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Beginners Guide to Podcasting: A Podcast Planning Checklist to Help You Get Started Right

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Have you decided to take the plunge and jump into podcasting but not sure where to start?  Starting a podcast isn’t difficult.  There are over 5 million podcasts on Spotify alone.  But it does take some planning to stand out from a crowd that big.  We are approached often by would be podcasters who want to join the All INdiana Podcast Network.  Some are very prepared, others, not as much.  Here is a checklist of some of the things we talk about that you should do before you hit “record” to get your podcast started on the right foot. 

🗹   Identify Your Why

As Stephen Covey famously said, “begin with the end in mind.”  What do you hope to accomplish with your podcast?  Do you have a message?  Are you trying to build a brand?  Maybe you’re just looking to hang out with friends and talk about your favorite stuff.  Whatever your Why is, be clear about it before you start.  Remember that your reason is your own.   You don’t have to have the same goals as any other podcaster.  You just need to know Why you’re doing it.  You can’t know what success looks like for you if you don’t.  And when you run into those times when you might think about quitting (and you probably will), knowing your Why can keep you going.

🗹   Identify Your Audience

One of the most important things you need to determine as a podcaster is who you are serving.  Make no mistake, if you are not serving your audience, you will not have one.  So who is your listener?  Don’t make the mistake of thinking your podcast is for everyone, it isn’t (nor should it be).  When defining your audience you should think about your niche.  For some shows, finding the niche is easier than others, but everyone has one.  Maybe you want to have a hobby podcast.  Of course, you will want to more specific than just “hobbies”.  Get more specific.  Maybe the hobby will be painting.  You’re getting closer but you can still get more specific.  Keep asking yourself if there is another level you can dig down to.  Once you find your niche you will have found your audience.  And once you have identified them, never stop finding ways to serve them.

🗹   Plan Your Format

How you deliver your podcast is as important as who you podcast for.  Will you be a solo show or will you have a co-host?  Will it be a monologue or a discussion?  Will you present your ideas in segments or dig into one topic deeply?  You should have an idea of how long you want to go, as well.  If you just open the mic and start talking, you are likely to keep rambling.  Podcasts come in a wide variety of lengths.  The most common length is 20-40 minutes but how long you go comes down to one thing, go as long as you need to and not one second longer.  Whatever you decide, it’s important to be consistent.  But remember it’s ok to change things as your podcast develops to keep making it better.  Knowing how your podcast will flow will help you be better prepared for each episode from the start.

🗹   Plan how you will present your podcast

What people see when they find your podcast makes a huge difference in whether they will listen or not.  Your first impression is the name of your podcast and your show’s artwork.  They are the first indication the potential listener gets about who you are and what your show is about.  Be as descriptive as possible when choosing your podcast’s name so everyone will know what to expect when they click “play.”  Make sure you do your research to make sure someone else isn’t using your name already.  You may think that your chosen is great name…until you find out that there are already 5 shows with that name.  In fact, Spotify will not accept your podcast submission if it already has a show with the same title in its directory.  Here is Apple’s advice on how to name your podcast:

“It’s important to have a clear, concise name for your podcast. Make your title specific. A show titled Our Community Bulletin is too vague to attract many subscribers, no matter how compelling the content.

Pay close attention to the title as Apple Podcasts uses this field for search.”

In the same way, the quality of your artwork implies the quality of your content.  New listeners are 62% more likely to listen to a podcast if they like the cover art.  Visually communicate what your podcast is about.  Don’t use too many words.  When people see your art it will probably be shrunk down on a phone screen so be sure it can be read at that size.  And make sure you follow the recommended technical specs: 3000 x 3000 pixels, 72 dpi resolution, jpeg or png file, RGB colorspace. 

This is by no means a comprehensive list but it’s a good place to start.  I will be getting into each of these items and more in greater detail in upcoming articles.

The All INdiana Podcast Network is a great place to find quality shows about everything from News, Sports and Weather to Gardening, Fitness, Health, and more.  Find your new favorite podcast at

If you’re thinking about starting your own podcast, the All INdiana Podcast Network can help you create, produce, and distribute your podcast! Email us today for more information.