How to start a podcast: The ultimate guide

How to start a podcast: The ultimate guide

2022.05.23

Do you have a message that you want to share with the world? Are you looking for a new way to connect with your audience? If so, starting a podcast may be the right option for you. 

In this step-by-step guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to launch your own podcast. We'll cover what equipment you need to get started, tips for choosing a topic, expert help for creating content, and how to monetize and market your show. 

So, whether you're a complete beginner or just curious about how it all works, keep reading our comprehensive Acast guide on How To Start A Podcast.

We've broken down this guide into six key areas:

  1. Research and scripting your podcast
  2. Tips for podcast interviews
  3. How to record a podcast
  4. How to edit a podcast
  5. How to promote and grow a podcast
  6. How to monetize your podcast

Research and scripting your podcast

All the most popular podcasts and podcast hosts spend time researching. Before you launch your podcast, it's important to spend some time exploring your topic and preparing your script. This will help you to make sure your content is engaging and informative. When choosing a topic, think about what you're passionate about and what would be of interest to your target audience. Once you've decided on a subject, it's time to start planning your episodes.

Think about what you want to cover in each show and who you might want to interview. If you're struggling to come up with ideas, there are a few places you can look for inspiration, including:

  • Podcasts that are similar to the one you want to create
  • Online forums and discussion boards
  • Social media groups and hashtags
  • Blogs and articles
  • News stories
  • Your own life experiences

Once you've come up with a few ideas, it's time to start scripting your episodes. This doesn't mean you need to write out every word you're going to say, but it's helpful to have a general outline.

You can read more from our comprehensive guide that focuses on how to pick the ideal podcast format and create a podcast script.

Tips for podcast interviews

One of the best ways to create engaging content for your podcast is to interview guests. This can help to mix up the format of your show and give your audience a new perspective on the topic you're discussing. When preparing for an interview, it's important to spend some time researching your guest and their work. This will help you to come up with questions that are relevant and interesting.

It's also a good idea to prepare a few follow-up questions, in case there are any lulls in the conversation. However, don't be afraid to go off script if the conversation takes an unexpected turn — this can often make for the most interesting interviews.

For a more detailed overview, read more about how to conduct a podcast interview and find the right podcast guest.

How to record a podcast

Now that you've scripted your episodes and lined up some guests, it's time to start recording. For this, you'll need a few pieces of hardware equipment to ensure the sound quality of your audio recording is high fidelity when you're ready to submit your podcast. Podcasting equipment doesn't have to be complicated, but ensure you have a podcast microphone for audio quality.

  • A microphone — we recommend the Rode Podcaster or the Audio-Technica ATR2100x
  • An audio interface — we recommend the Focusrite Scarlett Solo
  • Headphones — we recommend the Sony MDR750x
  • A pop filter is a must to help reduce background noise

Once you have your equipment set up, it's time to start recording. Using the right recording software will ensure each podcast episode is set up for success.

If you're interviewing guests via Skype or another VoIP service, we recommend using a program like Ecamm Call Recorder. This will allow you to record both sides of the conversation and edit it later.

If you're recording your podcast solo, you can use the built-in recorder on your computer or a program like GarageBand. If you're looking for a more comprehensive podcast software to record and edit, try Audacity. If you're searching for a thorough explanation of how to edit a podcast and the best podcast editing software, check out our detailed guide.

Once you've recorded your episodes, it's time to move on to the next step: editing.

How to edit a podcast

Editing is an important part of the podcast-making process, as it allows you to improve the quality of your audio and remove any unwanted noise. For this, we recommend using a program like Audacity. It's free to download and relatively easy to use, even if you're not a tech expert.

Once you've installed the program, open your recorded audio file and start by removing any long pauses or dead space. You can also use the noise reduction tool to remove background noise, like traffic or construction. If you're not happy with the way your voice sounds, you can try using a plugin like Voicemod to change it.

Once you've edited your audio, it's time to export it as an MP3 file. To do this, go to File > Export > Audio and choose the MP format. 

How to upload a podcast

Now that your episodes are edited and exported, it's time to upload them to your hosting platform. For this, we would of course recommend using Acast. It's one of the easiest platforms to use and it has all the features you need to start, grow and make money from your podcast.

To get started with Acast, simply head to our start podcasting page and choose one of our three plans — including our completely free Starter tier. You’ll get unlimited hosting and downloads of episodes, distribution to every podcast app and directory, the ability to offer exclusive paid-for content to your fans, advanced podcast analytics, and much more. 

Upgrading to our ‘Influencer’ or ‘Ace’ tiers also gives you automated integrations with popular platforms like Spotify and YouTube, and many additional benefits.

To upload your episodes, simply log in to your Acast account and go to My Shows > Add New Episode. From here, you can drag and drop your MP3 file into the uploader or select it from your computer's files.

How to promote and grow a podcast

Now that you know how to start a podcast, it's time to get it out there. The key step in starting a podcast is promoting it and growing your audience. There are a few different ways you can do this:

  • Share each episode on social media, using relevant hashtags and groups.
  • Write blog posts and articles about your show.
  • Reach out to news outlets and other podcasts to try and get featured.
  • Use paid advertising to reach a wider audience.

The most important thing is to be consistent and patient — it takes time to grow a successful podcast. But if you put in the hard work, it will all be worth it in the end. Remember to write up show notes and link to any products or articles referenced in your recording.

How to monetize your podcast

If you're looking to monetize your podcast, there are a few different ways you can do it:

Sell advertising space on your show.

Offer premium content, like bonus episodes or exclusive access to a private community.

Sell products or services that are relevant to your audience.

Crowdfund your show through platforms like Patreon.

The best way to monetize your podcast will depend on your specific audience and what they're willing to pay for. Experiment with different options and see what works best for you. The good news is that Acast can help with all of the above. We’re experts at helping connect podcasters with advertisers, and give you all the tools you need to expand your reach. 

You can set up paid subscriptions for fans and even make money through ads and sponsorships by starting your podcast using our free ‘Starter’ package. 

Podcasting can be a great way to build an audience and connect with like-minded people. We hope this guide has helped you figure out how to start a podcast of your own. If you have any questions or need more tips, feel free to reach out to us on social media. Good luck with your podcast.