How to Start a Podcast in 7 Hours - SubscribeMe.fm

How to Start a Podcast in 7 Hours

By Ravi Jayagopal | Digital Creators

How to Start a Podcast in 7 Hours

The Fastest way To Plan, Create, Publish and Launch a Podcast

Ravi Jayagopal

I recently published my 7th book, "How to Start a Podcast in 7 Hours: The Fastest way To Plan, Create, Publish and Launch a Podcast".

And in this post, I've publish the entirety of it, for free. Enjoy.

What this book is about

Do you wish to create and launch a Podcast?

Wish someone gave you an easy-to-follow checklist of things to do, in the exact order, and you could just follow that list, keep checking check-boxes, and come out with a podcast on the other end?

Wish you had a simple system with specific recommendations for microphone, recording and editing software, where to submit your show to – something that quickly showed you what to do, instead of giving you 20 different options at every step, leaving you with more questions than answers?

Great! That's EXACTLY what this book helps you do: It shows you How to Start a Podcast in 7 Hours: The Fastest way To Plan, Create, Publish and Launch a Podcast , from scratch, really fast.

If you're like “Hmm, I wonder what a podcast is and whether I should start one?”, then this book is not for you.

But this book is perfect for you if you know what a podcast is, how powerful it is as a relationship-building and content marketing tool, and you’re just raring to go, wanting to dive right into the actual creation, publishing, and launching of a Podcast, and not waste time “preparing for the journey”, and would rather just “start your journey right now ”.

The Podcast Launch Checklist in the book gives you a list of questions to ask yourself - and hopefully, you answer honestly - before you even think about creating a podcast.

Many books and courses about Podcasting are like a bad superhero movie, where most of the movie is spent on the “setup” and the boring “back-story” of the hero, and forget to spend time on the actual action, characters and plot. This is not one of those books. This book is the very definition of “cutting to the chase” – you know, like the first scene of a James Bond movie.

2 Other Pieces of the Puzzle

This book addresses the biggest piece of the podcasting puzzle: Details of how to create-, publish- and launch a podcast.

But there’re 2 other components here:

1) A whole bunch of myths and untruths floating around in the podcasting space, which can greatly distract you and derail your show.

2) Promoting your podcast once it’s published: There’s a lot of bad advice online about this as well, and most things you read online only scratch the surface (“keep posting on social media” is one of those).

That is why I’ve written 2 other books about this, and you can get them both for free as a bonus (see the bonus section towards the beginning of this book).

i. i) Confessions of a Wannabe PodcaSTAR: The Biggest Podcasting Myths Busted – and the Shocking Truths about Podcasting I Wish I Knew Before I Launched My Own Show

ii) Podcast Promotion Report: How to Promote Your Podcast, Reach New Listeners, Build Your Audience and Find Your 1000 True Fans

Both books are yours for free with your purchase of How to Start a Podcast in 7 Hours.

And I’m doing that because, on one hand, I don’t want you to have to buy 2 other books (even though it would be beneficial to me :-). But I also didn’t want to combine everything into one massive book which tries to be everything to everybody and ends up getting off-track from the main goal of helping you do one thing very well.

So I just decided to give them both away for free. Just forward the paid receipt for this Kindle book to me and those 2 Kindle books are also yours for free – in PDF form.

<Sidebar>There’s one more piece to the puzzle that I didn’t mention above: Podcast Monetization. I’ll be writing a book about that at some point. But further below, I have provided links to videos and podcast episodes that I’ve created – including my presentation on stage at Podcast Movement (the largest conference in the world for Podcasters) – to point you in the right direction about monetizing your podcast.

Just a Little Bit About Me

My name is Ravi Jayagopal. I’m a Business Coach, 7x-Author, Speaker, Podcaster, Full-time Entrepreneur, Digital Marketer, and Amateur Ventriloquist.

I’ve been selling online since 1997. And I’ve created – and sold – a wide range of products and services: Information products, Desktop Software, WordPress Plugins, Membership Sites, Online Courses, E-books, Real Books, Kindle books, Audiobooks, Premium Podcasts, T-Shirts, Agency Services (Marketing, SEO, Website & Membership Site setup), Webinars, Local Meetups, Consulting and Coaching.

I’m the Co-Founder & Co-Developer of DigitalAccessPass.com (DAP), a leading membership plugin and marketing automation platform for WordPress.

I have a podcast at SubscribeMe.fm where I talk about creating Membership Sites & Online Courses, how to Create, Sell and Deliver digital content, WordPress, Podcasting, Creating Audio, Video, & Reports, and tools and tips that you can use to create a long term, profitable online business.

I live in sunny San Diego with my stunningly beautiful, super-smart wife Veena Prashanth (Co-founder & Co-developer of DAP), 2 amazing kids, and a male dog inexplicably named Vanilla! Learn more about me at SubscribeMe.fm/ravi-jayagopal

PS: And I love to play with dolls 🙂

Crowd-sourcing Microphone Suggestions

Crowd-sourcing podcasting knowledge and advice - or any kind of how-to information in general - is not exactly a very productive idea. If you try to crowd-source information via Facebook groups - even if you’ve joined the biggest podcasting group - you’re still going to get so confused with the myriad of answers with differing opinions and options that you’ll get with every question.

Here are a couple of examples.

If you see the screenshot above taken from a Facebook group, it had 33 comments (at the time) and it is just mind-blowing to think that the first 8 comments alone offer 8 different suggestions.

See this next image below – a screenshot from a Facebook group where a question about editing software gets 83 comments, and so many different tools recommended.

So imagine crowd-sourcing all of the things you need to do for a podcast:

“What mic should I use”? 50 suggestions – and that’s without the various permutations and combinations of pre-amps, mixers, noise gates, blah, blah, blah.

“Where should I host my podcast?” Another 60 suggestions.

“What editing software should I use?” Another 70.


You get the idea. It is practically impossible to get everyone’s opinion at every step of the way.

So you’ve got to kind of take a leap of faith here with me, that I won’t misguide you. I’ll give you a few options for every step of the way, and you can decide based on various factors that I’ll be pointing out.

And trust me – there’ll be plenty of time and money for you to waste down the road on more expensive equipment, of which there’s no shortage. But when you’re first getting started, you just don’t need to spend $1,000 on podcasting gear when you can do almost as well with gear that costs under $100.

And even if you could afford to throw away $1,000, that still doesn’t mean your show will get off to a great start or become a success. Buying an expensive basketball won't make you an NBA player, and an expensive tennis racquet won't get you to play at Wimbledon.

It’s all about technique, practice, focus, commitment, ability to learn, showing up every day, knowing your “Why”, knowing your audience, etc. You get the idea.

I believe in minimalism, speed, and efficiency.

Buying only what you need to, and nothing more.
Learning only what you need to, and nothing more.
Focusing and executing only on what you need to, and nothing more.

Just the wrong paths I’ll save you from getting into, the rabbit-holes I’ll prevent you from wandering into, and all the lost opportunity cost, wasted time, effort and money that I’ll stop you from buying stuff you don’t need, will save you hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars over time, and tens of wasted hours.

Ok, enough already about how awesome I am and this book is – I know that already. Now time to get you to agree with me as well 🙂

Podcast Creation Overview

Disclaimer: The totals above shows it can be done in about 5 hours. I added 2 extra hours, just in case, to give you some buffer - and hence the title “How to Start a Podcast in 7 Hours”. However, depending on how tech-savvy you are, and experience with following online tutorials, it might take you longer. So I am offering no guarantees that you’ll be able to get this done in 7 hours. That’s just how long it would take based on some of the average assumptions – like skill, tech-savviness, etc – that I’ve made for this book.

Express Track

Here’s a quick summary of everything you’ll need, regardless of whether your show is solo, interview-based, or has co-hosts.

  • Computing device: Laptop, Tablet or Smartphone (I have a Dell Windows laptop and that’s what I use to record)
  • Microphone: ATR2100x, Rode SmartLav+, etc (I use ATR2100 which has been replaced with the ATR2100x for my podcast to record via my computer, and use the SmartLav for direct-on-phone videos for content marketing)
  • Boom Arm to prevent vibrations and table- and typing noise.
  • Pop filter: Neewer Professional Microphone Pop Filter (what I have)
  • Foam Windscreen: On-Stage Foam Ball-Type Microphone Windscreen (what I have - $4)
  • Headset: Mpow 071 USB Headset (what I have) to do the recording test, hear yourself while you record (I don’t) and/or any guests or co-hosts.
  • Podcast Title, Description & Artwork
  • Audio Recording & Editing Software: Doesn’t necessarily have to be a single piece of software that does both – you could record using one and edit using another. These can do both: Audacity, Garageband (Mac), Adobe Audition, Ferrite, etc. I use Camtasia Studio*. I export the audio as a .wav file (never export directly as mp3).
  • Audio Optimization: Auphonic.com is what I use. I upload the wav file to Auphonic, and it optimizes the audio. It’s free for up to 2 hours of audio processing each month. Can turn your .wav file into .mp3. MP3 is the best-, recommended- and standard format for uploading to your podcast host. Advanced tools like Audition can do this too without having to use Auphonic.
  • Podcast Host: Libsyn.com (what I use for both my podcasts and recommend for you as well). Other terrific options: BuzzSprout, PodBean.com (have hosted with them before, and my son Rohan still hosts his currently-on-hiatus podcast, ZombiesHeroes.com.

    Anchor.fm is free, but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend a free service for hosting unless you are strapped for cash.
* Camtasia Studio is not really a true audio editor, but because I learned it years ago for recording and editing talking-head and screencast videos, and it can also record and edit audio, and I can do it pretty easily, I have continued to use it and it does its job perfectly. It can even capture the sound-card if you’re doing an interview and having someone else on an online call, using Skype, Gotomeeting, Zoom, etc. So there was no need for me to learn another tool. One tool lets me do all of my audio and video recording and editing. So if you can get it, it’s a great investment in terms of both time and money, and it’s a one-time payment, unlike Adobe Audition, which requires a monthly subscription ($20 - $50/mo.)

Configuration #1: Ravi’s Simple System

Here’s what I use and would recommend for you as well:

  • Windows Computer
  • Microphone: ATR2100x ($99)
  • Boom Arm: NEEWER Adjustable Suspension Boom Scissor Arm ($14)
  • Pop filter: Neewer Professional Microphone Pop Filter ($9)
  • Foam Windscreen: On-Stage Foam Ball-Type Microphone Windscreen ($4)
  • Headset: Mpow 071 USB Headset ($29)
  • Artwork: Got it done via 99Designs.com for super-cheap (explained later) – I paid $50 (pre-tips), but expect to pay about $100. Or $0 if you are decent at creating artwork and can create one using Canva or Photoshop.
  • Intro Music: I use AudioJungle for all my music ($20)
  • Audio Recording & Editing software: I use Camtasia Studio, but I realize that it may not be for everyone. So for you, I would recommend Audacity (free), GarageBand (Mac), Hindenburg Journalist ($95), or Ferrite App for mobile.
  • Editing: $0 (I do it myself)
  • Run .wav file through Auphonic.com and download optimized .mp3
  • Podcast Host: Libsyn.com (what I use and recommend – use coupon code subscribeme as one word, to get up to 2 months free – the rest of the month when you join and the next full month) - $7/month. Or use Anchor.fm which is free, and you can always migrate to a professional host later.

Cost
One-time: $150 - $350
Ongoing: $7/month for hosting (I recommend you upgrade a few months later to a higher plan for $20/month for more features like advanced stats, and storage).

I do the editing myself, but if you outsource it, add anywhere from $30 - $200 per episode, depending on how much work and responsibility you want the editor to take on.

Configuration #2: Ravi’s Fancy System

This configuration contains the nicer stuff, all of it just a bit more expensive. If budget were not an issue, this is what I would recommend for you (and probably for myself as well).

Cost
One-time: $1680
Ongoing: $20/month for hosting, $50/episode for editing

Configuration #3: Ravi’s Zero-Budget System

If budget is an issue, or you’re just trying to test the water, then this configuration will work good-enough to where you’ll know if this is right for you. And the first chance you get, you can switch to Configuration #1 or #2.

Pic: (source) Ira Glass, the popular host of the big-time radio show and podcast, This American Life, recording from his home closet during the Covid-19 quarantine, as he wasn’t able to get to a studio

  • Computer
  • Microphone: Whatever headset or mic you have now, – the mic in your headphones, or even the one built in to your phone or laptop. Just get close to the mic and be sure to record in a room where there’s not too much echo – like your closet.
  • Boom Arm: Don’t type, move stuff or touch the mic, and be very cautions with your movements, and you won’t need a boom arm.
  • Pop filter: Use an old pair of nylon stockings or some really thin material like that and use that to cover the microphone of your current headset.
  • Headset: Use your existing computer or phone headset
  • Artwork: Create your own with Canva.com, Gimp or other free tools
  • Intro Music: Download some great, free music from ArchesAudio (requires attribution to use for free) or FreeMusicArchive (tracks available for commercial use and remix, and in the public domain). Check their terms.
  • Editing software: Audactity (PC & Mac) or Garageband (Mac)
  • Editing: Do it yourself.
  • Podcast Host: Anchor.fm

Cost
One-time: $0
Ongoing: $0

Also, for inspiration, watch this YouTube video: “Homeless Man Produces Podcast with his Cellphone in Los Angeles” – true story. If that guy can do it, then both you and I simply have no more excuses left for not taking action!

Virtual Guests and Co-hosts

Both configurations above will work whether your show is solo, interview-based, or has co-hosts.

What you’ll need to get additional folks on your show – whether it is a guest you’re interviewing or one more co-hosts - is to use an online-meeting service or software, and you can pick from any of the following:

  • Skype (Free). Widely used, pretty stable and reliable. You can also get a Skype-in number if a guest wants to call in.
  • Zoom.us ($0 - $20/mo)
  • Ringr.com ($8 - $19/mo)
  • SquadCast.fm ($9 - $38/mo)

All of the above options have built-in recording features.

You could also use third-party software to record the audio from your call.

Mac users have software like ecamm call recorder.

Camtasia Studio can record the soundcard audio into separate tracks.

Online services like Zoom, Ringr and SquadCast also offer cloud-based recording.

Just pick one, and try out a test recording with a friend, and make sure you do it a few times before you record an actual episode.

Technology can sometimes mess things up even when you know what you’re doing – so the last thing you want to be doing is to add one more layer of complexity by not being familiar with the software or its settings on a live call with an important guest. So testing and practice are key if you are going to have anyone else other than you on the episode.

In-Person Guests & Co-hosts

A majority of the shows won’t have the time, budget or resources to have in-person guests come into a slick podcast studio. So I won’t go too deep into that. But let me quickly give you some ideas for that as well.

If you’re going to have guests or co-hosts in person, then go with the “Ravi’s Fancy System” configuration which includes a Rode Rodecaster Pro Production Studio which can be connected to up to 4 separate microphones and can record as many separate tracks. You can also use it to have someone call in via Skype or phone. And you can connect it all via USB to your computer and record it on your computer, or save it to a microSD card.

So all you need for your studio is to get more microphones, as many as the number of people you will have in the room. But to be honest, after the COVID-19 virus situation and the repercussions it will have on traveling and commuting and being in a room with someone else unless you have no other choice, I’m predicting that many video and audio shows will move to a virtual meeting format unless being there in-person is absolutely critical to the show.

Mobile Setup

If you want a mobile setup, get the Zoom H6 6-Track Portable Recorder with up to 4 microphone/line inputs (expandable to 6) and 2 built-in mics (XYH-6, MSH-6 capsules), and can also connect via USB to your computer.

But just remember that 4 mics mean the cost of the mics, boom arms and all accessories become 4X. So, don’t rush into having an on-location setup. Start with virtual calls and then as your show picks up, and your audience and revenue and budget increases, there are several cool studio setups you can put together.

Pick 1 and Go!

At every point, you have tons of options. And the pricing will vary depending on your choice, the add-ons, the plugins, etc. That will inevitably lead to tons of questions.

But these first few pages alone should give you a fantastic starting point for your show. So read through the whole book, think of everything involved, and then make a list of your questions.

And like I mentioned towards the beginning of this book, one of the free bonuses I have for you is this:

If you forward me the Amazon receipt to this book, I will do a free 15-minute call with you where you can ask me anything about anything – podcasting or not. And after the free call, I’ll also answer up to 3 questions for free.

Podcast Creation Checklist

Before You Begin

Before you get started, before you do anything at all, it’s absolutely, critically important that you take the time to think about and write down the answers to these questions.

I highly recommend that you don’t skip this step, because it will help you think about, and get clarity, on several things that you may not have previously thought of, or may have thought of only subconsciously. Putting it into words will make it a bit more real.

So, copy the following questions into your Notes file and write detailed notes with the following sections, which start with the goals for your show and your audience:

  • Why are you starting a podcast?
  • What is the overall purpose and goal of your show?
  • What are the various topics/ideas you would like to cover?
  • Who is your ideal listener?
  • What makes them your ideal listener?
  • How will your show benefit them?
  • How will your show benefit you?
  • Why they should listen to your show among hundreds of thousands of others? What makes your show different?
  • What is your show structure? (Solo, Interview, Multiple Co-hosts, etc)
  • How often will it be? (do not start with a daily show)
  • Do you wish to monetize it, either now or later?
  • If yes, how would you do that?
  • Do you have an existing audience (email list, website visitors, blog, customer list, forum, etc) in the same niche as your podcast, that you can promote your new show to right from the get-go?
  • Do you have a budget for outsourcing the post-production work (editing, optimizing audio, posting to social media, writing show-notes, etc) or are you planning on doing it all yourself?



The Details

Notes.txt

Open a text file on your computer, and give it the name of your podcast. Your podcast name doesn’t have to be final – you can change it at any time – even after you’ve launched it and published episodes. So don’t worry about getting it perfect. Don’t worry about getting ANY of this perfect. Everything is changeable – like a food recipe. And you can - and will - get better at this over time. So for the podcast name, for now, just go with the first thing that pops into your head.

So in my example, my podcast name is “Subscribe Me” – so I would title this text file SubscribeMePodcast.txt. I’m going to refer to this file as notes going forward.

Podcast Title (Name) & Description

The good news is that no matter how stunningly beautiful your podcast artwork is, I would bet real money that almost no one subscribes to a show because of how fancy their artwork is. And that’s why it drives me crazy to see that people will spend hundreds upon hundreds on the artwork, but their show name and title – and worse, the episode titles - will read like a middle schooler wrote it. Nothing against middle-school kids at all; it’s just that a school kid might not know anything about marketing, writing copy or intriguing headlines. So if there’s one thing that I heavily urge you to spend time on, it’s the title and description of your show.

That, and the description of every one of your actual episodes, can practically make or break your show in the long run. Your keywords in those 3 fields – podcast title, podcast description, and episode title are the most critical factors in being found in podcast app searches because a majority of podcast apps – including Apple’s own Podcasts app – primarily search only those 3 fields.

E.g., if a listener searches for “online courses” in a podcast app, most apps will primarily look for the words “online courses” in those 3 fields. So it’s not just important for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in the various podcast apps’ search engines, but it’s also important for a potential listener to quickly know what your show is about, and more importantly, what your episode is about.

This is why all the keywords in all 3 fields need to be relevant, concise, and intriguing, at the very least.

Warning: Do not spam or keyword stuff (using your primary keywords too many times for the sake of showing up higher in search) your main podcast title or description. Your show could get pulled at any time for doing that, and if it’s a new show, it might not even get approved to be in the Apple Podcasts directory. And losing out on that is almost a death-knell for your show because there are a lot of 3rd-party podcast apps that mirror the Apple Podcasts directory. So if your show is not there, it won’t be found in either the Apple Podcasts directory or those other apps.

Also, do not include episode numbers at the beginning of your episode titles. Only a very small portion of that will show in search results, and you don’t want your potential listener to just see something like “SBE Podcast Episode Number 256…”. Skip the acronyms and extraneous stuff. If you must include your episode number, do it towards the end of the episode title, like: “Generosity of Strangers is a Flawed Business Model – 96”.

Also, Apple requires that you put your episode numbers in a separate special field. And some podcast hosts - like Libsyn – provide you that field when entering your episode details. So you can enter the number there, as well as in the regular field for other apps that don’t support that special field.

Next, download Apple’s Podcasts app, Overcast.fm iOS app or PocketCasts. Search for the name of your new show (that you’re currently thinking of). Make sure there aren’t too many shows already with the same name. The reason this is important is that when you later tell your listeners on your show to search for <podcast name> in their favorite podcast app so they can subscribe to it, it would help if you had a little bit of a unique name, and not a name that brings up several other shows. It also helps to make sure you’re not taking on the name of a famous existing show whose creators might send you a cease-and-desist letter later to stop using their name.

So try to go for something unique – maybe a unique word, or a twist, or something that’s said in your niche (e.g., there’s a guy called Nate Duncan who has a podcast show called “Dunc’d On”. And in basketball, “dunking” the ball is a thing, right? And even if you searched for “dunked on podcast” in Google, his show still shows up at the top. So spend a little bit of time coming up with something unique, so that you can be found in podcast apps.

Open your notes file.
Line 1: Type in the title of your podcast
Line 2: Type in the podcast description.

So for my show, it would be…

Podcast Title: SubscribeMe.fm Online Courses, Membership Sites, Content Marketing and Digital Marketing

Podcast Description: How to create, sell and deliver digital content, creating membership sites & online courses, subscription-based products, building an audience, Digital Marketing, WordPress, Creating Audio, Video, Reports, Kindle Books and Podcasts, and tools, tactics and tips that YOU can use to create a long term, profitable online business.

Podcast Topic

What is going to be the overarching topic of your show? Is it tech, movies & shows, marketing, current affairs, politics, religion, sports, etc?

And then within that, is it going to be a solo show, do you plan on having a co-host, or are you going to be interviewing guests, or maybe all of the above?

1st Episode Title, Sub-title & Description

Write detailed notes for 1st episode: Episode title, description, topics you’re going to talk about.

You don’t need a “teaser” or “trailer” episode. Just get right into your show. In the 1st episode, give a short extra intro about who you are, how this is your first episode, why you created this podcast, what’s your goal for the show, how the listener is going to benefit, etc. Give your listener a reason to keep listening to this episode, as well as a reason to subscribe to your show and keep coming back.

Don’t drag the intro for too long for your first episode and don’t bore the listener with your entire life history, even though you’ll be terribly tempted to do it, especially with all of the excitement of a first-time podcaster.

There’ll be enough time for talking more about you in future episodes. Tell them a little bit about you, share a bit more in each episode. And over time, they’ll start feeling like they know you really well – but no need to do it all in the first episode.

The first impression is critical, especially with a podcast. So make every episode interesting. Don’t talk too slowly. Pretend you’re talking to a friend - maybe even a long-lost friend that you haven’t talked to in a long time. That’ll help bring out the energy and excitement in your voice.

Website Domain

Once you’re feeling good about your name, check Godaddy to see if the domain name is available. Even if the actual name itself is not, you could easily add the word “podcast” to it and come up with MembershipSitePodcast.com – or something like that.

Or you could go the slightly more expensive route of getting a .fm domain – like what I did – SubscribeMe.fm. Also, a .FM domain is about 10x more expensive (about $100/yr) than a regular .COM domain (about $10/yr). So include that in your costs.

Website Hosting

I recommend only 2 hosts:

Social Accounts

Once you have the name and domain name, next thing is to check for social accounts on all platforms – most importantly Facebook, Twitter & Instagram. You could also check TikTok, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc. You don’t have to necessarily use them all for posting content, but it’s good to have them reserved.

Tools

See Configurations #1 and #2 above for the recommended gear. This section covers some other tools that you’ll need:

Pre-Recording Checklist

  • Put the phone on airplane mode
  • Keep a glass of water and/or favorite drink
  • Close any apps or browsers/tabs you don't need (Skype, Slack, Facebook, messenger, and any software that could take up a lot of memory like spreadsheets, video editors, Photoshop, etc)
  • Turn off a/c, heater, fan, humidifier, etc
  • Make sure it's not lawn mowing day in your community
  • Use the restroom if reqd.
  • Clear your throat and drink a glass of water and/or favorite drink just before you get started.
  • Swallow, sip on a drink and clear your throat in between segments
  • Feed your pets (and kids, if any). Leave pets outside your room preferably.
  • Use lip balm or moisturizer to reduce lip-smacking noises
  • Review your episode notes and get ready for your intro
  • Make sure everything is turned on: Mic, recording software, remote software (Skype), that you can hear the other person(s) if any
  • Close your room's door, send a "DND" or "Do Not Disturb Unless Urgent" text to the family (or whoever lives with you)
  • Do a 30-second test recording of yourself and your guest or co-host (if any), save it, and replay it, and make sure it sounds good.
  • Click save and restart recording once every 3-5 minutes, if possible
  • Record your first episode

    Turn on your mic, launch your recording software, and start recording. And then start talking.

    Intro, Music & Outro

    When you’re first getting started, don’t worry about getting a fancy “radio-style” intro with special sound effects and that radio voice in British accent saying “And now, here’s your host… “. That will just bog you down and will delay your podcast launch.

    I recommend that you keep it absolutely simple, and follow this format:

    • Open with a concise, powerful episode title and a description of what this episode is about – this is your hook that should capture their attention and keep them listening – like the headline of an article.
    • Short music clip that fits the energy of your show – not more than 10-15 seconds. I recommend AudioJungle for this – they have a fantastic collection of music for about $10-$20.
    • You can also download some great, free music from ArchesAudio (requires attribution to use for free) or FreeMusicArchive (tracks available for commercial use and remix, and in the public domain). Check their terms.
    • As the music fades, you can introduce yourself, a little bit about the overall podcast, more details about what you’re going to talk about on this episode, maybe a quick guest/co-host intro, etc. And dive right into the show as quickly as possible.

    Here’s an example of how I begin my show:

    Episode #96 Intro

    "The Greatest Free and Freemium Tools I Can't - and Won't - Live Without - Part 4"

    <INTRO MUSIC> .


    Starts fading…


    "Hello and welcome to SubscribeMe.fm where I talk about how to create, sell and deliver digital content, creating membership sites & online courses, subscription-based products, building an audience, Digital Marketing, WordPress, Creating Audio, Video, Reports, Kindle Books and Podcasts, and tools, tactics and tips that YOU can use to create a long term, profitable online business.


    I'm Ravi Jayagopal. I'm the co-founder & co-developer of DigitalAccessPass.com, fondly known as DAP, one of the very best membership platforms for WordPress."


    <End of intro, now jumping into episode>


    "Today's episode is part 4 of the mini-series where I talk about some of the greatest free and freemium tools most of which I couldn't - and wouldn't - live without.

    This entire list itself is about 30 plus tools, software and online services. I covered a bunch of them in the first part, on Episode 93. So be sure to check out Episode 93 first."


    Ok, let's get started…"

    That’s how I began #96 of my show SubscribeMe.fm. Also, over the last 20-30 episodes, I’ve replaced the intro music with a short 5-second musical rendition of my podcast’s name. Listen to that episode below:

    01/11/2020
    SubscribeMe.fm by Ravi Jayagopal The Greatest Free and Freemium Tools I Can't (and Won't) Live Without - Part 1 - Ep 93 01/11/2020
    00:00:00 00:00:00

    Podcast Hosting

    I recommend the following hosts, in this order:

    • Libsyn.com (what I use and recommend – use coupon code subscribeme as one word, to get up to 2 months free – the rest of the month when you join and the next full month) - $7/month. It comes with advanced stats and lots of integrations like Spotify, iHeartRadio, etc.
    • PodBean.com (my 16 yr old son Rohan’s now-podfaded podcast ZombiesHeroes.com – which he started when he was 13 – is hosted here)
    • Anchor.fm – a free podcast host. Normally I don’t recommend using anything free for mission-critical components, like web hosting or podcast hosting. But Anchor is now owned by Spotify, so I have some hope that they’re not going to completely drop the ball. But still, for the best features, continued development and support, always go with a service that charges you a fee. So go with Libsyn or PodBean, and I’ve added Anchor more as an FYI because it’s free.

    Auphonic

    Auphonic.com is an online service that allows you to optimize your audio - whether that is audio from your MP3 files, or your WAV files, or even the audio within your Video files. Auphonic does things like audio leveling - where if multiple people are talking, or you have recorded the audio in bits and pieces and the volume of those segments are all a bit different, or whether you have music and intros and outros and voice and everything in between. It brings them all to the same volume level.

    It does something called Loudness Normalization which brings the entire audio up to broadcasting standards that are tailor-made for podcasting, or Spotify or Amazon Alexa and so on.

    It has automatic noise and hum reduction, filtering of unwanted low frequencies, optimizes any cross talk, etc.

    I NEVER release any audio or video without running it through Auphonic first - and you shouldn’t either. Now, there is a free tier that gives you up to 2 hours of processing each month with a free account. If you have a 30-minute podcast, and you have 4 episodes a month, this free tier will be enough for you. Or you could always buy additional hours in bulk at a pretty inexpensive price. And that's what I've done. I use the 2 free hours each month first, and then I've purchased additional hours which I use during the months when I launch a new online course, and I run every single video through Auphonic.

    And the best thing about Auphonic is that when you upload a video, let's say which is 20 minutes long, and you optimize the video, Auphonic will ONLY modify the audio within your video, and then give you back an MP4 video file, with just the audio optimized, and your visuals are untouched. And you can configure Auphonic to give you back a video, as well as an audio-only file. So you upload a video, and you get back an MP4 file as well as an MP3 file which is the audio stripped-out from the video. And now you can add both the video as well as the audio to your online course.

    <Sidebar>If you have a membership website or online course, you could use a plugin like S3MediaVault, and make it such that your members can watch the video and listen to the audio right on your website, or they can download the video or the audio. So S3MediaVault gives you both a player and download option. And you can take all of the audio files from your course, and create a playlist with it, so that you can embed the entire playlist on a single page, and the playlist becomes like your podcast player, where they start from the first one, and it keeps playing one after the other, even when their phone is locked. So they can hit play on your playlist, lock the phone, put it in their purse or pocket, and it will keep playing. So you can basically create your own mini-podcast playlist for your members. </Sidebar>

    Podcast Artwork: PNG or JPG

    Your artwork needs to be a square 3000 x 3000 pixels (max), or 1400x1400 (min), and a JPG or PNG file. And file size should be less than 500 Kb.

    And it needs to look good at a small size. So be sure to check your artwork at 75x75 pixels size and see if the text and art clearly conveys what your show is about.

    Let me give you an example of how I used 99Designs to get a fantastic design for $100 (that would’ve normally cost me $800). And then you can apply the exact same principle for your Podcast Artwork too.

    Way back in July 2007, when I wrote my first book “No Business Like E-Business”, there were no services like 99Designs or DesignCrowd. So I used a professional book cover designer KillerCovers.com and paid about $800.

    That was a LOT of money for me at the time, as I was still working full-time at a day job, and I wasn’t earning anywhere close to what I make now. But even back then, I knew the importance of a book’s cover, so I sucked it up and paid it.

    I gave the designer the idea for the book cover, and he hit it out of the park. You can see the full cover image below - back, spine and front (in that order).

    No, you don’t have to pay anywhere close to $800. That was just an example to show you that I’ve been there, done that :-).

    99 Designs

    99Designs.com is a great website to run a contest, but it can be a bit expensive. So, instead of running a regular contest and paying up to $1300, I have a very clever tactic for paying the least amount, for possibly the best design. Let me give you an example.

    Let’s say you are writing about dog training.

    * Do a search on Google for “dog training site:99designs.com” (use the full search term as-is, without the quotes, of course).

    What this does is to search just the website 99designs.com for the words “dog training”. You’ll get a bunch of results as seen below.

    * Go to each of those links (open results in a new tab so you don’t lose the search screen).

    * Those are the links to various contests that have already been completed (rarely will you get one that’s still in progress).

    * Here’s the screenshot of an old contest in that niche.

    * You’ll see that the above contest was completed and a winning design has already been chosen.

    * Further below on that same page, you’ll see the other entries that were submitted.

    * Check out the remaining entries that did not win and see if you like any of them. Imagine those designs with your own words and twist on them.

    * If you find something that resonates with you, contact the designer who submitted that design via the website itself, and ask them if they will customize it for you for a small fee. Ask them specifically how much they would charge.

    * I paid $399 for my podcast artwork for my podcast. You can still see the contest here. Here’s the winning design from that contest.

    SubscribeMe.fm Podcast Artwork

    I’ve been using the same image for my show since 2016 when the podcast was launched.

    * A few months after my podcast launch, when I was about to launch my book “SubscribeMe”, I did not want to pay yet another $399, or possibly more.

    And that’s when I came up with this idea: My wife Veena Prashanth had run a contest for her book “Upsells Unleashed” a few months earlier. So using the same tactic I mentioned above, I choose one of the many designs that were submitted but didn’t win. You can see her picture on the image, and the title is that of her book.

    * Of the many discarded designs on 99Designs.com using the search technique I mentioned earlier, this is the one that I liked the most.

    My wife's book cover from her contest

    * So I directly messaged the designer of this cover and asked if they would customize it for me. They agreed to do it for $50. After a few messages back and forth (see the markings above which I used to explain what I wanted to be changed), the image below is what I ended up with.

    My Book Cover

    * My wife spent $800 on her contest. I took advantage of that and paid $50 for an unused design for my book. Well saved! 😉 You too can take advantage of other people’s contests and use their discarded designs.

    * I was so happy with the designer’s work and so thrilled that I was able to save on an $800 package (which is what I was considering strongly at the time), that I gave them a $50 tip. So my total cost was still $100, compared to the $800 it could’ve been. And I saved $700 just like that. And now you can use this same hack to save possibly hundreds on your book cover design.

    * Most designers will not refuse your request to modify a past design for you (unless they’ve already used it elsewhere – make sure of that), because they have already put in the work and created the design, and they didn’t win the contest. So it’s already a wasted effort and sunk-cost for them. They would probably be happy to get paid a few extra dollars for a few additional minutes of their time customizing the words and a bit of the design for you.

    * Obviously, if you need a lot of changes, they’ll probably charge you more. But at least you won’t have to pay $300 - $1300 to run a brand new contest!

    Podcast Artwork Google search

    * So for your podcast artwork, just search for “podcast artwork” and “podcast logo” on Google.com, but restrict your search to just 99designs.com. So do the 2 searches below on Google, separately:

    podcast artwork site:99designs.com
    podcast logo site:99designs.com

    Look at all of the results. Open each link in a new tab. Go through all of the resulting designs. See the ones that did not win. Shortlist a few that you absolutely love, after you imagine your podcast title’s text in that image. Then contact the designer. See if they can modify it for you for a fee. Tell them you prefer to do it via 99Designs.com itself (so that neither of you violates the company's terms, and it’s a safer bet for you as there’s accountability for them as well). That’s it! Within a few days, you can end up with something awesome.

    And don’t try to get it “perfect” the first time around. If it’s 80% close, just go with it. Speed is critical. You can always tweak it later in a year. Who knows, you may even want to change it for the 1st anniversary of your show. So don’t get too bogged down by trying to get it “absolutely perfect”.

    Do It Yourself: Canva

    You could use the free online service Canva.com to design your podcast artwork yourself. But if you’re not good at design (I’m terrible at it), I do not recommend doing this yourself. Get something designed professionally, because people do tend to judge a book by its cover – literally and figuratively.

    You can find inexpensive designers on Fiverr.com or Guru.com.

    Here’s the podcast artwork I created myself for my 2nd podcast, Cut To The Chase, using Canva and Gimp. Check out the show at CutToTheChase.fm or search for “cuttothechase.fm” in your favorite podcast app.

    CutToTheChase.fm

    I found the picture of a road on a stock photo site (to depict the word “chase”), added perspective text effect, used some random color special effect in Gimp, found one that I liked, and stuck with that. The total time I took to create the above image from scratch: About 1 hour.

    Podcast Directory Submission

    I recommend you submit your show to the following directories, in this order.

    If you sign up for Libsyn, they’ll submit it to Spotify and iHeartRadio for you. So skip those two if you use Libsyn. Better to go through Libsyn, so that you can get integrated stats in your Libsyn dashboard.

    You can also turn your podcast into an Alexa Flash Briefing. Check out my Kindle book “How to Reach a New Audience of 30+ Million Listeners with an Alexa Flash Briefing Skill Created in 1 Hour If You Already Have a Podcast (1 Week If You Don’t)” where I show you exactly how to do that.

    Libsyn - who is my preferred podcast host and where I host both of my podcasts - helps you automatically submit your show to Spotify. Unless you have something in your show that is against Spotify’s or Libsyn’s terms of service (e.g., you use copyrighted music in your show), then you are almost guaranteed to be listed in Spotify. And I highly recommend that you host with Libsyn for this reason, as well as several other reasons that I won’t get into here.

    Apple Podcasts is the 800-pound gorilla. Per Libsyn’s “The Feed” podcast, roughly about 60% of all podcast listening happens via the Apple Podcasts app, iTunes and the Apple ecosystem. So the very first thing you must do is to submit it to Apple Podcasts.

    And then while you wait for them to approve your show - could be anywhere from 2 days to a week depending on the day of the week and other factors too (like a global situation, for example) – submit your show to the other directories listed above.

    A bunch of other podcast directories and apps will scrape the iTunes/Apple Podcasts directory and add your show to their directory on their own. That’s also why Apple Podcasts should be the first place to submit.

    Some Quick Tips

    The Long Game

    The hardest part about getting your podcast going is that there are so many components to it:
    Planning, podcast details, artwork, recording, editing, uploading, promoting.

    Every step has a learning curve and comes with its own challenges. At every step, you will have questions about everything from strategy to tech to execution. So if you ever want to cut through the learning curve quickly, then check out my super-affordable “Podcast Launch” Coaching package.

    ------------------------

    If you use a USB Microphone, you can simply connect the mic to your computer, fire up your recording software, and you’re all set. If you use an XLR mic, you’ll need additional devices to connect it to your laptop. So I say, keep it simple.

    Artwork

    Unless you’re a celebrity and have face-recognition, I wouldn’t recommend putting a picture of yourself on the artwork. Instead, use that space to have the title of your show in large, bold letters, with the color of the text contrasting the background (I can’t even begin to tell you how many logos I’ve seen with light blue text on a slightly darker blue background, and it’s dang near impossible to make out the letters).

    Don’t get too fancy with the “art” either – remember that your podcast logo is probably being seen on a mobile screen along with a bunch of other shows (assuming it showed up in a search) and is going to be seen at about 75x75 pixels dimension.

    So while it may look fancy and clear blown up full screen on a large computer monitor, make sure you see the image at 75x75 pixel size and see what is clear and what is not.

    Intro, Music & Outro

    This may sound controversial, but very few will care about your intro music. It might sound awesome to you because it’s your show and your creation and your baby. But the average podcast listener is probably listening to about 15-30 different podcasts, and the most boring part is getting through the initial stuff – like music, ads, promos for the host’s other stuff, housekeeping, asking for ratings and reviews, etc.

    If there was a button on the podcast app that knew how to skip past the intro, music, and preamble, most would probably hit that button.

    But what almost everyone truly cares about is getting to the main topic – the main premise – that you promised in the episode title and description.

    And most important thing: Do not do any housekeeping stuff – like asking for ratings and reviews, asking for favors from your listeners, asking them to sign up for your newsletter, etc – don’t do all that stuff in the beginning. Save them for later in the show. Yes, people will fast-forward once they realize that your show is over and might not get to hear it, but you can’t front-load all of that info either, because that’ll also train them to skip past in the beginning as well like I do for a number of shows that I know won’t get into the meat of the show until about 2-3 minutes in. So I usually skip the first 2-3 minutes of some shows, some even more.

    Ratings & Reviews

    They don’t matter. Very few people look at reviews before subscribing to a show. Also, not all apps have a way to leave those, or even show them in the app. Apple Podcasts app is probably the biggest one that does, but not everyone listens to podcasts via Apple Podcasts app. So don’t waste your calls-to-action on asking for these, and instead ask them to email you, and find a way to get them on your list by offering a freebie.

    Podcast Discovery

    Podcast discovery starts with a strong hook – the episode titles and descriptions in your feed and the podcast description. And then there are things like… hearing about your show on another show where you were interviewed or talked about, on social media (to some extent), word of mouth (encourage your listeners to let their friends know, even offer a free gift for posting about you on social, etc), advertising (on Facebook, Twitter, Overcast, etc).

    I talk about how “Word of Mouth”, when it comes to podcasting, can sometimes be a bit overrated because the average person on Twitter or Facebook is not posting unsolicited podcast recommendations to their network. So you have to incentivize them to do it. And you have to spend some money on promotions. I talked about all of this in my Podcast Promotion Report (which you get for free with your purchase of this book – see bonus section at the beginning).

    Post-production

    I’m referring to the work that comes after you’ve finished recording the episode: Editing the raw audio, exporting it to .wav, running audio optimization through Auphonic.com, creating the ID3 tags (which Auphonic does for you automatically), uploading to podcast host, etc.

    If you’re going to do the entire podcast post-production yourself, then remember to allocate a bare minimum of 5 hours (up to 7 or even 10 hours in the beginning) for complete production and promotion time per episode.

    Editing

    Most people can quickly figure out the recording part. Even the publishing part is pretty straightforward. The hardest part is editing.

    You only have 2 choices: Hire someone to do it, or do it yourself. Editing can cost between $30 - $300 per episode, depending on several factors like how many voices on the show, how much editing is required (basic umms & aahs or really super-tight), narrative style mixed with other soundtracks and effects and storytelling) or just plain simple conversation, or maybe it’s just a solo show, do you also need them to upload to your podcast host and also publish on your website with show notes, do you want the show notes created for you or will you create it, do they need to do marketing pieces like audiograms, do you need it to be posted on social media, how many platforms, etc.

    You can see how quickly the time and/or money needed to do this end-to-end can spiral out of control. Finding good help for a lot of these tasks can be expensive. Learning to do all this and then actually having to do it all yourself, week after week, month after month could get pretty monotonous, exhausting and time-consuming. And in general, if you ask most podcasters what’s the one thing they wish they could get rid off from their workflow, post-recording activities like editing and promotion (writing show notes, creating audiograms, posting snippets of show and text to social platforms, etc) would be very high on their list.

    A general rule of thumb is that editing, for most solo- or guest-and-host shows will take about 3 times the length of your original audio. So if your recording is 30 minutes long, it might take about 90 minutes to edit it, even though the final audio might end up being shorter than your recording – which it should be, if edited well for “umms” and “aahs” and “like…” and “you know”.

    If you’re doing to be editing it yourself, in the beginning, it might even take you 5x as long to edit it. You’ll be tempted to cut out every little thing that you deem a “crutch word” or “filler word” or repetition etc. It’s natural to be overly critical of your episode in the beginning. Try not to be too critical.

    In the long-run, the best way to reduce your editing time is to get better at speaking. So the better you speak without too many filler words, the easier it will be to edit. Of course, you can’t help it if your guest is not a very good speaker. And then you’ll have no choice to spend a lot of time editing it.

    And if you’re going to have guests or co-hosts, be sure to record in separate tracks, because that makes editing a lot easier. If there’s just one audio track which comprises of multiple voices, it’s going to take a lot of work to get it right.

    Note: If it’s a storytelling- kind of show that involves bringing in other clips, researching and finding audio clips to corroborate a story, or give it a documentary-like feel, the editing time can go through the roof – like maybe even 10x the length of the original audio.

    Monetization

    It is hard to make money directly “from” your podcast – as in, sponsorships and donations. You have to play the long game – more so if you don’t have an existing audience that you brought over from another platform - and consistently create great content for a long time, while also building a fan-base that loves you so much that they want to pay you for more content.

    However, making money “because” of your podcast is a lot easier – by using it as a content marketing platform to promote your products and services.

    A podcast is one of the greatest relationship-building tools.

    I call it a “Door Creator” – because it doesn’t just open new doors, it creates new doors where none existed before.

    Podcast Launch

    There’s so much bad advice as well as “blah” advice online, especially when it comes to launching and promoting your podcast. Things like…

    • Launching with 8 episodes (ugh!) instead of 1
    • Giving too much importance to “Consistency” and “Word of mouth”
    • Wasting calls-to-action on Ratings & Reviews
    • Focusing on the worthless “New & Noteworthy”
    • Twitter-bombing just to get more fake downloads
    • Wasting time posting your link in Podcast Promotion groups and threads on Facebook (I call these “Hit-and-Run Posts”)
    • Bombarding your friends and followers with links to your show
    • Thinking everyone is your target listener instead of focusing on the platforms where your target audience is already hanging out, and then building relationships there
    • Paying for ads with direct links to Apple Podcasts to promote your show. Instead, you should try to use ads to build a list first, to whom you can then promote your show, and anything else you create in the future.

    There’s more, and I’ve covered them in detail in my other 2 books Podcasting Confessions and Podcast Promotion Report, both of which you can get for free – see free bonus section at the beginning of this book.

    My Podcast Episodes about Podcasting

    I’ve talked about Podcasting on multiple episodes of my show. Check them out here:

    Episodes from SubscribeMe.fm:

    Podcasting is So Dang Hard, So Start One Today
    https://subscribeme.fm/podcasting-is-hard-so-start-one/

    Podcast Discoverability Issue & Apple’s Apathy Towards Podcasting
    https://subscribeme.fm/podcast-discoverability/

    Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is And Pay to Play
    https://subscribeme.fm/put-your-money-where-your-mouth-is/

    Audio and Voice Are The Future, All-In On Audio
    https://subscribeme.fm/audio-and-voice-are-the-future/

    Ad Revenue Model Is Dead, Sponsors Are Unreliable, “Donations” Is Not A Business Model
    https://subscribeme.fm/ad-revenue-model-is-dead-part-1/

    Ad Blockers, DVRs, Skip, Fast-Forward, Double-Tap, My Facebook Ad Survey
    https://subscribeme.fm/ad-blockers/

    "Donations" Is Not A Business Model
    https://subscribeme.fm/donations-is-not-a-business-model/

    How to Monetize a Podcast, Build an Audience and Sell Premium Content
    https://subscribeme.fm/monetize-podcast-build-audience-sell-premium-content/

    Generating Leads with a Podcast - Why It's Not The Best Platform For That
    https://subscribeme.fm/monetizing-a-podcast-and-audience-building/

    Podcast Paywall: Premium-Only Podcast or Free Episodes Too?
    https://subscribeme.fm/podcast-paywall-premium-podcast/

    How Long Should Videos In Your Online Course Be? (applies to podcast too)
    https://subscribeme.fm/how-long-should-videos-in-your-online-course-be/

    (Blog Post) 1 Simple Trick To Increase Podcast Subscribers, Increase Listening Duration AND Measure Listener Engagement
    https://subscribeme.fm/increase-subscribers-duration-engagement/


    Episodes from CutToTheChase.fm

    No such thing as too long, only too boring
    https://traffic.libsyn.com/cuttothechasers/no-such-thing-as-too-long.mp3

    How to Hire Liam Neeson for $5
    https://traffic.libsyn.com/cuttothechasers/hire-liam-neeson.mp3

    Put Your Pen Down, Script it & Rehearse It
    https://traffic.libsyn.com/cuttothechasers/rehearse.mp3

    Fair Use and Copyright Infringement
    https://traffic.libsyn.com/cuttothechasers/copyright.mp3

    I Don't Care If I Make Money With This
    https://traffic.libsyn.com/cuttothechasers/care.mp3

    How to Build an Audience From Scratch
    https://traffic.libsyn.com/cuttothechasers/audience.mp3

    Short Clips or Not, Be Careful with Copyrighted Content
    https://traffic.libsyn.com/cuttothechasers/short.mp3

    Short Clips or Not, Be Careful with Copyrighted Content - Part 2
    https://traffic.libsyn.com/cuttothechasers/short2.mp3

    Making a Great Show

    There are so many different things that go into creating a great show.

    • Fiercely focus on creating a great show, every episode.
    • If that means it will take you longer, more work, more time, more energy, that’s ok.
    • It’s absolutely critical that you put out a great episode when you can, even it means you’re not pumping out new episodes regularly, instead of putting out average-, rushed- or mediocre content just because you need to stick to a schedule.
    • Better to be inconsistently great, rather than consistently average. See the next chapter titled “Epic Episodes”.
    • Make your show about a topic that you’re super-passionate and knowledgeable about.
    • That will bring out your expertise, energy and excitement.
    • Be yourself, but be interesting. Can’t say that enough – BE INTERESTING!
    • Say smart, intelligent, wise, funny things.
    • Be really good at your core topic.
    • Unless it is a show about meditation or relaxing or making your listeners calm or fall asleep, talk with energy and excitement. It’s ok to talk fast – like you would with an old friend with whom you just have to share some great news.
    • Fiercely focus on what matters to you, and to your listeners.
    • Finding out what matters to them can be hard. Sure, you can ask for all the feedback you want, however many times. But not all listeners will give you feedback.
    • Think about how many times you have contacted the host of a podcast you listen to and given them feedback about the show.
    • Everyone is busy, or lazy, or they have other priorities. So even those who love your show many not necessarily engage with you.
    • But don’t stop asking for feedback, every… single… episode. Without fail.
    • Make asking for feedback your most important call-to-action.
    • Don’t waste your call-to-action asking for ratings and reviews (R&R). They don’t really matter in the big-picture. Very few people look at ratings and reviews before subscribing to a show. And not every podcast app offers it. And not everyone uses Apple Podcasts.
    • Instead, give out your email, your domain name (example.com – no need to add https:// or www) and encourage them to send you an email with any questions, comments or suggestions. And do that every episode.

    Epic Episodes

    (This chapter is taken from my Kindle book Podcast Promotion Report)

    Before you say “C’mon, I’ve heard about that one before”, this is not the same as “Create great content, content that your audience wants, and publish consistently”. I’m not talking about “great” content – I’m talking about “Epic” content.

    Way too many podcasters worry too much about the frequency of their published episodes. There is a general belief that you should put out at least 1 episode a week, and also that you should publish it on the same day each week, and that no matter what, you shouldn’t skip episodes no matter what, and should at least put something out rather than nothing.

    Ok, I agree. There is something to be said about consistency, the rhythm of publishing, and getting your audience used to- and looking forward to seeing your episodes appear in their favorite podcast with great regularity on the same day, at about the same time.

    However, when you are trying to create a remarkable show, quality beats quantity any day. And “epic” beats “good” or even “great”, all day, every day.

    Some of the biggest podcasts don’t have a set schedule. Yet these shows dominate the charts on Apple Podcasts and other podcast directories.

    Yes, I’m sure for every show I list that is not consistent, you can probably rattle off 10 more that do publish consistently. But the key here is to not fall into the trap of trying to duplicate what someone else is doing. Especially when you are trying to grow your audience from scratch, and you don’t already have a massive audience elsewhere (like an email list, a radio show, the backing of a corporation, a well-funded startup, or a big social presence like on Facebook or Instagram) that you can easily bring over to your podcast the very day your show launches and catapult it to the top of the charts really fast. Especially when you’re getting started, and especially when you’re doing it with a small budget and don’t have a team of people working to get your episode out.

    These top shows have one or more of that going for them. But even they don’t publish on the same day each week, and they don’t have a set timing for their shows either. They’re not boxing themselves into the rigid rules of how many episodes there needs to be per week, or how long each episode has to be or cutting off the guest amidst a fantastic story only to say “I wish we had more time to go into that, but we’ve got to move on to the next cookie-cutter question”.

    Consistency is Overrated

    Think of some of the greatest artists, creators, and entertainers in the world – from Michelangelo to Mozart to Michael Jackson, from Leonardo da Vinci to Leonardo di Caprio, from Einstein to Edison - I’m willing to bet that none of them ever once sat home, drinking a cold one, and thought to themselves…

    “I gotta release a new musical masterpiece every month”
    “I gotta publish a painting every week”
    “I gotta release a movie every year”

    It took them months and usually years between their published pieces of work. They were not thinking about putting out “consistent” work, they were thinking about putting out “masterpieces”.

    E.g., see James Cameron’s last 4 movies below, and it shows in parenthesis, how many years it took each movie to be made following the previous one.

    True Lies (1994 - 3 yrs after prev. one)
    Strange Days (1995 - 1 yr)
    Titanic (1997 - 2 yrs)
    Avatar (2009 - 12 yrs)

    Here’s Michael Jackson’s list of records, showing the time elapsed between albums:

    Thriller (1982, 3 yrs after prev. one)
    Bad (1987 - 5 yrs)
    Dangerous (1991 - 4 yrs)
    HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I (1995 - 4 yrs)
    Invincible (2001 - 6 yrs)

    So when putting out “the best <show/song/painting/movie/etc> possible” becomes your priority, the frequency and length of the show will not matter any longer. What your listeners want is an amazing show, with a great conversation, or great educational or entertainment or emotional value.

    Almost every avid podcast listener subscribes to more than just a handful of podcasts. So except for a few super-fans, most of your listeners will probably not even notice if your show doesn’t come out at the same time each week, or if the shows are different in length each time (some could be 20 minutes long, others 30 or 40 or 60 minutes or even 3 hours long). Like a wise person once said, “There is no such thing as too long. Only too boring”.

    Ignore all advice that says that podcasts have to be of a certain length in order for people to listen. Podcasts are easy to pause, and pick up right where you left off the next time you push the play button. Don’t let anyone force the archaic AM-FM-radio type format on you. Podcasting is not about duplicating what’s being done on terrestrial radio. This is about breaking out of the format, and having the freedom to put out whatever content you want, however long or short, whatever topic you want – without any censorship, without having to get it approved by managers and executives and affiliates and advertisers, without having to “fit in”, without having to follow someone else’s forced structure.

    It’s your show. You are the ruler of your nation. You can do whatever you want.

    So, think “Epic Episodes”.

    What if your only goal was to create epic content with each episode? What if you only published new episodes once every 2 weeks, and used the 2 weeks between each episode to come up with incredible content, and then use the rest of that time to promote the show?

    So how about 2 episodes a month instead of 4? And then all of the time in-between spent on promoting your show. Do you think that would give your show a huge boost in creating better content and finding new listeners, instead of just pumping out new content on a pre-set schedule?

    Don’t take my word for it. In fact, don’t take my word on any of this. I love healthy skepticism J. So instead of arguing with me about why I’m wrong, just have an open mind and try it out for yourself - maybe for a couple of months. See what happens.

    So the big lesson here: Epic Episodes, More Promotion.

    My Websites

    * I’m a Business Coach and Speaker (most recently spoken at Podcast Movement).

    * FREE: Watch my Podcast Movement presentation at SubscribeMe.fm/academy/pm18/

    * FREE: Get all your Apple Podcasts reviews from all 155 countries for free, at PodcastReviews.me

    * FREE GUEST: LOL! If you wish to have me on your podcast, or any other show, I would love to be on your show. Just email me! Or you can go ahead and schedule any slot that’s convenient to you, at https://calendly.com/ravijayagopal/call .

    * Software & Services I use in my business: SubscribeMe.fm/tools/

    * About me: https://SubscribeMe.fm/ravi-jayagopal

    * CoolCastPlayer.com: Prettiest & Most Powerful Podcast Player on the Planet – for WordPress.

    * SubscribeMe.fm: My Podcast about Making, Marketing & Monetizing Online Digital Content with Membership Sites, Online Courses and Subscriptions

    * CutToTheChase.fm: My (2nd) Podcast: Business, Marketing & Tech Hacks For Entrepreneurs and Digital Creators

    * DigitalAccessPass.com (DAP): I’m the Co-Founder & Co-Developer of DAP, a leading WordPress Membership Plugin & Marketing Automation Platform.

    * S3MediaVault.com: Audio/Video Player for WordPress that lets you securely embed private Audio and Video that your members can listen/play in their member’s area. It also protects regular files like PDF, Zip, Doc, etc.

    * Digital Creators Academy: Content, Coaching & Community for Entrepreneurs and Digital Creators

    * Podcast Launch Coaching: Personalized 1-on-1 and Group Coaching to help you launch your podcast the right way.

    * 1001TrueFans.com: Small Audience, Big Impact: How to Become a Respected, Trusted & Beloved Expert and Build Your Tribe of 1,000 True Fans – Even If You’re Starting with an Audience of Zero Followers, Zero Fans, Zero List and Zero Customers.

    * Digital Creators Academy: Content, Coaching & Community for Digital Creators and Entrepreneurs.

    * I have a second podcast at CutToTheChase.fm that offers Business, Tech, Mind & Marketing Hacks for Entrepreneurs & Digital Creators. And it is that same show that’s also available as an Alexa Flash Briefing at CutToTheChase.fm/alexa/ (search Alexa Skills for “cuttothechase.fm” as one word).

    Contact Me

    Email: Contact-us form at SubscribeMe.fm

    Facebook
    : facebook.com/RaviJayagopal

    Twitter
    : twitter.com/RaviJayagopal

    Instagram
    : instagram.com/RaviJayagopal

    LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/ravijayagopal

    If you received any value from this book, I would really appreciate it if you would write me an honest review on Amazon, as that will help more people discover this book on Amazon.

    I hope you loved reading this book as much as I enjoyed writing it.

    Cheers!

    - Ravi Jayagopal

    Check out my podcast "SubscribeMe" below:

    10/14/2020
    SubscribeMe.fm: Making, Marketing & Monetizing Digital Content with Membership Sites, Online Courses & Recurring Subscriptions by Ravi Jayagopal Waterfall Method, If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It and Junior Developers - Part 4 - 101 10/14/2020
    00:00:00 00:00:00
    09/10/2020
    SubscribeMe.fm: Making, Marketing & Monetizing Digital Content with Membership Sites, Online Courses & Recurring Subscriptions by Ravi Jayagopal Repeatability, Scalability and WORA: What Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Programmers - Part 3 - 100 09/10/2020
    00:00:00 00:00:00
    08/10/2020
    SubscribeMe.fm: Making, Marketing & Monetizing Digital Content with Membership Sites, Online Courses & Recurring Subscriptions by Ravi Jayagopal Design Big, Implement Small, Algorithms and Rapid Prototyping: What Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Programmers - Part 2 - 99 08/10/2020
    00:00:00 00:00:00
    07/27/2020
    SubscribeMe.fm: Making, Marketing & Monetizing Digital Content with Membership Sites, Online Courses & Recurring Subscriptions by Ravi Jayagopal 17 Things Entrepreneurs Like You Can learn from a Programmer - Part 1 - 98 07/27/2020
    00:00:00 00:00:00
    06/21/2020
    SubscribeMe.fm: Making, Marketing & Monetizing Digital Content with Membership Sites, Online Courses & Recurring Subscriptions by Ravi Jayagopal Part 5: Greatest Free and Freemium Tools - 97 06/21/2020
    00:00:00 00:00:00
    04/19/2020
    SubscribeMe.fm: Making, Marketing & Monetizing Digital Content with Membership Sites, Online Courses & Recurring Subscriptions by Ravi Jayagopal Part 4: Greatest Free and Freemium Tools - 96 04/19/2020
    00:00:00 00:00:00
    01/30/2020
    SubscribeMe.fm: Making, Marketing & Monetizing Digital Content with Membership Sites, Online Courses & Recurring Subscriptions by Ravi Jayagopal Part 3: Greatest Free and Freemium Tools - LastPass - Ep 95 01/30/2020
    00:00:00 00:00:00
    01/21/2020
    SubscribeMe.fm: Making, Marketing & Monetizing Digital Content with Membership Sites, Online Courses & Recurring Subscriptions by Ravi Jayagopal Part 2: Greatest Free and Freemium Tools - Ep 94 01/21/2020
    00:00:00 00:00:00
    01/11/2020
    SubscribeMe.fm: Making, Marketing & Monetizing Digital Content with Membership Sites, Online Courses & Recurring Subscriptions by Ravi Jayagopal The Greatest Free and Freemium Tools I Can't (and Won't) Live Without - Part 1 - Ep 93 01/11/2020
    00:00:00 00:00:00
    12/31/2019
    SubscribeMe.fm: Making, Marketing & Monetizing Digital Content with Membership Sites, Online Courses & Recurring Subscriptions by Ravi Jayagopal Kindle Book-Writing Tips From a 6-Time Author - Part 2 - Ep 92 12/31/2019
    00:00:00 00:00:00
    12/01/2019
    SubscribeMe.fm: Making, Marketing & Monetizing Digital Content with Membership Sites, Online Courses & Recurring Subscriptions by Ravi Jayagopal Don't Write a Best-Selling Book (Do This Instead) - 91 12/01/2019
    00:00:00 00:00:00
    10/15/2019
    SubscribeMe.fm: Making, Marketing & Monetizing Digital Content with Membership Sites, Online Courses & Recurring Subscriptions by Ravi Jayagopal 1000 True Fans and Why You May Be Building An Audience The Wrong Way - 90 10/15/2019
    00:00:00 00:00:00
    10/05/2019
    SubscribeMe.fm: Making, Marketing & Monetizing Digital Content with Membership Sites, Online Courses & Recurring Subscriptions by Ravi Jayagopal Forget the "Leavers". Create for the "Believers" - 89 10/05/2019
    00:00:00 00:00:00
    08/26/2019
    SubscribeMe.fm: Making, Marketing & Monetizing Digital Content with Membership Sites, Online Courses & Recurring Subscriptions by Ravi Jayagopal Part 3: Podcast Paywall: Premium-Only Podcast or Free Episodes Too? - 88 08/26/2019
    00:00:00 00:00:00
    07/30/2019
    SubscribeMe.fm: Making, Marketing & Monetizing Digital Content with Membership Sites, Online Courses & Recurring Subscriptions by Ravi Jayagopal Part 2: Generating Leads with a Podcast - Why It's Not The Best Platform For That - 87 07/30/2019
    00:00:00 00:00:00
    07/12/2019
    SubscribeMe.fm: Making, Marketing & Monetizing Digital Content with Membership Sites, Online Courses & Recurring Subscriptions by Ravi Jayagopal How to Monetize a Podcast, Build an Audience and Sell Premium Content - 86 07/12/2019
    00:00:00 00:00:00
    06/15/2019
    SubscribeMe.fm: Making, Marketing & Monetizing Digital Content with Membership Sites, Online Courses & Recurring Subscriptions by Ravi Jayagopal True Streaming, Adaptive Streaming and Progressive Downloads - 85 06/15/2019
    00:00:00 00:00:00
    05/23/2019
    SubscribeMe.fm: Making, Marketing & Monetizing Digital Content with Membership Sites, Online Courses & Recurring Subscriptions by Ravi Jayagopal Go Deep, Then Wide - the Biggest Secret to Success I Learned From Google, My Father and Miley Cyrus - 84 05/23/2019
    00:00:00 00:00:00
    04/18/2019
    SubscribeMe.fm: Making, Marketing & Monetizing Digital Content with Membership Sites, Online Courses & Recurring Subscriptions by Ravi Jayagopal A Programmer and a Marketer Walk into a Bar - 83 04/18/2019
    00:00:00 00:00:00
    04/09/2019
    SubscribeMe.fm: Making, Marketing & Monetizing Digital Content with Membership Sites, Online Courses & Recurring Subscriptions by Ravi Jayagopal YouTube Sucks If You're Doing This - 82 04/09/2019
    00:00:00 00:00:00
    02/24/2019
    SubscribeMe.fm: Making, Marketing & Monetizing Digital Content with Membership Sites, Online Courses & Recurring Subscriptions by Ravi Jayagopal Lessons Learned from my DOPE Launch - Ep #81 02/24/2019
    00:00:00 00:00:00
    01/09/2019
    SubscribeMe.fm: Making, Marketing & Monetizing Digital Content with Membership Sites, Online Courses & Recurring Subscriptions by Ravi Jayagopal 19 Thoughts for 2019 to Help You Take Things to the Next Level - Ep #80 01/09/2019
    00:00:00 00:00:00
    12/13/2018
    SubscribeMe.fm: Making, Marketing & Monetizing Digital Content with Membership Sites, Online Courses & Recurring Subscriptions by Ravi Jayagopal The Dreaded Unsubscribe. And Selling is not Evil - Ep #79 12/13/2018
    00:00:00 00:00:00
    11/28/2018
    SubscribeMe.fm: Making, Marketing & Monetizing Digital Content with Membership Sites, Online Courses & Recurring Subscriptions by Ravi Jayagopal Slack vs. Forum for Your 1000 True Fans and How I'm using Scarcity, Exclusivity and Urgency to Build My Online Community - Ep #78 11/28/2018
    00:00:00 00:00:00