Are you a mental health practitioner who would like to share your knowledge with the world? While there are a lot of ways to go about sharing your knowledge with the general public, one of the most effective ways to do so is by creating your own podcast. Podcasts are having a real moment right now. In fact, 32 percent of Americans are monthly podcast listeners and 165 million Americans have listened to a podcast at some point in their lives. But, if you want to create a podcast, where do you even begin? Check out this guide to learn how to start a successful podcast as a mental health practitioner.
1. Gather the Recording Equipment
First things first, you need to gather the right recording equipment for your podcast. The type of recording equipment you invest in will depend on your budget, but, at the bare minimum, you'll need a computer with a built-in microphone and internet access.
If you're up for spending a little money, but still want to keep things simple, then consider investing in either a USB microphone or a simple headset mic.
In addition to a microphone and computer, you'll also need to invest in recording and editing software. Some of the top options for recording and editing software include:
- Audacity (what I also use)
- Adobe Audition
- Garageband (what I currently use)
Each of these software options come with their own pros and cons, so we recommend doing some research to figure out which one is best for your needs.
2. Choose a Podcast Format
Once you've gathered the recording equipment, it's time to figure out how you're going to format your podcast.
When it comes to formats, there are three main options you have to choose from.
With a solo format, you'll be doing all of the talking. The benefit to this is that you'll only have to rely on yourself to stay on top of your podcasting.
However, if you're new to the world of podcasting, taking on your own solo show can be very intimidating and overwhelming.
With this format, you'll be presenting alongside a friend or colleague. This is great for those who want to make their podcasts more conversational and who want to take some of the pressure off hosting a solo show.
However, you'll need to find a very reliable co-host whom you vibe well with to pull this off.
This will involve bringing new guests in for your podcast. This is a great way to keep your podcast fresh and interesting, however, getting new guests each week can be very time-consuming and stressful.
Keep in mind that you can also do a combination of the above formats, so don't worry too much at the beginning about which one to choose.
3. Figure Out Episode Specifics
Once you've settled on a podcast format, it's time to figure out episode specifics.
Namely, you need to decide how frequently you want to release your episodes and how long you want each episode to be.
There is no hard formula for length and frequency that dictates the success of a podcast. Some of the most successful podcasts are 20 minutes long, while some other ones are two hours long.
The most important thing is that you're consistent with your episodes. You shouldn't be releasing two 20-minute episodes three weeks in a row, then come back three weeks later with a 2-hour episode.
Podcast listeners expect consistency, so make sure you stick to an episode schedule.
4. Script Your Episodes
After you have all of this figured out, it's time to script your episodes.
Scripting your episodes can feel like a daunting task, but the good news is that the script should really just serve as an outline for what you're going to talk about. In fact, if you read off a script word-for-word, people are probably going to find your podcast to be quite boring.
When creating a script, we suggest sticking with the tried and true intro, body, and conclusion structure.
During the introduction, you should discuss the episode ahead, clear up anything from the previous episode, and discuss any housekeeping topics (aka, where to find you on social media, etc).
Then, we suggest making a bullet point list of everything you want to go over during the bulk of the episode.
At the end of the episode, you'll want to give people a peek into what's coming next week. This is also a great time to remind people to subscribe to and rate and review your podcast.
5. Record and Edit
Once you have the script taken care of, it's time to record and edit your podcast.
To get over the uncomfortableness of talking into a microphone, pretend like you're talking to someone as you're recording. The more you make it feel like a conversation, the easier your sentences will flow.
Also, keep in mind that mistakes can be edited out, so don't freak out if you have a few parts where you stumble. And, if you don't like the first episode, you can always re-record it!
Once you're finished recording, you can use one of the software programs we mentioned above to edit the episode.
6. Publish Your Podcast
After you're finished recording and editing, it's time to publish your podcast so the world can hear it!
To publish your podcast, you'll first need a podcast hosting account (also referred to as a media host). This is a service that stores your audio and allows people to listen, download, share, and subscribe to your episodes.
I use Libsyn to help with this (use promo code “couch” at checkout to get a free trial).
Then, once you've uploaded your episodes using a media host, you can submit your podcast to different directories (aka, Spotify, iTunes, and Google Play).
How to Start a Successful Podcast: Are You Ready to Launch?
Now that you know how to start a successful podcast, it's time to get to work. Before you know it, your podcast will be climbing the iTunes charts!
If you enjoyed this article and would like to learn more about podcasting, be sure to check our guide: The Complete Guide To Launching Your Podcast