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5 Things You Need To Start A Podcast (Besides the Audio)

With 0ver 500 million listeners tuning into podcasts worldwide, businesses and personal brands have found it to be an essential channel to connect with larger audiences and share their ideas and stories. 

The list of reasons you should start a podcast is pretty long, but once you decide to take the plunge, it may surprise you to discover that it’s not as simple as pressing the record button.

Sure, recording your audio is a given, but there are a number of things you’ll need to have in place in order to publish your very first podcast episode that have nothing to do with the audio itself.

If you’re ready to start your podcasting adventure, read on to learn five essential elements, apart from having top-notch audio quality, that you’ll need to launch your new podcast!

1. A Gameplan

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You can’t get to where your going without a roadmap, and the same applies to your podcast journey.

Whether you plan to have a seasonal podcast or a year-round production, it’s crucial to outline your content schedule somewhere–a single document, Excel spreadsheet, or even your calendar. This will provide a clear structure and guide for your podcast episodes.

When collaborating with clients, we leverage our Podcast Series Strategy Guide. This tool helps us generate episode ideas, establish schedule and production timelines, develop detailed abstracts for each episode, and identify all the individuals involved.

This provides a comprehensive overview of the podcast series, enabling us to maintain our schedule and come to each recording fully prepared.

2. The Theme Music & Intro Template

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The theme music of your podcast is one of the first things your listeners will hear in the introduction of each episode. With that in mind, it is crucial to select a theme song that aligns not only with your brand but also with the content you will be presenting. 

If your host and/or guests have a high-energy vibe, you should choose music that will amp up your listeners, preparing them for the energy-level of the episode. On the other hand, if your podcast focuses on mental health or meditation, you may opt for something more laid-back and relaxing, giving your listeners a calming experience moving into your episode.

It’s also worth mentioning, that when it comes to music, you can’t just use your favorite Taylor Swift song for the theme music for your show. Doing so would be putting yourself at risk of copyright infringement (unless you paid for licensing, of course). Instead, there’s a huge collection of royalty-free music tracks that you can use, which can be found on various websites for a one-time licensing fee. (And this fee will be substantially less than the licensing fee for a Taylor Swift song, I can assure you)!

You can also record a canned intro to overlay on top of your theme music for each episode. This will give your show a formal introduction that will be familiar to repeat listeners and give new listeners a general idea of what to expect from your podcast series.

The canned intro should serve as the elevator pitch of your show, introducing your host and giving your listeners a general idea of what to expect from your show. This will give your podcast a more consistent polished and professional sound while serving as a welcome for new listeners.

3. The Branding and Artwork

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Just like your theme music, the artwork plays a significant role in creating a first impression for new listeners. It should align with the content of your show and reflect your host/brand’s personality.

When creating podcast artwork for your show, keep the design simple and ensure the logo is large and legible on mobile devices. Choose imagery that aligns with your show’s subject matter while highlighting the name clearly. When selecting colors to represent your brand, aim for two or three colors to maintain simplicity and avoid complicating the design. If your host is well-known in the industry, it might be worth capitalizing on that brand awareness by featuring their image on the cover. 

When creating your cover image, make sure to follow Apple Podcasts guidelines as it’s used as the standard for all podcast players. The cover art should:

  1. Have dimensions of 3000×3000 pixels
  2. Be in JPG or PNG format
  3. Use the RGB colorspace
  4. Have a resolution of 72 dpi

When it comes to your text-based logo, ideally you’ll want to create a few variations to use on various platforms like your website, email, newsletters and partner promotions. Include transparent logo versions in full-color, blackout, and white knockout.

So how do you create all this? The Adobe suite, including Illustrator and Photoshop, is a good choice for designing professional-looking podcast artwork. For those without access to professional design tools, Canva is an option that’s more accessible, offers templates, and even integrates with some podcast hosting providers .

Lastly, if you prefer to leave it to the professionals, you can always seek the assistance of a professional designer who can provide guidance and create a polished logo and cover art for your podcast.

4. The RSS Feed & Hosting Platform

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An RSS feed is the foundation of all podcasts, delivering your episodes directly to your audience’s phones whenever a new episode is released. In fact, without an RSS feed, some may not even classify your show as a podcast by definition; it would simply be considered audio content.

To ensure your podcast gets included in directories like Apple Podcasts and Spotify, you must set up an RSS feed and host your episode audio with a podcast hosting provider. There are many providers, including popular options such as PodBean, BuzzSprout, and Libsyn. Most providers offer monthly plans, with pricing starting as low as $7-$10 per month.

While Devenio Podcasts also offers competitive basic hosting plans, if you’re looking to take things a step further, we also have our Advanced Hosting plan which can integrate your podcast analytics with your overall marketing data, allowing you to track listeners throughout the buyer journey. With attribution and ROI at your fingertips, this gives your business a deeper understanding of your audience and their engagement with your podcast.

5. A Website or Dedicated Podcast Page

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While your podcast will be published and distributed on public directories like Apple Podcasts and delivered to listeners’ phones, you really should have a dedicated webpage where your content can live natively. This allows you to own your content and provides more flexibility in guiding the listener journey, especially if you’re not on our Advanced Hosting plan.

By creating a full podcast website or dedicating a page on your existing website to your podcast, you can track visitor activity and direct them to the next steps. Offer options for signing up for a monthly newsletter related to your show, provide a form to submit questions, and highlight any related content or events you publish on your website.

This webpage will help convert anonymous listeners into identified leads and foster regular conversations with your audience through newsletters and other means. Creating a dedicated webpage for your podcast enhances your audience engagement and allows you to better understand and connect with your listeners.

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is another vital component for your podcast’s online presence. By optimizing your podcast’s dedicated webpage with relevant keywords, you can significantly improve visibility and discoverability in search engine results. Including show notes with timestamps, transcriptions of episodes, and blog posts related to your podcast topics can enrich your content with keywords that potential listeners might search for.

This approach not only improves user experience by making your content more accessible, but it also increases the chances of your podcast reaching a wider online audience. Plus, getting reviews and backlinks from other trusted sites will boost your SEO efforts, helping boost your podcast’s ranking on search engines.

So, What's Next?

Recording your audio is just the beginning. And while all of the above are a must-have to launch your podcast, there are a number of optional items, like a seasonal podcast trailer, that can help increase your odds for a successful podcast launch. The more you do leading into your launch, the more successful your podcast will be out the gate.

But fret not! Our Podcast Launchpad package has got you covered. It includes everything you need to get your show running, from a podcast audio trailer and series description to a host bio for your website and podcast directory listings.

Explore our plans page for more details. Start your podcast journey without stress and focus on what truly matters – the content of your show. Let us handle the rest!

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