Podcast Tips – 10 Tips You NEED To Know To Start A Successful Podcast

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Key Times To Listen To

00:04:45 Start a podcast to share stories.

00:08:01 Don’t use copyrighted music.

00:13:31 Invest in quality microphone.

00:18:48 Be consistent and publish everywhere.

00:19:25 Promote your podcast strategically.

00:24:39 Manage Your Expectations.

10 Things You NEED To Know Before Starting Your Podcast AUDIO

Niall Mackay: [00:00:00] I'm Niall Mackay, the podcast guy founder of Seven Million Bikes podcast, and I started my first podcast in 2019 called a Vietnam podcast, which is now in the top 10% of podcasts worldwide and been downloaded nearly 50,000 times. I've since then grown Seven Million Bikes podcasts to host produce an edit podcast for clients around the world in diverse fields like it, pharmaceutical, marketing, furniture, beer, and tourism.

I also recently launched a comprehensive online course that will take you step by step from a podcast beginner to an expert in just one week. Starting a podcast changed my life and my mission is to help people join me on the podcasting journey. Podcasts right now are more popular than ever. You might have some great ideas.

You want to share stories or maybe even market your business to a wider audience. You have your content thought out, but [00:01:00] now what are the next steps? Can you just record your podcast on an iPhone? Do you need to shell out for expensive recording equipment or hire a studio? How do you share your podcast with the world?

I'm gonna provide a guide for recording podcast and to help you decide what choices you need to make Next. Many people think that making a podcast is easy, and it can be at its most basic, but it's also why most shows pod fade within seven episodes. That's when a podcast just stops suddenly and disappears and doesn't produce any more episodes.

To avoid this, produce a quality show that reaches people across the world, attracts loyal listeners, and even potential sponsors. I'm gonna share with you my 10 things you need to know. So I'm gonna break this down into three steps. One is before you record. Two is recording and three after you record. So let's get started with what you need to do before you record.

First thing you have to do is choose a topic and a. For the topic, choose something that you're passionate [00:02:00] about, whether it's cabbage patch dolls, nineties era, hip hop, or even the weather. okay Maybe not the weather, cuz that sounds pretty boring. But you know, maybe other people want to talk about the weather as well.

So if that's something you're passionate about, make a podcast about the weather. Do what excites you. Remember, there is always an audience out there. You just have to look at the amount of niche content there is on YouTube these days and beyond in the internet to see that if you are into something, someone else will be too.

This can also help attract sponsors. Now before you get excited, if you are getting into podcasting for sponsors and trying to make money, there's probably a million better ways out there to do that. You can go to my website, Seven Million Bikes dot com, and you can download my free pdf, which we'll share with you seven Ways to Monetize Your Podcast, which will help you do that.

But don't make it your number one goal, but if you're interested, Hammers and nails, and you wanna make a podcast about different types of hammers and different types of nails, and the people who are listening are into different [00:03:00] types of hammers and different types of nails. Who do you think is gonna sponsor you?

McDonald's, of course, obviously, I'm kidding on. But a DIY shop. Doesn't matter the size of your audience, a DIY shop are gonna wanna sponsor your podcast because you're getting in front of their audience. So remember, the more you niche, even with a small audience, you have an engaged and interested audience about that specific topic.

Now once you've chosen that, it's time to choose your name, keep it short and succinct, just a few words, maybe two or three at most, up to 20 characters, so it can be easily read on podcast players. And unless your podcast is about podcasts, then avoid the World Podcast in the title. I didn't know this when I started my show called a Vietnam podcast.

I still think that's a good name, but you have a short title to try and make an impact to grab people's attention. And if you use the word podcast and your show is not about podcasts, you're wasting that precious, precious space. And by the way, I did look, there was a podcast [00:04:00] about Hamels. It's called The Thumb and Hammer Home Improvement Podcast.

So go check that out if that's something you're excited. Number two, once you've chosen your niche and your name, now you need to choose how you want to present your show. There are various different ways you can do this, and while as an independent podcaster, you don't need to stick to the same format each episode, but most successful podcasts will stick to just one format for consistency, and that's what I would recommend as well.

But there are a range of different formats out there. So depending on what you choose, you could do a solo podcast interview, group discussion, talk about news and current events. You could do a review podcast, even a reaction podcast. Those are super popular on YouTube, but I've never seen them in uh, a podcast format.

So that could be fun. You could do storytelling, discussion, investigative drama fiction. It goes on and. If you just want to talk about your day or current event on the latest Netflix show for 15 minutes, then probably a solo podcast is gonna be good, and it's not gonna take up a huge amount of time. If you want to do an investigative [00:05:00] podcast, it's gonna take up a huge amount of time.

So just think about that before you choose your format, how much time you have to dedicate to making it. I spoke to Tracy and Winn Mang from the Vietnamese boat People podcast before, and she told me how 30 minutes of content took her 60 hours to make. That wasn't including the night school and the extra learning she undertook.

To learn how to tell a good story, an investigative podcast would probably take even longer. You should also consider whether you want your content to be evergreen. Evergreen means that content is always relative, no matter when you listen. I'm always reminded of my favorite TV show friends and why it has lasted so long in the popular culture outside of their clothes and some of their cultural attitudes.

There's no reference to current events in the show at all. In one episode, they watched the Super Bowl, but the teams are never mentioned as this would immediately date the episode. This was clearly done intentionally, and I made the same decision before I [00:06:00] did my first ever podcast episode to make sure all my episodes were ever green.

So current events were rarely discussed, and if they did come up, I often cut them out in the editing afterwards. If you go back and listen to my first ever episode of a Vietnam podcast, if you didn't know it was recorded in May, 2019, it could have been made yesterday. And I still get listeners messaging me telling me that they've just listened to that episode and they had no idea that it was made so long ago.

Number. Cover art. You need to choose an overall design for your podcast that will be seen everywhere your podcast is posted. Remember, that's not just gonna be on your phone. It could be on a TV dashboard in your car. It could be on a big screen TV as well. You can also choose to design an art for every single episode, or if not, the main art will just show.

The main tips for this are make it stand out and make it obvious. Make it a large font so it's easy to read. Make the pictures or the design relevant to your podcast and make sure [00:07:00] it's not too busy as well. I know they say you shouldn't judge a book by its cover. I judge a bottle of wine by the label.

People are gonna look at your podcast on Spotify or Apple Podcast, and they're gonna judge it based on what the artwork looked like. Now if art and design is not your niche, just like me, there are plenty of creatives on fiber that will be available to help you with or in your local area. And if you're on a tight budget or you wanna do it yourself, I recommend using Canva as there are plenty of templates on there that can be edited to fit your needs.

I use Canva for everything from website graphics to podcast cover art. There's so many templates to choose from and it makes it so, so easy to. There's so much that you can do with it. I just, I honestly can't recommend it enough. There is a link in the description for Canva so you can go and try it out for free and if you do upgrade to the pro version, you will be supporting me, so that's amazing cuz I'll get a small commission.

But act no extra charts to you. Number four, there's only one really big important rule to this. Don't use copyright [00:08:00] music. Number two, a little louder. Don't use copyright. Number three. Okay. You get the picture right, but this is one of the most common questions I see in Facebook podcast groups, and the answer every time is, no, no, and no.

No matter how small you think your podcast is, you don't want a record company label sending you a cease and desist letter and then having to delete a re-edit all your great episodes. AI can also scan for the use of copyrighted music and automatically remove your content. So don't. If you really, really, really do want to use a license track, then you're gonna have to get in touch with the rights holder directly to see how much the fee is for the license.

That doesn't mean the musician. It might be another bigger company that owns the rights. You could contact the musician directly if it's a, a smaller artist, but if not, you're probably gonna have to contact the record company. And look, nobody's got time for that, so it's best not to bother. And also, if you use copyrighted music without permission, it's just illegal.

So just do the right thing. There [00:09:00] are plenty of other options. My main recommendation is Pixa Bay. There's also YouTube audio library, or you could just pay somebody to do it if you do want bespoke music for your show. Luke no further than our own. Lewis Wright. Lewis is a music producer and sound engineer who made the intro music for a Vietnam podcast, which arguably gets more comments and positive feedback than the podcast itself.

Um, and he also makes the music for all the clients we work with. And just remember one thing, don't use copyrighted music. Number five is the hosting platform. The hosting platform is where you upload your recording to. The platform will then help you publish to all the podcast directories like Apple Podcast, Spotify, Stitcher, Acast, all of these ones that you might not have heard of.

Apple Podcast and Spotify are the biggest ones, but they still only make up a total of 60% of all downloads. So there are many, many other apps that you need to get on out there to make up that final 40% and make sure you don't neglect them. [00:10:00] Previously in the beginning of podcast, you'd have to publish on something called an RSS feed.

I don't even really know what that is. Then you'd have to apply separately to each and every platform that you wanted to appear. Now, thankfully, to podcast hosts with a few clicks of a button. This is all taken care for you. When you do choose your podcast host, make sure to look at all the different packages.

Most of them will charge a fee depending on which package you choose. When I first started out, I analyzed all the major platforms at the time. This was in 2019, and I chose Buzz Pro. Since I chose Buzz Spro, I've never regretted it and absolutely recommend. You'll get a great looking podcast website, audio players that you can drop into other websites, detailed analytics to see how people are listening.

Two, to promote your shows and even more. They do send weekly newsletters with loads of great tips to help you build your show, and the customer service is amazing. As I said, go out and check them all. Check out the pricing. They're all slightly different based on how many downloads you get, how many hours of podcasts you're [00:11:00] uploading.

But check them all out. See which one works best for you. I do recommend Buzz Spro. The link again, is in the description, and if you do use Buzz Sprout, we will both get $20 credit. So win-win. And by the way, this isn't why I recommend Buzz Pro. I've been using them for years. I only found out about this recently.

So we're gonna move on to the second part now, which is recording. How do you actually record your podcast? Now you've got your topic, name your niche, you've got your cover art, and you know how you're gonna distribute it. How are you gonna make it? So the first one, and the biggest question you see being asked is, what microphone do I use and can you use a smartphone?

I mean, if you wanna test the water and see if podcasting is something you're gonna enjoy and you don't wanna spend the money, then sure you can go and use a smartphone. But it's gonna give you a pretty low quality recording, um, even if you're in a really good quiet room with, uh, and a little bit of good mastering afterwards.

But it is a cost free way of creating your first product and entering into the world of podcasting. So don't let it put you off. Using your phone to [00:12:00] record can be great to test it, gain some experience and see how much you enjoyed the process. Then if you decide that you wanna do more episodes, you could invest in a microphone.

I wouldn't recommend doing more than one episode on a phone. It's not that fun. And look, in this day and age listeners won't tolerate poor quality audio like this. Um, right now, listeners are used to big media companies making podcasts. They don't want to hear you on your iPhone six, making a podcast.

There are two types of microphones used for podcasting. USB microphone is the cheapest and easiest way to make a podcast. You just need to plug it straight into your laptop and you're ready to go. One of the best options and a pioneer of the SB microphone market is the Blue Yeti by Logitech. You've probably heard of this already, if you've looked into microphones at all, one of the biggest.

You can get this for about a hundred dollars US, and it's a good low budget option for anyone first getting into podcasting, and as I said, it's also easy to use. You just need to plug it into your laptop. There are many [00:13:00] other options as well though that range from about a hundred to $200. You can get the Blue Yeti X, the audio Technica, or the road nt.

There are a few drawbacks to using, uh, U S P microphones such as pull noise and shop control, and there's less depth in accuracy when compared to the other microphone. But as I mentioned, the main benefit of a USB mic is it will plug directly into your computer and you can record from there without the need for a mixer, which adds more complexity and more cost.

And that brings me to XLR microphones. These are the type of microphones that you would see a singer use on stage. And if you're looking for quality and are comfortable with spending a little more money than you probably want to consider an XLR microphone.

there are two types of microphones. There are dynamic and condenser microphones. A dynamic microphones dynamic. Microphones are less sensitive, so won't pick up as much background noise. Condenser makes on the other hand, while they offer higher accuracy and more depth when recording, they're more sensitive.

[00:14:00] So in an untreated room, which most independent podcasters are using, a condenser make me sound worse than a dynamic make as it will pick up more background noise. And for any podcast recording, you want to find a quiet space away from fans, air conditioners, and outside noisy, such as traffic. In the best case scenario, you'll be recording in an acoustically treated room, but as a beginner, this is gonna be unlikely.

Instead, just do the best you can to create a quiet environment for recording. Another thing to consider when purchasing a dynamic or condenser excel on mic is how to connect it to a device for recording. Unlike a u sb, you are gonna need an audio interface. The best option and what I'm using right now is the pod track P four by Zoom to connect to my sure SM 58.

You can connect up to four microphones on the pod track. It records into mini SD card, so you can take that, put it straight onto your computer, and it's easy and portable so you can use it anywhere. If you do wanna get an XLR [00:15:00] microphone, the best options are the sure SM 58, which is only about a hundred dollars, so it's good for a budget or the sure SM seven B, which is higher quality, but more expensive, $400.

Now if you're watching this on YouTube, you're probably looking at my background going, he just said, you need to use a treaty room. He's not in a treaty room. And that's right. I'm in a big echoy room right now. This is where the magic of your editing software comes in. So we're gonna move on to number seven and talk about editing software.

Now, this could be a whole course in itself and there are plenty of out there, and there are plenty of YouTube videos out there that you can go and watch for all of the different podcast softwares out there. If you're like me and you have no background or training in this, don't be scaled. If you're computer savvy, it's relatively easy to pick up.

Editing will take the longest out of any steps making the show. If you remember, I mentioned in the beginning it took Tracy and Winman 60 hours for 30 minutes of content for her first Vietnamese boat people [00:16:00] episode. It's reasonable though to expect a minimum of three to one. So you're gonna take three hours to record one hour of raw audio, and there are two types of editing as well.

You've got content editing and distraction. Distraction editing is concerned with removing all those clicks, noisy, long pauses, ums as, and filler words like you know, that take away from the quality and the content of the show. Content editing is removing unnecessary content or editing the material to create a narrative or fit to your time limit.

Once again, this is completely up to you what you want to do. If you're an independent podcaster, you can do a one and done and just record the podcast with no editing. I wouldn't recommend this unless your podcast is really smooth. Listeners don't want to hear you mumble and stumble through your podcast, and there's too much good quality content out there for that, so don't fall into that track.

You can do distraction editing manually using GarageBand. This is what I used to do, but it takes a [00:17:00] lot of time. It's really laborious. You have to cut out every single um, and air, but I recommend you use Descript, which is much easier to use. You can edit like a doc, and it's got AI tools that will automatically remove all those filler words.

For all of my podcasts that I work on, and from the very beginning, I've always focused on quality. Not everyone agrees with me, but I believe that quality is more important than content. You can have the best content in the world, but if you have horrible audio, then no one will want to keep listening. So the main ways that I recommend to edit your podcast, our D script, which is only $12 a.

Garage Band, which is free on Mackay. There's Audacity, which you can download free for Windows. There's, uh, Adobe Audition. And then most of all, just hire Seven Million Bikes podcast. This is what I do. So if you wanna free up some time, get in touch with me and I'll be able to help you edit your podcast.

Number eight is scheduling. Another common question asked across all [00:18:00] Facebook groups is, when's the best time to publish? What day is it? What time, what minute, when in the lunar cycle is the best time to publish my show? That'll get the most downloads. I was tiring reading these questions. I've yet to see any data that says you should publish on Tuesday 11:43 AM but only when Mercury is in retrograde.

Number one rule, you will read and the I follow religiously is be consistent. As a listener, I find nothing more frustrating than podcasts that are published infrequently. The podcasts that I follow are consistent and I know when they'll be available and when I can listen to them on my schedule. If not, they'll likely fall off my radar and lose my attention even when they do eventually post an episode.

So choose a day, a time, and a frequency and stick with that. Moving on to our final part, what do you do after you've recorded? Now you need to figure out where to publish. And the answer is everywhere. Use your hosting platform to make sure you are on [00:19:00] every single platform available. As I mentioned, Spotify and Apple are the biggest, and you may not have heard of others like Stitcher or Podcast Addict and Overcast, but over 40% of podcasts are listened to on these platforms, all who consider YouTube.

But this requires recording a podcast on a camera which needs more equipment, and then it's more work than just audio recording. And importantly, and again, this can be controversial and I'll say it over and over again. If you only do a video show, it's not a podcast. Podcasting is using it to put it on Spotify, apple Podcast and available to listen on audio.

If you make an audio podcast, you also put on YouTube, you can call it a podcast, but it's not a podcast if it's only on YouTube. Alright, I'm glad we got that cleared up. You can tell I get angry about. And number 10, how do you promote your show? I decided from the very second episode I would post a mini teaser before each episode, and I'm so thankful that I did.[00:20:00]

Every Monday on a consistent schedule, I post a two to three minute teaser, which is released like clockwork, and then the main episode three days later comes out and like magic gets 50% more listeners than the teases every time. This proved to me that the teaser was working as it was not only making people tune back in, but even more people wanted to listen.

If less people listened to the full episode than the teaser, then that would've been worrying. Also, you obviously wanna post on social media, but social media is a bewildering beast, and I've found that this is not the best way to convert people into listeners, as most of your posts won't get much engagement and likely don't leap to new listeners.

Regular listeners have told me that they enjoy the content that they see online, and while it not spark them listening to the podcast, I've realized that it keeps the podcast relevant and in front of as many eyes as possible. I like to compare this to thinking about watching a YouTube segment from popular TV shows, like a Closer Look from Seth Miles or Daily Show clips.

While [00:21:00] I will never actually watch the full show, I still really enjoy watching this mini of micro content. And of course, the more YouTube views you get, more YouTube subscribers you can get. You can convert that to actual cash if you get enough. But don't make that your number one goal. Like anything, be aware that microcontent takes time to make, which then means money.

You're either gonna spend it or you're gonna spend your own time doing it, and the payoff might not be that much in terms of new listeners to only undertake making micro content. If you have the time and the budget to do so and possibly wanna build your brand outside of podcast, listen. One of the best ways to grow your audience is to peer on other podcasts, and the reason why this is so much better than social media is because you're already talking to an audience that already listens to podcasts.

And while podcasts are growing fast crazily, not everyone listens to podcasts yet. So if you appear on a podcast, the people listening are already podcast listeners. Therefore, they're more [00:22:00] likely to wanna listen to your podcast. If you post on social media, probably about half of those people have never listened to a podcast.

So you're asking them one to do something they've never done before. And two, specifically, listen to your show. That's a big ask. It can be done, but if you wanna do it as efficiently as possible, then get in front of podcast listeners by getting on podcasts. I do have to warn you, when you do start your podcast and you invite people onto your show to be a guest, one of the consequences is that podcasts end up being about podcasters interviewing other podcasters, which can put listeners off.

So be wary about hosting too many podcasters on your show. Make sure you invite guests on that to fit your niche, but feel free to get on as many as you can. And if you do wanna find podcast guests, there are many Facebook groups and services out there that can connect you. And if you are comfortable, if you're ab, if you're able to do this, get in front of the media as much as you can do interviews on local radio [00:23:00] and on tv.

But again, the returns on this might be quite less so it could be a lot of work for not much benefit, cuz you're trying to convert non podcast listeners into podcast listeners. But the most important way, and this is promoted by Kevin Schmidlin from The Grow Your Show podcast, find where your audience is and give value to that.

Like I mentioned, if you're making a podcast about hammels, then join diy, then join DIY Facebook groups. Answer questions on Quora. Go wherever your listeners are, but please don't do the stereotypical thing of saying New episode out today. A new episode is dropped. Or the one that makes me cringe the most is when people post.

You don't want to miss this. I probably do. I'm not that interested in it. So instead, be an expert in the group or the niche that your podcast is about. Have links to your podcast and your bio and talk to people every day. Show that you're the expert. And then if it comes up in conversation, you can tell 'em, Hey, I have a podcast.

You might wanna check it out. Or if you're helping your group, [00:24:00] they're gonna go look in your bio, click your link and find that you have a podcast. And the final way that you can promote your show, and there are many, many ways, but one of the best ways to do it is to take out paid advertising, but not on social media for the reasons I already explained.

Take out paid advertising on podcast apps. Again, you're getting in front of podcast listeners and if you want to check that out, if you do use Buzz Pro, you can buy an ad on Bus Pro and they will share that with podcast listeners, or you can look at Overcast as well. So these are my top tips for that. So thank you so much for listening to my 10 tips to start a podcast.

I'm excited to help you start your journey, but before you go, I have one more bonus tip for you, and number 11 is just manage your expectations. When you first start a podcast, you'll likely refresh your downloads page every five minutes, and then get excited every time it goes up by one or two, and then despondent when it doesn't change.

Don't worry, this is totally normal and you should still definitely do this, and I [00:25:00] still do this sometimes when I put out a new episode, but one of the biggest questions I see in podcast groups, and I asked this myself for so long was how do I know if my numbers are good? From the beginning, I'd always had steady, consistent numbers.

There were 10 times what I'd ever expected and continually rose past 5,000, 10,000, 20,000, and now nearly 50,000. But I always ask myself, was this good in comparison to others? So then I found the stats from Buzz. Then I found stats from my provider, buzz Pro. You only need 31 downloads to be in the top 50% of podcasts worldwide.

30. If you have over 400, you're in the top 10%. Just remember, podcasting is not YouTube. Only the top 1% of podcasters will get thousands of listeners. In fact, the top 1% of podcasts is 5,000 listeners in the first seven days of release. And most of these are celebrities or the supported by large media [00:26:00] companies like Wondery or Amazon, and they have years of experience in building the podcast and big budgets to promote.

So just manage your expectation. If you only get 10 listeners, that is still amazing. 10 people are listening to your content. If you get 50 or a hundred, even better to make you feel even better. Just imagine what those people would look like if they were all in a room listening to you. Now imagine all those people are spread out across the world, working out, doing the dishes, or even falling asleep, all listening to your show.

That is incredible and I still think it's amazing when the first time one of my listeners told me I fall asleep listening to your podcast. It's kinda weird, but it's really cool as well. So don't worry about being the next. Joe Rogan are signing a multimillion dollar exclusive contract with Spotify yet.

In the beginning, just have fun, learn new skills, make great content, meet new people, and enjoy the ride. Thank you so much for listening to this episode. I'm really excited for you to join me. Before you [00:27:00] go, make sure you go to my website, Seven Million Bikes dot com. The link is also in the description, and go to the form at the bottom of that website and you can get my free PDF that'll tell you seven ways that you can monetize your podcast.

 Are you a content creator looking for an efficient and powerful editing tool? Then look no further than descript. Descript simplifies the editing process for audio and video content, following you to write, record, transcribe, and edit all in one platform.

I started using Descripts several years ago and it changed the way I podcast. I still can't believe what I can create from my desk at home. And the features they keep adding, including video editing, so you can get your podcast on YouTube. Best of all is the studio sound feature which turns my original audio, which I'm recording right now, and a big echoy room with my wife in the background doing the dishes, the front doors open, and even though I'm using a really good microphone, the sure [00:28:00] SM 57 when I turn on studio sound,

and at the touch of a button, it turns it into this.

But don't just take my word for it.

The pod Sound School appreciates how it eliminates the sucky parts of podcast editing, which I couldn't agree with more. When I started using Descript, I started to enjoy podcast editing, and I still do to this day. Here's just a few examples of podcasters, video creators and journalists who used the script, including Jordan Harbinger, Vox Media, the New York Times, Gimlet Media and Wild.

Join the ranks of satisfied content creators and try descript today. Go to Seven Million Bikes dot com slash pro. That's Seven Million Bikes dot com slash promos or click in the show notes and you can get one hour of free transcription per month for free to try it out.

And if you do join up, then Seven Million Bikes podcast will get a small commission which will help me create these episodes for you. Cheers.[00:29:00]

Start Your Podcast Journey Today

Starting a podcast can be a daunting task, but with the right guidance and information, anyone can join the podcasting journey and create a successful show. With the explosion of podcasts in the past few years, there are more opportunities than ever to share stories, market businesses, and reach a wider audience. To begin, one must first choose a topic and a name for the podcast that is both memorable and succinct. The topic should be something the creator is passionate about as this will make it easier to produce quality content and attract a loyal audience.

Once the topic and name have been chosen, the next step is to decide on the format of the show. There are many different formats to choose from such as solo podcasts, interviews, group discussions, news and current events, reviews, and storytelling. It is important to pick one format and stick to it for consistency.

The next step is to decide on the equipment and software needed to record the podcast. While recording a podcast on an iPhone is possible, it is not ideal as it can lead to poor audio quality. Investing in good quality podcast equipment and software will ensure the podcast sounds professional and will help to attract more listeners.

Finally, once the podcast is recorded, it must be shared with the world. This can be done through a variety of platforms such as iTunes, Spotify, and Google Podcasts. These platforms allow for a global reach and make it easier for people to find and listen to the podcast.

Starting a podcast can be a great way to share stories, market a business, and reach a wider audience. With the right guidance and information, anyone can join the podcasting journey and create a successful show. So, what are you waiting for?

Start your podcast journey today!

what makes a good podcast

Start now!

Don’t use copyrighted music

One of the most important things to remember when starting a podcast journey is to never use copyrighted music. Copyrighted music is music that is owned by a record company, artist, or another entity. Using copyrighted music without permission is illegal and can lead to hefty fines, cease and desist letters, and having to delete or re-edit all your episodes.

There are plenty of other options when it comes to finding music for your podcast. Pixabay, YouTube Audio Library, and hiring a music producer or sound engineer are all viable options. If you do choose to hire a music producer or sound engineer, make sure to do your research and find someone who has experience creating music for podcasts.

When it comes to creating podcast logos, it is important to make it stand out and make it obvious. Use a large font that is easy to read and make sure the design is relevant to your podcast. Avoid having too many images or designs as this can make the art look cluttered. If you are not an artist yourself, there are plenty of creatives on Fiverr who can help you design your art or you can use Canva, which has plenty of templates you can use to create your own art.

In conclusion, starting a podcast can be a great way to share stories, market a business, and reach a wider audience. Remember to never use copyrighted music and to find other options such as Pixabay, YouTube Audio Library, or hiring a music producer or sound engineer. When it comes to creating podcast art, make sure it stands out and is relevant to your podcast. With the right guidance and information, anyone can join the podcasting journey and create a successful show.

Start a podcast

Invest in a quality microphone

When it comes to podcasting, one of the most important investments you can make is in a quality microphone. A good microphone is the difference between a podcast that sounds professional and one that sounds amateur. While it is possible to use a smartphone to record your podcast, it is not recommended. Smartphones give you a low-quality recording, and listeners today expect higher production values. 

There are two types of microphones used for podcasting: USB microphones and XLR microphones. USB microphones are the cheapest and easiest way to make a podcast, as they simply plug into your laptop. One of the most popular options is the Blue Yeti by Logitech, which can be purchased for around $100 US. However, USB microphones have drawbacks such as poor noise and shock control and less depth and accuracy when compared to other microphones. 

XLR microphones, which are typically used by singers on stage, offer higher quality and accuracy. They come in two types: dynamic and condenser. Dynamic microphones are less sensitive and won’t pick up as much background noise, while condenser mics offer higher accuracy and more depth when recording, but are more sensitive. XLR microphones also require a mixer, adding more complexity and cost. 

When investing in podcasting microphones, it is important to consider your budget and what type of recording you will be doing. If you are just starting out and don’t want to spend too much money, a USB microphone is a great, low-budget option. However, if you are looking for higher quality and accuracy, an XLR microphone is the way to go. No matter which type of microphone you choose, make sure to find a quiet space away from fans, air conditioners, and outside noises such as traffic. Investing in a quality microphone is the first step to creating a successful podcast.

podcast setup ideas
Podcast Microphone

Publish on multiple platforms

Once you have your microphone, you will need an audio interface to connect it to a device for recording. The PodTrak P4 by Zoom is a great option for connecting up to four microphones and recording into a mini SD card. This is a great choice for those who want to keep their podcast setup portable and easy to use. 

When it comes to editing, there are two types: content and distraction. Content editing involves removing unnecessary content or editing the material to create a narrative or fit to your time limit. Distraction editing is more concerned with removing clicks, noises, long pauses, ums, ahs and filler words. There are many different editing softwares available, such as GarageBand, Audacity, Adobe Audition and Descript. Descript is a great choice for those with no background in editing, as it has AI tools that will automatically remove filler words. 

Once your podcast is recorded and edited, it is time to decide where to publish it. The best practice is to publish on every available platform. This will help your podcast reach a wider audience and increase your chances of success. The two biggest platforms are Spotify and Apple, but don’t forget about Stitcher, Podcast Addict, Overcast and YouTube. When publishing, it is important to be consistent. Choose a day, a time, and a frequency and stick with it. This will help keep your listeners engaged and ensure they don’t forget about your podcast. 

In conclusion, creating a successful podcast requires an investment in a quality microphone and the right editing software. It is important to publish on multiple platforms, and be consistent in your publishing schedule. With the right setup, anyone can create a successful podcast.

podcast hosting platforms
Distributes your show to all major podcast directories.

Promote your podcast with value

However, even with the best podcast in the world, it won’t mean much if no one is listening. Promotion is key to getting your podcast out there and building an audience. One of the best ways to promote your podcast is to provide value to the people you are targeting.

When you promote podcasts on social media, don’t just post about your podcast. Instead, post content that is relevant and interesting to your target audience. This will help to keep your podcast top of mind and encourage people to tune in. You can also create micro content such as teaser videos, which can be used to build anticipation and attract new listeners.

Another great way to promote your podcast is to appear on other podcasts. This way, you can reach an audience of people who already listen to podcasts. It is also a great way to build relationships with other podcasters and potentially collaborate on future projects.

Finally, the best way to promote your podcast is to become an expert in the field. Join online communities and groups related to your podcast’s topic and provide value to the people in those groups. This will help to establish you as an authority in the field and encourage people to check out your podcast.

Overall, it is important to remember that promotion takes time and effort. It is not a one-time thing, and you should be consistently engaging with your audience and providing value if you want to grow your podcast. With the right strategy and dedication, you can build a successful podcast and reach the audience you are targeting.

Give Value

Manage your expectations

When it comes to starting a podcast, it is important to manage your expectations. It is easy to get caught up in the idea of reaching a large audience and becoming a famous podcaster, but this is not realistic for most people. According to the podcast transcript, only 1% of podcasters have thousands of listeners in the first 7 days of release, and most of these are celebrities or supported by large media companies. It is important to remember that podcasting is not like YouTube, and it takes time to build an audience.

It is also important to be realistic about your numbers. The transcript states that you only need 31 downloads to be in the top 50% of podcasts worldwide, and 400 downloads to be in the top 10%. It is easy to get discouraged if your numbers are low, but it is important to remember that even 10 listeners is amazing. Imagine if all of those 10 people were in a room listening to you – that is incredible. 

Finally, it is important to remember that promotion takes time and effort. It is not a one-time thing, and you should be consistently engaging with your audience and providing value if you want to grow your podcast. With the right strategy and dedication, you can build a successful podcast and reach the audience you are targeting. 

How many podcast listeners should you have?
What if you’re listeners were in one room?


It is important to manage your expectations when it comes to starting a podcast. It takes time and effort to build an audience, and it is important to be realistic about your numbers. With the right strategy and dedication, you can build a successful podcast and reach your audience.



Year established





Top 10%


Get Your Voice Out and Share Your Story

From planning your content to monetizing your podcast, Niall covers everything you need to know to create and grow your own successful podcast. And if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the technical side of things, don’t worry – Niall’s got you covered with his comprehensive course, Get Your Voice Out and Share Your Story.

But it’s not just about creating a podcast for Niall – it’s about making a difference. He’s helped businesses like Delta MV reach high-value customers and individuals like Dee share important stories through their own successful podcasts.

So if you’re ready to take the leap into the world of podcasting, follow Niall’s advice and listen to Smarter Podcasting. Have a look at our past projects for more inspiration and resources.

Don’t forget to subscribe to Niall’s shows for future episodes.

In the words of Niall Mackay himself, “My mission is to help you on your podcasting journey, whether you’re at the beginning, the middle, or the end. So I hope these episodes can provide lots of interesting information for you.”

Thanks for listening to this brand new show, Smarter Podcasting. I’m Niall Mackay, the podcast guy and founder of Seven Million Bikes Podcasts. 

I’m a podcast fanatic, stand-up comedian, and teacher. My mission is to help you on this podcast journey with me!

Don’t let fear, lack of knowledge, or technical barriers hold you back any longer. Take the first step towards creating a successful podcast that reaches and resonates with your audience.

With my comprehensive course, you’ll learn everything you need to know about starting, recording, editing, and publishing your podcast. Plus, you’ll gain access to exclusive tips, tricks, and strategies that will help you stand out from the crowd and grow your audience.

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Niall Mackay, The Podcast Guy

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