How to Create a Podcast From Scratch: A Guide for Beginners

Creating a podcast from scratch can feel intimidating and complex, just like anything else you’re starting for the first time. We’re here to help ease some of your stress and fear. The podcasting experts on the Smith Richards Collective team have put together a step-by-step guide on how to create a podcast. You can use this resource whether you’re just starting out or if you’ve created podcast before and are just looking for ways to improve your process.

Step 1: Overcome Your Fears
of Starting a Podcast

The hardest thing about starting something new is taking the first step. If creating a podcast seems scary to you, today is the day to conquer your fear! We promise that it will get easier with each step of the process. We have also provided you with our own Smith Richards Collective resources, plus additional third-party services to make this even smoother. Now, take some deep breathes…4 seconds in, 6 seconds out, and let’s get started!

Step 2: Choose Your Podcast Topic

All podcasts focus themselves on a particular niche. You want all your episodes to revolve around a similar main topic and subtopics. This makes it easier for listeners to have some idea of what to expect in future episodes, and what will keep them coming back for more. Try to keep this topic about something that you could speak about for 100+ episodes, exploring different angles. Make sure it isn’t so broad that you won’t be able to appeal to your target audience. You can always expand your topic the more popular your podcast becomes.

Step 3: Pick Your Co-Host if You
Choose to Have One

If you have a friend, business partner, or a like-minded coworker that you want to host your podcast with, go for it! Having a cohost can make it easier to engage in conversation plus you have two minds generating ideas and you can split the responsibility of editing, interviewing and promoting.

Although a lot of things become easier when you have a co-host to handle half of the tasks, there can be some downsides. It is important to make sure that both of you have the same vision and are in it for the long haul. You don’t want your co-host getting bored and dropping out if your podcast doesn’t hit the ground running or hits a few speed bumps. Create a schedule and long term plan before beginning, so both parties know exactly what they’re agreeing to.

If your co-host does decide to leave the show, no worries, you can carry on without them! You could also start over with a show of your own if it makes more sense for your brand. But the most important thing is to get started, whatever route you decide to take.

Step 4: Choose a Name For Your Podcast

The name of your podcast is critical because you want it to be catchy and something people will remember easily. If you look at Apple Podcast you’ll see a list of the top podcasts to help you generate some creative names. The show name should relate to the topic you’ll be talking about, but keeping it a little bit vague could help you reach a larger potential audience. 

Check out some podcasts that cover similar topics so you don’t accidentally steal someone else’s name. This will avoid potential legal issues, but it also benefits your listeners, so they don’t get confused about which podcast is yours when they go to listen. Choose a name that you can expand on down the road if you expand the content of your podcast. 

Once you’ve chosen the awesome title of your podcast, don’t forget to purchase a domain name; this will help you ensure that your podcast name is original and remains yours as the podcast space continues to get more crowded. 

Step 5: Determine the Style of Your Podcast

Interview shows have become popular, but that doesn’t mean you have to do one for every episode. You can mix them in with your solo or co-hosted shows whenever you see fit. One of the reasons that interview shows have become so popular is that they generate a large number of new listeners. The interviewees are also going to promote your podcast and the fact that they are guest staring. 

If you are going to bring guests onto your podcast, consider creating pre-written templates and graphics to plan out how you envision the episode going. Give your interviewees the questions you plan to ask them in advance so they can prepare answers – this will help your podcast flow smoothly.

Step 6: Choose the Length of Your Podcast

We all know that attention spans have gotten shorter in today’s instant gratification culture. But your show length should be determined by the theme. If you want to give weekly, or daily, highlights of a topic, it should be a shorter show. But if you plan to conduct interviews, have conversations with a cohost, or do a topical deep dive, you can plan for a much longer show. 

Lucky for you, we have professional podcast audio editors on our team who are the best in the business. They will ensure that your podcast sounds as professional as your broadcast station. Quality audio can make all the difference between a good podcast and a great podcast.

Step 7: Pick the Episode Format

You can research episode templates to help you plan the format of each episode. Here is one of the more popular formats we found.

Get creative with the format of your episodes as much as you can so that the show really becomes your own. Be authentic, real, and natural! Listeners will respond best to an authentic host. It’s important to remember that you will always have both repeat listeners and new listeners so you want to speak to both of them in each episode.

Step 8: Planning Out Your Podcast

Before you dive into recording, take off some of the stress by planning everything on pen and paper or in a Word Document. Map it out. The more infrastructure you have planned before attempting to record, edit, and promote your podcast the easier it will be when you reach each of those steps. Consider things like 

Step 9: A List of Potential Guests to Star on Your Podcast

If you decided in the beginning that you want to bring guests onto your podcast, this is the time to get a list of names in order. Once you have your list, start reaching out to them and confirm those who are interested in being on your show. Be diligent about scheduling them on your calendar and sending both an invite and a reminder before they’re set to appear. Send your list of prepared questions when you send out the reminder in case they have any questions.

Step 10: Purchase a Microphone

Quality audio is one of the most important keys to a quality podcast. Good audio doesn’t have to be expensive though. 

One of the most popular microphones for podcasting that gives you great quality for the price is the Audio-Technica ATR2100x-USB. It is both a USB microphone and it has an XLR connection allowing you to upgrade your recording equipment whenever you decide to upgrade.

Step 11: Produce a Creative
& Professional Intro

Consider adding prerecorded voiceovers and intros to your podcast. Having a third-party introduce you makes your podcast feel and sound more professional to listeners. Music Radio Creative is a great source for professional quality voiceovers and intros on a budget. 

Or...Skip Steps 10, 11, and 12 - Rent Time in a Professional Studio!

If you don’t want to purchase a microphone, SRC has access to a podcast recoding studio along with our collective partner, McIvor Marketing, LLC has their own podcast recording studio that you can rent out by the hour. This is a private, noise-controlled studio with two microphones. We can also help you choose and set up your introduction audio, show music, overall template and more. 

Between the three partners of SRC we have over 75 years of experience in audio production, creating world-class audio content for more than two decades. Contact us today to discuss prices and packages.

Step 13: Create Your Cover Art

Get extra creative with your cover art, let it represent your personal brand. This will be the first impression to those looking for new podcasts as they scroll through a plethora of options. If you’re not an artist, you can get cover art on a budget with 99 Designs to get yours created.

Step 14: Record Your First Episode

But don’t JUST record your first episode! Recording two to five episodes when you first start out is not only great practice, it’s a great way to take the pressure off of your release schedule by staying ahead of the game. It’s also good practice to release more than one when you first start so listeners can binge!

Solo Recording

If you are a solo host, start by recording an intro to your episode or introduce the person you’re interviewing. Then, select the track that you want to record and click the red record button to start the recording.

Multiple Hosts

If you have multiple hosts, you will need to click Track -> Configure Track Header and check Record Enabled. Once you do this you will have the ability to enable multiple tracks to record at once. Click the ‘Record Enabled’ button on each track that you would like to record and click the red record button on each track.

Conducting a Remote Interview

Most people use Skype Record Interviews because it’s easy to navigate, and the easiest way to record audio or video. If you are looking for higher quality than what Skype or Zoom provide, Iris is a great source to utilize. When you are done recording you can just place the two separate tracks on top of each other in your editing software program.

Step 15: An Editing Software -
Or Professional Editor

There’s no shortage of editing software available to choose from. This can be a little overwhelming, especially if you’ve never used an editing software – how do you know which one if the right one for you? Here are a few of the SRC top picks for easy editing software for those just starting out.

Alitu (The Easy Way) Editing Software

If you have never used an editing software before, one of the easier software options is Alitu. It’s a podcast creation tool that will automate a lot of the more technical parts for your convenience. Besides making audio editing simple, it employs a algorithms to fix audio as well, so you can stick to being a creator instead of an editor! Another bonus to Alitu is that you don’t have to download anything, since it’s all based in your browser and it works on any computer.

Hire a Professional Podcast Editor and Producer

If you don’t want to take the time to figure out an editing software, no worries! The Smith Richards Collective team will help you produce seamless, top of the industry content.

Step 16: Upload Your First Episode

After you’ve finished recording, editing and producing your podcast, you can upload it to hosting sites like Libsyn, Soundcloud, Buzzsprout or Transistor. There are dozens to choose from! They’ll generate your RSS feed for you, so you can submit to podcast carriers like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and others.

We recommend starting with 3-5 episodes before officially launching your podcasts so listeners can binge your episodes like they would a good show on Netflix!

Step 17: Spread the Word with McIvor Marketing

How will anyone know you’ve just launched a new podcast if you don’t promote it? Shout it, sing it from the rooftops, and make it known! Tell everyone and anyone, and ask them to share it with their friends and family as well. 

If you don’t have the time to promote your podcast yourself, or don’t know where to start, we can help! Our partner, McIvor Marketing not only offers a recording studio and in-house podcast editor, but offers a full-service digital marketing company that has an array of ways to promote your podcast. Whether you want them running your social media accounts, designing and publishing ads on Google, Facebook, Spotify and more, they would be honored to help your podcast become a success.

Take Your Podcast to the Next Level

Once you have gotten a handle on our beginners’ guide to starting a podcast from scratch, check out our blog on how to make a good podcast great!


The article is courtesy of McIvor Marketing.

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