Frank Daniels, Local Listings & SEO, Profile Picture

Podcasting: A Creator’s Guide

Frank Daniels IV

Local & SEO Listings Expert

I’ve addressed podcast advertising, its benefits, and what you should know as an advertiser considering podcasts in Podcast Advertising 101. Here, I’d like to explain podcasting from the creator’s side.

Where Do I Start?

My advice will always be, “Start with what you know.” By that, I mean your content should be your first consideration. Your goal is to create a podcast, a brand, a following and advertising relationships that you can build. Two common approaches are a show based on a subject or an interview show. Either way, one of your first production steps should be a list of episode topics or guests. If you come up with a subject that you’re passionate about and cannot develop a long list of episodes, don’t panic. You can create a limited series and still grow. Many people were introduced to podcasting through a limited series called “Serial.” 

Start with what you know, and continue with what you love. People like to say, “Content is King,” and in podcasting, content is the whole court. When you care about what you’re working on, listeners can tell and will stay engaged.

Production Basics

You might be saying to yourself, “I have gold. I’m here to learn about how to make a podcast.” Your second step to creating a podcast is recording an episode. The purpose of this recording is to familiarize yourself with the act of recording, generate feedback from family and friends, sell sponsorships, and to settle your nerves. You don’t need to break the bank to start a podcast, but you should consider a few things for a professional-sounding podcast: your space, your microphone, and your software.

Recording Space

Many options will be contingent on your available space. You’ll want a small, controlled environment with lots of soft surfaces. You don’t need to set up in your closet; though it is a fantastic recording location, it’s not very comfortable nor visually appealing for video recording or remote interviews. You can turn a room into a recording studio, with sound-dampening paneling on every surface, but you can also create a “booth” in a room by hanging a blanket behind you and making a small alcove around your microphone to isolate the recording from echoes in the background.


You really should have a microphone (mic). For beginners, a USB mic will be the best option, so you can connect directly to your computer. There are two categories to consider here: condenser and dynamic. 

A condenser mic will be more sensitive and is more appropriate if you can create a more controlled studio-like environment for your recording space, but it will pick up sounds you won’t hear during normal speech. Though they will soon have new branding, the Blue Yeti is a very common condenser mic for beginning podcasters. 

Dynamic microphones are less sensitive to ambient noise. If you’re recording in a larger room or have a door or window that could let sound through, I highly recommend a dynamic mic. We use one for our Trends At Ten podcast, and if you’ve seen videos of podcasters, including Joe Rogan, you’ve likely seen a dynamic microphone in action. The Rode PODMIC USB is a good beginner dynamic mic with USB connection. 


This is more precisely two categories, recording/editing software and hosting software/platform.

  • Recording

    In research, you will see references to a “Digital Audio Workstation” or “DAW.” I won’t go into how to use a DAW here, but they’re used to record and edit audio files. GarageBand is a well-known example, but it is only compatible with Apple computers. Audacity is a free and widely used DAW compatible with PCs and Macs. A DAW is essential when doing in-person recording. They allow individual recordings/files for each participant (multi-track) and give you freedom to edit the podcast more efficiently.

    I mentioned remote interviews. This may be your only option. Sound quality should be a top priority with remote recording software, and if you want an all-in-one solution, look for mention of post-production features. I will always advise using a service that allows for multi-track recording or separate audio files for each participant, which is essentially the same. You should consider things like progressive uploading and automatic backup capabilities to prevent loss of progress in the event of internet issues. Notable options are Zencastr, Squadcast, and

  • Hosting

    Hosting platforms are really at the heart of what podcasts are, enabling a creator to store and distribute episodes. There are a number of platforms now that offer recording capabilities or embeddable players for your website (see below). Free options are available, but those options typically limit your upload capacity or are only available as a trial.

    The distribution is made possible through RSS or really simple syndication, which is a web-based code format that allows content to be shared from one location to another. The platform will create an RSS feed for use with player platforms, such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher. Buzzsprout, Blubrry, and RedCircle are all examples of hosting platforms. Podbean and Libsyn are hosting platforms that also offer recording capabilities. 

Your Market

The equipment and planning are the steps to get to the production of your podcast. When you have that, you can distribute your RSS feed to any and all player platforms you desire. Creating a product is an essential part of any business, and if you’re a solo creator or even part of a small team, a business is what you’re looking for. To make podcasting a viable business, you’ll need to develop a marketing plan. Where will you find your audience? Edison Research & SXM Media released a recent study showing that Gen Z listeners find their podcasts through clips on Social media, with 84% discovering new shows on YouTube and 80% on TikTok. Social media could be a great place to start, but you can reach out to your friends and family. Word of mouth has long reigned supreme in the world of advertising. Is your podcast a news podcast? Reach out to your trusted source of news, and ask for cross-promotion. Do you listen to podcasts that have a similar topic or style to your podcast? Ask the hosts to be guests on your podcast. There are many ways to grow your audience. When promoting your podcast, it’s important to be authentic and measure successes and misses. If you’re putting effort into strategies that aren’t returning engagement, it is important to question the method.

The Product

Your podcast is your product. The success of any business relies on selling its product. For podcasters, that means advertising. There are two basic types of ads: host-read ads and pre-produced ads. A host-read ad is when a host reads ad copy as part of the delivery of the podcast, which can be done organically woven into the subject of the episode or read as stand-alone content. This can be very effective for niche podcasts and specific advertisers. The most common way pre-produced ads are delivered now is through programmatic ad placement, and many advertising agency buyers prefer to use a self-service tool when creating ad campaigns.8 As with much of the podcasting market, there has been an influx of programmatic ad platforms in the industry. Some platforms, like Riverside.FM and Spotify have download minimums for their programmatic ad networks. Acast will let you choose where dynamic insertion occurs in your episodes. There are other options to monetize. Donations are the original form of podcast monetization, but premium content subscriptions have become a successful strategy. Seventeen million people, 44% of podcast listeners, don’t listen to the top podcasts, but listen to a show or shows ranked below the top one thousand shows. You can manage subscriptions through many of the platforms I’ve mentioned already, including Acast and Apple.


As you make your episodes, be yourself. It can feel daunting to get behind the mic, but you have something unique to offer. There are people who want to hear what you have to say. What will set you apart from other podcasters, even those who cover a similar subject, is your opinion and your voice.