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How to Start a Podcast | Complete Step-by-Step Guide for 2024

Learn how to start a podcast in 10 easy steps! Our ultimate step-by-step podcasting guide covers planning & equipment through to producing & launching.
Kendall Breitman
Social Media & Community Expert
Published:
May 20, 2021
Last Updated:
February 17, 2024
22
min
Reviewed by
Ortal Hadad

Are you ready to learn how to start a podcast, but you’re at a loss for what to do first?

With over 420 million monthly podcast listeners worldwide, it’s no wonder you want to start your podcast show. 

Knowing where to begin is intimidating, whether you’re a dedicated fan or a beginner. There’s a lot involved, which can overwhelm you if you’re unfamiliar with the podcasting process. 

That's what we're here for. Here is the ultimate guide to starting a podcast.

How to start a podcast in 10 easy steps

Our tutorial will walk you through all the steps you need to know on how to start a podcast successfully:

  1. Plan your podcast
  2. Setup your podcast equipment
  3. Choose podcast recording and editing software
  4. Prepare your first podcast episodes
  5. Start recording your podcast
  6. Edit your podcast recordings
  7. Create brand artwork for your podcast cover
  8. Publish your podcast show
  9. Promote and monetize your podcast
  10. Assess your podcast’s success

Begin with the video below, then read on for a deep dive into starting a podcast. We also include a list of resources at the end to help you expand your podcasting craft even further.

1. Plan your podcast

Create a concrete podcast plan before starting anything else in your podcasting journey. This guides you on your goals, target audience, and niche.

Consider the following when planning your podcast show:

Find your ‘why’

Figuring out why you want to create a podcast motivates you to be consistent and guides your podcast topic. Think about what you want to achieve through podcasting and why you chose to start a podcast in the first place. 

  • Is this just a hobby? 
  • Are you trying to attract new customers? 
  • Or, maybe you’d like to build a community?

Choose a niche podcast topic

Start by looking at your passions and interests. You need to feel fueled to discuss your topic. But you must nail your podcast niche to nail your podcast topic. Going niche makes it easier to plan content and attract the right audience.

What to consider when choosing a podcast topic

Here are a few questions that may help you hone into a specific topic:

  • What are you an expert in?
  • Who is your target audience? (Create a profile!) 
  • How can you help solve your audience’s pain points?
  • What gaps can you fill in the market?
  • What can make you stand out from other podcasts?

Another great idea is to generate topic suggestions through Answer the Public or ChatGPT. Both sites can give you better insights into what your audience is searching for. We wouldn’t suggest relying on these tools, but they’re a tremendous help to spark inspiration. 

Read more: 100+ Creative Podcast Topics Ideas in 2024

Choose a podcast name

Your podcast name should align with your brand and be easily discoverable on search engines. 

“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

If you already have a well-known reputation, you may want to leverage your brand’s popularity and include it in your podcast name.  

Choose a name not already in use. This way, you’ll be the only podcast that shows if people search for you. If you must take a name in use, contact the host to find out if the podcast is still active. 

Remember to claim any website or social media domains with your name so nobody else does before you.

Try our podcast name generator to get ideas flowing. 

Selecting a podcast format

While the most popular podcast format is an interview show, this isn’t ideal for every topic. Think about the best way to convey your podcast topic. If you’re podcasting about history, a documentary style is a good option, or if you’re creating a news podcast, use reporting. Interview podcasts are best for getting expert knowledge, while they’re also usually more conversational and engaging. 

Popular formats for starting a podcast
Riverside Annual Report

Some formats you can try include:

  • Solo-host monologue: Only one host presents the entire show.
  • Co-hosted show: Two co-hosts present the show. 
  • Interviews: Host(s) invite guests to discuss a topic with them. 
  • Reporting: Host(s) cover and analyze the facts of events or news. 
  • Storytelling scripted narratives: Host(s) tell or act out a story. 
  • Documentaries: In-depth discussions through interviews and research. 

Quick tip! You don’t have to stick to one format throughout your whole podcast. While it creates more consistency, mix it up if that’s what works best for your show.

Read more: Choosing A Podcast Format & Best Practices To Follow

Creating a podcast structure

There are a few aspects to cover when planning your podcast structure

Find an ideal podcast length

More than 50% of podcasts are over 30 minutes. But is this the correct length for your new podcast? 

Popular podcast lengths for creating a podcast
Riverside Annual Report

It’s best to choose length based on how much valuable information you can provide. If you’re going on tangents, keep things shorter.

One common practice is to tailor your episode length to publishing frequency. If you publish: 

  • Daily: A 10-minute podcast is more manageable 
  • Weekly or several times a week: Stay within 30-50 minutes. 
  • Less frequently: You could go over an hour, but only if you offer value.

These are just suggestions; there are MANY ways to structure your length. For instance, Binge Mode is a popular podcast covering various fandoms, and their twice-weekly episodes regularly surpass two hours. 

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

Read more: How Long Should a Podcast Be? - Ideal Podcast Length for 2024

Create an episode layout

Your podcast needs should follow an order or sequence. We suggest you:

  • Start with a hook and a podcast intro 
  • Cover the main content of your show (generally an interview)
  • End off with a conclusion followed by an outro.

Also, consider where to place ads or other extra podcast segments

Writing a podcast script before recording each episode is always a good idea for your outline.

Podcasting frequency

The truth about frequency is that it’s not about how often you post but about consistency. You can publish:

  • Daily
  • Weekly
  • Monthly
  • Seasonally 

Seasonal podcasts are created and then released as a batch at a specific time. If you choose to post each episode separately, we suggest creating two or three episodes before publishing live. This gives you a buffer for creating the next episodes.

Best days to launch your podcast:

Your best bet is to start publishing and then check your podcast analytics to see what days and times get the most downloads for your podcast. 

You can start by checking out statistics on the most popular days and times to publish:

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

We’ll be honest. It’s more important to see when your actual audience is most active online. You’re also better off posting when you can remain consistent. Above anything else, think about what will best maintain a good relationship with your audience.

2. Setup your podcast equipment

Your next step is to set up your podcast recording equipment. Luckily, you don’t need a fancy studio to create a professional podcast.

What equipment do you need to start a podcast?

It depends on your budget and goals. If you’re genuinely cash-strapped, you can start a podcast with a computer, and a good idea. But if you’re serious about creating an enjoyable podcast, start with these basics:

Podcast Microphone(s):

Choosing a podcast microphone can make or break your recording quality. You should look at three factors:

Polar pattern: A mic’s polar pattern is where it picks up sound. Cardioid mics are standard for podcasts as they only pick up sound from the front and capture little background noise.

Dynamic vs. condenser mics: Condenser mics produce crisper audio but are more sensitive; dynamic mics don’t capture soft noise easily. This means condenser podcast mics are better for a studio setup, while dynamic mics are safer if you’re somewhere noisy.

Connection type: USB microphones are much easier to set up and are ideal for beginners who don’t plan on recording in one studio with many guests. XLR microphones require an audio interface to connect to your computer but make recording with multiple mics easier.

Recommendations: Samson Q2U, Blue Yeti, Shure MV7

Read more: 9 Best Podcast Microphones for Every Need and Budget (2024)

Podcast Headphones‍:

It’s best to hear the audio your equipment picks up clearly so you can fix anything you need immediately. This is why headphones are a must! Headphones also stop audio bleed or echo, where your mic picks up unwanted noise from other devices. We suggest using wired headphones as there’s less lag, and you don’t need to recharge them.

Recommendations: Sennheiser 280 PRO, Audio Technica ATH-m20x

Read more: The 11 Best Podcast Headphones [2024 Guide]

Laptop or desktop computer:

It’s likely you already have your own computer or laptop. Any should do, but you’ll want to ensure your device is compatible with any podcast software you use.

Recommendations: HP Spectre x360 , Macbook Air

Read more: An Overview Of The 10 Best Laptops for Podcasting

Podcast camera:

If you’re recording video podcasts, you’ll need a camera. While you can use your computer’s built-in webcam, using an external device is better. Either purchase a dedicated webcam or use a DSLR for recording.

Recommended: Sony ZV-E10, Panasonic HC-V770K

Read more: Podcast Camera: Choosing The Best One For Video Podcasting

Recording a podcast with a phone:

With the fast development of phones, many come with high-end cameras that can even record in 4K resolution. This is totally a feasible option to use for podcasting on a budget. You can pair your phone with a podcasting app and an external mic; then you’re all set.

Setting up your podcast equipment

Additional equipment to consider:

The above aren’t necessities but can boost your podcast show's quality. Pop filters, a mic stand, and soundproofing can keep your audio clean. Lighting, on the other hand, can improve your video output.

Read more: Best Podcast Equipment for Any Budget (2024)

If you plan on filming a multi-person podcast, you’ll need enough equipment for each person. Get a mic for every guest or host, and you might want to consider an audio interface or mixer to help you capture tracks.

3. Choose podcast recording and editing software

With the wide variety of free and paid podcast software available, consider your needs and setup.

If you’re recording with multiple people in a podcast studio, ensure your software can capture multiple tracks from one computer. If you’re recording with guests in different locations, use dedicated remote podcast recording software. These platforms will offer local recording, ensuring your internet connection doesn’t ruin your quality.

Regarding, podcast editing software, you don’t have to use the most advanced editor. You likely won’t need half the tools, and some podcast software includes all your podcast recording and editing needs together.

The percentage of companies that use remote recording software for creating podcasts
Riverside Annual Report

We’ve got a complete guide on podcast software, but here are some suggestions to try: 

Riverside

  • Price: Free plan, paid plans start at $15/month
  • Compatibility:  Mac, Windows, iOS, Android
  • Type: Remote video podcast software
Starting a podcast with Riverside's software

With Riverside, you can start and complete a podcast all on one platform. You’ll experience a seamless solution for remote video podcasting. You can record with multiple guests in studio-quality and then polish up your podcast in minutes using our AI-powered video editor

Riverside is an affordable option, and you can expect:

  • High-quality recording with up to 4K video and 48kHz audio files
  • An easy-to-use interface for beginners and professionals alike
  • Local recording, so no internet connectivity ruins your resolution
  • Remote recording with up to 8 participants 
  • Separate audio and video tracks for all participants to simplify editing 
  • Host and producer controls for smoother recording sessions
  • Uncompressed recordings for maximum recording quality
  • Text-based editor for a quick and seamless post-recording workflow
  • Highly accurate AI transcriptions for easy podcast transcripts
  • Customizable podcast captions at the click of a button
  • Automatic AI show notes, episode descriptions, titles, and chapters
  • Clips generator to turn key moments into short, shareable videos
  • Quick sharing to directories through our Spotify integration
  • iOS and Android mobile apps for podcasting from your phone
  • Media board where you can add sound effects live while recording
  • Live podcasts with tools for audience live call-ins. 
  • Teleprompter to follow podcast questions or notes while recording

The list goes on.

We can simply tell you that Riverside covers all the above and more, but we’ll let you see for yourselves. Sign up for free and start recording a podcast seamlessly.

GarageBand

  • Price: Free
  • Compatibility:  Mac
  • Type: Audio recording and editing

Although GarageBand is more for music production, it’s a good option for podcast beginners. You can record and edit, but this is only for audio podcasts.

Adobe Audition

  • Price: $20.99 per month
  • Compatibility:  Mac & Windows
  • Type: Audio recording and editing 

Adobe Audition is another popular option for audio-only podcasts. Audition is more geared towards advanced podcast editing. We recommend this software to those more experienced with audio editing (or those willing to learn).  

Audacity

  • Price: Free
  • Compatibility:  Mac, Windows & Linux
  • Type: Audio recording and editing

Another free podcast software is Audacity. While it’s a good option for beginners, it also requires a bit of a learning curve.

Zoom (free and paid)

  • Price: Free, paid plans begin at $149.90 per year
  • Compatibility:  Mac, Windows & Linux
  • Type: Remote video recording software

Zoom is a popular option for recording video podcasts remotely. This is because it’s familiar and easy to use. But, it has no editing tools and relies on your internet connection to capture high-resolution video. You can also look into Skype but face the same story as with Zoom.

Extra podcasting software:

Besides editing and recording podcast software, you may also want to try tools for transcriptions, scheduling, and planning your podcast. These aren’t necessary but can streamline your podcasting process.

Some of our recommendations are:

Riverside AI Transcriptions & Show Notes: Download highly accurate transcriptions or automated show notes, episode titles, podcast descriptions, and chapters. This will help you with SEO optimization so your podcast appears higher on search engines. 

Headliner: This marketing tool is for podcast audiograms for social media.

Calendly: This scheduler helps you slot in interviews and podcasting tasks.‍‍

Wix: Wix is ideal for building a podcast website with a live episode player.

Chat GPT or Notion: While you definitely want your podcast to feel human, AI like Chat GPT or Notion can help you plan and structure your shows. 

Read more: The 15 Best Podcast Recording Software in 2024 (Mac & PC)
Start recording with Riverside
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4. Prepare your first podcast episodes

Now it’s time to start preparing for your first few episodes. This includes scheduling and organizing your interviews, plus outlining your podcast episodes.

Schedule and prepare your podcast interviews

If you’re choosing to create an interview-based podcast, we recommend starting to schedule guest interviews. Here is some advice to keep in mind:

  • Keep a list of guests to see who you’ve reached out to already.
  • Find guests on social media or a matching platform like PodMatch.
  • Send your guests an interview length estimate so they’re prepared.
  • Set shorter 30-45 minute interviews so guests are more inclined to join. Less time also helps keep you focused on the topic.
  • Plan and order your interview questions. Ask your guests a little about themselves, and let the discussion flow into deeper exploration.
  • Take a unique angle, as guests likely get asked questions repeatedly.
  • Keep questions authentic and tailored to your specific audience.

Outline and set up your first podcast episodes

Besides interview questions, create a podcast outline to avoid tangents and give you direction. Decide what to cover for your first few episodes, then go into the details. If this seems intimidating, try our podcast script template.

‍How many episodes should you prepare 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.

Test run your podcast equipment setup

Take your equipment for a test run and check that everything works before recording each episode. 

Testing equipment before starting your podcast

Some tips to keep in mind:

  • Position your mic correctly, around 2-4 inches away, and at a 45-degree angle to your face to minimize plosives and keep audio quality clear.
  • Create an appealing video frame with your personal touch, but keep your frame clean and avoid a distracting backdrop. Virtual backgrounds are also popular!
  • Recharge batteries or plug-in equipment so nothing cuts out midway.
  • Always wear headphones to hear clearly and to avoid audio-bleed.
  • Record in a quiet environment or studio to avoid background noise. You can even soundproof a room for a DIY home studio setup.
  • Don’t rush or slurp your words. Speak confidently and clearly.
  • Use a live soundboard to add background music and sound effects.

5. Start recording your podcast

Finally, you can start creating your actual podcast!

Choose which setup suits you best, and you’re ready to record.

In-person podcast recordings

Using a podcast mixer to connect everything directly to your computer is easiest in an in-person studio recording. You can also record on your equipment’s storage and upload everything to your computer. (You’ll save time doing the former, though.)

Learn more: How to Record a Podcast like a Pro (The Easy Way)

Recording remotely

Dedicated remote recording software is the most seamless way to record a podcast from separate locations. Everyone simply joins online from their device, making it ideal for less tech-savvy guests. It’s a good idea to send your guests equipment and guidelines for recording, though, as you won’t be able to assist in person. To learn more, check out our guide on recording a remote podcast in high-quality.

Hybrid recording

Hybrid recording is a little more complicated. You’re combining the two methods above, but you have some extra equipment considerations. Your remote guests can quickly join as they usually would via remote software. You just may need to think about how to frame and capture everyone in the studio with you.

This video covers all you need:

6. Edit your podcast recordings

Podcast editing doesn’t have to be complicated to make a huge difference, and you don’t have to use an advanced podcast editing suite. Many tools are automated, and you can find a much simpler platform for your editing needs.

These are the editing essentials we recommend following:

  • Create a narrative. Remove unwanted sections and create a flowing storyline.
  • Spice up your show. Add an intro, outro, effects, and music.
  • Fine-tune your audio. Remove background noise, plosives, or harsh sounds. Equalize audio levels so all speakers are within the same volume.
  • Add branding (for video). Customize your background or add a logo.
  • Merge tracks and export. Save video podcasts as MP4s and audio-only podcasts as uncompressed WAV files for quality or MP3 files to save space.
  • Create promotional clips. Turn your long podcast into shareable snippets. Share these on social media to draw new listeners in!
Read more: Podcast Editing: How to Do It In 10 Steps (Complete Tutorial)

As mentioned above, if you’re using Riverside, our podcast editing tools really help streamline your workflow. From text-based editing and full AI episode creation to automated captions and show notes, edit your podcast recordings effortlessly fast.

Start recording with Riverside
Easily record high-quality podcasts & videos remotely
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7. Create brand artwork for your podcast cover and logo

As much as you shouldn’t judge a podcast by its cover, nailing branding greatly attracts audiences. After all, your visuals often make up the first impression audiences get from your show.

Besides creating a brand logo, you’ll need podcast cover art, which is the visual you’ll use to display your show on listening platforms.

We’ve got a full guide on podcast covers and logos, but here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Your cover must be identifiable. Include your podcast name, logo, and brand colors.
  • Think about your audience and what will attract them to your brand.
  • Create a cover with dimensions compatible to a variety of platforms
  • Try a template to help you get ideas when creating your podcast cover.
  • Consider hiring a freelancer to help you if you’ve got the budget.
  • Less is more; don’t overload your cover with too many elements
Remember to keep in mind podcast directories’ image requirements. Apple Podcasts allows images with 1400x1400 pixels up to a maximum of 3000x3000 pixels. Spotify has a minimum of 640x640 pixels.

If you’re creating your own cover, these tools are a good place to start:

Canva: With over 25K templates, we recommend Canva for beginners to create a podcast logo or cover from scratch.

Adobe Express: If you’re already part of the Adobe suite, this platform’s premium plan is a good choice. Create your own logo and visuals with brand color presets.

Tailor Brands: This AI platform designs logos and other materials based on a few questions about your brand. While you don’t have to do much design work here, this design tool costs.

8. Publish your podcast show

After making your first episodes, the next step is to publish your show on different podcast listening platforms.

How to publish your podcast with a host and directory

To do this, you’ll need to:

  1. Upload your episodes to a podcast hosting site where you store your podcast content.
  2. Push your content from your podcast host to a listening directory, where your audience can access your show.

Uploading your podcast to a hosting platform

Choose a podcast hosting platform that offers you enough storage, but make sure it’s compatible with your listening directory. Look into the features your podcast host provides, as many come with analytics and monetization tools.

Here are some options to explore:

Read more: Best Podcast Hosting Platforms: 2024 Guide

Creating a podcast description and show notes

You’ll also need to include a podcast description when uploading your show. 

Podcast descriptions explain what your show is about and what listeners can expect from your episodes. There are a few things to remember when writing your description:

  • Include a captivating hook that draws in listeners to your show. This can be a shocking statement or provoking question.
  • Keep your descriptions clear and concise. You don’t need more than a few sentences to introduce yourself and your show.
  •  Incorporate keywords related to your podcast topic to increase your discoverability in search engines. 

Here’s a great example of a podcast description from Freakonomics:

An example of a podcast description

While you’ll write a description for your whole podcast, you’ll also need to write up: 

  • Show notes that summarize episodes and introduce guests
  • Episode titles or headings
  • Episode chapters that help your listeners with navigation
Luckily, if you’re using Riverside, you don’t have to spend extra time doing this. Our AI show notes feature automatically generates show notes, summaries, and episode chapters.

Distributing your podcast to a directory

Each platform may require a slightly different process, but generally, 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 your chosen directories. 

If you’re looking for where to publish, start with the most popular listening apps. You can try:

To help you out, here are short summaries on how to get started on the three most significant platforms: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and YouTube.

How to start a podcast on Apple Podcasts

You’ll just need an Apple ID account, and then you can follow these steps to submit and start a podcast on Apple Podcasts:

  1. Upload your podcast recording to your podcast host.
  2. Log in to Apple Podcasts Connect.
  3. Add a new show with an RSS feed
  4. Copy and paste your RSS feed from your podcast host.
  5. Upload your podcast artwork and verify your show’s details
  6. Wait for Apple to verify and validate your show.
Read more: How to Upload Your Podcast to Apple Podcasts (iTunes) [2024]

How to start a podcast on Spotify

Like Apple, distributing your podcast to Spotify is easy (and free). Though Spotify also hosts video podcasts and has a Riverside integration to help you create quality content seamlessly. 

Simply record and edit a professional video podcast on Riverside, and then you’ll find a Spotify button when previewing your export. This redirects you to the Spotify for Podcasters host to easily publish your show.

Read more: How to Upload a Podcast to Spotify (Complete 2024 Guide)

If you’re using a different hosting platform, check if your host is one of Spotify’s partners. If not, simply log into Spotify for podcasters with your Spotify account and follow these steps:

  1. Click ‘get started’.
  2. Copy your podcast RSS feed from your hosting platform into Spotify’s entry box.
  3. Add your podcast’s info and review everything before submitting.

That’s it! The podcast should be visible in the app within a few hours.

Starting a podcast on YouTube

New podcast listeners prefer video, while 38% of listeners choose YouTube as their podcast listening platform. YouTube is rocketing in popularity. They have a dedicated podcast page, and they are becoming increasingly podcast-oriented.

When it comes to starting a podcast on YouTube, think about:

  • The type of video format that will suit your podcast
  • Whether your podcast recording software captures high-quality video
  • YouTube SEO and promotion strategies

To start a YouTube podcast, record and create your video podcast as usual, then do the following:

  1. Create a YouTube account and sign in.
  2. Click the camera ‘Create’ button in the top right.
  3. Select ‘Upload Videos’ and choose the video you want to publish.
  4. Once uploaded, add your video podcast title and description before publishing.
  5. To create a podcast playlist, click ‘Create’ on the top right of your YouTube studio, then select ‘New Podcast’.  
  6. Choose between ‘Create a podcast’ or ‘Set an existing playlist as a podcast’.
  7. Enter all your podcast details, and then click "Create" to finalize your podcast show’s playlist on YouTube.
Read more: How to Start a Podcast on YouTube in 7 Steps [2024 Guide] 

We also suggest you make use of YouTube shorts to increase your exposure. You can easily create shareable shorts with Riverside’s clip feature and then simply upload them to YouTube.

9. Promote and monetize your podcast

You’ll want to invest in podcast promotion and monetization to turn your podcast into a full income stream.

Over 55% of listeners have made purchases from podcast ads. This means if you’ve got the audience, you can make a good amount of money from podcast sponsorships and advertising.

Promoting your podcast

You can try many podcast promotions and marketing tactics. Here are some ideas:

  • Invest in SEO to increase your discoverability on search engines. Add relevant keywords to your podcast descriptions, show notes, titles, and transcripts.
  • Create short, shareable teasers and post them on social media. (You can create these in just one click using Riverside's Magic Clips AI tool).
  • Build your online presence and create a podcast website. Try expanding your reach by using transcripts to repurpose episodes into blogs.
  • Join a promotion platform or network to effortlessly get the right connections. You can try agencies like True Native Media or Frqncy Media.

Figure out what’s best for you. You may want to create a website, or you may stick to the social media route. Remember that growth takes time.

Popular promotions tactics for starting a podcast
Riverside Annual Report

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

Monetizing your podcast 

Not everyone plans on making money from their podcast. But here are a few ways your podcast can make you money and become a full-income stream:

  • Sponsorships: Get a podcast sponsor to pay you for a show mention. 
  • Subscriptions and donations: Create private podcast content only accessible to paid subscribers or ask your audiences for donations.
  • Paid merchandise: Make and sell custom merchandise to fans.
  • Affiliate Marketing: Promote a product and receive commissions.

It might be challenging to monetize your podcast in the beginning. The larger your audience, the easier this tends to become. Start strategizing, though, so as you grow, so does your podcast income.

Learn more: 

10. Assess your podcast’s success

The best way to create a successful podcast is by assessing and consistently improving your content. Look at analytics like downloads, audience demographics, and peak engagement times.

Assessing your podcasts' engagement and success

This reveals how well your podcast is doing and gives you cues to tailor your podcast more for your audience.

Read more: Podcast Analytics: Why, How & What To Measure

Bonus: Resources and guides on podcasting

Now that you’ve got a good idea of what starting a podcast involves, you may want to dive deeper into some topics.  Here are a few resources and guides to help you out. 

Craft your podcasting skills with these guides and resources:

  • Master the Art of Podcasting with Rebecca Sananès: Award-winning producer Rebecca Sananès shares her secrets to a compelling podcast.
  • How to Start a Podcast: Over 100 YouTube videos on podcasting.
  • Conversation Creators by Riverside.fm: Our official Facebook group where you can connect with others and ask your burning podcast questions.
  • Riverside webinar hub: We host webinars weekly so you can interact and learn with our team of experts, plus ask your questions live.

‍Frequently Asked Questions on How to Start a Podcast

Why should you start a podcast?

If you're still wondering why starting a podcast is a good idea, here are some benefits to think about:

  • You’ll build a community over a topic you love talking about.
  • Although it takes work, you can make money podcasting.
  • Podcasts are an effective marketing channel to increase leads.
  • You'll likely interview and meet a wide range of people to learn from.
  • Podcasting can position you as a trusted expert in your industry.
Read more: 15 Benefits of Podcasting | Why You Must Start a Podcast

Why is podcasting challenging?

Podcasting comes with some challenges, but the more you venture into your podcasting journey, the easier it gets. Some common challenges may include:

Imposter syndrome: The biggest blocker is doubting yourself enough that you stop taking action. Things aren’t perfect initially, but you get better.

Technical knowledge: It’s a myth that you must be a tech expert to podcast. With software like Riverside, you can create your podcast setup smoothly.

Podcasting can cost: Don’t splurge on equipment. Get basic headphones, a mic, and use your phone as a camera. (You can even start a podcast for free).

‍Who can start a podcast?

The great thing about podcasts is that the barrier to entry is very low. You don’t need technical 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.

If you’re wondering how old you must be to start a podcast, there’s no official age limit. Though, some platforms like Spotify require you to have a parental guardian’s consent if you are under 13. So, while you can certainly start at any age, you may need an adult to guide you if you’re younger.

How much money does it cost to start a podcast?

While you can start a podcast for free, getting yourself set up will likely cost at least $100. It can cost well over, depending on your choice of equipment, software, and other extra branding expenses.

If you go with the bare minimum, you can expect to spend $50 on a microphone and $15/month on podcast hosting. But, it might cost more in the $500-$1000 range if you invest in higher-end equipment and more premium software.

How much money can you make from a podcast?

You can make anything from a few hundred dollars to a full-blown income. Besides your number of listeners, this amount is affected by your use of advertisements, 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. Suppose you post twelve episodes per month, then that equals only $4,800 per month. 

How to start a podcast on a budget?

Starting a podcast on a budget is a good route to follow if you’re a beginner. You can test the waters before committing. Follow the exact same steps for starting a podcast, but here are some extra tips for budgeting:

  • Purchase only the basic equipment you need to start
  • Remember that top-quality equipment doesn’t have to be pricier
  • Record, edit, and host your podcast on free podcast software
  • As your podcast grows and monetizes, invest back into it

Can you start a podcast for free?

Yes! You can definitely start a podcast for free. A wide variety of free podcast software is available, and many paid options also have a free plan. If you don’t have a microphone, try recording with your phone. Though, for a better-sounding podcast, it’s best to at least invest in a mic. 

How to start a podcast at home?

Creating a podcast at home isn’t much different than creating it in a studio. Actually, with remote platforms like Riverside, it’s easier than ever. If you’d like steps to create a podcast at home, follow the same guidelines above, but focus on building an efficient podcast studio at home. You’ll want to make sure you’re using remote recording software and know how to record your podcast online.

Read more: How To Record A High-Quality Podcast Remotely [in 2024]

Do you need a license to start and publish a podcast?

You don’t need a license to be a podcaster—but if you want to feature music you didn’t create on your show, 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. Another option is to rely on royalty-free music.

‍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. 

How do you talk on a podcast?

The key is to keep your voice sounding as natural but as clear as possible. To create a good podcast, remember to:

  • Speak at an audible volume 
  • Position your microphone correctly
  • Pause for effect where appropriate
  • Speak slowly and enunciate your words
  • Shift your tone to add expression to your speech
  • Talk conversationally so your audience can relate to you

How to Start a Podcast: Over to You

Starting your own podcast can be daunting. But the world of audio content is vibrant, exciting, and full of growth potential. With all our ‘starting a podcast’ tips and advice, you’ll feel more prepared to leap into podcasting!

Start recording your podcast on Riverside today. You can sign up for free.


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What’s a Rich Text element?

What’s a Rich Text element?

What’s a Rich Text element?

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

  1. link
  2. list
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Further reading
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