Starting a podcast involves a lot of moving pieces, including podcast hosting, creating an rss feed, deciding what topics your podcast episodes will cover, identifying who your ideal listener is, and more.
If you’re just starting out and don’t have previous experience in the podcasting space, then a lot of this will be brand new to you.
Let’s look at the 5 must do steps to publish a podcast so you can rest assured that you won’t miss a thing!
5 Must do steps: How to start a podcast
Once you’ve decided to start a podcast, your next steps are figuring out things like:
- Your podcast topic
- Your niche
- Who your ideal listener is
- What format your podcast will follow
- Getting your podcast equipment and software set up
Your podcast roadmap
If you’re like me and you love having a roadmap to keep you on track when launching something new, then The Podcast Journal is your perfect companion.
The Podcast Journal lays out every single step you need to take — along with specific exercises each day — to help you go from idea to launch in 50 days or less!
Once you have your podcast foundation set and you’ve recorded your first few podcast episodes, it’s time to click submit!
Here are the 5 must do steps to publish a podcast.
1. Choose a hosting platform
Step 1 is choosing a hosting platform. This is where your podcast audio files will be uploaded and saved.
This is also where you’ll go to find your podcast stats and analytics, enter in all of your podcast details, and where you’ll get your rss feed url so you can get started on submitting your podcast on Apple and to each additional podcast directory.
There are multiple hosting platforms available. A few of them are free, and most of them are paid.
We do not recommend any of the free hosting platforms. You get what you pay for.
But don’t worry: many of the paid platforms have plans that start as low as $5 per month, a very small investment given the impact your podcast is going to have!
Our top recommended for podcast hosting is Libsyn. We use Libsyn to host our podcast and believe they’re the best because they’re fully committed and focused on podcasting. With our affiliate code, you’ll get the rest of this month and next month free.
To get started, visit Libsyn.com and use promo code FIRE when setting up your account.
2. Complete your hosting platform details
Once you’ve chosen a podcast hosting platform, you’ll need to fill in your podcast details. Libsyn’s dashboard will walk you through filling in these details step by step.
Make sure you’ve done your keyword research and have considered what your ideal listener might be searching for in Apple Podcasts or the other podcast directories when looking for your content or podcast.
This is important because the details you enter in your hosting platform are what will appear in every podcast directory.
These details include:
- Your podcast title
- Your podcast description
- Your podcast artwork
- Your podcast keywords
- Other important settings and metadata that are attached to your rss feed url and that follow you podcast
3. Record, edit, upload, and schedule a new episode
Now that you have your hosting platform set up, it’s time to upload and schedule a few episodes!
You’ll upload and schedule each new podcast episode in your media host (you will not have to upload and schedule episodes in all of the podcast directories — just in your podcast hosting platform).
Each time you record and edit a new episode, your next step is to upload and schedule it to go live on your podcast hosting platform.
We recommend launching your podcast with 3 episodes to start. One of these episodes will be your introduction, also referred to as your “about me” episode or “trailer” episode. The other two will be regular podcast episodes.
Before you submit your podcast rss feed url to any podcast directory, make sure you have at least one episode uploaded and scheduled for your podcast. Otherwise your rss feed will not be accepted.
4. Copy your rss feed url
Next step is to copy your rss feed url and run it through an rss feed validator. This step helps ensure that your rss feed has all the information attached to it that each podcast directory will look for.
Apple Podcasts is one of the more picky podcast directories — but also the most popular. To ensure you’re not waiting weeks for your podcast to be approved, make sure to do this quick check.
Cast Feed Validator is free and only takes a second. Again, all you have to do is copy your rss feed url from your media host, then paste it into the feed validator.
It will either come back green with a go-ahead message, or it will return errors.
Some of the most common errors include:
- Your podcast artwork not meeting specific requirements
- Not having at least 1 podcast episode LIVE in your podcast hosting platform (remember to upload and schedule your episodes, with at least one audio file LIVE)
- Your main podcast category is missing
- You haven’t completed all details in your podcast media host
- Your audio files aren’t tagged correctly
5. Submit your rss feed to the podcast directories
Apple Podcasts is typically the first directory we think of when it comes to submitting a podcast, and this will be the first directory you’ll submit your new rss feed to.
Once you click submit on your rss feed, you can expect approval from Apple Podcasts within 24–72 hours, depending on their backlog. Sometimes a new podcast will be approved within 24 hours, and other times it can take more than a week for a podcast to be approved.
Don’t panic! You have a lot of other podcast directories to submit to since your podcast is new, and just because your podcast rss feed isn’t approved immediately doesn’t necessarily mean something is wrong.
What to do once you click submit
Once you’ve submitted your rss feed to Apple Podcasts, you can continue submitting your rss feed to other podcast directories.
If you decide to go with Libsyn as your media host, then they’ve conveniently integrated with many of the podcast directories, which makes it super easy to submit your rss feed to several places directly from your Libsyn dashboard.
Simply login, go to Destinations, and scroll down to All Destinations. Next, click Add New and you’ll see a list of all integrated podcast directories.
There are some podcast directories (like Apple Podcasts) that you’ll need to submit to directly. Here’s a list of all major podcast directories, included instructions on how to submit your rss feed to each of them so you can get started.
Your podcasting journey
If this is all new to you — and sounding somewhat foreign — don’t worry. Learning how to start podcast is a part of the journey! And along with that comes learning new terminology, new software, and a lot of new lessons!
Whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed on your podcasting journey, just remember: this is supposed to be fun! Also, every time you upload your audio files and hit publish you’re on your way to making a big impact with your content. Each new episode is a new opportunity to reach someone, inspire them, motivate them, and help them.
If you’re ready to take action and start working towards launching your podcast today, check out our Free Podcast Course where we walk you through every step of creating and launching your own podcast!