“Make the radio that you want to listen to”
Around eight months ago I stepped into the world of podcasts, and like most people, was first introduced to podcasts by the Serial podcast. I started working through many of the top listed podcasts, but found that many were about crime or current events and not particularly “motivating”. I began to discover health and wellbeing podcasts a few months later and fell in love with the way these hosts were connecting and supporting their listeners. I had this strong feeling inside that this is exactly what I wanted to (and needed to) do, and so the idea to start a podcast was born.
I consider myself to be quite creative and self starting, so it’s quite often that I will see something that I like and trust that I have the ability to achieve it. The world of podcasting was so foreign to me, I had no experience in audio, but I knew that I could learn. I spent some time planning out my podcast and the types of topics I wanted to cover. Once I had decided on the name of my podcast, I got to work and launched my first episode within about 24 hours of recording it. You don’t need to be an audio tech guru or have thousands of dollars to start a podcast. Here’s how I got started with my first episode for less than $100.
- Choose a podcast name and buy your domain
The first thing you need to do is decide on what you would like to name your podcast. This is an important decision because it’s what listeners will see when scrolling through podcast options and may be the difference between them selecting yours or not. Try to choose a name that clearly indicates what the podcast is about and consider whether it can include some key words that people might be searching for. I selected Wellbeing Weekly because I thought that it perfectly summed up what my podcast was going to be about – topics to support people with their wellbeing, which would be uploaded each week. Wellbeing is also a common search term for people, so my podcast appears in the search results for people looking for podcasts about health and wellbeing. Once you’ve chosen your podcast name, you will need to purchase a domain name so that you can develop a website to direct listeners to and to list your episode show notes. Domain names can be purchased from a variety of services and can cost around $10-$20 depending on the URL.
- Develop your website
Generally when you upload podcast episodes, you will develop a page on your website that includes the notes and resources that relate to that episode, often called ‘show notes’. You can also use this website to host content regarding your podcast, business, blogs or anything else that you would like to promote. There are some services that allow you to create a free website, as well as some services that cost as little as $15 per month and have intuitive drag and drop features so that you can easily design a website. I use WordPress, as I have a more advanced understanding of building websites and code, and if you choose to use WordPress you will need to have it hosted through a website hosting company which can also be as little as $15 per month.
- Choose a podcast hosting program:
Podcasts are “hosted” on the servers of podcast hosting services, and support the publication of your podcast episodes onto ITunes, Spotify etc. There are a few different hosting services out there, but after some research and comparing, I decided to choose Libsyn. They provide a number of different plans depending on your podcasting needs and can cost as little as $5 per month for a basic plan.
- Purchase equipment to record your podcast:
When I first started working on my podcast I used my laptop and the voice recorder on my iPhone. I found that the audio quality of my iPhone sounded better than a lapel microphone that I owned so I rolled with it. While the audio quality of your podcast is important, you can get started without extremely expensive recording equipment as long as you record in suitable environments with low background noise and echo. Since then, I have purchased a better quality microphone.
- Set up editing software & intro/outro:
In order to edit your podcast audio, you will need an audio editing program. There are some programs out there that you can purchase, however I simply downloaded Audacity which is free – and have self taught myself how to edit audio via the internet. You will also need some sort of intro and outro for your podcast episodes. Many people have music with a voice over, which you can layer in Audacity and save to add to each episode. When choosing music, you do need to ensure that the music is not copyrighted. I simply searched for podcast music and found a website where I could purchase a licence to use my chosen music track in my podcast which cost approximately $30.
- Publishing & promoting your podcast:
Once you have all of the resources required to record, edit and save your podcast episode, it’s time to publish! You will need to register your podcast with iTunes and any other services that you would like your podcast to be available on. Your hosting provider should have information guiding you on how to do this. Once approved by iTunes, your episodes can be published through your podcast hosting service and the process will generally step you through the information required for each episode. Once published, your episodes should begin to appear and it’s time to start promoting them. Promoting your podcast can be as expensive or cheap as you would like. Initially, I kept all of my promotion on social media which is completely free. As you build your podcast and your audience, you may like to look at paid promotional strategies such as Facebook & Instagram ads.
So this was my process in launching my podcast for under $100. As you move forward, the costs can increase depending on the equipment, resources and advertising you may need, however it is possible to launch your podcast on a budget and start getting your voice out there.
You can find my podcast by searching ‘Wellbeing Weekly’ in your podcast app or heading to iTunes by clicking here