How To Launch A Podcast: Everything You Need To Know

Last updated on October 3rd, 2019

Launching a podcast is a complex process requiring time to properly plan and strategize how to start your show on the right foot. Here’s a guide of exactly what you need to get your podcast launched the right way so you can start growing your audience from day one.

Checklist Of What You Need To Launch A Podcast

Launching anything involves hard work, some strategy, and a lot of planning.  So it’s little surprise that launching a podcast, with its many moving parts, takes time to properly lay out. Here’s where our checklist comes in. Below we explain the six key pieces you should have in place before officially launching your first episode.

Distribute your podcast across every major directory

Once you have your podcast RSS feed configured and your podcast hosting account is set up, it’s important to submit your show to all of the important podcast directories.

Timing is important here as every listening platform takes a few days to approve your show. So if you want to launch on a Thursday, submit your podcast RSS feed across each directory on Monday morning.  That will give them enough time to review then send the approval email and link.

Have at least 3 episodes finalized

So how many episodes to launch with?  While there is no 100% definitively right answer here we generally recommend starting with three.

The goal here is to give your audience a good, representative sample of your content so they know what to expect from the show. Work to strike a balance between publishing enough content to give your audience a taste of what’s to come, but don’t overwhelm them with an enormous amount of episodes up front.

Publishing 10 episodes on the first day, for example, would likely mean that 5+ of them would never be played. Best to save those extra episodes for your regular publishing schedule.

Don’t forget about your podcast website

Acting as a “home base” for your show, setting up a dedicated podcast website is crucial to the success of your launch. The biggest benefit is this will become a central place where your audience can listen to new episodes, find show notes and transcriptions, and learn more about your brand.

A podcast website is important because it also helps make your show more discoverable. By using SEO strategies, potential listeners will see your podcast episodes in their results as they search for terms related to the show, in turn growing your audience.

A pre-launch teaser to generate buzz

Creating buzz before the official launch can go a long way so this step shouldn’t be skipped. For a more manual approach, lean on your network and ask them to post about the show across their social channels or to leave initial reviews for your episodes. Building this core bit of momentum can be the social proof others need to give your show a chance when you officially roll it out.

Another approach we love is using a pre-launch contest where entrants are encouraged to share your content via social media or sign up for your newsletter in return for the chance to win a prize. This strategy will help build your launch email list and get potential listeners excited about the show.

When deciding on the right prize, make sure it attracts primarily the people who will engage with your podcast. While giving away an iPad will draw in a lot of people and help distribute your content further, they’re unlikely the people who will further your podcast long term.

To start your own contest, there are a handful of tools available. We love ShortStack, KingSumo (for WordPress only), Contest Domination, or RaffleCopter.

Plan out a launch strategy

No matter what your industry or niche is, there are two essential channels to utilize when launching a podcast: social media and email. As a best practice, try setting up a specific strategy for each, ideally tailoring your content to best fit each platform. While posting colorful imagery may work best on Instagram, it may be better to go with text-based promotion within your newsletter. As you start to plan your strategy, consider these main avenues to launch with a splash.

Social media podcast promotion

No two podcasts are the same so your specific social media strategy should meet your audience where they already are. Unless you have a massive brand with unlimited resources, get strategic about choosing which social media channels will best generate the most awareness for your show. To get you started, we’ve compiled a list of best practices for podcast social media promotion to refine your approach. Then check out our guides below were we dig deeper into how to promote a podcast across Facebook and Instagram:

Email marketing podcast promotion

Your email subscribers will likely become your most engaged listeners as they’ve specifically decided to receive personal communications from you. Building a podcast email list during the pre-launch phase is an effective strategy to easily share your big launch with a group of vetted users.

Post launch, we recommend continuing to build this list so you can perpetually promote your podcast via email throughout the lifetime of the show. While social media provides more real time engagement with your audience, high-quality newsletters will drive more ROI than most Facebook posts.

Be ready to consistently publish new episodes post launch

After your podcast ‘launch’ is officially over, it’s time to set up systems and processes to continue publishing new episodes and developments for your show. This checklist item shouldn’t be overlooked given the time you’ve committed to finally getting your show off the ground. Make sure it’s not all for nothing by ensuring you can consistently produce new podcast content ahead of your launch. We recommend building out a content calendar and seeing if batch recording episodes is right for you.

Remember, the less content you publish after launching, the less opportunities there are for listeners to engage with you. Regularly producing new content is one of the biggest struggles for new podcasters so have a clear plan ironed out. After launching with a bang, this will ensure you can enjoy riding that momentum for months to come.

So there you have it, our six item checklist to launch your podcast in style. Following this launch guide will ensure that your show hits the ground running, starts growing a listenership, and gains your brand the extra notoriety you’ve been looking for.

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