Out of all the guides we’ve put out on starting and launching your podcast, we’ve discovered that there are very few hard-and-fast things that you have to do before launching your podcast. On that list are things that are technically required for publication, like creating your podcast art and submitting your podcast feed, but beyond that the podcasting world is your oyster.
However, over the years we’ve discovered that there are a few things podcasters ABSOLUTELY SHOULD DO so that they can ensure success for their podcast launch:
1. Set Yourself A Goal With Your Podcast
And we’re not talking about some surface level “I want to be famous” type goal, either.
When you start a podcast, one of the key questions you should ask yourself is, “Why a podcast? Why does a podcast suit the stories I want to tell? What do I want to achieve with the stories through this medium?”
This lets you create your own personal benchmarks for success, instead of just basing everything around download numbers. Having a goal to work towards means that you can create a step-by-step plan to achieve that goal, which is infinitely more fulfilling than just hoping for a nebulous undefinable “success” that you think other podcasts have achieved. Success can look like a lot of things to different people, but success for your podcast can only be defined by YOU.
So what is your podcast’s goal? Do you want to practice your public speaking? Do you want to spread awareness? Do you just want to share a story that you’ve been carrying around? Set a goal, make a plan to get to that goal, and it will lead you all the way down to the best way to launch your podcast.
2. Define Your Audience
Audience avatars are nothing new to our friends here at Podbean (or our friends at Podcast Movement!). An audience avatar is a fictional stand-in for your ideal listener, that you can target your content to. Targeting your podcast actually gives you the ability to reach to a wider audience than trying to make a one-size-fits-all type show, and will guide you in everything from where you market your podcast to what monetization methods work best.
Meaning that before you launch your podcast, you HAVE to define your audience. Launching your podcast without thinking about who you’re trying to reach with your podcast is like getting in your car and driving without a destination in mind – like, sure, cruising is fun, but who’s got the gas money for that nowadays?
Creating an audience avatar before launching your podcast will go a long way in helping you in every aspect of your podcast. And while you don’t need one to submit your RSS feed anywhere, you’re more likely to achieve your podcasting goal if you can target and reach the right audience.
3. Ready, Set, SEO!
SEO (or search engine optimization) can seem like straight magic if you’ve never played around in this sandbox before. To summarize, what you’re doing is utilizing keywords in places like your title, episode, and description to help boost how well your podcast appears in search engines. The more strategic you are with keywords, the more likely your podcast will pop up to potential listeners hunting for podcasts on a specific topic.
So this is where you take a look at your podcast title and description and make sure that you’re writing them correctly. Highlight some of the topics that you’re covering, make sure that the tone of your description matches the tone of your podcast, and you’re pretty much there! Our best suggestion here is to look at other podcasts in your chosen category and see how they write their descriptions, and see what you can mimic for your podcast. (Do not copy, plagiarism is absolutely Not Cash Money, but imitating someone’s style, if done correctly, can help boost your description.)
Doing this will also let you know if anyone else is using your podcast name already, or if your podcast title is similarly close to a business name or anything like that. You want a name that will convey what you’ve got going on with your podcast, but will also stand out as something memorable by potential listeners.
Ready to launch your podcast? Check out our video on starting a podcast from your phone with a few simple clicks!