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How to Start a Podcast in 2023

May 17, 2024 Deciphr AI
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IN A GIST

In 2021, the revenue in podcasting rose up to 13 billion US dollars, and that amount is forecasted to rise to 80 billion by 2028. With its continuous growth, more and more people—both individuals and business entities alike—enter the field, all with a goal in mind: entertain, educate, monetize, or all three.

Learn everything you need to know about starting your own podcast in 2023 in this guide, including: 

  • Choosing a podcasting niche
  • Creating a content plan
  • Using the right equipment and software
  • Simplifying recording and editing 
  • Aiming for monetization

There’s only one way to discover if podcasting is the right medium for you to share your thoughts, ideas, and expertise: by actually trying it out.

MAIN ARTICLE

A bright future awaits podcasters. 

In a December article released by PRNewsWire.com, it is reported that the valuation for the podcasting market on a global scale will reach up to USD 89.64 billion by 2028 from USD 13.78 billion in 2021. 

Now, those are attractive numbers. With the potential that huge, no wonder, many people are dipping their toes in this promising industry. 

The question is, do you want a piece of the pie? 

If you answered, “yes,” “of course,” or “duh?” 

Then, make this year your year!

Coined in 2004 by journalist Ben Hammersley and made official by New Oxford American Dictionary by bestowing the word of the year accolade the year after, podcasting, the method of distributing audio and video content in episodic format, has become a medium with a trove of information and content in niches such as, but not limited to: 

  • News and current events
  • Technology and science
  • Health and wellness
  • Sports
  • Comedy
  • True crime
  • Business and entrepreneurship
  • Personal finance
  • Education and self-improvement
  • Pop culture and entertainment
  • Relationships and dating
  • Spirituality and religion
  • History and politics
  • Food and cooking
  • Adventure and travel

Suffice to say, there’s a podcast for everyone to create and to listen to. 

You just need to know which of these niches you belong to.

Do a skills inventory and determine your expertise. 

The basic questions you have to ponder on are:

  • “What topic can I talk about over and over again?”
  • “What is my value proposition? Why should people listen to me?”
  • “Who are my target listeners?”

Choosing a Niche

Is specificity important in podcasting? Apparently, yes. 

Okay, if you’re Oprah or Jimmy Donaldson, aka Mr. Beast, and you decided to create a podcast on a whim, without any plans at all, you will most likely still succeed even if your podcast is all over the place because you have a huge following elsewhere. 

But if you’re starting from scratch or if you’re not yet up that level of fame, then focusing on a niche is important.

There are different reasons why people listen to podcasts. According to research, “social engagement, edutainment, and storytelling gratifications were significant predictors of podcast use.”

You want your podcast to be known for one thing. You want to be the go-to for your target listeners. You want to provide the value, solutions, and fill the desire behind why people take time to hop onto the platform. 

The thing is the parley between being a generalist and specialist never ends.

What you want is that when people go to your platform, they will know right away if you’re the right platform for them, and that when they do follow you, you will adhere to their expectations. 

The least that you want is to create confusion by jumping from topic to another. 

Can you imagine Alaina Urquhart and Ashleigh Kelley of Morbid talking about a gruesome crime in their last episode - they’ve been at it for years, by the way - and just when you’re excited for the next, they instead serve you with a hot gossip on Kanye West’s latest marriage? 

That would be a WT* moment, for real.  

In nailing your niche, you must spend time doing lots of research not only on your audience, but also your competition. 

Look at your prospective competitors. How do they do things? What works for them? Look for feedback on their shows. 

Don’t take the competition negatively. In marketing, when there’s a competition, it means there’s a market.

Content Planning

Be it as a source of entertainment, a worthwhile hobby, a form of relaxation, a way to gather information, people listen to podcasts due to different reasons. That said, your content must be created with intent. 

Creating a content calendar helps you schedule and plot things out for your podcast. 

The goal is to have regular uploads, and to make this happen, you must have consistent filming schedules, post-processing timelines, and calendar of activities for marketing. 

This will measure your cadence that will have a great impact on your platform’s growth and success. 

Also, look for opportunities for collaboration and roundtable discussions. 

Using the Right Equipment and Software

When starting a podcast, avoid pressuring yourself into having the latest gadget or equipment. 

The starting point will help you gauge if podcasting is for you. 

When you spend hundreds on gadgets and realize that you don’t want to pursue podcasting after an episode or two, then that would be a waste of money. 

The biggest podcasters today didn’t have what they have now when they were just starting out. 

People in the industry will tell you to focus on your content rather than your equipment. You can start with what you have, and upgrade as you go. 

When it comes to softwares, there are free softwares online that you can use to improve your podcast’s audio quality, while some of which charge only a few bucks. 

Take advantage of AI tools like Podcastle for audio editing, Audacity for recording, and Deciphr AI for content ideation and podcast transcriptions. 

Bottom line, as a beginner in the industry, start off with the basics and improve as you go. 

Recording and Editing

Prior to recording, make sure to have an outline of the topic that you’re going to discuss. 

Avoid rambling on and get straight to the point. 

The challenge that podcasters and other content creators face is the shrinking attention span of the audience. 

Listener’s retention is of utmost priority. 

Aside from the structure of your episode, you also must take into consideration the methods of recording and post-processing to retain your listeners. 

  • Record in a space with as little to no background noise. 
  • Check your microphone and its quality before recording. 
  • Do not go overboard with the editing. Avoid putting too much sound effects and background music. 
  • Make sure that the audio levels - foreground and background sounds - are at the right level. 

Hosting, Distribution and Monetization

A hosting site is basically the platform that can store and distribute your podcast and provide RSS feeds. These RSS feeds are then submitted to directories that will publish the podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, etc.  

Some of the tried and proven easy-to-use hosting sites that you may want to consider are:

  • Buzzsprout
  • Anchor
  • PodBean
  • SoundCloud
  • Castos
  • Resonate

Once your podcast is up, don’t forget to shamelessly plug it across all social media channels.

Planning a content marketing strategy will give you the opportunity to scale up your platform. Build awareness, gain more listeners, and potentially attract brand sponsors or collaborators. 

Although podcasting is an amazing creative outlet, it also opens up doors for monetization through brand deals, sponsorships, advertisements, and partnerships. Perfect way also to leverage your existing brand or business.

If you are an aspiring thought leader, make use of the podcasting field to also establish and enhance your reputation as an authority figure in your chosen niche.  

Remember, you will only regret the chances you didn’t take. If you’re still doubtful if podcasting is the right medium for you to share your thoughts, ideas, and expertise, now’s the best time to try it out.