Are you ready to take the plunge and start your own podcast? Before you hit record, there are a few things you should know.
Starting a new creative project is an exciting time. Choosing your topic, writing your scripts, finding guests, or conducting research are essential (and fun) parts of the process. But there’s much more to starting a podcast than just the creative side.
To better prepare yourself, we asked some experts to share what they wished they knew before starting their podcasts. It’s a helpful list for beginners who are ready to start podcasting but may not know the behind-the-scenes technicalities or business aspects.
Here are eight things they don’t tell you about starting your podcast.
1. It Takes Time to Build an Audience
Don’t expect to launch your podcast and instantly have thousands of listeners. It takes time to build an audience, so be patient. Keep producing high-quality content and promoting your show; eventually, you’ll see some traction.
Cross-promotion on social media, guests, appearing on other podcasts in your niche, and being featured in podcast directories are great ways to help grow your audience. But your growth will be organic, which means it will take time.
This organic growth makes the world of podcasting so exciting for us. Word of mouth reigns supreme — it’s like passing along mixtapes (remember those?) or sharing your favorite new band with a friend. Once people discover your show, they’ll be more likely to tell others about it.
2. It’s Not as Easy as it Looks
While it may seem like all you need to do is hit record and start talking, there’s much more to it. Starting a podcast takes time and effort, from planning and editing to promoting and growing your audience.
While running a show yourself, podcasting can be tremendous work. As a result, you must have a passion for the topic you’re discussing and a clear vision for your show before you start.
3. It’s Easier than It Seems
Wait, what? Didn’t you just say it’s more complicated than it looks? Yes, we did… but stick with us – we’ll try to explain!
Your podcast doesn’t have to be perfect. In fact, it’s probably better if it isn’t. The beauty of podcasting is that it’s a medium where you can be yourself and connect with your audience on a personal level. So don’t worry about being perfect – just be yourself and have fun!
If you have an idea for a show, start recording snippets and experiment with your “on-air voice,” get familiar with your equipment, and start honing your skills. If you don’t like what you hear, you don’t need to put it out into the world.
4. You Don’t Need Expensive Equipment
You don’t need the latest and greatest recording gear to start a podcast. You only need a decent microphone and a quiet place to record.
We recommend using an affordable podcasting kit with a USB microphone if you’re just starting out. This setup offers the most flexibility and the quickest startup time.
Sure, everyone wants a studio-quality recording workstation, but those are expensive. If you have the budget for it, great! But don’t let a lack of funds stop you from starting your podcast.
Plus, if you have the right tools in your kit, you can get crystal-clear audio and video for every recording. Boomcaster is designed to help indie podcasters get the quality they need on a budget that makes sense.
5. You Probably Won’t Make Much Money (At First)
Podcasting is a labor of love. Unless you have a large audience or sponsors lined up, you’ll unlikely make much money from your show (at least at first).
There seems to be a misconception that everyone who has a show is rolling in dough, but the reality is that most podcasters are lucky if they make enough to cover their hosting fees.
Of course, there’s always the potential to make money down the road as your show grows in popularity, but it’s essential to go into podcasting with realistic expectations.
So if you’re looking to get rich quickly, podcasting probably isn’t the best option for you. But if you’re passionate about a topic and are willing to put in the time and effort, you can build a successful show that brings in some extra cash.
6. It’s Not Just About the Numbers
Although tracking your download numbers and growing your audience is important, don’t get too caught up in the numbers game. At the end of the day, it’s more important to focus on creating a quality show that your listeners will enjoy.
As long as you’re consistently putting out great content, promoting it on social media, and contributing to the community — the audience will come. And don’t worry, you’ll eventually start to see those numbers go up!
7. You Don’t Have to be an Expert
This is a little like the “don’t be perfect,” but we think it needs its own space.
Many of us tend to get a bit of paralysis when it comes to our creative ventures (we’re looking at you…half-finished novel…). But the truth is, you don’t need to know everything about podcasting, running a successful show, or even about your topic.
In fact, you could turn your blindspots into strengths. For example, maybe you’re interested in quantum mechanics but still trying to wrap your head around it. Use your status as a novice to your advantage and share your journey with your listeners.
Listeners will appreciate the authenticity, and you might learn something along the way!
8. It’s Worth It
Despite all the challenges in starting a podcast, it’s still an enriching experience. When done right, it can be a great way to build an audience, connect with like-minded people, and even make some money.
We’ve talked to many of our users, and there’s one throughline we always hear: they wish they started their podcast sooner. So if you’re on the fence about creating your own show, go for it!
What do you have to lose?
Getting Started on Your Podcasting Journey
So there you have it, eight things they don’t tell you about starting your own podcast. But now that you know what to expect, you’re ready to start your show!
We’ve got you covered if you need a little help getting started. Check out our guide on how to start a podcast for all the tips and tricks you’ll need to get your show up and running.