How to Start a Podcast: Your Ultimate Guide to Podcasting Success

Table of contents

"Podcasting is saturated."

Ever heard that? A lot of people who want to start a podcast have.

Podcast Index says there are 4.2 million podcasts out there, so it's a common thought.

But here's something you should know: only about 450,000 of these podcasts are still active. Feeling a bit more hopeful about starting your own?

If yes, then you'll want to stick around. We've got a full guide that covers why you should start a podcast, how to start a podcast step-by-step, and ways to make money from it.

Interested? Keep reading.

Why should you start a podcast?

Ever found yourself immersed in a podcast episode, forgetting the world around you? You can create that magical experience for someone else while boosting your business or personal brand. Here are some rock-solid benefits to pressing that "record" button:

Brand Exposure

By running a podcast, you're not just adding another channel for your brand, you're supercharging your outreach.

Look at Joe Rogan. Before podcasting, he was mostly known as a comedian and UFC commentator. "The Joe Rogan Experience" transformed him into a household name, with guests ranging from Elon Musk to Bernie Sanders. Imagine having that kind of impact and reach.

The JRE Podcast - how to start a podcast
The JRE Podcast

Deeper Emotional Connection

Blog posts and tweets are great, but nothing resonates like the human voice. Podcasts offer an intimate setting where you can be authentic and discuss topics that matter to your audience.

For instance, "Serial" captivated millions by exploring true crime stories in a narrative format. People felt connected to the show on an emotional level, something a mere article would struggle to achieve.

Serial Podcast - how to start a podcast
Serial Podcast

Thought Leadership

Being a podcast host lets you explore topics that showcase your expertise, thereby setting you up as an industry leader.

Think about "How I Built This" by Guy Raz. That podcast has featured stories of entrepreneurs and innovators, turning it into an invaluable resource for anyone wanting to learn from the best. Over time, your podcast could become the go-to hub for insights in your field.

How I Built This - how to start a podcast
How I Built This

Global Reach

Geographical boundaries don't restrict a podcast. Anyone, anywhere, with an internet connection can be part of your audience.

"TED Radio Hour" explores significant contemporary issues by consulting with leading experts across various fields. The show delves into topics like maintaining human values in a tech-driven world, uncovering the origins of creativity, and discovering ways to extend human lifespan.

Ted Radio Hour - how to start a podcast
Ted Radio Hour

Essentially, your podcast could make your brand an international name without you ever having to leave your desk.

There you go - the compelling reasons to step into the podcasting world. It extends far beyond having a platform to voice your opinions.

6 Myths stopping you from starting your podcast

Myth 1: You need expensive equipment

The belief that starting a podcast requires a hefty investment in expensive gear is one that's stopped many from even considering it. But here's the truth: expensive doesn't always mean better, especially when you're just starting. A serious podcaster can start with less than $100.

Even podcast giants didn't start with the best equipment. Take Pat Flynn of the Smart Passive Income podcast as a case in point. He began his podcasting journey with a simple blue snowball podcast microphone that cost less than $70. Today, his show is one of the top-ranking business podcasts on Apple Podcasts.

If you ask us, you do not even need a microphone to start a podcast. With AI voice generators like Audiosonic, you can create podcast episodes with AI voices of your choice.

We’ll talk more about how to start a podcast using AI voice generators in the upcoming sections.

What matters most is your content and how you engage with your audience, not the price tag of your equipment.

Myth 2: You should have radio-quality voice

So, you don't sound like Morgan Freeman? No worries—neither do most successful podcasters. The myth that you need a silky-smooth radio voice to succeed in podcasting has been shattered time and again.

Take Ira Glass, the iconic host of "This American Life," for instance. He doesn't have what you'd call a "traditional" radio voice. His tone is quirky and unique, yet it's that very uniqueness that makes him stand out and attracts millions of listeners.

Say it to my face - how to start a podcast
Say it to my face

Similarly, Chris Hardwick, the host of "The Nerdist Podcast," has a distinctive voice that adds a personal touch to his shows. He didn't let the absence of a radio-friendly voice deter him from becoming a successful podcaster.

Nerdist - how to start a podcast

Ultimately, it's not about the quality of your voice but the quality of your content. Authenticity resonates with people more than an overly polished vocal delivery.

But if you still feel conscious about your voice and it is stopping you from recording your first episode, then you can always try the AI voice generator - Audiosonic to get start a podcast. All you need is to upload your content and select an AI voice.

Voila! You are good to go 😊

Myth 3: Podcast episodes should be at least an hour long

Many believe that to deliver value, a podcast episode should run for at least an hour.

According to research data, the average podcast listener prefers episodes that are around 30 to 40 minutes long. It fits conveniently into their commute, workout, or lunch break.

Let's take a look at "The Daily" from The New York Times. Its episodes are typically around 20 to 30 minutes, yet it's one of the most popular news podcasts out there, garnering millions of listeners. Then there's "Coffee Break Spanish," a language-learning podcast with episodes as short as 15-20 minutes. It's been massively successful, proving that shorter episodes can still deliver enormous value.

Coffee Break Spanish - how to start a podcast
Coffee Break Spanish

If you are curious about the ideal podcast length for your niche, below is a snapshot of all the possible podcast categories from Apple podcasts.

Podcast episode length - how to start a podcast
Podcast episode length

What truly matters is not to bore your listeners to make the episode long. Your episodes should be as long as they need to be to convey your message effectively—that's the rule of thumb you should follow.

Myth 4: You need a huge social media following

A common misconception is about having celebrity-level social media followers to start a podcast.

Reality check: you don't!

Take the example of Lore, a podcast that delves into historical myths and folklore. Aaron Mahnke, the show's creator, had a modest following when he started. However, his gripping storytelling and unique content quickly gained traction.

Lore Podcast - how to start a podcast
Lore Podcast

He focused on building a community around his podcast, not leveraging an existing massive social media following. Today, Lore is so popular it's even been adapted into a TV show.

Lore TV show - how to start a podcast
Lore TV show

A large following can be a bonus, but it's not a prerequisite. What's more important is delivering compelling, engaging content that can attract and sustain an audience over time. If your podcast is good, the listeners—and followers—will come.

Myth 5: You Have to Be an Expert in Your Field

Many hesitate to start a podcast because they don't consider themselves experts in their field. But you don't have to be. One of the top reasons people listen to podcasts is to learn something new. That doesn't mean they're expecting a Ph.D.-level dissertation from you.

Tim Ferriss, host of "The Tim Ferriss Show,” started his podcast without being an expert in many topics. What made his podcast a hit was his curiosity, the quality of his questions, and the value his conversations provided.

Tim Ferris show podcast

Another example is Emma Gannon, host of the "Ctrl Alt Delete" podcast. She started as a generalist, discussing a broad range of topics from careers to social media, but her engaging style and willingness to explore made her podcast a success.

Ctrl Alt Delete podcast - how to start a podcast
Ctrl Alt Delete podcast

The real key to a successful podcast is not expert status but your ability to engage, ask the right questions and bring in guests who can add value to your listeners' lives. Being relatable and committed to learning can often be just as compelling as being an expert.

Myth 6: You Have to Produce Weekly Episodes to Succeed

Pump out new episodes every week. Otherwise, the podcast is doomed to fail.

Does it? When you look at successful podcasts like Pacific Content, it shows that listener engagement doesn't necessarily depend on weekly episodes.

Take "Serial," the investigative journalism podcast that practically broke the internet. It releases a single story broken down into episodes once in 2 months and still has a massive following.

Serial podcast episodes - how to start a podcast
Serial podcast episodes

Another example is "You Must Remember This," a podcast about Hollywood's golden age, which has seasons instead of weekly episodes. Despite its irregular schedule, the podcast enjoys a dedicated and growing listener base.

Frequency is not a one-size-fits-all scenario. What's more important is consistent quality and a publishing schedule that's sustainable for you. If you can only produce a high-quality episode every two weeks or once a month, that's totally fine. What's crucial is keeping your audience engaged with great content, no matter how often you publish it.

Don't let these misconceptions deter you. Podcasting is far more accessible and flexible than you might think. Always focus on quality and genuine engagement, and you're already on the path to success.

How to start a podcast: An easy step-by-step guide

After busting the myths and laying your fears to rest, now comes the fun part: actually starting a podcast.

This step-by-step guide is your roadmap to launching a successful podcast with no detours. Stick till the end of the blog post to learn about ideation, setup, recording, and even monetization.

Because each step is a building block to your podcasting dream 😊

Step 1: Plan the podcast

Define your niche/ topic

One of the first steps in your podcasting journey is choosing your niche or topic. The great news is you don't have to lock yourself into a single subject matter from the get-go. It's perfectly fine to experiment a bit. For instance, you can discuss tech trends in one episode and shift to productivity hacks in another. You'll find your sweet spot eventually.

You can see this in one of our previous examples, "Joe Rogan Experience." The podcast touches on everything from pop culture to politics. The essence is to be true to what interests you.

Here is a JRE episode with Rapper and Actor - Ice Cube.

Ice cube episode on JRE - how to start a podcast
Ice cube episode on JRE 

And here is another one with the Facebook founder - Mark Zuckerberg.

Mark Zuckerberg on JRE - how to start a podcast
Mark Zuckerberg on JRE

Both episodes worked well for JRE. Before you settle, you can pilot a few episodes across different topics and see which one resonates most with your audience. Your listeners’ engagement will be an indicator of what they want, guiding you to tweak your podcast’s direction.

Define your podcast audience

Understanding your audience is key. Before hitting the record button, spend some time researching who your potential listeners are and what they're interested in.

This can be as simple as conducting a LinkedIn poll or as detailed as customer persona mapping. Below is a simple LinkedIn poll to understand the most used content marketing strategy.

LinkedIn poll to research podcast audience - how to start a podcast
LinkedIn poll to research podcast audience

To create detailed customer persona mapping, research and include details like demographics, needs, behavior, motivations, and frustrations to understand them as a person.

Customer persona to research podcast persona - how to start a podcast
Customer persona to research podcast persona

For example, podcasts like "Stuff You Should Know" knew their audience was a curious bunch that loved deep-diving into a range of topics. They deliver just that and have a huge following as a result.

Knowing who you're talking to allows you to tailor your content, making your episodes infinitely more engaging. If you find that your audience loves tips on healthy living, maybe you could bring in experts in that area. Or, if they're into startup culture, interviews with entrepreneurs could be a hit.

Choose the podcast format of the podcast episodes

Just like your niche, your podcast’s format isn't set in stone. You can start as a solo podcast host and later add co-hosts or even do interviews.

"The Daily," hosted by Michael Barbaro, is a successful solo podcast discussing current events and later incorporated interviews and other formats into their episodes.

Michael Barbaro from The Daily - how to start a podcast
Michael Barbaro from The Daily

Keep an eye on your analytics to see what's working and what's not. You can double down on the winning formula once you spot it.

If the solo podcast format garners more listens and higher engagement, maybe that’s your lane. But if the audience spikes when you bring on a guest, you know what to do. The key is to remain flexible and open to change.

You can also create different fictional characters and tell a story, just like a audiobook, for which you can use character voice generators.


Last but not least, your podcast branding is equally important. Your logo, brand colors, podcast cover art, and even the intro music—all these elements contribute to your podcast's identity.

Podcasts like "Serial" have recognizable theme music and consistent podcast cover art across seasons. Your branding should be something that stands out and sticks with people long after they've finished listening to an episode.

Serial podcast music

In a nutshell, branding helps you carve out your space in a saturated market. This might involve hiring a graphic designer for that killer logo or using royalty-free music that resonates with your podcast's mood.

You can also use Writesonic’s brand voice feature to create content that is always consistent with the tone.
Writesonic brand voice - how to start a podcast
Writesonic brand voice

Make your podcast unforgettable with branding.

You've just put down the first foundational stone for your podcasting journey. Let’s move on to step 2.

Step 2: Podcast setup

Podcast hosting service

Once you have your ideas set up, your plan looks solid. Now, where will this podcast live?

There are tons of podcast hosting services out there, each with its own set of pros and cons. Libsyn, Anchor, and Podbean are a few fan favorites. Captivate and Transistor are robust podcast hosting platforms with analytics that are easy on the eyes and make understanding your audience a breeze.

Podcast hosting platforms - how to start a podcast
Podcast hosting platforms

Before making a final decision on the podcast hosting service, here are a few factors to consider:

  1. Ease of Use - Your time is valuable, so the user interface of the platform should be straightforward. You shouldn't need a manual to navigate basic features.
  2. Analytics - In-depth analytics are crucial. The data should provide insights into listener behavior, geographical locations, and episode engagement. This helps you refine content and target your audience more effectively.
  3. Distribution - A good podcast platform will distribute your episodes to major podcast directories like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts automatically. Wide distribution is key to increasing your podcast's visibility.
  4. Cost - The price should match the features offered. Some podcast platforms might offer free plans with limited storage or data tracking, so assess whether a paid plan might be more beneficial in the long run.
  5. Scalability - Opt for a platform that can adapt as your podcast grows. Look for features like the ability to add multiple shows or better analytics as your audience expands.
  6. Customer Support - Technical issues can arise, and when they do, you'll want to resolve them quickly. Strong customer support can be a lifesaver.

Most of these platforms offer trial periods. Don't hesitate to use this time to explore their features and determine if they align with your needs. You can also check out G2’s recommendations on the best podcast hosting platforms.

Podcast recording equipment

You could technically record a podcast with just your phone. If you have the budget to invest in sound quality, you can invest in some basic equipment, like,

  • USB Microphone: A decent USB microphone is a great starting point. Brands like Blue Yeti or Audio-Technica offer microphones that provide good sound quality without breaking the bank.
  • Pop Filter: This is a screen placed between you and the microphone. It reduces popping sounds caused by fast-moving air hitting the microphone when you talk. Aokeo and Heil Sound are good brands to consider.
Pop filter and microphone - how to start a podcast
Pop filter and microphone
  • Headphones: A comfortable set of headphones is crucial for monitoring your audio. Look for brands like Sony or Bose, which offer great sound quality and comfort.
  • Boom Arm: A microphone stand or boom arm holds the mic steady, allowing you to focus on speaking instead of juggling the microphone. Heil and HeiLoom offer sturdy and reliable options.
  • Audio Interface: If you're using an XLR microphone, you'll need an audio interface to connect it to your computer. Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 and PreSonus AudioBox are popular choices.
  • Acoustic Panels: To improve the sound quality of your recording space, you can invest in some acoustic foam panels. Auralex Acoustics is a well-known brand for this.
  • Noise Cancellation Software: This can be a real game-changer for recording in noisy environments. Krisp is a popular software that can minimize background noise during recordings.

Podcast recording doesn't require a big-ticket budget. With these basic tools, you're more than ready to produce episodes that resonate with your audience.

Podcast editing software

If you're new to the world of podcasting, software like Audacity or GarageBand offers a user-friendly interface. These platforms are perfect for basic cutting, pasting, and audio mixing.

For those looking to dive deep into audio engineering, Adobe Audition or Auphonic is the way to go. They offer advanced features like noise reduction, multi-track editing, and compression.

Again for choosing the best editing software, below are a few features you need to check for:

  1. User Interface - Go for podcast software that has an intuitive user interface. You don't want to spend hours figuring out basic functionalities.
  2. Compatibility - Make sure your chosen software is compatible with your operating system, whether it's Windows, macOS, or Linux.
  3. Export Options - Check the file formats the software supports for exporting your edited audio. Common formats include MP3 and WAV.
  4. Customer Support - It's crucial to have readily available customer support, especially if you're new to editing.
If all the tech talk about microphones and podcast editing software feels too much, you can use Audiosonic. It's a simple AI voice generator that turns your text into a podcast.

The best part is you can start a podcast for free with Audiosonic. If you find you need more, their paid plans begin at $10 for 40 minutes of text converted to speech. This makes starting a podcast easy and affordable.

Step 3: Record a podcast episode

Podcast content planning

You'll need to decide what you're going to talk about before recording your first podcast. Your podcast's niche will provide some guidance, but within that, the world's your oyster. You can either go freestyle or script out each episode to maintain a steady flow. For example, the podcast "How I Built This" plans meticulously and covers the entrepreneur's journey, sticking to a set format each episode.

  • Podcast Topic Selection - Start with podcast topic selection. Scope out what's trending in your industry. If your podcast is business-focused, platforms like LinkedIn or business blogs might be good places to start your research. See what experts are talking about, and align your topics with current trends.
  • Episode Structure - Decide on how you're going to structure your episodes. Will it be a solo affair, or will you bring in guests? What about segment breaks or calls to action? Planning these in advance ensures a smooth flow when you start recording.

Record the podcast

To record, make sure that you are in a quiet environment to minimize background noise. Check your equipment before starting so there are no last-minute hitches. Also, remember to have a glass of water close by. Talking can be thirsty work.

  • When you're ready to record, make sure your mic is at least 15-30 cm away to prevent voice distortions.
  • Use headphones to monitor your audio.
  • Don't rush through your script. Take pauses and modulate your voice for emphasis.

Another easy way to record the podcast in no time with minimal cost is using an AI voice generator. Audiosonic by Writesonic is an advanced text-to-speech generator that can help you convert written text into realistic, human-like audio in seconds.

Here is how you can use Audiosonic in 3 easy steps:

  1. Find the Audiosonic tool on the Writesonic dashboard
Audiosonic setup - how to start a podcast
Audiosonic setup 

2. Add the text you want to convert to a podcast audio

Audiosonic setup - how to start a podcast
Audiosonic setup 

3. Select the AI voice of your choice and quality. Hit generate

Audiosonic setup - how to start a podcast
Audiosonic setup 

Ta-da! You have your podcast recording ready 😃

Audiosonic setup - how to start a podcast
Audiosonic setup 

Make the final edits

Editing is where your podcast really comes together. You'll need to listen to your recording multiple times to pick out areas that require trimming or re-recording. Remove awkward silences, filler words, or any other distractions that take away from the listening experience.

We have already mentioned the best editing software you can use for podcast editing in step 2.

Length of the podcast episode

Finally, think about how long you want each episode to be. Some podcasts are short and snappy, fitting into a listener's lunch break, while others offer a deep dive into a podcast topic and run much longer. There's no one-size-fits-all here. The length should serve the content.

What's more important than length is the quality of your content. Focus on delivering value in every episode, regardless of how long it takes. If you keep your audience engaged, they'll stick around no matter the length.

Step 4: Get your podcast ready

This part is all about polishing, naming, and scheduling. It is the final touch before your podcast makes its grand debut.

Podcast intros and outros

The intro and outro of your podcast set the tone and leave a lasting impression. It's like shaking hands when you meet someone and saying goodbye when you leave; you want both to be memorable.

For intros, you could start with a catchy tune or jingle that listeners will start to associate with your show. Adding a voice-over summarizing what the episode will cover is also a solid strategy. If you don't want to use your own voice for this part, no worries! AI voices can bring a unique texture to your intro. Tools like Audiosonic can help you create compelling voice-overs.

Your outro should wrap things up neatly. Thank the listeners for their time, give them a sneak peek of what's coming up in the next episode, and encourage them to subscribe or leave a review. Music can also play a significant role here; a recurring tune can make your podcast more recognizable.

Podcast titles

This is more critical than you might think. Your podcast title has to be catchy but also self-explanatory. It's what people see first when they come across your show on a platform. Examples of successful podcast titles that are both catchy and informative include "Missing Peace" and "Lovett or Leave It."

Episode titles

For episode titles, be consistent but flexible and experimentative with your episode titles. They should be intriguing but also give listeners a clue about the episode's content.

Look at these episode titles - they are from the podcast “How I Built This.” They are neither too catchy nor very complicated but definitely give the listener an overview of what to expect from the podcast.

Episode title of 'How I Built This' - how to start a podcast
Episode title of 'How I Built This'

Another example is if you're running a podcast on tech innovation, an episode title like "The Rise of Quantum Computing" would pique interest while also being descriptive.

Podcast description and episode descriptions

Don't underestimate the power of a good description. It's essentially your sales pitch to potential listeners. For your podcast description, explain the overarching theme, the types of guests you'll have, and what listeners can gain from tuning in.

And this podcast description example - The Receipts Podcast hits everything right.

The Receipts Podcast description - how to start a podcast
The Receipts Podcast description

For individual episodes, lay out the main points you'll cover without giving everything away. You want to entice the listener to hit 'play.' Use bullet points for easier readability.

Decide the publishing schedule

Consistency is key. Decide if you'll publish weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. Make it clear in your show description so your audience knows when to expect new content. Use scheduling tools to help you stick to your plan.

Getting your podcast ready is not just about hitting the 'record' button. It involves a lot of thoughtful planning and execution. From compelling intro and outro to captivating podcast title and description, each element plays a pivotal role in your podcast's success.

Now let’s get your podcast live!

Step 5: Publish & Promote

After hitting that 'Publish' button, there comes an equally challenging and exciting part—getting people actually to listen.

Publish on the podcast hosting platform

Most podcast hosting provider like Libsyn, Anchor, or Podbean have easy-to-follow steps to upload your podcast. Don't forget to include all the metadata, such as titles and descriptions, that you've meticulously prepared in the last step. This is essential for SEO and making your podcast discoverable.

After publishing, make sure to verify that your episode is live and accessible. Listen to it once, ensuring the audio is clear, and that it starts and ends correctly.

A company that nailed this part is Gimlet Media.

Gimlet media podcasts - how to start a podcast
Gimlet media podcasts

They have multiple shows and never fail to ensure that each episode goes live without a hitch, offering a seamless experience for the listener.

Promote the podcast

High five! Your podcast is live. The next step is the promotion to reach the podcast to more ears. Leverage all the digital assets you've got.

  • Social media - Create bite-sized content like short video podcast clips or quote cards from the episode to share on platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
Podcast promotion example - how to start a podcast
Podcast promotion example
  • Newsletters - If you have an email list, make sure to send out a newsletter announcing the new episode. A best practice here is to tease a little about what's in the episode to make people click that 'Listen Now' button.
Podcast promotion example - how to start a podcast
Podcast promotion example

Partner with micro-influencers

Influencers aren't just for fashion and travel niches. They can be invaluable in promoting your podcast, too, especially micro-influencers. These are content creators who have a smaller but very engaged audience that trusts their recommendations. You can reach out to them to ask if they would be willing to listen and share your podcast with their followers.

The key here is to find influencers whose audience aligns with your podcast's niche.

By publishing meticulously, promoting wisely, and leveraging influencers, you're setting yourself up for podcasting success.

How do podcasts make money?

You've got the listeners, and your content is banging, but how do you turn those ears into dollars? Read on as we dive into eight ways you can make some serious money from your podcasting venture. Trust us, it's a juicy list that you'll want to read to the end.

Sponsored ads are the bread and butter for many podcasters. They can appear at the beginning (pre-roll), middle (mid-roll), or end (post-roll) of your podcast episode. Platforms like Midroll or AdvertiseCast can help you connect with companies willing to pay for a spot in your podcast.

Take "The Daily" from The New York Times as an example. The podcast often features clearly marked ads that are highly relevant to the show's informed, news-savvy audience.

Podcast monetization - Sponsored networks - how to start a podcast
Podcast monetization - Sponsored networks

For a podcaster with a growing listener base, sponsored ads can be an excellent way to start earning revenue.

Word to the wise: Make sure the sponsors align with your audience for the best results.

Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is another lucrative option that podcasters often explore.

In simple terms, you promote a product or service on your podcast and provide an affiliate link or code. When your listeners make a purchase using your link or code, you get a commission. The key here is to promote products that are directly relevant to your audience.

For example, the podcast "Smart Passive Income" by Pat Flynn regularly discusses tools and resources that can help people make money online. Pat often includes affiliate links for products he trusts and uses himself.

In a podcast episode, Pat is promoting a book authored by the guest for an affiliate commission.

Podcast monetization - Affiliate marketing - how to start a podcast
Podcast monetization - Affiliate marketing

By incorporating affiliate links into your show notes or even mentioning them during your podcast, you're creating a win-win situation. Your audience gets recommended products from a trusted source, and you get a cut of the sales.

Importantly, it doesn't cost your listener anything extra to use your affiliate link, but it can add a nice revenue stream for you.

Consulting and coaching

The pathway from podcasting to consulting and coaching is more straightforward than you might think. If you've developed a podcast around a particular skill set or knowledge base, chances are your audience sees you as a go-to source for that information. This positions you perfectly to offer consulting or coaching services. Your podcast episodes serve as free samples of your expertise.

For instance, consider podcasts in the health and wellness sector. If you're a certified nutritionist who hosts a podcast about healthy eating, your listeners likely view you as a trusted resource.

Certified Nutritionist and podcast host of the 'Food Psych Podcast,’ Christy Harrison, also runs coaching programs to help people eat right.

Podcast monetization - coaching - how to start a podcast
Podcast monetization - coaching

In this model, you not only create a steady income stream but also provide a higher level of service to your audience. While your podcast covers topics broadly, consulting or coaching allows you to address individual concerns and questions, making each interaction more impactful.

Selling products and services

If you've developed a dedicated listener base for your podcast, you have an incredible advantage: a captive audience that trusts your voice and expertise. This makes selling products or services a natural extension of your podcasting endeavor. You've already built up goodwill; why not capitalize on it by offering something of additional value to your audience? Whether it's an eBook, an online course, or even physical promotional merchandise like T-shirts, your followers are likely to be interested.

Take, for example, a podcast focused on gardening. After dozens of episodes offering tips on plant care, soil management, and seasonal gardening, you could release a specialized gardening toolkit, soil testing kits, or even your line of organic fertilizers. Your audience, who already turns to your podcast for advice, would see these products as an endorsed, reliable choice, making them more likely to purchase.

Podcast monetization - Products and services - how to start a podcast
Podcast monetization - Products and services

This can be particularly useful for weathering periods of low sponsorship or fluctuating listener numbers. Plus, it increases your brand's footprint, turning your podcast from a one-dimensional platform into a multi-faceted brand.

Gated content & Memberships

Gated content is like the VIP room of your podcast world. It's where your most dedicated listeners get access to exclusive material that the general public doesn't see. By offering special episodes, behind-the-scenes footage, or even comprehensive follow-up materials like guides and templates, you can entice your audience to pay a little extra for more of what they love.

One way to go about this is to create a subscription model. Podcast listeners who appreciate your content might be willing to pay a monthly fee for episodes that dive deeper into subjects discussed on the main channel. You could also offer episodes in advance or provide exclusive interviews with high-profile guests.

For example, a business-oriented podcast could offer specialized episodes that dissect successful business models or deep-dive into financial strategies. Those episodes could be locked behind a paywall, accessible only to subscribers who pay a small fee.

Podcast monetization - memberships - how to start a podcast
Podcast monetization - memberships

By doing this, not only do you bring in additional revenue, but you also cultivate a core community of super-engaged listeners. These are people who are invested enough in your content to pay for it, making them more likely to also engage in other ways, like leaving reviews, sharing your podcast, or buying any products or services you might offer.

Brand partnerships

Brand partnerships offer an advanced way to monetize your podcast. Unlike traditional advertising, these partnerships involve in-depth collaboration with a company to integrate their message into your content seamlessly. For example, if your podcast focuses on outdoor adventures, teaming up with an outdoor gear company could be highly beneficial. You might discuss the gear you use, delve into its features, and share why it stands out in the market.

This strategy offers mutual benefits. The brand gains authentic engagement with a targeted audience who trusts your voice. For you, the perks often extend beyond financial incentives to include free or discounted products.

The secret sauce for making these partnerships work is alignment. Your chosen brand should resonate with your podcast's values and audience. Don't forget transparency; clearly disclose the nature of your partnership to maintain audience trust. This ensures the content remains authentic and credible without turning into a sales pitch.

Donations and tips

Earning through donations and tips allows you to connect directly with your audience, asking them for financial support. Patreon is a popular platform for this, where you can offer multiple membership levels with unique perks like exclusive episodes or behind-the-scenes content. The bulk of donations received goes straight to the podcaster, making it an effective revenue stream.

Podcast monetization - Donation & tips - how to start a podcast
Podcast monetization - Donation & tips

This strategy works well for podcasts with a devoted listener base, as it creates a deeper bond between you and your audience. Transparency is key: specify how the funds will be used, whether for better podcast equipment or exciting new content. This encourages people to contribute, knowing their money directly impacts the podcast's quality.

Launch your podcast today!

In summing up this guide, we've tackled every aspect of podcasting, from debunking podcasting myths to a detailed, step-by-step process for launching your own podcast show. We also discussed multiple ways to monetize your efforts so that you can reap financial rewards along with creative satisfaction.

Podcasting isn't as daunting as you might think, and with today's tools, it's easier than ever to get started.

Audiosonic, an AI voice generator, eliminates the need for complicated recording and editing setups, allowing you to focus on what really matters: your content. With cost-effective plans beginning at just $10 for 40 minutes of text-to-speech, it is a simple, affordable solution for anyone looking to dive into podcasting without the hassle.

So if you've been waiting for a sign to launch your own podcast, this is it.


1. Should I start a podcast?

Absolutely, if you have a passion for a particular subject, expertise to share, or enjoy engaging conversations, podcasting can be a great outlet. It's an excellent way to connect with a like-minded audience and possibly even monetize your content. Starting a podcast is easier than ever with AI tools like Writesonic’s Audiosonic. With its text-to-speech capabilities, you can streamline the content creation process, making it a breeze to get your podcast off the ground. If you've got something to say, there's an audience out there waiting to hear it.

2. What things do you need for a podcast?

To start a podcast, you'll need a few key things:

  • A concept or niche: Know what your podcast is about and who it's for.
  • Podcast recording equipment: A quality microphone, headphones, and possibly a sound mixer.
  • Podcast Software: Editing software to fine-tune your episodes.
  • Podcasting hosting platform: A place to host and distribute your podcast.

Alternatively, you can sidestep a lot of the traditional requirements by using Audiosonic. It allows you to convert text to speech, eliminating the need for expensive microphones or editing software. Plus, it offers free and affordable plans, starting at $10 for 40 minutes of text-to-speech, streamlining the entire process for you. With Audiosonic, all you really need is a good idea and a computer.

3. How to upload podcasts to Spotify?

To upload your podcasts to Spotify, you'll need to go through a podcast hosting platform that is compatible with Spotify, like Libsyn, Podbean, or Anchor. Here's a brief rundown:

  • Sign up for a podcast hosting account if you haven't already.
  • Upload your podcast episodes to the hosting platform.
  • Locate the RSS feed URL provided by your hosting platform.
  • Go to Spotify for Podcasters and log in or create an account.
  • Click on "Submit a Podcast" and input your podcast RSS feed URL.
  • Complete the required metadata, like description, podcast category, and language.
  • Review and submit. Spotify will review your podcast and notify you once it's live.

4. How much does it cost to start a podcast?

The cost to start a podcast can vary greatly depending on your goals and the quality of podcast equipment and services you aim for. At the basic level, you can start a podcast for as little as $0 to $100 if you're using free hosting platforms and recording with built-in microphones on your phone or computer.

However, for a more professional setup, here's a rough breakdown:

  • Microphone: $50-$200
  • Headphones: $20-$100
  • Recording Software: $0-$200
  • Hosting Platform: $5-$50/month
  • Podcast Website (Optional): $10-$30/month

So, you could be looking at an initial investment of around $100 to $500, and then ongoing costs for hosting and possible website maintenance.

You can eliminate your costs on the recording equipment and software with a cost-effective solution - Audiosonic. With plans starting at just $10 for 40 minutes of text-to-speech content, it is an efficient way to create podcast content.

5. How to start a podcast with nothing?

Starting a podcast with minimal resources is entirely possible. First, you can use your smartphone's built-in microphone for recording. There are free recording apps available that can help you capture decent audio. As for editing, there are free software options like Audacity that can get the job done. Hosting can also be free to start with platforms that offer limited free plans.

However, you may not want to compromise on content. Plan your episodes well, research your topics, and perhaps even script your episodes to ensure quality.

An alternative is using Audiosonic. It allows you to transform text into speech, offering a way to produce episodes without even needing to record them yourself. The free plan is more than enough to get you started, and you can always scale up as you go. This way, you can focus on what you want to say, rather than how you're going to say it, eliminating the need for costly equipment or software.

Aishwarya Gindham

A content writer at WriteSonic who loves to write long-form content with details and examples. The agenda is to help the reader find a solution to their problem.

Get started
with Writesonic!

Discover what writing with AI feels like. See for yourself with a free trial -- we assure you'll save 20+ hours every week.
Try for FREE

Get started with Writesonic!

Discover what writing with AI feels like. See for yourself with a free trial -- we assure you'll save 20+ hours every week.
Try for FREE