How to create and launch your podcast

How to come up with your own audio show and run it on Apple Podcast, VK and Yandex Music
Author of the article: Tatiana Zhakova
Journalist, linguist, teacher of storytelling with 10 years of experience
In 2015 she created and promoted her project about Nizhny Novgorod,, after which she created a course called "Storytelling: How to Tell Your Story" based on it. Over 4,000 students have taken the course.

A linguist by education, she quickly masters new areas. Now she is actively studying screenwriting and storytelling in movies/serials, and writes about it in her project's blog.
You have probably come across such a concept. The anti-hero is the main character in a movie or TV series, who is infused with a mass of negative traits and qualities.

That is, he is not a hero in the usual sense of the word. There is nothing heroic about him, and we do not want to be like him. However, we still enjoy following the development of his story.
Why do professionals start podcasts?
It's a new format that grows organically (on podcast platforms), serves to reinforce your personal brand, helps you connect with interesting people, and is just another unit in your content strategy.
Personally, it was amazing to me that we still have so many people listening to audio podcasts in the 2020s! It's like we're back in the radio era! But a huge number of shows have 100-200,000 likes on Yandex Music, which means that these podcasts are not only "alive and kicking" but also actively monetized!

In 2021, I also launched my own podcast, Stories of the City of N.
Although I do not have hundreds or thousands of listens, but I went through the whole stage from conception to implementation, so I want to share with you an algorithm for launching my "podcast-machine".

Why do you need a podcast?

But before you buy microphones and convert your closet into a "podcast room," let's decide why you want to do it. Because a podcast is not a magic pill that becomes popular just because you recorded it, edited it, and released it. Yes, there is some sort of organic audience here, and more and more of it comes as time goes on.

But! A podcast is also a media that needs to be developed, promoted, and promoted. Keep it social, announce releases, negotiate with guests, and find ways to advertise.

Besides, a podcast is a very time-consuming activity. And you should already think about how you are going to monetize it at the first stage.

Will it bring clients to your existing business? What product can you sell to your listeners? Would you be willing to take advertising if your podcast is popular?
As Stephen Covey says, "Start by seeing the end goal."
Theme of the podcast
So, you've made up your mind to be a podcast. Now it's time to decide on its topic.

Of course, it is ideal if you initially tell about freelance travels with children everywhere, but very often you just want to try the podcast format, and what exactly it is about - that is the question.
When choosing a topic, try not to make it narrow or broad, interesting to a wide range of viewers, but at the same time not "about everything and nothing.

Your topic should rock you - you should be a fan of it. By the way, not necessarily an expert - amateurs in their field can usually present it more vividly, because they have not yet encountered burnout and other side effects of being an expert.

And your topic should move you. You must have some contradictory feelings, a conflict about it, either internal or external. Because otherwise, listeners won't be as interested in following your story.

And your topic must, of course, be relevant.

Either relevant in the world (feminism vs. traditional values, conscious parenthood, etc.) or popular in the podcast world (trudo-edge, sex, etc.).

So if you haven't decided on a topic yet, check out what podcast topics are already gaining good listens.

Podcast format

Next, you need to decide on the format of your audio program. Will it be a solo show, or are you going to host it with someone else? Is it going to be your regular co-host or do you want to record podcasts with different guests each time?

Will it be a discussion on a specific topic or a podcast interview? How often are you willing to do episodes? (Once a week is best).

All of this needs to be figured out before you start recording.

Podcast recording

It's not hard to record a podcast, all you have to do is turn on the recorder on your phone!

That's what a lot of people think. But in fact, this is not quite true, because podcast is an audio format, and people have no visual or text series, so they rely only on sound and are more picky about its quality.

For a quality podcast recording, you need 3 components:
  • A small room filled with a lot of things. A bedroom, a children's room, or, best of all, a closet or dressing room will do. Because the more things around, the better the sound becomes, gently bouncing off them. But the kitchen, bathroom, entryway and all the rooms where around you cold tiles - will not work, they will create an echo.
  • A sound recorder. I have a Boya, it works well. There are better - more expensive and cheaper. Most importantly, make sure it works with your phone, you may have to buy an adapter. Also see if you are sure you turned it on before recording. To figure that out, with the sound recording app open, flick your finger right on the loop - you should see very high sound vibrations on the chart.
  • Audio recording software. There are many programs that do this better than the built-in iPhone program. For example, I really like the program Anchor.

Editing the podcast

There are a lot of programs in which you can edit a finished podcast. I recommend one - Audacity, it's free and handy, the main thing is to use it on your computer, not on your phone, and don't forget to update it in time.
It's important that your podcast has a jingle at the beginning of each episode, a kind of introduction where you say who you are and what your show is about, and you might also want to do some musical inserts. They make it much easier to listen to than a canvas of conversation.

The audio needs to be downloaded from sites that provide music on a subscription basis for use in their projects. That is, you can't just grab and paste some music from the internet, conventionally, by Eminem. Eminem will catch up with you and sue you for using his intellectual property. After all, everything has copyrights.

How detailed you edit the podcast is up to you. But remember that people don't like endless aaahs, ands, ands, mmm very much. Also, listeners are most picky about the first 10 minutes, so they better be the most "cleaned up". And if a person listened to the first 10 minutes, they're probably going to listen to the end.

It is better to do 40 minutes to 1 hour, because this timing is just enough time for a trip to work, for example. Strange as it may seem, people listen to short podcasts much worse.

How and where to upload your podcast

So you have your first issue ready. It's best to do 3 episodes at once, because most platforms request more material to check the quality of your content.

How does it work in general - you don't need to upload your podcast to Apple, VK and Yandex Music by yourself. You sign up for a podcast platform (there are both free and paid platforms), set up your podcast there, then upload your new release there, and it appears everywhere automatically!
But for the magic to happen, you must first connect all the podcast sites to your hosting. This is easy to do within the platform of your choice. I post my podcast on Anchor, but it works with Russia through a VPN.

I recommend that you choose free hosting sites first to make sure you really get things going.

Once again: you register on a hosting platform (Anchor), connect to it all podcast platforms (Yandex Music, VK, Apple Podcasts and whatever else the hosting will offer you), upload the first 3 issues and send them for moderation. Once your podcast is "upvoted", you upload new episodes to the hosting only and they will appear everywhere automatically.

Also, your podcast should have an avatar! You can take a picture, or you can ask a professional to design it for you. And don't forget about a catchy and succinct title. This is where you'll have to rack your brains!

Promotion of the podcast

When the podcast is launched, without your help it will get a maximum of 2 listens per episode. So you'll have to think about promoting it.
First, add your podcast to every podcast directory you can find on the web. There aren't many of them, and people don't go to them that often, but there's definitely some traffic there.

Feel free to announce the launch of your podcast and each new episode on your social networks! Let everyone know how good you are and listen and take notes too!
Choose guests who will also bring their audience with them and tell them about your podcast on their social networks. And ask them to do it, don't expect them to figure it out on their own.

And then you can use all the other ways to promote your content - Riles, mutual PR and others. It's up to you how you come up with it.

But that's another story.