1. Develop a podcast concept
Choosing the right podcast concept for your new podcast is a big part of attracting the right listeners and staying committed to your show.
Follow these tips to narrow your niche and clarify your message.
Define your goals
Why do you want to start a podcast? It’s important to know your why, even if it’s to have fun with friends.
Some good reasons for starting a podcast are:
- to generate leads for a business
- be recognized as an industry leader
- share an important message
Podcasting has a lot of benefits for brands and businesses, but it’s important to be realistic about your goals.
While some podcasters shoot to fame, most have a small target audience that they build over time.
Pick a podcast theme or topic
Once you have some ideas, do some market research to survey the competition in your genre.
Search your show’s topic in Apple Podcasts. Listen to a few episodes and ask yourself what you could do differently.
There’s always a unique angle or perspective to offer.
To test out your own podcast concept, try to come up with ten episode ideas. If ideas don’t come easily, you might want to change topics.
Make it specific
When you zero in on a niche, you attract a more specific and engaged audience. Podcasts that appeal to a broad audience can end up reaching fewer people.
People are also more likely to recommend a niche podcast to a friend than a generic one.
To make your podcast niche, focus on a sub-category or sub-demographic.
Drill down on what makes your podcast different. What unique perspective can you bring to your podcast’s topic?
EXAMPLES OF FINDING A NICHE
- Mental health → Mental health for lawyers
- Drones → Drone racing
- Nutrition → Nutrition for diabetics
- Personality tests → Enneagram in the workplace
- Business → How to start a nonprofit
Name your podcast
Your podcast name is a core part of your brand. It makes a strong first impression on listeners and sets the tone for your podcast.
Here’s Apple’s advice on how to name your podcast:
It’s important to have a clear, concise name for your podcast. Make your title specific. A show titled Our Community Bulletin is too vague to attract many subscribers, no matter how compelling the content.
Pay close attention to the title as Apple Podcasts uses this field for search.
Podcast names should have the following characteristics:
- specific and succinct
- similar to your business name or brand
Once you have a title in mind, run it through a podcast name checker to ensure the social media accounts and domains are available. You also don’t want to use someone else’s podcast name.
Don’t create podcast artwork, yet. You’ll tweak your podcast concept before you release your episodes, and you don’t want to have to redo your artwork.
2. Choose your podcast format
Your format should complement your podcast and feel sustainable.
Ask yourself what gives you energy. Do you love connecting with podcast guests, or do you feel your best going solo?
If you choose to have cohosts, try to keep your group small. Podcasting with more than two or three people makes scheduling a challenge.
Keep in mind that some shows require more production than others. For instance, fiction podcasts usually require more editing than interview podcasts.
These are some common podcast formats:
- interview podcasts
- cohosted podcasts
- scripted non-fiction
- news recap
- educational podcasts
- scripted fiction
Optimal podcast episode length
Make your episodes as long as they need to be and no longer.
Some podcasts are less than five minutes long, and others have episodes the length of a short audiobook. Here are the most common episode durations:
- less than 10 minutes (14%)
- 10—20 minutes (15%)
- 20—40 minutes (31%)
- 40—60 minutes (22%)
- Over 60 minutes (7%)
SOURCE: Buzzsprout Platform Statistics
Podcast publishing schedule
Podcasting can be a full-time job or something you do on the side. You might decide to publish daily or every two years like Serial.
We recommend publishing once a week to develop a connection with listeners and create the habit of producing consistent content. These are the most common publishing frequencies:
- 0—2 days (7%)
- 3—7 days (36%)
- 8—14 days (39%)
- 15—29 days (17%)
- Over 30 days (1%)
SOURCE: Buzzsprout Platform Statistics
3. Setup podcast recording equipment
You don’t have to buy expensive equipment to have good audio. Lots of popular podcasts have a basic setup.
Let’s review what to look for in a podcast microphone. Then, we’ll make our top podcast equipment recommendations.
Best podcast microphones
A good podcast mic enhances your audio quality and makes editing easier. Less background noise in your recording means less editing on the backend.