How to start your first podcast episode - The basics

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23 Nov , 2022

Have you ever heard a podcast and thought, “That’s so interesting! I wonder what it would be like if…" 

And then you start to imagine how your own podcast could be different. Maybe the topic is something you’re very passionate about, or perhaps you have some anecdotes that would make for a great conversation. 

In any case, launching your own podcast feels like a natural next step for your brand. 

But how do you get started ? If you’ve never hosted your own radio show, video series, blog posts, etc., how do you even begin ? 

The good news is that launching your first podcast episode doesn’t have to be difficult. Follow this guide to learn everything from prepping your content to getting equipment and more.

What’s your podcast about ?

The first thing you’ll need to do before you get too far in the process of launching your first podcast episode is to decide what your podcast will be about. This may seem like a simple detail, but it’s actually a key part of the process. 

If you’re not sure what your podcast will be about, it’s going to be very difficult to launch and grow the show. 

If you’re in the early stages of starting a podcast and have yet to decide what it’ll be about, there are a few ways you can do this. 

  • Consider the type of content you post on social media. Do you have a lot of recurring themes in your posts or topics you tend to cover often ? If so, that might be a sign that you want to start a podcast episode about that same subject. 
  • Look at common questions or comments you get on social media. Do you get the same questions, or are people asking a certain type of question over and over again ? That may be a sign that you should create a podcast episode dedicated to addressing their questions.
  • Finally, consider what your personal passions, dreams, and interests are. Those are often the topics that are most interesting to you and your audience.

Scripting & research

Once you’ve decided what your podcast will be about, it’s time to start scripting and researching your first podcast episode. 

This is an important step in the process because it’ll help you get a feel for how long your show will be and what topics you want to cover. It’s also important to do some initial research on your topic before diving into the script. 

This will help you make sure that you’re covering the right information and avoiding any misinformation or inaccuracies. It’s a good idea to follow the standard script format, making sure you include the following. 

  • An introduction : this is a brief introduction that explains what the podcast is about. This should be short and sweet, lasting about 30 seconds or less. 
  • A summary of the topics you’ll cover : this is a summarization of the topics you’ll cover in the podcast episode. This should be about a minute long.
  • Call to action : what do you want your listeners to do after listening to the episode ? Is there a way they can interact with you or the show ? Make sure to include a “call to action” at the end of the podcast episode.

What equipment and software do you need ?

When you’re ready to launch your first podcast episode, you’ll also need to collect the necessary equipment and software to do your podcast recording. 

While there are some episodes that can be recorded with minimal equipment, most podcasts require a certain level of audio quality to sound their best. 

Before you start shopping for equipment, write down a list of the things you absolutely need and the things you’d like to have. This will help you stay within a budget and avoid buying equipment you don’t need. 

Some of the basic things you’ll need for your first podcast episode include a computer, mic, audio interface, headphones, and a recording software. 

You should also make sure to have plenty of space on your computer’s hard drive. If you plan on hosting audio files, you’ll need plenty of room for them.

Find guests and interviewing skills

Now that you’ve got some equipment and have selected a topic, it’s time to start thinking about guests. Depending on the type of podcast you’ve decided on, you may not need to have a guest on every episode. 

But it’s important to have at least one guest per episode. This will help boost your skills and confidence as you move forward with the podcast. 

There are a few ways you can go about finding guests. You can go through your social media communities and contact those who might be interested in being a guest on your show. 

You can also look for guest speakers at nearby universities or colleges and reach out to them. When interviewing guests, it’s important to remember that you’re not interviewing them for a job. 

Instead, you’re conducting an interview so that you can gain insight into the topic and share it with your audience.

Decide on a hosting platform

Now that you’ve got a topic and guests ready to go, you’ll need to decide on a hosting platform. A hosting platform is the place where you’ll store and publish your audio recordings. 

There are a few different options when it comes to podcast platforms, but here are a few basic things to keep in mind as you make your decision. 

  • Who is your audience ? What are they like ? What platform do they use the most ? This will help you decide which hosting platform would be best for your podcast. 
  • How much does the hosting platform cost ? There are plenty of free hosting platforms, but you don’t want to settle for a subpar one just because it’s free. 
  • How easy is it to use ? You don’t want to spend so much time managing your hosting platform that it interferes with your ability to create and publish new episodes.

Record your podcast episode

Once you’ve got all the necessary equipment and a hosting platform, it’s time to record your first podcast episode. Remember, it’s important to record the episode before editing it. 

This will help you avoid getting caught up in the details and make sure the episode gets posted to your audience as soon as possible. There are a few things to keep in mind as you record your first podcast episode. 

Before recording, make sure your audio is clean. This can be done by clearing your throat and making sure there’s no background noise. You can do this by recording in a quiet room or going somewhere quiet, such as a park or coffee shop.

Mix and edit the audio

Once you’ve finished recording your first podcast episode, it’s time to move on to the editing process. 

Editing is important because it’ll help you clean up any mistakes, ensure the episode is the right length, and create a natural flow between topics. 

Editing can be a time-consuming process, so here are a few ways you can make it easier. 

  • Get comfortable with the equipment  : before you start editing, make sure you’re comfortable with the equipment you’re using. The last thing you want to do is make edits that are amateur-sounding. 
  • Make a plan : before you get too deep in the editing process, make sure you have a plan. This will help you create a smooth and seamless podcast episode. 
  • Ask for help : editing is a complicated process, even for experienced podcasters. If you feel like you’re struggling or making little progress, ask for help or find online resources that can help you get started.

Get the show artwork

Before you publish your first podcast episode, you’ll need to get the show artwork ready. This will help your podcast stand out and will make it easier for your audience to find you. There are a few ways you can go about getting artwork for your podcast. 

You can hire a designer to create custom artwork for you, or you can use a photo editing tool to create your own. Many podcasts use variations of the same images, such as a microphone, headphones, or a laptop. 

This makes it easier for you to create the artwork and for your audience to recognize it.

Pick a launch date and promotion strategy

Now that you’ve created a schedule for your episodes, recorded your first episode, edited the audio, and created the artwork, it’s time to pick a launch date and promotion strategy. 

The first thing you’ll want to do is tell your listeners that you’re launching a podcast. This can be done in a variety of ways, including on social media, in blog posts, and in newsletters. 

Next, you’ll want to create a promotion strategy. Here are some ways to get people excited about your new podcast : 

  • Create a podcast trailer : trailers are great for getting people excited about your podcast. They give listeners a glimpse into what your show is all about, as well as tips for how to subscribe and listen. 
  • Create a podcast landing page : a landing page is a website that’s dedicated to one specific podcast episode. It includes relevant information about the episode, as well as a way for listeners to subscribe. 
  • Ask your guests to promote your show : this is a great way to get your first few episodes downloaded quickly.

Our final words

Launching a podcast can be one of the best ways to grow your brand and audience. However, it’s important to remember that launching your podcast doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a lot of time and effort to find your footing, as well as to build the audience you’re hoping for. Follow this guide to launch your first podcast episode, and you’ll be well on your way to growing your audience.


More resources : Launching your podcast with an episode zero : benefits and how to do it