how to start a podcast

Well, I've started one...Creativity Drill with Jonathan and Dawn Rundman...so the question remains, who will listen, and what might happen in the future? The show has been live on the iTunes store for about 24 hours now, and I'll probably wait until Monday to hype it online, just because in my experience, the weekend has less online action with my audience/readers.

Now that everything is up and working, here's a rundown of howwe started our podcast. As a podcast fan, my prime inspirations were the shows on the Nerdist podcast network, as well as the married-couple-hosted show Totally Laime. Preparing and launching our show was quite complicated and it took a looooong time:

ONE YEAR AGO

My wife Dr. Dawn Rundman and I started talking about hosting a podcast together. We enjoy the rare occasion when we get to perform/present together, so we thought this would be a fun married-couple activity for us to do. Our goals for starting the podcast:

  • have a fun project to work on together as a couple
  • have a reason to get together with talented and inspiring friends
  • create synergy between our own creative work, and the creative work of our awesome guests
  • perhaps generate some yet-unknown opportunities for fun and art in the future

During one of our rare date nights, we went to a Starbucks and brainstormed ideas for show topics, themes, and guests. We came up with a concept and show title that we liked, and I whipped up a podcast cover by drawing a sketch of us and tweaking it in Photoshop. I read a bunch of articles like this to determine how to format the podcast cover image.


10 MONTHS AGO

One of our talented and creative friends was coming to Minneapolis, and we thought it might be an occasion to tape our first episode. The friend was familiar with podcasting, and was an enthusiastic test subject. We used our broken 10-year-old laptop and my elderly ProTools recording software to tape the interview. Dawn and I had fun, and the guest did, too. We knew the interviews were going to work! We wanted to get a few more in the can before launching officially.

5 MONTHS AGO

After a very busy period of family activities and my own musical tours, I was able to refocus on the developing podcast idea. I wanted the show to have hooky theme music, so I wrote a short little song and made a recording using a drum machine and synthesizer, with vocal assistance from my children. I took the tracks to the Library Recording Studio in Minneapolis to have it professionally mixed by studio wiz Matt Patrick. Matt himself appears as the announcer...here's the theme song:

3 MONTHS AGO

We had the raw material in place: a concept, a title, cover artwork, and a theme song. Now we needed more episodes! My goal was to complete three shows before going public with the podcast. We invited over another guest to tape the second episode. This was getting fun!

I did a lot of online research on all the technicalities of prepping a podcast for launch. I found the free videos and articles by Cliff Ravenscraft the Podcast Answer Man very helpful.

ONE WEEK AGO

We invited another guest to tape our third episode, and Dawn and I continued to enjoy the interviewing process. We began to ask other people to consider being guests in the future. I edited together our interviews with our theme music, episode intros, and outro bumper music using Garage Band, and bounced the master MP3s of each episode. Before the official launch I had to learn about and implement these other important steps:

  • tagging the master MP3s...I downloaded ID3 Editor and it worked well, although I found the process to be not-intuitive and kind of complicated 
  • finding an online host for the audio...I chose the $20 per month plan at Libsyn. This was also pretty complicated for me to do, and I had to do a lot of reading, learning, and experimenting to make sure it was working.
  • creating a podcast page at my own pre-existing webpage (via Squarespace) to serve as the home base for the podcast, and figuring out how to tag all the podcast links correctly, etc. This required a couple email requests for help from Squarespace support. Whew!
  • figuring out how to submit the feed to the iTunes store, making the submission, and waiting for approval
  • once approved by iTunes, I had to wait a day or so for the audio to turn up at the iTunes store, and  even longer for it to be searchable. After a couple days, everything seems to be alive.
  • I posted the first two episodes immediately, just to have some content ready for listening
Strangely enough, my Libsyn stats are telling me that we're already getting over 10 downloads per day, and at this point I have not even mentioned the podcast to my Facebook or Twitter or mass email audience. I don't know who these people are, but somebody is finding the show. 

NEXT WEEK

I'm gonna hype the show. This blog post is really the first I've said about the show in public! I've set up some online infrastructure to help get the word out, and to help connect us to listeners. Please check out our social media presence:

We'll continue to post episodes and we hope YOU listen! Please check us out at the iTunes store, subscribe to our show, and leave some nice ratings and reviews!

I'll blog again in the future and let y'all know how this podcast develops! Thanks!

Comments

Grace Figueroa said…
so any tips on how to start a podcast? you got good videos here. keep it up.

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