Marketing

The Complete Beginners Guide to Podcasting

  • Do you have any of the following questions about starting a podcast or even upgrading your podcast setup?
  • I want to start a podcast, but I’m lost?
  • I want to know how to record two people speaking?
  • I want to know how to record an interview when someone is in a different location?
  • I want to know what equipment I need?
  • I want to know what software to use to edit my podcast?
  • I want to know how to publish my podcast?
  • I want to know how to get guests on my podcast?

These are the questions I had, and I’ve spent months reading, watching videos and testing equipment with my co-host on our podcast #AMBITIOUS. I struggled to find a one stop shop article that answered all my questions. All the information was fragmented over many different articles, blog posts and videos. It was confusing. Condenser microphones vs dynamic microphones, XLR Plug Microphone Cables, guest interviews – every question led to more questions.

I went down the podcast rabbit hole and I’ve come back to write this article with everything in it that’ll help you get started. I’m going to go into detail to the point where you’ll know what memory card to use, because that information wasn’t available to me until I hit a problem. I want this article to be so you don’t have problems, or at least minimise the problems and obstacles you may face when starting your podcast.

This is what I’m going to cover:

1. How to start a podcast
1.1 Your podcast idea
1.2 Solo, co-hosting and guest speakers
1.3 Defining your goal
2. What equipment you need for podcasting
2.1 What microphone to use (dynamic vs condenser)
2.2 Mono vs stereo
2.3 Recording a solo podcast
2.4 Recording with Co-hosts & guest interviews
3. What software you need
3.1 Audio recording software
4. Polishing your podcast with an intro, music and cover photo
5. How to distribute your podcast
6. Podcast creation summary
7. How to get guests on your podcast
7.1 Reaching out to guests
7.2 Interviewing and interview preparation
8. Summary

This should cover most of what you need without having to research many other articles, hopefully you won’t need any other articles. I’m going to write in plain English with minimal technical jargon. I won’t be covering the minute detail such as how to edit your podcast in software to get the best possible sound. That’s too low level, but you’ll know how to get that stage, which is more important.

If you already have your podcast idea and you’re literally just looking to understand the technical side. Skip to section two, which is about what equipment you need.

Note: I’m writing this as an article that is not read from top to bottom, but as an article you would skip to the parts you need. That’s how I would read it. Therefore, I will repeat information word for word in some sections.

Before we begin, below is a workflow of how a podcast episode is created. A podcast is just a collection of episodes. By understanding this high-level workflow you’ll understand what you need to do.

Podcasting Process Steps

Let’s begin.

 

1. How to Start a Podcast

1.1 Your podcast idea

All podcasts start with an idea. Most people don’t get past this part, because execution requires work. In most cases, a podcast is something you’ll be doing on the side. Even if it’s part of your business as a content marketing strategy.

The best podcast ideas are usually organic. They’ve come from a burning desire to share knowledge and stories. Those ideas may come from listening to other podcasts and thinking something is missing or that you can do it better.

Personally, I don’t think you’ll have a successful podcast if you sit down and try and force an idea for the sake of a podcast. You’ll get bored and stop, and your listeners will know you’re bored (if you manage to get any listeners).

Because I think it should be organic, I’m not going to write a list of idea generating tactics to come up with a podcast idea. If you haven’t already come here with a burning desire to do one, then maybe you should wait till you find inspiration.

However, I will say you might want to consider your idea in more depth. Let’s say you decide to do a podcast about online gaming. What is your podcast going to be about specifically?

  • Reviewing online games
  • Gaming strategies and tactics for different games
  • A podcast about one game only such as World of War Craft
  • Interviews with other gamers / famous gamers
  • How to create online games
  • Interviews with game designers and makers
  • All the above

As you can see, you can niche down your podcast. Ultimately it depends on what you’re trying to achieve, your goals and what you’re more passionate about.

1.2 Solo, co-hosting and guest speakers

You’ll also want to decide if the podcast is:

  • A solo podcast
  • Co-hosted podcast
  • Interviewing guests
  • Hybrid podcast

A solo podcast: is a podcast where one person is the main and usually only speaker. They may occasionally have guests. If you’re thinking of doing a solo podcast, consider whether you have enough subject knowledge. Also consider if you think you’ll also have guests on your show.

Co-hosted: is a podcast that has two or more speakers. For example, the highly successful podcast “My Dad Wrote a Porno” has three speakers. Their podcast doesn’t speak to the audience directly but is more of a conversation between friends that we get to listen to. Another example is the Marketing School podcast, which is hosted by Neil Patel and Eric Siu.

If you want to co-host have you got one and are you all committed? The last thing you want is a co-host that is never available, which will push back recording and production. Your co-host doesn’t need to be in the same room as you, so your co-host can be in a different location.

Interviewing guests: Your podcast could be completely based on interviewing or speaking with guests like Tim Ferris or Joe Rogan. It helps if you’re well connected and have a network of people.

However, you can still get guests on your podcast who you’ve never met before. It’ll just take a bit of work. We’ll discuss how to get podcast guest later in the article. Important questions to ask is if you plan on speaking to guests in person, in one location or different locations and will you be speaking to people remotely (both of you are in different locations)?

Hybrid podcast: Many of the podcasts I listen to have a mix of the above, which is absolute fine. There’s nothing wrong with sticking to a format either but mixing things up breaks the monotony and brings different voices and ideas to your listeners.

It’s fine to adapt and change direction during your podcast so none of this is set in stone, but it helps to have an idea of the direction when you’re starting off.

1.3 Defining your goal

Its important to understand what you’re trying to achieve with your podcast.

  • Are you wanting to make money directly through your podcast via advertising or paid episodes?
  • Is it part of a content marketing strategy?
  • Is it a hobby?

This helps you understand where you want to take your podcast, what equipment you need and what you need to do.

 

2. What Equipment You Need For Podcasting

Personally, I think if you’re starting a podcast and you have no idea about recording sound then it’s very easy to get lost and overwhelmed by the equipment.

Therefore, I’ve tried to make this very black and white, so it become blinding obvious what you’ll need. I have had to repeat some information in sections, but I believe this is necessary for anyone who is reading this article in parts.

I think the best way to talk about equipment is under situational circumstances. That way you can skip to your situation and identify what you need rather than read everything for no reason.

2.1 What microphone to use (dynamic vs condenser)

What type of microphone or microphones you use will depend on the following:

Podcast format: is it just you doing the podcast, or will there be more than one speaker?

Podcast style: do you want background noise to give a raw feel to your podcast? For example, you might do a podcast while you walk through the woods. The background noise of nature will add an extra element if it’s suited to your podcast theme. Or do you want a voice only podcast with minimal to no background noise?

Dynamic Microphone vs Condenser Microphone: to cut a long story short a condenser microphone will pick up background noise and a dynamic microphone is less likely to pick up background noise. Therefore, with a dynamic microphone you need to be up and close to the microphone when recording. However, ideally you want to be up and close to your condenser microphone too, otherwise your voice will sound like you’re recording in a hallway, but it’ll still pick up all the background noise.

The best way to understand the difference between a dynamic microphone and a condenser microphone is to listen, so check this link out: https://youtu.be/JiPQ9HT-amo

2.2 Mono vs stereo

I’ll over simplify this, but you don’t really need to know anymore than below if you’re starting a podcast:

You will either record your episode in mono or stereo. Then you will either publish your podcast episode in mono or stereo (publishing should be in mono).

Mono: if you put ear phones in, a mono track will play the same audio in both ear phones. You want your podcast to played in mono 100 percent. The reason why is because people sometimes only listen to their podcast with one ear phone and leave one dangling. They’ll miss parts of your podcast if half is coming out of the left ear phone and part of it is coming out of the right ear phone. If you’re using a USB microphone (I’ll explain shortly) you’ll record in mono. However, while you will always want to publish your podcast episodes in mono. If you’re recording two people you’re best recording in stereo first, then converting to mono when publishing.

Stereo: if you put ear phones in, a stereo track will play audio in the left ear phone and different audio in the right ear phone. This is great for music, but not great for a podcast for the reasons above. However, while you’ll always want to publish your podcast episode in mono. If you’re recording two people using two microphones, then recording in stereo is much better as you can edit the two files separately.

This this will make more sense as you read below.

2.3 Recording a solo podcast

Below I discuss several ways to record a solo podcast:

iPhone with Apple’s headphone and microphone: if you have an iPhone it most likely came with a pair of headphones that have an inbuilt microphone. Assuming you never bought the iPhone specifically for podcasting this is the cheapest and easiest way to start a solo podcast. You can use the headphone microphone to record your podcast. There are two ways to do this:

  1. Voice Memos – you can record your podcast on the app Voice Memos that comes already installed on your iPhone. You can then upload these directly as your podcast or upload them to your computer for editing before then uploading as a podcast. More on this later.
  2. Anchor – is a podcasting app with the strapline “The easiest way to start a podcast”. You can download and use Anchor for free. It provides features for you to record and add affects to your episode such as music transitions. You can even use Anchor to record group sessions or remote podcast with a guest in a different location. We won’t go into those details in this part of the article. However, you can use Anchor along with your iPhone to record and publish your podcast. Download Anchor here.

You could do it without the microphone headphones, but it’s just easier with. It also sounds better with them too.

Use a USB microphone (condenser microphone): The next level up from using an iPhone is using a USB microphone, which will be a condenser microphone. The reason this is the next level up is because USB microphones are plug and play, so you can buy a USB microphone, plug it in and you’re ready to record. It’s very simply. You’ll just need some software, which we’ll discuss later but that’s free and easy to get.

To keep this simple, I’m going to talk about two microphones only:

  1. The Blue Snowball (around £70)
  2. The Blue Yeti (around £120)

Blue Yeti Microphone

These are probably the most used microphones in this category and I only have experience with these ones. They’re condenser microphones, so they’ll pick background noise. If you don’t want background noise, but you’re using these microphone’s as a budget option. Then you’ll need to record in a quiet room with lots of soft furnishing, so your voice doesn’t bounce off the walls and floor too much.

Have a listen to these tests:

  1. The Blue Snowball: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FATzWR4Nj78
  2. The Blue Yeti: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2BNAF3u5lc

WARNING: I’ve used both microphones. The Blue Snowball died on me in a short space of time. As a result, I upgraded to the Blue Yeti and it didn’t work with my laptop running Windows 10. I ordered a replacement and that didn’t work either. Now you’re probably wondering why I’m suggesting these if on all three occasions I’ve had problems? We’ll judging by the number of articles, YouTube reviews and Amazon reviews, they work for most people. They’re very popular.

Use a dynamic microphone: If you want a more professional sound to your solo podcast the next level up is to use a dynamic microphone. This is were things get a little confusing. You can’t plug a dynamic microphone directly into your laptop, so you need extra equipment. You’ll need:

  • a dynamic microphone
  • an audio interface (one microphone input)
  • an XLR Plug Microphone Cable
  • a microphone stand
  • Foam Microphone Windshield (optional)

Just to explain this simply, you plug the dynamic microphone into the audio interface using the XLR cable. Then the audio interface can plug into your computer with the USB cable it comes with. You’ll want/need a microphone stand to hold the microphone. To improve the sound, you could get a microphone windshield, which is the foam cover that goes over the microphone.
f you’re on a budget the below equipment will sort you out. We’re not affiliated to Amazon or any of the products below:

These are the prices at the time of writing, but they’re also on sale at much cheaper while I was writing this. Therefore, the above prices are more expensive than what you can possibly buy them at. Also, remember you don’t need to buy brand new equipment and it’s worth looking around for second hand equipment.

I’ve used all the equipment above apart from the audio interface. However, this interface is one of the most well know audio interfaces.

Mixing recording styles: I’ve discussed three ways to record your solo podcast. However, you don’t need to be so rigid and record using only one method. You should always record with the best equipment you can use in the situation, but if you’re travelling and you need to get an episode out you’ll need to adapt and improvise.

Much of the equipment above can be used for co-hosting and recording guests. However, if we want better quality we’ll need to make a few adjustments. We’ll discuss recording with more than one person below.

2.4 Recording with co-hosts & guest interviews

There a few situations where you might podcast with more than one person, whether that’s a co-host or having a guest on your podcast:

  • two of you together
  • two of you in separate locations
  • more than two together
  • more than two together, or separate locations

iPhone / Smart phone: If you’re on a tight budget or you want to test things first, you could sit around one iPhone (I’ll use iPhone to mean all smart phones) and record using the Voice Memo app or the Anchor app. The sound isn’t going to be the best, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. The more important thing is to start.

This is a great way to start podcasting with a co-host, but it’s not a great way to podcast with a guest. You’ll look amateur especially if you’re wanting to podcast with influential people.

2 x iPhone with Apple’s headphone and microphone: If you’re co-hosting as a duo you could record each voice on two separate iPhones using the Voice Memo app. Then use free audio software such as Audacity to put the tracks together. This is better than recording on one track because it allows you to play with the different tracks. This is good if one person speaks quitter than the other and you need to amplify their track.

Note: if you ever record sound on two separate tracks or devices, make sure you clap before you start speaking. The clap will allow you to sync up the two tracks. This is why film makers use a clapperboard before they film a scene.

Co-hosting or guest speaker in separate locations – is another way to podcast with a co-host. If you’re co-hosting in separate locations, you can use your iPhone with the Anchor app. The app will allow you two invite a guest or your co-host and record the podcast together in one track.

I still use this method to interview guests who are in a different location. All they have to do is download the Anchor app on their phone and nothing else. Just let them know they need a pair of headphones with a microphone (they should have them) otherwise they’ll be holding up the phone to their ear.

Use a USB microphone (condenser microphone): as with a solo podcast, the next level up from using an iPhone is using a USB microphone, which will be a condenser microphone. The reason this is the next level up is because USB microphones are plug and play, so you can buy a USB microphone, plug it in and you’re ready to record. It’s very simple. You’ll just need some software, which we’ll discuss later but that’s free and easy to get.

One of the advantages of using a USB microphone to co-host is that it’s quite easy to move around, you just need your laptop and the microphone.

It must be noted that this style of podcasting will only work if you’re together and sitting round one microphone and you’re both comfortable getting up close to the microphone together. If you’re filming the podcast this won’t work very well because it won’t come across on the video well, as you’ll both be awkwardly close together around one microphone. If you sit apart for the video then the sound quality gets reduced. This is how we did our podcast when we first started. However, if you’re only podcasting without video and you’re comfortable sitting close to each other, you can make this work.

Because you need to sit so close together, this makes it not a good idea for podcasting with guests. You can get away with it for co-hosting, but no guest speaker unless friends or family are going to want to sit this close to you. It’s just not a professional set up.

Now I know what you’re thinking “Why don’t we just use two USB microphones?” We’ve all thought this when we started, but a computer won’t take two USB microphones. It just doesn’t work like this. Plus buying two decent USB microphones will cost you the same as a more professional setup, but without the better quality (if you managed to make it work). If you want to record using two microphones (recommended) we’ll discuss that after this section.

To keep this simple, I’m going to talk about two microphones only:

  1. The Blue Snowball (around £70)
  2. The Blue Yeti (around £120)

These are probably the most used microphones in this category and I only have experience with these ones. They’re condenser microphones, so they’ll pick background noise. If you don’t want background noise, but you’re using these microphone’s as a budget option. Then you’ll need to record in a quiet room with lots of soft furnishing, so your voice doesn’t bounce off the walls and floor too much.
Have a listen to these tests:

WARNING: I’ve used both microphones. The Blue Snowball died on me in a short space of time. As a result, I upgraded to the Blue Yeti and it didn’t work with my laptop running Windows 10. I ordered a replacement and that didn’t work either. Now you’re probably wondering why I’m suggesting these if on all three occasions I’ve had problems? We’ll judging by the number of articles, YouTube reviews and Amazon reviews, they work for most people. They’re very popular. They just didn’t work for me and I was able to return them.

Using two or more dynamic microphones with an audio interface: If you’re podcasting together in one location and your podcast never moves location. Like Joe Rogan’s podcast. This is where you want to be and that is using multiple dynamic microphones – or at least heading in this direction. You don’t need to start here, and I don’t recommend you start off with this setup, because you’ll have to spend some money. Use the iPhone method first to see if you love podcasting then consider this setup. If you do love podcasting leave the USB microphones and head straight this way. You’ll need:

  • Dynamic microphone x 2
  • Audio interface with two microphone inputs
  • XLR Plug Microphone Cable x 2
  • Microphone stand x 2
  • Foam Microphone Windshield x 2 (optional)

If your podcast has more than two speakers, then you simply increase the number of equipment you use and use an audio interface that can take more than two microphones.

Just to explain this simply, you plug the dynamic microphone into the audio interface using the XLR cable. Then the audio interface can plug into your computer with the USB cable it comes with. You’ll want/need a microphone stand to hold the microphone. To improve the sound, you could get a microphone windshield which is the foam cover that goes over the microphone.

If you’re on a budget the below equipment will sort you out. We’re not affiliated to Amazon or any of the products below:

These are the prices at the time of writing, but they’re also on sale at much cheaper while I was writing this. Therefore, the above prices are more expensive than what you can possibly buy them at. Also, remember you don’t need to buy brand new equipment and it’s worth looking around for second hand equipment.

I’ve used all the equipment above apart from the audio interface. However, this interface is one of the most well know audio interfaces and is an Amazon Bestseller.

Using two dynamic microphones with a digital recorder: if you and your co-host don’t have a dedicated location to record your podcast and you must move around. Also, if want to interview people and you must travel to their location. Then this setup is my favourite. It’s also the one we currently use.

This is where things get a little confusing. You can’t plug a dynamic microphone directly into your laptop like you can with a USB microphone, so you need extra equipment. You’ll need:

  • Dynamic microphone x 2
  • Digital recorder that has two or more XLR plug inputs
  • XLR plug microphone cable x 2
  • Microphone stand x 2
  • Foam microphone windshield x2 (optional)
  • SD/SDHC memory card
  • Batteries or a power supply plug

Just to explain this simply, you plug the dynamic microphones into the digital recorder using the XLR cable. The digital recorder will record and save the recording on the memory card as a file. You extract the file using a USB cable or through a memory card reader on your computer. You’ll want/need a microphone stand to hold the microphone. To improve the sound, you could get a microphone windshield which is the foam cover that goes over the microphone.

What’s the difference between using an audio interface and a digital recorder? The key difference in this setup is you don’t need to carry a laptop with you, the recording will be recorded on the digital recorder. Therefore, this setup is better if you podcast in different locations.

If you’re on a budget the below equipment will sort you out. We’re not affiliated to Amazon or any of the products below:

Okay I’m writing this specifically for the equipment above which is all focused around the digital recorder: Zoom H4n Pro/UK Handy Recorder.

I highly recommend the Zoom H4n Pro/UK Handy Recorder for a two-person setup. Now it does have two condenser microphones on the top of he recorder, but you’ll want to use the XLR inputs with two dynamic microphones, so you have better sound and a stereo file you can edit with more flexibility.

Zoom H4n Pro

WARNING: if you purchase a Zoom H4n Pro you need to be aware of some things that will irritate you if you don’t read about them first. The first thing is that you need to read the online manual to ensure you buy the right memory card. It will only take certain memory cards and of a certain size. If you whack in a 64GB memory card it isn’t going to work. Also, a very irritating factor is that the size of the memory card will affect how fast the device starts. If you use a 16GB memory card it will take an extremely long time to start up. Check out this video to compare memory cards and start up speeds: https://youtu.be/Vn1iKO2G78k

Therefore, my advice is to use a memory card that is no bigger than 8GB. 8GB is more than enough to podcast without worrying about using up all your memory. In fact, 4GBs is more than enough. You can always format the card every time you do a new podcast recording once you’ve backed up your older recordings.

Another thing, while you’ll have bought a power plug. The room you’re in might not have a plug socket, so always carry batteries.

Online manuals (at the bottom of the page): https://www.zoom-na.com/products/field-video-recording/field-recording/zoom-h4n-pro-handy-recorder

If you want to record with more than two co-hosts using more than two microphones, then you can look at the Zoom H6. I’ve not used it, so you might need to do a little research on it.

To summarise, if you want to co-host or interview guests you can:

  • use a smart phone with headphones
  • use a USB condenser microphone
  • use multiple dynamic microphone with an audio interface
  • use multiple dynamic microphone with a digital recorder

 

3. What Software You Need to Podcast

You’ll need software to edit your audio and you might need software to record your audio depending on your situation. In this section, we’ll talk about the main software applications you are likely use. I’ll break this section into two:

  • Recording software
  • Audio Editing software

3.1 Audio recording software

Skype: if you’re not recording guests or co-hosting you can skip Skype and go to the next piece of software. Skype is a telecommunication software application that is used to have audio and video conversations with people over the internet. Therefore, it’s a suitable option to podcast with other people. It’s a very well-established piece of software.

You can use Skype with some additional third-party software to record guests. You’ll obviously need a microphone and so will your guests. I’ve never used Skype to podcast, so I’m not going to be able to write a detailed explanation. If you’re just after audio, then Anchor will work just fine and probably be less complicated than using Skype with additional software. However, if you’re also hosting videos with your podcast then Skype with additional screen capture software and audio recording software will enable you to capture the conversation. For good third-party software you’re going to have to pay, but they are cheap.

However, there is some good news, with Skype version 8, you will have the feature to record your calls directly through the software removing the need for third party software. Obviously, this makes life much easier for you. Find out more here: https://support.skype.com/en/faq/FA12395/how-do-i-record-my-skype-calls

Download Skype here: https://support.skype.com/en/faq/FA12395/how-do-i-record-my-skype-calls

Anchor: is an app and website with the sole purpose of creating and distributing podcasts. The shocking thing is its 100 percent free (with some strings – read the Terms and Conditions). We live in amazing times. It’s also very easy to use.

Note: while Anchor is completely free, the catch is that if you distribute through Anchor you give them the right to use, edit, modify, reproduce, and distribute your podcast. Something you need to consider.

You can use Anchor to do a solo podcast, a co-host podcast and podcast with guests. A quick list of ways you can use Anchor:

  • Record and distribute your podcast
  • Just record and distribute in another platform
  • Just to distribute.

Okay you might ask why I wouldn’t just use Anchor to record and distribute my podcast? Well you want to record with the best equipment available, so you might record using your dynamic microphone and audio interface then upload it separately to Anchor. Or you might record a remote guest episode and then pull the audio off Anchor and upload it using another podcast host that you pay for. We’ll talk hosting later.

That’s how I use Anchor. I only use it to record guest interviews over my iPhone. I pull the audio off Anchor and upload it to my host which is PodBean.

You can edit your podcast episodes in Anchor and put music on. However, if you’re serious about podcasting you’re going to want to use more powerful tools to clean up and enhance your audio.

Download Anchor here: https://anchor.fm/

Audacity: Audacity is a free and open-source digital audio editor and recording application software, available for Windows, macOS/OS X and Unix-like operating systems. This is what I’m currently using. You can use it to:

  • Record your podcast
  • Edit your podcast

We was using Audacity to record our podcast directly into Audacity using a USB condenser microphone. We don’t record the audio this way anymore, but we still use Audacity to clean up and enhance the audio.

There are other audio editing software packages, such as GarageBand for Mac users, but I don’t have experience in those.

If you’re starting out, Audacity is more than good enough. There are tons of videos and articles on how to use Audacity, so you’ll learn it in now time.

Download audacity here: https://www.audacityteam.org/

 

4. Polishing Your Podcast with an Intro, Music and Cover Photo

This going to be a short section, as the focus needs to be on sound quality and content quality. They’re what make a successful podcast. Please don’t spend hours, days or weeks looking for the perfect intro music or podcast image before you start.

However, you’re going to want an intro/outro, or some music and a podcast image.

Podcast into/outro: Fiver is an online marketplace for freelance services. Here you’ll fine professional voice people who will make you an intro and outro with music for a very low cost. You’ll need to follow the instructions of the freelancer whose services you purchase. It will usually require you to write out a script for them to follow. However, if you have any difficult or unfamiliar words or names in your intro/outro, the best thing to do is also to record your script and send it to your freelance. For example, my surname is Leong and many people pronounce it “Long”, instead of “Lee-ong”.

Fiverr: https://www.fiverr.com/

Music: if you search YouTube, you will find playlists with copyright free music. Search through the lists till you find a track you like. Remember, you’re looking to find a sample that you like and not the whole track. In the video’s description will be a link to the copyright free download that the artist allows you to have. You’re not going to want to use a whole track as an intro, so you’ll need to cut it. You can do this in Audacity.

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/

Podcast Image: Canva is a graphic-design tool website, founded in 2012. It uses a drag-and-drop format and provides access to over a million photographs. In Canva there are templates specifically for making podcast images.

Canva: https://www.canva.com/

 

5. How to Distribute your Podcast

For people to hear your podcast you need to distribute your podcast to podcast platforms such as iTunes and Spotify, so people can listen to it.

There are many, such as:

  • Apple Podcasts
  • Breaker
  • Castbox
  • Google Podcasts
  • Overcast
  • Pocket Casts
  • RadioPublic
  • Spotify
  • Stitcher
  • TuneIn

Rather than doing this individually to each podcast platform, you’ll need to use ‘a podcast hosting platform’. A podcast hosting platform enables you to upload your podcast episodes and artwork. Then distribute it across the multiple podcast platforms above.

I personally use Podbean as my podcasting hosting platform. I do not have any experience of others, but here are some more you can review:

  • Podbean: www.podbean.com
  • Libsyn: www.libsyn.com
  • Buzzsrpout: www.buzzsprout.com
  • Spreaker: www.spreaker.com
  • AudioBoom: www.audioboom.com
  • Blubrry: www.blubrry.com
  • Soundcloud: www.soundcloud.com

Anchor: www.anchor.fm (Make sure you read the Ts and Cs on Anchor, as you give them rights to your content.)

You will need to pay for podcast hosting, so do your research and take advantage of any free trials to see what works best for you.

 

6. Podcast Work Flow

The above sections describe the workflow of creating a podcast, the podcast episodes and then distributing it.

There are many different parts to making a podcast epsiode, so my advice is to understand each part of the workflow and it’ll all come together.

Podcasting Process Steps

7. How to get Guests on your Podcast

The above sections of this article explains the hard-technical aspects of podcasting, which is about using the right audio equipment and software.

In this section, we’ll talk about the soft skill of podcasting to get people on your podcast.

If you’re reading this section, I’m assuming you have a good idea what your podcast is about. That mean’s you’ll have a good idea of the types of people you and your listeners will find interesting.

You’re going to want to reach out to those people and ask them if they’d like to be on your podcast. As a process, this is very easy to do. Find someone you want to podcast and contact them. While the process is easy the execution is hard, because you’ll experience a lot of rejection. It’s not until your podcast is very popular and you’re established will most people say “Yes” or actively contact you to be on.

When you’re starting off you’ve got to hustle for those guests. That means sending lots of messages to lots of people and taking lots of rejection or being ignored until you get a “Yes”.

That’s right podcasting is hard work and it requires you to sell. You need to sell to the people you want to be on it, and you need to sell to people to listen to it.

You’re probably not going to get big names, famous people or big stars on right away. You’ll need to build up your podcast first. This is fundamentally important, because by the time you get to the point of podcasting big names you’ll be a seasoned interviewer.

7.1 Reaching out to guests

It’s unlikely your guest will have their contact details on public display, so there are a couple of ways to acquire their email or you contact them through social media.

Using social media, you can send them a direct message or comment on their content. Depending on who they are, they might have this facility disabled or your contact method might get lost in a sea of information. However, social media is a great way to reach out to potential guests.

If your potential guest isn’t reachable via social media, but they work for or own a company. Then you can very easily guess their email address. It’s not as strange as it sounds. Most companies have an email address that is related to their website domain name. Just take a minute to think about your work email address. It’ll have the company domain name and it will be, in most cases, the same format as all your colleagues.

The below tools will help you find their email address, or at least workout their email address format:

When you reach out to a guest and ask them if you can have them on your podcast, you need to be tactful with your email and approach. You need to be polite, respectful and persistent. That might be sending more than one email. I write emails using AIDA, which stands for:

  • Attention – attract the attention of the person
  • Interest – raise their interest
  • Desire – saying the right things to create desire
  • Action – make it extremely obvious what the person must do next to progress
  • Below is an example email.
  • Subject line: Podcast Invite

Below is an example email.

Subject line: Podcast Invite

“Hello (Guest’s Name),

My name is and I host a podcast all about .

The aim of the podcast is to help people with / inspire people to do . As someone who has achieved this / is a respected person within this field / etc. I would love to do a podcast episode with you. Listeners would gain a huge amount of value from this episode.

I totally understand if you’re too busy, but if you can find the time and this is something that interests you, just email me back and we can coordinate diaries.

Best wishes,

(Your Name)

Like I said earlier, this isn’t complicated, but it does take a lot of work reaching out to people.

However, I believe you get a better response rate if you target the right people. I’ll explain how.

Very famous people will be ring fenced and hard to reach. However, podcasting is very intimidating to most people, so most “normal” people will ignore you or say “No”. I have found that people who are not overly famous, but have videos on YouTube, have been on local TV or done some TV work, or like to be interviewed are usually likely to respond. Even if they have a few personal YouTube videos. It shows they’re willing to do media work. If you’re contacting someone who has virtually no publicity work they’re likely to be someone who likes to be out the public eye.

Having said that if you really want that person on your podcast you should still try to get them on. It’s just much easier if the guest you’re contacting is a confident self-promoter.

7.2 Interviewing and interview preparation

Before you interview anyone, you should research as much as possible about them. I literally mean Google and go deep, LinkedIn, their Social Media channels, YouTube and everything you can find.

This will help you create a list of questions to ask your guest. That’s right, you need to write a list of questions to guide you through the podcast. Now writing a list of questions doesn’t mean sticking to the list in a rigid way. It’s simply a guide. Your guest might mention something during the recording that you might want to explore. Your guest might unexpectable answer one of your later questions. So your list of questions is just a guide.

Listen to your guest and be present in the moment. Listening is hard work especially for an hour or more. Also interviewing people if you’re not very experienced can be scary. You can become self-absorbed and spend more time worrying about what to ask next. You need to listen to what your guest is saying so that you can direct your next question. You want a back and forth conversation. You next question needs to flow from what the guest has just spoken about unless you’ve exhausted that topic.

Keep an eye on the time and respect their time. If they only have 30 minutes keep it to 30 minutes.

8. Summary

This article has gone through the technical aspects of setting up a podcast. It has given you options to choose from depending on what the format of your podcast is.

We’re here to help, so feel free to put a comment below if you have any questions.

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