audience for you, with over 62% of people saying they will try out a podcast if they like the artwork.
Make sure you have a look at the specifications of dimension size for podcast platforms, keep your branding consistent across all platforms, and clearly communicate what it’s going to be about. Think about what type of podcast you have. If you’re a business leader, consider having your picture on there to push yourself as a personality. If your podcast is about a hobby or theme, use imagery about this to capture the right people.
If you’re not a graphic designer you could always reach out to a friend for their services, hire a freelancer on somewhere like Fiver, or get creative on Canva. We recommend asking for feedback from friends and family if you've never tried designing before.
Time to get your sound right
Recording is fundamentally the most important part of the process and ultimately is what will win over audiences. The thing about podcasts is that they are an intimate medium, much like radio. 38% of Britons listen to podcasts whilst they’re driving or travelling which are important moments in the day. Good quality sound will illustrate a good quality podcast and keep people listening to you on their commute.
If you’re recording at home, you will need to be technically sound to ensure you are recording in a suitable manner. You’ll also need the right kit and recording equipment. This includes a quality microphone, interface, recording equipment or DAW, plus access to a room that is quiet and sound-proofed as possible - or at least has lots of blankets to absorb sound bounce.
If this doesn’t sound feasible, then recording in a dedicated podcast studio might be the best bet for you. Podcast studios are a great way to take the fear out of recording, as you don’t need to have many (or any) technical skills to record, can have an engineer to set you up, ensuring quality audio and consistent recording. Podcast studios can also help keep the costs down. This may seem counterintuitive, but using a dedicated space means you don’t need to invest in any of the recording kit yourself and can just turn up and record and take away an episode for a single payment.
Another factor to consider is comfort - comfortable recording equals comfortable conversation. If you're going to be recording for a lengthy amount of time, you'll need to ensure you, your co-host, and guests, are physically comfortable. That means comfy seats and no distractions. Studios are sound-proofed, meaning there's no chance of having distant sounds of police sirens or shouting children in the background, therefore keeping everyone focused on the conversation at hand. Plus, podcasts studios are spacious, and built with multiple guests in mind, making it a great option for filming and means you don't need to invite people around to sit on your bed/at a dining table, and don't need to buy lots of microphones!
Time to go live!
All done? Now it’s time to launch and promote your podcast!
Getting your podcast onto places like Apple Podcasts or Spotify is pretty simple, but can seem a little complex at first. To get your podcast out there you'll need a host. Hosting is when you upload your MP3 file to hosting site, which in turn gives you an RSS feed, which you then submit to places like Spotify and Apple. The RSS feed will have all the information embedded in it, such as your artwork and episode notes. You only need to set this up once, as when you upload to your chosen host site it will automatically feed the episode to the platform of your choice.
Some popular hosting sites in the UK are platforms such as Acast, LibSyn, and Anchor. Each of these platforms has a different pricing depending on what you'll need it for, so have a look through and pick the best one for you. Different host sites also give you different data and analytic information, which can help you decide what time is best to post, what your audience is shaping up like, and where it's most popular.
Once you're on your desired platforms, it's time to promote on social media, via your website, or newsletter. This launch is entirely up to you, but we recommend picking a launch date and sticking to it, creating your own hashtag and social media pages, and of course, promoting it to your friends and family.
Our dedicated podcast studio has everything you need. With premium recording equipment, comfortable seats, and a sound-proofed, spacious room, it's never been easier to record and go. Book The Halley podcast studio for just £10 an hour all summer by clicking here, or get in touch via email@example.com with your specifications and we'll help!