Step-by-Step Guide to Planning a Podcast

May 16, 2024 | Latest, Marketing Tips

Step-by-Step Guide to Planning a Podcast

Why Start a Podcast?

Before diving into the planning process, it’s important to understand why you want to start a podcast in the first place. Is it for personal expression? To promote your business? To educate and inform others on a topic you’re passionate about? 

Identifying your purpose will help guide your podcast planning, create content, and share your podcast with the world.

It will also help you stay motivated and focused when faced with challenges or setbacks. Remaining focused on your why will lead to a more successful and fulfilling podcast in the long run.

Identify Your Target Audience

Once you have a clear purpose for your podcast, it’s time to identify your target audience.

Who do you want to listen to your podcast? What are their interests and pain points? Who is your ideal customer for your business?  

Understanding your audience will help shape the topics you cover and the tone of your podcast.  The best way to help you identify your target audience is to: 

  • Create ideal listener personas with details like age, gender, occupation, hobbies, and challenges your podcast can address.
  • Engage in social media groups and online forums to gain insights into potential audience preferences and interests.
  • Analyse existing podcasts in your niche and the feedback they receive for clues about what resonates with your audience. 
  • Conduct surveys or interviews with potential listeners to gather direct input on their interests and content preferences.
  • Look at trends within your niche to anticipate future topics or themes that could attract listeners.
  • Use analytics from platforms like Spotify and Apple Podcasts to understand the demographic data of similar podcast audiences.
  • Consider collaborations with other podcasters or influencers who share your target audience to gain insights and visibility.
  • Look out for news and events related to your podcast’s topic, as they can offer timely and relevant content ideas to engage your audience.

Remember, the more you understand your audience, the better you can tailor your content to meet their needs and interests, creating a loyal listener base.

Planning a Podcast

Choose Your Podcast Topic

Once you have identified your target audience, it’s time to choose a topic for your podcast. Your chosen topic should align with your audience’s interests, pain points, and expertise or passion.

Consider these tips when choosing a podcast topic:

  • Choose a niche you know and are passionate about to ensure consistent and engaging content.
  • Brainstorm potential topics and make a list to help you narrow down your options.
  • Consider the longevity of your topic. Is it evergreen or time-sensitive? Will it have enough potential for ongoing content?
  • Think about how you can differentiate your podcast from others in your niche. What unique perspective or approach can you offer?
  • Consider potential challenges that may arise with your chosen topic, such as legal or ethical issues.

Ultimately, your chosen topic should be something you are passionate about but also have the potential for growth and sustainability. 

It’s essential to continuously evaluate and adjust your topic as needed to keep your audience engaged and attract new listeners. So, take the time to carefully choose a podcast topic that will resonate with your target audience and align with your brand.

Planning a Podcast

Choose Your Podcast Name

Once you have your podcast topic, it’s time to develop a catchy and memorable name. Your podcast name is essentially your brand, so it should accurately reflect the content and tone of your show.

A key thing to remember for this one is not to overthink it. Keep your name simple, clear, and to the point of what you are talking about. Avoid using puns or obscure references that your audience may not easily understand. 

Using keywords within your podcast name is also beneficial to help with discoverability and search ranking. Consider using keywords related to your niche or topic in combination with catchy and memorable words.

When brainstorming names, it’s also important to consider how it will look as a logo or on social media platforms. Make sure the name is visually appealing and easy to read.

Consider these tips when choosing a podcast name:

  • Keep it short and easy to remember.
  • Use keywords related to your topic for SEO purposes.
  • Be creative and unique to stand out from other podcasts.
  • Avoid using trademarked names or copyrighted material.
  • Make sure another podcast does not already use your name.

Also, don’t be afraid to change your podcast name if you feel it no longer aligns with your content or brand. As your podcast evolves, it’s okay to adapt and rebrand. Just make sure to communicate the change with your audience.

Remember, your podcast name will be the first impression for potential listeners, so make it count!  

Engage, educate, and elevate your business with the magic of podcast marketing.

Outline Your Podcast Structure

After you’ve decided on a name, it’s time to start thinking about the structure of your podcast. This includes things like format, length, and episode titles.

Choosing Your Podcast Format

First, consider what type of format you want for your podcast. Will it be an interview-style show with guests? A solo show where you share your thoughts and ideas? Or a combination of both? 

There are many types of podcasts to choose from; each has its advantages.

Here are some common podcast formats to consider:

Interview Podcast

Featuring conversations with guests from various fields. This format is excellent for bringing diverse perspectives to your podcast.

Solo Cast

The host presents their thoughts, stories, or teachings. Ideal for building a personal brand or for topics that benefit from a deep-dive approach.


Two or more hosts engage in discussions, providing dynamic interactions and differing viewpoints.


A group of guests discusses a topic moderated by the host. This format adds depth and variety to discussions.

Narrative Non-Fiction

Tells true stories in a structured and highly produced format. Suitable for history, investigative journalism, or storytelling podcasts.


Features scripted stories, ranging from dramatic series to comedies. This allows for creative storytelling beyond traditional podcast formats.


Focuses on teaching the audience about specific topics. Great for niche subjects or industry-specific knowledge.


A discussion format with regular hosts or guests discussing news, topics, or events. Encourages varied opinions and insights.


Combines elements of multiple formats to create a unique listening experience. This could mix interviews, solo episodes, and narrative storytelling.

Planning a Podcast

Episode Length

Next, think about the length of your episodes. Most podcasts range from 20 minutes to an hour, but there are no hard and fast rules.

Choose a length that works for you and that you can manage. Also, ensure it aligns with the type of content that you will be sharing. 

Some formats, like narrative non-fiction or educational podcasts, may benefit from longer episodes to fully dive into the material. Others, like roundtable discussions or daily news updates, may work better in shorter bursts.

Ultimately, the length of your episodes should reflect how much content you have and how long it will take to cover it effectively.

Don’t feel pressured to stick to a specific length if it doesn’t work for your content or style.

Podcast Episode Title & Topics

When it comes to episode titles, be creative and eye-catching. Do keyword research related to your topic to help with discoverability. The title will be what potential listeners see first, so make sure it accurately represents the content of your episode.

Use tools like Google, Answer the Public, or SEMrush to find popular and trending search terms to generate a list of topics that are appealing to potential listeners.

This will also help drive search engine optimisation to your podcast, making it more discoverable to new listeners.

Planning a Podcast

You can also engage with your audience by asking for suggestions or feedback on future episode topics. This will help generate ideas and show that you value their input.

Remember, the most important thing is to choose topics that genuinely interest and excite you whilst weaving in SEO simultaneously.

This will shine through in your content, keeping your listeners engaged and returning for more. 

Planning a Podcast

Design Your Podcast Cover Art

Your podcast cover art is like the book cover of your podcast. It’s the first thing potential listeners will see and can greatly impact their decision to give your podcast a chance.

Your cover art should be eye-catching, visually appealing, and representative of your content.

The easiest way to create your cover art is by using tools like Canva or hiring a professional designer to bring your vision to life.

Whichever route you choose, ensure your cover art is consistent with your brand and resonates with your target audience.

Planning a Podcast

When designing your podcast cover art, keep these tips in mind:

1. Keep it Simple

Avoid clutter and too much text or images on your cover art. This can make it difficult to read and understand at a glance.

2. Use High-Quality Images

Make sure the images you use are clear and visually appealing. This will help draw attention to your podcast and make it stand out among others.

3. Make it Relevant

Your cover art should reflect the content of your podcast. Choose images or graphics that relate to your topic or title so listeners know what to expect.

4. Consider Branding

If you have an established brand, incorporate elements of it into your cover art. This will help with recognition and consistency across all platforms.

5. Don’t Forget About Fonts

The font you choose can say a lot about your podcast’s tone and style. Make sure it is easy to read and complements the overall design.

6. Test Different Options

Don’t be afraid to try out different designs before settling on one for your cover art. Ask for feedback from others and consider what will catch the eye of potential listeners.

Planning a Podcast

Write Your Podcast Intro & Outro Script

An essential part of any podcast episode is the introduction and conclusion. Your intro should introduce your podcast, its purpose, and what listeners can expect from each episode.

It’s also an excellent opportunity to showcase your personality and hook listeners.

Similarly, your outro should wrap up the episode, thank your listeners for tuning in, and give them a call to action, such as subscribing, leaving a review, or checking out your website. 

Don’t be afraid to spice up your intro and outro with royalty-free music or sound effects (we love using Envato Elements for their extensive audio library). When creating your podcast script, remember to keep it concise and engaging.

Here are some tips to get you started:

Planning a Podcast

Podcast Intro

  • Include the name of your podcast
  • Offer a brief description of what your podcast is about  
  • Share any important information about you as the host
  • Include an attention-grabbing line or quote 

    Podcast Outro

    The ideal time for your podcast intro is around 30 seconds, while the outro can be slightly shorter at around 15-20 seconds. Remember to keep your intros and outros consistent throughout each episode to create a cohesive listening experience for your audience.

      Planning a Podcast

      By creating a well-crafted intro and outro, you will set the tone for your podcast and leave a lasting impression on your listeners.

      Make sure to put in the time and effort to create something unique and engaging to keep your audience coming back for more. 

      You can record the intro and outro yourself using tools like Audacity, GarageBand, and Descript or hire a professional voiceover artist via Fiverr or Upwork. Try Envato Elements, which has a wide selection of royalty-free music and sound effects.

      Remember, your podcast intro and outro are the first and last things listeners will hear when tuning into your show, so make sure to make them count!

        Create a Podcast Content Calendar

        Now that you have created your podcast intro and outro, it’s time to create a content plan and develop a podcast content strategy.

        Creating a podcast content calendar can help you stay organised and consistently release episodes on schedule.

        Here are some tips for creating a podcast content calendar:

        • Determine the frequency of your episodes (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly)
        • Consider any upcoming holidays or events that may tie into your podcast topic
        • Plan out guest interviews or collaborations 
        • Assign dates for recording, editing, and publishing each episode
        • Use a project management tool like ClickUp or Trello to keep track of your content ideas and episode progress.
        • Hire a podcast manager to help with scheduling and organisation to keep your podcast running smoothly.
          Planning a Podcast

          Having a content calendar will help you stay organised and ensure that your podcast covers various topics and stays relevant to your audience.

          It can also help you plan for any special episodes or series requiring more preparation time. 

            Choose Your Podcast Equipment

            When creating a high-quality podcast, having the right equipment is essential. It can mean the difference between a professional-sounding podcast and an amateurish one. 

            While you can certainly start with the essential equipment, investing in some quality gear can significantly improve the overall production of your show.

            Here are some essential items to consider when choosing your podcast equipment. Check out our blog here for more tips on what equipment we love and recommend.

            • Microphone: A good quality microphone can make a world of difference in the sound quality of your podcast. Popular options include the Blue Yeti or Rode NT-USB microphones.
            • Headphones: Using headphones while recording can help you monitor your audio and prevent background noise or feedback. Read some of our headphone recommendations here.
            • Audio Interface: This device connects your microphone to your computer and helps control the sound levels. The Focusrite Scarlett Solo is a popular choice for podcasters.
            • Recording and Editing Software: Many options are available, including free programs like Audacity, Descript, Screenflow, and Adobe Audition. Do some research to find the best fit for your budget and needs.
            • Pop Filter: This small screen attached to your microphone can help reduce popping sounds while speaking, resulting in better audio quality.
            • Mic Stand or Boom Arm: A stable stand or boom arm can make recording easier without holding onto your microphone. Read some of our recommendations here.

            Remember, investing in good equipment is important, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. Research and find options that fit your budget while still providing quality sound.

            Planning a Podcast

            Record Your Podcast

            Once you have all your recording equipment set up, it’s time to start recording! Here are a few tips to help you get started:

            Choose a Quiet Location

            Find a room or space that is free from background noise, such as traffic or appliances running.

            Practice Your Speaking Voice

            Make sure to speak clearly and at a consistent volume. Do some vocal warm-ups before recording to avoid any strain on your voice. Speak slower than your normal talking voice to ensure clarity in your recording.

            Write Out a Script or Outline

            While you don’t have to stick strictly to a script, having an outline can ensure that you cover all the essential points and keep the conversation flowing.

            Record Your Podcast on One File

            Record your podcast on one file and clap between takes, as this will make the editing process easier and faster.

            Have Fun!

            Podcasting is meant to be enjoyable! Don’t worry about making mistakes or sounding perfect; relax and have fun with it.

            Edit Your Podcast

            After recording, you may want to edit your podcast before publishing. This can include removing mistakes or pauses, adding music or sound effects, and adjusting the audio levels. 

            Some popular podcast editing software options include Audacity, GarageBand, and Descript. 

            These programs offer a variety of tools and features to help you edit your podcast and make it sound professional.

            Descript offers a unique and powerful approach to podcast editing that sets it apart from traditional audio editing software.

            With its innovative use of AI-driven transcriptions, users can edit audio recordings by simply editing the text of the transcript. 

            Planning a Podcast

            This means if you stumble over a word or want to remove a specific phrase, you can locate it in the transcript and delete it as if you were editing a text document.

            The changes are automatically reflected in the audio file. This makes editing super easy and fast.

            Choosing Your Podcast Host

            Once your podcast is edited and ready to go, you’ll need a place to host it. This is where listeners will find and access your episodes.

            Some popular hosting platforms for podcasts include Buzzsprout, Podbean, and Libsyn.

            These sites offer a range of features like analytics, distribution to significant podcast directories like Apple Podcasts and Spotify, and customisable websites for your podcast.

            When choosing a hosting platform, consider your budget and the features that are important to you.

            Some platforms may offer pricing plans based on storage or number of episodes, so research and compare before making a decision.

              Planning a Podcast

              Show notes and transcripts are also essential elements to consider when choosing a podcast host.

              These features allow listeners to follow along with your show and access any links or resources mentioned in each episode.

              Additionally, some hosting platforms offer the ability to monetise your podcast through advertisements or listener support options. This can be a great way to generate income from your podcast and grow your audience.

              Overall, it’s important to choose a reliable and user-friendly hosting platform that fits your podcast needs and goals.

              With the right tools and strategies, you can reach a wider audience and create a successful podcast that engages listeners and keeps them coming back for more. 

                Planning a Podcast

                Choosing Your Podcast Host

                Promoting your podcast is crucial for gaining listeners, especially during the initial launch stage of your podcast.  

                Here are some tips for effectively promoting your podcast:

                • Use social media platforms to share your episodes and engage with listeners.
                • Email your email list and ask them to check out your podcast.
                • Collaborate with other podcasters or influencers in your niche for cross-promotion.
                • Reach out to potential guests for interviews and have them promote the episode on their platforms.
                • Leverage word-of-mouth’s power by encouraging current listeners to share your podcast with their friends and followers. 
                • Consistently release new episodes to keep your audience engaged and returning for more.  
                • Use SEO techniques in your podcast titles and descriptions to make it easier for potential listeners to find you through search engines.
                • Create blog posts to showcase your podcast and provide additional content for your audience.
                • Attend events and conferences related to your niche to network and spread the word about your podcast.
                • Consider running ads on social media or other platforms to reach a wider audience. 

                  Engage with Your Listeners

                  Engaging with your listeners is a key aspect of building a successful podcast. It lets you connect with your audience, get feedback, and build a loyal community around your show.

                  Here are some easy ways to engage with your listeners:

                  • Encourage them to leave reviews and ratings on major podcast directories
                  • Respond to comments and messages on social media or your podcast’s website
                  • Conduct surveys or polls to gather feedback and ideas for future episodes
                  • Consider creating a private Facebook group for your listeners to interact with each other and with you 
                  • Host live Q&A sessions or listener call-ins during your episodes 
                  • Use email marketing to keep in touch with your audience and share updates about new episodes or special events.
                    Planning a Podcast

                    Final Thoughts

                    Building successful podcasts takes time, effort, and consistency. Following these tips and strategies can increase your listenership and grow your podcast into a thriving platform for sharing your content with the world.

                    Remember to stay dedicated, engage with your audience, and continuously seek ways to improve your show. 

                    Need help? We’re here to support you every step of your podcasting journey.

                    We offer podcast management services to help handle the technical aspects of producing your show, from research to podcast editing, show notes, and more. 

                    Contact us today to see how we can help you achieve your podcasting goals. 

                    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.

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