How to Start a Podcast Step-by-Step

Sep 15, 2022
How to Start a Podcast Step-by-Step
 

Are you a pastor who wants to start a podcast, but you feel a little overwhelmed with all the options and choices when it comes to recording, producing, and streaming your new show? Well you’re going to really like today’s show. Because I’ll be sharing 12 steps for how to start a podcast.

Welcome to the More Than a Pastor Show. I’m your host, Rich Avery. This is where we help pastors leverage your ministry know-how into sustainable income outside of the church, through a business or side hustle that’s right for you. So you can serve God and provide for your family, no matter what.

Do you feel a little lonely…or crazy at times…like maybe you’re the only pastor who desires to provide more for your family? Or who feels called to use your ministry know-how in the marketplace? Or who doesn’t want to depend on the church for your sole income?

Well then you, my friend, are in the right place! It’s great to see you. I’m so glad you are here. You’re not crazy. And you’re definitely not alone!

If you’re new to the show, you can learn more about me, get the show notes for today’s episode, and download tools and resources to help you launch and grow your business or side hustle at morethanapastor.com/34 for episode 34.

 

Links for Today's Show

 

Ready to Start Your Own Podcast?

So, are you a pastor who wants to start a podcast, but you feel a little overwhelmed with all the options and choices when it comes to recording, producing, and streaming your new show?

I know exactly how you feel! In fact, I had dreamed of started my own podcast for more than 10 years before I finally launched the More Than a Pastor Show in 2020.

Back around 2010, podcasting was more complicated and expensive than it is today. The podcasters I was listening to back then talked about their expensive set-ups with radio broadcast quality equipment.

I knew God had given me a message to share on a show of my own, but I didn’t think I could invest that kind of money into it at the time. Especially if no one wanted to listen to me anyway? So I let doubt, delay, and distraction keep me from moving forward in launching my own show.

Then in the summer of 2020, I attended a 4-hour podcasting workshop hosted by the Podcast Talent Coach, Erik K. Johnson. You’ll find him online at podcasttalentcoach.com. He’s the dean of podcasting in the 48 Days Eagles Community. And this workshop - which was an hour a week for 4 weeks - was free as a part of my membership.

When I signed up for that workshop, something inside of me told me that now is the time. And I committed to myself that I was going to launch my show before the 4-weeks were up, no matter what.

And that’s exactly what I did. Erik did such a great job to simply and demystify the process of starting a podcast. I was finally motivated to take action and get my show launched.

So in the last episode, I shared 10 ways you can make extra money with a podcast, from getting sponsors and patrons to using your podcast as a platform for speaking, writing, coaching, etc.

Today I want to share 12 simple steps to launching your new podcast.

 

How to Start a Podcast: 12 Easy Steps

 

1. Clarify Your Goals in Launching Your Podcast

If you have a message to share, a product to sell, a service to provide, or a passion to promote, creating a podcast is one of the fastest ways to build and grow an audience.

There’s something about the power of audio, and the theater of the mind, that makes it easy for your listener, as you serve them with regular content they desire, to get to know, like, and trust you.

So before you start, decide on a goal, or a couple of goals, for why you want to launch a podcast, and always keep these in mind as you build, grow, and monetize your show.

 

2. Decide Your Topic or Niche

Some people podcast about their passions, hobbies, and interests. Others stick with topics they have professional experience in, related to their work or business. And as a pastor, you can easily leverage your ministry know-how into a podcast.

The most successful shows seem to be focused on one specific topic or niche. Because then you can build a community of avid listeners who all care about that topic.

 

3. Pick Your Format & Frequency

Next, you'll want to decide on a format for your show. Podcasts typically follow one of three basic formats:

  1. Solo show - Just you sharing your insights and wisdom
  2. One-on-One - Just you and a guest
  3. Co-Hosts - You and one or more co-hosts sharing talking among yourselves or also interviewing guests

I think most podcasts start out being a solo show, and then over time they shift to one-on-one as they begin featuring guests. Once you settle on your format, think about the frequency that is right for you. Will your show be

  1. Daily - A new episode is released every day
  2. Weekly - A new episode is released every week
  3. A Serial - There are a set number of episodes that are released in a particular order for a certain amount of time. For example, like The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill podcast.

 

4. Name Your Podcast

Naming a show can be one of the most challenging parts of starting a new podcast. Experts say it’s best to pick a name that is:

  • Brief - No more than 4-5 words
  • Aligns with your content
  • Clever or intriguing
  • Easy for you to say on your show
  • Searchable - Avoid cute spellings or misspellings that would make your show hard to find

 

5. Equipment for Recording Your Podcast

Free: Many public libraries are creating podcasting studios where you can use their equipment to record your podcast for free!

If you want to create your own podcasting set up at home, you’ll need two basic types of equipment:

  1. A microphone
  2. Recording device like a laptop, phone, or digital recorder

What Kind of Microphone is Best for Podcasting?

There are two basic kinds of microphones: 

  • Dynamic mics - These work best for podcasting. They pick up lower frequencies and have less sensitivity. This means you’ll have less background noise to edit out later.
  • Condenser mics - These are more geared for recording music and aren't idea for spoken word, because they have more sensitivity and pick up a wider range of frequencies. 

And there are two basic ways to connect your podcasting mic to your computer or mixing board:

  • USB - Easiest to use, least expensive, and you can plug it directly into your computer
  • XLR - More on the "Pro" side and expensive for beginners because it requires an interface or mixer (you plug your mic into the mixer, and the mixer into your computer or other recording device)

Best Podcasting Mic for the Price and Quality

I really like the Samson Q2U microphone. It's what I've used so far in my podcasting journey. It’s a dynamic mic and it has both USB and XLR connections. I just use the USB cable and connect it directly to my MacBook. The price was around $70 last I saw.

Podcasting Recording Equipment: Computer, Digital Recorder, or Phone

Once you have your microphone picked, you’ll need to decide how to record your podcast.

  • Computer - Most podcasters I know plug their microphone directly into their computer to record, using software like Audacity, GarageBand, Adobe Audition, or even iMovie.
  • Digital recorder - You can record into a digital recorder and then upload your audio file to your computer for editing.
  • Phone - It is possible to use your phone to record. I’ve used my iPhone with a small lavalier microphone to record a couple of episodes from inside my car. It works in a pinch, but from my experience, the sound quality wasn’t great.


Optional: Mixing Board

Pro podcasters like to use a mixing board like the RodecasterPro, which brings the audio from your microphone into the mixing board, and then out from the mixing board to your computer. It’s totally not needed when you’re just getting started with a simple podcast. I don’t have one…I just plug the mic directly into my computer.

But if you have guests or co-hosts live in-studio, a mixing board becomes essential. And if you want to insert your intro or outro or special effects with the push of a button, instead of editing them in later, then a mixer is a great idea. The 2022 price for the RodecasterPro is $488.00.

 

6. Editing Your Audio

Once your episode is recorded you may want to do some simple editing, like removing some mistakes, or adding a musical intro or outro. The good news is that the software app you used to record can also be used to edit! Personally, I use audacity and I really like it. Though there is a new app I’ve wanted to try called Descript, which sounds amazing because it displays your audio as text and lets you remove the audio you don’t want by deleting the words on your screen.


7. Finding Voiceover Talent

If you want to hire someone to create a professional intro or outro for your podcast, you can find tons of great talent at a reasonable price over on Fiverr or Upwork. When I began my podcast, I hired a guy on Upwork and he did a great job. He was a voice talent professional, and I think I paid maybe $50 for my intro and outro, which I used over and over again. But I changed my intro and outro when I started recording my podcasts on video for YouTube, so I’m no longer using it at this time.

 

8. Finding Royalty-Free Music

If you want to add an intro and outro music to your podcast, or sound effects, be sure to find something that is royalty-free, meaning that you don't have to pay a royalty to the creator each time you use it. You can find free royalty-free music in several places online like Canva and YouTube. You can also purchase music on sites like Soundstripe or Epidemic Sound, which offer thousands of song choices.

I found my original intro/outro music on Soundstripe. I was very happy with it. But when I started creating YouTube videos, I wanted to change my intro/outro music so it would work the same for both YouTube and my podcast. So I picked a new music bed in Canva.


9. Creating Podcast Cover Art

You'll need to have at least one nice piece of cover art created before you can upload your podcast to your hosting site. Podcast cover art is artwork that visually represents your podcast, in the same way album cover art visually represents an album. Your cover art is what listeners will see when they look up your podcast or listen to your shows. 

You can hire someone on Fiverr, 99Designs, or Upwork to do this for you at a price you can afford. Or you could do it yourself using a graphic design app like Canva.

I hired a lady in the Philippines via Upwork to design my More Than a Pastor logo, branding, and podcast cover art. I gave her some samples of other stuff I liked from other people’s shows, and she came back to me with some great designs to choose from.

 

10. Hosting Your Podcast

Every podcast needs a hosting site, which is the home where your show will live, and where all the episodes can be found and downloaded.

There are free options and paid options. Free podcast hosting is good. Until it isn’t.

Because some free podcast hosts don’t save all of your episodes…just the most recent 6 or maybe 12 months worth. That doesn’t make sense to me, so I’d stay away from one like that. 

Spotify has a free podcast hosting platform called Anchor.fm, which is quite robust and does not limit the number of episodes serves up. But there have been 8-10 other great free podcast hosting platforms that were around for maybe 12-16 months…and then they disappeared because they did not have a sustainable financial model.

I'm not saying Anchor.fm could end up like that. But do your research, and make sure you understand what free hosting will cost you.

The host I know, love, and use is Buzzsprout. It has a free option to help you get started. And once you’ve got some episodes under your belt and want to increase your hosting options, the prices are very affordable. Buzzsprout also has great customer support whenever you need it!

Free Trial to Buzzsprout & $20 Amazon Gift Card

You can try Buzzsprout for free by clicking my link at morethanapastor.com/buzzsprout. And if you ever decide to upgrade to a paid plan, they’ll send you and me both a free $20 amazon gift card. Not a bad deal!

11. Submit Your Show to the Top Podcast Directories

Once you have created your podcast with your hosting platform and uploaded your first show, you’ll want to submit your show to the top podcast directories, like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, Pandora, etc.

One of the things I’ve loved about Buzzsprout is that it makes this submission process super easy. So, for details on how to do this, check with your podcast hosting platform and learn how their process works.


12. Launch Your Show

Congratulations, you’ve just launched your show! How does it feel? Now tell all your friends and family about it and invite them to listen, subscribe, and share it with others.

Oh, and be sure to let me know too, so I can give you a listen and celebrate with you!

I hope this episode has been helpful in showing that it’s easy to launch your new podcast today. There are lots of free ways to get started. And some great affordable, low-cost options as well.

So, are you ready to launch your new podcast? What would it be about? Let me know over in our private FB community at morethanapastor.com/facebook or email me at [email protected]

Well, that’s it for today’s show. Before we go, would you do me a favor and hit like, share, or subscribe if you haven’t already done so. Also, what topics would you like me to cover on a future episode? Please let me know.

In the next episode…Have you wanted to start a YouTube channel, but it sounds a little complicated? Let’s simplify it for you in the next episode. I hope you’ll join me.

Until then, remember that you are more than a pastor. Saying yes to God’s call doesn’t mean you have to say yes to feeling stuck, broke, or unfulfilled in your life and ministry. Let’s work together to help you create the life, impact, and income you were made for.