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Starting a podcast checklist

Podcasts are a great way to share your interests and ideas with the world, and they’re easy to set up with just a few simple steps. Anyone can create a podcast, and there are several ways to get started.

Podcasts are often associated with personal use when people listen to recordings of shows or lectures on their smartphones or other devices. However, podcasts can also be great marketing tools for businesses. Many companies are already using podcasts to reach a wider audience and connect with potential customers.

The importance of a Starting a podcast checklist

When launching a podcast, there are a few key things you need to do. A starting a podcast checklist will help you to complete everything necessary for you to get started on the right foot.

By following this list step-by-step, you’ll be well on your way to launching a successful podcast that will engage and entertain your listeners. This is important because a successful podcast can help you build authority and credibility in your industry, as well as reach new audiences.

Who can benefit from a starting a podcast checklist

  • Businesses

For business purposes, podcasts can be used as a marketing tool to promote products or services or to build relationships with customers. As such, starting a podcast checklist can be very helpful for businesses that want to make waves in the podcasting world.

  • Creators

Podcasts are also a great way for content creators to build an audience base and share ideas with the world. If you’re a content creator, starting a podcast checklist can help you get your show off the ground and increase your chances of success.

  • Bloggers

Anyone who runs their blog can also benefit from using a podcast to complement the thoughts they share on-screen with audio clips. By starting a podcast and including blog posts as episodes, bloggers can promote content in a new way.

Explore our starting a podcast checklist

Starting a podcast checklist

The very first thing you need to do when you’re a beginner podcaster is to establish your aims and what are you hoping to achieve.

Why is it important to establish your goals?

Your objectives will be the driving force behind each decision you make for your podcast. They will help you determine your target audience, the topics you want to cover, the format of your show, and the length of each episode.

woman sitting down in office at her desk working on laptop and taking notes

How to establish your goals?

Your target could be anything from building brand awareness to growing an engaged audience or making sales. Once you know what your goals are, it will be much easier to make decisions about your podcast.

If you’re unsure of what your objectives should be, take a bit of time to brainstorm and write down a few ideas. Once you have a list of possible goals, you can start to narrow it down to one or two that are most important to you.

Which tools to use for establishing your goals?

  • SMART goals worksheet – for setting goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound
  • Word processor – for taking notes and brainstorming ideas
  • Spreadsheet – to track your progress and goal milestones

Identify a specific topic or area of interest that you will be focusing on in your podcast.

Why is it important to find your niche?

Choosing a niche gives your podcast a clear purpose and direction. It also makes it more likely that you’ll be able to build a strong and loyal audience.

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How to find your niche?

Your niche doesn’t have to be overly specific, but it should be focused enough that you can easily talk about the topics related to it. When choosing a niche, think about what you’re passionate about, what you have expertise in, and what your target audience would be interested in hearing about.

Which tools to use for finding your niche?

  • Hobbies and interests – for brainstorming ideas about your areas of expertise
  • Google Trends – to see what topics are being searched for
  • Social media platforms – to get an idea of what people are talking about online

Figure out who you want as your ideal listener for your podcast, what your target audience is, and who your future audience might be.

Why is it important to identify your potential listeners?

Determining your target audience will help you decide what topics you cover, the format of your show, and how you market your podcast. It’s also worth considering who your ideal listener is when setting the goals that you want to achieve, so this should go hand-in-hand with the first step.

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How to identify your potential listeners?

Researching your target audience means using social media platforms, Google Analytics, and surveys. If you’re not sure where to start, begin by thinking about who you want to reach with your podcast and what they might be interested in hearing about.

Which tools to use for identifying your potential listeners?

  • Google Analytics – to track where your current website or blog traffic is coming from
  • Social media platforms – to get an idea of who is talking about your niche
  • Surveys – to collect data directly from your target audience

Decide where you will host your podcast. Choose from the different hosting platforms available out there.

Why is it important to look for a podcast hosting provider?

A podcast hosting platform is where your audio files will be stored and distributed. It’s, therefore, crucial to choose a reliable host who can provide you with the features and support that you need.

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How to look for a podcast hosting provider?

There are many different podcast hosting platforms or podcast agencies to choose from, so do your research to find one that’s right for you. When comparing hosts, take into account factors such as price, features, ease of use, and customer support.

Which tools to use for looking for a podcast hosting provider?

  • Comparison websites – to compare the different podcast hosting platforms
  • Customer reviews – to get an idea of what other people are saying about specific hosts
  • Podcast directories – to find popular and well-established podcast hosts

Work out what you need to record your podcast episodes and where you might find that equipment so that you can buy it.

Why is it important to purchase your podcast equipment?

To produce high-quality audio recordings, you’ll need to invest in some basic podcasting equipment. This doesn’t have to be expensive, but it’s worth considering what you need to get started.

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How to purchase your podcast equipment?

Consider the type of microphone you need and whether or not you want to invest in any additional software at this stage or only later when you become an experienced podcaster. It’s also a good idea to think about where you’re going to store your podcast recordings and how you will edit them.

Which tools to use for purchasing your podcast equipment?

  • Microphone reviews – to compare different types of microphones for sound quality
  • Podcasting software – for recording your episodes and the editing process
  • Podcast Host Academy – for guidance on choosing the right podcasting equipment

Before you start recording, check that everything is set up and working correctly.

Why is it important to test your podcast hosting service?

This step will help you avoid any technical issues further down the line. It also gives you a chance to familiarize yourself with the podcast platform and ensure that everything is running smoothly from the get-go.

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How to test your podcast hosting service?

Create a test episode and upload it to your chosen host, then listen back to the recording to check the audio quality and identify any problems. You can also ask a friend or family member to listen to the episode and give you their feedback.

Which tools to use for testing your podcast hosting service?

  • Podcast recording software – for creating a test episode
  • Podcast Hosting Guide – for troubleshooting any issues you may encounter
  • Podcasting directories – to check that your episodes are being distributed correctly

Prepare for your first recording by putting together a rough script and making a list of what you might ask anyone who joins you on the show.

Why is it important to write an episode outline?

Doing so will help you keep on track when recording and ensure that your episodes are well-structured and flow smoothly. Preparing questions in advance is a good way to plan if you’re inviting guests to your show.

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How to write an episode outline?

Start by brainstorming some podcast topic ideas that you want to cover in your first episode. Once you have a few ideas, flesh them out into a more detailed structure. Remember to leave some room for spontaneity and discussion.

Which tools to use for writing an episode outline?

  • Note-taking app – for drafting your episode outline
  • Research tools – to help you prepare for any interviews or discussions
  • Google Docs – for collaboration if you’re working with a co-podcast host or guest
  • Survey software – for help with question writing

If you’re planning on questioning guests on your show, reach out to potential interviewees and arrange a suitable time for a chat.

Why is it important to schedule interviews?

Questioning some guests will provide you with plenty of material for your episode. Scheduling a time and date that is convenient for all parties will mean that you won’t run into any problems when trying to get in touch with your interviewees.

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How to schedule interviews?

Think about who you would like to interview and why. Once you have a few people in mind, reach out to them via email or social media and propose a time for a chat. Always be respectful of their time and try to be as flexible as possible.

Which tools to use for scheduling interviews?

  • Calendar/scheduling software – to coordinate dates and times
  • Communication tools – for contacting potential guests
  • Interview questions template – to help you prepare for your chat

Now that the preparation is over, it’s time to create your very first podcast.

Why is it important to record your first episode?

This is the moment you’ve been waiting for – the time to share your passion with the world. Recording your first episode will help you get over any nerves and give you a taste of what it’s like to be a podcast host.

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How to record your first episode?

Set up your recording equipment in a quiet room and check that you have everything you need. Turn off notifications, perform a soundcheck (audio recording), check headphones and microphone input, open recording software, hit record, and save audio files (audio files).

If you are conducting a podcast interview, you should have the guest follow the same pre-recording steps as above and then open up your video conferencing software to call them.

Which tools to use for recording your first episode?

  • Microphone – for recording your voice
  • Headphones – to listen for any sound issues and eliminate any background noise
  • Recording software – for capturing your audio
  • Video calling software – if you’re interviewing guests remotely

Once you’ve recorded your episode, it’s time to polish it up.

Why is it important to edit a podcast?

Post-processing will help you erase any mistakes, remove any awkward pauses, and make sure that your episode flows smoothly. It’s also a good opportunity to add any introductory podcast music or sound effects.

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How to edit a podcast?

Take your recordings and open up your editing software, import the audio file, remove any unwanted sections, add introductory podcast music/sound effects (optional), and then export the new file to a format of your choosing (e.g. mp3 files).

Which tools to use for editing a podcast?

  • Audio editing software – for cutting and splicing your recordings
  • Sound effects – to add some extra production value (optional)
  • Intro music – to help set the mood for your episode (optional)
  • Post-production checklist – to make sure you don’t miss anything

The final step is to check that your first episode is discoverable by listing it on the various podcast directories.

Why is it important to submit your podcast?

By listing your show on popular directories, you’ll be able to reach a whole new audience of potential listeners because people will be able to find your podcast when they search for related keywords.

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How to submit your podcast?

The entire process varies depending on the specific podcast directory, but generally speaking, you’ll need to provide the show title, a podcast description, RSS podcast feed URL, cover art, and category.

Which tools to use for submitting your podcast?

  • Directories – list your show on a popular podcast platform like iTunes / Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google, and Stitcher
  • RSS feed URL – from your podcast host
  • Cover art – for example, a 1400x1400px JPEG or PNG file in RGB color space with appropriate file sizing (under 500kb)

The final step is to start advertising your podcast so that people can find and listen to it.

Why is it important to promote a podcast?

If you want people to listen to your show and have a successful podcast launch, you need to let them know that it exists. Marketing your podcast is the best way to generate awareness and get people interested in what you have to offer.

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How to promote a podcast?

Some popular methods include social media, by sharing each episode on your accounts and creating a dedicated page for your show, reaching out to influencers, or submitting guest post articles; blogging, by writing a synoptic or show-notes style post with highlights; sending out a press release, to let the media know about your new show; and advertising, both online (Facebook Ads, Google AdWords) and offline (sponsorships, trade shows).

Tip! Make use of LiveAgent social media support software and benefit from advanced automation to simplify communication on your social media accounts. You can connect all of your channels and streamline the way you answer questions. Every private message will end up in one inbox. Useful, isn’t it?

Which tools to use for promoting your podcast?

  • Marketing assets – to make it easy for people to share your show
  • Social media – platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram
  • Affiliate marketing – if you have products or services to sell
  • Blog posts – to share each new episode
  • LiveAgent social media support software – to manage all messages with ease

How to measure the success of a podcast

Having a goal, as in the first step of our starting a podcast checklist, will be helpful when it comes to determining how you want to measure the success of your show. Then you can track metrics in the following categories, if applicable to your aims, and find key takeaways from the data.


This is the most straightforward metric to track because it’s a simple number that goes up (or down) over time. You can see the number of subscribers in most podcast directories, as well as through your hosting platform.


You can also view the number of downloads in most podcast directories or via your hosting platform. This number will give you an idea of how many people are listening to your episodes.

The number of new links that appear pointing back to your website or blog is another good metric to track. You can use a tool like Ahrefs to see how many new referring domains are linking to your site.

Mentions / Social Sharing

To track how often people are talking about your podcast, you can set up a Google Alert for your show name. This way, you’ll be notified anytime someone mentions your podcast online.

Website traffic

If you have a website or blog for the show, you can monitor the number of visitors coming to your site from your podcast episodes. This metric will give you an idea of how effective your marketing strategies are in driving traffic back to your site.

Conversion rates

If you have a specific goal for your podcast (like generating leads or making sales), then you’ll want to track the conversion rate of your listeners. This metric will tell you how many people are taking the desired action after listening to your episodes.

Ratings and reviews

Finally, another good measure of success is the number and average score of ratings and reviews you’re getting in podcast directories. This feedback can help you understand what people like (and don’t like) about your show so that you can make the necessary improvements.

Summary of the starting a podcast checklist

  • Establish your goals
  • Find your niche
  • Identify your potential listeners
  • Look for a podcast hosting provider
  • Purchase Your Podcast Equipment
  • Test Your podcast hosting service
  • Write an episode outline (and questions for guests if applicable)
  • Schedule interviews (if appropriate)
  • Record your episode
  • Edit the podcast
  • Submit your podcast
  • Promote your podcast

Frequently asked questions

What are the top 5 things to know before starting a podcast?

First, decide which of the many different types of podcasts you want to create and what format would work best for that kind of content. Second, be sure that you have an attention-grabbing name for your show. Next, find a hosting platform where you know people will be able to subscribe to and download your episodes. Then, invest in high-quality audio equipment and editing tools to be sure that your podcast sounds professional. Finally, identify a gap in the market that your podcast can fill so that it will stand out from the rest and you will know that it has a chance to be successful.

Do I need an audience to start a podcast?

Already having an audience from the start gives you an existing group of listeners who are interested in what you have to say, which can be a big boost when you’re a beginner podcaster. That being said, you can start a podcast without an audience. You may just need to work a bit harder to get people to tune in at first. If you don’t have an existing listener base to draw from, try reaching out to friends, family, and other potential listeners through social media or online forums to let them know about your show.

How often should I release new podcast episodes?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the optimal release schedule for a podcast will vary depending on the podcast topic, the audience you’re hoping to reach, and other factors. However, a good rule of thumb is to release new episodes at least once a week, if not more often. This will keep your listeners engaged and coming back for more content

What is the best format for a podcast?

This will vary according to the type of content that you’re looking to produce. At the end of the day, it’s important to experiment and find what works best for you and your audience. Some of the most popular formats include interviews, solo shows, roundtable discussions, and co-hosted podcasts.

What should my first podcast episode be about?

It depends on your target audience, but the bottom line is that you should choose a topic that is relevant and interesting to your listeners. Then you need to produce high-quality podcast content that will help them learn and grow.

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