How To

How To Start Your Own Music Podcast

Photograph of the blog post author, Mario Evon

Mario Evon

26.6.2020

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You might be wondering why you should even consider starting your own podcast?  As more and more podcasts are created every day, it is currently one of the most compelling audio formats around. There are more than 850,000 active podcasts and over 30 million podcast episodes in existence, so if you are a musician or a creative, it may be one of the best decisions you will ever make. In this article, I will tell you all about how to start your own music podcast. Including an outline of what a podcast is, why you should consider starting one as a music lover, and how to record it, feature guests and get it out to the world.

podcast on a phone in a coffee shop

What Is A Podcast?

A podcast is a digital audio file made available on the internet for streaming or download via an app, computer or mobile device. It is often available in series or scheduled episodes, where subscribers are usually automatically notified about new episodes. It feels a lot like radio but is on-demand, and you are the boss of the station.

Why Should A Musician Or Music Lover Start A Podcast?

recording a podcast

Podcasts exist in a myriad of genres, some of the most popular in 2019 being ‘Comedy’, ‘News’ and ‘Society and Culture’ respectively. Also, popular podcasts are niche podcasts, which focus on a single topic such as ‘Challenges of a Cupcake Baker’. I don’t know if this is a real thing, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was! As a musician or music-lover, this is how you can showcase your wealth of knowledge in an area that you are truly passionate about. 

Starting a music podcast will allow you to:

Become A Thought-Leader

Your years of experience and knowledge won’t be put to waste, as podcasts give you a stage to speak from a place of authority in your field or specialty (e.g. Songwriting, Audio Engineering, Album Reviews etc.), and your listeners to learn from a trusted source.

Increase Your Fan Base

Podcasts function as another lead magnet to grow your fanbase or following. Once your podcast tribe starts to grow, listeners tend to be quite loyal based on the value and transformation you have created for them. Their trust in you will grow, as will their interest in your products including previous albums, merch etc. They also may develop a genuine love for your personality. 

Network

You may choose to create a solo podcast and be the voice of every episode. However, if you engage guests on your podcasts, it is a great way to meet and learn from new people in the industry, engaging them in an authentic way. You may even rekindle relationships with old music colleagues or music lovers. Never forget that your listeners may also become good friends and/or persons who add great value to your personal and professional network moving forward.

Learn A New Skill

One of the most amazing things you will realise about podcasting is how much your interviewing skills improve, particularly your ability to not interrupt a guest, follow the flow of a conversation and ask relevant questions. Amazing offshoots include public speaking and possibly even teaching others about your journey, starting your podcast through curating podcast workshops, one-on-one sessions and online courses.

Get Better At Your Musical Craft

Preparing for a podcast episode may sometimes require additional research to supplement your knowledge, strengthening your ability to organise, explain and deliver your content.

Monetise Your Knowledge

Your podcast could become the next hottest thing on the block, which means that if your subscription and listenership are high, you could be in a position to monetise your podcast through ad placements and other partnerships such as podcast networks. Who doesn’t like making an income doing something they enjoy?

How To Start A Podcast For Free (Or As Cheaply As Possible)

zoom h6 recorder

Starting a podcast doesn’t have to be an expensive venture, so I will delve into how to start a podcast for free, or at least keep costs as low as possible. There are numerous steps to starting a podcast, which I will break down into sections:

Equipment

If you are a performing musician, you may already have acquired some of this gear. If not, things that you will need include:

  • Possible soundproofing if you are in a room with a lot of echoing.

Recording & Editing Software

Podcast Show Details

  • Title – Make it relevant to the theme of the podcast and catchy.
  • Description – This bit of information is what people will read to decide whether they will listen or not. Make if succinct, relatable and engaging, letting listeners know why they have to listen.
  • Podcast Artwork – Traditionally a .jpg or .png with the dimensions of 3000x3000px. Again, make it relevant, easy to read and stand out in a lineup.
  • Podcast Topic – Speak about something you are absolutely passionate and knowledgeable about. Think about how you can use that knowledge and passion to solve a problem or pain point for your listeners. This way you will always provide them with value.
  • Podcast Schedule: Determine how regularly you will be able to generate content and decide on a schedule. Weekly is a safe bet, but some podcasters release multiple episodes per week depending on whether they are solo or require guests amongst other factors. Create what you can manage so that you can comfortably meet your deadlines, and batch episodes. To batch is to record as many episodes as you can beforehand to prevent the rush of having to generate episodes week to week.
  • Episode Details: It is a great idea to write out potential episode topics as well as potential guests as you prepare to record your podcast. 10 topics and 10 guests is a reasonable start, and allows you to organise the sequence of your guests and episodes to create a contour in the release of your episodes.

Prepare For Your Interview 

glasses on a notebook
  • Solo: If you are good at speaking off the top of your head, then write down and sequence a series of bullet points. They will keep you on track in case you begin to ramble. The beauty of podcasts is that they are traditionally audio, so no one is seeing you. Also, they are pre-recorded, so they can be edited. This gives you free rein to truly be yourself and just speak!
  • Guest: If you are interviewing a guest, the process is a bit more involved, and depends on whether it is someone with which you are familiar or not. If it is an old friend, then striking up a conversation won’t be difficult. However, if it is a stranger, you may need to give them a call a few days beforehand to get to know them a bit and for you both to develop some chemistry together. It would also be nice to let them know what to expect and what direction you plan to take the conversation in. Find out what they absolutely don’t want to speak about, and in essence, ensure their utmost comfort. The strength of your guest episodes will rely almost entirely on how comfortable your guest is during your interview. 

Record And Edit Your Podcast

anchor podcast logo
  • Recording: If you are alone, hook up your equipment and get to recording. If you have a guest, then schedule a time and method of recording and keep all communication channels open. Again, guest comfort is key.
  • Editing: If you are comfortable editing then you can do this yourself If you aren’t, there are affordable freelance marketplaces such as Fiverr, where you can find freelancers to edit your episodes relatively quickly.
  • Anchor.fm: One of the easiest ways to create a podcast is via Anchor.fm. The platform allows you to record, edit and distribute from your smart device for free. In their words, “Anchor is an all-in-one platform where you can create, distribute, and monetise your podcast from any device, for free.”  This sometimes comes at some sacrifice of sound quality, especially when using a mobile device in a not so quiet space. If you are an audiophile, this may not be your first choice.

Select & Upload To Your Media Host

media hosts for podcasts

Your podcast needs a home for its audio to be stored, and this is called your host. There are many hosts out there with various benefits (based on cost).  Some of the more popular ones include Buzzsprout, Transistor, Podbean, Libsyn etc. These hosting sites usually have added benefits of analytics, tracking your subscribers and number of streams/downloads, which are great markers of the success of your podcast. These metrics are also what can help you secure sponsorship and monetise your podcast.

RSS Feed: A podcast RSS feed is what allows users to subscribe to your podcast in order to listen to it without visiting the exact website where it is located. A podcast RSS feed also updates subscribers when new episodes are uploaded, so subscribers never have to go searching for the new episodes.

Submit To Podcast Directories

So, you want to know how to start a podcast on Spotify or how to start a podcast in iTunes?

Though it would seem convenient that your host submits your podcasts to various directories for you (which some like anchor do), this is a step that you have to otherwise do on your own, but only once. After initial submission and approval from a directory such as iTunes or Spotify, your episodes will automatically populate the respective directories once uploaded to your host.

Here are some popular directories to submit to:

Promote Your Podcast

Whether this podcast is for fun or with a focused intention to monetise, it is important that you treat it similar to an album launch. Essentially, this is an event that the entire world needs to know about. Here are a few tips and things to consider:

  • Give yourself headroom or lead time to create promotional materials to use on social media and all available promotional outlets e.g. mailing list, group chats, Facebook groups etc.
  • Create a website for your podcast (if your hosting service doesn’t already create one for you as a part of your package). On your site, embed players from your host and create a new page for every episode uploaded. This will assist with search engine optimisation (SEO) when people search for your podcast in their browser.
  • Set a launch date and have a launch party.
  • Ask people to share your podcast once it goes live.
  • Consider a launch day giveaway and other ways to create buzz around your podcast (not dissimilar to a pre-save campaign).
  • Ask listeners to review and subscribe to your podcast.
  • Try to get as large a listenership for your launch episode(s) as possible, as this helps to get you into the ‘New and Noteworthy’ selection for iTunes. This could greatly assist in getting you even more listeners than your existing network.

Summary

microphones recording podcast

It is evident that there will be a learning curve to enter into the world of podcasting. This may not be as steep as you anticipate, and it is truly a wonderful platform for brand-building, expansion of knowledge and forming a meaningful network. I encourage you to take the necessary steps and research, as starting your music podcast may be that step that changes your life.  

If you have other things that you want to share with the world, such as your music, we want to help boost your career and get them noticed. This includes promoting your music and improving your streaming presence! Also, check out our Sync opportunities page to get your music in TV and Film. Try it out for free today by signing up or clicking the button below



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