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Jeff Bradbury

9 Simple Steps To Take When Launching Your Next Podcast

9 Steps To Launch a Podcast

Planning and launching your podcast is an extremely awesome experience.  However, there are several things that can go wrong.  In this post, we will look at 9 steps that you should consider taking before launching your podcast to set yourself up for success.  To help you through this process, we have created an Educational Podcast Planner that you can download and keep with you while you are organizing the materials needed to get your podcast off the ground.


I remember in 2011 when I recorded the very first TeacherCast Podcast.  I didn't have anything planned, my website was hardly a shell of what it would eventually become and the only thing that I wanted to do was get some friends on a Skype call to record my first show.

Does this sound familiar?

The truth is, podcasting isn't a difficult thing to do and for many, the process of starting a podcast is as simple as opening an application an iPhone and hitting record.

But to truly create something special takes some planning and some thought to make sure everything is set up to allow your podcast to be as successful as possible.  For this reason, today, we will be looking at 9 simple things that you might think about and consider before you launch your educational podcast.

Please let us know if you agree or disagree with any of these items by leaving a comment below or tweeting us @PodcastingToday.

Planning

1) Secure Your Domain & Social Media Accounts

Do you have a great idea for a podcast?

Did you know that there are more than 750,000 unique podcasts currently being organized in the Apple Podcast Directory?  Sadly, many of these shows all have something in common with each other … their NAMES!

It's true and it happens more often than you realize.  Quite often a podcast is launched not realizing that they have just launched a show that someone else has already titled their show.  Doing a little bit of research goes a long way to creating a unique and successful podcast (or anything else for that matter).  There are several things that you can do to research your podcast idea. The obvious being to simply open iTunes and do a search for your name or for other podcasts in your perspective category.

Another thing that you should do before moving forward with your podcast planning is to check to see if the domain and social media accounts are available.  For many podcasters, they create a unique Twitter and Facebook page for their shows, separate from their personal accounts.  This is actually a very good idea and one that I highly recommend. (Example: @AskTheTechCoach | @PodcastingToday)

There are several places that you can go to research your domain choices.  My personal favorite is GoDaddy because it not only shows if the domain is available but also gives you several options if the domain you wish to secure is unavailable.

2: Set Up Your Feed BEFORE Submitting To Apple Podcasts Directory

If you are creating a new podcast, you might have a goal to get your show on iTunes, or what is now called the “Apple Podcast Directory.” And why wouldn’t you? The platform features more than 750,000 audio and video feeds and is by far the most popular place to find and listen to podcasts.

One recent trend that has appeared in the last few years is the podcast preview. Content creators are becoming increasingly aware of brand awareness and more often they are creating brand awareness campaigns to get their followers aware and excited about upcoming news such as the launch of a podcast.
It’s incredibly simple to submit your podcast to the Apple Podcasts Directory. Everything you need to know about submitting your podcast to Apple Podcasts can be found in this extremely helpful documentation guide from Blubrry.

  1. Before submitting, double check that your podcast has met all of the requirements for submission. In addition to your audio file, this includes your RSS Feed and your podcast artwork.
  2. Create an Apple ID and validate it through iTunes (the application) and sign into iTunes Podcast Connect
  3. Enter your RSS Feed and click “Validate” and then “Submit”

You will receive confirmation within a few hours or up to 2 days that says your podcast was accepted and will be found in the directory shortly after that.

Things to Remember when Submitting Your Feed

There is an urban legend that says that acceptance into the Apple Podcast directory happens quicker if your feed has a few episodes in it. Where this may or may not be true, it is important that you have at least one podcast episode in the feed so it can properly be validated and accepted.

After you have your feed validated and your show listed in the Apple Podcast directory, you can continue with your pre-podcast launch plans. This may include putting teasers out to your newsletter and social media feeds to get them excited. You can also produce a teaser episode and invite your tribe to subscribe to your show early so they don’t miss the first episode.

For more information about this process, please review the official documentation from the Apple Podcasts website.

3) Establish A Method For Collecting Emails

For many, the time getting ready for a podcast or website launch is an exciting one.  You are busy not only getting your audio files ready to go, but you are also sharing the big news with your friends and relatives.  The big launch day comes and everyone rushes to your website and they leave.  Did you forget something?

One of the key components to any successful product, podcast, or website launch is the ability to understand who your audience is.  One of the best ways to build your podcast is through your email newsletter.

When you are getting started, I highly recommend getting yourself connected on a free service such as Mailchimp which gives you up to 2,000 emails before they charge you.  This is plenty of room to get you up and running.  For more experienced users, I may recommend a service such as ConvertKit where you can create newsletter funnels using sequences and automation.

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Production

1: Create A Dedicated Google Calendar For Your Podcast

If you are running any type of podcast or blog, you know that the only way to truly be successful is if you get into a routine with your content creation process.  One of the things you can do to keep yourself organized is by carving out time in your calendar for dedicated tasks.

Keeping your Publishing Schedule Organized

The best way to do this is by creating a separate calendar that is dedicated only to your podcast.  This not only will get your podcasting schedule off of your primary or family calendar, but it can also serve as a communication portal between you and your cohosts and guests.

One of the first things that I usually do with my Google Calendar is to set up my publishing schedule.  It's important to come up with a naming system here that includes episode numbers so you don't get confused.  For example, every Monday, my calendar says “Publish Ask the Tech Coach Episode X.” Sometime before this date, it says “Record Ask The Tech Coach Episode X.”  This is helpful because it not only gives me a date for when the show needs to launch from the website but also gives me an idea of how much time I have between the recording date and the publishing date to get things organized and edited.

Keeping your Email Newsletters Organized

Another thing that your dedicated publishing calendar can do for you is assist in keeping your newsletters organized.  You can simply look at your 30-day calendar and see what your recent posts were and what is coming up and craft your newsletter from what was recently popular.

2: Create a Template for Show Notes

One of the tasks that every podcaster goes through each week is the creation and organization of show notes.  Organized show notes is one of the more critical things you can get set up when it comes to your podcast simply because it's how Google will be searching your website.  If someone is searching for something, the best way to tell Google Search that you have a podcast on the topic is to have a great template for keeping your podcast topics organized.

Download Our FREE Podcast Show Notes Template Today!

3: Create A Series Of Emails To Send To Your Podcast Guests

One of the things you will be needing to setup is an efficient system of communication with your guests.  You will quickly find that you will be creating the same email over and over when preparing for multiple shows.  This can because something that you might even dread doing once your show gets up and running.

Luckily, Gmail has two great features that every podcaster MUST learn how to take advantage of:

  • Canned Responses
    • Canned Responses are a great way of creating a series of email templates and saving them so that you don't have to continuously type out the email multiple times.
    • To set up Canned Responses, click on the “gear” to access SETTINGS and in the ADVANCED tab select CANNED RESPONSES.
  • Scheduled Emails
    • A relatively new feature in Gmail is the ability to select when your emails will be sent to your guests.  No more tipping off the fact that you do all of your emails at 3 AM.
    • To schedule your email, simply click on the blue drop-down arrow on the bottom left of your emails (by the SEND Button) and click on SCHEDULE SEND.  From here, you can allow Gmail to send your message at the time you need it to be sent.
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Promotion

1: Create a Template For Your Podcast Bumper

Unless you are one of the extremely few and extremely lucky podcasters who have an eye for color theory and fonts, you (like me) probably dread the end of each episode when you get to try and wrap your mind around what a visual representation for your audio conversation will be.  Never forget that your audience will always make a decision about whether or not they will listen to your podcast with their eyes while looking at your podcast square or website first, should give you a pretty good idea of how important it is to put some thought into your podcast artwork and weekly podcast bumpers.

If you are not skilled at using apps such as Photoshop or Pixelmator, a fantastic alternative is Canva.

Canva is an application that provides thousands of templates and helps you look like a professional graphic artist.

My suggestion for any podcaster is to sign up for a FREE account on Canva.  To be honest, Canva is actually one of the applications that I am a paid subscriber of because the premium features are just that amazing.

2: Establish a Branded Hashtag

If you are going to be using Social Media at all to promote your podcast, you may consider doing some research on what hashtags are being used not only by podcasters but by others in your category.  It's a good idea to use those hashtags every now and again to promote your materials.

But what if you want to have a little piece of social media real estate to yourself?

One extremely popular and effective thing you can do for your podcast is to establish a hashtag that you can use to build community.  For example, I often post on Twitter using the hashtag #LearnWithTC.

3: Create an Online Community

While many have pretty passionate thoughts on where to build your brand, what is agreed upon is that you come up with a way to create a community around your brand.  For example, if you are looking to learn more about educational podcasting, you can sign up to become a member of our online Facebook Community and join a few hundred amazing educators in learning how to create and produce their shows.

Download Your FREE Podcast Planning Template Today

If you are creating a podcast from scratch then you might need someone to help you on your journey.  For this reason, we have a few great options for you.

Download our 9-Step Planning Template

Our Educational Podcasting Network is supported by a fantastic Educational Podcasting Insiders Program and we would love to have you as a member.  Please take a moment and let us know a little bit about yourself and your podcast and we will send you a downloadable copy of this Podcast Planner.

Download our FREE Educational Planning Template Today!

Get 1:1 Podcast Coaching Today!

One of the services that I offer podcasters is the ability to reach out to me by voice or video for podcasting coaching and consulting.  During our sessions, we will break down your podcast and tackle any questions you may have on the topic.  I have been working with podcasters in a coaching role for more than 8 years and I would love to be able to help you with your podcast.

Visit our Podcast Coaching page and sign up today to meet with me!

In Conclusion

Creating a podcast needs to simply be about two things, a question, and an answer.  The ability to have a fantastic conversation with your guest or your audience is what makes podcasts so awesome.  But, in order to get to that point, there are a few simple things that you need to at least consider before hitting that record button for the first time.  I hope that this list has been helpful for you and if there is anything you feel has been left off the list, please leave us a comment and share our thoughts below.

For More Information Please Visit: www.PodcastingWithStudents.com

About the author, Jeffrey

Jeff Bradbury, creator of TeacherCast, and father of the famous @EduTriplets is the Coordinator of Instructional Technology at Westwood Regional School District. Thanks for checking out TeacherCast today. Please take a moment to find me on all of my Social Media channels!