Ah, podcasts, where should we begin? It is safe to say that I was late to the game when it comes to listening to podcasts. In fact, I only started to listen to them during the first UK lockdown to keep me company on long walks with my dog.
If you also quickly became addicted to listening to podcasts, you are not alone. According to Statista, a whopping 15 million people listened to podcasts in the UK in 2020, and with audiences growing steadily, it predicts that this figure will rise to 20 million listeners by 2024.
From true crime podcasts to education and advice, from entertainment and comedy shows to sports analysis, one of the reasons this format is so popular is because there is truly something available for anyone – no matter what your niche is. So, if you are sitting on a podcast idea that you can’t wait to share with the world, keep on reading.
When I first started the Let’s Get You a F**kin’ Job podcast, a show aimed at getting pandemic university grads career advice from those who graduated during the 2008 recession, I had no idea how to start a podcast. I spent countless hours Googling the topic, and I am super excited to have condensed that information down to a simple, step-by-step guide to help you launch your podcast for free with no experience required.
What is a podcast?
Let’s go back to basics for a minute. A podcast is essentially an online, on-demand audio broadcast. Data has shown that 74% of podcast listeners press play to learn new things while other listeners tune in to be entertained, relax, or inspired.
I love that I can multitask and listen to podcasts, and apparently, I am not alone in this way of thinking. Three out of ten podcast listeners say they listen to a podcast while doing housework, driving, commuting, exercising, or even cooking.
The ability to listen to podcasts on the go is one of the reasons why this format is appealing. With the average length of a podcast standing at around 43 minutes, they present an opportunity for businesses and brands to capture the attention of an engaged audience.
How to start a podcast with no money
One of the reasons I love podcasting is that you can create a great show for free from your home. This is great news for beginners, as it means that you can commit to releasing your idea into the world without having to spend every moment of your spare time on it.
Don’t get me wrong, it does take a chunk of time, but it doesn’t necessarily take money to get your episodes live.
You likely have an idea for your podcast if you are reading this but if you need more help in this area, download my free Guide to Starting a Podcast to discover what topics you could cover in your show.
In my experience at the beginning, all you need to start your podcast for free is:
A Zoom account – if you are using an interview format for your podcast
A recording device – use apps available on your smartphone to record voice notes for your show
Editing software – I used ocenaudio, but there are plenty of free options online
Buzzsprout – create a free account or look at their affordable package options to distribute your podcast
Social Media accounts – you can promote and distribute your podcast via social media for free when your show is available
To begin with, you don’t need fancy recording equipment or software. Use what you can for free to determine whether podcasting is right for you.
Commit to your podcast idea
As a podcast fan, there is nothing more annoying than when you find a show you love, but it is hard to keep up with episodes because they are released sporadically and on random days. One of my best pieces of advice for people starting on their podcast journey is to commit to your idea and remain consistent.
Instead, plan how many episodes you would like to release before you go live. Podcasts do require your time and effort, so consider what realistically works for you.
Perhaps you want to release ten episodes per series? Or run episodes alongside the release dates of a weekly TV show, or aim to release 50 shows in a row. Whatever you decide, it is important to be consistent and dedicated to your goal.
Pick a day of the week and let your audience know that they can expect to hear from you on a weekly/fortnightly basis and stick to it.
According to Megaphone Pods, Wednesday is the most popular podcast publishing day of the week, followed by Tuesday. Thursdays have the highest downloads per average episode.
Try publishing on one of these days, to begin with, to set a benchmark for your download data. If you do decide to change release days in the future, make sure you give your listeners plenty of reminders before doing so.
How can I start a podcast when I have no audience?
To answer this question, you are going to have to overcome that nagging fear in the back of your mind that wonders, ‘What if no one listens to my podcast?’.
Instead, try not to focus on download numbers when you first start. According to Riverside, the average podcast gets around 27 listens per episode, and shows ranked in the top 1% of podcasts have 3,200 per episode.
Aim to pick a topic you are passionate about and follow the steps included in the How to Start a Podcast Guide to unlock the potential to build a podcast and an engaged community around it – as long as you are willing to put in the effort.
When you plan your podcast, consider who it will appeal to (age, gender, interests) and think about which Social Media platforms your audience is most likely to spend their time on, and create a dedicated account for your podcast. Once you have your profile set up to showcase your podcast, make sure that your followers have easy access to a link to listen to your show and interact with people that work in a similar space to you. Building relationships around your content and community will ultimately help you to spread the word about your show to new people.
How podcast hosting works
Honestly, I have no idea. The good news is that the experts over at Buzzsprout do, and that is good enough for you to upload your show and get it released on all the most popular podcasting platforms including, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and more!
You can use this link to find out more about signing up for a Buzzsprout account and to determine whether it is the best fit for you, your podcast show, and your budget. What I love about Buzzsprout is its affordability, the option to archive your series, and its exclusive Facebook Group that you can join to get lots of encouragement and support from the wider podcasting community (it is also a great place to get your podcasting questions answered).
I hope you have enjoyed getting to know how podcasts are made and that the guide saves you time when you start on your podcasting journey.
I would love to hear all about your podcast, so don’t forget to tag @brightleopardmarketing on Instagram to share your podcast wins. I can’t wait to see you release your idea into the world and celebrate your successes.
How to start a podcast for your business…
If you are thinking about starting a podcast for your business and you are unsure whether it will work for you, contact Bright Leopard Marketing to arrange a one-on-one consultation and establish how you can make podcast marketing work for you.