How to Start a Podcast with No Audience: 13 Simple Steps

Jan 8, 2024 | Latest, Content Marketing, Marketing Tips

How to Start a Podcast with No Audience: 13 Simple Steps

Tapping into the organic reach of podcasting is a powerful way to share valuable content with your target audience, establish trust, build your brand and grow your business. Starting a podcast with no audience might seem daunting at first. But the fact is that all podcasters start with zero listeners, and you can too. Read on to learn how to start a podcast with no audience.

As per the most recent statistics, a staggering 464.7 million individuals globally are tuning into podcasts, which translates to about 22% of all internet users. This figure has seen an impressive surge, with an increment of over 40 million new listeners in just the past year. 

Diving deeper into these numbers, it’s fascinating to note that about half of adults in the United States (49%) say they have listened to a podcast in the past 12 months. The growth and reach of podcasting are widespread, making it an effective organic traffic strategy for your business.

Do You Need an Audience to Start a Podcast?

Starting a podcast does not necessarily require an existing audience. We all have to start from zero so don’t let the prospect of getting started deter you.

The key is creating content that resonates with your potential audience and offers value to help them in some way.

You may be surprised that you already have an existing audience, even if it may be quite small. Think about your email list or social media followers. Start wherever you are and with whatever audience you currently have.

Consistency, creating quality content, and effective promotion can help you build an engaged audience over time. The most crucial step is to start.

So, if you have a message to share, don’t let the lack of an audience hold you back. Get that microphone, start recording, and let your podcast journey begin.

how to start a podcast with no audience

How to Start a Podcast with No Audience: Step-by-Step Guide

1. Understand Your Target Audience

Understanding and identifying your target audience is a crucial first step in podcasting. It is about gaining a clear picture of who your potential listeners are, what their interests are, what they need, and how your podcast can meet those needs. 

You can start by developing audience personas, which are detailed descriptions of your ideal listeners, including their demographics, hobbies, occupations, and lifestyles. 

Having clarity about who your target audience is will allow you to tailor your content to their preferences and needs.

This will help you identify the topics for your podcast episodes and create content that resonates with your expertise. 

how to start a podcast with no audience

When you are clear on who your listeners are you can begin to build your podcast audience by providing relevant and valuable content that speaks directly to them. Remember, a podcast that tries to appeal to everyone may end up resonating with no one.

Having a defined target audience does not limit your podcast’s reach; instead, it helps you create content that’s valuable and relevant to a specific group of listeners. 

This, in turn, increases listener loyalty and engagement, leading to the organic growth of your podcast. 

2. Identify Your Podcast Niche

To create a successful podcast understanding your podcast niche is the next step. Your niche should ideally be a combination of your passion or expertise and something your target audience is interested in.

To identify your podcast niche, start by listing your areas of interest, expertise, or experiences. Then consider the needs and interests of your target audience.

Is there an overlap? If yes, you’ve found your niche. If not, consider where you can build or expand your knowledge to meet your audience’s interests.

You can also explore existing podcasts to identify gaps in the market. Listen to popular podcasts in your areas of interest and consider how you might offer something different or delve deeper into specific topics. What could be your point of difference?

Remember to put yourself in your audience’s shoes. What type of content would truly resonate with your ideal listener?

3. Choose Your Podcast’s Name

The name of your podcast can play a pivotal role in drawing listeners, even when starting without an existing audience.

It’s your first impression, the chance to pique a listener’s curiosity and draw them into your content. When brainstorming names, consider the following:

how to start a podcast with no audience

Clarity and Relevance: Your title should reflect the content of the podcast, giving potential listeners a clear idea of what to expect. If it’s too vague or unrelated, it could confuse or deter your target audience. 

Uniqueness: A unique name helps your podcast stand out in a crowded podcast landscape. Conduct thorough research to ensure your chosen name isn’t already in use. This also helps prevent any potential legal issues down the line.

Searchability: Including relevant keywords can make your podcast more searchable and discoverable, helping to draw in listeners who are interested in your topic. But be careful not to overdo it, as too many keywords can feel spammy and turn off potential listeners.

Scalability: Choose a name that can grow with your podcast. If you plan on expanding your topics in the future, make sure your name isn’t too niche or limiting. 

Remember, your podcast name represents your brand. It’s worth investing time to choose wisely, as a well-thought-out name can be a powerful tool in building a loyal listenership from scratch.

4. Create Content that Resonate

Once you’ve identified your niche, the next step is choosing your podcast topic and creating high-quality content that resonates with your audience.

Remember, your goal is not just to share information and great content, but to engage your audience and spark discussions that make them want to come back for more. 

To discover content ideas that will resonate with your ideal audience, do your research. Research SEO keywords using tools like Google, Keywords Everywhere or Answer the Public.

This will help you find relevant keywords that your ideal audience is actually typing into search engines, to find a solution for.

how to start a podcast with no audience

Once you have your podcast topic ideas, ensure your content is not only informative but also relatable and entertaining.

Use storytelling techniques to make your podcast more engaging. Involve your audience by asking for their input or featuring their stories. 

It’s also a good idea to keep yourself updated with trends in your niche and adapt your content accordingly.

Don’t shy away from controversial topics – they often spark the most engaging discussions. Remember to stay authentic and passionate. 

Your listeners can tell when you’re genuinely interested in a topic, and this will make your podcast more engaging and relatable.

Remember to always keep your audience at the forefront of your content creation process. 

5. Plan Your Podcast

The next step to creating your podcast is to create a plan. Follow these tips to help you get started:

1. Decide on the Format
Determine whether you want your podcast to be interview-based, story-based, educational, or a mixture. How long will your episodes be? What type of format will they take? Your chosen format should align with your niche and audience expectations.

2. Set a Schedule
Consistency is key for podcasting. Decide how often you will release episodes — weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. Stick to your schedule to keep your audience engaged and anticipating your next episode.

Think about your current commitments and what you could realistically achieve. Then stick with it, consistency is key. 

3. Create a Content Calendar
Plan your topics and guests ahead of time. This not only saves you time but also ensures you create a diversity of content that keeps your audience hooked and creates content consistently. 

Look at using a project management tool to map out your episodes and to stay on track. For podcasting, we love to use Trello or ClickUp to map out our client’s podcast episodes.

Detailing each step needed from planning to recording to editing and so on. We especially love using the Kanban-style boards in both of these tools, to easily map out each podcast episode.

how to start a podcast with no audience

4. Script Your Episodes
While you don’t need to write out every word, having a rough script for each episode helps keep you on track and ensures you cover all the key points you want to address. Having an outline of the subtopics you will cover in your episode will make recording each episode easier.

5. Batch Produce Your Episodes
To ensure consistency and smooth delivery, consider batch-producing your episodes. This involves recording and editing several episodes at once, allowing you to stay ahead of your publishing schedule.

Having episodes prepared in advance ensures that your audience receives regular content without interruption. It also frees up time to focus on other parts of your business. So consider recording a month’s worth of content in one sitting, or more. 

6. Prepare for Post-Production
Plan for editing your podcast episodes to remove any unwanted sounds, background noise or lengthy silences. You can either learn to do this yourself or outsource it to an editing service such as ourselves.

7. Develop a Promotion Strategy
Think about how you will promote your podcast to reach your target audience. This can include social media, email marketing, or collaborations with other podcasters. 

Remember, planning is an ongoing process and it’s okay to make adjustments along the way. The important thing is to keep your audience’s needs and interests at the heart of your podcasting journey.

how to start a podcast with no audience

6. Choose the Right Equipment

When it comes to choosing the right equipment for your podcast, it’s important to balance quality with affordability.

You don’t need to spend a lot of money to start with, but there are some key things to consider:

1. Microphone: The microphone is perhaps the most crucial piece of equipment you’ll need. Look for a microphone that offers clear, crisp sound quality.

USB microphones are a popular choice for beginners due to their ease of use and reasonably good sound quality. We have included a list of great podcast microphones that we recommend below.

2. Headphones: A pair of closed-back headphones is vital for monitoring your audio while you record. They help you catch any unwanted background noise or sound distortion that may affect your podcast’s quality. We have included some great headphone options below.

3. Audio Interface: If you’re using a non-USB microphone, you’ll need an audio interface. This device converts the analogue signal from your microphone into a digital format your computer can process.

4. Boom Arm & Pop Filter: A boom arm holds your microphone in place, freeing your hands and reducing handling noise. A pop filter is a screen that sits between you and the mic, reducing the impact of plosive sounds (like ‘p’ and ‘b’) which can cause distortion.

5. Acoustic Treatment: If your recording area has a lot of echoes or background noise, consider investing in some basic acoustic treatment like foam panels. 

Remember, while high-quality equipment can enhance the sound of your podcast, content is always king.

Prioritize creating engaging and valuable content for your listeners. As your podcast grows, you can continue to upgrade your equipment over time.

7. Our Recommended Podcast Equipment

To help you get started with choosing the right equipment for your podcast, we have put together a list of our recommendations below. 

1. Rode NT-USB Microphone

The Rode NT-USB (Amazon link) is a popular choice among podcasters for its outstanding sound quality and ease of use. You simply just plug it directly into the USB port on your computer and start to use it.

A very easy microphone that offers high-quality audio sound and is our top podcasting microphone that we love.

how to start a podcast with no audience

The Rode NT-USB (Amazon link) comes with a tripod stand, pop shield, and ring mount, offering flexibility in how you set up your recording space. It has a built-in headphone jack for zero-latency monitoring, allowing you to hear your voice in real-time as you record.

This microphone retails for around $150 – $170 USD. You can check it out here. (Amazon link)

2. Blue Yeti USB Microphone

The Blue Yeti 90045510 (Amazon link) is another great choice for podcasters, being highly praised for its exceptional sound quality and multitude of recording options. 

how to start a podcast with no audience

This microphone has a rich, detailed sound quality, capturing the full-bodied sound of the human voice. As a USB mic, it’s as simple as plug-and-play, eliminating the need for an external audio interface.

As for the price, the Blue Yeti (Amazon link) generally retails for around $130, making it a slightly cheaper option compared to the Rode NT-USB (Amazon link), yet without any major compromise on the audio quality.

3. Rode Wireless Go II – Single

The Rode Wireless GO II – Single (Amazon link) is a compact wireless microphone system and is amazing for its portability and ease of use, making it an ideal choice for podcasters on the move.

If you are travelling or just need a small and flexible microphone, then this is one we highly recommend.

The system is straightforward to set up and includes the ability to use a lapel microphone as well.

The Rode Wireless GO II – Single (Amazon link) is typically priced around $200, it offers good value for podcasters in need of a reliable and portable wireless microphone system. It’s one we love using.

how to start a podcast with no audience

You can easily connect it to your computer using the SC2 3.5mm TRS to TRS coiled cable that comes in the box via the headphone jack on your computer. You can also connect it via the included USBC-to-USB-C cable.

If you are looking for a more portable option to use with your phone, you can easily do that with a Rode SC7 TRS to TRRS 3.5mm patch cable (Amazon link). 

4. Rode Wireless Go II – Dual Channel

Taking it a step further, the Rode Wireless GO II – Dual Channel (Amazon link) offers a dual-channel wireless microphone system, suitable for podcasters who often have guests on their show or require multiple microphones.

This allows for two presenters, or a presenter and a guest, to be recorded at the same time.

Typically retailing for around $300, the Rode Wireless GO II – Dual Channel (Amazon link) may be worth the investment for podcasters who require a more robust wireless microphone system.

Just like the Rode Wireless GO II – Single (Amazon link), you can connect the device to your computer or mobile to make recording your podcast easy.

how to start a podcast with no audience

5. Blue Microphone Snowball iCE

If you are looking for a more cost-effective podcasting microphone then the Blue Microphones Snowball iCE (Amazon link) is another great option.

It is a USB microphone that is easy to use and set up, making it an ideal choice for beginners.

The Blue Microphones Snowball iCE  (Amazon link) delivers crisp, clean audio quality, that retails for around $50. While the microphone performs well, its plastic build may not be as durable as other more robust models.

But if you are looking for a lower-priced option, then this is a great microphone to get you started.

6. Rode NT-USB Mini

As you can tell by now, we love Rode products as their quality and customer service are excellent. So we were excited when they introduced the Rode NT – USB Mini (Amazon link).

This is a compact, studio-quality USB microphone designed for recording high-quality audio directly to a computer or tablet.

If you are looking for a balance between affordability, performance, and portability, then this microphone is the perfect choice.

Its small size makes it ideal for portable podcasting setups, and it comes with a detachable magnetic stand.

It also features a studio-grade headphone amplifier and a high-quality 3.5mm headphone output, which allows for zero-latency monitoring.

Retailing at around $100, the Rode NT – USB Mini (Amazon link) offers a good balance between cost and quality.

how to start a podcast with no audience

7. Microphone Stand

All of the USB-based microphones we have recommended come with a stand as part of the microphone.

However, if you are looking for an additional stand such as a boom pole or desk stand here are a couple of great options:

RODE DS2 Desktop Studio Arm – The Rode DS2 Desktop Studio Arm (Amazon link) is a robust and adaptable microphone desktop stand that is a compact, and highly durable desktop studio arm.

It has an inclusive 3/8” to 1/4” adapter that enhances its compatibility, effectively supporting an extensive variety of microphones, cameras, lights, smartphones, and additional accessories.

If you need a desktop stand to hold your microphone, this is a great option.

how to start a podcast with no audience

RODE PSA Professional Studio Arm – The RØDE PSA1 Professional Studio Arm (Amazon link) is easy to use and affordable. With its flexible design and smooth movement, it helps create quality content and ensures accurate microphone positioning.

how to start a podcast with no audience

8. Headphones

Using a set of headphones while recording a podcast allows you to monitor audio quality in real-time, ensuring that factors like volume, voice clarity, and sound effects are well-balanced.

They also help isolate your voice by blocking out external noises, providing a cleaner and more professional sound.

Headphones can prevent audio feedback loops that occur when the microphone picks up its own output from external speakers, a common issue during live broadcasts or when guests are dialling in remotely. Here are some of our headphone recommendations:

Rode NTH-100 – The Rode NTH-100 (Amazon link) is a professional-grade microphone designed for broadcast, providing a wide frequency response for clear vocals. Its cardioid pattern isolates the main sound source and reduces background noise, creating clean soundscapes.

how to start a podcast with no audience

Sennheiser HD280PRO – The Sennheiser HD280PRO (Amazon link) headphones are known for their exceptional sound quality and robust construction. These headphones are designed to provide accurate sound reproduction, critical for monitoring recording quality in real time.

Their closed-ear design offers excellent noise isolation which helps reduce background disturbances during recording. They are comfortable to wear for extended periods, thanks to their padded ear cups and adjustable headband.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50XGMThe Audio-Technica ATH-M50XGM (Amazon link) offer exceptional clarity and deep, accurate bass response, which is crucial for monitoring audio quality accurately.

They feature 45 mm large-aperture drivers and sound-isolating earcups, ensuring an immersive listening experience free from background noise.

The comfort factor is elevated with professional-grade earpads and headband material, making them perfect for long recording sessions.

how to start a podcast with no audience

8. Preparing Your Intro & Outro

Creating an enticing intro and engaging outro for your podcast is a key element in creating a memorable listening experience. Your intro sets the tone for your show, while your outro wraps up the episode and offers potential next steps for your listeners.

Here are some tips to consider:

Do It Yourself: If you have a knack for creativity and a decent command of audio editing software, you could create the intro and outro yourself.

This allows you to maintain full control over the process and personalize the segments to fit your podcast’s theme.

There are many free and paid audio editing software options available like Audacity, GarageBand, or Adobe Audition. 

Hiring a Professional: If DIY isn’t your style or you’re pressed for time, hiring a professional from platforms like Fiverr or Upwork can be a great option.

Professionals can produce a high-quality, polished intro and outro. When briefing them, be clear about your needs, including the style, duration, and any specific script or music you’d like included.

Script It Out: Whether you’re going DIY or hiring a professional, having a well-prepared script is essential. Your intro should mention the name of your podcast, and the host’s name, and give a brief overview of what listeners can expect from the show.

The outro, on the other hand, should thank the listeners for tuning in, remind them to subscribe or leave a review, and provide information on how they can stay connected with you or your podcast (website, social media handles, etc.).

Music & Sound Effects: To make your intro and outro more captivating, consider using music or sound effects.

If you’re doing it yourself, there are numerous royalty-free music sites where you can source tracks like Envato ElementsEnvato Elements has great royalty-free media files with an extensive library of choices.

how to start a podcast with no audience

Remember, the intro and outro are the first and last things your listeners hear, so make them count!

9. Recording Your First Episode

Recording your first podcast episode can be exciting and daunting. Consider the following to help you:

  • Understanding Your Equipment: Knowing your equipment is crucial. Learn how your microphone works, find a quiet place for recording your podcast to ensure minimal background noise and familiarize yourself with how to create high-quality audio files.
  • Preparation is Key: Like any project, preparation goes a long way. Plan your episode in detail, and write a script or key points to ensure you cover everything you want to discuss.
  • Content Quality: Ensure your content is well-researched and structured, with topics that your podcast listeners will love. Keep a script or at least an outline to help you stay on track and maintain a steady flow of information. Be sure to speak clearly, at a steady pace, and with enthusiasm to keep your listeners engaged.
  • Practice Makes Perfect: Conduct a few trial runs before recording the actual episode. This is a great way to find and correct any potential issues beforehand.
  • Guest Interaction: If you have a guest, engage them in a conversation before the recording. This helps build a rapport and makes the conversation flow more naturally during the actual recording. 
  • Relax and Enjoy: Perhaps the most important thing to remember, enjoy the process! Your passion and enjoyment will shine through in the podcast, making it a more engaging experience for the listeners. 

10. Editing Your Podcast

Editing your podcast is a critical step in presenting a polished final product to your listeners. Here’s a list of tips to help you get started:

  • Listen Through: Before you dive into editing, listen through your entire podcast recording. This will help you identify any significant issues that need to be addressed and get a sense of the overall flow and pacing.
  • Identify & Remove Errors: Any awkward silences, stray background noises, “umms” and “ahhs”, or unexpected interruptions should be removed for a smoother listening experience.
  • Maintain Consistent Audio Levels: Keep an eye (or rather, an ear!) on your audio levels. Make sure the volume is consistent throughout the podcast – sudden jumps or drops in volume can be jarring for listeners.
  • Use High-Quality Editing Software: There’s a range of podcast editing software available, both free and paid. For beginners, Audacity is a popular choice: it’s free, user-friendly, and offers a robust set of editing features.

    GarageBand is another free option, though it’s exclusive to iOS. If you’re willing to invest in a more professional setup, Adobe Audition or Hindenburg Journalist Pro are excellent choices. But the fact is if you have any editing software on your computer already, even if it’s video editing software, you will be able to edit your podcast with ease.

how to start a podcast with no audience
  • Don’t Over-Edit: While it’s important to create a clean, professional-sounding podcast, avoid over-editing. Leaving in some natural conversation elements can help your podcast retain its authenticity and reliability.

Remember, editing is a skill that improves over time. It might feel a bit overwhelming at first, but with practice, you’ll become more efficient and proficient.

    11. Designing Your Podcast Artwork and Branding

    Your podcast’s artwork and branding play a pivotal role in attracting potential listeners. It’s the first impression people get of your podcast, so it should be compelling, professional, and representative of your content.

    Follow these tips to ensure a strong visual identity:

    1. Understand Your Audience: Tailor your design choices to the tastes and preferences of your target audience. If your podcast is aimed at young adults, a contemporary and vibrant design might be more appealing.

    2. Color and Typography: Pick colors and typography that resonate with your podcast’s theme. Colors can evoke emotions and typography can set the mood, making these elements crucial in communicating the tone of your show.

    3. Iconic Imagery: Use images or symbols that are easily recognizable and relevant to your podcast title or theme. This will make your podcast stand out in listings and can be a useful branding tool across different platforms.

    4. Consistency Across Platforms: Maintain a consistent visual identity across all promotional mediums, whether it’s on your social media profiles or website. This consistency reinforces your brand and makes it more memorable.

    5. Design Your Artwork: You can easily create your podcast artwork using a tool like Canva. Keep the design clean and easy to read, so that it catches the eye of your listeners and stands out.

    how to start a podcast with no audience

    12. Marketing Your Podcast

    Once your podcast is ready, it’s time to get it out into the world and to do that you will need a podcast hosting provider.

    These providers, such as BuzzSprout or Podbean, are services that store your podcast files and generate the RSS feed for your podcast.

    This allows listeners to subscribe to your podcast and have new episodes delivered to their devices as soon as they’re available.

    how to start a podcast with no audience

    Hosting providers offer a variety of features aimed at promoting your podcast.

    For instance, they provide analytics that helps you understand your audience better, automatic episode scheduling so you can post at optimal times, and seamless integration with podcast directories like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts.

    Some hosts, like BuzzSprout, even offer promotional tools like visual soundbites for social media sharing.

    Remember to include SEO in your podcast show notes and any links back to your website or services that are mentioned within the podcast. 

    Next share your podcast on all social media platforms, including in relevant groups, to increase your reach. You can also repurpose your podcast content into blog posts, infographics, or short video clips to appeal to different audience preferences.

    how to start a podcast with no audience

    Lastly, consider networking with other podcasters and influencers in your niche to boost your podcast’s visibility.

    Collaborating with them for guest appearances can help tap into their audience base to bring new listeners to your show. Just remember, that authenticity in your interactions goes a long way in building lasting relationships.

    13. Gaining Followers

    Gaining followers is an integral part of establishing your online presence, whether it’s for a podcast, a blog, or any other digital platform.

    Here are a few tips to help you increase your follower count:

    1. Provide Quality Content: The first and most fundamental step is to ensure your content is engaging and valuable to your audience. The higher the quality of your content, the more likely it is for people to follow you.

    2. Stay Consistent: Regularly delivering content to your audience helps maintain their interest and build a loyal following. Develop a content schedule and stick to it!

    3. Engage with Your Audience: Interaction is key. Respond to comments, ask for feedback, and show appreciation for your audience’s support. The more connected your audience feels, the more likely they are to be loyal followers.

    4. Promote Your Content: Use social media platforms and collaborate with other content creators to introduce your work to a wider audience. 

    5. Offer Exclusive Content: Providing exclusive content or early access to your followers can help give potential followers an incentive to join.

    Remember that growing your follower base is a gradual process. Maintain your focus on producing quality content and engaging with your audience, and over time, the followers will come.

    How to start a podcast with no audience: 13 simple steps


    Podcasts have risen as a powerful tool to share your expertise, build your brand authority and connect with your ideal audience across the globe.

    With the right equipment and tools, you can create engaging valuable content for your listeners. With the power of podcasts, you can potentially connect with millions of listeners worldwide.

    This wide reach and intimate connection make podcasts an incredibly powerful way to grow your business and brand. 

    Remember to always do your research and discover SEO topics that your listeners are looking for. Create engaging and value-adding podcast episodes that will help your listener in some way!

    Then leverage your podcast and repurpose it into other pieces of content that you can easily distribute via social media to increase your reach and followers.

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    Next Steps

    If you need assistance managing your podcast and putting all of the pieces together, we can help. We offer podcast management services including planning and strategizing, content development and SEO research, editing, publishing, and promotion.

    Let us handle the technical aspects while you focus on creating impactful content for your listeners. Book a free discovery call with us today to learn more.

    Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are ‘affiliate links.’ This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


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