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How to Start a Podcast with No Audience: Building from Ground Zero

September 20th 2023
How to Start a Podcast with No Audience
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A coffee table with a cellphone, cup of coffee, and a pair of headphones.

How to Start a Podcast with No Audience: Building from Ground Zero

Embarking on the journey of starting a podcast with no audience can be both an exhilarating and nerve-wracking experience. A successful podcast doesn’t always start with an existing audience. Sometimes, it starts with a passionate individual ready to share high-quality content with the world. In this step-by-step guide, we will explore how to build a thriving podcast from ground zero.

How to Start a Podcast with No Audience?

Starting a podcast with no guests can actually be a blessing in disguise as it allows you to hone your skills and build a strong foundation. You can focus on solo episodes where you share insights, tell stories or discuss various topics pertaining to your niche.

In the initial stages, it may seem daunting to attract podcast listeners when you don’t have an existing audience. However, the key is to focus on creating content that resonates with your potential target audience. Here’s how you can build a podcast audience from scratch:

Step 1: Define Your Niche and Target Audience

Before hitting the record button, take a moment to pinpoint who your target audience is. Whether you are creating a true crime podcast or focusing on another niche, defining your audience will help tailor your content to suit their preferences.

Step 2: Craft Your Unique Personal Brand

A personal brand acts like a beacon, attracting listeners who resonate with your values, style, and content focus. Your podcast title, logo, and description should be a reflection of your unique brand, giving potential listeners a hint of what to expect.

Step 3: Create High-Quality Content

Invest in creating high-quality content that adds value to your listeners. Research extensively, script your podcast episodes meticulously, and present your content in an engaging manner.

Step 4: Collaborate with Other Podcasts

Collaborating with other podcasts can be a great way to increase your visibility. You don’t always need an established podcast to start with; even other new podcasters can be potential collaborators.

Share Your Story

A brick wall with the words "You Are what you listen to" written in lights

Integrating your personal stories or experiences can make your podcast more relatable and interesting. Sharing your journey of building a podcast with no audience can also be an encouraging narrative for others in the same boat.

How Much Does it Cost to Create Podcasts?

The cost to create a podcast can vary greatly, depending on your setup. At a minimum, you’ll need a good quality microphone, headphones, and a quiet space to record. You’ll also need a podcast hosting platform to publish your podcast episodes. This can range from free to paid subscriptions. As you grow, you might choose to invest in better equipment, editing software, and marketing to reach a wider audience.

Remember to submit your podcast to various podcast directories to increase its visibility and reach more potential listeners.

Venturing into Podcasting: A Guide for Novices with No Technical or Production Skills

A microphone in front of a computer screen

Entering the podcasting world can seem intimidating, especially when you have no technical or production background. However, you’ll be pleased to know that many successful podcasters started with little to no expertise in this field. In this guide, we will walk you through the basic steps to start and host a high-quality podcast even if you are a complete novice.

Step 1: Pre-production Planning

A microphone on a desk stand in front of a laptop

Define Your Niche

Identify a specific area or topic that you are passionate about. Your niche will help you connect with a community of listeners interested in the same topics as you.

Choose a Podcast Format

Decide on a format that suits your style and the content you plan to deliver. This could be interview-style, narrative, conversational, or solo commentary.

How to use SEO techniques to gain an audience for a new podcast

The letter "SEO" in bold, creative letters

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your website and content so that it ranks higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). This can help you attract more visitors to your website and grow your audience.

While SEO is traditionally used for websites, it can also be used to optimize your podcast for search engines. This can help your podcast rank higher in search results when people search for keywords related to your topics.

Here are some tips for using SEO techniques to gain an audience for your new podcast:

  1. Choose podcast topics that will generate interest. The first step is to choose podcast topics that people are actually interested in. You can use keyword research tools to identify popular topics in your niche.
  2. Optimize your podcast title and description. Your podcast title and description are two of the most important factors in SEO. Make sure to include relevant keywords in your title and description, and write a clear and concise description that accurately describes the content of your podcast.
  3. Create transcripts of your podcast episodes. Transcripts are a great way to make your podcast content more accessible to search engines. You can create transcripts yourself or use a transcription service.
  4. Submit your podcast to podcast directories. Podcast directories are websites where people can discover and listen to podcasts. Submit your podcast to all of the major podcast directories, such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts.
  5. Promote your podcast on social media. Social media is a great way to promote your podcast and reach a new audience. Share links to your podcast episodes on social media and interact with your followers.

Here are some additional tips for choosing podcast topics that will generate interest:

Choose topics that you are passionate about:

Your enthusiasm for your topic will come through in your podcast, and listeners will be more likely to enjoy it.

Choose topics that are relevant to your target audience:

Who are you trying to reach with your podcast? Once you know your target audience, you can choose topics that are relevant to their interests and needs.

Choose topics that are timely and newsworthy:

People are more likely to be interested in topics that are current and relevant to their lives.

Choose topics that are unique and interesting:

There are millions of podcasts out there, so you need to find a way to make your podcast stand out. Choose topics that are unique and interesting to your target audience.

By following these tips, you can use SEO techniques to gain an audience for your new podcast and reach more listeners.

Step 2: Setting up Your Home Studio

Basic Equipment

Two women talking while recording a podcast

You don’t need a state-of-the-art studio to start a podcast. Begin with a good quality microphone, headphones, and a computer. USB microphones are often affordable and user-friendly for beginners.

Recording Environment

Find a quiet and echo-free space to record your podcast. You can create a makeshift studio using carpets, curtains, or foam panels to reduce echo.

Step 3: Recording Your Podcast

Software

As a novice, opt for user-friendly recording software, known as Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs). Audacity is a popular choice as it is free and offers a range of features suitable for beginners.

Recording Tips

  • Test your microphone and sound levels before recording.
  • Record in a quiet environment to minimize background noise.
  • Maintain a consistent distance from the microphone to ensure a steady audio level.

Step 4: Editing Your Podcast

Basic Editing

You don’t need to be a professional to edit your podcast. Software like Audacity or GarageBand (for Mac users) are quite intuitive. Focus on removing mistakes, long pauses, and background noise.

Music and Effects

Consider adding intro and outro music to your podcast. You can find royalty-free music on platforms like Free Music Archive or YouTube Audio Library.

Here is a list of royalty-free music available for podcasters to use:

  • Free Music Archive
  • Silverman Sound Studios
  • Freebeats.io
  • Incompetech
  • Pixabay Music
  • Purple Planet
  • Audionautix
  • Audiojungle
  • Audioblocks
  • Epidemic Sound
  • Pond5
  • PremiumBeat
  • Jamendo

Many of these platforms offer a variety of genres and moods of music, so you can find the perfect track for your podcast. Some platforms offer free music, while others require a subscription fee.

Here are some tips for using royalty-free music in your podcast:

  • Make sure to read the license agreement for each track before using it. Some licenses may require you to credit the artist in your podcast description or show notes.
  • Be mindful of the tone and mood of the music you choose. You want to select music that complements the content of your podcast.
  • Avoid using music that is too distracting or overpowers your voice.
  • Use music sparingly. Too much music can be overwhelming for listeners.

Step 5: Hosting and Distribution

Podcast Hosting Platforms

Once your podcast episode is ready, you’ll need a podcast hosting platform to publish and distribute it. Platforms like Anchor, Podbean, or Libsyn are popular choices that offer user-friendly interfaces and various plans including free options.

Here is a comprehensive list of podcast hosting platforms available in 2023:

  • Anchor
  • Audioboom
  • Buzzsprout
  • Captivate
  • Castos
  • Fusebox
  • Libsyn
  • Omny Studio
  • Podbean
  • RedCircle
  • Resonate
  • Simplecast
  • SoundCloud
  • Spreaker
  • Transistor
  • RSS.com

In addition to these platforms, there are also a number of specialized podcast hosting platforms that cater to specific needs, such as:

  • Acast – For podcasters who want to make money from their podcast
  • Alitu – For podcasters who want to create professional-sounding podcasts without spending hours on editing
  • Auscast – For Australian podcasters
  • Blubrry – For podcasters who want a lot of flexibility and control over their podcast
  • Castaway – For podcasters who want to create high-quality podcasts without any technical knowledge
  • Podkite – For podcasters who want to create and distribute video podcasts
  • Transistor – For podcasters who want a simple and easy-to-use podcast hosting platform

When choosing a podcast hosting platform, there are a few factors to consider, such as:

  • Pricing: Podcast hosting platforms typically charge a monthly or annual fee. Some platforms offer free plans with limited features, while others offer more premium plans with more features and storage space.
  • Features: Podcast hosting platforms offer a variety of features, such as unlimited bandwidth, automatic distribution to podcast directories, and detailed analytics. It’s important to choose a platform that offers the features that are important to you.
  • Ease of use: Some podcast hosting platforms are easier to use than others. If you’re new to podcasting, you may want to choose a platform that is known for being user-friendly.
  • Customer support: It’s important to choose a podcast hosting platform that offers good customer support. In case you have any problems, you want to be able to get help quickly and easily.

Once you’ve chosen a podcast hosting platform, you can create your podcast and start publishing episodes. Most podcast hosting platforms offer tutorials and help resources to get you started.

Submission to Directories

Submit your podcast to directories such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts to reach a wider audience. Most hosting platforms offer simple guides on how to do this.

Step 6: Promotion

Social Media

Leverage social media platforms to promote your podcast. Create engaging posts, share snippets of your episodes, and interact with your audience to build a community.

Collaborations

Collaborate with other podcasters or guests to expand your reach. Guest appearances can also help you tap into other podcasts’ audiences.

Dos and Don’ts for Creating a Podcast from Scratch

How to Start a Podcast with No Audience

Dos:

  1. Do Your Research: Understand your niche, know your target audience, and stay updated with the latest trends and information in your chosen field.
  2. Do Focus on Content Quality: Ensure that each podcast episode is packed with valuable and interesting content. This will help in organically building your audience over time.
  3. Do Invest in Decent Equipment: Having a good quality microphone and headphones can make a significant difference in your podcast’s audio quality.
  4. Do Promote Your Podcast: Utilize social media platforms, podcast directories, and collaborations to reach a wider audience and promote your podcast effectively.
  5. Do Be Consistent: Stick to a consistent publishing schedule to keep your audience engaged and coming back for more.
  6. Do Seek Feedback: Encourage your listeners to give feedback and reviews. This not only helps in building a community but also in continuously improving your podcast.

Don’ts:

  1. Don’t Get Too Obsessed with Audience Numbers: While it’s exciting to see your listener numbers grow, don’t let it dictate your podcasting journey. Focus on creating content that you are passionate about, and the audience will follow.
  2. Don’t Overcomplicate the Process: Especially when you’re starting, don’t get bogged down with complex technical setups. Begin with the basics, and gradually upgrade as you get more comfortable.
  3. Don’t Neglect Your Branding: Your podcast’s branding, including its name, logo, and cover art, plays a significant role in attracting listeners. Avoid rushing through this process and give it the attention it deserves.
  4. Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment: Podcasting is a medium where creativity thrives. Don’t shy away from experimenting with different formats, styles, and content types.
  5. Don’t Ignore Your Audience: Engaging with your audience is vital. Don’t ignore comments, messages, or feedback. Building a community around your podcast can be very rewarding.
  6. Don’t Give Up Easily: Building a successful podcast takes time. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see immediate results. Keep honing your skills and improving with each episode.

Remember, creating a podcast from scratch is a journey filled with learning and growth. Embrace the process and enjoy each step as you build your unique podcast space.

Final Thoughts

A lady with white sneakers holding a cellphone with a pair of headphones plugged in.

In conclusion, embarking on the journey to start a podcast with no pre-existing audience can indeed be a daunting venture, yet it is far from impossible. As we have seen, many successful podcasts have sprouted from humble beginnings, gradually cementing their brand identity and fostering a loyal audience over time. As a budding podcast host, your focus should be on carving out a niche that resonates with both your passion and the interests of potential new listeners.

Leveraging social media marketing can be a game-changer in this initial phase. By actively engaging with social media followers, you not only amplify the reach of your new episodes but also foster a community that eagerly anticipates each release. Furthermore, the choice of podcast topic and podcast format plays a pivotal role in attracting an audience that aligns with your content, gradually transforming your new podcast into one of the popular podcasts in your niche.

Remember, the best podcasts often stand out due to their meticulous attention to detail, including crafting compelling episode titles and descriptions that captivate potential listeners at first glance. As you venture into this exciting world, keep in mind that the journey to building successful podcasts is a gradual process. Consistency, quality, and a keen understanding of your audience’s preferences will be your guiding stars.

So, as you stand at ground zero, ready to launch your podcast, remember that with the right strategies and a persistent approach, you can indeed build a podcast empire that resonates and thrives, even without a pre-existing audience. The podcasting world is ripe with opportunities, and your unique voice could very well be the next big hit that captivates and inspires a legion of loyal listeners.

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