Turn magic moments into social clips, in the blink of AI.
Learn More >


How to Start a Podcast | Ultimate Easy Step-by-Step Guide (2023)

How to Start a Podcast | Ultimate Easy Step-by-Step Guide (2023)

Are you ready to learn how to start a podcast, but you’re at a loss for what to do first?

As podcasts skyrocket in popularity, with over 420 million monthly podcast listeners worldwide, it’s no wonder you want to start creating your own podcast show. If you’re a casual fan or a beginner, it's intimidating to know where to begin. There’s a lot involved, which can overwhelm you if you’re unfamiliar with the podcasting process. 

Our tutorial will walk you through all the steps you need to know how to start a podcast successfully:

  1. Plan your podcast 
  2. Set up your equipment
  3. Choose podcast recording and editing software
  4. Prepare for your podcast recordings
  5. Record a few first episodes
  6. Edit your podcast recordings
  7. Create brand artwork for your podcast cover and logo
  8. Publish your podcast show
  9. Promote and monetize your podcast
  10. Assess your podcast’s success

Begin with the video below, and then read on for a deep dive into starting a podcast.

Step 1: Plan your podcast

Before you start anything else in your podcasting journey, create a concrete plan of what your podcast is about and who you want it to attract. Figure out what goals motivate you, plus what topic, format, and structure align best with your target audience and interests.

Find your why

Figuring out why you want to create a podcast motivates you to be consistent and guides you on the type of content you want to make. Think about what you want to achieve through your podcast and why you chose to start a podcast in the first place. Listen to other podcasts or research what type of audience you want to attract. You can even think about what you can offer from your own experiences. 

Overall, goals give you a framework to align your podcast. For example, let’s say a fitness trainer wants to make a podcast with the goal of promoting their business. This goal already says two things. Firstly, their podcast needs to be relevant to the fitness industry. Secondly, the trainer should consider how he can naturally incorporate advertising his services into his show. This would be completely different from creating a podcast just for fun or to raise awareness around an issue. 

Choose a podcast topic

Your first instinct may be to choose a topic that interests you and your passions. Great! This is your starting point, but you also need to consider a topic relevant to your motive behind creating a podcast. 

Most importantly, think about your target audience and what you can offer them that’s unique, which is why we suggest going for a niche topic. The more specific your topic is, the easier it is to plan content around it. 

Finding your niche

Factors to look at for finding a topic when starting a podcast.

Finding a particular niche may not initially come naturally, and it’s best to experiment till you nail one. Here are a few questions that may help you hone into a specific topic:

  • What are your passions?
  • On what topics are you an expert?
  • Who is your target audience? (Create a profile! Include demographics, age, pain points, and income.) 
  • What value can you provide that will help your target audience?
  • What can you cover that is relatable to your audience?
  • What topics are competitors covering in your field?
  • What gaps can you fill in the market?

Another great idea is to generate topic suggestions through ‘Answer the Public’ or ‘ChatGPT.’ Both sites can give you better insights into what your audience is searching for. We wouldn’t suggest relying on these tools, but they’re a tremendous help to spark inspiration. You can also try our article with over 100 podcast ideas you can try.

Choose a podcast name

Your podcast name should align with your brand, goals, and target audience. While your podcast title must be unique, it’s best if this is easily discoverable when someone searches for your topic. 

“Podcasts I see grow organically really well are podcasts that are trying to grab an actually searched keyword.” - Buzzsprout Head of Marketing, Alban Brooke (Hit Publish) 

Of course, there are other approaches to choosing a name. If you already have a well-known reputation, you may want to leverage your brand’s popularity and include it in your podcast name.  

In short, ensure your podcast name is readable, clear on what your podcast covers, and easy for your target audience to find. 

‍Can podcasts have the same name?

Choosing a podcast name already in use is not a good idea. You want to stand out so that when people search for your podcast, they only find you. If you're going to use a name already in use, consider contacting the show host to find out if the podcast is still active. 

Remember to claim any website or social media domains with your name so nobody else does before you.

Try our name generator to get ideas flowing. 

Select a format and structure


While the most popular podcast format is an interview show, this isn’t ideal for every topic. Interviews are best for getting expert knowledge, while they’re also usually more conversational and engaging. 

Popular formats for starting a podcast
Riverside Annual Report

Above all, think about the best way to convey your podcast topic. If you’re podcasting about history, a documentary style might suit your show better, or if you’re creating a news podcast, you’ll want to use reporting.

Some formats you can try include:

  • Solo-host monologue: Only one host runs and presents the entire show.
  • Co-hosted show: Two co-hosts present the show and converse with each other. 
  • Interviews: Host(s) invite guests to discuss a topic with them, usually through questions. 
  • Reporting: Host(s) cover and analyze the facts of events or breaking news. 
  • Story-telling scripted narratives: Host(s) tell or act-out a story. 
  • Documentaries: In-depth discussion about a topic through interviews, research, and reports. 

Quick tip! You don’t have to stick to one format throughout your whole podcast. While it creates more consistency, mix it up if that’s what works best for your show.

Read more: Choosing A Podcast Format & Best Practices To Follow


There are a few aspects to cover when planning your podcast structure. 

Find an ideal length

More than 50% of podcasts are over 30 minutes. But is this the correct length for your new podcast? 

Popular podcast lengths for creating a podcast
Riverside Annual Report

It’s best to choose length based on how much valuable information you can provide. If you’re going on tangents, it’s better to keep things shorter.

One common practice is to tailor your episode length to publishing frequency: 

  • Keep it short and snappy if you publish every day (10 minutes is perfectly fine). 
  • If you publish weekly or a couple of times a week, try to stay within the 30-50 minute mark. 
  • If you publish less frequently than that, your listeners probably won’t mind if you go over an hour.

These are just suggestions; there are MANY ways to structure your length. For instance, Binge Mode is a popular podcast covering various fandoms, and their twice-weekly episodes regularly surpass two hours. 

Think about your audience and podcasting goals, and do what feels right. 

Read more: How Long Should a Podcast Be? - Ideal Podcast Length for 2023
Episode layout

It wouldn’t be a good idea to start podcasts diving straight into your interview questions. Your podcast needs a hook and a timeline for your audience to follow. This is where your episode layout falls in. We suggest you:

  • Start with a hook and an intro 
  • Cover the main content of your show (generally an interview)
  • End off with a conclusion followed by an outro.

You may also consider where to place ads or other extra segments. 

It’s always a good idea to write an outline or a script before recording each episode.


The truth about frequency is that it is not about how often you post but about consistency. You can publish:

  • Daily
  • Weekly
  • Monthly
  • Seasonally 

Seasonal podcasts are created and then released as a batch at a specific time.

What is the best day to launch a podcast?

Since every podcast audience is unique, your best bet is to start publishing, then check your hosting platform’s analytics to see what days and times get the most downloads for your podcast. 

You can start by checking out statistics on the most popular days and times to publish:

  • Wed 7 pm EST
  • Mon 8 am EST
  • Mon 9 am EST
  • Tue 9 am EST
  • Mon 10 am EST

Although, we’ll be honest. You’re better off posting when you can remain consistent. Above anything else, think about what will best maintain a good relationship with your audience.

Step 2: Setup your equipment

Your next step is to set up your podcast equipment and, luckily, you don’t need a fancy studio to create a professional podcast. It’s possible to create a podcast with just a quality microphone, headphones and a computer.

What equipment do you need to start a podcast?

It depends on your budget and goals. If you’re genuinely cash-strapped, you can start a podcast with a computer, and a good idea. But if you’re serious about creating an enjoyable podcast, start with these basics:


Choosing a microphone can make or break your recording quality. You should look at three factors:

  • Polar pattern: A mic’s polar pattern is where it picks up sound. Cardioid mics are standard for podcasts as they only pick up sound from the front and capture little background noise, producing better voice recordings. 
  • Dynamic vs. condenser mics: We won’t go into the technicalities, but microphones pick up and capture sound differently. Condenser mics produce crisper audio quality but are more sensitive, while dynamic mics don’t capture soft noise easily. Both are viable for podcasters. Condenser mics are better for a studio setup, while dynamic mics are safer if you don’t want to risk capturing soft background noises. 
  • Connection type: USB microphones are much easier to set up and are ideal for beginners who don’t plan on recording in one studio with many guests. XLR microphones require an audio interface to connect to your computer but make recording simultaneously with multiple mics easier. 

Recommendations: Samson Q2U, Blue Yeti, Shure MV7

Read more: 9 Best Podcast Microphones for Every Need and Budget (2023)


It’s best to hear the audio your equipment picks up clearly, so you can fix anything you need immediately. This is why headphones are a must! Headphones also stop audio bleed or echo, where your mic picks up unwanted noise from other devices. We suggest using wired headphones as there’s less lag, and you don’t need to rely on batteries. 

Recommendations: Sennheiser 280 PRO, Audio Technica ATH-m20x 

Read more: The 11 Best Podcast Headphones [2023 Guide]

Laptop or desktop computer:

It’s likely you already have your own computer or laptop. Any should do, but you’ll want to ensure your device is compatible with any podcast software you use. 

Recommendations: HP Spectre x360 , Macbook Air

Read more: An Overview Of The 10 Best Laptops for Podcasting

Podcast camera:

If you’re recording video podcasts, you’ll need a camera. While you can use your computer’s in-built webcam, it’s better to use an external device. Either purchase a dedicated webcam or use a DSLR for recording. 

Can you use your phone camera?

With the fast development of phones, many come with high-end cameras that can even record in 4K resolution. This is totally a feasible option to use for podcasting on a budget. You can pair your phone with a podcasting app, and an external mic, and you’re all set. 

Recommended: Sony ZV-E10, Panasonic HC-V770K

Read more: Podcast Camera: Choosing The Best One For Video Podcasting

Additional equipment to consider: 

The above aren’t necessities but they can boost the quality of your show. Pop filters, a mic stand, and soundproofing can make your audio clearer. Lighting, on the other hand, can improve your video output.

While we’ve added some recommendations, you can choose from many equipment options. 

Read more: Best Podcast Equipment for Any Budget (2023)

If you’re planning on filming a multi-person podcast, you’ll need enough equipment for each person. Get a mic for every guest or host, and you might want to consider an audio interface or mixer to help you capture tracks. 

Step 3: Choose podcast recording and editing software

The best and easiest way to create a podcast is to use recording and editing software. There are many free and paid solutions on the market. The free options are a great place to get your feet wet. But choosing specialized software is better if you can afford to be more discerning. 

You should also think about your setup. Are you recording in person in a studio, or are you recording with remote guests? Remote recording software is pretty popular among podcasters, and it’s no wonder why. With remote recording tools, it’s much easier to record guests from anywhere worldwide without spending too much money and time to make it happen. 

The percentage of companies that use remote recording software for creating podcasts
Riverside Annual Report

We’ve got a full guide on podcast software, but here are some suggestions to try: 


  • Price: Free
  • Compatibility:  Mac
  • Type: Audio recording and editing

Although, GarageBand is more for music production, it’s a good option for podcast beginners. You can record and edit, but this is only for audio podcasts.

Adobe Audition

  • Price: $20.99 per month
  • Compatibility:  Mac & Windows
  • Type: Audio recording and editing 

Adobe Audition is another popular option for audio-only podcasts. Audition is more geared towards advanced podcast editing. We recommend this software to those more experienced with audio editing (or those willing to learn).  


  • Price: Free
  • Compatibility:  Mac, Windows & Linux
  • Type: Audio recording and editing

Another free podcast software is Audacity. While it’s a good option for beginners, it also requires a bit of a learning curve.

Zoom (free and paid)

  • Price: Free, paid plans begin at $149.90 per year
  • Compatibility:  Mac, Windows & Linux
  • Type: Remote video recording software

Zoom is a popular option for recording video podcasts remotely. This is because it’s familiar and easy to use. But, it has no editing tools and relies on your internet connection for capturing high-resolution video. You can also look into Skype, but you’ll face the same story as with Zoom.


  • Price: Free plan, paid plans start at $15/month
  • Compatibility:  Mac, Windows, iOS, Android
  • Type: Remote video podcast software

From the list above, we most recommend trying Riverside, especially if you’d like to record a video podcast or you’ll be recording with guests at a distance.  Not only is Riverside an affordable option, but it also offers:

  • High-resolution recordings with up to 4K video and 48kHz audio resolution
  • An easy-to-use interface for beginners and professionals alike
  • Recording directly on your device so no internet connectivity ruins resolution
  • Remote recording with up to 8 participants 
  • Separate audio and video tracks for all participants to give you more editing control.
  • Host and producer controls for smoother recording sessions.
  • Built-in editing tools for seamless podcast creation from finish to end.
  • Uncompressed recordings for maximum recording quality.
  • Quick sharing to directories through our Anchor integration.
  • Mobile podcasting app for iOS and Android users so you can record podcasts on the go.
  • Clip creator to turn your podcast into short, shareable snippets in a few quick clicks.
  • Media board where you can add sound effects live while recording
  • Live podcasts with tools for audience live call-ins. 
  • Automated transcriptions for easy captions, subtitles, and podcast transcripts. 

The list goes on…

We can simply tell you that Riverside covers all of the above and more, but we’ll let you see for yourselves. Sign up for free and start recording a podcast seamlessly.

Besides editing and recording podcast software, you may also want to try tools for transcriptions, scheduling, and planning your podcast. These aren’t necessary but can streamline your podcasting process.

Some of our recommendations are:

  • Headliner: A marketing tool for creating visual podcast audiograms for social media.
  • Riverside Transcriptions: Download automated transcriptions for your podcast on any of the paid plans. This helps with podcast descriptions, audio SEO, and video captions.
  • Calendly: A scheduling tool great for slotting in interviews and other podcasting tasks.
  • Wix: Ideal for building your own podcast website with a media player to display episodes live.
Start recording with Riverside
Easily record high-quality podcasts & videos remotely
Get Started

Step 4: Prepare for your podcast recordings

You’ve got your basis sorted out, and now it’s time to start preparing for your first few episodes. This includes scheduling and organizing your interviews, plus outlining your podcast episodes.

Schedule and prepare interviews

If you’re choosing to create an interview-based podcast, we recommend starting to schedule guest interviews. Keep a list of guests you’re interested in hosting on a spreadsheet to see who you’ve reached out to already. You can find guests on social media or through a referral base or matching platform like PodMatch.

Some guests may be busy, so it’s best to send them an estimate of your interview length. Setting a shorter interview length than you’d like, such as 30-45 minutes, is not a bad idea. Asking for less of your guest’s time will help them be more inclined to say yes. It can also keep you focused on the topic, as you know you don’t have endless time.

Also, think about the interview questions you’d like to ask. When guiding an interview, you want it to flow like a story. Start by asking your guest a little about themselves, and let the discussion flow naturally into a deeper exploration of the topic. 

Guests likely get asked questions repeatedly, so you may want to take a unique angle. Keep your questions interesting, authentic, and tailored to your specific audience.

Outline and setup your episodes

Write up a podcast script. This gives you a clear direction of what to talk about, rather than just aimless tangents. Decide what you want to cover for your first few episodes, then go into the details. (Try our podcast script template if this seems intimidating.)

‍How many episodes should you prepare to start a podcast?

A good rule of thumb is to have at least two or three episodes in the queue before going live, but it depends on how much buffer you’d like to give yourself. One episode is all you really need to get started; the rest is just how prepared you want to be.

Set up and test run your equipment

Lastly, we suggest taking your equipment for a test run and ensuring that everything is working before recording each episode. 

Some tips to keep in mind:

  • Position your mic correctly. Your mic should be around 2-4 inches away and angled at about 45 degrees to your face. Play around with your mic’s position until you’ve minimized plosives and got clear recordings.
  • Create an appeasing video frame. If you’re recording a video, create an interesting and clean background. Avoid a distracting backdrop, but style your frame and make it your own. 
  • Recharge batteries or plug-in equipment: Ensure all your batteries are charged, or better yet, use plug-in equipment only. The last thing you want is your equipment to turn off midway.
  • Always wear headphones. Headphones allow you to hear what’s recording clearly, but they also stop audio-bleed or when your mic picks up unwanted sounds from other equipment or devices.
  • Record in a quiet environment or studio. You can easily create your own DIY home studio if you’re recording at home.
  • Don’t rush or slurp your words. Speak confidently and clearly.
  • Use a live soundboard. Add background music, an intro and outro, or other sound effects.

Step 5: Record a few first episodes

Finally, you can start creating a podcast! 

Your setup might be a little different based on whether you’re recording remotely or not. Overall, aim to capture your interview in the best quality possible. 

Recording in person

In your studio, you can record with guests using your equipment. Connect your equipment to your laptop to capture everything directly on your podcast recording software. It’s also possible to record on your equipment’s built-in storage and upload everything to your computer when you’ve completed recording. (You’ll save time doing the former.)

Recording remotely 

Recording remotely follows the same steps, except that you’ll be interacting with your guest via remote recording software. Everyone will join from their own devices from wherever they are in the world. Ensure your guests know what to do. You might want to give them equipment recommendations or send them items if they’re not tech-savvy.

Read more: How To Record A High-Quality Podcast Remotely [in 2023]

Hybrid recording

Now, hybrid recording is a little more complicated. You’re combining the two methods above, but you have some extra equipment considerations. Your remote guests can easily join as they usually would via remote software. You just may need to think about how to frame and capture everyone in the studio with you.

This video covers all you need:

Learn more: How to Record a Podcast like a Pro (The Easy Way)

Step 6: Edit your podcast recordings

Podcast editing doesn’t have to be complicated to make a huge difference in the quality you produce. But there are some editing essentials you should use to create a polished professional show. 

Regarding editing, we recommend the following:

  • Create a narrative. Remove unwanted parts, awkward pauses, and mistakes to create a seamless but concise flow. Sequence and order your cuts to create a storyline.
  • Spice up your show. Add in your intro, outro, and other sound effects, such as background music. You can record your own background music, or you can find royalty-free music online. 
  • Fine-tune your audio. Remove any background noise, plosives, or harsh sounds, and equalize your audio levels.
  • Add branding. If you’re recording a video, customize your background and add your own logo. 
  • Create clips. As a bonus, turn your long-form podcast into short, shareable snippets. These are great for promoting your show! 
  • Merge Tracks and export. Export video podcasts as MP4s. For audio-only podcasts, uncompressed WAV files preserve the quality of your recordings. Many podcasters also use MP3 files as they take up less space. Ensure all your audio files are compatible with your distribution platforms.
Read more: Podcast Editing: How to Do It In 10 Steps (Complete Tutorial)

Some recording software, like Riverside, have editing tools to streamline your podcast flow. With Riverside’s editor, you can remove unwanted parts, fine-tune audio, and add your own logo. If you want more advanced editing, specialized podcast editing software is better.

Start recording with Riverside
Easily record high-quality podcasts & videos remotely
Get Started

Step 7: Create brand artwork for your podcast cover and logo

As much as you shouldn’t judge a podcast by its cover, branding plays a huge role in attracting audiences. Again, it all comes back to your goals and what your offer your target audience. Your brand should represent this clearly and effectively. 

Think about: 

  • What audience do you want to attract?
  • How do you want your brand to make others feel?
  • How do you want to represent your podcast?

Once you’ve thought about this, you can create your logo and podcast art cover.

Logos are almost always a part of your podcast cover, but they’re not the same. In short, logos are images, symbols, or designs that represent your brand. Podcast cover art is how you’ll portray your show on listening platforms. This should include the name of your podcast for easy identification, but it should also capture your brand and grab attention.

Remember to keep in mind the image requirements of your podcast directory. Apple Podcasts allows images with 1400x1400 pixels up to a maximum of 3000x3000 pixels. Spotify has a minimum of 640x640 pixels.

We’ve got a complete guide on podcast covers and logos, but here are some tools you can use: 

  • Canva: A online design tool with over 250 000 ready-made templates to choose from and customize. We recommend this for beginners who are intimidated by creating a podcast logo or cover from scratch.
  • Adobe Express: As a Canva competitor, Adobe Express also offers many free templates. You can take advantage of premium features if you already have the Adobe Cloud suite. On premium, you can create a logo and add it to any other creations with a simple click.
  • Tailor Brands: An AI platform that designs logos and other materials based on a few questions about your brand. While you don’t have to do much design work here, this design tool costs.

Step 8: Publish your podcast show

After making your first podcast episodes, the next step is to publish your show on different listening platforms. To do this, you’ll need to use a podcast hosting site where you store your podcast content. You’ll then use your podcast host to push content to a listening directory, where your audience can access your show.

Publishing a podcast when starting a podcast

Uploading your podcast to a hosting platform

Choose a podcast hosting platform that offers you enough storage above anything else, but make sure it’s also compatible with the directories you want to use. Look into the tools your podcast host offers, as many come with analytics and monetization features.

Here are some options to explore:

Creating a podcast description

When uploading your show, you’ll also need to include a podcast description. 

Podcast descriptions explain what your show is about and what potential listeners can expect from your episodes. There are a few things to remember when writing your description. 

Your descriptions need to push audiences to listen to your show. This is why it’s best to include a captivating hook. Maybe this is a shocking statement, something relatable to your audience, or one of their pain points. Basically, why do they need to listen to your show?

It’s best if your descriptions are clear and concise. Don’t write an extremely long paragraph. Rather keep it to the point. Hook your audience, introduce yourself and explain why your show is worth a listen. We’d say you don’t need more than a few sentences for this. 

The last thing you should incorporate into your descriptions is relevant keywords. Your description should still read naturally, but inserting relevant keywords can help increase your discoverability. Think of relevant terms your audience would search for if they were to look for your podcast topic.

Besides descriptions, you’ll also write up show notes for each episode. A podcast description describes your show as a whole, whereas show notes are per episode. Show notes generally summarize an episode and introduce any special guests. 

It's worth taking the time to write up effective descriptions and show notes. Overall, these give audiences a first impression and push new listeners to your podcast.

Here’s a great example of a podcast description from Freakonomics:

Want a podcast description template to help you out? Learn more here: How to Write Amazing Podcast Descriptions (With Examples).

Distributing your podcast to a directory

Each platform may require a slightly different process but generally, to publish your podcast, you’ll need to:

  1. Upload your first (few) episode(s) to a podcast hosting service.
  2. Create an RSS podcast feed. 
  3. Submit this RSS feed to the podcast directory you’d like to publish to.
  4. Once approved, new episodes you upload onto your podcast hosting site should automatically get published on your chosen directories. 

If you’re looking for where to publish, start off with the most popular listening apps. You can try: 

Riverside has an Anchor integration for seamless podcast distribution. Simply record on Riverside, and share your show to directories easily through Anchor.

Step 9: Promote and monetize your podcast

You might think that after launching your podcast, your work ends. This is not the case at all! If you want your podcast to be listened to, you need to promote it to attract listeners and more downloads. We also recommend monetizing your show if you’re serious about podcasting.

 Promoting your podcast 

You can try many podcast promotion and marketing tactics. Here are some ideas:

  • Invest in SEO: Optimize your podcast to increase it’s discoverability. Use podcast descriptions, titles, and transcripts with relevant keywords to improve searchability for those terms.
  • Promote with social media clips: Create short, shareable snippets of your show and post them on various social media platforms. (On Riverside, you can make clips effortlessly using just a few quick clicks). 
  • Create a podcast website: Build your online presence with your own website. You can display episodes with a media player or repurpose some episodes into blog posts to help you expand your reach.
  • Promotion platforms and networks: If you’d prefer to hire someone to promote your podcast, try a promotion service. You can try True Native Media or Frqncy Media
Popular promotions tactics for starting a podcast

Figure out what’s best for you, you may want to create a website, or you may stick to the social media route. Remember that growth takes time.

Monetizing your podcast 

Not everyone plans on making money from their podcast, but it’s definitely possible. There are a few main ways podcasts make money and can become full-on income streams.

  • Sponsorships: Get a podcast sponsor to pay you by mentioning them in your shows. 
  • Subscriptions and donations: Create private content only accessible to paid subscribers or ask your audiences for donations.
  • Merchandise or paid content: Make custom merchandise and sell it to fans.
  • Affiliate Marketing: Promote a product or service and receive commissions on the sales you push.

Note that monetizing your podcast is not a priority when starting a show. This is because some monetization methods, such as podcast advertising, are more successful if you have a more significant number of listeners. Either way, it’s good to have this in mind so you can start strategizing and pushing toward monetization.

Learn more: 

Step 10: Assess your podcast’s success

The best way to create a successful podcast is by assessing and consistently improving your content. Look at analytics like downloads, the demographics of your audience, where and when your listeners are active as well as other types of audience engagement. This can guide you on how well your podcast is doing, as well as give you cues on how to tailor your podcast more for your audience.

Read more: Podcast Analytics: Why, How & What To Measure 

Bonus: How to start a podcast on different podcast platforms

For the most part, starting a podcast should be the same no matter what platform you’re looking to publish to. The main difference you might encounter is that some platforms like YouTube or more video-oriented. In this case, you’ll be better off creating a video podcast. 

The other thing that might differ is podcast requirements and publishing guidelines. To help you out we cover how to start a podcast on three of the most popular platforms: Apple, Spotify, and YouTube.

How to start a podcast on Apple Podcasts

It is absolutely free to put a podcast on iTunes. Once you’re done recording your podcast, you’ll just need an Apple ID account. Then you can follow these steps to submit and start a podcast on Apple Podcasts: 

  1. Upload your podcast recording to your podcast host. 
  2. Log in to Apple Podcasts Connect.
  3. Add a new show with an RSS feed
  4. Copy and paste your RSS feed from your podcast host.
  5. Upload your podcast artwork and verify your show’s details 
  6. Wait for Apple to verify and validate your show.
 Read more: How to Upload Your Podcast to Apple Podcasts (iTunes) [2023]

How to start a podcast on Spotify

Like Apple, it’s easy (and free) to distribute your podcast to Spotify. On both these platforms, you can create a podcast using the steps outlined above. If you’re going the video route, Spotify now hosts video and even has a Riverside integration through Anchor to help you create quality content seamlessly. 

The platform also partners with many hosting sites—such as Podbean, Simplecast, and Anchor—which makes it simple to authorize Spotify as a distribution platform for your podcast. If your host isn’t one of Spotify’s partners, simply log into Spotify for podcasters with your Spotify account. 

  1. Click ‘get started’.
  2. Copy your podcast RSS feed from your hosting platform into Spotify’s entry box.
  3. Add your podcast’s info and review everything before submitting.

That’s it! The podcast should be visible in the app within a few hours. 

Read more: How to Upload a Podcast to Spotify (Complete 2023 Guide)

Starting a podcast on YouTube

It might sound like a strange concept—since podcasts are all about audio, not video, right? But in today’s age, video is taking over audio podcasts. Our report reveals that new podcast listeners prefer video, while 38% of listeners choose YouTube as their podcast listening platform.

YouTube is rocketing in popularity within the podcast industry, and they plan to push more toward podcasts. Last year they launched a dedicated podcast page, and there are more signs that YouTube is becoming increasingly podcast oriented. 

Not to mention that YouTube has great monetization features! 

So now is undoubtedly the time to be an early adopter on YouTube!

When it comes to starting a podcast on YouTube think about:

  • The type of video format that will suit your podcast
  • Whether your podcast recording software captures high-quality video
  • YouTube SEO and promotion strategies

To start a YouTube podcast, record and create your video podcast as usual then do the following: 

  1. Create a YouTube account and sign in.
  2. Click the camera ‘Create’ button in the top right.
  3. Select ‘Upload Videos’ and choose the video you want to publish.
  4. Once uploaded, you can edit your video in YouTube’s studio or simply add your title and description before publishing. 

We also suggest you make use of YouTube shorts to increase your exposure. You can easily create shareable shorts with Riverside’s clip feature, and then simply upload them to YouTube.

Read more: How to Start a Podcast on YouTube in 6 Steps [2023 Guide]

‍Frequently Asked Questions on How to Start a Podcast

‍Who can start a podcast?

The great thing about podcasts is that the barrier to entry is very low. You don’t need technical skills or speaking skills to get started, and you don’t need a massive budget, either. If you’ve got the passion and the willingness to experiment, you can do it.

If you’re wondering how old you have to be to start a podcast, well there’s no official age limit. That being said, some platforms like Spotify require you have a parental guardian’s consent if you are under 13. So while you can certainly start at any age, you may need an adult to guide you if you’re younger.

How much money does it cost to start a podcast?

While you can start a podcast for free (as long as you have basic recording equipment), it’s likely going to cost at least $100 to get yourself set up. And the real cost depends on if you’re a hobbyist or plan to make an income from your podcast. 

You’ll need to cover the cost of your equipment (which can vary in price), a podcast hosting account and software subscription, and extras like theme music and cover art design. If you go with the bare minimum, you can expect to spend $50 on a microphone and $15/month on podcast hosting.

If you want to start a high-quality podcast, it might cost more in the range of $500-1000 to get started with the right equipment, plus $30-$50 per month for hosting and software subscriptions.

How to start a podcast on a budget?

Starting a podcast on a budget is totally doable, and might actually be a better route to go. If you’re just starting out it’s best to test the waters first and see if this is something you really want to commit to before you go all in. You can follow the exact same steps above on starting a podcast, but here are some extra tips for budgeting when starting a podcast:

  • Purchase only the basic equipment you need to start
  • Remember that top-quality equipment doesn’t have to be pricier
  • Record, edit and host your podcast on free podcast software
  • As your podcast grows and monetizes, invest back into it

You don’t need fancy equipment to produce a high-end podcast. Start with what you can afford and build up from there.

Can you start a podcast for free?

Yes! You can definitely start a podcast for free. There is a wide variety of free podcast software available and many paid options have a free plan as well. If you don’t have a microphone you can try get away with recording with your phone’s mic, but for a better-sounding podcast, it’s best to at least invest in a mic. 

You can always dip your feet into podcasting like this first, but to really develop and grow your podcast it’s worth investing in quality equipment as well as specialized podcast recording and editing software.

How to start a podcast at home?

Creating a podcast at home isn’t much different than creating it in a studio. Actually, with remote platforms like Riverside it’s easier than ever. If you’d like steps to create a podcast at home, follow the same guidelines above but focus on building an efficient podcast studio at home. You’ll want to make sure you’re using remote recording software and know how to record your podcast online.

Read more: How To Record A High-Quality Podcast Remotely [in 2023]

‍How many episodes does it take to start a podcast?

A good rule of thumb is to have at least two or three episodes in the queue before going live, but it depends on how much buffer you’d like to give yourself. One episode is all you really need to get started; the rest is just how prepared you want to be.

Do you need a license to start and publish a podcast?

You don’t need a license to be a podcaster—but if you want to feature music on your show that you didn’t create, you’ll want to obtain a synchronization license

Many podcasters rely on “fair use” laws that let them play a small portion of a copyrighted work without a license; however, all it takes is one lost lawsuit for you to lose a lot of money. It’s best to get a license to use someone else’s music or avoid using it altogether.

Do you need a website for a podcast?

It’s not technically necessary, but you should absolutely have a website if you’re serious about podcasting and building an audience. Your website is your home base. It:

  • Functions as an archive for back episodes
  • Helps you gain new traffic
  • Establishes brand consistency
  • Helps you build a community. 

You can also create a funnel for your audience by collecting subscribers’ email addresses and contact information, then adding them to your email list for any future marketing or promotional efforts you take on down the road.

How much money can you make from a podcast?

Besides the number of listeners your podcast attracts, it depends on how much effort you put into monetizing your podcast. While the top podcasters earn millions, this might not be the case for the average podcaster. Podcasters can make anything from a few hundred dollars an episode to full-blown income. This amount is affected by your use of advertisement, sponsorships, affiliate marketing, and more. 

For example, if you charge $40 CPM for a single advert in an episode you could earn around $400 if you have a following of 10,000 listeners. Let's say you post twelve episodes per month, then that equals only $4,800 per month. The more you grow and monetize your podcast the more income it'll give you.

‍What pays more, YouTube or a podcast?

Podcasting pays more on a CPM basis than YouTube does. While the average CPM for podcasting ranges from $15-$50, YouTube videos tend to pay in the $2-$10 CPM range. 

‍Why do podcasts fail?

There can be any number of reasons why a podcast might fail, but one of the most common is that beginner podcasters aren’t able to connect with their audience or deliver real value in an entertaining package.

Why should you start a podcast?

Are you still wondering if starting a podcast is a good idea?If you need some inspiration, we’ll give you 5 reasons why we think you should start a podcast:

  1. You’ll be able to build an authentic audience over a topic you love to share your expertise on.
  2. Podcasts are fantastic marketing tools and can help you connect with potential customers.
  3. You’ll likely meet interesting guests and learn a lot!
  4. It’s possible to turn podcasting into an income stream.
  5. The podcast industry only keeps growing and it’s a great space to be in right now.

How to Start a Podcast: Over to You

Starting a podcast can be daunting. It’s understandable to be filled with countless questions about the process, the equipment, the software, and the right marketing strategies. 

The world of audio content is a vibrant, exciting one that’s always full of growth potential. We hope with all of our starting a podcast tips and advice, we’ve helped you feel a little more prepared to make the leap into podcasting!

If you feel ready, start recording your podcast on Riverside today. You can sign up for free.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Highly curated content, case studies, Riverside updates, and more.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Related articles


min read

Best Social Media Video Makers to Streamline Your Content (2023)

Riverside.fm is an audio-video tool that collapses the pod/broadcast studio experience into your browser. The service captures lossless audio and up to 4K video locally, syncs it, and uploads as you go.


min read

How to Create YouTube Shorts from Existing Videos | 8 Easy Steps

Riverside.fm is an audio-video tool that collapses the pod/broadcast studio experience into your browser. The service captures lossless audio and up to 4K video locally, syncs it, and uploads as you go.


min read

How to Improve Video Quality: 7 Fixes for Stunning Visuals

Riverside.fm is an audio-video tool that collapses the pod/broadcast studio experience into your browser. The service captures lossless audio and up to 4K video locally, syncs it, and uploads as you go.

Try Riverside today

The next gen podcast and video creation platform for creators.

Get Started
Start recording with Riverside
Easily record high-quality podcasts & videos remotely
Get Started
“YouTube has the infrastructure to introduce audio hosting and origination, and match it to video with all the rich analytics it already provides. A seamless creator experience, plus SEO marketing tools, plus the benefit of being a platform most have been conditioned to equal. Give it a turn-key opportunity to activate a more cohesive strategy around both video and audio, to the benefit of all parties.”
A.J. Feliciano | Head of Podcast Network
“People are working from home more and more. Audio-only is not as in-demand because the need to multitask while commuting is no longer there.”
Stone Roshell | Head of Podcast Production
“Live streaming may become the biggest way to grow using video for your podcast.”
Stone Roshell | Head of Podcast Production
“With major platforms like Spotify, TikTok, and YouTube putting more resources into video podcasts.. now is a uniquely opportune moment for smart creators to harness that energy by investing in video for audience growth.”
Ryan Duffy | Head of Audio Operations