How to Start a Podcast

As children, some of us wanted to be astronauts, some wanted to be doctors or lawyers, and some wanted to be radio hosts. Today, at least the latter dream has become much more concrete thanks to the advent of podcasting. With the possibilities offered by the network, practically everyone can create their own podcast, to be uploaded on special platforms to be listened to whenever they want. And wherever we are. Typically serial in nature, this format is revolutionizing the way we do information and entertainment, and ranges from a myriad of issues and topics.

Perhaps because of its ease of use and growing interest from the public, we're going to discover together how to make a podcast. In particular, we're going to examine the main platforms that are useful for this purpose, along with some advice on how best to spread your ideas to as many people as possible. Then again, podcasting is a much less crowded and competitive space than blogging, which makes this the perfect time to start.

How to Make a Podcast

Creating, distributing and promoting a podcast online is relatively easy. We can publish it online in less than ten minutes, and we will only need our voice, recording equipment, and internet access, not to mention an interesting topic to talk about. How to make a successful podcast that can really interest a more demanding audience every day is another story, however. Of course, there is no magic wand that can tell us how to start a podcast and bring it among the most popular shows in this particular format of fluid character, but we can still follow some guidelines to make us prepared in a field that is emerging as increasingly intriguing.

You will have understood by yourself that the first thing to do, even before you start recording!, is to choose a topic of which we consider ourselves experts or of which we are particularly passionate. We then create an outline or structure to take note of the topics to discuss and promote. If you're looking for inspiration, a good idea would be to consult Google Trends, a free tool useful for understanding what topics are most searched for by users on the famous search engine. At this stage, we could also listen to some of the most popular podcasts of the moment to note what style and what kind of content captures the largest audience.

After choosing the area of our interest, we set the duration of our podcast and create a sort of editorial calendar: only in this way our listeners will know when a new episode will be available for listening and downloading. At this point we have to decide whether to entrust our voice to a live podcast, in which perhaps we can interact with the audience, or whether to prefer recordings; in any case, it is very important to create a schedule to minimize embarrassing pauses.

Although modern smartphones are more than enough to record a podcast, the leap in quality can also be given by professional equipment. Starting with a set of headphones with a noise-canceling microphone, to make sure the audio is flawless and without background noise. Of course, our voice also plays the role of the protagonist: so let's try to speak at a steady pace and convey passion for the topic, following a minimum script and thanking the listeners for being an integral part of our program.

If we want to upload the podcast on our own website, we can think of exploiting platforms such as Spotify or iTunes to promote it and expand our audience. If, on the other hand, we don't have a website, we carefully choose the platform to use to upload our content, weighing up the pros and cons.

Creating an RSS feed for podcast

Before seeing how to make a podcast on GarageBand, iTunes, Spotify or any other free platform that allows it, we need to create an RSS feed for the podcast itself. This is a useful procedure for the free distribution of our show on the various services. Accordingly, let's go publish the podcast on our website and copy the RSS feed, copying the URL of the page where we published the podcast and adding /feed in the queue, and then connect to the Feedburner site. The portal owned by Google is completely free, and logging in with our Google account allows us to easily create RSS feeds.

Insert the copied URL in the field "Burn a feed right this instant", check the option "I am a podcaster", and click "Next". At our leisure, we can associate a name and an address to our feed, respectively, with the fields "Feed Title" and "Feed Address2. All we have to do now is to annotate the URL of the newly created RSS feed in order to upload a podcast to Spotify and iTunes or to import one on the Spreaker shores.

How to create a podcast on Spotify

Now that we have created our RSS feed, we can see how to create a podcast on Spotify. In fact, the well-known music streaming service requires this tool to distribute a content related to podcasting. To take action, connect to the official website of Spotify for Podcasters, click on the "Login" button, enter your account information in the fields "Username and Password" and press the "Login" button. In case we don't have a Spotify account yet, we can easily create one by selecting the "Subscribe to Spotify" option. After logging in to Spotify for Podcasters, let's select the option "Add your podcast" and then the option "Get started". Now we can enter the RSS link of our podcast in the "Link to RSS feed" field and press the "Next" button.

Having done these steps, to proceed we need to click on the "Send a code" option to receive an 8-digit code to the email address we have associated with the RSS link of our podcast. We then access the email inbox and copy the code inside the email sent by Spotify, to enter it in the "Verification code" field and press "Next". In the new screen, we must now enter all the information of our podcast, namely the country of our interest, with the item "Where your podcast is made?" of the dropdown menu, the language "Select language", the platform used to upload it, and the category, via the dropdown menu "Select category". Let's click on "Next" and finally on the "Submit" button to finally submit our podcast. We'll have to wait for it to be approved to see it uploaded to Spotify's catalog in a matter of hours.

How to create a podcast on iTunes

As with Spotify, you can't upload a podcast to iTunes without going through the process of creating an RSS feed. To start the procedure, let's connect to the official iTunes Connect portal, log in with our Apple ID and associated Password and click on the "Podcasts Connect" item. Then enter the URL of the podcast's RSS feed in the "URL" field and press the "Validate" button.

When the words "Ready to Submit" appear under the "Status" heading, press "Submit". It takes about two days for Apple to approve the podcast and publish it: we will receive a confirmation email at our address or alternatively, in the "Podcasts Connect" section, we can click on the option "My podcasts" in the upper left corner to check the status of each submitted podcast.

How to create a podcast with GarageBand

For those who don't know it, GarageBand is a professional program created by Apple and preinstalled on its line of Mac computers. It is mainly designed for music production, but it can also be used for podcasting with some ease. So how to make a podcast with this Cupertino-made tool? After launching the program, select the "Voice" option and click the "Choose" button to gain access to the software's editor. In the new screen we'll find the "Recording settings" box and make sure that next to the "Input" item the microphone we want to use for recording our content is selected.

Do this, in the section called "Library" we go to click on the option "Voice" to set a tone of voice among all those available, ranging from "Fuzz vocal", "Narration vocal", "Natural vocal", "Bright vocal" and so on, and also choose whether or not to apply any effects to our tone, "Deeper vocal", "Delay vocal", "Robot vocal", "Megaphone vocal", "Monster vocal" the most popular options.

Once the microphone is set up and the settings are adjusted, we can actually start recording using the "Record" button, recognizable by the red round icon, which can be stopped completely or only momentarily with the square "Stop" button. To save the podcast on our computer we have to select "Share" from the menu bar at the top of the screen and choose the option "Export to disk". In the new screen we check the audio format we want to use among AAC, MP3, AIFF and WAVE, set the file quality thanks to the "Quality" dropdown menu and enter the name of our podcast in the "Save as" field. Finally, we choose the save folder and click the "Export" button to save the podcast.