written by
David Hooper

How to Start a Daily Podcast

Podcast Production 10 min read

My podcast about podcasting, Build a Big Podcast has short and to-the-point marketing advice for podcasters on how you can grow your podcast, better connect with your audience, and make impact with your message. For the first eight months, I published a new episode daily.

This article talks about the process of starting and maintaining a daily podcast.

Producing a Daily Podcast - How Much Work Does It Take?

In the business and marketing world, since the launch of Entrepreneur on Fire in 2012, lots of people have attempted to start a daily podcast. Most have quickly died.

Why? Podcasters underestimate what it takes to create a new episode every day.

Entrepreneur on Fire had a script — guests were asked the same questions on each episode. Yet even with this "hack" for speeding up episode production, a daily podcast is a lot of work.

For an interview-format podcast like Entrepreneur on Fire, here are the biggest guest-specific issues you’ll face:

  • finding potential guests
  • vetting potential guests
  • approaching potential guests with interview requests
  • booking / scheduling potential guests
  • technical issues
  • guests who don't know how to use Skype (or whatever system you use to record)
  • guests who miss their appointments with you
  • guests who don't deliver a good interview
  • extra editing to make guests with limited podcasting experience sound good on a podcast

It's for this reason that I suggest you do a solo podcast if you’re going to release a new episode daily.

Still think interviews are the way to go? Consider this:

The Dirty Secret of Daily Podcasts

A perceived benefit of doing an interview-format podcast is that guests will help you to promote episodes. While there's the potential that you'll have dozens (or even hundreds) of guests telling their friends and followers about being on your podcast, don't expect that to happen.

Rarely will guests share the podcasts they've been interviewed on in a way that's substantial. This is especially true for daily podcasts where the newest episode becomes "old" within a few hours.

Why Start a Daily Podcast?

I started Build a Big Podcast under the name Big Podcast Daily as part of National Podcast Post Month. This is an event which happens every year and the goal for participants is to record 30 episodes in 30 days.

My goal, in addition to reaching 30 episodes, was to smooth out my thought process and delivery. I wanted episodes with content that had a clear beginning, middle, and end and I wanted to get better at being able to deliver those episodes with minimal editing.

The biggest benefits of doing a daily podcast involve your podcasting skillset. By constantly having to come up with new episode ideas, organize them, and deliver them within organized and linear episodes that make sense to listeners, you'll improve greatly as both a storyteller and host. You'll then be able to take these skills to other podcasts as well as other types of media you’re involved with, such as blogs and live presentations.

Even if nobody ever listens to your daily podcast, you’ll benefit by doing one.

How to Start a Daily Podcast - The Tools

The easiest way to start a daily podcast is via Spotify for Podcasters (formerly known as Anchor). This iPhone/Android app allows you to record and distribute podcast episodes directly form your phone, without any additional equipment.

Does Spotify for Podcasters sound like you’re in a professional recording studio? No.

Here's the first episode I did using Spotify for Podcasters:

The good news is that Spotify for Podcasters does get you going. They handle feed submission to Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and other podcast directories. More or less, all you need to do to start podcasting is install the Spotify for Podcasters app and hit the record button. It's a good option for those who want an easy way to dip their toes in the water of releasing daily podcast episodes.

Full details on Spotify for Podcasters and other recording options are in "Daily Podcast Production" section below.

Daily Podcasting - Your Biggest Obstacle

The biggest hurdle you’ll face when creating a successful daily podcast is actually doing the podcast. While Spotify for Podcasters simplifies the podcast recording and publishing process, a perhaps more challenging issue for you will be coming up with 365 episode ideas per year. To help with this, I use a task management app called Amazing Marvin, which I have on both my phone and desktop computer. Whenever I have an idea for an episode, I add it to a list I’ve created just for that purpose.

How do you come up with topic ideas? If you're in the trenches of your topic and actively having discussions about it or reading related material, you shouldn’t have much trouble. You’ll also find a number of listeners willing to help in this area, so allow them to participate by asking questions and suggesting episode ideas.

To quickly and easily communicate with listeners, I recommend Twitter.

Daily Podcasting - Your Episode Content

I advise you to keep your episode content short and sweet, especially in the beginning. You're going to be releasing a new episode daily and to do this, you're either going to have to record and produce multiple episodes at once, or record a produce a new episode daily. Even if you're an experienced podcaster and work quickly, a daily podcast can take a considerable amount of time, so pace yourself, keep things simple, and expand your efforts and production as you get more comfortable with your new podcast.

One, hyper-focused element per episode is best. Here are five options:

  1. a single news item - "This is Internet Marketing Today and Google just did something you need to know about…"
  2. a single tip or strategy - "This is Email Builders 365 and here’s today’s strategy for building a bigger email list…"
  3. a single big idea - "This is Big Business Breakfast and I want you to consider this as you work today…"
  4. one question with one answer - "This is Book Biz and Roy from Kansas sent me this question about writing non-fiction…"
  5. a single call-to-action - "This is Congress Callers and today's action is for you to call your Senator about…"

Daily Podcasting - Your Episode Format

Like your episode content, keeping your format simple will go a long way to helping you make sure you can keep up with the volume of episodes you'll be producing.

I organize episodes of Build A Big Podcast into three sections:

  1. Intro — I let people know what they’re listening to.
  2. Main Section — I give a big idea on how to be a better host or otherwise create a better podcast.
  3. Call-To-Action — Want more? Subscribe to the podcast and/or sign up for podcasting tips via email.

That’s it. On average, an episode of Build a Big Podcast is between 4-5 minutes.

While this is a basic format, it should work for most daily podcasts. Making episodes and production too complicated can kill a podcast, especially a daily podcast.

Daily Podcast Production

Option 1 - The “Easy” Process

This is how I started Build a Big Podcast. It's not the only way to start a daily podcast and, because of reasons I'll explain in the “Option 2" section, it’s not what I’m currently doing. If you want to get going quickly though, it’s a simple method to quickly reach people with your message.

I recommend Spotify for Podcasters because it lets you easily record and distribute podcast episodes via phone. And if you don’t want to worry about technical issues, such as feeds or distribution, Spotify for Podcasters handles those things as well.

What you need to do to get started:

  1. Develop your overall podcast topic and basic episode format.
  2. Come up with a name for your podcast.
  3. Sign up for Spotify for Podcasters.
  4. Outline episodes (see "Your Episode Content" above for easy options to do this).
  5. Record and publish an episode via Spotify for Podcasters every day.

That’s it. You’ve got a daily podcast!

Option 2 - The Traditional Process

This process is a little more complicated than Option 1, but will give you more flexibility to recording and releasing your podcast episodes.

  1. Develop your overall podcast topic and basic episode format.
  2. Come up with a name for your podcast.
  3. Sign up for Libsyn. (Use the code "big" to get a free month.)
  4. Submit your Libsyn feed to Apple Podcasts via Podcasts Connect and other podcast directories.
  5. Record your podcast episodes via your computer (or other recording equipment) and upload final files for hosting and distribution via Libsyn.

Daily Podcast Production Option 3 - The Hybrid Process 

This is a good option if you want to be able to use Spotify for Podcasters for mobile podcasting, yet still want the power of being able to do a traditional podcast.

Note that Spotify for Podcasters is not the primary host. Because of this you will need to sign up with a traditional host, such as Libsyn.

  1. Develop your overall podcast topic and basic episode format.
  2. Come up with a name for your podcast.
  3. Sign up for Spotify for Podcasters.
  4. Immediately tell Anchor not to submit your Anchor podcast to Apple Podcasts or any other podcast directory.
  5. Sign up for Libsyn or another host that's able to pull content from an external RSS feed, such as the one Spotify for Podcasters provides. This host is where your podcast will officially live.
  6. Get your RSS feed from Spotify for Podcasters and tell the primary host you selected in Step 5 to pull content from that feed.
  7. Submit the feed from your main hosting account (Step 5) to Apple Podcasts and other podcasting directories.

That's it. You’ll now be able to upload produced episodes to your main host as well as pull and publish episodes you create via Spotify for Podcasters.

BONUS Podcast Production Option - The Sausage Factory

A daily podcast doesn’t have to be complicated and, depending on your reasons for doing one, you don’t need a big audience (or any audience) to have success with one. For more information on how and why this works, take a look at the Sausage Factory Formula, an option for podcasters who want the benefits of daily podcasting without worrying about episode prep, editing, or even an audience.

The Important Thing to Remember

When people are listening to your podcast, they don't care how you created it. Don't get caught up in superficial details that will keep you from creating and releasing episodes.

Any of the three methods above will work for you, so pick the one you best resonate with and go for it. When it comes to improving your skills as a podcast host, the act of recording and editing a daily podcast is far more important than the technical aspects of hosting and distribution.

Focus on these five steps:

  1. Come up with an episode idea.
  2. Outline your episode.
  3. Record yourself.
  4. Edit yourself.
  5. Release your recording to the world.

Doing these things day after day will improve your podcasting skills immensely.

Final Thoughts On Daily Podcasting

There are many ways to produce and release a daily podcast. I started on Spotify for Podcasters because it's easy and I'd have fewer excuses as to why I couldn't record and release a new episode every day. That's a big upside.

The downside of podcasting via your phone is reduced audio quality. A greater downside would be that you never release anything.

Focus on getting episodes out as easily as you can, especially if you're a new podcaster. You can worry about "good audio quality" and other technical elements of your podcast later.

Let Me Know How You're Doing

Reach out to me and let me know about your podcast. Also, if you’re interested in hearing my marketing tips for podcasters, subscribe to Build a Big Podcast via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS feed.

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