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You want to start a podcast, but you don’t even have an audience,
The market seems too saturated, and you need help figuring out what to do.
You are frustrated. I get it.
In this article, I’ll go through how to start a podcast with no audience and tell you exactly how you can stand out from others. And maybe even some established podcasts?
Let’s dive in!
Why Should You Start a Podcast?
It’s essential to understand your motivations for starting a podcast.
It could simply be for fun with friends or to educate people about various topics.
These factors will decide how serious and dedicated you need to be to start a successful podcast.
Here are a few good reasons to start a podcast:
Fun fact, Spotify paid Joe Rogan $200 million to stream his podcast exclusively on their platform.
Now it’s time to get it up and running.
How To Start a Podcast With No Audience in 9 Steps
Here are the 9 proper steps to starting a podcast when you have no audience.
1) Choose a Niche You Are Passionate About
Most popular podcasts are targeted at a specific niche.
You attract a more engaged audience when you narrow your focus.
Podcasts that appeal to a broader audience may wind up reaching fewer individuals. Or maybe none at all.
Choosing a niche allows you to:
So how do you find a niche?
It’s a lot easier than you think. Here are a few questions I want you to take some time and answer honestly:
By following these steps, you should have a rough idea of not just one but multiple niches that you can dive into.
You don’t want to pick a niche for the sake of doing so. Do it because you legitimately have passion for it.
The audience is not dumb and can smell your inauthenticity a mile away.
A while back, I started my podcast, Player vs. World. Gaming was my thing. Thus, my show’s focus was interviewing others in the same niche.
Here is an episode from my YouTube channel with my friend Samuel a.k.a Sequinox.
Eventually, this opened opportunities for me to work in the Esports business and interview other industry leaders.
Sadly, I didn’t continue it as I had other commitments. But you get the point.
2) Perform Market Research
You’ve finally found a niche, or maybe a few. Now you need to perform research to assess the market, competitors, and monetization opportunities.
This will give you a better idea of what topics were already covered in your niche and what you can do to stand out from your competition.
Use YouTube, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, and Spotify to spy on what others are doing.
And take notes from successful podcasts.
Look out for the following:
After thorough research, ask yourself the following questions:
Note: Remember, nothing is truly original. There is always a new angle or fresh perspective to discuss.
3) Understand Your Target Audience
Target audience research is a fundamental concept many creators probably take for granted.
Most think people will come if they produce “good” content.
But “good” is highly subjective and dependent on the consumer.
Failure to identify the right audience leads to being stuck on the content hamster wheel and, eventually, burnout.
However, you may be thinking, “Oh, but maybe my content doesn’t work for the type of audience it was intended for.”
Maybe you were creating what you wanted instead of putting yourself in their shoes.
Therefore, you need to build an audience profile. Without complicating it, imagine what they are like and list a few unique characteristics.
4) Create Your Podcast Brand
Now it’s time to…. CREATE YOUR BRAND!
Your brand is essentially your identity.
Here are some important things to consider:
Having a Brand Name
A podcast name will be essential to your brand. This is the first thing that pops into people’s minds when they think of you.
So you want to get it right from the start.
Here are a few things to take note of while naming your podcast.
Also, check your name’s handle on social media and domain registrars.
Having a Brand Persona
The finest podcasts are full of personality.
You know precisely what or who you’re listening to when you press play. This is attributed to the familiarity with the podcast’s host, music, theme, style, and format.
If you’re wondering how to start a podcast with no podcast audience, you need to MAKE AN IMPRESSION.
You can even try creating a character to spice things up.
Designing the Brand Aesthetic
Design is the most enjoyable aspect of building a brand, at least for me.
Understanding how each element works together to create a cohesive visual aesthetic is vital if you want to be remembered.
Also, ensure your brand’s look aligns with your identity and appeals to your target demographic.
The goal is to create a visual identity that others will recognize when it appears on the internet.
5) Start a YouTube Channel and a Website (Highly Recommended)
You’re probably thinking, “WTF, Brendan? I came here to learn how to start a podcast with no audience. Not to be a YouTuber or Blogger!”
Ok, calm down and hear me out. You didn’t come here for generic advice, right?
Most people who start a podcast do only that.
If you are starting a podcast with no audience, you must do the work that the majority won’t.
Also, why limit yourself to only podcast directories?
You want to also take advantage of two of the most significant search engines on Earth. That would be Google and YouTube if you didn’t know.
This means publishing searchable content that they can pick up.
So, that being said. I want you to make VIDEO PODCASTS instead. Not just audio.
I will tell you more about that later in the promotion section.
Just doing this step puts you ahead of most beginners.
6) Preparing Your Tools (Hardware/Software)
“Won’t it be expensive?” is probably the first thing that comes to mind.
No, you don’t need a studio or expensive gear.
These are the items I recommend when starting:
Initially, you will only film yourself or invite those within your network when creating content.
The best part?
You will do it from the comfort of your home.
The idea is to get started ASAP without making excuses like, “Oh, I don’t have the right equipment, so I’ll start when I get them.”
Stop that nonsense. Get what you need to start the show.
7) Plan Your Content Strategy
Now that you’ve done everything from discovering your niche to acquiring all the necessary equipment.
It’s time to work on your first podcast episode.
Remember, we are going for a video-first approach here, so here are the steps:
Do Keyword Research
This is the phase where you will brainstorm topic ideas based on what people are searching for.
Here are some free sources that you can explore:
- Google’s People also ask.
- Ahref’s Free Keyword Generator Tool
Use any of these tools to get an idea of some of the popular topics being discussed, which will be your topic for each episode.
So, in essence, you want to know:
- Are there people searching for your keyword?
- How much traffic are the top posts getting?
- Can you make content that is better than the top posts?
Write a Script for Your Podcast Episode
A script doesn’t have to be a word-for-word copy of your dialogue.
It’ll be more of a monologue if you are going solo.
But if you are inviting podcast guests, it should be talking points for you to refer to, as we want it to be conversational and natural.
Reach Out to Potential Guests
Elon Musk will probably not be your first guest, so don’t stress about finding anyone famous.
Look into your current network and casually ask if anyone would be interested in speaking about your chosen topic through keyword research.
They don’t need to work in the industry, but you are good to go if they have some experience or an exciting angle to share.
But of course, if the person you are interviewing has professional experience, that brings more credibility to your podcast.
8) Produce Your Podcast Episodes
Setting Up the Equipment
If you go solo, set up your phone or webcam, microphone, and screencasting software and start recording.
If you have a guest, use video conferencing software like Zoom, Google Meet, or Skype to record the podcast.
Now that you have the raw file, it’s time to edit and keep it engaging.
This differs from editing a YouTube video, where you must cut out awkward silences or stuttering.
Remember, we want this to be as natural as possible.
So using video editing software like Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, or iMovie, you can add the following:
It wouldn’t hurt to throw in some audio enhancements like EQ, normalization, and noise reduction to ensure a pleasant experience for new listeners.
Once you are done, remember to export two versions:
- Full video with audio
- Only audio
Publishing Your Episode
The last step is simply posting your content on YouTube and podcast directories using podcast hosting platforms like Buzzsprout or Libsyn.
Transcribe Your Audio for Blog Posts (Bonus Step)
This is the cherry on top.
Convert your audio files to text by running them through transcription software.
Before posting, you need to optimize the blog post around the keyword using a content optimizer tool like NeuronWriter.
9) Promote Your Podcast Using Content Repurposing
Finally, your episode is up on YouTube, podcast directories, and hopefully, your blog.
Here’s what you are going to do, either by yourself or by paying someone:
This a quick reminder that we are learning how to start a podcast with NO AUDIENCE, so these may seem over the top because it needs to be.
Now take all that and distribute it across as many channels as possible.
How Long Should a Podcast Episode Be?
Solo episodes are typically 15-30 minutes long, but co-hosted shows or episodes with guests are often 30-90 minutes long.
This is not a hard and fast rule, just a rough guideline.
It might take some time to hone your time management skills effectively.
But your new podcast episodes should be as short as possible but as long as needed.
How Do I Attract More Listeners to My Podcast?
Ask Friends and Family To Subscribe
You may believe that you have no audience. However, it’s highly likely that your family and friends will be your first listeners.
I don’t know who you hang out with or your family situation.
But for the most part, they would happily support you.
Utilize Social Media Platforms
Everyone starts with zero followers. And if you want to grow, there is no better way than putting yourself on social media.
You are starting a podcast with no audience, so now is not the time to be shy.
And since you already took the first step of starting, be proactive and show initiative by sharing your content online.
More importantly, social media allows you to connect with a new audience you would not have otherwise.
Platforms like TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter require you to publish clip highlights of your podcast rather than the entire thing.
This is an excellent opportunity to give more listeners a small taste of the full episode.
Have a Consistent Publishing Schedule
Don’t be like most aspiring content creators who enthusiastically pump out content like crazy in the first few weeks but cannot maintain that.
Pick a realistic schedule that you can keep up with and stick to it.
I recommend posting once a week for a start.
This gives you ample time to plan and produce the week prior.
Being consistent and turning up regularly is not just one of the best ways but probably the best way to attract new listeners.
Note: How can you grow a loyal audience if they have no idea when is the next time you will appear on their feeds?
Engage With Your Audience
Have you ever commented on your favorite creator’s post but failed to get a reply?
That sucked, right.
That’s exactly how your audience will feel, so you can do the following to drive more engagement:
The goal is to make them feel important and heard, which drives them to advocate for your brand and promote your podcast.
How To Start a Podcast With No Audience (FAQ)
Should I Start a Podcast With No Audience?
Of course! This is a no-brainer considering that most people who launch a podcast have no audience.
Even if you chose a different channel to build your brand first before starting a podcast, you still would be starting from zero followers.
So do it.
Can Anyone Start a Podcast?
Yes, anyone can start a podcast. There are no prerequisites besides having something interesting to share with others and tools to create and distribute content.
Can You Do a Podcast Without Guests?
Yes, that is what I call a “Solocast.” You can think of it as a blog article but in audio form.
Or like a TED Talk, but without the live audience and all the pressure.
Do You Have To Pay To Start a Podcast?
Yes, there will be some expenses, but it doesn’t have to burn a hole in your wallet. You will likely need the following equipment or services, which can have associated costs:
– Microphone: They can range from under $50 to over $500, or you could use your phone.
– Camera: These can be a few hundred to thousands. When just starting, use your phone too.
– Headphones: Check out my article on the best headphones for podcasting. I promise none of them costs more than $200.
– Lighting: A simple ring light will do the job or natural sunlight.
– Recording and editing software: Some options are free, like Audacity, while others, like Adobe software, require a subscription.
– Hosting service: You’ll need a place to store and distribute your audio files. Many hosting services offer free plans with limited storage, while others charge a monthly or yearly fee based on the size of your audience and the amount of storage you need.
– Optional equipment: You may invest in additional equipment, such as a mixer or a pop filter, to enhance the quality of their recordings.
Starting a podcast can cost anywhere from $0 to several thousand dollars, depending on the equipment and services you choose to use.
Can I Start an Anonymous Podcast?
Yes, you can definitely start an anonymous podcast by using a pseudonym. The concept will be similar to a VTuber.
However, take note that it will be more difficult to build credibility and get sponsors if people don’t know who you are.
Can an Introvert Do a Podcast?
Yes, an introvert can start a podcast, but it isn’t easy. If you aren’t comfortable recording yourself or interviewing others, you must work harder to overcome those content creation fears.
Your best bet is to prepare a script that outlines the topic of discussion in greater detail than just talking points. This will make discussing and speaking for the podcast much easier.
Lastly, practice recording yourself alone and build up your confidence.
To Sum Up
I hope you found this step-by-step guide helpful and inspiring.
Creating podcast content might be challenging, especially if this is your first time.
However, if you put aside time and effort, you will undoubtedly have a successful podcasting journey.
ALL THE BEST!
Help share this article with other aspiring podcasters or leave a comment below telling me what you think.
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About the author
Brendan is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief at brendanaw.com™, where he helps others succeed in the creator economy. Before launching his blog, he was the marketing manager at various E-commerce, NFTs, Crypto, Marketing Consultancy, Finance, and E-sports companies. He now works on his family’s luxury lighting business in Cambodia while documenting his journey as a creator online.
Learn more about me.