Podcasting for beginners (plus FAQ’s for intermediate and advanced podcasters, too!)

Podcasting for beginners: FAQ’s

Is a podcast right for me?

Podcasting isn’t right for everyone and every business. But here are a few questions you can ask yourself to find out:

  • Does my ideal avatar or customer consume audio content?
  • Do I have a message and value to share with the world?
  • Would I like to reach a world-wide audience with my content?
  • Am I ready to create a deeper connection with my audience?
  • Do I want to grow my audience?
  • Can a podcast help my existing business as a new marketing channel?
  • Am I passionate about sharing my message via audio content?
  • Do I see myself podcasting for at least a year, if not longer?
  • Based on the projects and goals I currently have set for me and my business, does podcasting fit?
  • Grow an audience
  • Provide free, consistent value to an audience
  • Gain more visibility for your business and brand
  • Increase your authority and credibility as a leader
  • Create a deeper connection with your audience than you ever thought possible
  • Connect with some amazing individuals!

How do I come up with a podcast topic or idea?

Know you want to start a podcast, but not quite sure what you should podcast about?

Zone of Fire Exercise

  1. Take out a sheet of paper and draw a line down the middle
  2. On the left hand side, write curiosity / passions; on the right hand side write skills / expertise
  3. Set a timer for 5 minutes, and fill in the left hand side with as many things as you can think of that you’re either curious about or passionate about
  4. Set a timer for 5 minutes, and fill in the right hand side with as many things as you can think of that are skills of yours or things you have expertise in doing
  5. If you’re having trouble coming up with at least 20 items in each column, reach out to family and friends and ask them “what types of traits, skills, or passions come to mind when you think about me?”
  6. Set a timer for 5 minutes and start making connections; where do your curiosities and passions meet your skills and expertise?

How do I know whether people will listen?

It’s absolutely important to know there are people out there who will listen to your podcast, and you can do a lot of this initial “proof of concept” with a little bit of research.

  • Google your podcast topic
  • Search Apple Podcasts for your podcast topic
  • Type into the Facebook search bar your podcast topic
  • Look for videos on YouTube that talk about your podcast topic

How much does it cost to start a podcast?

Podcasting doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. In fact, if you were to put a dollar amount on my podcasting setup, here’s how it would breakdown:

  • MacBook Pro (assuming you already have a computer: $0)
  • ATR-2100 Microphone ($89 1-time investment)
  • Apple Earbuds (assuming you already have a pair of earbuds: $0)
  • Libsyn Podcast Hosting ($7 / mo)
  • Adobe Audition Recording & Editing software ($20 / mo, but there are free options, too)
  • Podcast Artwork (anywhere from $0 — $300+)
  • Podcast Intro & Outro (anywhere from $0 — $600+)
  • Website Hosting (starting at $4 / mo using our affiliate link for Bluehost)
  • Social Media Scheduler MeetEdgar ($15 / mo)
  • The Podcast Journal: Idea to Launch in 50 Days ($49 1-time)

What type of podcast equipment should I buy?

We are big believers in keeping your podcast setup super simple. The more fancy equipment you buy, the more difficult you make your setup, connections, and upkeep.

  • Computer: MacBook Pro or Mac Desktop computer
  • Microphone: ATR-2100
  • Headphones: Apple Earbuds (or other earbuds)
  • Pop filter for ATR-2100
  • Boom arm (for a more permanent desk setup)

How do I record my podcast?

Depending on the podcast format you’ve chosen, there are a couple of different ways to record your podcast.

What day of the week should I publish my podcast?

This depends on your podcast frequency, which we recommend be at least one time per week.

What’s the ideal length for a podcast episode?

The ideal length for a podcast episode is exactly how long it should be.

What if I want to do a video podcast?

Video podcasts are great, and platforms like YouTube can definitely offer you additional exposure.

Where do I host my podcast?

Our top choice is Libsyn, and if you use our link you’ll get the rest of this month and next month free!

What are top tips for launching a podcast the right way?

Launching a podcast is a big deal! You’ve worked so hard to get to this point, and you want to make sure you’re doing it the right way. Kudos!

  1. Launch with 3 episodes (including you “trailer”, or About Me episode), and a month’s worth of content in the bank
  2. Have a content schedule in place so you don’t fall behind your publishing schedule
  3. Create a marketing plan so that you’re consistently sharing your podcast!

What directories should I submit my podcast to?

At the end of the day, the more places you can be found, the better. But there are some major players in the space where you’ll definitely want to submit your podcast.

Podcasting for intermediate podcasters: FAQ’s

What’s a good number of downloads per episode?

The average number of downloads per episode is roughly 130. That’s after it has been live for 30 days.

How do I know if my podcast is doing well or not?

This depends on what goals you have set for your podcast — an important step in the process.

How do I grow my podcast audience?

There are multiple ways to grow your podcast audience, and we created a post on the 7 Growth Hacks for Your Podcast.

How do I know if anyone is listening?

Ask! Engaging with your listeners is a key step towards building an audience and creating that know/like/trust factor.

How do I engage with my listeners?

We’re glad you asked! Engagement comes in all different shapes and sizes, so don’t assume it has to be a one-on-one convo that you’re preplanned or anything.

  • A listener reaches out to you via email and tells you they enjoyed the most recent episode
  • A listener comments on one of your social media posts and shares how they found out about your podcast
  • You’re in a Facebook group and someone asks a question related to your area of expertise

How do I get listeners to subscribe to my podcast?

Ask! When one of your listeners reaches out — via email, social media, or on your website — you can ask them to subscribe to your podcast.

How do I get listeners to leave a rating & review for my podcast?

Ask :) Again, any time one of your listeners reaches out to you — no matter what medium they’re using — at the end of your reply let them know how much it would mean to you if they leave a rating and review.

What’s the best way to grow my podcast?

There are several ways you can grow your podcast. Spoiler alert: they all take time, energy, and effort.

Should I join a podcast network?

Joining a podcast network is a big decision, and it should be one that you talk to several people about (especially if you share your podcast with a co-host or other partners).

Is using Patreon a good idea for my podcast?

It’s definitely worth a try!

Podcasting for advanced podcasters: FAQ’s

How do I take my podcast to the next level?

When you’ve hit a stride with your growth and have seen a consistent increase month over month for at least six months, then it’s time to kick it up a notch!

How do I monetize my podcast without bringing on sponsors?

There are several ways to monetize a podcast without bringing on sponsors. Here are just a few:

  1. Affiliate partnerships
  2. Creating a digital product for your audience
  3. Creating a service for your audience
  4. Hosting in-person or virtual events
  5. Patreon or other donation channel
  6. Launching physical products
  7. Subscription model (pay for bonus content)

How do I lock in my first sponsor?

We created the Ultimate Guide to Podcast Sponsorships, which breaks down every step of bringing on your first sponsor! We go into great detail about the various options you have for bringing on sponsors, and examples of email templates and more so you can reach out to your first sponsor!

What’s the best way to come up with an offer for my audience?

To ask them one question: What’s your biggest struggle right now?

How do I get speaking engagements?

If you’re interested in speaking on stage we have a post all about How to Land and Leverage Speaking Engagements.

What’s one thing you know now that you wish you would have known when you first started?

That getting started — and continuing to take action every single day — is the best action you can take.



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Kate Erickson

Kate Erickson


Kate is the engine at Entrepreneurs On Fire, the host of the podcast Ditch Busy, & co-author of The Podcast Journal: Idea to Launch in 50 Days.