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How To Produce A Podcast: Full Step-by-Step Guide


How To Produce A Podcast: Full Step-by-Step Guide

Are you considering producing your first podcast, but you’re not sure where to start? 

Producing a podcast takes a lot of work, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be difficult. With the right tools and tips, you can learn how to produce a podcast professionally, no matter your skill level. We’ll show you that creating a podcast can be a lot easier than it seems!

In this article, we’ll break down how to produce a podcast into simple steps, from preparation to recording to sharing your finished show. Ready to become a podcast pro?

Why Is Producing a Podcast Important?

Having a podcast production process helps you plan every aspect of your podcast show, from sourcing content to inviting guests to distribution. It sets your podcast off on the right foot to reach and engage audiences. It helps you build upon your successes. 

How to Produce a Podcast Step-by-Step process

To summarize you can follow these 12 simple steps to produce a podcast: 

  1. Decide what your podcast is about
  2. Define who your target listener is
  3. Find the right podcast format for you
  4. Work out episode length and frequency
  5. Name your show
  6. Plan your episodes’ script and interview questions
  7. Set Up Your Podcast Production Space
  8. Record your podcast
  9. Edit and polish your podcast recording
  10. Launch, distribute and share your podcast
  11. Promote Your Podcast & Grow Your Audience
  12. Repurpose your podcast 

Below, we’ve gone into detail on the process of producing a podcast. Instead of directly touching upon each step listed above, we’ve covered everything in the stages of Preparing a Podcast Strategy and Setup, Recording your Podcast, and finally Launching your Podcast. 

Read on for everything you need to know about producing a podcast.

1. Prepare and plan your podcast strategy and setup

This section explains the different steps to take before recording your show. Learning how to produce your podcast is key to creating an engaging, focused show with a dedicated audience.

Create Your Podcast Strategy

1. Decide what your podcast is about. There are some 30 million podcasts in existence, so making yours stand out from the rest is more important than ever. Have a clear idea of what your podcast is about and why you’re producing it, and keep this at the forefront of your podcast production process. A podcast that does this well is Code Switch by NPR. Each episode looks at culture and society through the context of race and ethnicity. How is the show different from the rest? It tells stories often not reported in mainstream media.

npr code switch

2. Define who your target listener is. Bearing in mind that niche podcasts tend to do better, decide who your target audience is and produce content you know they’ll enjoy. The Beerists podcast is a great example of this. They are craft beer lovers tasting and reviewing beers, they know that their audience is people just like them and their content reflects that.

the beerists podcast

3. Find the right podcast format for you. Choosing the right podcast format depends on what your content is about. Some are monologues or multiple-host narratives, like comedy true-crime podcast My Favorite Murder. Others play out like a magazine, with hosts discussing a selection of different stories, like This American Life.

my favorite murder podcast

Then there are interviews: hosting a well-known figure in your field on your podcast is a great way to expand your reach and to produce great content. In fact, The Tim Ferriss Show mainly involves interviewing spectacular personalities, and it’s one of the most popular podcasts out there.

Tim ferriss show description

Some podcasts are formatted around interviews every show, while others combine them with other formats as a special feature.

4. Work out episode length and frequency. Consider how much you have to talk about, when and where your audience will be listening, and how often you’ll be publishing a show. The average podcast tends to be between 25 and 30 minutes long, which is conveniently similar to the average commute time in the U.S. 

Having said that, if your podcast is a daily news bulletin like NPR’s Up First podcast, it’s best to keep it around or under 10 minutes. However frequently you decide to publish your podcast, ensure it is consistent and that your audience is aware when it will go live.

npr up first podcast description

5. Name your show. Ensure your podcast name is long enough so listeners know what it’s about but short and simple enough to remember. The name should be original, and, importantly, if your podcast is an extension of your business’s marketing strategy, it should also follow your branding. The winner here has to go to My Dad Wrote a Porno: it’s memorable and describes exactly what the podcast does, read (hilarious, not at all sexy) erotic fiction written by the host’s father.

my dad wrote a porno podcast

Plan Your Episodes

Once you’ve defined what your show is about, the next step in producing the podcast is to plan the content of your episodes. Creating a basic bullet-pointed list of what will be covered in each episode is the key to ensuring your podcast is compelling and succinct. You can also create a full podcast script, but make sure you’re not just reading off a script. The show needs to sound natural and conversational.

If you’re planning to host other people on your show, do your preparation on how to find, invite and prepare guests for an interview. Make sure to research your guests and listen to their previous interviews to find a unique angle that will set your podcast apart from others.

Set Up Your Podcast Production Space

The key to making your podcast sound better is where you record it and what equipment you use. Not everyone has access to a studio. Instead, record in a quiet room where you can eliminate background noise. Having a dedicated recording space where your microphone stays set up will allow for consistent sound quality.

Having the right equipment to produce a podcast might seem expensive. Define a budget and you’ll find there are plenty of options that strike the right balance between cost and quality. Most importantly, you’ll need headphones and a microphone for each podcast host and spares for guests. If you’re conducting remote interviews, encourage your guests to use these too. It will make the sound quality much higher.

Then there are additional gadgets like mixers, audio interfaces, and even a camera if you decide to produce a video podcast. We dive into everything you need further in our essential podcast equipment checklist.

Podcast recording software

Finally, you’ll need to choose software to record your podcast. There are many different options for a range of budgets. Look for software that records separate tracks locally, doesn’t compress audio, and uploads recordings progressively to ensure high-quality sound with a backup in the event of connection issues. 

Riverside ticks all the boxes here, guaranteeing studio-quality video and sound no matter where you’re recording. This is particularly useful considering remote podcasting has become the norm with social distancing!

With Riverside you can expect up to 4K video recordings without worrying about internet connection. We use local recording so everything records directly on each person's device instead of over the internet. Invite up to 7 guests to join you, and you'll receive separate audio, video and screen sharing tracks for each. This offers you more editing flexibility, but with our built in text-based Editor you wont even have to leave our platform to polish your podcast. You can seamlessly edit your video by going through a text transcript, adjusting your layout, adding captions and customizing your video background.

When you've chosen your software and set everything up, you should be ready to record.

2. Record your podcast

Once all your equipment is setup and you've connected everything to your recording software, all there's left to do is actually record. To make sure all your equipment is functioning as it's meant to we suggest going through a test recording with your guests. It's also a good idea to give your guests a little prep before recording. For example explain how the recording is going to work, where they should be looking and other dos and don'ts.

As for actually recording this will differ, depending on the software you're using as well as you're setup. If you're recording remotely with Riverside read on for a step-by-step guide on recording.

Recording a Podcast with Riverside: Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Log into your Riverside account and create a new studio or join an existing one.

To create a new studio click '+Create New' then select your recording type and choose a language. You can also click 'Continue to setup studio' if you'd like to adjust your settings further. Click 'Enter Studio'.

Step 2: In the Lobby, check your equipment, fill in your details and select whether you're using headphones or not. Select 'Join Studio' when you're ready.

Step 3: If you haven't already, invite your guests to the studio.

Step 4: When you're ready click the 'Record' button to start recording. Then when you're done simply press the stop button.

Step 5: Wait for all your files to upload then click 'View recordings'. This takes you to the recordings dashboard. Here you can create clips, or click 'Go to Editor' to fully polish your recordings. In the Editor you can:

  • Trim your video by editing your recording transcript
  • Add video captions and style them as you see fit
  • Adjust your layout and background
  • Automatically remove awkward silences and fine-tune your audio

You can also use the Magic Clips tool in your recording dashboard to automatically turn your long-form recording into short shareable clips. This tool uses Ai to identify key moments in your recordings and turns them into short clips.

Step 6: Export all your recording files. You can also download transcriptions as a SRT file or TXT file for easy closed captions or content repurposing.

Our step-by-step video tutorial shows how easy it is to record a podcast with Riverside, no matter where you and your fellow podcasters are. That is to say, you and your participants can enter your online recording studio as a host, guest, producer or audience and enjoy different levels of control over the recording. 

  • As a producer, you have full control over the recording and can communicate with the host and guests, but your own audio and video are not recorded. 
  • As the host, you’ll have the same controls as the producer, but you will be recorded. Guests can simply choose to join the recording studio when they’re ready and will be recorded from the moment you press Start Recording. They also have the ability to ‘hang up’ and leave the platform at the end of the recording.
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3. Podcast Post-Production: Edit and polish your podcast recording

After recording your show, the next steps are editing and launching your podcast. Some podcasters decide to share their raw recordings with their audience, choosing not to edit their audio at all. Advanced recording software like Riverside is great for these users. Our platform allows you to make changes like removing background noise before you’ve even downloaded your tracks, providing a good-quality composed recording ready for you to launch. 

For more extensive edits to your recording, you’ll need good podcast editing software, also known as a digital audio workstation or DAW. The main steps in podcast editing to ensure a high-quality, engaging show are:

  • Content editing. Cut out pauses, mistakes, unnecessary words, and moments. Refer back to your podcast plan and make sure the narrative flows and the discussions are relevant and entertaining.
  • Adding sound design. Use tools like sound effects and music tracks strategically to enhance the listening experience. This step also includes creating your podcast intro and outro. Note: use Riverside’s integrated mediaboard for this.
  • Mixing and mastering. This is the most technical part of podcast production. It involves adjusting different aspects of the recorded audio to ensure maximum sound quality and prepare your podcast for distribution.
You can learn more about what Riverside offers here, or sign up to start recording podcasts seamlessly.

4. Launch, distribute and share your podcast

Got your podcast recording ready to go live? Your next step is uploading it to a podcast hosting platform where it is stored as an MP3 file. The sites then generate an RSS feed for each episode, a type of link you can use to share the podcast on other platforms or directories like Spotify and Apple Podcasts. 

Publishing your podcast
on these directories is key to expanding your audience, as it allows new people to find your podcast.

Promote Your Podcast & Grow Your Audience

The final step in producing a podcast is sharing your show. Whether you’re using your new podcast to promote your business and reach new customers or you want to monetize the podcast itself, this step is essential to growing your pool of listeners. 

There are different ways to promote and grow your podcast. Start by ensuring your content is compelling and your cover art makes people want to listen, and then look into tactics such as:

  • SEO. Make sure your podcast keywords, show notes, audio transcript, and website are optimized for search engines.
  • Social media. Share your podcast across your social networks and encourage your listeners to do the same.
  • Interacting with listeners. Engage with your audience on social media and take their suggestions for future episodes: this is the best way to produce content you know they’ll like. With Riverside, you can easily live stream your podcast on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Twitch and receive call-ins from listeners. It doesn’t get much more interactive than that!
  • Online Ads. Increase traffic to your show by running an ad campaign on social media or on other platforms used by listeners to find new podcasts.

Repurpose your podcast

If you really want to make your podcast further, a good idea is to repurpose it into other materials. You can use podcast transcripts to create blog posts or written social media content. A lot of podcasters also create short shareable clips which they share to promote their content. Riverside's Clip tool is great for repurposing your podcast in this way, without any extra effort.

Get Producing Your Own Podcast

Producing a podcast is a great way to promote your business and open up a whole new audience of potential new customers. 

Having read this guide, you’ll have seen that while there are a lot of steps to take to produce a podcast, it can be simple and a lot of fun with the right tools. 

Still got questions on how to produce a podcast? Check out Riverside’s complete video tutorial on how to start a podcast on YouTube to learn more tips.


How much does it cost to produce one podcast?

Although producing a podcast can be completely free when you do everything yourself, it's worth investing if you're looking to produce a quality podcast. At the end of the day, it's up to you what you're willing to spend, but you might want to budget for equipment, podcast-related software, and maybe even some help from a crew.

If you've already got some basic equipment, you could probably produce a podcast at less than $1000. Although, if you want to go all out and hire a big team for some professional help it can cost a lot more, even over well over $15 000.

Do podcasts make money?

Yes! Some podcasts are extremely successful. For example, Joe Rogan makes around $30 million for his extremely popular podcast. This isn't the case for most podcasters, though. In general, depending on the number of viewers you have and the effort you put into monetizing your podcast, it's more likely you'll earn around $500-$10 000 per month, especially in the beginning. The more you grow, the more chances you have to earn more money.

Are podcasts easy to produce?

Starting a podcast doesn’t have to be hard. Learning how to develop might be a little bit of a challenge at first but if you follow the right steps and stay consistent, it becomes much easier to succeed. Our steps on how to produce a podcast should help you out, but we also have a blog post specifically for beginners looking to start a podcast. We also have a guide on remote podcast recording, if you’re wondering how to produce a podcast remotely. 

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