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So you want to start a podcast? Well let me be totally transparent, it’s not for the faint of heart. In fact, it’s a lot of work. But it’s not as complicated as you might think. As a self taught Podcaster, I want you to learn all the do’s and don’ts of starting a podcast so you can avoid the mistakes I made and move forward a heck of a lot quicker.
When I Got The Idea
I first got the idea to start a podcast at the end of 2019. I spent most of 2020 going back and forth on it bbut never taking it too seriously since I was so busy with other things.
But the most serious the idea got the more brainstorming I needed to do. Would I make it a photography podcast? Would I blend western lifestyle into it? Would it be educational? Entertaining? All things I needed to consider.
In August, I told my Fiancé about the idea and he was totally on board. We immediately started to consider names for the show. (I had already listed out a bunch on my phone)
One name in particular stuck out to him and it’s the name I decided to go with. The Branded Cowgirl Podcast. His explanation of it was really what sucked me in. He described it as a play on words. “Branded” being something that relates to business and western lifestyle, and “Cowgirl” being a word that describes how I live my life.
My First Steps To Start A Podcast
One of the first things I did to start a podcast was create an Instagram page. I wanted to make sure no one else had taken my name for it. I also of course checked all the Podcasting platforms to confirm the name as well.
From there, I started listening to a lot of different podcast and took notes on what I liked and didn’t like.
I did my research on what equipment I wanted to use and made sure to invest in a quality microphone right from the start. I don’t believe this is a HAVE TO for all situations, but I had the means and wanted to make sure I had quality audio.
Then, I looked into hiring an editor for my show but decided to hold off until I had a better understanding of how it all worked. Call me a control freak but I like to be very hands on in my business!
Editing software was next on my list, and sure there are lots of programs you can purchase but I just edit on good ol’ garage band. This was a big learning curve for me but I watched a video that simplified it a ton. I will link it below!
Another consideration was where I was going to actually record my podcast. I know a lot of people record their episodes in closets but I did a lot of test runs on my mic and really didn’t think that was necessary for me. The quality sounded fine and it’s way easier to do this from my desk anyway.
Recording My First Episode
Content planning is really important with podcasting. You want to create a schedule for your show. How many days per week are you going to launch a new episode? Once? Twice? Which days?
I planned out my first quarter of the year so I knew exactly what content was going to be posted when. For more tips on planning content you can check out the following posts:
Once I decided on posting new episodes twice per week, I made a dump list of content ideas and then went back to categorize them.
The next step was choosing a hosting platform. This is what is going to post your episodes on platforms such as Spotify or Apple Podcasts. Anchor was the first hosting platform I used. It’s totally free and really user friendly.
But the more I learned about podcasting and my goals for the show, I knew I needed to change to a different platform. I ended up going with Libsyn.com for my hosting and it’s been a game changer. It’s not free but I only paid about $15 per month when I started.
When it came time to sit down and actually record my first episode, I probably re-recording about 10 times. I hated the way I sounded and wanted to be perfect. Consider this your reminder that DONE is better than PERFECT. I also made the mistake of including music in my episode which was a major copyright issue I had to resolve before launching.
Once that hiccup was resolved though, we were golden to launch! Since then, I have seen the downloads on my show spike and I have been blown away by all of the support it has gotten. Podcasting is truly such a fun way to serve your audience and the best part? You can do it in your PJ’s!
I'm Sarah Elrod
I'm a Cowgirl turned serial entrepreneur.
I'm a horse trainer, western wedding photographer, business coach and ranch wife.
I help women in the western industry grow thriving businesses from rural America.
When I am not strategizing new marketing tactics, you will find me riding my horses, cuddling my cattle dog, or kissing my hot husband.
There is also a good chance I am buying way too many outfits from western boutiques.
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