How to Start a Podcast
So you want to podcast! Congratulations! Podcasting takes a lot of time, but it’s also a LOT of fun! I’ve put together a simple guide to help you get started.
1. Record Your First Episode.
You have to have some kind of recording device and software where it records your voice and then saves the file as an audio file. I started very simply with the Voice Recorder app on my iPhone! That being said, podcast listeners like good quality audio. So if you’re serious about podcasting, eventually you’ll want to invest in a good microphone, headphones, and create an echo-free environment.
2. Edit Your Episode
Chances are, you’re not perfect. You flubbed a little and need to cut that out. Or your stomach rumbled. Or maybe you want to add some music to the beginning and end of the show. To edit your podcast file, you will use a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) software program. I started with Garage Band, which comes free with Macs. Audacity is also free and widely used. When I learned the basics of audio editing, I eventually upgraded to Reaper. It was $60 when I bought it, and I love it. The company creates easy “how to use” tutorial videos which are easy to follow and understand.
2. Find a Podcast Web Host (to host your files)
Now once you have at least one episode, you’ll want to find a podcast host (not a person, a web company). A podcast host will host your audio files and format your show information for iTunes and other providers. My podcast is currently hosted on Castos. Castos has some really great features, quality tech support, and caters to all sizes of shows.
3. Create your Show and get your RSS Feed URL.
Once you’ve created your show on your host, you’ll upload your episodes one by one. Once you have at least one episode uploaded, your host will give you an RSS FEED address. This is important! This is the url you will give to all the podcast providers out there. A podcast provider is like iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Play, they are basically sites or apps where people go to find and listen to podcasts.
My RSS FEED url is: https://babynames.castos.com/feed
4. Submit your show to Podcast Providers (apps)
Now you are ready to start submitting to providers! The first one you’ll want to submit to is Apple Podcasts (formerly iTunes). It takes a couple of days to get approved and be found on the Apple Podcasts lineup.
Create an apple account if you don’t already have one. Then go to: https://podcastsconnect.apple.com/my-podcasts/new-feed
Enter your RSS FEED url that your host gave you. It will take a couple of days for Apple Podcasts to check out your show and approve you. It might take several weeks to actually show up in the podcast search. Be patient!
I’ve heard from many podcasters that it’s easier to submit to Spotify through your podcast host. So find a host that provides this service. Podbean and LibSyn both have the “Submit to Spotify” feature. This does not guarantee, though, that you will be accepted.
Sign up for a content provider account on Stitcher. Once you’re logged in, click on Add Shows on the top menu.
TuneIn is important because it’s what Amazon Alexa uses to distribute podcasts. So if you say, “Alexa, play The Baby Names Podcast!” she will play it from TuneIn. For TuneIn, you have to sign up for an account, then submit this form: https://help.tunein.com/contact/add-podcast-S19TR3Sdf
Even though BluBrry is a podcast host, they allow you to list your podcast, even if you’re not hosted with them. Create an account, then submit your RSS FEED from this form: https://www.blubrry.com/addpodcast.php
Go to: https://www.acast.com/podcasters and choose Non-Hosted Show. Follow the prompts.
Sign up for an account. Then go to Submit a Feed URL: https://player.fm/importer/feed
This provider requires you to be live for at least one month. Go here to submit: https://www.iheart.com/content/submit-your-podcast/
CastBox states that it will eventually pick up your podcast feed itself. There is no way to manually submit to CastBox.
ListenNotes.com – in addition to the podcast providers, you also want to get listed in ListenNotes.com – a directory of podcasts. ListenNotes requires your iTunes (Apple Podcasts) URL, not your RSS feed url. So once you are approved by Apple Podcasts and are live, submit to listen notes here: https://www.listennotes.com/submit/
5. Don’t forget YouTube!
Some providers can automatically upload to YouTube using a static image. You might also want to upload a video of you creating your podcast episode. YouTube (owned by Google) is great for SEO and for getting discovered. http://youtube.com
For a full listing of podcast directories click this link: http://podcast411.libsyn.com/directories