A podcast is one of the best ways to connect with your potential customers on a more personal level. Sound empowers people to hear the emotion behind the story you want to tell, which is why podcasts have grown rapidly over the years.
Podcasts are now a key part of many digital marketing strategies.
Want to learn how to get started podcasting and create a website for your podcast? Keep reading to learn:
- What Are Podcasts?
- How To Start a Podcast, Step by Step
- Making a Website for Your Podcast
- Podcast Website Examples
- Great Idea, What's Next?
What Are Podcasts?
In simple words, podcasts are like internet radio shows on demand. They are a form of streamable and downloadable audio content that has been extremely popular for the past few years. Topics range from cooking, narrative, and news to informative talks on almost any topic you can think of.
With many people having on-the-go lifestyles, podcasts are a perfect way for businesses to share their values, ideas, and story anywhere at any time. Starting a podcast can help your brand’s content, marketing, and lead generation efforts.
How To Start a Podcast, Step by Step
Here are a few quick steps to learn how to start your podcast.
Come Up With a Topic
First, make sure you spend a good amount of time choosing a topic that excites you and will keep you going for the long run. Narrow it down so you can target a more specific audience. For instance, don’t start an “outdoor” podcast — talk about hiking instead.
It’s easy to expand your topic later on in your podcast when you get more popular, but keep it brief when you’re starting. Also, pick a name broader than your topic so you can eventually expand on it later.
Tailor the Episode Length and Style
It’s high-quality content that attracts the listeners, not a strict timeline. Test it out and try different lengths, but also avoid making episodes longer than necessary (like going off-topic for 10-20 minutes).
One way you can tailor your episode length is to base it on how frequently you publish new episodes:
- If you publish on a daily basis, keep it snappy and short (e.g., 10 minutes).
- If you publish once or a few times a week, aim for the 30-50 minute mark.
- If you publish less frequently than that, your audience will generally be fine if you go more than an hour.
Style is another important factor you need to consider. Interview podcasts are popular, but that doesn’t mean you have to go with one. For instance, you can have co-hosted or solo shows in the episode’s first half and bring a featured guest in the second part.
What Equipment You’ll Need
The equipment you need depends on your goals and budget. You can even record episodes from your phone to start using recording apps like Podbean, Anchor, or Spreaker.
But if you’re serious about creating a podcast and want to give your users enjoyable and useful content, consider covering these basics:
- Desktop computer or laptop.
- A sound-proof recording space (or a distraction-free room).
- High-quality microphone.
- Noise-canceling headphones.
- Podcast recording software.
How To Find Guests
How to start a podcast and stay motivated? Find good guests that will share useful and interesting information on your topic:
- Search through similar podcasts: Listen to other podcasts with similar topics. If a guest was willing to come to a podcast before, they’ll probably agree to do so again. But don’t recreate an identical interview — do thorough research, find unique questions, and approach the same topics from a new angle.
- Don’t forget traditional media: Are there interesting people in radio, TV, newspapers, or magazines who might be relevant to your niche? Probably. Mining traditional media also gives you an opportunity to introduce great new guests an online audience may haven’t heard of yet.
- Find people who are selling something: Has your potential guest created a product related to your topic? If so, they might be interested in being on your show and presenting it to your audience (and potential buyers).
Making a Website for Your Podcast
Even though there are many different platforms where you can start your show (or you can craft the podcast website design yourself), WordPress is one of the best and simplest solutions.
Suitable for both amateurs and professionals, WordPress gives you total control over your content, a wide variety of helpful tools, fully flexible customization, and many other features.
Choose the Right Hosting Provider
Start by opening an account with a hosting service. This is the company that will keep your online files stored and available for your visitors.
Unlike a blog post, you can’t just upload your podcast on a website — that’s a hosted audio file, not a podcast. Podcasters mostly use external file hosting services designed for the specific purposes of their show.
Podcast files aren’t small, so they might burn through your WordPress hosting account’s bandwidth.
Why WordPress? It’s a flexible tool where you don’t need advanced technical knowledge to build your website. It’s open source, which makes it free to use — plus, it offers many additional features that expand its functionality.
In most cases, you can install WordPress with the click of a button, or you can install it manually in a couple of seconds.
Choose a WordPress Theme
A theme is a group of template files that dictates the appearance of your site. A podcast website for WordPress offers a wide variety of different themes, but it would be better to stick to those specifically intended for podcast website design.
To install a theme, go to your WordPress dashboard and find Appearances > Themes. Click Add New/Upload Theme, and find the theme files you want to add.
Plugins are a great way to extend your site’s functionality. Many of them are free and easy to install.
Seriously Simple Podcasting (SSP) is one of the most full-featured podcasting plugins you’ll find. It saves you the time and hassle of toggling between different platforms because you can upload your audio files directly on the WordPress dashboard.
With SSP, you get integrated statistics, an audio player, a convenient workflow, search engine optimization (SEO) management, and other add ons.
SSP isn’t the only useful WordPress podcast plugin. Here are some others:
- CSS Hero: Offers CSS customizations without coding.
- Yoast SEO: Optimizes your pages for search.
- Jetpack: Offers many features, such as security defenses, sharing tools, and SEO tools.
- Akismet: Reduces spam comments.
- W3 Total Cache: Improves overall website performance.
Customize Your Podcast Site
There are many ways to customize your website. WordPress is versatile, so you can play around with layouts, colors, fonts, and other features that define your visual identity.
- Work on the essential pages: Every site needs a few essential pages, such as an about page (description of your podcast), a contact page (social media profiles, email address, contact form), and a blog (where WordPress will display your latest posts).
- Configure a lead capture tool: Building an email list is a great way to let your followers know a new episode is out. To grow your list, you can use a lead capture tool like OptinMonster.
Add opt-in forms throughout your entire site to remind your visitors to submit their email addresses. You can start by placing them in the footer, sidebar, or bottom of each episode.
Integrate your lead generation tool with your email service provider. That will help you keep the addresses you’ve collected in one place.
Podcast Website Examples
Here are some podcast website examples for inspiration:
The WPMRR WordPress Podcast
Joe Howard and Christie Chirinos may have started this casual project for fun, but the WPMRR WordPress podcast quickly became one of the most popular podcasts in the WordPress niche.
WPMRR offers excellent advice for writers, maintenance professionals, WordPress developers, consultants, and designers. The podcast features professionals whose experiences can help anyone running a WordPress-based business who wants to bring it to the next level.
Ideas to check out:
- Descriptive labels about the current topic and attractive thumbnails with Joe and the starring guest.
- Easy-to-click links to platforms where visitors can find your podcast.
- Search bar to easily navigate through the site.
The Cliff Ravenscraft Podcast
If you want to learn how to start a podcast and keep your work high-quality, watch the Cliff Ravenscraft podcast.
Ravenscraft has 30+ podcast shows and over 3,600 episodes devoted to topics like tech, business, entertainment, faith, and family. He also sells guides, tutorials, and equipment, which is how he turned his site into a true business-attracting engine.
Ideas to check out:
- Clean, intuitive, and fast-loading website.
- Eye-catching call to action (CTA).
- Lead magnet to collect visitors’ email addresses.
The Smarter Sales Show Podcast
Just one look on the Smarter Sales Show tells you it’s a podcast by two women who share sales-related advice. Visitors don’t even have to read episode summaries to understand what it’s about.
The color scheme is a cheerful mix of white, yellow, and orange, which gives the podcast an inviting look. You can also see an eye-catching animation across the homepage, along with a subscribe button under the header.
This site features just one episode on the homepage, but you can display more by clicking the “Check out more episodes” CTA.
Ideas to check out:
- Hosts’ biographies provide credibility to the podcast.
- Opt-in forms are located towards the footer.
- Simple and fun animations are always effective (in moderation).
Great Idea, What's Next?
You technically don’t need a website for your podcast. Still, it has many benefits, and here are some:
- Discoverability: The easier it is for your potential audience to find your content, the more new subscribers you’ll get.
- Content ownership: If you have a site for your podcast, your visitors will have just one place where they can search through each episode, share your project with others, and learn more about you.
- Added value: Every time you publish something new, you can add a blog post or accompanying resource. Google will then pick up your blog posts, attracting new visitors.
Building your own website is one of the key steps in your marketing strategy, especially if you want to start a podcast. Your website is where you can represent your business, unique ideas, fresh content, and updates related to your project.
The key factor to launch your WordPress site is your host. Nexcess offers scalable hosting packages you can adjust to your business needs and cover all the technical aspects as it grows.
Check out Nexcess’ Fully Managed WordPress Solutions to get started with your podcast website today.