Essential things to know before starting a Podcast

Are you wondering if starting a podcast is right for you? Here’s a glimpse behind the curtain, with essential things to consider before starting a podcast and making that commitment.

Are you wondering if it’s worth becoming a podcaster? 

Well, there are a few things you must know before you enter the world of podcasting. Many people think that podcasting is all fun and recording, but, like any serious endeavor, it takes a lot more work than it looks like from the outside. That’s not to say that podcasting can’t be a fun, rewarding, and profitable job; it’s just that the reality of the podcasting life looks much different from the inside. 

That’s why in this post, we’ll share seven things we think you should know before starting a podcast. Use them to steer yourself in the right direction from the start, and make sure you have a clear understanding of what the world of podcasting is really like.

1. Know the ‘What’ and ‘Why’ from the Beginning

First, it’s important to be able to answer the important questions about your podcast before you get started. What is it about? And, probably most importantly, why are you doing it? 

Beginning a podcast without a defined plan is like starting a journey without a map. You might get there eventually, but you’ll waste a lot of time and fuel while you do it.

Many beginner podcasters make the mistake of not having a good idea of their niche, style, and audience before they start. While some have stumbled into success by finding their way through trial and error, it’s much easier to start out with a plan. 

First, do a bit of soul-searching. Why do you want to start this podcast? Do you have something valuable to teach the world? Do you just like to talk? Do you dream of being paid to interview guests you admire?

Write down your goals and your big “why.” Stick this note somewhere you’ll see it, like on your computer or your bathroom mirror. Let your “why” guide all your other decisions so that you don’t waste time going down paths that won’t lead you where you want to go.

Then, tackle the “what.” Ask yourself the following:

  • What topic will your podcast cover? Whether it’s politics, gardening, or philosophy, choose a direction. Don’t leave your podcast opening to whatever you feel like talking about that day—that’s what diaries are for.
  • What’s your niche? Your podcast niche is what you focus on within your chosen topic (and the angle you approach it from). For instance, you may want to start a fitness podcast—but it can be hard to find an audience with so broad a topic. You may want to niche down to focusing on marathon training or yoga. 
  • What will the structure of your podcast be? There’s a wide variety in the podcasting world when it comes to structure. Will you have an interview podcast? Will it be a casual conversation between two hosts? Perhaps you’ll go solo, or create a narrative podcast. It’s up to you!  

Knowing the what and how of your podcast makes it much easier to start off on the right foot. Being consistent from day one helps you find a loyal audience, have a direction, and not waste your own time or resources struggling to find your groove on the fly.

2. Focus on the Value You Bring to Your Audience

As a new podcaster, you’ll be tempted to keep the podcast focused on yourself. After all, you’re the host, right? You might be excited to interview your guest or talk about your topic because you’re interested in them. But don’t assume something is universally interesting just because you think it is.

Why should your audience care?

Remind yourself constantly to see your podcast through your audience’s eyes. One helpful marketing technique that works well for podcasters too is called an audience persona. Marketers often create a target audience persona to visualize their ideal customer and their preferences, likes, and needs. Why not do the same with your podcast? 

Visualize your ideal listener—and create your podcast with them in mind. Why are they interested in listening to you? What value are you providing to them? What is your unique selling point (USP) that makes them tune in to your show instead of one of the millions of other podcasts out there?

Make sure to keep the value you create for your audience at the forefront of your podcast. Keep your audience in mind by:

  • Involving your audience whenever you can by asking for feedback, reading their questions/comments on the show, etc.
  • Respecting your listeners’ time by being concise and keeping episodes as short as you can

3. You Don’t Need to Spend a Fortune—But You DO Need a Quality Setup 

For beginner podcasters, it’s easy to assume you need a fancy studio with high startup costs in order to produce high-quality content that competes with the big podcasts.

Thankfully, though, this isn’t necessarily the case. You can even start a podcast for free, though we’d suggest investing in a few basics.

For many podcasters, a plug-and-play podcast microphone is a minimalist solution that does the job well. And as for a camera for video podcasting, you can go with a fancy camcorder on a tripod—but often, an affordable external webcam works just as well for your needs. 

Decide on your priorities (budget, quality video/audio output, ease of use, etc.) and pick a simple setup that meets those priorities.

You’ll also need to choose podcast recording software. Thankfully, there are affordable options out there that produce high-quality audio and video.

Wokpa, for instance, lets you record studio-quality content directly from your browser. Each participant can join with a click, and the audio and video streams are recorded and hosted easily (so you don’t have to worry about slow or interrupted internet connections).  You can find out more here

4. Podcasting Takes a LOT of Planning and Organization

As much as it might sound fun to sit in front of a microphone and share things, take it from me: podcasting is as much about the behind-the-scenes work as it is about recording.

For instance, you’ll need to create a podcast script before each episode. How detailed you make it is up to you; but in order to make an episode that doesn’t need hours of editing, you’ll need to go into each recording session with a written plan.

After the recording is over, you’ll also need to create show notes for your episode. These notes are a description of the episode’s contents. 

Including show notes and transcripts helps your audience learn more about your podcast before deciding to listen, as well as refer to any resources you mention in the episode. 

Hefty tasks though they are, writing scripts and show notes are just two of several tasks involved in creating a successful podcast episode. In order to keep all the behind-the-scenes tasks straight, it’s probably best to keep a checklist of every step that goes into production. Your checklist might include:

  • Generate topic ideas
  • Reach out to interviewees
  • Research and write podcast outline/script
  • Schedule interview/recording session
  • Record sponsored content
  • Record the episode
  • Edit episode and prep for publication
  • Write a description and show notes
  • Create a transcript of the episode
  • Write and schedule promotional social media posts  

As you can see, creating one episode of quality podcast content takes a lot of planning, organization, and behind-the-scenes work. For instance, you might write the scripts for several episodes at once. On another day, when you have several hours free, you may batch-record episodes (or portions of episodes). 

Staying organized and finding a groove that works for you is key to consistency and sustainability.

Starting a Podcast: Hard Work, But Extremely Rewarding

Many podcasting newbies or aspiring podcasters have the wrong idea about what it’s like to do the job. Starting a podcast involves in-depth planning and organization, and you always need to keep both your own goals and your audience’s needs in mind if you want to create a quality, consistent podcast from the beginning.

And while you don’t necessarily need to spend a fortune on your setup, it’s also important to understand that you’ll need to invest in the right equipment and podcast recording tool—and know that making an income is a rewarding process. 



Want to learn more? Head over to our dedicated guide on How Wokpa works. Ready to start recording? Sign up on Wokpa for a seamless podcasting experience.

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