[GUIDE] Setting up your Podcast
Updated: May 13
Setting up your Podcast
It’s not really a click-click-done kind of a situation - it takes effort, time and resources. If you’re wondering if setting up a podcast is for you, perhaps this wee guide will help you navigate which bits to do yourself and which to delegate or determine if this is even for you, or not.
Reason To Be
What's it called?
What's it about?
Who is the audience?
Why podcast? The reasons are varied, here's a few: Clarity on a subject matter, Visibility of your personal or business brand, Research to inform a book, Sharing your expertise, Passion Project
Content Format: You'll want to consider which format suits you best: Solo conversation - eg just you, Co-host - you and another converse on a topic, You plus a guest, You and your co-host plus a guest, Guests for the show: find them, qualify them, booking process for scheduling the conversation.
Are you monetising this at some point? (Typically 10k listeners is the magic number)
Is the follower count a priority for you from the outset? What will it take to reach your first 10k followers? 100k followers? If follower count is a priority, then you may want to do more research on marketing, promotion and even join a few podcast support groups over on Facebook.
Media Assets: Brand, Artwork, Intro/Outro:
A website: www.yourwebsite.com/podcast - a page that will present your podcast and all episodes that live on your website. To include: How to subscribe, where to find, and listen now options.
Podcast logo - use Canva for a free option.
Artwork x3 to start with: The image to sit in iTunes (for example) to represent your podcast. The image you will use for the individual podcast - perhaps featuring a guest. The image you will use to promote the podcast.
Artwork Specifications: You will want artwork made to 1400 x 1400 (for Apple) or 3000 x 3000 pixels. Save it as a JPEG or PNG file. Less than 500 kb is optimal. Keep the bottom 15% of your artwork free. Apple lays over a play button - so if there is artwork there, it will get cut off.
Promotional Media Asset Size by platform: Facebook: 1280 x 720 Twitter: 1280 x 720, Instagram: 1080 x 108. Instagram Stories/IGTV: 720 x 1280
Animated designs for social media - check out wavve.co
Descriptions will be required: Description of podcast sitting iTunes, Description of podcast episode you just recorded, Description for promotional piece you will send out with your podcast episode.
Primary Intro: Music at your intro. This will cost you approx. €50 to buy the music you are after. Voice over recording played with your music - 15ish seconds in length introducing your Podcast. (not the episode you just recorded - that's a summary intro for the episode).
Primary Outro: Music at end of podcast to signal the end. Voice over thanking guests, maybe directing them to a website for more info.
Podcast Episode Intro: A summary intro for the episode, typically recorded at the end of your conversation and then cut into the front end of the episode as your podcast intro.
Podcast Platforms: Host it then distribute it
A hosting platform will host the audio files and provide the necessary infrastructure for distributing your podcast.
You typically upload your recorded podcast episode to a hosting platform.
These platforms typically run on a freemium model. For example, the first 2 to 3 hours of content uploaded is free, then a monthly/annual subscription is required to continue adding content. You can host your podcast on your own website and have it syndicate through an RSS feed.
Many podcast hosting platforms will have you open an account on their platform - this is your channel - then when you upload an episode to your channel, the host platform will create an RSS feed that you will submit to podcast platforms so listeners can discover and listen to your podcast episode. The four major podcasting directories today are: Apple, Google, Spotify and Stitcher. You will have to sign up for accounts at all of these platforms in order to submit your feed for approval. Each one will have instructions on format, troubleshooting and will take a 1 day or more to give you approval. Once you have been approved, all new episodes will automatically be received and thus appear in these directories.
The hosting platform will create embeddable players that you can put on your own website for people to listen to online. You will also get analytics information on who is listening, popularity of one episode over another and similar information to help you better understand your audience.
The podcast directory is for listeners.
Listeners discover and consume podcast episodes through a podcast directory. Directories are typically categorised alphabetically or by genre to aid in discovering new shows. Apple Podcasts and Spotify are two of the most popular directories for podcasts today.
There are many directories. Here are 3 of the more notable ones for your reference.
Biggest player in podcasts is iTunes.
One of the new players in podcasting, having been first launched as a mobile app back in 2018. Lets your show/episodes be played directly from the Google search results page. No submission required; your show will be found by Google the same way they find search results Additional guidelines for linking RSS feeds to your own website
Podcast Episode - The Ingredients
Inventory: You may want to consider having an inventory tracker (maybe) to track episodes, raw data, edited data for referencing/accessing 12 months after the fact.
Recording equipment: Mobile phone or laptop, A microphone is preferred to save on editing later. Lapel mics are an easy purchase these days. Yeti Mic is probably best rated. Headphones, Lighting; we use this one here that we got from Amazon.
(Mobile) Application for recording the episode: Skype? Zoom? Google Hangouts? Others? Practice recording first. Listen back to determine the quality of the recording or background noises.
You may even want a backdrop to sit behind you while you’re recording on camera (for video podcasts).
The people in the episode: Preparing the content for you (your guest), Glass of water helps a dry throat or an irritating cough.
Hosting Platform (Eg, Lisbyn)
Distribution channel set up at the top four iTunes, Google Podcast, Spotify, Stitchr
Maybe a YouTube Channel if you're also including video based podcasts.
Webpage yourname.com/podcast - this is the page where you will embed a podcast player from your paid hosting platform. Eg Lisbyn will give you an embeddable player that sits on this page.
Intro and Outro
Podcast logo - Canva is a free option.
Mobile phone: You (both) will need:
At least two mobile phones (one for you, and one for your guest/co-host)
Strong signal for you both
A call recording app on either side - Eg Anchor, Podbean, Spreaker
Another mobile phone or voice recorder for a clearer audio output
A place with no noisy background for both of you
Computer or Laptop: You (both) will need:
A computer for you, and another computer or a smartphone for your guest
Strong Wi-Fi signal for you both
Conference calling app (Skype, Zoom, etc.)
A call recording app on either side (usually comes with the app)
Another mobile phone or voice recorder for a clearer audio output
Headphones (preferably the noise-cancelling ones)
A quite place - noisy backgrounds will show up on your recording
This can be done in-house or you can outsource it.
Editing can take as long as 10 minutes per edited minute, up to 1 hour plus per edited minute. It depends on how much production you want from your episode.
For example, you may want to cut in the footage, text-based slides, images, parts of a presentation for the audio/visual version that you upload on YouTube. Will you want to include ads? This is done in editing too. Or you may just want an audio-only option with a dropped in intro/outro and upload.
Publishing your episode on a hosting platform
1. The edited audio-only file (mp3) will get uploaded to a podcast hosting platform like Pinecast. This requires the usual activity:
click * new episode *
fill out data fields with your description
2. If you have a video-based podcast, then that will likely go up on YouTube where you will have already set up a channel, skinned it and have it ready to present your podcast episodes.
3. Be mindful that editing an episode that has already gone out on the hosting platform will require a new upload and reset all listeners back to zero.
Shannon Eastman, Growth Consultant
Inside Growth Podcast
Shannon Eastman is a growth consultant, human behaviour expert, communications adviser, management consultant, mentor and business coach. Shannon is the Host of inside GROWTH, Founder of Funds Ireland MiniCon and an Advisor to starts ups in the Middle East.