Podcasts have taken the world by storm, becoming an incredibly popular medium for creative expression and digital communication. With their ease of access and abundance of know-how, podcasts are becoming increasingly important in today’s media landscape.
Whether you’re just starting out or already a podcasting pro, having a detailed podcast checklist can make all the difference in launching your show. In this article, we’ll walk through the complete guide to launching a podcast, exploring each step of the process and giving you the resources you need to take your show to the next level.
Click Use Template to get started now, or keep reading to learn more about launching your podcast.
How to Start a Podcast Using this Podcast Checklist
Starting a podcast can seem like a daunting task for even the most experienced professionals. It takes a lot of time and work to develop, launch, and maintain a successful podcast. Luckily, there is a way to break the process down into manageable steps using this podcast checklist, so you can easily make sure you’ve completed everything you need to do before launch day.
If you want to access a complete template including sample calendars, task lists, and document templates (including this one) for every stage of podcast production, check out our comprehensive Podcast Planning Template.
1. Create a Podcast Concept
While some podcasts explore a wide variety of topics, it's better to focus on a niche - covering a specific audience and providing valuable content. To create a successful podcast concept, ask yourself the following questions:
- Who is your target audience?
- What topics will you cover?
- Is there a specific angle on certain subjects that can be explored?
By exploring a niche you can attract listeners who are passionate about the same things you cover on your podcast. This will help you to cultivate a dedicated and engaged audience, who will share and promote your podcast to others.
2. Brainstorm Names and Research Availability
From a branding standpoint, you want to create a name that immediately communicates the mission of your podcast and what people can expect when they listen. Brainstorm creative and fun ideas for names. To narrow down your list, research availability of the official podcasts page links and social media accounts to make sure the name you select is not already being used.
It’s also a good idea to research trademarks related to your name. To protect your project from huge legal headaches, search the United States Patent and Trademark Office and European Union Intellectual Property Office to make sure nobody else is using it. If the name you have in mind is not available, try a variation or expand your initial search. The goal is to create a name that is unique, memorable, and available.
3. Choose a Category
Choosing a category for your podcast is an important step as it will determine where your show sits in online directories, as well as how potential listeners can find it. When you decide which category best fits your podcast, you also need to consider any sub-categories that are available. For example, if the podcast focuses on productivity, you may want to choose ‘Self-Improvement’ as the main category and ‘Productivity’ as a sub-category. It is important to be as detailed as possible.
4. Decide on a Format
You’ll want to decide whether your podcast will be audio only, or audio and video. Each format has their own advantages. For audio-only podcasts, the main benefit is that you don’t have to worry about buying video and lighting equipment. Podcasts produced solely with audio are generally easier to produce and require less time and money.
Video podcasts, on the other hand, are usually more professional and have the potential to attract a wider audience. Of course, you can always start with audio-only podcasting and then move onto video formats when you decide you want to create a higher production value.
5. Create a Publishing Schedule
Establishing a podcasting schedule and sticking to it is key to retaining your audience. Here are some tips to help you create a workable publishing schedule:
- Identify your ideal publishing frequency. Daily, weekly, and monthly podcasts are common.
- Plan ahead. To ensure smooth production and editing of your podcast, plan ahead for at least several episodes.
- Plan your guests. Inviting and scheduling guests should be part of your long-term planning strategy. Allow yourself enough time to reach out, get a response, and potentially reschedule if necessary.
- Stick to the schedule. As you work on crafting the schedule, be sure to stick to it. Listening to podcasts is a commitment, and your fans will rely on you to provide consistent content each week.
6. Create Podcast Cover Art
Having impactful, attention-grabbing podcast cover art is important to attracting new listeners. If you have design experience, you can try to design it yourself. Or hire a designer from an online marketplace to create some options for you to choose from. Resize your artwork to the required size for your podcast hosting provider, such as 3000 x 3000 pixels, and save your work as a JPG or PNG file.
7. Create Intro and Outro
Now that you’ve got your main content planned and laid out, it’s time to start creating the intro and outro that will make your podcast sound professional. Having a memorable introduction and conclusion will make your podcast more appealing to listeners and provide a nice audio bookend to each episode. Additionally, having music and soundscapes will make the listening experience more enjoyable and easier to follow along with.
Intros should be no more than a few seconds and should serve as a way to explain what the episode will be about. If you have a signature catchphrase or a unique tone, make sure to include that in your intro. Outros should provide a summary of what was discussed, as well as end with a call to action for listeners to return for the next episode.
8. Create Marketing Assets
With your podcast in full swing, you’re going to want to make sure as many people know about it as possible. To do that, you’ll need to create marketing assets. Not only will these assets help you reach out to potential listeners, but it will also give your podcast a professional look.
Create social media assets such as cover art and infographics. Use visually appealing images and words that will attract attention and engage readers. You can also create a short teaser video (no longer than 30 seconds) that provides a sneak peek into the episode. It should include key talking points and be visually appealing.
Social media and email marketing are two of the best ways to promote your podcast, so make sure to create assets that will make people take notice.
9. Choose Audio Editing Software
Audio editing is used to give your podcast high-end production value and make sure your audience gets the best experience. It will also allow you to correct mistakes and improve sound quality for your audio files. Popular software options include Descript, Runway and Adobe Podcast, but you can also edit them locally on your own computer using traditional audio editing software.
Once you’ve settled on the software, take some time to familiarize yourself with its features. Most audio editing software comes with tutorials, which can help give you a better understanding of how to use it. The more familiar you are with the software, the easier it will be to produce high quality podcasts.
10. Purchase Equipment
The most important piece of equipment for any podcast is a good quality microphone. When purchasing a microphone, it’s important to consider the type, size and type of capsule, as well as the connectivity options. Popular microphones include the Yeti USB microphone, and the Shure SM7B dynamic microphone. It's also a good idea to purchase a pop filter to reduce “plosive” sounds from consonants, such as ‘b’ and ‘p’ sounds and suppress any background noise that may be present in the audio recording.
Headphones are also necessary for podcasting, particularly if you’re recording a video podcast. If you're recording a video podcast, you may also need to purchase lights. Lights will help to illuminate your face and will ensure that everyone looks their best.
11. Choose Podcast Hosting Platform
Podcast hosting platforms provide easy-to-use tools for uploading, distributing, and tracking each podcast episode. These tools allow you to simultaneously publish to many podcast directories such as Apple Podcasts and Spotify, and embed your RSS feeds into your website or blog. Simplecast, Libsyn, and Podbean are all good options for hosting, distributing, and tracking your podcast.
Once you’re ready to go, submit your podcast feed to the various podcast directories so they can be approved ahead of time. Getting approved on every platform will ensure your audience can listen to your podcast wherever they prefer.
12. Create a Website for your Podcast
Creating a website is an optional step, but can add a professional marketing asset your arsenal. There are many out-of-the box website platforms such as Webflow and Squarespace that can help you setup a website fast. You may also want to consider launching blog posts to gain valuable search engine traffic.
Think about including elements such as your podcast logo, description and personal bio. Also include episode listings, show notes, links to listening platforms and your social media handles. Make sure that you also include a “subscribe” call to action on every page of your website.
Finally, be sure to set up hosting analytics on your website using Google Analytics or other tools. This will provide you with useful data that can help you make decisions about your podcast.
13. Create Social Media Profiles for your Podcast
Another optional step, creating social media profiles for your show can provide you an additional channel to market your podcast. However, if you already have personal or business profiles with high engagement it may be best to utilize those first to tap into an already engaged audience. To learn more about promoting your podcast, checkout our Podcast Marketing Plan Template.
14. Start Recording
You've got your show concept, equipment, editing tools and more. You're now ready to start recording. Make sure you check out our Podcast Prep Guidelines to ensure you and your guest are prepare for the highest quality recording session.
Create your podcast with Assemble
Utilize our template to get started fast on launching your podcast and collaborating with your team.
1. Open the Template
Open this template by clicking Use Template. The template will be created within a new blank project in Assemble.
2. Edit the Template as Needed
Click anywhere within the text to begin adding to or editing the template.
3. Share the Document
Click Share and select Share Document to easily distribute the document to your entire team with one click. You can even track who has viewed the document.
4. Save the Updated Template
Next, click the menu in the top right and select Save as Template to save it into your your personal template library.
Producing a Podcast with Assemble
Assemble enables podcasters to create a centralized hub to manage their entire project from start to finish - including documents, calendars, task management and asset management.
By using this podcast checklist template, you'll get access to all of Assemble's powerful features. Assemble helps you keep production moving quickly and efficiently with our advanced collaboration tools built for producers.
Get started for free by clicking Use Template to begin exploring all of Assemble's features today.