How to Start a Podcast in 2021

How to Start a Podcast in 2021

It's 2021! A new year means you're likely thinking about starting a podcast.

Podcasting is becoming more mainstream, with Spotify, Apple, and other companies buying up podcasting networks. If you're asking yourself, "how do I start podcasting?" It's a lot easier in 2021.

There are free hosting options, there are automated systems to distribute your show, and more people are starting to listen to podcasts each day.

I would say not only is podcasting in 2021 easy but its still in the early days. If you start a show now and stay consistent, you could grow an influential show. This ease isn't to undercut how much time and commitment which needs to go into podcasting.

If you think you have the commitment and looking where to start, we often get asked some of the common questions.

What Do you Need?

Dynamic podcasting microphone on black
Dynamic podcasting microphone on black

You could start podcasting TODAY with only your iPhone or Android phone, using a voice recording app, garage band, and a podcast hosting provider. This is the best way, in my opinion, to start podcasting. It is zero friction and allows you to test the waters.

Suppose you do become more serious or want to have high-quality audio out the door. Then the first step is buying a microphone that you can either connect to your phone or computer.

I asked a good friend and podcast studio owner/producer, the best microphones. He recommended the following:

Entry Level Microphones:

Professional Level Microphones:

After you buy a mic, you will need somewhere to record and edit your podcast. If you record in-person (it may not be possible because of Covid), we recommend a couple of different software.

Entry Level Editing Sofware:

Professional Level Editing Software:

If you had to boil it down even further, I would go with Audacity at the entry-level and the professional level look at Hindenburg.

Where Should you Host?

After you've recorded and edited your podcast, the next question is, "where should I host my podcast?"

Depending on budget, there are a few options.

Free Podcast Hosting:

Paid Podcast Hosting:

We recommend starting with Anchor. Anchor will distribute the podcast across Apple Podcast, Spotify, and other podcast directories. Plus, it's FREE hosting! Anchor also has a built-in recording feature for multiple people and offers monetization. Plus, Anchor provides a Pateron style support feature that allows listeners to "subscribe" to your show.

I went more in-depth in the Anchor features on this article.

How to Get Guests on Your Show?

There are different types of podcast formats. You could do:

  • Single person podcast, where you talk world news or about a topic. The easiest to start and keep going.
  • Podcast with a friend, co-worker, or family member. This is where you and the other co-host talk about the news or another topic together. This is a common format but does require both hosts to commit to a schedule.
  • Guest based show. This podcast type is where you and a possible co-host or two talk to a different guest every episode. This podcast type is the hardest to manage. It means scheduling with guests, co-hosts if applicable, and a revolving list of new hosts.

If you're thinking about doing a guest based show, its essential to book multiple guests out a few weeks or even longer. This means you'll have a long list of possible people to talk to on your podcast.

The best place to find guests for your show is from a website called Podcast Guest. If you subscribe, you're able to get a weekly email with possible podcast guests to feature on your podcast. Plus, there is a directory of highly talented folks in different industries, from marketing to politics.

How to Record Host (During & Post COVID)?

Recording a podcast episode during and even post covid more than likely means you'll be recording remotely. There are ways to record with the software I listed above when calling someone on Zoom or Skype, but overall the low audio quality from meeting apps will not be ideal for recording.

The best alternative to that is Zencastr. The app is perfect for recording remote interviews with what they call "studio quality." Its super easy to use, with no downloads. You and the guest need to use Chrome or another supported browser. Zencastr will separate tracks per guest, keep recording even if the internet is choppy, and offer built-in VoIP.

Screenshot of Zencastr Website Homepage
Zencastr Website Homepage

Where do Listeners Find your Podcast?

The most critical part is how do listeners find your podcast?

The first place is on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or other podcast directories. Many hosts, including the ones we recommended, have automated systems to distribute the podcast.

The second place is on social media. Have a presence on Facebook, Instagram, and more importantly, Twitter. Twitter is an excellent fit for many podcasters - they're able to share ideas, ask questions, and interact with followers. Now, not every podcast audience is on Twitter, so follow the platform where your audience is. For example, if you have a podcast about cooking or parenting, that would likely be a better fit on Facebook.

The third place is on the web. Having a website is vital for discovery. A large part of podcast discovery is still coming from Google Search. A website with show notes, a way to listen, and more information on where to subscribe allows anyone to find you. There is no podcast app required to listen online. With IronMic, you can setup a Podcast website in a few minutes. We generate a website based on your podcasts RSS in only a few minutes.