9 Tips for Starting Your Own Podcast

Thinking of starting your own podcast? Erin Hoeler, the Features Editor of Compass, hosts her own podcast on Anchor called ‘Ginger Mania’.

Erin Hoeler, Features Editor

Have you ever thought about starting your own podcast? While it may seem like a daunting task at first, it’s becoming easier than ever to record virtually anything you want and put it up for the world to hear. Whether this is a new hobby or the start to a potential career, podcasting is a great way to make the topics you care about, be heard by millions.

Make a list of potential topics and ideas 

Before beginning your podcast, curate a list of ideas that you could talk about for 5 mins to an hour, depending on how long you want your episodes to be. They could be any genre, whether it’s informational, cosmetic, or mysterious. Figure out a genre to help captivate an audience that will follow your future episodes. 

Name your podcast

Have a favorite nickname or catchy phrase? Make that the name of your show. Think of it like creating a mashup of two of your favorite songs, or just finding one word that sums up your show. However, make sure that your new episode name isn’t already a podcast or infringes on any copyright. Make it your own.  

Have a good microphone

With technology continuously improving, finding a good quality microphone is easier than ever. Most people have a smartphone or tablet. If you are just starting off your podcast, this is a great way to start, considering you already have the device. In most cases, you can record directly from your device and even make the necessary edits and add effects. 

Work out a posting schedule 

As your podcast begins to grow, your audience will begin to look forward to new episodes. Whether it is daily, weekly or monthly, make sure you adjust to this new schedule and aim to be consistent with posting and promoting your material. This will help keep your current listeners engaged and help bring in new ones. 

Target Audience (age, gender, etc.)

Who will be listening to your podcast? Make sure to establish whether it is appropriate for any or if it will be more explicit and better suited for an older audience. You can essentially post whatever you want and you don’t want to face backlash for disappointing your audience. 

Guest Speakers

Will it be just you talking or will you invite other people to give more insight into topics? Make sure they know what and what not to say while recording and what information they want to share. Having a guest speaker on your show once in a while can help give a bit of diversity and outside opinions to your show. 

Monetary gain

Some recording services allow you to make money from how many listens you get from your episodes, however, you may need to include commercials. Is this something you would consider, or would this be a hobby with no monetary gain? While this is not mandatory, some services may give this option. Terms and conditions may apply. 

Plan! Plan! Plan!

Some people can come up with an entire episode on a whim – and that’s great. However, for most people, it’s easier to plan your show in advance to at least have an idea of what you are going to be discussing on your show. This can be shorthand notes or an entire script, just make sure it feels natural and authentic to you. 

Have fun! 

What made you start a podcast? Whether it’s a new hobby or a side hustle, making episodes for your podcast should be fun and enjoyable. If you’re not enjoying it, your audience will hear the difference and it won’t be an enjoyable experience on either end. Plan out your show beforehand and hit that record button.