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How to Start a Podcast in 2022? Find Answers to All FAQs

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How to Start a Podcast in 2022? Find Answers to All FAQs

Is podcasting right for me? And if it is, how do I start a podcast in 2022? 

It seems like these questions are becoming increasingly common as podcasts skyrocket in popularity. According to eMarketer, it is predicted that in 2022 there will be around 125 million monthly podcast listeners in the U.S. and over 420 million monthly podcast listeners worldwide. Those are some huge figures and they predict it will only grow! 

If you’re like most casual podcast fans, you’ve probably wondered what it would take to start and grow a successful podcast. Would you enjoy it? What kinds of skills, equipment, and budget would you need to do it the right way? 

From the outside, it might seem like a lot of fun, way too much work, or both—but you won’t have an accurate idea of what it’s really like to do until you… well, do it.

But in case you want a little more information to go on, we’ll share the process with you and then answer all your questions. We’ve compiled a monster list of 50+ frequently asked questions about how to start a podcast and all that it entails, from what you need to get started, to how to monetize it and get it noticed by as many people as possible.‍

Steps to Start a Podcast

The best way to learn is through experience, but to help you out, these are the steps you should follow to start a podcast:

  1. Decide why you want to start a podcast
  2. Choose a podcast topic, theme, and name
  3. Select a podcast format and structure
  4. Create podcast branding
  5. Set up your podcast equipment
  6. Find the best podcast recording software 
  7. Prepare for your first few podcast episodes 
  8. Start recording your first podcast episode
  9. Edit your podcast recording
  10. Publish your podcast with a hosting platform
  11. Promote your podcast 
  12. Monetize your podcast 
  13. Assess your podcast’s success

This video covers everything a beginner needs to know about the steps of creating a podcast. Although, read on to get into the specifics of each step you need to follow to start your own podcast.

1. Decide why you want to start a podcast

You might want to go straight into planning and setting up your podcast, but before you do anything you must find your ‘why’! Figuring out why you want to create a podcast will not only motivate you to be consistent, but it’ll also guide you on the type of content you want to create. 

For example, if you want to create a podcast to advertise a marketing business, your content should revolve around this field. You could interview marketing experts, or you could even offer your own advice in a course format.

To find your ‘why’, we suggest researching and listening to other podcasts. Figure out what you like, and what you don’t. You could also think about what audience you’re interested in and what you can offer from your own experiences. 

2. Choose a podcast topic, theme, and name

Once you’ve understood your motivation behind starting a podcast you can start planning a podcast topic and theme.  Keep your audience in mind but choose a topic that aligns with your interests and your main motive in creating a podcast. You’ll want to make your podcast as unique as possible which is why we suggest going for a niche topic. The more specific your topic is, also the easier it is to plan content around it. 

"If you're not niche-focused and you don't have your content pillars; you don't have sort of the high-level structure; you don't know the problems and solutions of the industry and you're trying to fake it till you make it- that's where you run into a lot of issues."  -Social Media Growth Expert, Steven Mellor

When it comes to choosing a podcast name, remember to keep SEO in mind and go for something original but easy to remember. We have a whole guide on podcast names to help you out, but you can also try our name generator to get ideas flowing. 

3. Select a podcast format and structure

Before choosing a podcast format, think about the best way to convey your podcast topic. If you’re podcasting about history, a documentary-style might suit your show, whereas, if you’re podcasting about entrepreneurs you’ll probably want to host interviews with successful thought leaders. 

You could consider one of these formats:

  • Solo-host monologue vs co-hosted show: If you’re hosting solo you get to run the show however you want, but it means that you have to do all the work in keeping the podcast flowing and entertaining. Co-hosted podcasts are more naturally conversational and are probably better for someone who needs a bit of help talking. 
  • Interviews: This includes inviting guests to interview on your show and is a good format to choose if you want experts to help you cover your topic.
  • Story-telling scripted narratives: These type of formats can include fiction or nonfiction narratives, a good example is Edith!, which covers the story of America's secret First Female President.
  • Documentaries: This is more for investigative podcasters who want to uncover an event or reality and document it as they go. 

For more, you can head over to our post that covers all you need to know to choose a podcast format.

Besides your format, you’ll need to also consider the structure of your podcast which includes length, and the general order in which you’d like your podcast to run. Some podcasts are as short as 10 minutes and others are over an hour. It’s best to choose based on how much valuable information you can provide. As always, think about your audience but a good start is around 20 minutes long. 

4. Create podcast branding

As much as you shouldn’t judge a podcast by its cover, branding plays a huge role in attracting audiences. This means you should think about the type of brand you’d like to get across before creating your logo and podcast cover art. 

Think about: 

  • What audience do you want to attract?
  • How do you want your brand to make others feel?
  • How do you want your podcast to be represented?

When you’ve thought about this you can then start head over to our guides to learn how to start creating your own podcast cover and logo. Remember to stick to podcast directory guidelines!

5. Set up your podcast equipment

Once you’ve figured out all the planning, your next step is to set up your podcast equipment. You don’t need a fancy studio to create a professional podcast. The most important piece of equipment you really need is a microphone. 

We have a whole guide on choosing a podcast microphone that will direct you on what’s best. You can choose between a USB microphone that is easier to set up or an XLR microphone that can give you a bit more control with recording. 

Once you’ve sorted your microphone out, you could consider other equipment including:

  • A microphone stand
  • A pop filter
  • An audio mixer and/or audio interface
  • A camera (if you’re recording video)
  • Lighting

We cover everything you need in our podcast equipment guide.

6. Find the best podcast recording software 

When it comes to recording software, think about what your recording needs are. 

  • Does the software record in high-quality resolution?
  • Can you automatically cancel out background noise?
  • Are you recording remotely? If yes: Does your software have remote recording capabilities?
  • Does your software come with easy editing tools for polishing your podcast? (This is a huge help for beginners starting a podcast!)
  • Can you easily download or share your podcast recordings?
  • Can you download uncompressed files and separate tracks for more advanced editing?

The list goes on…

While we can simply tell you that Riverside covers all of the above and more, we’ll let you see for yourselves. You can compare Riverside to other podcast recording software or try it for free! 

7. Prepare for your first few podcast episodes 

You’ve got the basis all sorted out and now it’s time to start preparing for your first few episodes.

If you’re choosing to create an interview-based podcast we recommend starting to schedule interviews with some guests. You could also think about the type of questions you’d like to ask. Either way, it’s good to write up a podcast script so you have some direction when recording rather than just aimlessly talking. Decide exactly what you want to cover for your first few episodes then go into the details. (Try our podcast script template, if this seems intimidating.)

Other than preparing a script, it’s a good idea to take your equipment for a test run and make sure that everything is working before recording each episode. 

8. Start recording your first podcast episode

Finally, you can actually start creating a podcast! 

Your setup might be a little different based on whether you’re recording remotely or not but here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Make sure all your equipment settings are setup.
  • Test your equipment before recording.
  • Record in a quiet environment or studio. (You can easily create your own DIY home studio if you’re recording at home.)
  • Don’t rush or slurp your words, speak confidently and clearly.
  • Use a live soundboard to add background noise, an intro and outro, or other sound effects. 

If you’re recording live in a studio, you’ll likely still use software to capture your recording. Make sure everything is connected and simply start recording and then save your files once you’re done. Recording remotely follows the same steps, except that you’ll be interacting with your guest via remote recording software. Make sure your guests know what to do and guide them if they’re unsure. 

We have a full guide to recording podcasts that goes into detail on how to create your first podcast recording.

9. Edit your podcast recording

Podcast editing doesn’t have to be complicated to make a huge difference in the quality you produce. This is essential if you want your podcast to be a completely polished professional show. 

When it comes to editing we recommend:

  • Trimming out unwanted content to create a seamless but concise flow.
  • Canceling out background noise and cutting out awkward pauses.
  • Equalizing and normalizing noise levels 
  • Adding in sound effects such as background music and an intro and outro (if you haven’t already while recording).
  • Adding visual branding if you’re recording a video podcast. 
  • Creating clips to promote your podcast or repurpose it into short-form content.  

Some recording software like Riverside comes with editing tools to help you out and it’s worth looking into this. Although if you want to be more advanced with your editing, specialized editing software might be better. 

10. Publish your podcast with a hosting platform

After making your podcast, your next step is to publish your podcast on different listening platforms. To do this, you’ll need to use a podcast hosting site. There are many to choose from and all come with different perks. 

We recommend choosing a platform that is compatible with your podcast, offers enough storage, allows you to publish your podcast on the platforms you most like, and offers easy analytical tools to assess your podcast afterward. 

Each platform may require a slightly different process but generally, in order to publish your podcast you’ll need to:

  1. Upload your first (few) episode(s) to a podcast hosting service.
  2. Create an RSS podcast feed. 
  3. Submit this RSS feed to the podcast directory you’d like to publish to.
  4. Once approved, new episodes you upload onto your podcast hosting site should automatically get published on the directories you chose. 

11. Promote your podcast 

You might think that after publishing your podcast your work ends. This is not the case at all though! If you want your podcast to be listened to, it’s always good to promote it so you can attract listeners and more downloads. 

There are many podcast promotion and marketing tactics you can try. A popular option that top podcasters, like Joe Rogan, use is to share short promotional teasers of their podcast on social media. (You can easily create this with Riverside Clips). Other tactics include repurposing your content into blog posts, investing in SEO, or networking to get your podcast out there. 

Figure out what’s best for you, you may want to create a website, or you may stick to the social media route.

12. Monetize your podcast 

Not everyone plans on making money from their podcast, but it’s definitely possible. There are a few main ways podcasts make money and can become full-on income streams.

Sponsorships and advertisements

The most popular way is by using your platform to promote and sell other things (i.e., sponsorship). You’re paid by other companies (your sponsors) to run advertisements during your show. 

Subscriptions and donations

The other way to make money from your podcast is directly from your listeners. You can ask for donations (through popular platforms such as Patreon and GoFundMe, or even through a direct PayPal or Stripe donation button on your website).

You can also sell your podcast by charging membership tiers to premium subscribers. You might produce a regular, free podcast—but then your die-hard fans can pay for VIP content, such as exclusive episodes, Facebook groups, or podcast merch. These subscription tiers can be set up through membership platforms like Patreon or Supercast.

Merchandise or paid content

A lot of podcasters create their own branded merchandise which they then advertise on their podcast to sell. This sometimes also includes paid content such as educational online courses or coaching sessions.

Affiliate Marketing

Although this is similar to sponsorships, with affiliate marketing you earn a percentage on every item sold from your advert for a specific product. This can be tracked through a promotion code, and if you're able to convert large numbers you can earn a lot.

Live events and public speaking

Podcasts are talk shows, and this type of material can easily be converted into a public speaking gig. You could offer public speaking services and talk about your podcast topics live at an event to earn some extra income.

13. Assess your podcast’s success

If you really want your podcast to succeed we suggest analyzing its metrics as well as looking at how you can make your podcast production process even smoother. 

You might want to look at analytics like downloads, the demographics of your audience, where and when your listeners are active as well as other types of audience engagement. This can guide you on how well your podcast is doing, as well as give you cues on how to tailor your podcast more for your audience.

We know podcast analytics can be intimidating which is why we’ve got you covered with our podcast analytics blog post. 

Frequently Asked Questions on How to Start a Podcast

So you now understand the process, but we know there’s probably a lot more you’d like to know! Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered with answers to all your FAQs on starting a podcast. 

To make it easier to find what you’re searching for, we’ve taken the step-to-step process of starting a podcast and used it to categorize our questions.

1. FAQs on why you’re creating a podcast

What makes a podcast good?

The answer to this question is definitely subjective, but most popular podcasts share the same basic characteristics:

  • They stick to a topic or central idea
  • They keep their audience at the center of their content
  • They have consistent publishing schedules
  • They have a consistent format
  • The hosts are passionate about what they do, and that shines through in their end product

Journalist, producer, and one of the most famous podcasters, Guy Raz, shares a few tips of his own on creating a good podcast. Guy Raz is the host of How I Built This, a podcast with millions of listeners, that digs into the stories of founders and entrepreneurs and how they built their successful businesses. 

 “Other than professional audio quality, a good podcast will have an interesting storytelling element. This is why I look for guests that overcame a struggle and are self-reflective enough to share their story. I recommend doing extensive research on your guests, so you can discover new things about them to make your interviews more interesting.”  -How I Built This Host, Guy Raz

‍Who can start a podcast?

The great thing about podcasts is that the barrier to entry is very low. You don’t need technical skills or speaking skills to get started, and you don’t need a massive budget, either. If you’ve got the passion and the willingness to experiment, you can do it.

‍Why is everyone making podcasts?

The demand for podcasts is high and just seems to be increasing. While eMarketer estimates there to be over 420 million monthly podcast listeners this year, they expect that there will be over half a million by 2024. No wonder so many people in 2022 see podcasting as an excellent way to connect with an audience, build your brand, and create content that excites you.

‍Can you start a podcast by yourself?

Absolutely! Of course, if you’re podcasting solo, you’ll be generating ideas, recording, producing, mixing, publishing, and marketing the podcast on your own. But if you’re up for that, then yes, it’s definitely possible to start a podcast by yourself!

How much money does it take to start a podcast?

While you can start a podcast for free (as long as you have basic recording equipment), it’s likely going to cost at least $100 to get yourself set up. And the real cost depends on if you’re a hobbyist or plan to make an income from your podcast. 

You’ll need to cover the cost of your equipment (which can vary in price), a podcast hosting account and software subscription, and extras like theme music and cover art design. If you go with the bare minimum, you can expect to spend $50 on a microphone and $15/month on podcast hosting.

If you want to start a high-quality podcast, it might cost more in the range of $500-1000 to get started with the right equipment, plus $30-$50 per month for hosting and software subscriptions.

Is starting a podcast worth it?

For many, it's definitely worth starting a podcast. It really depends on your goals. What will “success” mean to you? Podcasting can be very hard work, especially if you’re trying to build a large audience or earn the big bucks—but they have countless benefits.

Podcasts are relatively easy to record and produce and have a low barrier to entry. You can record in your native language since there are podcast audiences worldwide. You can even repurpose content you already have, like blog or video content—while having less competition than YouTube or blogging.

Other benefits include:

  • Getting your name and brand out there
  • Making connections with your guests and interviewees
  • Potential for sponsor revenue
  • Building traffic to your website

Is podcasting dying?

Absolutely not! There’s a high demand for podcasts, and that doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon. People crave passive audio entertainment that they can enjoy while working out, taking the dog for a walk, or doing dishes—which is why podcasting as a form of content creation isn’t going anywhere.

What are 3 reasons podcasts are so popular?

  • Podcasts are great for multitasking.
  • They’re an entertaining way to stay informed on news, politics, sports, or any other topic that interests you.
  • The intimacy factor: hearing your favorite podcast host in your earbuds on a regular basis feels like having a casual chat with a real friend. It’s hard to find this level of engagement in other forms of media.

2. FAQs on choosing a podcast topic, theme, and name

What do you talk about on a podcast?

It’s best to talk about what you’re passionate about. That way, your interest will shine through and make the content as interesting as possible for your audience. Consider your topic, your audience’s interests, and your own interests. 

Factors to look at for finding a topic when starting a podcast.

You can also use one of the following segment ideas to help flesh out your podcast content:

  • Guest interview
  • News/announcements
  • Review or recap
  • Quote of the day
  • Answer listener mail

For more topic tips on starting a podcast, check out over 100 podcast ideas you can try. 

How to choose a podcast name?

Our guide on podcast names covers all you need to know on choosing a podcast name! In short, though, you want to find a name that relates to your topic but still stands out. Your audience, branding, and SEO are some of the things you should keep in mind when choosing a name. You’ll want something that’s easy to remember, but that fully explains what your podcast is about.

‍Can podcasts have the same name?

It’s not a good idea to choose a podcast name that’s already taken. You want to be as unique as possible so that when people search for your podcast, they only find you.

If you want to use a name that’s already in use, consider contacting the show host to find out if the podcast is still active. 

It’s an unfortunate fact that podcasts fail every year, so it may be that the show is no longer on the air. If that’s the case, the host might be willing to remove their podcast so that you can use their name.

3. FAQs on selecting a format and structure for your podcast

‍How many episodes does it take to start a podcast?

A good rule of thumb is to have at least two or three episodes in the queue before going live, but it depends on how much buffer you’d like to give yourself. One episode is all you really need to get started; the rest is just how prepared you want to be.

How long should podcasts be? Can a podcast be 10 minutes?

A good rule of thumb is to tailor your episode length to publishing frequency. 

  • If you publish every day, keep it short and snappy (10 minutes is perfectly fine). 
  • If you publish weekly or a couple of times a week, try to stay within the 30-50 minute mark. 
  • If you publish less frequently than that, your listeners probably won’t mind if you go over an hour.

Of course, these are just suggestions; there are MANY exceptions to the rule. For instance, Binge Mode is a popular podcast covering various fandoms from Game of Thrones to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and their twice-weekly episodes regularly surpass two hours. 

Think about your audience and your podcasting goals, and do what feels right to you.

How do you format a podcast?

Choose a format based on what kind of value you plan to deliver to your audience, your style, and your brand. For instance, if you want to convey information from various experts, you might want to choose an interview format. Or if you want to show off your creative talents, consider an audio-drama where you simply tell a story you’ve written yourself.

‍What should I say at the beginning of a podcast?

Your podcast intro should list your name, your podcast’s name and topic, and what your podcast does for your audience. It may also include opening music and a tagline. 

The intro should set the tone for your podcast and keep each episode feeling consistent and of a piece.

4. FAQs on podcast branding

What size is cover art for podcasts?

It depends on the directory you’d like to post to but generally, most podcast covers are in a square or 1:1 ratio and have similar guidelines. Apple Podcasts requires anything from 1400x1400 pixels up to a maximum of 3000x3000 pixels. Spotify, on the other hand, only has a minimum of 640x640 pixels. The best thing to do is check the guidelines of the directories you’d like to post your podcast on and create a cover based on their requirements. 

What should be on a podcast cover art?

Your cover art should include the name of your podcast so listeners can easily identify what podcast they’re clicking on. It’s also a good idea to include your podcast’s logo to display your brand. Other than that a lot of podcasts include some art, whereas others include interesting typography or other visual elements. Overall, you want a podcast cover that represents your podcast while still grabbing the attention of listeners. 

Do podcasts need a logo?

No one can force you to have a logo but you’ll need a podcast logo if you want to build a brand from your podcast. Logos help make your podcast look more official or professional and they can create consistency between your podcast’s different platforms. For example, you can include your logo on your podcast’s website, on directories through your cover art as well as on branded merchandise if you choose to monetize through that route.

5. FAQs on setting up your podcast studio and equipment

What equipment do you need to start a podcast?

It really depends on your budget and goals. If you’re truly strapped for cash, you can start a podcast with simply a computer and a good idea.

But if you’re serious about creating a podcast that’s enjoyable to listen to, start with these basics:

Can you record a podcast from your phone? 

Definitely! You can start podcasting with a smartphone with a simple recording app, such as Anchor, Spreaker, or Podbean. Of course, these apps won’t give you as high sound quality as many professionally-produced podcasts, but if you’re looking to get started quickly, don’t let the lack of a computer stand in your way. 

For best results though, Riverside.fm’s mobile app allows you to record professional-quality audio and video for your podcast. It’s suitable for hosting and recording a podcast from any iPhone and, recently, guests have the ability to join from any Android too.

To get the best sound quality, we suggest using an external microphone

‍How do I use headphones for podcasting?

A quality set of headphones are essential to a good podcast. They help cancel ambient noise and let you hear yourself better.

The way you hear yourself talk is not the way you sound to others, so hearing yourself as your microphone is recording you will help you make adjustments on the fly rather than realizing post-recording that you were too close to the mic, popping your p’s and k’s, or speaking too loud. 

It’s best to choose podcast headphones that are easy to use (such as a USB plug-and-play option), but any quality pair you have should do the trick. There’s no need to spend a fortune though if you want to buy something more suited to podcasting. For example, the Audio Technica ATH-m20x headphones are under $100 and are great for podcast beginners.

Audio Technica ATH-m20x headphones for podcasting beginners

Can you use Beats for podcasting?

Yes! If you have a quality pair of Beats headphones, they should work well enough for your purposes.

How can I hear myself through headphones without delay? 

If you hear a delay in your microphone headset, you may be experiencing audio latency. This problem can often be fixed by closing any other programs that are using the audio and reducing your plugin usage.

How can I hear my voice through headphones in Windows 10? 

To set up your headphones in Windows 10, plug them in using either the 3.5mm split jack or the USB port (or connect them wirelessly if they have Bluetooth compatibility). Then, select the headphones as the default sound output device in your computer’s sound settings.

Then, connect your microphone. 

  • In the sound settings, choose the sound control panel on the right. 
  • Select the Recording tab and choose your microphone to set that as the default input device. 
  • Then, open the Properties window and adjust the settings in the Levels tab according to your preferences. 

Test your new setup in your favorite podcast software!

6. FAQs on the best podcast recording software for your podcast

What software should I use to record a podcast? 

The best and easiest way to record a podcast is to use audio recording software. There are many free and paid solutions on the market. 

The most popular free podcast software options are GarageBand, Adobe Audition, Audacity, Skype, Zoom, and Discord. 

Then, there are the higher-quality free and paid options such as Riverside.fm.

It all depends on what you’re looking for. If you don’t have extra money to spare, one of the free options above is a great place to get your feet wet. But if you can afford to be a bit more discerning, look for a recording software option that provides:

  • Ease of use and a low barrier to entry
  • Locally-recorded, studio-quality audio (and video, if you’re interested in producing a video podcast)
  • In-recording producer controls 

Is Zoom good for podcasts? 

Zoom is free to use, which makes it an easy choice for beginners who are already familiar with using it for work or recreational calls. However, since the software wasn’t designed with studio-quality podcasting in mind, it isn’t the best choice out there for podcasters.

Zoom uses compressed audio and video, which means some of the data is removed to make the file smaller. Your podcast audio can sound grainy and fuzzy as a result.

Also, Zoom depends on a live internet connection, so if your connection drops, your audio or video file will be disrupted as well. That’s why it’s better to use software that records locally to each participant’s computer.

‍Can you record a podcast on Discord?

Recording a podcast in Discord is a viable free option for those looking for an alternative to Skype or Zoom but cannot afford paid options. 

You’ll need to create your own account and server, link the server to a Discord recording bot such as “Craig,” and invite your guests or co-hosts to the voice chat within your server. Recording with Discord allows you to record each participant’s voice separately, which increases the audio quality potential during the editing phase.

7. FAQs on preparing for your first few podcast episodes

‍How do you start a podcast interview? 

Introduce your guest, including their name, job title, and accomplishments (framing your introduction in a way that shows the reason why your audience should care).  

Then, treat the interview like a story. Start by asking your guest how they got to where they are today, and let the interview flow naturally from there.

What questions do you ask on a podcast interview?

If you’re hosting an interview podcast, remember: this guest has probably gotten the same questions repeatedly. Try to approach the interview from a unique angle, and keep your questions interesting, authentic, and tailored to your specific audience.

“My job as the interviewer is to take all the information that I have and all the reading that I’ve done and all the research that the team has done and given to me and essentially try and discover new things about the person.” -Guy Raz (How I Built This)

See our ultimate list of podcast questions to ask in 2022 for a few question ideas to get the ball rolling!

How long is a podcast interview?

The length of your interview is limited only by your guest’s time restraints and your personal preferences. However, it’s a good idea to set yourself a shorter interview length than you’d like, such as 30-45 minutes. Asking for less of your guest’s time will help them be more inclined to say yes, and the deadline will help you dig deeper because you know you don’t have an endless amount of time.

8. FAQs on recording your first podcast episode

‍How do I record a podcast remotely? 

Contrary to what you might think, you can record a podcast with people in different locations. You can even record a podcast at home. Whether you need to record a podcast interview or you’re simply recording remotely with your co-host, it’s easy enough to make it sound like you’re in the same room. 

Simply choose a high-quality recording software like Riverside.fm that records each participant’s audio and video locally to their computer. That way, you’re not dependent on a fast internet connection, and each person’s feed sounds crisp and clean. 

Riverside.fm podcast recording studio on desktop and phone.

Also, make sure each participant uses a quality microphone and a set of headphones for the best results.

Related article: How To Record A High-Quality Podcast Remotely [in 2022]

How can you record a podcast on Zoom?

To start hosting a podcast on Zoom, all you need to do is set up a normal virtual call with your co-hosts and/or guests. Once everyone has entered the call and you’re ready to record, click the “Record” button on your dashboard. 

When you end the meeting, Zoom will automatically save the mp3 audio and mp4 video files to your computer. 

Can you record a zoom meeting if you are not the host?

Zoom’s default setting only allows the host to record a meeting. However, the host can give permission to another participant to record it instead, or the host can set up the participant as an alternative host

‍How do I record my first podcast?

Recording your first podcast can be an intimidating step, but it’s best to just dive in! Set up your equipment in your sound-proofed recording room of choice. Write out your podcast script so that you don’t have to start recording on the fly. 

Then take a few calming breaths, and start recording!

9. FAQs on editing your podcast recording

How and where can I edit podcasts?

An essential part of creating a podcast is editing it into the final product you want your listeners to experience.

After you’re done recording, you need software to help you cut tape, mix tracks, and splice in music and sponsored ads. You’ll do all this from a digital audio workstation (DAW), or your editing software of choice. 

Use Riverside’s Magic Editor to automate the post-production process. Watch the video below to learn more about it.

What is the best podcast editing software?

There are several popular editing software options available, depending on your budget and goals (and how much of a tech learning curve you’re up for). Some of the best options include:

Read our guide on podcast editing software for a full comparison of the best platforms out ther.

10. FAQs on publishing your podcast with a hosting platform

How do I publish a podcast? 

You’ll need to add tags (or metadata) to your audio file so that any podcast player will show the right information and graphics. Then, choose a podcast hosting platform to store each podcast episode. Once you’ve established this “home” for your podcast episodes, you can push out that RSS feed to various podcast directories. More on that process below.

Do you need a license to publish a podcast?

You don’t need a license to be a podcaster—but if you want to feature music on your show that you didn’t create, you’ll want to obtain a synchronization license

Many podcasters rely on “fair use” laws that let them play a small portion of a copyrighted work without a license; however, all it takes is one lost lawsuit for you to lose a lot of money. It’s best to get a license to use someone else’s music or avoid using it altogether.

Where can I upload podcasts for free?

Free hosting options aren’t optimal, since they have fewer options to help you expand your podcast audience. Also, as they say, if you’re not paying for a product, you are the product.  

But, it’s understandable to have budget limitations when you’re just starting out. Here are a few popular free hosting options:

‍How do I manually distribute a podcast and get it on all platforms?

Unfortunately, there is no one place to submit your RSS feed so that it will appear on every possible platform. 

Most podcast directories and listening apps pull from Apple Podcasts, but to be safe, you’ll probably want to manually submit your RSS feed URL (which you can find on your hosting platform) to as many other podcast directories as you can. 

Once it’s submitted, that directory will show each new episode as you publish it to your hosting platform.

Read more about how to publish your podcast to all directories where you can submit your podcast feed.

How do I set up an Apple podcast?

It is absolutely free to put a podcast on iTunes. To submit your podcast to Apple, you’ll just need an Apple ID account. We recommend starting by testing your RSS feed. Subscribe to it on your personal account. Then, if all the details look right, you can submit your podcast for validation through Podcasts Connect. 

‍How long does it take for a podcast to be approved on iTunes?

The iTunes review process usually takes up to five business days. While you wait, you can check your Podcasts Connect account for updates. Once approved, a podcast typically goes live in Apple Podcasts within 24 hours.

For more advice, check out our guide on how to start a podcast on Apple.

How do I get my podcast on Spotify?

Like Apple, it’s easy (and free) to distribute your podcast to Spotify. The platform partners with many hosting sites—such as Podbean, Simplecast, and Anchor—which makes it simple to authorize Spotify as a distribution platform for your podcast. If your host isn’t one of Spotify’s partners, simply log into Spotify for podcasters with your Spotify account. 

  • Click “get started.”
  • You should be shown a link, which you can paste into your podcast's RSS feed.
  • The address linked to your RSS feed will receive a verification email from Spotify with an 8-digit code. Copy and paste that into the “submit” form.
  • Then, you’ll be prompted to add or update information about your podcast. When you’re done, review everything you entered and click “submit.”

That’s it! The podcast should be visible in the app within a few hours. Read more on how to start and upload a podcast on Spotify.

‍Is YouTube a podcast platform?

It might sound like a strange concept—since podcasts are all about audio, not video, right? But in today’s age, many podcasters are embracing video, and many YouTubers are leaning into the audio medium to reach a wider audience. Modern consumers want (and expect) variety in the forms of media they consume, and YouTube has become a popular place for audiences to seek out podcast content. 

The more ways you can package your content, the broader your audience will be. That’s why it’s helpful to use podcast software that captures high-quality video as well as audio so that you can publish your podcast content to YouTube. It’s really simple to start a podcast on YouTube and all it takes is a few extra steps of creating a YouTube channel and pushing your content there as well.

11. FAQs on promoting your podcast

How do I get my podcasts noticed?

If you don’t have a following, it can be daunting to consider starting a podcast and building an audience from scratch. But the best course of action is to:

  • Choose an idea or podcast topic that provides value to your target audience (and isn’t just about your own ego and what you’d like to talk about ad nauseum).
  • Be diligent about your podcast promotion and marketing.
  • Create social media profiles for your podcast and be active online.
  • Tell ALL of your family and friends about your new venture—and ask them to spread the word too!
  • Submit your show to every podcast directory you can.
  • Use proper SEO techniques to optimize your podcast for search engine results.
“Podcasts I see grow organically really well are podcasts that are trying to grab an actually searched keyword.” - Buzzsprout Head of Marketing, Alban Brooke (Hit Publish)

How long does it take for a podcast to get popular?

It depends. Do you already have a large audience clamoring to subscribe, or are you relatively unknown? 

Are you podcasting in a highly competitive niche—or on the other end of the spectrum, have you chosen a topic that doesn’t have much demand? 

There’s no magic number for how long your podcast can take to become popular. Many big podcasters churned out episodes and marketed like crazy for decades before starting to get noticed, while others hit the top of the charts within a few weeks. Everyone’s story is different, but it’s clear that there’s almost always no such thing as an overnight success.

What is the best day to launch a podcast?

Since every podcast audience is unique, your best bet is to start publishing, then check your hosting platform’s analytics to see what days and times get the most downloads for your podcast. But if you’re looking for a good place to start, here’s a list of the most popular days and times to publish according to Podbean’s 2019 statistics:

  • Wed 7 pm EST
  • Mon 8 am EST
  • Mon 9 am EST
  • Tue 9 am EST
  • Mon 10 am EST

Do you need a website for a podcast?

It’s not technically necessary, but you should absolutely have a website if you’re serious about podcasting and building an audience. Your website is your home base. It:

  • Functions as an archive for back episodes
  • Helps you gain new traffic
  • Establishes brand consistency
  • Helps you build a community. 

You can also create a funnel for your audience by collecting subscribers’ email addresses and contact information, then adding them to your email list for any future marketing or promotional efforts you take on down the road.

How do I start a podcast on social media?

In today’s digital age, a social media presence is key to getting your podcast noticed. Promote your podcast by building social media profiles that are entertaining, valuable, and engaging to your target audience.

That means choosing the platforms where your target demographics are most active, then filling out your profile bio and links to match your brand. Make sure everything about your online presence points back to your podcast and brand identity.

Then, post regularly with valuable content that your audience will enjoy seeing (so don’t just post an advertisement for your show twenty times a day). Engage with your audience—reply to comments, comment on other posts within your niche, etc. Be authentic and let your personality shine through!

What podcasts are trending?

The most popular types of podcasts in 2020 were comedy podcasts, closely followed by news, true crime, sports, and health. This goes to show that what makes a podcast successful is in large part related to how much valuable information it provides that improves its audience’s lives—all while making them laugh (or at least feel entertained).

For example:

Related article: How Tim Ferriss, Joe Rogan, Ezra Klein, and The Daily Make Their Podcasts

12. FAQs on monetizing your podcast  

If you’re hoping to start a podcast and make money, you’re not alone. But the concept of being paid to talk into a microphone can be a little confusing for many people. Do podcasters actually make money? How much can they make? Read on to find out how to monetize your podcast.

Do podcasts make money?

Yes, many do and some extremely popular podcasts even make millions. In general, podcasts make more money if they have more listeners. For example, when it comes to adverts, companies will often pay you at a CPM rate which refers to the cost per every 1000 listeners you have. So the more listeners, the more income.

How to make money starting a podcast?

There are a various ways podcasts make money and can turn into full on income streams. Common options include sponsorships and advertisement, affiliate marketing, and selling branded merchandise. 

It’s generally difficult to make money as soon as you start podcasting but if you invest your time and effort, you can very well start earning income. Although every podcast is different, once you start hitting around 1,000 episode downloads, monetizing your podcast becomes much easier. 

We have a full guide on how to start a podcast and make money to help you on your journey.

How do I get sponsors for my podcast? 

That’s the eternal question. Sponsors are usually only willing to pay podcasters who have a certain number of listeners or downloads. 

You can check these places to find sponsorship deals:

‍How much can I charge for my podcast?

This also depends on your audience size. The most popular way to price ads is on a cost-per-mille (CPM) basis, meaning the number of average downloads. Rates generally range from $15 to $50 CPM.

‍Who is the highest-paid podcaster today? 

The podcast that makes the most money is undoubtedly Joe Rogan’s podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience. His podcast earned a whopping $30 million in 2019, and he signed a $100 million exclusivity deal with Spotify in 2020. He earns a reported $75,000 per episode.

In 2020, Spotify also paid $200 million to acquire The Ringer and its 39 podcasts from Bill Simmons, making him the first podcaster to make Forbes’ Celebrity 100 list.

Of course, not all podcasters rake in this kind of cash. 

How much do popular podcasters make?

According to reporting by The Atlantic, popular podcasters can charge $25 to $40 for every 1,000 listeners. So a larger podcast with one million listeners might be charging $25,000 or more to read a single ad.

How much money can I make from a podcast?

Besides the number of listeners your podcast attracts, it depends on how much effort you put into monetizing your podcast. While the top podcasters earn millions, this might not be the case for the average podcaster. Podcasters can make anything between a few hundred dollars an episode to full-blown income. This amount is affected by your use of advertisement, sponsorships, affiliate marketing, and more. For example, if you charge $40 CPM for a single advert in an episode you could earn around $400 if you have a following of 10,000 listeners. Let's say you post twelve episodes per month, then that equals only $4,800 per month. The more you grow and monetize your podcast the more income it'll give you.

‍What pays more, YouTube or a podcast?

Podcasting pays more on a CPM basis than YouTube does. While the average CPM for podcasting ranges from $15-$50, YouTube videos tend to pay in the $2-$10 CPM range. 

Do platforms like Apple and Spotify pay for podcasts?

In short, no. These platforms function as podcast directories or places for consumers to discover and listen to podcasts. Right now, Apple and Spotify do not pay podcast creators to list their products on their platforms.

However, Apple and Spotify announced in May 2021 that podcasters can monetize their show. Listeners will pay a subscription fee to get access to the content of independent podcasters.

‍Do you need an LLC to start a podcast?

No, you don’t need an LLC to get started. An LLC, or limited liability corporation, is a business structure that helps protect your personal assets from business-related risks. Basically, if you get sued or run into financial trouble in the course of your business, your personal assets (like savings and property) won’t be at risk of loss. 

Podcasters who want to treat their podcast like a real business might want to consider getting an LLC for their podcast since creating an LLC means your business will be treated separately from you as an individual. 

If you plan to earn a hefty income or share responsibilities/revenue with your cohosts, it might be a good idea to set up a formal business structure that helps you assign ownership among your venture’s participants.‍

13. FAQs on assessing your podcast 

How do I find podcast analytics?

While you can examine downloads and reviews as part of your podcasts’ analytics, the best way to assess your podcasts’ metrics is through a dedicated tool. Most podcast hosting services offer analytics and it’s worth checking this out when picking out your host provider. 

‍Why do podcasts fail?

There can be any number of reasons why a podcast might fail, but one of the most common is that beginner podcasters aren’t able to connect with their audience or deliver real value in an entertaining package.

How to Start a Podcast FAQs: Over to You

Starting a podcast can be daunting. It’s understandable to be filled with countless questions about the process, the equipment, the software, and the right marketing strategies. 

The world of audio content is a vibrant, exciting one that’s always full of potential for growth. We hope that by answering the questions above, we’ve helped you feel a little more prepared to make the leap into podcasting!


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