Starting a podcast – popular questions and answers

October 14, 2020

Podcasting is a fascinating medium. It’s easy, affordable and has minor barriers for new people to get on board, and is growing year in and year out. Getting started in podcasting may seem a bit overwhelming for some users, and we’re here to cross any doubt you may have in mind. If you are looking for tips on how to get started with a podcast, have any questions or want to better understand how the podcasting world works, you’re in the right place. We’ve gathered the popular questions about podcasting and answered them all here.

Let’s get started then:

What is a podcast?

A podcast is an audio recorded show (usually in the form of a series of multiple episodes) that can be listened to online, or downloaded to any type of device. A podcast has at least one host, and can include recurring or non-recurring guests. Podcasts are distributed across multiple channels and allow listeners to subscribe to future episodes.

How podcasting works?

Podcasting is all about distributing digital audio content. Many companies or individuals record (and edit) their own podcasts. Once done, the recorded audio files are uploaded to an online host, usually a dedicated podcast host. When these files area available online, they can be distributed to popular podcast directories (Spotify / Apple Podcasts / Google Podcasts/ etc.) via the RSS feed.

Listeners may want to subscribe to your podcast to know about future episodes and also visit your website to learn more about your podcast and hear the episodes there.

What is a podcast host?

A podcast host is just like a website-host – a provider that can store your audio files (and RSS feed) and then publish or distribute them podcast directories (Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and more).
There are dozens of podcast hosting companies. We’ve gathered a list that includes all podcast hosting companies.

What is a podcast RSS feed?

Podcast RSS feeds are web-based standardized feeds that groups all relevant data about your podcast including your show’s title, artwork, episode details, and a link to the audio file for each episode. The RSS feed helps you distribute your podcast online and gain subscribers or get published on Spotify, Apple Podcasts etc.
Usually the podcast host will make your RSS feed automatically for you. You can make it on your own if you store your audio files in your own online file storage (like Dropbox), but it won’t be ideal if you have many listeners worldwide.podcast rss feed

What are the costs of running a podcast?

It depends. Starting a podcast can be free. You can do everything yourself, or use free plans with popular podcast hosts like Anchor or Buzzsprout. You can record an entire podcast with just your smartphone/computer microphone, but the quality would surely be a bit poor when comparing to a real microphone.

Many podcasters choose established podcast hosting companies, and this can cost anywhere between $10 to $20 a month (for individual podcasters). Beyond that, most podcasters choose to invest in a microphone, editing software, and other gear, but most are one-time costs. A complete custom website is essential for podcasters, and is among the cheapest and best website builders you can use for creating a podcast website.

Do I need a podcast host AND a website host? What’s the difference between a podcast host and a website host?

Some podcast hosts also offer a mini-site with your podcast hosting plan, so you don’t need to pay for a website host as well. With that said, those free websites have tons of disadvantages. If you are looking to have a customized website, with blog posts and additional pages, you should pay for a website host as well.
WordPress website will require a website hosting and a podcasting theme and plug-ins. A Squarespace website could also work for a podcasters (but take a look at their limitations).
A Podcastpage website will include everything a podcaster needs with lower costs and is already optimized towards podcasting.Podcastpage Customizer

Do I need to buy a microphone?

If you are serious about your podcast, you should buy a microphone. There are great microphones for beginners that are not expensive.
The recommended microphones for beginners are: Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB or the Samson Q2U. They both have sound quality that is great for the price!
If you are just testing the waters, then recording straight from your computer or phone should be enough to see how it works.

How to find guests for my podcast?

Start by leveraging your network. Do you have anyone interesting that would add value to your podcast? Continue by posting on your social media accounts. You can also use specific podcasters groups on Facebook or relevant groups to your podcast topic to find relevant people on Reddit/ Twitter/ Instagram or Facebook.
Finally, you can use dedicated services like Podmatch, MatchMaker or PodcastGuests.

Don’t forget you can also just try to reach out directly to your dream-guests. The worst that could happen is that they will never answer.

Can you make money from a podcast?

Yes definitely.
When starting a podcast it will not be easy to make money, but once you gain some traction, and you have a steady audience you can monetize your podcast in multiple ways:
1) Find sponsors – advertisers that will want to get in front of your audience.
2) Create a website – there you can add a store, paid membership sections or “buy me coffee” buttons.

According to AdvertiseCast, the industry average cost for a 30-second ad for an audience of 1,000 listeners would be around $18.

How to record a podcast remotely?

Before you even start to record a remote podcast, you should decide whether to record audio-only or audio+video. There are many great tools, see which one you prefer:
Audio-only tools:, Cleanfeed,
Audio + video tools:, Zencastr, Welder

How to make a podcast on iPhone?

There are 3 podcast hosts that also offer a mobile app that lets you record, edit and publish your episodes., Spreaker, and Podbean are making it very easy to record a podcast on your mobile.
If you are not using those hosts, you can use a dedicated app to record the audio – Backpack Studio, and then export the files and upload those to your host.

You can also improve the sound quality with an external mic that connect into your phone.

How to create a video wave form (audiograms) for my podcast?

A podcast audiogram is an animated video that takes a few seconds from your podcast and makes it eye-catching with a wave form, transcript and an image or illustration.
Headliner, Wavve, Audiogram, Audioburst, and others are all offering tools to help you create those audiograms.

How to create a podcast website?

A podcast website is an online site that contains your podcast description, episodes, podcast subscribe buttons, and more.
You can use a generic CMS to build your podcast website, like WordPress, Squarespace, or Wix (each will require some work to make a podcast website).

There’s also a dedicated solution for podcasters – Podcastpage. You only need to connect your podcast RSS feed, customize a bit, and your podcast website is ready.

How to add an embed audio player to a podcast website?

Most podcast hosts make it easy to embed their own smart podcast players on your website. With Podcastpage, it’s easy to automatically import those to your site.

How to distribute my podcast?

You can either do it manually or use your podcast host. The podcast host will create an RSS feed link that you can copy. Most of the hosts will let you distribute your podcast with a click of a button. The most important podcast directories you should add your podcast to are Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, and Amazon Podcasts.

If you do it manually, just use this guide to see where you need to paste your RSS link.

How to promote my podcast?

It’s not so difficult to promote your podcast. Find your audience. Join relevant niche groups on Facebook or Reddit.
Additionally, use your own network. Write about your podcast on your social media profiles, add the link in relevant discussions (and add value).

Don’t forget to create a podcast website. Add a subscribe button to let followers be in direct contact with you. Also make sure your podcast is on the podcast directories (Spotify, Apple Podcasts, etc.).

Finally, be creative. Create competitions, giveaways and referral loops.

What are some podcast mistakes I should avoid?

1) Buying expensive equipment before starting – dip your toes and with the basics.
2) Not promoting your podcast – if nobody knows about your podcast it will be hard to have the motivation to keep working on it.
3) Starting without a unique voice – find a niche topic/ audience or a unique format.
4) Thinking you could make easy money – it takes time and dedication to build a steady audience that keeps coming back for future episodes. Without that you won’t be able to monetize your podcast.
5) Not starting because you are afraid to commit for long time (your podcast can be a limited edition).

Tips for interviewing guests on a podcast

1) Prepare your guest – have a background call before, let them know the details (how much time is the interview, what will you ask).
2) Start the conversation with your guest a bit before you start to record – let them ease in.
3) Ask clear and concise questions.
4) Don’t interrupt your guest. But do try to direct them gently if they are getting lost in their stories.

How to make great show notes?

Great show notes should include:
Overview of the episode – The topics discussed in the episode.
Podcast guest information – List the participants in your podcast episode and their info, image, and more.
Additional content types – Share links to things you’ve mentioned during the episode. Add additional content like images, videos, and downloadable material.
Timestamps – Break down your episodes into shorter “Chapters”, and add the timeline to allow your listeners to jump from one chapter to the other.
Transcripts – a full word-by-word of the audio into text.

How to choose a name for my podcast?

Think of a short name that describes the podcast. If you are well known, add your name to the podcast name.
Make sure there is no other podcasts with the same name (search on Google and in the podcast directories).

What are podcast seasons?

Some podcasts have seasons if they want to break the podcast into seasons where each season is about a different topic or story (for example, Serial).
Some just prefer to work in seasons and take breaks in between seasons.

What are the advantages or disadvantages of joining a podcast network?

Advantages: you get to leverage the podcast network audience and resources.
Disadvantages: who owns the content?

Should I record a few episodes and then release them or record one at a time?

It’s up to you. If you are new to podcasting, might be worthwhile to record an episode, release it, hear feedback and make improvements in the next episodes.

If you are already experienced and you want to make some noise and get some buzz, it might be worth recording a bunch of episodes, promote them, and only then release them either one by one or all together for people to binge.

Starting a podcast – conclusion

The most important advice we can share is you should enjoy this. Don’t be starting a podcast about a topic you are not interested in. Additionally, try to follow the recommendations and all that is left for you is to promote it!

If you have additional questions about starting a podcast contact us and we will try to help!

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