How To Start A Podcast: A Beginner's Guide

Podcasting is great for connecting with your audience, but getting started can take a lot of work. Here's a guide on how to start a podcast and make sure you're getting the most out of your listeners.

The Potential Of Podcasts

We've all heard the saying, "Don't judge a book by its cover." And when it comes to podcasts, that saying is especially true.

In a world dominated by visual content, podcasts are often overlooked. But podcasting is a powerful medium for communicating ideas and stories—and one that many people are warming up to. In fact, according to the PRC (Pew Research Center), 74% of Americans listened to one podcast (at least) in the last year—a number that has grown steadily since 2008.

So what makes podcasts so appealing? First, they tend to be free and easy to access on any device with an internet connection. Second, they offer an opportunity for hosts and guests to dive deep into their topics and explore them at length—something that's not always possible in other forms of media. Third (and maybe most important), they can be intimate experiences. Listening alone or with others while driving or doing housework can feel more personal than watching TV or reading an article online. That means listeners are more likely to form connections with the people behind the voices in their ears.

How To Start A Podcast

Are you ready to start your podcast?

Good news—it's easier than you think! This guide for beginners will walk you through the steps to creating and launching your first podcast.

Step 1: Find a Topic You're Passionate About

It's no secret that passion is the key to any creative endeavor. In order to make your podcast successful, you need to love what you're talking about. If you can't talk about your topic with excitement, how will anyone else feel excited about it? It's also vital that your topic interest other people as well—if there aren't enough people who are interested in hearing what you have to say, there won't be enough listeners for your show.

Step 2: Develop a Format for Your Podcast

Once you've figured out what topic(s) interest you, it's time to develop a format for your podcast. There are many different types of podcasts out there. Some just feature one person speaking directly into their microphone (one-on-one interviews), and others are more like radio shows in which several hosts discuss topics over a while (like "The New York Times" Book Review Podcast). You'll need to decide which type of podcast would be best for you. If you need more clarification, think about what kind of content would interest your target audience and why they'd want to listen. For example, if your podcast is about cooking and dieting, you may want to have listeners join in on a meal plan or give them recipes for the foods they eat regularly.

Step 3: Research and Plan Your Podcast

When you have any ideas of what podcast to create, it's time to start developing a plan. You'll need to decide on the following elements:

  • If you're planning on interviewing one person or several people at once

  • How often will your podcast be released (once a week? or twice daily?) -The topics you'll cover (i.e., what will people learn from your podcast?) 

  • The length of each episode (one hour? or 15 minutes?) 

  • When it's best to release your podcast (in the morning, afternoon, or evening?) 

Step 4: Record and Edit Your Podcast 

Once you've decided on all of the above elements, it's time to start recording! For your first podcast, it's best to record with just one person. This will help you cut down on editing time later on. Depending on how much planning has gone into the recording, this step could take anywhere from two hours to a week!

Use free software like Audacity or GarageBand if possible; these programs are easy-to-use and free! Just remember: practice makes perfect!


1. How much does it cost when starting a podcast?

It depends! Some podcasts are free, and others offer paid memberships. Generally, though, you can expect to pay between $5 and $10 per month for hosting. Beyond that, it'll depend on what equipment you want to use (if any) and how many episodes you want to release per season or year. You can get started with very little money—we recommend starting with a mic plugged into your laptop and using software such as Audacity for editing.

2. Do I need special equipment?

Not really! You can get by with just a microphone plugged into your laptop or desktop computer. However, suppose you want better sound quality and more flexibility in terms of recording locations. In that case, we recommend investing in a portable recording device like an external USB microphone or handheld recorder. There are also many tools out there that will help make editing more accessible—like Audacity (free!) or Hindenburg Journalist ($50).

3. How do I record my podcast?

There are two main options: using a laptop with a built-in microphone or connecting an external microphone to your computer. Both methods have their pros and cons, so we recommend trying both!

4. What types of equipment do I need?

You'll need at least one microphone (and possibly an audio interface or mixer). You'll also need software for recording—we recommend Audacity for beginners because it's free and easy to use. If you want something fancier that works well with other audio software, such as Adobe Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro X, we recommend GarageBand or Logic Pro X.


And that's it! You're on your way to starting your own podcast.

If you follow this guide, you will be able to create something that is truly yours—something that no one else can take away from you. It will be an expression of who you are and what you want to say to the world. And even if nobody listens to it at first, or ever, well… then it will still be just between you and the microphone. And that's something pretty special.

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Jamin Orrall
Jamin Orrall
Jamin Orrall co-founder