Where to Begin When You Want to Start a Podcast
When I felt the nudge to begin podcasting, I had an idea for the podcast but absolutely no idea where to begin. Certainly I had a message that I wanted to get out into the world, but I had about a million questions about how. If you can relate to the above sentiment, take a deep breath. You’re not alone, and today we are going to begin working through the first three big steps to take to begin podcasting.
- Know your “why” and keep it visible.
You’ve probably heard it a million times. In everything you do, you must have a why. This step can often feel tedious and unnecessary, but skipping this step will lead you down a path where you’ll be more likely to fizzle out.
While having a story and the burning desire to share it can certainly light the fire to get us started, having a “why” is what keeps us grounded and trekking forward when those initial flames of excitement begin to die out. Our “whys” keep us going because they are about something bigger than us, and that’s important.
So if you’re wondering — What is my “why”? — here are a few questions to get your wheels turning.
- Who am I going to be speaking to?
- Why do I want to speak to these people?
- What changes am I hoping to make with my message, and why is this important to me?
Spend some time thinking about these questions. Once you’ve answered them, take the answers and put them into a few sentences that would answer the question “Why are you doing this?” Or “What’s your message?” Put that statement on a notecard or a piece of paper and keep it someplace visible. And when the day comes that you feel like throwing in the towel, pull out that notecard to remember why you started in the first place.
- Brain dump/build out the dream.
Now that you have your “why,” you’re probably super fired up to get started. The next step is to do a massive “brain dump.” I wish there were a more flattering term for this practice, but it perfectly describes what you’re about to do: Take all the thoughts that are clanking around in your brain, and dump them onto a piece of paper. Setting aside at least an hour of uninterrupted time to do this is ideal.
Again, this step might seem insignificant, but I can assure you this will only continue to define your mission while you also formulate an action plan.
In regard to podcasting, here are some questions to get you started on your brain dump:
- Who will be your audience?
- What are you trying to accomplish?
- Will you have interviews or solo episodes or both?
- Who will you interview?
- What ideas do you have for a title and/or episode topics?
- What will the length of episodes be, and will this be suitable to your target audience? (For example, busy moms likely don’t have time for an hour-long episode twice per week.)
- How frequently will you release episodes?
Once you feel like you’ve put all of your thoughts out on paper, categorize them into three sections:
- Action steps to take next.
- To-do’s + things to continue researching.
- Answers that help clarify the style of the podcast.
- Take tactical steps.
Once step two is complete, it’s normal to have many questions regarding the “how.”
This final step is where the deep dive takes place, and that can get extensive. So before we go any further here, I want to refer you to our COMPEL Podcasting Group on Facebook. If you are a COMPEL member, this is another amazing free resource COMPEL offers. (If you’re not a member, you can sign up for the waitlist here!)
In this group we answer any and all questions regarding podcasting. We post videos where we answer frequently asked questions, share what equipment we use, answer questions in regard to any stage of the launching process and more!
Here are a few brief explanations to get you started:
- Host site: This is where you will upload your podcast each week. Your host site often has the ability to publish your podcast to multiple podcasting platforms. There are many host sites to choose from, but here are a few popular ones: Libsyn, Buzzsprout, and Bluehost. For more information, you can search “podcast host sites.”
- Recording equipment: The best part about podcasting is that there is no “right” answer. Every podcaster does it a little differently, and it’s always OK to adjust things as you go. Some people record from their phone and use no microphones while others purchase very high-end microphones and recording equipment. The best thing I can say here is: Don’t let this step paralyze you. Figure out your budget, and then do a little research and make a decision.
Just like any other call that God places on our hearts, there are moments of excitement and sometimes moments of fear or overwhelm. Don’t let that stop you. Take one step at a time, and don’t let yourself get paralyzed along the way. Oftentimes, people get the idea that if we are stepping into the right call on our life, ease will follow. Purpose and ease are not synonymous. In fact, it’s often when we are stepping into exactly who we are made to be that we face the most hurdles because the enemy wants to deter us from living out the call on our life. Don’t give up. Pull from the resources above, and plant yourself firmly in your “why” — and keep going. You’ve got this!
Are you in the process of planning a podcast? What tips above did you find most helpful? Share in the comments below!
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Thank you for these important tips!
Hi Bethany, This is super helpful and so encouraging! Thank you for unpacking the “how” for starting a podcast.