Five things I learned while launching a podcast
Do you have an idea for a podcast simmering in the back of your mind and you’re wondering what it’s like to go through the process of developing, producing, and launching a podcast of your very own? In this article I’m sharing the top 5 things I learned while launching my first podcast. Since I first had the idea for this blog post I’ve actually launched two podcasts! One on my own, and one with the help of a couple of friends.
5. It doesn’t take as much time as you would think to launch or maintain a podcast
I gave myself way too much time as a runway to my launch. To be fair to myself, I had no idea what it would take, how to record audio, literally nothing about podcasting or producing a show. I gave myself a couple months to do it all, come up with a name, design the art, record and edit a few episodes, and do some pre-launch marketing. I way overestimated how long this would all take!
In one month I had like six episodes recorded and three edited, I had my hosting service picked out, I was ready to take off! But I had loudly announced a launch date that was still a month away. I found myself thinking way too much about my launch plan and re-listening to the first three episodes and picking them apart and wishing I could do them over or making tweaks to the editing. This is not good! Don’t do this. Don’t re-listen to your episodes a bunch. Get them to a place you’re initially happy with and put them out and move on to the next ones.
4. It doesn’t require a whole lot of technical skill to get started
As I mentioned above, I had zero podcast production knowledge when I started, but clearly I didn’t let that stop me, and you shouldn’t let it hold you back either. I talk more about this in episode 3 of Creative on the Side. Give it a listen and then get started on your podcast!
3. Make sure you have a landing page for your podcast
Whether you use the generic website your podcast hosting service offers, or you use a section of your existing website, it’s really important to have a home for your podcast. Sure, most people are certainly going to listen to your show using their favourite podcast app, but having a place to direct people to so they can more easily view show notes is important.
Personally I’m a fan of adding this to your own site, or creating a site for your show if you don’t already have your own site. Here’s my page for Creative on the Side as an example, vs using the site that we’re able to create for Club Soda Club on our hosting service, Transistor. I did my best with little time to customize our Transistor site as best I could, but clearly the customization on my own site is superior and it’s just more enjoyable to visit.
2. All voices deserve a seat at the table
…so tell your imposter syndrome to stfu and start your dang podcast already! I’m 13 episodes into Creative on the Side and I STILL feel twinges of imposter syndrome. I just keep reminding myself that I have a voice and I live in a time that gives me the privilege to use it, so I should use it!
1. The internet has the answers to all of your questions.
Don't limit your host choices to only hosts that take care of submitting your show to all the available podcast services on your behalf, because it’s really as simple as googling “how do I submit my podcast to [podcast service].” and “best podcast platforms [current year].” To know which services you should emphasize you can poll your following to see where they are currently getting their podcasts and submit to those first. If I can figure this out I know you can too.
Edited to add: After I posted this I continued to think about things I’ve learned, and I realized I left out something major. You’re not going to have everything perfectly figured out before you launch, and that’s ok! Like this blog post, you might realize things after you’ve been at it for a while. For example, I’ve changed my posting schedule from weekly to bi-weekly since launching because I felt that the podcast was taking away from my main side project which is illustration. As long as you communicate things like this to your audience it’s really nothing to stress about! Just put it out there when you’re happy with it, and remember that done is better than perfect, and perfect is not really a thing.
I’m working on a blog post that links to all of the resources I use for podcasting, including the sources I used to research which mic to buy for my home studio and which hosting service to use, which were two of the most important aspects for me and took me the longest to settle on. Stay tuned for that in the next few posts!